Our first visit (3 of us) to Asian Rim at the Colonnade was pretty damn good. They have not been open that long yet (< 1 month) so they are still working out some kinks but they appear to be firing on almost all cylinders so far. They are *very* interested in feedback as the owner, waitress, and possibly the chef asked multiple times how everything was. Asian Rim is an amalgam of interesting takes on *somewhat * traditional Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes, plus some American favorites thrown in. Anyway, on to the meal!
For the first appetizer, we shared the tempura green beans. I hate to compare this place to Jinsei as they have widely different menus, but the dish was fairly comparable except perhaps the tempura batter at Jinsei is a little thicker.
Second, we ordered a few different apps including The Rim of Fire, the Chicken Wing Drumettes, the Lemongrass Sausage Ssam Lettuce Wraps and later some oysters.
Anyway, the Rim of Fire is described as "Spicy Tuna Blend atop Fried Rice Cake, Frizzled Carrots, Beets, Sirracha with Sweet Miso Sauce." We incorrectly assumed it would be similar to the Kadoma Tuna app at Jinsei. The fried rice cake was kind of odd, it was too crunchy (unlike the rice cake for the Kadoma Tuna at Jinsei) and the frizzled carrots and beers were just kind of odd. The tuna itself was good. I did not dislike this dish; it just was not for me (or my dining companions).
I was super excited for the Ssam as I was just at Momufuku Ssam Bar in NYC about two months ago and loved it. I thought it was well executed with the sausage in one bowl and a couple of banchan toppings including a mixed kimchi (not just cabbage) plus rice and a couple of other things to be assembled in some very fresh bibb lettuce. I would have used a few more pieces of lettuce and possibly some spicier condiments, but I am just being picky.
You know all of those scenes in movies about heaven and all of the angels are singing and you hear this “ahhhhhh” as the heavens open up? Well, that is about how I felt after taking the first bite of the wings which were actually only about 6 drumettes (bonus for S). We all love wings to begin with so we were prejudiced anyway. They were possibly the highlight of the meal and if they were not $11 for 6, they would be my go-to tailgate order over most other wing places in town. A few people there advised they were first char-grilled, and then deep fried, then sautéed with Chiles, Miso, Soy, Garlic, and Rice Vinegar Marinade. They are nirvana – a lovely mix of sweet and spicy (which I typically do not enjoy too much on meat, I prefer no sweetness). I love the char and the sauté with some spice but not too much and they come out piping hot.
The oysters were just a half dozen raw Apalachicola served with a trio of mignonette, some salsa (?) and another which was minced onions and jalapenos. We also ordered the trio of salts – lemon, something and smoked salt. I loved the smoked salt. Otherwise, the oysters were fine but nothing special (this is no fault of the restaurant’s; I just am not a huge fan of Apalachicola oysters).
For dinner, I ordered the shitake soup and asked if I could get the banh mi with the Korean bbq instead of the chicken with which it is typically served and they accommodated. S ordered the lollipop roll while our friend J ordered some salmon sashimi and the sweet and sour soup. I’ll make this short as we over-ordered and were getting full.
The Shitake Miso soup with shaved beef had one bit of beef as hippo stated but packed a LOT of shitake punch. Make sure you love shitake. Pretty good but my eyes were bulging out of my head at this point
The banh mi was a bit cumbersome on basically a split piece of French roll. It tasted good (nice crunch as it should) but it was hard to take a bite of everything at once. Perhaps they should maybe order bread from the same place in Atlanta that Saigon Noodle House up the street gets theirs. The taste of the condiments (carrots, daikon, cilantro, etc) was right but the Korean bbq was a bit sweet. This is my fault for ordering this way. I still liked it and would return to try their original version but I am more of a traditionalist and won’t be skipping out on Saigon Noodle House’s BM2 with extra meat and pate! The accompanying very thin shoestring fries were good.
J devoured her 3 pieces of salmon so assumed they were good. She also liked her hot and sour soup but preferred the shitake soup.
S ate most of the lollipop roll which was good but at that point we were so stuffed they had to pull these three little piggies out of the seats.
Overall, it was many more hits than misses and the misses were user error or only near misses. I can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu. If only I didn’t have to deal with 280 I would probably go weekly until I find my favorites.
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