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The Spice Table - Perceptor's Photo Report

Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 01:06 PM

smack in the epicenter of Little Tokyo, Bryant Ng, formerly of Pizzeria Mozza, opened The Spice Table...
loved the warm vibe and the food is inspired mainly by Singaporean and Vietnamese cuisine... definitely excited to hear someone crossing those 2 cuisines... this might be the only one in LA... the food was fantastic... unique menu and big flavors... i shall definitely return to try more things on the menu... O! almost forgot to mention their awesome craft beers on tap...

Enjoy my photo report:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/s...

The Spice Table
114 S. Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-1840

- Perceptor

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  1. m
    mr drummond RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 02:11 PM

    Wow, great pictures! My mouth is watering.
    What was your favorite dish?
    I'm looking forward to checking out this restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mr drummond
      Perceptor RE: mr drummond Mar 10, 2011 02:46 PM

      mr drummond... if i am forced to pick 3 favs.... it would have to be the fried chicken, fried cauliflower and pate

    2. SilverlakeGirl RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 02:43 PM

      Wow, terrific. It has jumped to the top of my "must try" list.

      1. s
        silence9 RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 03:00 PM

        Wow, that black pepper spicy crab toast looks awesome, like Satan's honeymoon futon :-)
        I vote Perceptor as the new 'Most Interesting Man in the World': women want to be with him, men want to eat like him!! Yes, I'm that jealous...

        1 Reply
        1. re: silence9
          Perceptor RE: silence9 Mar 10, 2011 03:06 PM

          wow... satan's honeymoon futon.... that is some description... i'm gonna have to remember that one.... haha

        2. j
          Johnny L RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 03:04 PM

          I've been eyeing this restaurant for a while, hopefully they stay open late.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Johnny L
            Perceptor RE: Johnny L Mar 10, 2011 05:25 PM

            Johnny L. I think they open til midnight

          2. aching RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 03:57 PM

            Oh man, I feel like I've been waiting FOREVER for this place to open - and I'm so excited now that it finally has! I feel that my life will not be complete until I try that cauliflower. Awesome pics, Perceptor!

            1. b
              bulavinaka RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 05:36 PM

              The photos are awsome (as usual!), and the food looks like it would make a homesick Singaporean weep tears of sambal (but they'll still complain that the could get something similar back home for 1/4 the price :))... So what was your assessment on the Hainanese chicken and rice?

              2 Replies
              1. re: bulavinaka
                j
                Johnny L RE: bulavinaka Mar 10, 2011 06:15 PM

                same please, I'm very curious about how it is. Never seen hainanese chicken prepared in a more upscale environment like this.

                1. re: Johnny L
                  Perceptor RE: Johnny L Mar 10, 2011 06:32 PM

                  Three things I look for in my hainanese chicken rice
                  1. Rice so aromatic from being cooked in chicken fat that you want it to be free- refill
                  2. Chicken skin that's slippery and glistening and the meat itself to have no bite that's dry
                  3. Trinity of dipping sauce of Ginger/green onion, chili sauce and the sweet dark thick soy

                  I was able to check all three off. Of course it would be cheaper at places like savoy or any other Chinese cafes in Alhambra but this was a solid version in a much nicer setting than those Chinese cafes

              2. h
                heathpack RE: Perceptor Mar 10, 2011 07:45 PM

                Must try this place. Looks awesome.

                1. d
                  dtud RE: Perceptor Mar 12, 2011 09:19 PM

                  i am so happy you're back perceptor. you're so talented. thank you!

                  this place looks yummmmmmmy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dtud
                    Perceptor RE: dtud Mar 13, 2011 05:43 PM

                    happy to be back dtud!!

                  2. Porthos RE: Perceptor Mar 14, 2011 12:06 PM

                    How would you compare this to Lukshon?

                    Which was tastier and which would you return first?

                    In case no one has mentioned it yet...great photos!

