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Asian Menu: what should I order?

We're going here for dinner tonight and we're not terribly familiar with some of the items on the menu. What looks good to you? Soup, appetizer, etc. Never had pho - is it good?
Help! (fast)


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  1. Crispy fried squidwith garlic and black bean sauce
    Mixed kimchee
    Pho (yes, it is very good), make sure you get the greens
    Sake simmered flounder
    Cha - soba
    Chef's wok cooked greens

    8 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Thanks, Sam. The menu overwhelmed me. What about dim sum (small dishes?), and what to drink? I'll see if I can find the drinks menu.

        1. re: bayoucook

          This place sounds really good! I would have a heck of a time making up my mind. The small plates look good and in my book anything with duck is good. Also the prawns with cashews sounds good. You have to have a spring roll and the pork dumplings look tempting. I do really like Tempura shrimp. First time I ate shrimp, as a teen, was at a japanese restaurant and it was the best I have ever had. Restaurant is long gone but the memory lingers! Also the Thai Beef salad looks good. What a combo of cuisines. SOmething for everyone. I hope there are going to be a few people so you all can mix and match. Where is this asian food mecca?

          1. re: danhole

            It's at the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi (ipbiloxi.com) - they have a haute cuisine menu at thirty-two, a Brazilian place, among others. We've eaten at tien before but had this menu


            1. re: danhole

              I see you're from Houston. If you ever get down this way, you should try it!
              Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish House is in another casino (Island View) and the Beau Rivage here has excellent dining, as well (beaurivage.com). Hey, it's a short flight or about an 8 hour drive away, right?

              1. re: bayoucook

                I didn't think we were too far away from you, gathering this by some of your posts and food preferences. I sure like the current menu for thien better than the other one, but both sound good. We will have to make plans to visit next year, as my husbands vacation days are all gone! Thanks for the link to ipbiloxi. Not much further than New Orleans and we have made that drive.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Thanks, Sam. It's just the two of us tonight, and I've written your suggestions down.
              I probably have eaten more of these items than I realize, since I lived in the Phillipines for 14 months, and visited China and Japan (this was in 1972-73). We tried to get thru' the menu and/or have them bring us items they liked. Really good stuff! But I could never bring myself to eat balut....

            2. Pho is absolutely wonderful, and I don't think you'll find a person on this board that would disagree. After that, its all about your tastes.
              I'd probably go pho, crispy lobster dumplings, shanghai chicken, a tien roll spring roll, and some fried rice (just because I love fried rice.)
              I'd say just mix and match and share with your dining partner, order several different things and find out what you like.

              1. The menu looks to be a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese style dishes. How many will be dining? I hope you will be sharing plates/food. If there are just two of you I'd opt for Sam's menu in a heartbeat.

                1. May I humbly recommend that you try pho in a place that specializes in pho? I would make a large wager that unless pho is this place's special secret, it will be inferior to pho house made pho. Have only the best, no?

                  For a heavy dinner for two, I would go for things that appear light but are varied and give you a good sampling and leave room for lots of lobster: I would order the crab cucumber salad, chef's wok greens, chow fun, Hong Kong Duck spring rolls, and ginger lobster.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    I second the recommendation to try pho in a pho specialty place...and similarly recommend that you try the cha-soba at a soba shop.

                    One of the problems of ordering noodle soup at a restaurant that serves many other items (non-specialty location) is that the noodles (whether pho, udon, soba, etc) can sit in the soup while you consume other offerings, and lose their wonderful firmness/chew....

                    1. re: luckyfatima

                      We have a huge Vietnamese population here, and they've gotten wonderful jobs cooking in the casinos, creating authentic dishes. From what I've heard, many of these are working in the kitchen at tein. I was a F&B manager in the casinos for the first 10 years they were here, so I know this first hand.

                      1. re: bayoucook

                        I still wouldn't recommend pho at a pan-Asian restaurant, even one run by Vietnamese, particularly for your first taste. Pho is very easy to make poorly.

                        1. re: Caralien

                          I trust you. I'll wait to try it, or ask for a sample...

                    2. Regarding pho, I have never had a decent bowl at a placed that didn't specialize in it (and have had it poorly done at many places that did).

                      I would, however, agree with everyone else's recommendations and do a varied tasting.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Caralien

                        Another thing about Pho is that it is not a sharable dish, or should I say not convenient to share.

