The Red Lantern in Redwood City?
Has anybody eaten at The Red Lantern in Redwood City?
I think it opened last weekend.
I walked by there yesterday and stopped in to look around. Very nice indeed. Talked to the front of the house guy. He was very personable and seemed enthusiastic about the whole thing. I'm going to try it this weekend. Report will follow.
After watching and eagerly waiting for Red Lantern to open I got a chance to eat there this evening. In terms of decor they have done a nice job. There is a well appointed (and already well attended) bar area on one side. The main dining area is "romantically" lit with bamboo accents and bare wood tables.
The wait staff was pleasant. They are not what I would call "city" caliber but they were friendly and attentive.
At the moment the wine list is fairly short though I heard a waiter saying they were working on it. The drink list does have teas as well as some Asian inspired cocktails.
The food is, in a word, good. I chose the papaya salad, the fried calamari, and the pork short ribs.
The salad was nice. It was more lightly dressed (less fish sauce) than I am accustomed to but had a nice fresh taste. The disappointment was the shrimp which had no taste. It seemed like they were cooked in unseasoned water and placed in the salad undressed. Some full flavored shrimp would really change this dish.
I found the calamari to be more to my liking. It was cooked well with a light batter and some fried pepper slices are also in the mix. It is served with a nice dipping sauce with a touch of heat.
The pork was good though not great as I hoped it would be . As advertised there is a healthy dose of black pepper.
For dessert it was the tapioca with strawberry puree. It was actually quite nice though I don't think I would pair cinnamon with strawberry.
I was eating by myself so that was all I was able to try. It might also be why I didn't rate a visit from the Maître d' who was working the room. I did enjoy my meal and will update this the next time I get to go. If you are in the area please give Red Lantern a try. We need more restauranteurs to want to open places in Redwood City!
My husband and I had dinner here two nights ago and we agree that it's a fine addition to the RWC dining scene. The decor looks pretty big-city and the place was quite full on a Wed night - I would imagine that on a crowded night, with lots of people at the bar, that it would get quite loud. There are large red lanterns suspended on the ceiling that are quite pretty and the downstairs area is approx 1/3 bar and 2/3 dining seating. There is a lofted upstairs area that looked quite nice - but we didn't go up there. Could be a good location for a private event.
For drinks, we ordered two teas - dragon pearl jasmine and rose kuan yin oolong. This was the worst part of the evening. They were apparently having hot water issues. Our teas arrived barely lukewarm and AFTER our food. But the waiter was enthusiastic, nice and just the right amount of apologetic (also took one of the teas off the bill).
We ordered Martabak for the appetizer - it was very good but oddly served with a mango chutney instead of the traditional sauce (but it still worked). The food came surprisingly quickly and was nice and hot. Then we had Cambogee Beef, Chicken Rendang and the Nonya Bakmi noodle dish. The Cambogee Beef was pretty good - a different marinade than the traditional shaking beef flavor with medium rare chunks of beef. Hubby thought it was nothing special. The Chicken Rendang was very orange, more like a chicken makhani color. Very different color than the beef rendang that we usually get - the coconut flavor was a little too strong so this was the dish we liked the least. The Nonya Bakmi were fried noodles with tofu, chicken and chilis - we liked the flavor, it had a nice spicy edge. Plus 2 orders of jasmine rice that were quite petite. Lots of leftovers to take home.
I ordered dessert out of a sense of chowish obligation, rather than true desire, since nothing on the menu really spoke to me. We got the "Floating Islands" - described on the menu as a "Hot banana float with pandan cendol topped with coconut sorbet". It was quite good - similar to a classic soupy Thai dessert called "salim" with marinated bananas floating in the soup. Hubby did not care for the soupiness of it though - maybe you have to grow up with that sort of thing.
The owner or manager floated around the room and checked up on all the parties. The waitstaff wasn't the most polished but made up for that with their enthusiasm.
The restaurant is located on a somewhat decrepit block in RWC, but just a block from the brand new theatre complex. Give it a try.
808 Winslow Street, Redwood City, CA 94063