Last week I tried out the newish Taiwanese cafe next door to Lion in the mall on Warm Springs Blvd. The interior is brightly lit and contemporary with decorative seafood motifs. I was by myself but ordered two dishes to diversify my risk.
First up was the three-cup squid. The whole, fresh squid still had the roe inside which made them far more substantial. But this also meant that the quills were in place. I had to pull them out of each one, sort of like loosening a lollipop from its stick, once I'd consumed enough of the body for it to break free. The squid were somewhat overcooked but the flavor was quite good. I loved the heady aroma of ginger, fresh basil and rice wine. The ginger dominated the taste though leaving a bitter aftertaste that would have benefited from some sugar to balance it out.
The oyster pancake was the second dish and about as good as I've had around here. This is a dish that I've almost given up on after being served so many that had bad oysters, frazzled near burnt eggs, gloppy ketchup sauce, you name it. The moist egg layer on this was not overbeaten and you could still see the white and the yolk parts. This one had plenty of the starchy, chewy stuff, and I liked how it got brown and crispy around the edges. The pieces of plump and juicy oyster were plentiful, and I especially liked the counterpoint of the dazzlingly fresh bitter greens. The biggest surprise was the sauce, as it was not overly sweet or too goopy and had a slight spiciness. I'd order this again any day.
With steamed rice, this set me back $16 with tax and tip. Good value too.
46873 Warm Springs Blvd.
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