14 August, 2006

A gastronomically delightful Sunday

After a long time, yesterday, we went out for dinner - alongwith 3-4 of our friends.

We had settled on Thai/Viennamese cuisine. Reached the restaurant a bit early cos this place has a reputation of filling up pretty quickly since it is a very popular one situated in a very busy shopping mall.

What I loved about the place at first sight was the drinks counter - I would not call it a bar cos there was no alcohol in sight (though the restaurant does have a wine list - they probably have a cellar). There was this open huge tabletop counter and on top of the counters were huge wicker baskets full of fresh fruit. Apples, Mangoes, Kiwis, Cantaloupes, Peaches, Guavas, Strawberries, Blueberries - it was a beautiful sight !!

Went thru the drinks menu and much to our delight, found that they had quite a variety of fruit punches and smoothies.

Once everyone arrived, we got around to ordering our drinks. Me and Vic settled for "Anna and the King" - fresh mangoes, rose syrup and peach juice all blended together. Appu opted for a Wild Berry Smoothie - a smoothie made of yoghurt with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Another one of our friends opted for the smoothie as well while one other friend decided to give the "Mango Tango" a try. Two others decided to stick with good ole H2O.

What stunned us was the size of the drinks. We had expected something the size of a wineglass but these goblets were huge ones and chock full of fresh fruit pulp and juice.

For starters we had the Vietnamese paper rolls - we had both - the veg and the non veg. Vegetarian rolls had cold rice noodles, mushrooms, lettuce, shredded carrots all rolled in with Vietnamese paper rolls while the filling in the non veg ones consisted of cold rice noodles, lettuce, a mince of scallops and salmon in tartar sauce.

Then came the Chicken Satay - its been a long long time since I've tasted such good Satay in HK. Beautiful !!

Then we had the Prawn and Sesame Toast - prawn crackers and toast smeared with shrimp paste and then dunked in sesame seeds and then deepfried.

Then came the butterfried Chicken wings with Garlic and Herbs. Looked wonderful and I believe it tasted just as good - I did not try this one.

Then came the Tom Yum Goong Soup. It was, once again, one of the best Tom Yum soups I've tasted in HK. Best part - there was a liberal sprinkling of chopped green chillies in the soup and also fresh coriander leaves. And the prawns in the soup were HUGE !!

The main course was roast tender pork in green curry and then there was a roasted sea bass (one full fish) in a sweet/sour/spicy gravy with chunks of assorted vegetables and there was chicken and cashewnuts cooked Thai Style and among the veggies Eggplant and Beancurd curry. All this accompanied with Plain Rice. The Plain Rice was brought to the table in small bamboo baskets with little bamboo lids on them.

Even the chopstick covers were made of bamboo.

Little things but quaint little things - that really sets the place apart. Gives it a totally different ambience which, all in all, adds to the delight and pleasure that one derives from excellent food.

About halfway thru the dinner, Appu was feeling so cold that she started to shiver. She had chosen to wear one of her spaghetti strap tops. I did not stop her from wearing that cos HK right now is really hot and humid. But what we did not expect was for the temp in the restaurant to be as low as it was.

I took her out of the restaurant and while we were walking around, we came across one of the chain garment stores which had an outlet on the same floor. Decided to take a look and much to our delight found that there was a "sale" on. We had a nice time going thru "stuff" (another Appu"ism"). Bought one Tshirt for Appu to wear before going back into the restaurant and a couple of others that she liked we asked the ladies in the shop to keep aside. Told them that we will collect them later cos I wanted to check out some Tees for Abhay too.

Then onto the ladies washroom - put the Tshirt on and back to the restaurant. There, she discovered that the wash basins were of a different kind. And Appu being what she is says "These kind of look like large soup bowls dont they" and then she proceeded to try and find where the pipes appeared from and where they disappeared. I finally had to tell her that we had not been given the plumbing contract for this shopping mall, atleast not as yet !!

Detour
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One thing I realised yesterday - shopping with Appu is fun :-)) I mean she is such a delight - she would pick up something and then go "Hey Mom check this out" sometimes even with clothes that she knew were not her size and then she would put out a disclaimer too - I know these are not my size mom (with that trademark toothy grin) but aren't they pretty.

Then there was this eeny weeny skirt that she found - a soft pink one with flowery frills at the bottom and I heard her muttering to herself - "I wish Abhay had been a girl - then we could have bought this for him (no her) - I mean - what should I say now" It's so pretty. :-)) I disappeared behind one of the aisles before she realised I'd been listening.

The only time I was a little worried was when she saw another Indian lady shopping for her daughter who was about as old as Abhay but the size she was shopping for was Appu's size. Before Appu could even react, I distracted her with something else and hustled her off to the cashier. Else, dunno what she would have done - she's quite good at opening her mouth and stuffing her whole foot in at times.

Foot in the mouth or no foot in the mouth - it sure is going to be a lot of fun going shopping with this little lady - be it window shopping or otherwise.

End of Detour
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We got back to the restaurant and Appu finished off the rest of her smoothie. All of us decided against having dessert. And it was a good thing me and Appu took that walk around in the middle of dinner cos it did us a lot good. We did not feel as though our tummies were walking ahead with the rest of the body following it.

Spent some more time just strolling around in the mall and finally all of us decided to call it a day.

Got back home by 10 pm.

Whilst in the restaurant, we discovered that the same management has a restaurant called "Merhaba" which specialises in Turkish food. And again, I guess, to set the tone and the theme the restaurant even has its own belly dancers.

Guess that's where we are going to be heading next ...........

2 voice(s) said so:

Random Thoughts said...

Yummy!

Hunky Dude said...

Yummy what the food or......