Tag Archives: thai

Asian Fusion Noodle House

26 Feb

Rating: 1 Beer Special

I went to this place for the two main reasons I’m guessing a lot of people do, they are open on Mondays unlike Indochine and I had a coupon. I’ve stated before I know nothing about Thai food, and I am in no way able to say how authentic it is, only how much I liked it and how I rank it compared to other Thai places. To be honest, until I go to Thailand (on my todo list) does it really matter if someone else tells me it’s authentic? I mean Flaming Amy’s is my favorite place in town and it’s the least authentic place imaginable. Unless you’re from Rockabilly City, Hipsterland. So don’t listen to me, just read my shit and take it into consideration.

insidefrusionNow I could already tell upon walking in this place that is isn’t Indochine. It has a very simple in decor, with a couple of over-sized fake plants and some Asian-esque wall hangings. And what is that weird bar with no liquor? Why even bother having a bar if not to display the gloriously high-proof booze you have available for consumption?! Overall it’s not super offensive though, so myself and the roommate take a seat at a booth, ordered some Asian beers (3.95 for Asian beers,  $2.95 for domestic), and started pouring over the menu. It seems like a pretty standard menu, and after some debate he ordered the Spicy Basil Leaves stir fry while I opted for the Pad Woon Sen. Both spicy please. There was some brief confusion after I asked for a spicy dish and was then directed to the regular menu and told to order one of those two dishes. They appeared to be the same, save for one having vermicelli which was my original preference in noodle. Both myself and the roommate chose tofu as our meat because well made tofu is the fucking bees knees.

Coconut Soup FusionAfter a very brief wait this delicious cup of heaven was brought to our table. Coconut soup came with both meals and though the bowl was small we both agreed that we could have easily ate one or two more cups of it. The slight sweetness of the coconut with the acidity of the lime was a great starting point to the meal. It was enough to not fill us up, but set my stomach to hunger mode for sure. Apparently you can order it with shrimp which would have probably blown my mind.

Fusion Pot StickersI was starving by the time our pot stickers came out. I stupidly asked for them steamed after looking at the menu (“steamed/fried”) and the waitress graciously explained they were pan fried since the texture of the dough doesn’t take to steaming. I would assume that would be how pot stickers are cooked but my idiotic brain thought those were options, not the explanation of how they were cooked. The filling I found slightly bland, and the cooked parts of the stickers slightly burnt, but the curry sauce they were served with made them worthwhile. I only wish the sauce were slightly thicker so as to coat the pot stickers a little more generously. Both myself and the roommate ended up using the accompanying spoon to sneak a few more mouthfuls of the sauce after the ‘stickers were gone.

Pad Thai Fusion

When the entrees were brought out, my roommate pointed out that they gave me Pad Thai, not Pad Woon Sen. Whether I ended up ordering wrong in the earlier confusion, or they mixed up the dish, either way it was pretty good. The heat was a slow building heat but good. The egg was a little more done than I would normally like but the “burnt” parts of it added to the flavor so what do I know? My tofu was slightly bland but a quick dip in my roommate’ s hot chili sauce made all the difference. The spring roll was spot on perfect and made the lunch special feel bigger. We actually ended up getting an order of the spring rolls to go to meet the minimum requirements for our coupon.

All in all this place is worth going to. I cleaned my plate of everything they gave me and given a larger stomach I could’ve eaten more. There were a few minor misses that could be chalked up to my preferences or my lack of knowledge regarding Thai food. Overall everything seemed to be a decent deal and the service was quick and attentive. Will this replace Indochine as the go-to romantic date night or birthday dinner? Not anytime soon. Indochine’s one of a kind property and decor exceeds almost everything else in Wilmington. But if you’re looking for a Thai fix for lunch on a Monday I would recommend Asian Fusion Noodle Houses. If they ever decide to throw out some beer specials, this could even become a monthly eat spot for myself and probably a lot of other people my age. Hence my rating of 1 Beer Special; rating=wish, right?

Asian Fusion Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Indochine

25 Dec

Rating: 3 hours

I went with my roommate to Indochine on a whim. I had been there once before but only had the sushi. It was good but not mind-blowing. After my recent trip to Thai Spice, I was nervously anxious to give Thai food another shot. After finishing shopping, holiday plans, and finding a better apartment, we decided to take a much deserved break during the calm before the Christmas storm. Great plan, right?

We arrive to a completely packed parking lot. Luckily it was only a 15-20 min according to the hostess, so we grabbed the only two empty seats at the bar and ordered some drinks. There’s something to be said for a bar so overflowing with booze that it doesn’t fit on the shelves.

After a 15 minute wait 30+ minute wait, we were seated and started to pour over the menu. Everything looked scary and overwhelming, but my roommate goaded me into ordering something I haven’t tried. So we went for the Steamed Crab and Shrimp Sieu Mai and after a minimal wait the app arrives.

They may not look like much but jesus they were good. The filling was flavorful and moist and after one I almost wanted to change my entree to another 5 orders of these. I never knew I liked dumplings. Which is kind of a theme in this post. I will say the presentation with the leaf on the bottom and in a canister was not needed since the food itself shined, but really who cares? I devoured these as quickly as possible and eagerly awaited my next dish.

Next on my scrom list was this salad. It was good, I had no objections. I’m assuming it was a house salad. Whatever it was called, the weirdo salad deluxe had cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, and various other veggies. Sorry the picture sucks, I was pretty well lit and starving when I took it. Sue me.