                        1. re: danhole

                          And when served at a specialty shop, it is a full meal - typically a large bowl that I rarely finish. The only additional item that I've had with pho is a cream puff (one of the Seattle 'chains' gives you cream puffs along with the plate of bean sprouts and herbs).

                          1. re: paulj

                            I usually start with egg rolls (cha gio), but leave ready for a very long nap.

                      2. Bulgogi...under the korean bbq part....is delicious and good for someone who isn't very adventurous with their food.

                        Any of the spring rolls would be delicious.

                        I also love pork dumplings...though my waist-line may not.

                        And get the korean condiment plate....usually about 7 different yummy items.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: rizzo0904

                          It does sound good. We actually are adventurous with our food, just not very knowledgeable about the foods on this menu, except for the dumplings and the other obvious things. Should be fun.

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            Of course you will be posting about the meal . . . right? You had better!

                            1. re: danhole

                              IT WAS CLOSED! So disappointed, but kept my notes for next time. We get two free hotel nights and free buffets each month, so ate at the buffet. Had a ton of crab legs and shrimp, and the prime beef is pretty good there, too. Our next free night will be booked on a nite that tien is open. Thanks to all of you, I'll know what to order.

                              1. re: bayoucook

                                That really stinks! I would have been so disappointed, as I'm sure you were! At least you had the buffet. I am still looking forward to hearing abut it whenever you get to eat there.

                                1. re: danhole

                                  We were so disappointed - just ready for it, you know?
                                  Got our coupons in for July - the same two free nights and free buffets.
                                  Going to book on a Wed. or Thur. when I know tien will be open. The one time we ate there, we had the teppenyaki (sp?) and it was delicious. We had the fried calamari for a starter and fought over it - it had some kind of dipping sauce that was sooooo good, spicy and sweet. Will definately report back on the meal, plus now I'm researching the menu items!

                                2. re: bayoucook

                                  Hey, you didn't tell us that price is no object! Therefore I change my mind; go for two orders each of the abalone! '-)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    no no! the buffets were free, but you pay if you go anywhere else (you'd think they'd give an equal coupon, no?) - what is abalone like?

                            2. re: rizzo0904

                              Bulgogi is any marinated grilled or pan-fried meat - so there's a lot of variation when a menu item says bulgogi. It can be beef, pork, or even chicken. I've had it come out of the kitchen like sukiyaki, or just as plain meat (pork or beef) for the table "bbq" grill.

                              Kalbi/Galbi, on the other hand, is always beef short ribs either cross-cut or sheared off the bone. It's properly marinated and grilled. Kalbi is almost always a superior dish to Bulgogi, when both are offered. I take cross-cut Kalbi, marinated and grilled, to pot-lucks and other gatherings and it is always the favorite of gringos and gaijin of all sorts - a very easy dish for Americans to get into.

                              1. re: applehome


                                I ws curious about the Kalbi so I googled it and found this recipe from a local writer, and Beard award winner, in one of his blogs. Look at it and let me know what you think.

                                You should also check the article he has a link to at the top of the page about cuts of meat. i think you would really be interested.

                                Maybe we should take this over to the Home Cooking board because I would like to see your recipe and technique for cutting the meat.

                                1. re: danhole

                                  Here's a video link showing the cross-cut kalbi:

                                  You can't do this at home - at least, not without a nice bandsaw. The Korean food stores around here (Boston and Lawrence) have pre-cut packs of these. I marinate in my Japanese mom's all-purpose teriyaki (has nothing at all to do with americanized sweet glop teriyaki) but with added garlic and sesame oil, and then grill over hardwood charcoal - very hot, very quick. We've been doing this since I was a kid.

                                  Most Korean "bbq" restaurants take each rib and cut the meat thin around the bone, leaving the bone in place. This is an easy way to cut short rib meat thinly so you can grill it, without a bandsaw. It takes a little practice. So it looks like this:

                                  My mom's teriyaki is equal parts shoyu, mirin, osu (rice vinegar), and water, to which you add various aromatics - garlic, ginger, bo-negi (scallions), pepper, chilis, and added sugar for certain recipes. It's like a mother marinate that you can make into a lot of different versions. I keep 2-qt ball jars full in the fridge so that the garlic etc. can infuse better - making it fresh on the spot each time keeps the flavors from developing. I do reuse the marinade but only after I've used it for beef or pork. I throw it out after using it for chicken.