                    -----
                    Lukshon
                    3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Porthos
                      Perceptor RE: Porthos Mar 14, 2011 08:41 PM

                      hey Porthos... excellent question as both are doing asian inspired cuisine... they are actually very different... Lukshon is alittle more upscale and a menu that has combinations that one has never tried before while Spice Table is much more straight forward and to the point Singapore/Vietnamese crossover cuisine which are 2 fav asian cuisines of mine... since i always enjoy more casual and straight forward food, in that case it would be Spice Table that i return first.... but Lukshon is definitely top choice if i feel like a more upscale modern decor night with bold unchartered flavors... hope that helps

                      -----
                      Lukshon
                      3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                      1. re: Perceptor
                        Porthos RE: Perceptor Apr 2, 2011 06:38 AM

                        Just did Spice Table last night and Lukshon 2 weekends prior. I completely agree with you. I would return to Spice Table first. Lukshon was fine but honestly all I remember was that the coffee pork ribs were good and that the dan dan noodles weren't properly rinsed under water after cooking so it was a hot sticky mess in an even messier pool of sauce.

                        I loved the chile prawn sate at Spice Table and I hope they don't dumb it down because people start complaining about it being too spicy. Hainan chicken rice was okay but Savoy's version is still better. The loh koh mee was stellar though. Great chewy texture to the noodles with perfect flavor and balance. Curry chicken wings were also spectacular. Great heads up Perceptor.

                        -----
                        Lukshon
                        3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                        The Spice Table
                        114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                        1. re: Porthos
                          Perceptor RE: Porthos Apr 2, 2011 06:49 AM

                          i need to try the chile prawn next time... they didnt have it when i was there...
                          Porthos.... we both sure wake up early on a saturday morning :-)

                          1. re: Perceptor
                            b
                            bulavinaka RE: Perceptor Apr 2, 2011 07:18 AM

                            Yeah - what the heck are you two doing up so early? This is Servorg's realm (of course after he's cycled off the past night's dinner at Animal at 2:30AM).

                            I haven't been to neither Spice Table nor Lukshon yet, but the more I read this thread, them more I think I'd prefer Spice Table. Lukshon seems to guild the guilded lily, while Spice Table seems to honor the roots of Southeast Asian cuisine by bringing in the dishes from the hawker stalls to the dining table.

                            1. re: Perceptor
                              Porthos RE: Perceptor Apr 2, 2011 08:16 AM

                              So better to get a head start on the dim sum crowds Perceptor :) Off to Elite I go...

                              Correction to my above post: it's kon loh mee, not however the heck I butchered it.

                              1. re: Porthos
                                Perceptor RE: Porthos Apr 2, 2011 10:03 AM

                                Porthos....dim sum is always a solid reason for waking up early on weekend.... but my reason is my true love of english football... damn those 5am kickoffs

                                1. re: Perceptor
                                  Porthos RE: Perceptor Apr 7, 2011 08:55 PM

                                  Was back at SpicenTable tonight and it was one of those rare incidences where the second time was better than the first.

                                  This time we had:
                                  -fuzzy squash with dried scallops. A but salty and the only average dish of the night.
                                  -pork sate. Awesome. Flavorful. The grilled taste came through wonderfully. Hard to decide if I liked the chile prawns or pork bettter. I would recommend both.
                                  -Sambal fried potatoes. Stellar. A must have.
                                  -fried cauliflower with fish sauce. Excellent rendition but I may prefer PMozza's version by a narrow margin.
                                  -oxtail and beef shortrib stew. Also excellent. Especially the ox tail.
                                  -kon loh mee. So good I had to get it twice. The only dish I got a repeat of the second time around. As stellar as the first time around.

                                  I love this place and lament the near future where it will be near impossible to get a reservation here.

                                  1. re: Porthos
                                    Porthos RE: Porthos Apr 13, 2011 09:46 AM

                                    Reporting back on Spice Table visit #3. This time we had:

                                    -grilled eggplant-better than the first time but not my favorite
                                    -grilled bok choy-very good
                                    -chicken satay-delicious. Reports of the satays tasting the same couldn't be further from the truth. The spicy prawn satay is spicy, the pork satay smoky but the sweetness of the pork was obvious, the chicken satay had curry and a bit of lemongrass. Each one delicious and renders me unable to pick a favorite.
                                    -curry chicken. Average-Good. The short rib and oxtail stew is much better
                                    -Laksa- nice seafood flavor.
                                    -Kon loh mee. Clearly my favorite dish from this place.

