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Aug 16, 2006 03:37 PM

Lime Tree Mini-Report

Four of us checked out the new Malaysian/Singaporian restaurant on Irving and Fifth last night. Its a small space, half underground, but easy to spot given the bright lime paint job outside. They've been open for about two months. The owner is really sweet with he and one other man doing all of the cooking and serving. We all enjoyed our experience and will return again. Most of all its the sort of sweet little place you'd really like to see succeed. Some dishes still need a little work (to my tastes, I know nothing about authentic Malaysian food) but I think they'll work out the kinks in the next few months. I think a lot of dishes are started from scratch when you order them so things took a little while to come out. The owner/chef/waiter was very interested to know what dishes I had liked best and which we hadn't. Its a very short menu and at 8pm they were out of the pork short ribs and beef rendang both of which sounded tasty, we'll have to go back.

Roti - Amazing! Buttery, flaky, hot, artistically draped on the plate and served with wonderful curry sauce (coconut, good heat, slightly sweet). Yum!

Mutabak - Also very good, same Roti exterior folded around a nice mixture of ground beef, egg, and green onion. Luckily more of the curry sauce came with it.

Chicken Satay - Tasty but nothing to write home about.

Chicken Curried Glass Noodles - Excellent sauce and good noodle texture, could have used some more vegetables and chicken.

Glass Noodles with Shrimp, Shitake Mushroom, and Basil - As with the other glass noodles the sauce was very good but I thought it needed some more vegetables.

Roast Chicken with Chili Sauce - The chicken was excellent, not overly seasoned with a nice caramel color to the skin. Moist, flavorful. The chili sauce needed some heat.

They don't have a beer and wine permit yet, so we brought our own beer.

Total = 35$ after tax and tip

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  1. Sounds delicious. I added some details for anyone interested.

    Looking around the web, the roti seems to get lots of thumbs up. The prices on the menu are amazing with most dishes around $5

    Great reports, China. Liked the La Fonda post. Interesting places that don't get reported.

    Lime Tree - Southeast Asian Kitchen
    (415) 665-1415

    450D Irving St.
    between 5th and 6th Ave.
    San Francisco, CA 94122

    1. Thanks rworange. I'll keep them coming.

      1. Any recent reports? yelpers seem to love this place and so I'm very interested in trying it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hhc

          The paratha ($2.50)was outstanding! It's so hard to find good ones in SF. It's so good you can eat it without the curry sauce. The beef rendang with rice ($6.99) was also very good and enough for 2 people. The decor is thoughtful and tasteful. The owner is friendly as can be. If you go, be sure to ask what the special of the day is, which will not be in the menu.

        2. we just ate there for the first time on Sunday.. and shameful because it is only 6 blocks from my house. I highly recommend it and the owner is so nice.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lori SF

            He's very gracious... today's Special ($8.99) is salmon wrapped in a banana leaf, moist and delightfully spicy - not for the timid taster. We had the special for lunch today...with roti partha, beef randang and tea. The beef randang has tender cubes of beef in a dark, rich, spicy, thickened sauce - perfect with the Jasmine rice. Total: $21+tip - everything is exceptionally tasty with complex mulit-layered spicing.

            Today's lunch was a follow-up to our excellent lunch on Tuesday...
            Tuesday; roti pratha, martabak, corn fritters, and roast chicken with sweet chili sauce - and a freshly squeezed orange juice.
            The roti is hot and flaky so that it melts on your tongue and the accompanying curry dipping sauce is a great punch of flavors. The corn fritters are crisp with fried corn and minced prawns. The martabak is the roti pratha stuffed with green onion, eggs, and minced meat - a hearty starter. The roasted chicken is baked to falling-off-the-bone tender with a sumptuous skin and a nicely sweetened chili sauce. Flavors are clean and sharp, garnished with slice of tomato and cucumber.

            Lime Tree is a delight.

            1. re: Cynsa

              It was lovely. The roti especially is simple and perfect (and so awful and greasy in most places). Very modest. I hope we can persuade him to make laksa some time.

          2. adding link:

            Lime Tree - Southeast Asian Kitchen
            450 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

            1 Reply
            1. re: hhc

              The Lime Tree is definitely one of our favorites in this neighborhood. Ming, the owner, is a supremely nice guy. As mentioned above, the roti is one of his signature dishes and is excellent. The tofu and shrimp special was not mentioned above but is delicious - curried, sweet and a little spicy. It's often available tho not explicitly written on the menu. The roast chicken is my personal favorite. Ming also makes a spicy terasi sauce (shrimp paste) which is an excellent accompaniment to the chicken. Fortunately, business is picking up more and more for the Lime Tree, and I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a pleasant, casual meal.