                                  1. re: applehome

                                    On that wiki picture I didn't see the bone. Was it under the meat?

                                    1. re: danhole


                                      The bone is on the right side and still red.

                                      I prefer the butterfly cut, but it is more work than either the "LA style" (1/4" flanken cut) or the one in the picture.

                                      This is my recipe for Kaibi, but there are many versions of it.


                            3. My suggestions above assumed that the restaurant would be best at Vietnamese, given teh area - so some Vietnamese, kimchee from Korea, and stuff from Japan that can't really be screwed up. I really like some of the dishes, but was also worried about what comes out of a kitchen trying to cook four or five cuisines.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Thankfully, we have so many Vietnamese, Koreans, and Filipinos here that we have a decent amount of authentic, family-run cafes, and several well-stocked Asian grocery stores. Too many people probably don't know what a diverse area this is down here, and that very few of us have a strong southern accent. Since Katrina, lots of Mexican laborers have moved here, and I can't tell you how much better the restaurants they've opened are than what we were previously used to, plus Mexican markets are springing up here and there. We also have a hearty Greek community.

                              2. You've probably left already so I'm writing to a locked door, but... Interesting menu! I am always a sucker for udon. If you like noodles, this would be my #1 choice. And I also love abalone, but if you're on a budget, god knows what the market price will be. Overall, it doesn't look to me as if there are many bad choices. Shabu shabu (sukiyaki) is also a fun party meal. Be sure to tell us what you had when you get back! I'm jealous.... '-)

                                24 Replies
                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Shabu shabu and sukiyaki aren't the same thing. The first is dipping meat and ingredients into a broth and boiling them (swishing them about, thus creating the onomatopoeic name, shabu-shabu), and the other is pan-frying and then sauced (although traditional kanto versions don't bother with the frying). Sukiyaki is also eaten with a raw egg dip. Shabu-shabu has a greater range of meats (including seafoods) and soup bases, where sukiyaki is traditionally beef. Shabu-shabu is also not as sweet as sukiyaki, which uses shoyu, mirin and sugar in the sauce. Sukiyaki dates back to the 1890's, where shabu-shabu is a much more modern dish, at least in terms of its current manifestation in Japan (circa 1950). Hot pot dishes have been around much longer all over Asia. While both are considered nabemono (made in a nabe or cooking bowl), sukiyaki is most often done in a skillet, while shabu-shabu is done in a pot full of liquid, usually held just under boiling.

                                  They are both indeed fun party meals, as you said, but they're very different dishes.

                                  1. re: applehome

                                    When it comes to Japanese restaurants in this country, my experience is that if they offer one they offer the other. I was taught to make sukiyaki in the fifties by a girlfriend from Japan, and in her method, the meat was not sautéed first. For me, the primary difference in sukiyaki and shabu shabu is that in the latter the meat is eaten before the vegetables, in sukiyaki they are cooked and eaten together. And my restaurant experience says do NOT expect the broths or dipping sauces to be the same from restaurant to restaurant. I've never had shabu shabu made with anything but beef, but the seafood sounds interesting! Of course, when you order either dish in a restaurant, chances are it may not be a communal pot or even offer the experience of cooking it yourself, which rather takes the fun out of it. But there are some restaurants that do serve authentic "family style" hot pots. I always call them up and ask if I haven't been there before.

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      Well - I don't get it. Shabu-shabu is always boiling in a broth, where sukiyaki is frying and sauteeing - the sauce is put on the meat and vegetables as a finish and/or offerred as a dipping sauce. I actually dislike too much sauce while cooking, and prefer to use a raw egg for dipping - especially if the sauce has been made too sweet. The Kansai style started by putting a piece of beef tallow in the pan to grease it up and get the meat frying, where the Tokyo folks didn't originally do that. But I've been to famous sukiyaki houses on the Ginza (business... I had to), that do exactly that, and according to the wiki article (I know, I know) it's now pretty much universal.

