Six of us met last night for some tasty eating at Asia Cafe last night.
Ma Pa Tofu
Pickled Long Beans
Flower Tofu (sambamaster's off-the-menu order)
Shredded Pork with green chives (they were out of yellow chives)
Spicy Fish Fillets
Twice Cooked Sausage w/Garlic shoots
Judging by the leftovers I'd say the Flower Tofu and Twice Cooked Sausage were the biggest hits and the water spinach and shredded pork were the least liked.
Personally, I found the Ma Pa Tofu spot on as it almost always is--spicy and porky with a great texture. While I found the Long Beans unique, I still don't appreciate their flavor or texture. The Flower Tofu was terrificly spicy and complex and I wish they had it on the menu. The Shredded Pork was average--sambamaster says the yellow chives version is much better. It was also noted yellow chive season is short lived so ask for the next time you go as you might not get a chance for another year.
The Water Spinach was there as the veggie alternative. While I love Asia Cafe's veggies this dish can be a bit hard to like due to the large amount of fibery stems. The Spicy Fish is the dish I've found to be the most inconsistent at Asia Cafe. Sometimes it is super crisp and spicy and other times it is more soggy and the sauce is more brown than red. Last night I found it to be pretty disappointing and am curious what others thought about last night. Finally, the twice cooked sausage was super tasty though I found it to be pretty tough to chew. I'd probably order the other version ("once cooked"?) the next time.
All in all a successful meal with interesting conversation about food. Special thanks to sambamaster for bringing some beers (he tipped the chef with 3 or 4 beers throughout the night). We look forward to your return visits to Austin.
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