                                    After 3 visits, I would say the must haves are:

                                    -satays. Prawn, pork, chicken...and that's just because I haven't had the lamb belly or beef yet
                                    -fried cauliflower
                                    -fried curry chicken wings
                                    -Sambal fried potatoes
                                    -short rib and oxtail stew
                                    -kon loh mee

                                    -----
                                    The Spice Table
                                    114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                    1. re: Porthos
                                      aching RE: Porthos Apr 13, 2011 10:19 AM

                                      I need to get back there to try the last three dishes on your must-have list - they all sound fantastic!

                                      1. re: Porthos
                                        Perceptor RE: Porthos Apr 13, 2011 10:59 AM

                                        last time i was there, i boxed up the oxtail stew cuz we were too full.... ate it the next night after all the sauce and meat were partying it up in my fridge... it was EVEN better... hmmm

                        2. aching RE: Perceptor Mar 23, 2011 01:50 PM

                          We finally got to Spice Table last night and absolutely loved it. The fried cauliflower and the pate were my favorite dishes, but everything else we had (fried chicken, lamb belly skewers, Hainanese chicken & rice, and kaffir lime custard) was great as well. The rooms are gorgeous and the service was spot-on. What a fantastic addition to the DTLA food scene!

                          -----
                          The Spice Table
                          114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: aching
                            Perceptor RE: aching Mar 23, 2011 02:46 PM

                            glad you had a nice evening there Aching..... i need to go back soon to try the items i didnt order last time

                            1. re: aching
                              i
                              ilysla RE: aching Mar 23, 2011 11:21 PM

                              Was there on Monday. My impression might be skewed b/c a friend paid for most of the meal and another friend knows the chef/owner. Agree that the fried cauliflower w/ fish sauce is fantastic (our table got two orders). Also greatly enjoyed the fried chicken wings, the Hainan chicken (which I've actually never had b/f, sad to say....), and the lime custard (does Kaffir lime have that distinctive after-taste? I originally thought that there was lemongrass in the dessert, but the owner's wife said there wasn't). Also enjoyed the *soft* background music, the warm service, and the industrial, hipster-ish decor.

                              Only negatives were the crappy parking ($6.50 to park in the lot next door? Ouch) and that the food is a little on the pricey side (although certainly not a bad value, given how tasty it was). Look forward to going back.

                              1. re: ilysla
                                a
                                andytseng RE: ilysla Mar 24, 2011 01:37 AM

                                I believe they want you to pay the $6.50 up front, but you can get your ticket validated at the spice table, and they'll give you $3 of it back. I would just roll the dice and park in the Office Depot lot

                                1. re: ilysla
                                  aching RE: ilysla Mar 24, 2011 06:16 AM

                                  I tasted lemongrass too - I do think that kaffir lime has a similar taste.

                              2. shellshock24 RE: Perceptor Mar 23, 2011 11:39 PM

                                I'm going to break rank here slightly on my review of Spice Table. I was really excited for this place to open since I live 2 blocks away. The quick and dirty - decent food, but I don't see myself running back here despite living in the neighborhood.

                                Service - not bad. Prompt waiters. Our order was messed up a few times. Certain dishes we ordered 2 of and only received 1 and some which we ordered 1 of and got 2. They also brought out a dish we didn't order, but we got it comped. The plates also came out in spurts - sometime we'd have 5 dishes on the table, other times we're waiting for 10 minutes. I guess this is expected in a new restaurant.

                                Food -

                                Stand outs were the satay dishes, especially the pork and lamb belly satays. Everything else was just okay, not bad by any means, but lacked a little something or was just way to over spiced. Although my table disagreed, I enjoyed the ontai, which was like a southeast asian tamale. The chicken liver pate was just lost in spices and the pork noodle dish had so much fish sauce that it just overpowered the whole dish. There were a few other dishes, but again nonstandouts.

                                Desserts were just okay - kefir lime custard and a frozen yogurt. No standouts there.

                                I'd like to revisit this place after 6 months. Thinking the service and food inconsistencies should be ironed out by then.

                                -----
                                The Spice Table
                                114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: shellshock24
                                  b
                                  bsquared2 RE: shellshock24 Mar 25, 2011 09:30 PM

                                  Went there tonight and thought it was very good. Prawn Satay was very good and had plenty of oomph. My wife really liked the Laksa. I had a taste and it is probably the best version I've had in the US. The funny thing is, they had a very good VN coffee. Quality coffee taste, but not too sweet.

