Tag Archives: spring rolls

Vientiane

Eggplant Sweet Basil

Eggplant Sweet Basil

Senor Lanky and I love Vientiane, our local Laotion family-owned restaurant so much, we actually ended up there on Valentine’s Day with with our fancy bottle of Spanish wine. The restaurant was dimly lit, and on every high surface the staff had placed little glimmering votives in wine glasses. For about a year, I ordered the same thing over and over, because I loved it so much, but in the last two years I’ve allowed myself to branch out, and have never been disappointed. I ordered the above Eggplant Sweet Basil with basmati rice that night. While it was sweet, the basil had a enough bitterness left in it’s ample skin to balance the flavors.

Pad Ke Mao

Pad Ke Mao

Senor Lanky ordered the pad ke mao with tofu, so that he could share with me (what a sweetheart!). This is one of my favorite all-time dishes, and never disappoints. When it gets too spicy, just bite into one of those juicy chunks of tomato to cool your mouth off. Vientiane does NOT mess around with spice. Seriously. If it’s your first visit, let them prepare it they way they suggest, and add chili if you still want it after tasting your dish. On a rating system from one to five chilies, most people I know can’t handle more than two, and Senor Lanky and I (true chili lovers) never go higher than four, though five chilies, accomplished only by my friend Ryan who basically drinks hot sauce for breakfast, is a goal we continually strive for. We actually forgot to specify our spicy level, so you can see the extra crushed, dried chili the friendly staff brought for us.

Banana Chocolate Spring Roll

Banana Chocolate Spring Roll

We never make it to dessert (I always want to eat my entire dinner), but it was Valentine’s Day, so I took half of my entree home and we went for the sweets. Senor Lanky was head-over-heels for these banana chocolate spring rolls – and entire banana dipped in chocolate, fried in thin dough, and served with a mango dipping sauce.

Coconut Rice Pudding

Coconut Rice Pudding

My favorite was the coconut rice pudding – not too sweet and served in two cute little bowls – the perfect size.

Vientiane Café on Urbanspoon

Singapore Kosher Vegetarian

cold sesame noodles and spring roll

cold sesame noodles and spring roll

I organized our office holiday party at Singapore Kosher Vegetarian. Not only do they offer an overwhelming, all kosher vegetarian dim sum meal for only $10, they are also a BYOB, which I love. We arrive with almost 30 people and the staff was incredibly accommodating, cheerful, and helpful. I couldn’t cover all of the different dim sum that we ate, but I captured a few. I love cold sesame noodles and these were nice and fresh tasting and not over-sauced. The spring rolls are what you would expect – greasy and filled with cabbage, but I’m sucker for spicy mustard sauce.

"chicken" drumsticks

"chicken" drumsticks

Singapore has worked hard to make their “chicken” drumsticks as realistic as possible. From the crispy outer skin, the moist, fibrous insides and the “bone” skewer that runs down the center, these drumsticks were so close to the real thing that some of our vegetarian group couldn’t quite make themselves take a bite while the carnivorous members of our group were a bit freaked out. I thought they were delicious, and I love the tangy sauce that comes on top.

vegetable buns

vegetable buns

I usually avoid buns during a big dim sum meal because they are so doughy and expand in your stomach, though I know that they are some folks’ favorites.

tofu with peanut sauce

tofu with peanut sauce

Deep-fried tofu with peanut sauce and sesame seeds. Need I say more?

I missed photos of the vegetable, tofu and “pork” soup, fried curry dumplings, the “beef” and leek dumplings, Singapore potato latkes and, of course, the orange slices and fortune cookies. Take your meat-eating friends to Singapore and surprise them with how good fake meat can be. And if you’ve got a private party, be sure to ask for the room on the 2nd floor with the karaoke machine!

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