Best dishes at Slanted Door
I've been reading some of the older topics on Slanted Door. Not meaning to offend anyone or anything, but I have reservations for lunch this Friday. I don't really care if it's authentic whatever cuisine nor do i want suggestions for other places to eat because I have to go there regardless. Can someone give me suggestions on what some of the better dishes are at this place?
The menu is seasonal, so some older suggestions may not be available right now. Last week, I had a great lunch (all this was shared by 2, so it was a fairly light lunch): duck confit salad with frisee and kumquat with a sherry dressing (even if you don't love duck, this was great); vegetable crepe; halibut with ginger sauce. For dessert, we shared a Hong Kong milk tea.
Of the standard menu items, the crispy imperial rolls, the shaking beef, the carmelized prawns and the cellophane noodles with crab are almost universally loved.
I don't like the Imperial roll, I much prefer the spring roll or (when available) the fried crab and mushroom roll.
The shaking beef's one of the best versions of that dish I've had. At $26 it had damned well better be.
I like the caramel seafood dishes but some people find them too sweet.
One potentially overlooked item could be their Hong Kong style milk tea, as oxymoronic as this might be at a Vietnamese fusion restaurant.
I've had the Out The Door version at the Ferry Building and I must say I fell entirely in love with their prep, which should be identical, if not better, at The Slanted Door.
I'm told they use upwards of a seven tea leaf blend, and the fragrance, textures, and flavors are simply amazing. The birthplace of Hong Kong Milk Tea in Hong Kong (Lan Fong Yuen), only uses five leaves in their blend, plus one type of leaf that is thereotically in early growth stages. Maybe this prep is not for everyone but it is definitely one of the best HK milk teas I've had to date.
My all-time fave is the kabocha squash rice cake with fresh coconut & sesame (pic below) - I can polish off a whole platter myself !
- barbecued Niman Ranch pork spare-ribs;
- pan-seared day boat scallops with spinach & spicy black bean sauce.
Dishes that didn't quite leave an impression on me:
- Slanted door spring rolls (too bland & characterless);
- Alaskan black cod roll (sounded better than it tasted);
- chicken claypot with caramel sauce, chillies & fresh ginger (bleah!);
- Japanese eggplant with green onions & coconut (order this at your own peril).
Two of my favorites which haven't been mentioned are the chicken claypot and the lemongrass tofu. I get the lemongrass tofu for lunch from Out the Door frequently and it's a perfect lunch for one with brown rice. Unfortunately Out the Door (and probably Slanted Door as well) just raised prices and Out the Door at least is not providing rice with entrees, so to get brown rice is an extra $3 - turns my lemongrass tofu into a lunch splurge that I will do less frequently. But it's still a great dish to get at the restaurant.
I'll offer a wine suggestion, especially for a heartier dish there: Stadlmann Zierfandler Mandel Hoh.
Long past your Friday plans but I just ate there today, for lunch, and we loved:
* a spicy deep fried crab (appetizer)
* grapefruit, red cabbage, jicama salad
* claypot chicken in caramel sauce (if you find that too sweet ask for extra ginger)
* oven roast halibut with spicy ginger sauce and a salad of frisee, caramelized shallots & strawberries
* and the lemon tart was SPECTACULAR (kudos to the pastry chef)
A shrimp crepe had a wonderful batter but it wasn't something we were wild about and having listed what we loved, and I've now tried 90% of the menu, when I next return I'm sticking with the above menu (if available) because at least 50% of the regular menu can seriously disappoint. Not the least of which is learning that the daikon rice cakes, particular favorite, are now available only Tuesday through Thursday! If you find yourself there, with food that is under-seasoned for your taste, the kitchen is very accommodating if you ask for additional spice (separate or in sauce) and/or herbs (mint, rau ram, etc). And the wait staff made me a wonderful ginger mint lemonade (not on the menu).
We were there two weeks ago, and I loved their green papaya salad and celephone noodles with crab, just as we ate in Vietnam. You can't get good versions of these dishes in Boston. I will return on my next visit to San Francisco.