                                  The best thing is, that the owners were so nice. We went there with the kid and they grabbed us a highchair and asked if they could get anything for her. Since we had our baby, going out to eat is our main social activity. They made us so welcome. Hat's off to you Spice Table! We've had a couple of bad experiences lately (Lukshon) that it was nice to be treated with respect.

                                  I highly recommend Spice Table if you want some SE Asian food with a little bit more of an atmosphere. Yes, a bowl of Laksa was $12, but even the quality places in Little Saigon are creeping up. Food prices are going up. I don't mind spending $12 for a REALLY good bowl.

                                  -----
                                  The Spice Table
                                  114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                2. v
                                  vickie2172 RE: Perceptor Apr 7, 2011 09:40 PM

                                  As much as my co-workers and I would have loved to try Spice Table, we were thwarted by the reservation system. The Open Table software seems to be programmed to reject reservations for 13 (no availability for the next 31 days!) and two phone calls to the restaurant have not been returned. We've resigned ourselves to vicariously enjoying it through your photos.

                                  -----
                                  The Spice Table
                                  114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: vickie2172
                                    v
                                    vickie2172 RE: vickie2172 Apr 8, 2011 12:54 PM

                                    Let the record show that I did receive a return call from the manager. She was surprised that OpenTable rejected a reservation for 13 diners. (They've seated parties of 15 using adjoining tables.)

                                    My co-worker did a test run last night. Here's his report:

                                    "... so I ended up going with a smaller group to Spice Table yesterday and I must say, the food was decent, but for the price to portion ratio, it was not impressive. I would've rather paid more for a little better portion sizes. On an aside, out of the things I did try, the hainan chicken ginger dip and the hainan rice itself was good, but the chicken was so-so. The oxtail was really good and did not have a chance to try the satays.

                                    Having been there, now I know what its really hard to accommodate a big group since the room is tiny. I think 8 people would be pushing it already."

                                    -----
                                    The Spice Table
                                    114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                    1. re: vickie2172
                                      j
                                      Johnny L RE: vickie2172 Apr 9, 2011 12:38 PM

                                      I agree about the Hainan chicken rice, everything about the dish is spectacular except the chicken itself, I'm not a fan of the long braised, stringy texture. I would have much preferred a poached texture that was a bit firmer. The accompanying sauces were great and the rice was cooked competently (not too soft but not too hard).

                                      The tripe satay I tried was decent, the peanut sauce was good but the I would have loved a bit more char on the tripe.

                                  2. aching RE: Perceptor May 26, 2011 10:30 AM

                                    Went back to The Spice Table for a third time on Tuesday, and it's doing great. In particular, we really loved the Beef Rendang and the black tea ice cream.

                                    -----
                                    The Spice Table
                                    114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: aching
                                      Porthos RE: aching May 26, 2011 11:01 AM

                                      Was there Tuesday also and also had the Beef Rendang. It is excellent. Can't decide if I like that or the short rib and oxtail stew better. Tough call.

                                      1. re: Porthos
                                        Perceptor RE: Porthos May 26, 2011 11:23 AM

                                        Porthos... that IS a tough call but i personally like the oxtail stew a tiny bit more..... and that oxtail stew is EVEN BETTER the day or so later as leftovers....

                                        1. re: Perceptor
                                          Porthos RE: Perceptor May 26, 2011 12:31 PM

                                          Couldn't tell you which is better as leftovers the day after, or even 10 minutes after it hits the table for that matter. Clean plate club every time...

                                        2. re: Porthos
                                          aching RE: Porthos May 26, 2011 12:24 PM

                                          We haven't tried the stew - we'll have to do that the next time we're there!

                                        3. re: aching
                                          Perceptor RE: aching May 26, 2011 11:22 AM

                                          ooo black tea ice cream sounds goood...hope they have it next tuesday when i go

                                        4. n
                                          nosh RE: Perceptor Jun 5, 2011 02:43 PM

                                          Thanks, Perceptor. Great slide show as always, and I particularly like your comments and labels underneath each one.