                                      The shabu-shabu places I have been to in Tokyo, New York, and Boston have built in pots so you don't even see the burner. They turn it on and pour in the broth you ordered. Other places that aren't specialists bring out the gas units and place the special pots on them. In any case, it's not a dipping sauce, it's a soup that you cook the meat and vegetables in. Some of the pots are actually split in two, with a divider welded in place, so you can have 2 different flavor broths. The sukiyaki pans are completely different - they're sautee pans, not pots. Remember, suki means shovel - it originated by using a shovel or shovel like pan to cook thin cut meat. I have an old brass chimney/upside-down bundt pan (my term) that was passed onto me by my mom. Put the coals inside the chimney and fill the ring (bundt pan) with your broth. There are places that still use these - it's called Hot Pot, or Mongolian Hot Pot - it's the same thing as shabu-shabu. (Hey Sam - if you read this, next time in DC, try Tony Cheng's in Chinatown - they do this - Mongolian Hot Pot with the old brass chimney. Somewhat hokie, but very good eating. Like Caroline says, it's a great night out with company - kids love it.)

                                      Nabemono includes a whole huge set of dishes. Just because these two are both technically nabemono doesn't mean that they're anything close to each other. It's true that in both cases, the slices of meat and vegetables are brought out in plate - but that's like saying that dishes are the same because the mise en place is the same. A boiled dinner and a sauteed dinner are nothing alike from my viewpoint.

                                      A local Vietnamese place here in Lowell does a great shabu-shabu - one of the broths they offer is a kimchee broth - really spicy and tasty, especially with pieces of catfish and scallops and shrimp. They give you small bowls and a small ladle, so that at the end, you can sip this marvelous soup that has now gotten all the wonderful flavor from your cooking in it all night long (plus you get to fish out all the veggies and small pieces you lost).

                                      1. re: applehome

                                        Hey, thanks for the: "Hey Sam - if you read this, next time in DC, try Tony Cheng's in Chinatown". I just arrived back in DC yesterday. I may give it a try. I remember my best steam boat was in Beijing long ago behind Tiannaman Square. Lots of great fresh food in a beaten down street of similar shops. Tin steam boats with the broth, the platter of meet end vegetables, the boxes on the floor with the empty Tsing Tao bottles. A few years later the whole area was razed and that first McDonalds was built on the square. some kind of justice when the government threw out McDonald's to give the real estate to a Hong Kong company. But that dimly lit street of steam boat shops is gone.

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          Get off at the Gallery Place/Chinatown station Tony Cheng's is right on H st. behind the Chinatown gate. But what's going to make this really worthwhile is around the corner on 7th, there's a restaurant that has a counter in the front for selling pastries and stuff to go. Get a tea smoked duck, chopped up, for the hotel room. Get a half dozen char siu bao. I swear, these are the best ever. Big huge baked affairs - absolutely the best I've had including NYC and Boston. You have to watch out with DC chinatown - if you blink, you'll miss it. Verizon arena has gentrified the place way too much - it used to be dark and interesting - you know - chinatown... oooooh... Now it's Disneyland. But there's still some good food around. There's a sechuan place next to Cheng's. There was an Asian grocery store (mainly Chinese, but some Japanese stuff) also on H street - I don't know if it's still there. The googlemap picture makes it look like an empty lot now - but it could be the building next to it. You'd think that if they're going to drive around taking pictures of everything, they'd at least focus the lenses.

                                          One visit, I was at the Hyatt down the street - one of my vendor's daughter was the manager of room service. I had a bucket of imported beers waiting for me in my room. I don't drink that much beer - but it was February and I left the bucket on the ledge outside the window - it stayed cold all week. I just sat in the room in the evenings and ate char siu bao, duck, and imported beer. There might even have been a Tsing Tao in there!

                                          1. re: applehome

                                            Thank you, hermano! I've printed out the instructions. I've been to Chinatown each visit because there is a place there that sells Chinese dry/packaged goods, some housewares, and decorative stuff. I get things like pickled vegetables, cleavers (first got one for my ex and on another trip one for me its was so good for the price), dried mushrooms, and more.

                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              "cleavers (first got one for my ex"


                                              1. re: Caralien

                                                Dana Zsofia's mother. We share DZ 50 - 50, so have to get along. She asked for a cleaver, got her one; was so good I had to get one for me.

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  The phrase simply made me chuckle when taken completely out of context (I got a gun for my ex...).

                                                  My mother took the best cleaver back (I had it for 15 years), so now I have to go to Chinatown to get a new one.

                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                        I'm w/you Caroline. Also, I've never had sukiyaki where the meat was fried.

