Xinh Xinh has received lots of good press on this board, and a chowdown there Saturday offered a great opportunity to move beyond the excellent pho and bun (the only dishes I had tried there) to sample more widely.
We ordered six dishes: papaya salad (topped with shrimp & shrimp crackers); grilled quail (tiny crispy birds in a sweetish, finger-lickin’ sauce); fried softshell crabs (so coated in batter that little crab flavor came through); canh chua ga (hot & sour soup made with chicken, celery, tomatoes, bean sprouts, and pineapple chunks, so tasty we upended the pot to drain the last drops unreachable with the ladle); an exemplary spicy pork with basil; and banh mi bo kho (a beef stew served with rolls to mop up the broth). Standouts for me were the quail, spicy pork, and canh chua ga, but the whole meal sparkled with a well-balanced variety of colors, flavors, & textures.
Our initial plan had been to visit a newly opened restaurant, but this lunch proved that it can be nearly as rewarding to sample new dishes at an old favorite.
Pictures are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84539512...