Oh my, this is a tough place to review. Asian food generally doesn't fall into the fine dining category so to find ourselves with a 12 course $150 tasting menu, after thinking it was going to be $125, set us back a bit however when you compare the cost to some of the other tasting menus in the city you realize it really isn't that far off. All that said however we still felt it was a little expensive for what we got.
First, they don't give you a menu to look at so that you can get an idea of what the courses will be, that itself is a problem for me. Second - many reviewer's have mentioned that the food came out at room temperature or just not hot enough. Am going to have to agree that this was the case.
Let's start with the drinks. The cocktails were extremely tasty and inventive.
The wine list however was insanely expensive - prices four and five times retail pricing is just too much. We ordered two glasses of a Zinfandel ($15 a pop!) and they came out tasting pruny and as if it had been overheated. They did give us new pours from a new bottle which were better.
On to the 12 dishes:
1. No picture for this one even though they offered to bring another one by later so I could take a shot of it, they just forgot. It was a shiso leaf filled with crispy coconut and perhaps pork threads topped with a slice of a Thai bird chili. There must've been other stuff in there like garlic and other seasonings. It was a little bit like eating rough slightly moistened sawdust in terms of texture, but the flavors were terrific.
2. A trio of appetizers starting with a small crispy pastry boat filled with chicken and vegetables, a bigger's purse also filled with a protein and the third a blue rice dough intricately designed dumpling filled with chicken? They were all beautiful, but none of them were warm enough and they begged for some sort of sauce.
3. A somewhat more common Thai appetizer - a soft shell spring roll filled with vegetables with a couple of pieces of crab in between and a brown plum type sauce. It was good but not great.
4. Single slice of steak on a Belgian endive leaf with a microscopic tempura carrot. Again, it needed a sauce or more flavor.
5. My absolute favorite dish of the night - it was way more than one or two bites and it had complex flavors and textures. At the bottom of the plate a square of extremely thin egg cooked like a wrapper. On top of that some rice vermicelli noodles that were seasoned with coconut milk and something to turn them pink. To the right of that small pieces of stir fried tofu that were amazingly flavorful. On top of all of this with a nice large prawn that was tempura fried. Some crushed red pepper flakes, some thin cucumber and red pepper slices and a small wedge of lemon were also on the plate to help pull together all the flavors.
6. This course actually was skipped accidentally and we ended up getting it after both desserts because we counted through our pictures and noticed that we had only been served 11. This was called teatime and it was a small little pot of a ginger and lemon grass tea served in a thimble size cup along with a calamari meatball served on a skewer with half a grape tomato and a basil leaf. It was interesting, palate cleansing and I wish we would've had it in the six position instead of the 12th.
Courses 7, 8, 9 and 10 were four entrées that were all brought out at once and served family style.
7. Sweet-and-sour fish fillets held together with a ring of fried pastry dough all drizzled with a Thai sweet chili sauce. Tasty, but other than the intricately carved carrot fish on the plate and the fact that the fish fillets were standing upright, none of this was high-end.
8. Seared sea scallops (1 per person) with sautéed vegetable planks. Again, tasty but other than the intricate serving there was nothing wow in this dish.
9. Braised curry beef with crispy onion strings (?) on top. This was the most flavorful dish of the entrées. The sauce was delicious over the steamed rice that came with the entrées.
10. The supposed "6 1/2 ounce" lobster tail turned out to be a half a lobster tail per person. The only reason we switched to the 12 course menu from the 10 course menu was because they said for the additional $25 we would get two extra courses - one of them being an appetizer and the other being a 6 1/2 ounce lobster tail. Bait and switch! It had good flavor with a ground up sweet red pepper type of sauce although I would've liked a little heat in the sauce and a lot more of the sauce itself.
11. Tapioca "slippery" noodles with (basil?) a light coconut sauce and then a small cup of macerated berries with a sweet syrup.
12. A tiny green tea rice crêpe filled with sticky sweet rice along side a small scoop of slightly icy coconut ice and a perfectly ripe slice of mango all of it drizzled with a mango purée. Sweet, but not too sweet, and refreshing with the ice.
Would I ever return? Maybe, if somebody else was paying!
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