                                        1. re: OCAnn

                                          You never saw the piece of fat put into the pan ahead of the meat slices? What did you think was happening with the meat, boiling? braising? Again, wiki is no great source, I know, but here's their description:

                                          "Like other nabemono dishes, each Japanese region has a preferred way of cooking sukiyaki. The key difference is between the Kansai region in western Japan and the Kantō region in eastern Japan. In the Kantō (Tokyo) region, the ingredients are stewed in a prepared mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sake and mirin, whereas in Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto region), the meat is first grilled in the pan greased with tallow. After other ingredients are put over these, the liquid is poured into the pan. The shungiku are added when all the ingredients are simmering. A raw egg is broken into a serving bowl, one egg for each person. Some prefer to add a bit of soy sauce and the egg is lightly beaten. The meat and vegetables are dipped into this sauce before eaten."

                                          But here's the kicker:

                                          "... But after the great Kanto earthquake of 1923, the people of Kantō, temporarily moved to the Osaka area. While the people of Kantō were in Osaka, they got accustomed to the Kansai style of sukiyaki, and when they returned to Kantō, they introduced the Kansai sukiyaki style, where it has since become popular."

                                          So today, even in Tokyo, most folks start with the chunk of beef fat and put the beef in to sizzle (it's frying!) before adding everything else.

                                          But that has nothing really to do with understanding the difference between sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. Shabu-shabu is a soup! A liquid, watery, bowl of soup! Sukiyaki is meat and vegetables in a pan with sauce. A sautee or a braise or even a stew, whatever - it ain't a bowl of liquid broth - it ain't a soup! If you can find me a reference that says sukiyaki is a soup, I'll shut up about it!

                                          1. re: applehome

                                            No, I've never seen the meat cooked in fat before all other ingredients. The version I've seen is the one you quoted from wiki, where the meat & veggies are stewed.

                                            I wouldn't consider shabu-shabu a soup; only that it's cooked in broth. I will agree with you that sukiyaki is not soup.

                                            1. re: applehome

                                              I suspect we’re wrestling with a time warp here. I was taught to make sukiyaki in the 50's, by a "War Bride" girlfriend who married a GI before either of them spoke the other's language. She was from Tokyo. Her father had been Emperor Hirohito's personal physician, so guess whose family wasn't all that thrilled about Mitsuro and the Gaijin! In traditional Tokyo (Edo?) style sukiyaki of that time, there was no frying of the beef, then pouring the broth/sauce over it. All of the ingredients were brought to the table artfully arranged on a large round platter. The broth was a mixture of mirin, shoyu, broth (usually chicken, but sometimes actual beef stock) and a little sugar. And sometimes a dash of sake if we were feeling wicked. We always used beef. And Wagyu was unheard of outside of Japan back in those days, so we made do with a nice USDA Prime strip loin that was “shaved” wafer thin with an electric slicing machine when the meat was just not quite fully thawed. For veggies, we used spinach or Napa cabbage or bok choy, sometimes string beans, mushrooms (exotic if we could find them, and back then shiitaki were exotic!), onions (thinly sliced globe or green or both), bean sprouts, lotus root, and carrots cut with four “v” grooves down the sides then sliced thin so they looked like orange cherry blossoms when cooking, and tofu when we could find it. And of course, noodles. We often used cellphoane noodles, but sometimes plain old vermicelli if that’s all we had on hand. Depending on how many of us there were, sukiyaki could be cooked for everyone at the same time if there were no more than four, but for more than that it had to be done in turns. Each person had a coddled egg in a small rice bowl above his plate for dipping the meat and vegetables. Or sometimes we would each cook our own in the communal pan.

                                              The broth for shabu shabu was very similar, but the difference was the meat was cooked and eaten first, the vegetables were cooked and eaten after, and no egg for dipping. As I recall, in all cases, when the meal was done, the cooking broth was divided equally among the diners, so the “soup course” came last.

                                              Since those ancient times, I’m sure food fashion has changed radically, and not just in Japanese food. I won’t mind it so much when someone finally develops a time travel method that works. Then I can go back whenever I want for another taste of “the good stuff!” ‘-)

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                I love these discussions because it causes my head to spin. Should I make that? How was it done when I was a kid (70s-80s)?

                                                Of course, it makes me want to buy an electrical hotplate (large rounded square), an electrical boiler with rack (possibly an Asian fondue pot about the size of a crock pot), and so many other things.

                                                Thank you C1 and Applehome!

                                                1. re: Caralien

                                                  Never mind electric... Well, unless you go induction. I don't have induction, but I do have one of these:
                                                  It's perfect for sukiyaki, and a whole bunch of other "cook at the table" foods too. I even got rid of my chafing dish because crepes Suzette or cafe diablo is so much easier with this.

