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Mohinga @ Natoma Cafe (SF)

Melanie Wong | May 14, 200503:44 AM

Yesterday I had a return visit to Natoma Cafe to try another dish from the Burmese menu. At 12:45pm, there were only two other customers in the place and by the time I left, only three others had come in. This spot deserves more business than that.

The mohinga (fish chowder) was served fully garnished with chopped cilantro, fried shallots, fried garlic bits, chili flakes, a couple wedges of lemon, slices of hard-boiled eggs, and something I've not seen before, toasted pine nuts. The aromas were fantastic, teeming with lemon grass, fresh ginger, pungent fish sauce, and plenty of garlic. The homemade stock tasted mostly of good chicken broth rather than fish base and a touch of coconut milk. The filets seemed like tilapia or basa, and were lightly dusted and fried which added more richness to the soup. Rather than thin rice noodles, wide fresh egg noodles were cooked al dente. The initial tastes were quite salty, but after squeezing in the lemon juice came into focus and balance.

This was another satisfying and homey bowl for only $4.95. I also had a Natoma ice tea, $1.50, which is Spanish garden tea, mint and lemon juice.



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