The entrees rolled up shortly after that. I took the liberty of ordering the Appetizer Sampler, which consists of 2 cha gio, 1 goi cuon, 2 crab angels, 2 vegetable dumplings, 2 coconut shrimp, 2 gold bags and 2 chicken satay. I loved almost everything on the plate. The thing I was most iffy about beforehand was the coconut shrimp. I have always hated them. Guess I was wrong again. These were everything coconut shrimp should be. The coconut dipping sauce was pitch perfect. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of were the rice wraps on the right. I loved that each dish came with its own delicious dipping sauce, and the best part was trying everything with the dipping sauces they weren’t meant for. I cannot express enough how delicious this sampler was.

My room mate went for the Roasted Duck with Red Curry Sauce. I tried a couple bites, but honestly the pineapple fruitiness of it was a bit much for me. I’m not a huge fan of sweet entrees, savory is more my deal. I can offer that it was delicious if you’re a fan of that sort of flavor, and it looked beyond yummy. I had never tried a curry before, and this rather than scaring me off, makes me really want to try their Jungle curry which seemed to be more along the lines of what I’d want in a curry.

For dessert I went against the server’s heavy-handed recommendation of the coconut cake in favor of the chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t the best in the world, but in all fairness the staff warned me. All in all, my feeling on Indochine is very much along the lines of my Crow Hill review; this place makes me want to try new things, and take chances. This is one of my new favorite restaurants, which I’m sure many natives will laugh at me for since it’s long been well known to be tasty. The one complaint a lot of people have is the wait time, but the staff are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and quick with their service. And I’d wait at least 3 hours for a chance to eat here again, so that will be my rating.

Indochine on Urbanspoon

Thai Spice

9 Dec

Rating: 1 bottle

My visit to Thai Spice was prompted by two things. The first being that I’ve never tried Thai food before. I grew up in a household that strictly eschewed ethnic food, focusing more on Southern and Italian-American cooking. Throw a lasagna at me and I can rate that shit all day long. My only experience with Thai food is limited to the Food Network and Top Chef (Team Rhodes all the way). So regard my take on any Thai food as a judgement on the food, not on how well it represents Thai. The second reason being I had a sweet coupon for half off making it the perfect opportunity to try out some new food.

Thai Spice is in a strip that’s weird to get to which certainly can’t help their business. I wasn’t the driver that night, though, so not Mhai concern. There’s a huge banner proclaiming cheap $.50 Thai wings (wtf ever that means) outside. I guess I can appreciate a cheap ploy to draw the redneck Monkey Junction crowd into a Thai restaurant, so this is forgiven. The inside is surprisingly nice without being too cheesy. The staff are quick to seat us and get out drink orders. I decide that $3.50 beers are highway robbery while my friend hands over his wallet before they even draw a gun. I start to look over the menu and I’m lost. Noodles with peanuts, chicken strips in coconut milk, what is this. Do these people have some weird obsession with nuts and fruits?

I decide to ask the waitress what she would recommend for an appetizer, and without hesitation she offers the dumpling which aren’t on the menu. Well, good start. The staff’s favorite isn’t even on the menu. For lack of a better plan, I go for it. For the entree, I decide to get the Garlic and Pepper Shrimp, my friend goes for the Spicy Basil Noodle with beef. We both question the spice levels of the dishes since we are both fans of “this may actual start a fire in my mouth” levels. I go for three, he goes for a hundred. I didn’t even know that was an option. He literally said to tell the chef to “do his worst” because “fuck his butthole.”

The Thai dumpling app arrives with a minimal wait and it looks pretty nice. I’m not generally the biggest fan of dumplings but I liked them. They were pork and shrimp filled, which seemed like an odd combination but then again, I know nothing about Thai food. The accompanying dipping sauce was soy and possibly fish sauce? Soy makes everything better so kudos for that I guess. The filling could’ve had more flavor, but once it was in the sauce that was the main thing you tasted so didn’t matter much in the end. Not the worst app I’ve ever had by far. Next up were the entrees.

I will once again warn: I know nothing about Thai food. Mine came in two plates. One with the entree, and one with a ball of white rice. I first attempted to transfer some of the veggies and shrimp onto the rice, but by the end of the meal I was just dumping the sauce onto the rice. The veggies were steamed with the barest hint of the underlying sauce, which was sad; the sauce was pretty good. The veggies and shrimp by comparison were just steamed or boiled and a little overly so in my book. I wish the sauce had been thicker  so as to cling to the ingredients better. The dish could have been saved with less veggies, more sauce, and the whole thing being in a bowl over the rice instead of separated. It was mediocore, I would have expect the same thing from those bags of sauced frozen vegetables.

My friend’s meal was brought out a few minutes after mine, which in my world isn’t the hugest deal. The portions were large and I didn’t mind allowing him to scrom off my plate. Once his entree came out it was all I could do to hold back a laugh … it looked so much worse than mine (the picture came out better.) I tried my first bite and was about to comment on the lack of spice and then it knocked me in the back. I thought the heat was pretty good … a little up front and a slow smoldering burn in the back, though my friend was highly disappointed with what was apparently the “chefs best.” I will agree with him that if he challenges the chef to kill him with heat it should be taken as open season on fire. The beef was over cooked and chewy but was my favorite part of the dish, somehow the flavors of the dish blended well with the beefy flavor. The Thai noodles and veggies were ok. Overall the dish was once again mediocre.

After all this I was very tempted to try a dessert, but there weren’t any listed on the menu. Good; I can go home and eat some ramen. Maybe Thai food just isn’t my thing, but I was very underwhelmed by Thai Spice. The food was all mediocre and not something I’d eat again. The place itself was nice and the wait staff pleasant, but I came for the food and I shouldn’t be debating beef or chicken ramen over my entree. I am forced to rate this place one bottle, because I recommend skipping Thai Spice and taking a shot every time I said Thai instead.

Thai Spice on Urbanspoon