Floating Rock - Whew!
The Crew* had a feast at Floating Rock - Others will pitch in with pics and descriptions. (We'll try to include English menu names, as some of the menu listings are very basic.)
Started off with appetizers (which are the size of entrees at many places) of Tiger's Tears - a board favorite, beef with other goodies and bird chilis - and squid salad - very fresh and nicely complex. Moved onto two lovely bowls of soup (combination soup, with lots of veggies, tasty broth, herbs, and beef(?)) and another. (Galangatron - Help! Thanks!)
Main dishes: spicy pork w/chilis - looks like sauted ground beef, but take a mouthful, and wow! Spicy and again, not one note but interesting. A beef salad - quite different from the Tigers Tears although it looked similar; noodles (like at Gitlo's - fat in the middle) w/pork or chicken (simplest dish we had) a larb-like beef sald (also different in flavoring), chicken with ginger - LOTS of ginger and delicious, and...what am I missing? And our generously shared jackfruit shake was refreshing and sweet.
Galangatron - Could you help with descriptions (herbs, etc. ) and menu names? Thanks so much!
Finished off the adventure with a visit to the market next door and cateycorner across the street - People bought fresh keffir lime and curry leaves, fresh turmeric (still in rhizome form, to be peeled and grated) fresh lemongrass, savory fried banana, fried sesame balls, fresh bird chilies (a large package for a dollar) - and more! Pork belly, fresh tamarind in the pod, all kinds of things were oohed and ahhed over.
Pls. note, also, that Floating Rock is closed on Tues., and a 5 minute walk from the T (Revere Beach/BlueLine)
*Quick note: Our Crew has gotten too unwieldy to offer an open invitation, but here's a link for creating one of your own: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559556 Please free to send me a note if you have any questions, just click on my screenname.
485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
the other salad was "beef salad with mint" (pleah saiko). minced beef, lemongrass, basil, mint, red onions, and bean sprouts tossed with a lime juice and prahok dressing
the two soups were "combination vegetable soup" (somlah kako) and "sweet and sour soup" (somlah machoo yuon). combination vegetable soup was pork and assorted vegetables (squash, green beans, thai eggplant) in a lemongrass and prahok broth thickened with ground toasted rice. sweet and sour soup was chicken, tomatoes, pineapples, and lotus rootlets in a sweet tamarind broth
we also ordered "curry pickled fish with coconut milk" (prahok k'tiss) and spicy beef (cha krueng saiko). curry pickled fish with coconut milk was a dip made of creamy prahok mixed with coconut milk, ground pork, and chilies served with raw vegetables (cucumber, cabbage, thai eggplant) for dipping. spicy beef was sliced beef stir-fried in a paste of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galanga, turmeric, garlic, shallots, and chilies
another wonderful meal at floating rock. made even more enjoyable by the lovely company and being able to introduce cambodian cuisine to others
Highlights for me were the tiger tears salad (wonderful blend of flavors and textures, similar to Thai yam nua, but with some additional taste I wasn’t quite able to identify, vaguely reminiscent of betel nut, and garnished with toasted rice); squid salad (similar ingredients to the beef salad, but to very different effect); the spicy pork (satisfyingly addictive, though most of us mixed it with rice to cut the heat); and the chicken soup with lotus stem (an intriguing assortment of flavors).
A memorable meal, indeed. Props to Galangatron for ably guiding us through the extensive menu, as well as through the various goods on offer at the nearby groceries.
Yes, this was a truly memorable outing, first of all discovering a wonderful little neighborhood full of good things, then being introduced to a really new (to me) cuisine, one made of tastes and textures that really wake you up with their blending of HOT, sweet, sour and salty. Prowling through the grocery stores was fun too--now what am I going to do with all of these exotic ingredients? Thank you, Galangatron, for leading us there--I am already planning a return visit.
Adding to Cassis, Galangatron et al, Floating Rock was a wonderful example of the most humble cuisine, elevated by the freshest ingredients so that they positively explode in your mouth! I should add that 11 of us ate heartily and with tip, it came to a mere $16.50 per person. I especially loved the POW of the beef salad appetizer and I admired the gumption of many in our crew who dug into the truly funky "curried pickled fish with coconut milk" --an acquired taste. Elephant Walk in Waltham does a similar kind of dish - less funky - more of a sweet and sour seasoned ground pork that it serves with fried rice crackers that look like fried rice crispies in a block. Great for dipping. Thanks to Galangatron for his deep knowledge of this Cambodian food and for generously sharing it with us and guiding us along the way.
My 1st trip there was w/Fredid & Galangatron some 2 yrs ago, just the 3 of us, when we 1st started our crew. What a beautiful day w/like-minded DC's at FR and being able to try so many more dishes. The beef salad w/mint & the sweet & sour soup were my favorites. Kudos to Galangatron for leading us through the markets - I now have keffir lime & curry leaves, Thai basil, lemon grass & bird chilies in waiting.