                                          In that location I'd assume they could do a great lunch business -- that is when it would be more convenient for me to go. Do they do lunch specials, or is it limited to the online menus. Plenty of sandwiches, but no satays, noodles or rice dishes there...

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: nosh
                                            Perceptor RE: nosh Jun 5, 2011 02:49 PM

                                            Hi Nosh...
                                            did you see my Spice Table Lunch report?

                                            -----
                                            The Spice Table
                                            114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                            1. re: Perceptor
                                              s
                                              Sgee RE: Perceptor Jun 7, 2011 08:42 PM

                                              I had a disappointing experience on my one and only visit

                                              Laksa was an overstarched mess, Chicken rice - chicken was horribly mushy. Poorly executed Singaporean classics.

                                              1. re: Sgee
                                                Porthos RE: Sgee Jun 8, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                The laksa, chicken and rice, and curry chicken are the three weakest dishes IMO.

                                                The sambal fried potatoes, fried cauliflower, soft shell crab, lamb belly satay, pork satay, chile prawn satay, beef rendang, oxtail and beef shortrib stew, and kon loh mee are all standouts.

                                                1. re: Porthos
                                                  l
                                                  Liquid Sky RE: Porthos Jun 11, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                  Have reservations for "Spice Table" week. DID ANYONE TAKE A PHOTO OF THE SOFT -SHELL-CRAB DISH, by any chance? Would appreciate it if you post here. (Love my food photos!) Thanks!

                                                  1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                    Porthos RE: Liquid Sky Jun 11, 2011 04:03 PM

                                                    Dommy posted it here:

                                                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                                                    1. re: Porthos
                                                      l
                                                      Liquid Sky RE: Porthos Jun 11, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                      That looks YUM! But is that the serving size? Kind of small...

                                                      1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                        Porthos RE: Liquid Sky Jun 11, 2011 06:39 PM

                                                        I think Dommy ate one before he took a picture! I've ordered it twice and had 2 crabs in each order.

                                                        1. re: Porthos
                                                          n
                                                          New Trial RE: Porthos Jun 11, 2011 07:22 PM

                                                          I ordered it last Saturday and it came as only one large (and delicious) crab so it might depend on the size the chef gets in that evening. Either that or the waiter couldn't resist eating one of them himself!

                                                        2. re: Liquid Sky
                                                          Dommy RE: Liquid Sky Jun 12, 2011 11:05 PM

                                                          It was BEYOND Yum... the crunchiness and flavor from the crab... the SAUCE... OMG! Lick the bowl good...

                                                          There was two crabs in the picture, one on top of the other. They were a VERY good size and AMAZINGLY meaty... Considering that most of Spice Table's servings on the small side and meant to share, The size of both crabs were more than enough for two to feel like they got a wonderful indulgence...

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                          -----
                                                          The Spice Table
                                                          114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                                    2. re: Porthos
                                                      r
                                                      revets2 RE: Porthos Jun 23, 2011 07:25 PM

                                                      Really? I love the curry chicken, not wild about the chile prawn. The tripe and sweetbread satays when they have them are my fave.

                                                      1. re: revets2
                                                        Porthos RE: revets2 Jun 23, 2011 07:45 PM

                                                        That's why I added IMO :)

                                                        Not that it's bad, but I definitely prefer the beef rendang and oxtail and shortrib stew over the curry chicken.

                                                        I missed out on the tripe and sweetbread satays though. Will definitely get them the next time I spot them on the menu.

                                                        1. re: revets2
                                                          Porthos RE: revets2 Jul 3, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                          Went back for the 8th time or so last night. Aside from my standards, I was able to try the tripe satay. It is first simmered and then grilled. A bit like teriyaki. Slightly sweet. Utterly delicious. I amazes me how each satay can taste completely different and provide such different textures. I'd have to say that the lamb satay remains my favorite, followed very closely by the tripe satay.

                                                          1. re: Porthos
                                                            b
                                                            bulavinaka RE: Porthos Jul 3, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                            >>Went back for the 8th time or so last night...<<

                                                            Uh-hum - I think more... :)

                                                            You are truly the current authority on this place - what do you think of the standards like chicken, beef and pork?

