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Restaurants & Bars 2

My dinner at Ponzu (long)

Fatemeh | Feb 4, 200501:50 PM

I couldn't believe that there were NO recommendations or review of Ponzu in at least 18 months, and now I know why.

We were brought a small basket of shrimp chips and poori, which were fine. To start, we ordered the Garlic Naan Bread ($7) and Chicken Spring Rolls ($9) to share.

The naan was well-flavored, but too pasty inside with not enough tasty burned bits (I don't think they used a wood-burning oven). The accompanying spiced pear chutney was very good, however, and I kept that for our next course. The spring rolls were crisp and not greasy, but bland. There was no seasoning on the filling (which appeared to be 100% shredded chicken), but when wrapped in the butter lettuce, basil and mint, and dipped in the sweet chile sauce, the rolls came to life.

For our mains, we ordered three items plus a side:

Asian Herb Butterfish w/garlic japanese eggplant, carrots & cipollini onions ($18). I usually love butterfish, but this was overcooked (though not dry) and had lost its unctous richness.

Masala-Spiced Lamb Kabobs w/raita, cilantro-mint chutney & curried squash ($19). The lamb was delicious and very juicy. The chutney was also great, though I didn't sample the squash. The spiced pear chutney from the naan was really great with this dish.

Tamarind-Glazed Duck Breast w/bok choy and endive ($21). The glaze was very good, but the duck itself was a bit rubbery.

Overall, nothing was bad, but nothing stood out, either. And everything needed a bit of salt. At the risk of sounding hokey, the food lacked any soul... any passion.

I think what it comes down to at Ponzu is that the kitchen is bored... or just doing a job. There's no passion in the food or desserts, and they are trying too hard with the gimmicky preps.


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