                                                  Whatever, have fun...!

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    What you posted is more in my line of cooking, but my mother used a plug-in model which may be illegal right now (exposed element for the cooking part!). My favourite part of the food were actually the glass noodles and egg. Somehow, everything was cooked perfectly--the meats as well as the vegetables. Served over rice from the rice cooker.

                                                    1. re: Caralien

                                                      The thing I love about it -- even more than getting a new induction hot plate, is.... Look, Ma! NO CORDS...!!! And even more incredible, it works during power failures! Last week, I had a THIRTY HOUR power failure! Couldn't open a can of tuna, but if I could have, I could have made creamed tuna on toast! In Dallas, we have power failures!

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        NY & Chicago have long power failures, particularly during the summer. We have our camp gear and a hibachi (but boiling water in the morning is one of the most difficult parts of waking up). I think I may try a version of one of these recipes the next time we go camping, just to see if it works.

                                                        As Applehome wrote, I was probably incorrect in remembering that everything cooked perfectly at the table and it's likely that the meat was grilled in advance. It's not easy to remember all of the details from that long ago!

                                                    2. re: Caroline1

                                                      I've been using one of these table top butane canister stoves for years - for Korean style grilling, oden, sand pot cooking, Spanish shrimp in garlic, etc. I first bought one to use on a small sailboat, because it was more stable than the usual camping stove.

                                                      I've seen them used in Asian groceries for heat the samples of oden, spicy noodle soup, pot stickers, etc.

                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                    That is almost exactly how I've seen (and experienced) it done.

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      My mom, born in 1922, was also a WWII war bride. She was from Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, but still part of Tokyo bay and well within the edomae area. But we always made sukiyaki in a pan, not in a nabe, and she always grilled the meat ahead of putting in the veg and sauce. As I said, on the Ginza, a famous sukiyaki place (tourist/business oriented) also did the exact same thing. That doesn't deny that the precooked nabemono stew form (call it traditional Kanto) exists, but I would say that the majority of people thinking of sukiyaki today would think of the Kansai version. And given that the earthquake was in 1923, I doubt that a WWII war bride would follow the old Kanto tradition, other than that it was her own family's tradition.

                                                      But growing up in Japan, shabu-shabu was just always considered a totally different animal, at home and eating out. Different restaurants, different cooking equipment, different condiments. All that was similar was the rice and the plateful of meats and vegetables (including shirataki). And then, the meat was most often not beef, but chicken or seafood. We never got a raw egg for dipping, but had different flavor sauces. Most restaurants gave each person a wire mesh spoon to take out their items from the communal soup - something that would never have been necessary in sukiyaki. I never had soup at the end of a sukiyaki meal - the sauce was much too thick and strong (especially the shoyu) to be a soup. The sauce would have all cooked into the meat and vegetables and have been eaten with them - there was very little left in the pan. I could see how a nabemono sukiyaki would have a somewhat thinner sauce - but it's hard to imagine actually drinking the strong flavor of a reduced shoyu/mirin/sugar sauce.

                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                        "Yes" to everything you've posted on this subject- except quoting the lame English wiki ;). The Japanese one is more interesting, accurate, and detailed. No one consumes the sukiyaki broth or the shabu shabu broth after dinner. It's considered disgusting. Shabu shabu isn't even really a prepared broth. It's hot water, a hunk of konbu, and all the crap you shake off of the meat. The two standard dipping sauces that you get at every restaurant are ponzu and goma. Some places make their own sauces. For sukiyaki, maybe "fry" is the wrong word, but the pan is always swabbed/ coated with a chunk of fat. I don't think it matters what part of the country you're from. Butcher shops/ supermarkets provide the chunks of fat with pre-sliced meat. Sukiyaki isn't that popular in Japan these days. But shabu shabu is still big. Especially buta-shabu and kani-shabu. Earlier this year in Kanazawa, I had buri-shabu. Thin slices of winter fattened adult yellowtail, swished rare and then dipped in light ponzu.

                                                        Everything I've read on post-Kanto quake Tokyo is that people moved to the outskirts of the city, not to Kansai or other parts of Japan. Only a few years after the quake, the city nearly doubled the number of wards to adjust for this population shift.

