Our local Chowhound circle had a fantastic four-hour meal at Merlion this weekend. I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to Nab and Amata for organizing this grand event. Conversation was lively and wide-ranging and I believe a good time was had by all. As a little perk, I came away with numerous hints for future dining: Cho-san (spelling?), Jujube, Thai Villa, etc. I hope others did as well.
Merlion itself was a very pleasant surprise.
Everything seemed to me vibrant and precise: exactly what I look for in a restraurant. I add it to my small Hall of Fame of local Asian eateries:
Updupi -- Cary Indian
Waraji -- Raleigh Japanese
Saigon -- Greensboro Vietnamese
Thai Palace -- Chapel Hill Thai
Interestingly, my wife and I, who almost always agree on food matters, saw things a bit differently. She thought Merlion "good but inconsistent," I thought it "very good" across the board. She loved the shrimp toast salad and the curry fish, but she had complaints about the Kahlua beef (weird flavor) and the Chow fun (heavy). She theorizes that my judgment was clouded by the excellent company; I theorize that her judgment was clouded but our unusually fussy baby. Return visits will surely restore us to our usual consensus.
In conclusion, it was great to meet everybody. I hope we can have another event in the summer or the fall. In the September -- with my present life-draining literary project behind me -- I would be glad to organize an event myself. Sant, we hope to see you there next time!