Batik (SE Asian) at Kentlands in Gaithersburg
I'd like to try it out
The menu takes its cue from Batik's 10-year-old sibling, East St. Café in Union Station. Chef Yan Yu, who cooked there, now adds her magic to the Kentlands kitchen, interpreting family recipes collected by Emily Sy, wife of partner/manager Henry Sy and her mother. The fare spans the Pacific Rim with stops in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Korea and Japan get a nod as well.
I haven't been yet myself, but Todd Kliman, the reviewer for the Washingtonian, has recently put it on his list of restaurants where he would spend his OWN money. That's a pretty good recommendation.
I have been twice. Besides a vegetable tempura, the only thing I've ordered is the dumplings, but I'm eager to go back and try other things on the menu. The dumplings were delicious--tender and flavorful. My favorites were the "All-American" and the "Squash It." The atmosphere is cozy and they intend to open a dumplings bar in a few months which will include some outdoor seating. Our waiter was super friendly and very patient with all the children we had in tow. There seems to be a nice variety on the menu and it's reasonably priced, especially considering it's situated in the middle of the over-priced Kentlands.
We went to Batik last Thursday night. We were the last people in the place and it was very good. We had the crab wasabi dumplings,good earth dumplings, squash it dumplings, soul? chicken dumplings, curry chicken dumplings. All were good, the best were the crab wasabi and good earth. We also had fried lumpia which was ok nothing great and Thai Fried Rice. The fried rice was very oily.
All in all a good meal, we will go back forthe dumplings.
I've been to Batik several times since they opened last year. I love all of the dumplings but the crab wasabi has to be my absolute favorite. As far as entrees, the bulgogi is excellent as well as the pad thai with shrimp and chicken. I wasnt a fan of the lemongrass soup that I ordered on one occasion. Overall this is by far one of the best restaurants in the Kentlands and I hope they stick around for years to come.
We just went tonight (they have a coupon on restaurant.com). Overall I think it's ok - there were some real winners but overall I think the flavoring could have been a little less one dimensional. Just a little salt would've perked everything up, and a little heat in some of the sauces would be nice too. We stuck to a bunch of small dishes:
Pork bbq skewer - one of my favorites; the pork had a nice grill char but was still juicy and well seasonsed.
Veggie Tempura - probably my least favorite; the batter was a little soggy and really bland
Fried Calamari - Would be a real winner if they went lighter on the breading; the squid themselves were cooked correctly.
Squash It Dumplings - Really nice but wait a little while once they come out or you might burn your mouth. They're a combination of zucchini and sweet potato; as you might guess the sweet potato is really dominant.
Soul-Full Dumplings - Collard Greens and chicken, a weird combination for dumplings but they were really good as well.
The dining room is small but really pretty and the service is pretty good. I'll probably make a return trip for more dumplings and skewers, as there were several others on the menu that sounded interesting.