Sunday, September 17, 2006

fancy vietnamese

Last Wednesday, Soo and I found ourselves without our significant others. So what did we do? We went to the Stanford mall of course! Mr. Cupcake thinks we're mallrats. I can live with being called a mallrat. Though, he should be thanking Soo for going to the mall because if she wasn't there, it'd be him there along side me looking at the rows and rows of shoes.

After we had our fix, we headed to Tamarine in Palo Alto for dinner. Tamarine serves "contemporary Vietnamese". Even though I'd heard lots of wonderful things about the place, I still wasn't sure what to expect; I was just hoping for some good food. Soo, on the other hand, had been spending the nights prior eating frozen pizza since Chris was off living his new jet setter lifestyle. Good food was now a must!

It was Wednesday night, and the restaurant was busy. We didn't have a reservation, but fortunately we were still able to get a table. This place definitely requires a reservation on any other night.

We started off with the papaya salad. I took a bite and was very pleased with this dish. It was very fresh tasting and the basil really complimented the green papaya. The only down side to this dish was the dried sesame beef. While the flavor was good, the texture was not. Some of the pieces were too tough to eat, so I scooted most of it to the side. Soo thought the beef tasted like beef jerky.

We also ordered some shrimp spring rolls as our other appetizer. The spring rolls were okay. There was pork on the inside that was a bit dry. I could have done without the pork.

As part of our main course, we ordered the Lunar Duck. I'd heard raves about the duck here, so I figured I'd go ahead and order it. I'm not a big duck fan, but hey, you only live once. The duck came with brussel sprouts which were really good. I've always been a fan of brussel sprouts ever since I was kid. The duck on the other hand was odd. It was topped with a pomegranate-citrus sauce that tasted like cranberry ketchup. It really wasn't a good thing, so this was the only dish we didn't finish.

Our other main dish was the Lemongrass Bass which came with a cold mango noodle salad. This was Soo's favorite dish. It was crispy and salty on the outside, which is how she likes fish. I thought it was pretty good, though a bit too salty for my taste. I've always been sensitive to salt. I think it was those years watching my sister eat salt from her hand. It always made my skin crawl. I'm still waiting to have fish prepared like I had at Manresa. Seriously, the best fish ever.

We ordered two dishes of rice to go with our meal. I went with the coconut rice and Soo had the red rice which was infused with tomato, garlic, and butter. The coconut rice was very fragrant and fluffy. The red rice had a distinct tomato flavor.

Mr. Cupcake and Soo are both banana obsessed. They love bananas, though Soo only likes cooked bananas. So, when we saw the deep fried bananas on the dessert menu, I knew were were staying. I was okay with bananas because it came with coconut ice cream. I heart anything coconut. The fritters were about what I expected. It had a thick, crispy batter on the outside with a gooey banana center. I'll eat anything deep fried, but I have to say the coconut ice cream was really nice.

Our total bill before tax and tip was about $75. I wanted to like Tamarine more than I did. I didn't hate it or anything, but it was just lacking the wow factor for me. Soo liked it and said she'd go back. I still want to go down to San Jose and try some of the hole in the wall Vietnamese places there. I hear they're worth the trip. Even though I wasn't blown away, the night was still fun since I was in good company. I think next time, Soo and I will have to try one of the hole in the wall places. But we'll have to hit the mall first if we're going to maintain our mallrat status.

1 comment:

mrcupcake said...

I'm not sure if I'd be willing to be a called a mall rat if I got to eat deep fried bananas.

I've decided: I think I'd rather have banana rice pudding. I <3 rice pudding.