Yes, I'm giving in to posting... I have to get over this paranoia. And, I was so pleased with last night's dinner. So, from my stomach memory, here goes last night's menu...
1) Appetizers - The first thing that rolled out was the miang kum. This appetizer was as delicious as previously posted. The flavors of the dried coconut, shrimp and miscellaneous herbs on top of that spinach leaf, was really quite amazing. Not only the flavors, but the varying textures. It was crunchy and chewy at the same time. The flavors and textures competed with each other, but not in a distracting way. Other appetizers included the papaya shrimp salad, which was one of spiciest things I have ever tasted. Initially, I really liked it, however, when I went home, I found papaya salad on my white silk pants. The novelty of the salad has worn off (but unfortunately, remain on the pants). The spiciness was, at times, overpowering, but there was a pleasant crunchiness to the salad. There was also an appetizer of sweet beef and sticky rice. I ended up blending the sweet meat and sticky rice with my papaya salad. That combination was phenominal. The nuclear shrimp, was alas, not that nuclear. Probably because I had just eaten the salad, and I don't think my piece of shrimp had the hot peppers. I believe CFox also agreed with me on the spice level. Rubee, however, almost coughed up a lung when she bit into hers. The shrimp was nice and sweet, almost like amaebi.
2) Main dishes - There were a number of cold courses. they included this catfish and chicken (larb kai). the catfish was really interesting. It didn't look or taste like fish. It was fried and puffed up. It was interesting, but neither that, nor the chicken made a huge impression on me. That's because the hot dishes came out, and they were spectacular. My favorites, in no particular order, were the salmon in the banana leaf (haw moak), the braised pork (moo pa lo) and this ground spicy chicken (gaprow). the salmon was very similar to the amok royale at Elephant Walks. Think of catfood in a banana leaf cup. It doesn't look that appetizing, but when you take that first bite and the flavors of fish, coconut milk and basil fill your mouth, it's enough to make me swoon. Also, the braised pork was delicious. I think I like it because it's comfort food done well. Pieces of pork, slow cooked for a long period of time, that the meat is practically falling apart. Lastly (of my favorites), was the ground spicy chicken dish, it looks like the cold chicken larb dish, but hot, spicy and flavorful. I don't know what why I liked it so much, other than that I liked the way it tasted, the spice, the basil, everything.
3) Other dishes - Seafood in the coconut - it was well done but not that exciting. Chinese watercress - again the same, it was nice having greens, but it's something I eat a lot of and a good staple. There were two different kinds of whole fish. I can't rave about these because by the time I got around to them (I was distracted by my favorites), they weren't at their best. The fishes were a couple of minutes overcooked and slightly dry. There was a chow fun dish that had a nice flavor, but the noodles, I think, were a little gloppy. Then there were these two egg noodle dishes sitting in a curry sauce. One had chicken, the other had tofu. The noodles and sauce were tasty, but the tofu was a little tough to eat. The skins were too thick.
I can't think of what else we had. I know that there was a lot of tasty food and it was a really fun night. I rolled out of there and woke up full. Bottom line... chowhounds really know how to have a good time. Thanks to galleygirl and others who organized the menu.
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