Monday, May 29, 2006

Rice Paper

I admit it. I went because of the coupon.

I had a coupon for $50 off a minimum spend of $200 AND a free dish of chorizo rolls. I couldn’t resist it and since the boy, my mom and I hadn’t eaten a big lunch, we thought we’d have a snack.

The place was nicely decorated in the ‘modern Vietnamese’ style that they were going for. As there were only three other tables occupied, we were sat at a comfy booth style seat right smack next to the window with a sea view.

Our first dish to come was the free chorizo rolls. They were tiny but free so could not complain (although I would feel slightly ripped off if I had to pay the normal price of $39 for the three tiny rolls). They tasted good despite my doubt that the chorizo would taste good in a very Asian style dish with traditional accents of peanut dipping sauce. The rolls were filled with pickled radish, green papaya, and a slice of chorizo. They were surprisingly refreshing as a starter. I apologize for the lack of pictures. What can I say? We were hungry.

The second dish was the Rice Paper Soft Shell Crab. These were fun and a full hands-on experience.

You take a sheet of the rice paper, put it shiny side down, lightly moisten the surface with nuoc nam (slightly sour/sweet fish sauce, widely used in Vietnamese dishes), put half a piece of lettuce, a piece of basil, mint and another herb I didn’t know the name of, together with a piece of soft shell crab, green banana, pineapple and starfruit, bits of crispy fried vermicelli for crunch factor, wrap it all up best you can and stuff into mouth.

Well, my mom ate daintily but the boy and I stuffed it into our mouths before the whole thing fell apart. Too much nuoc nam sauce made the rice paper break.

The third dish was curry with duck and lychees. My mom and I love fruit in cooking as it always seems to add a different dimension to the food. The boy doesn’t but since he couldn’t really taste it, it was ok by him. This was served with a French baguette (also quite traditional in Vietnamese cooking due to the French influence).

The curry was creamy with the addition of coconut milk but complaints around the table included non using fresh duck (Mom), not unique (the Boy) and not hot enough in both senses of the word (Me). It was ok, just not spectacular.

We finished off with a grand finale. The sticky banana pudding with homemade honeycomb ice cream. Sound good? It was divine. One of my favorite desserts at their sister restaurant, Thai Basil, it was just as good as I remembered. A nice piece of sticky, banana pudding topped with honeycomb ice cream complete with hunks of honeycomb, swimming in a pool of custard.

My mom and I devoured the pudding and ice cream and the boy, true to his English roots, finished the custard.

Total damage with tip and 10% service charge came to $200 after the discount and free rolls.

Rice Paper
P413-418, Podium 4
World Trade Centre
Causeway Bay,
Hong Kong
Phone: 852-2890 3975

15% off with American Express on dinner a-la-carte menu (Mon – Fri) until June 17th 2006

No comments: