A group of ten of us enjoyed a rather exotic and well-prepared lunch of Lao specialties at Canton Gourmet Express. The new owners/mangers are a family that is half Lao, and we enjoyed some unique specialties in a varied menu. Almost every dish came with a complicated sauce (sometimes on the side) that was unique to that dish. An impressive array of flavors.
Oriental Clam- Pan Hui Kang: Unusual little clams served with a sweet sauce and a hot sauce.
Laotian Sausage - warm, delicious.
Honey Garlic Spareribs and BBQ chcken - two dishes that showed a beautiful, thick crust. The ribs delicately flavored and the chicken served with my favorite of all the sauces, a thick dark red with a good build up of heat.
Soup Dau Mai - not a soup, shreddeed bamboo in a hot sauce.
Larb Fish, Loyal Style: Our bass-o-matic. Turned out to be like a gloppy sauce that you scoop up with the sticky rice and some raw eggplant. A fun arts and crafts project, for those who like to play with their food.
Gui Ba Fish: A shredded fish. Tasty, fresh, and a bit salty in a lively way.
Papaya Salad: like many of the dishes, elaborate in its use of dried shrimp, pickled crab, some anchovy in the sauce. An acquired taste. Very hot.
Fried yucca and banana: served with a seasoned mayonnaise, made for a nice cooling effect.
Chinese House Special from Laos: A Chinese community dish using a touch of curry and ginger with scallops, shrimp, water chestnuts. A bit odd for my taste.
Overall, gorgeous presentation on the plate using lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. I also believe she toned down the heat for the group. Nothing served was untouchable, though all of our considerable noses were running freely throughout.
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