We tried a couple of new restaurants this weekend, here are my findings-
1. Spice Route in Milpitas
400 Valley Way (inside the Best Western Hotel) (408)262-1700
We were deciding between Bleu Ginger and Spice Route and decided to take the road less traveled. We were a group of four and if my cousin wasn't already familiar with this loaction I don't think we would have ever found it. It's located inside the Best Western hotel right off of Calaveras road at 880. Despite the random location, the restaurant itself is very nice. Brightly lit, nice color scheme, everything brand new. As soon as you walk in you forget that you are in a Best Western. We arrived at around 9pm on Friday night and the place was empty, save 4 people sitting at the bar (beer and wine only). The menu looked good so we decided to give it try.
The menu consists of about 6 small plates and 5 entrees. The waitress/owner (Chandler) recommended starting with mussel pakoras and mini lamb burgers, plus we added some sriracha wings (the menu claimed very spicy!). As we waited we were served some herb naan and a raita/tazika type dip. The naan was fantastic, lots of herbs on top, nice crispy back and soft and slightly chewy center. The mussell pakoras were nice, they were fried and placed back in the cleaned out shells and topped with some sauces. Very flavorful and and cooked perfectly. The burgers were incredible, very nicely spiced (similar to a sheik kabob) and melt in your mouth tender, a big hit all around. The wings were battered and fried and tossed in what was a very spicy sauce, but there were plenty of other flavors aside from just chili, very tasty and addictive.
The four of us split two entrees, we had the shallot and lemongrass Lamb chops and and the salmon. The chops came out a perfect medium rare served with creamy cumin spiced mashed potatoes and some spinach. Spinach was fresh and garlicky, the lamb had a nice sweet and savory flavor. The salmon had a crispy outside and was buttery soft inside. It was served over the same garlicky spinach and some slightly over-cooked pan fried potatoes, everything was covered in a tamarind sauce, very solid dish.
All in all this was a very good experience, everything was cooked perfectly and every dish had it's own unique flavor. This restaurant seems so out of place in a hotel/motel in Milpitas.
The food with 2 bottles shiraz and tax and tip came out to $160. This will be our new Milpitas spot, we''ll be back to try the game hen, recommended by Chandler.
No soups, dinner salads or desserts on the menu yet, but we were promised they are in the works.
Open Mon-Sat for lunch and dinner
(not up as of Monday, but we were told it would be up this week)
2. Singapore Old Town Cafe in Dublin
4288 Dublin Blvd (in the Ulferts Shopping Center) (925) 833-8300
I couldn't wait to try this place since hearing about it here on Chowhound. Two of us went for a late lunch on Saturday around 2pm. The place was maybe a quarter full. Nice new restaurant, lots of dark colors and dark wood give it a nice modern feel. The music was a wierd mix of 90's light pop (mariah carey, some disney tracks etc.) and some type of, maybe, singaporean pop... I only noticed because it was pretty loud.
The menu has about 80 dishes, we started with the roti canai. It was perfect, very flaky and buttery, served with a delicious potato curry. I could've eaten two of those myself. We continued with pineapple fried rice, butter prawns and aromatic chicken. The pineapple rice had plenty of goodies in it, raisins, chicken, pineapple, nuts. It definetly needed some chili, but once it was added the dish was great. Very fresh tasting and not overly oily. The one knock would be that they pile it in a halved hallowed pineapple and it spills all over the table. The butter prawns had a great flavor and once I got used to eating the shells, I really liked this dish, despite the prawns being slightly dry and over-cooked. Plus the buttery-noodle stuff served with the dish added some flair to the fried rice and chicken. The aromatic chicken is a fried chicken in a sweet and spicy sauce with mango. My wife has to order a dish like this (sesame chicken, chicken katsu, orange chicken, generals chicken) at every asian restaurant in case she doesn't like the other dishes. The chicken was probably twice or thrice fried, but the sauce was delicious and the wife really loved it, although she really liked the other dishes as well.
All in all, this place really stands out in the Dublin/Pleasanton area and will be a regular for us. Tax tip and lunch was $50. We actually had a plan to take 11 people with us for dinner on Sunday night, but at the last minute the group changed their minds and wanted PF Changs... AARRRRGGGGHHH!!!
At least the PF Changs dinner made me appreciate the fresh, not over oily and not overly salty flavor of Singapore OTC.
Open daily for lunch and dinner
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