Thursday, June 07, 2007

Chow Restaurant (June 6, 2007)

Two reviewers: ts and allu

potato and leek soup 8
crème fraiche tortellini and mustard greens

guinea pepper crusted ahi tuna 15
haricot vert and yellow beet salad, sun-dried tomato ketchup, and pickled vanilla onion

chilled prawn salad 15
avocado, ruby red grapefruit, yellow pepper and lemongrass dressing

dry-aged beef carpaccio 15
baby spinach, shaved fennel, horseradish salsa verde, grana padano cheese and pickled quail egg

“Sloping Hills Farm” organic pork 20
nutmeg gnocchi, organic shimeji mushrooms, mini zucchinis, sweet onion puree and italian parsley salad

We actually just finished eating something around 3-ish? Basically we had lunch at around 1pm or so. Then we went to the Riley Park Farmer's Mkt and I ate a SUGAR & BUTTER with Ricotta crepe. (allu had the sugar & butter one.)

Normally, I wouldn't be "full", but then that ricotta just sank like stones, I tell you!!!! They put that whole crepe experience over the top(!), stomach capacity-wise.

Long story short, allu & I were both "not hungry" when we embarked on our culinary adventure. Teehee.

We ordered
allu: Potato Leek Soup; Tuna
ts: Carpaccio; Pork

The guy said that things under $20 would be appetizer-sized; over $20 = entree-sized.

Potato and Leek Soup
First thing we noticed was how great the soup smelled! The tortellini was SURPRISINGLY good! I still have no idea what was inside, but whatever it was, it was good! Soup was creamy and flavorful.


This was so good! The beef wasn't really strong-flavored, but that's OK.

EVERYTHING on the plate was good! Individual components were good by themselves and they were good together in ANY combination. The salsa verde was good! The grana padano was good! The pickled quail egg was good! The FENNEL SALAD was SUPER-DUPER GOOD!

Yeah, so satisfying and savory. 10/10 for this dish!

Guinea Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna
I tried the yellow beet first. Usually I'm not a big fan of beets. The yellow beet tasted okay. The haricot vert were essentially string beans. The beans tasted like they were pickled. Not sure if they really were pickled or if it was because they were mixed with the pickled onions. I think I would have preferred for the beans to be not pickled.

The ahi tuna was delicious! The pepper crust was absolutely perfect. I'm not sure if the sun-dried tomato ketchup did anything for the dish (except as garnish).

All in all, I think the ahi tuna was great all on its own. The other stuff on the dish didn't "add" anything to the dish. Eaten separately, all the items were okay, but I'm not sure if they necessarily compliment the tuna, or even go with the tuna at all.


I believe the server was saying that they vary the CUT of the pork. Today, it was pork belly.

Again, the different components of the dish were all very good and nicely cooked. I was just surprised that the baby zucchini were a little bitter; I thought "baby" stuff were sweeter & such.

Anyway, it was still good coz it contrasted with the other components (eg, the sweet onion puree). The gnocchi were nice and pillowy... and so cute too. Teehee. Those mushrooms were also tiny-sized.

The pork belly itself was also very good. At first I was afraid because I usually don't like fat when it's still in its solid form (eg, in pork belly!). But, this was done very well. I believe this rectangular slab of pork belly was slow-cooked in something, then probably fried/deep-fried afterwards. The meat was incredibly tender. The fat was still layered, but it didn't have that jiggly kind of fat texture that I dislike. Of course, the skin part was all nice and crispy!

So yeah, very good.

The pork belly was indeed tender.

However, I must say that I didn't quite like how the pork fat tasted. The crusty top was great, and the meaty part was tender and soft, but the fat....tasted weird. I don't know how to explain it. Maybe it tasted too fatty, cuz it felt like even though there was only a small portion of pork belly, I wouldn't have been able to finish the whole thing by myself, due to the taste of the fat. But maybe the zucchinis and mushrooms would be able to "neutralize" it.

So, allu and I finished our appys and mains (which in her case, was just another appy-sized dish).

ts: Are you full?
allu: Not really. About 75% to 80% full. You?
ts: Yeah, around there.
Do you want to order that chilled prawn salad?

(note: allu had mentioned during our mains that if she were to order something else, she would order that.)

allu: To share?
ts: No, for yourself. I can get something too.


So yeah, when the server gave us the menu again for us to order our desserts, we ordered another round of food!

allu's "dessert" = Chilled Prawn Salad
ts' "dessert" = Beef Carpaccio AGAIN!!!!!!


But yeah, that carpaccio was so good! It's so rare that I would repeat a dish given the chance to experience variety. But really! I was still happy after eating that second carpaccio.

I tried some of the carpaccio. Just perfect.

Chilled Prawn Salad
This dish was delicious! It totally makes up for the craving for something citrus in my lunch sandwich (please see review for Thomas Haas).

Everything went well together. The ruby red grapefruit was the perfect finishing touch.

I tasted allu's food too and they were all good.

Just a quick comment about the prawn salad: The grapefruit makes it extra good.

I would definitely return to this restaurant...if only to order the fries with FLAVORED mayo.

(Contemplated on ordering this but decided last minute not to; then the people sitting behind us ordered it and i saw the dish when it was served. The fries looked soooooooo good!! They had arranged the fries so that they piled up, like Jenga chips. And the fries SMELLED great!)

Yes, this was good.

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