Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finally, Thai Food!

Had a really nice dinner with the gals at Nanking, a Thai restaurant. I got to eat all sorts of different food, since Jill is the queen of appetizers. It was decorated beautifully - tall bamboo shoots places around the restaurant - creating little screens and dividing up the space. It was dark, but inviting - like a little hideaway. There was a private room to the side, done in reds and gold with a huge Buddha - it looked like a little theatre. Plus a pretty, lit aquarium next to the bar.

We ordered drumsticks with a sticky, ginger sauce, lamb chops, fried lotus stems and a papaya salad. The drumsticks were good - a little too sticky for my liking though - I'm not a wing person, so take that at face value. The lamb chops were delicious, cooked perfectly with just a hint of spice to them - I could have eaten a plate of them. The lotus stems were surprising. They were fried and then coated in a sweet and sour type sauce. I thought they were kind of like zucchini or a vegetable that, when fried tastes of the batter and whatever you put on it. They weren't heavy, but were more about the texture than the taste. The sauce was good - not too sweet but a nice counterbalance to the other spicy items we had. The papaya salad surprised me the most though. I was thinking it would be very fruity but it was....fragrant, refreshing. The papaya and vegetables were julienned, so it was almost like eating cold noodles - very Asian, but so different.

Jill ordered eggplant in a garlicy tomato sauce, Steph ordered shrimp with black bean sauce and I ordered duck with curry sauce. We got 2 bowls of jasmine rice which sopped up the fragrant and unique sauces. I loved the shrimp - the black bean sauce was delicate, not cloying like the kind you get from the local Chinese take-out. The eggplant was tender and tasted just enough like garlic. The duck was different....but I'm not sure I liked it enough to order it again. It was cooked nicely, but I'm thinking chicken would better compliment the sauce. We all shared and there was enough to go around and for leftovers. (Of course, we were also sufficiently padded by the appetizers)

The owner was very nice and came over to us - chatted us up since the restaurant was still so new. It was nice to get the attention, and nice to see someone making sure that their patrons were enjoying themselves. He sent over complimentary port for dessert, so of course we ordered fried bananas with ice cream. The bananas were still firm, not mushy, and the coating was sugary and crisp. A perfect ending to the meal.

We gave it 4 #s out of 4!

(Last month we tried Peter's Pasta. The food was delicious, and the service attentive, but it was a little more expensive than we would have liked - good for a cheaper lunch, but expensive for dinner. That one we gave 2 1/2 #s)

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