                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                          I've been thinking about the soup after, and it did come from the same pot, as I recall, but it's also possible she added more broth or even rinsed it out and added new broth. But we are talking fifty years ago! It was quite good. I don't have any home movies, so I'm flying by the seat of my memory. With no parachute! But it could have been a family thing, and it was also not that long after WWII ended and it may have been something her family started doing during food shortages and ended up liking it.

                                                          We were living in Turkey at the time, and there was some improvising with cooking vessels. Mitsuru had a container she used on top of a "round hibachi," over live charcoal with windows open. I had a gorgeous electric frying pan that looked more like a chafing dish, copper on the outside, aluminum interior, and a thermostat. AND an electric cord dangling over the side of the table I was always scared to death someone would trip over.

                                                          I eventually gave up any table top cooking with it in the interest of safety and bought a real chafing dish only to discover that no matter what they show in magazines and movies, you cannot cook in a chafing dish. You can only keep things warm!

                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                          Well, I grew up in the 50s. We had sukiyaki/tsukyaki about 3 - 4 times per month. We did first saute the beef in butter and beef fat. The added the stock and vegetables. As applehome says, the stock was too karai / salty to drink as soup at the end, and most was reduced and consumed by that time.

                                              2. I hope you had the lacquered BBQ... I need to figure out how to make that! And Vietnamese spring rolls. I would love to work my way through that entire menu (not at one sitting). So much duck.

                                                1. Well I am suspicious of overly ambitious panasianness too. I am guessing the owners/operators are Chinese from Vietnam so I would stick with Chinese-Vietnamese and Vietnamese. Not that just because they are VNese they couldn't cook the non-VN items, maybe they are good, and they do have all of these high end things on the menu that would be such a waste if they were bad (like wagyu beef), so it might be good. But often the pan-asian theme is a gimmick. Still no pho in that place. Disappointing pho makes me sad.

                                                  1. Here's what I'd order looking at the menu knowing nothing about the place or quality and trying to avoid bad picks:

                                                    Fried Squid (calamari)
                                                    Duck Lettuce Cup (salad in your hand)
                                                    BBQ Sampler (sounds okay, might swap that for th Squid)

                                                    Won Ton (Hot & Sour 2nd, the other soups could be okay but have a small margin of error..could skip it)

                                                    Bulgogi (maybe the Orange Beef )
                                                    Ginger Lobster
                                                    Tom Xao Cai (shrimp and veggies)

                                                    Extra Sides:
                                                    Spring Rolls
                                                    Chinese Broccoli (or other veggie)
                                                    Chow Fun (maybe)

                                                    I think you need one other entre, like chicken but the choice of Teriyaki doesn't sound very good. The Ga Cary (Vietnamese chicken stew) could be very good and fill this slot but I'd have to ask a few questions to see it on another table.

                                                    p.s. I'd also avoid any of the noodles (except maybe the chow fun), the dim sum and salads.

                                                    1. CHAO TOM 9
                                                      Shrimp on Sugarcane with Peanut Sauce and Lettuce

                                                      TONKATSU 23
                                                      Japanese Favorite, Panko Breaded Pork Cutlet, Shaved Cabbage,
                                                      Sesame Peanut Dressing Tsukémono Pickles, Steamed Rice

                                                      WONTON SOUP 6
                                                      Hong Kong Style Pork Wonton, Chicken Stock, Char Siu Pork, Scallions

                                                      Dim Sum
                                                      HAR GAO (Shrimp)
                                                      SHIU MAI (Pork)
                                                      BBQ BAO (Pork)
                                                      POTSTICKER (Chicken)
                                                      SAMOSA (Pork)
                                                      WONTON (Beef)

                                                      LO MEIN 13
                                                      Chinese Wheat Noodles, Vegetables, Chicken, Beef, Pork, or Shrimp

                                                      SZECHUAN EGGPLANT 8
                                                      CHINESE LONG BEANS 8

                                                      2 Replies
                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          Szechuan Eggplant- ALL DAY LONG!
                                                          I can not eat huge portions, but when it comes to that, I am strangely able to inhale a lot!
                                                          I always end up wanting what I see the crew eating at places like this. I have to stop myself from jabbing my fork in someone's bowl (I wanted to SO bad on Sunday when we went to a fusion/sushi place (we were REALLY hungry-it was good) and on my trip back from the Ladies, I almost tripped on my waiter who was crouched down behind the cash register eating from a bowl of gorgeousness. It smelled good too.

                                                          **edit to say STICKS- not fork!!