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka
                                                              Porthos RE: bulavinaka Jul 3, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                              I would rank them: lamb, tripe, pork, chicken, prawns, beef

                                                              1. re: Porthos
                                                                b
                                                                bulavinaka RE: Porthos Jul 3, 2011 01:45 PM

                                                                Terima kasih...

                                                2. peppermonkey RE: Perceptor Jun 13, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                  really enjoyed this place. Had the tripe satay, otah, bone marrow and kon loh me. My favorite was probably the tripe satay, which was like eating candy jelly with a touch of smoke. Great texture. The otah was probably the weakest, kinda one note. But it improved the more I ate it alone, without tasting other things between bites. Rice probably would have helped. Kon loh mee and bone marrow were just delicious as well. Food is balanced and flavorful, my kind of food.

                                                  1. f
                                                    fdb RE: Perceptor Sep 18, 2011 10:18 PM

                                                    Went there last night and tried Tripe Satay, Laksa, Black Pepper Crab, Kon Loh Mee, Fried Cauliflowers, Kaffie Lime Custard, and COGNAC Soft Serve Ice Cream (made with Remy Martin V.S.O.P.). Thought all the dishes were tasty but heavily spiced. Great for beer drinking but certainly not for those watching sodium intake. I really liked the Cognac ice cream. Enough alcohol to get me buzzed in my head.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: fdb
                                                      b
                                                      bsquared2 RE: fdb Sep 18, 2011 10:48 PM

                                                      Well, the food in Singapore is spicy. Just went back last week and had a really good dinner. But the biggest secret of Spice Table is their lunch. Excellent Banh Mi and I heard they added rice bowls. I'll be there this weekend.

                                                      Spice Table is one of my favorite new restaurants and is one of the reasons we are in Little Tokyo every weekend. And Shin Sen Gumi, Lazy Ox, Fat Spoon, Demitasse Coffee.....the list keeps growing.

                                                      -----
                                                      Little Tokyo Restaurant
                                                      150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

                                                      The Spice Table
                                                      114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                                      1. re: bsquared2
                                                        echoparkdirt RE: bsquared2 Nov 6, 2011 09:44 AM

                                                        Just went here with a friend. we both loved it. the inside is all modern and red brick, well done. fantastic cauliflower and lamb belly. loved the chicken curry. thought the sambai potatoes were average, but my friend liked em. chicken satay was average. portions are a bit small.

                                                        all in all, great food, great design, great nite.

                                                    2. s
                                                      suvro RE: Perceptor Jan 1, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                      Seduced by the photo report, we went there on Saturday December 30.

                                                      Were seated promptly at 7pm for our OpenTable reservation. The back room was almost full, and getting into our seats was a challenge. The room also smelt a bit funky - must be the combination of fish sauce and shrimp paste. It had poor ventilation, and 2/3 through our meal, we had to ask our waitperson to turn down the temperature - it was getting so hot!

                                                      The room has hard surfaces which made it impossible to hear even one's own thoughts once a corner table had four very loud women patrons. Our next table also had 4 young couples, and they were loud as well.

                                                      The lighting was so dim that at an adjacent table I saw the father using his iPhone 4S flashlight to read the menu!

                                                      My wife and I decided we would order a starter, satay, one noodle dish, one meat dish, and a dessert. That was plenty of food to share.

                                                      She ordered a glass of the 2008 Rhinegau Reisling - and it turned out a little too sweet and unbalanced. I wanted to try the 2009 Txakolina because I had never had a Txakolina. The waitperson did not also know much about the wine, since she said it was a grenache blend. She also said it was complex. It turned out nonesuch - a rather simply made relatively obscure wine (the varietal is hondarrabi zurri) that is drunk in large proportions in Basque country. While the pricing by the glass seemed a bit steep at $15/16, the pour was large - they came in small carafes.

                                                      The curried chicken wings turned out to be quite pedestrian for our Indian palate - the crust was heavy, with hints of curry, the chicken wings were fine. However the temperature was quite hot, and we had to ask for knives at this point, which is not part of their normal table service. Also we were a little puzzled by paper napkins.

                                                      The lamb belly satay came pretty quickly, and these were quite tasty by themselves, w/o the satay sauce. I preferred mine plain.

                                                      By this time our adjacent table was ready for a group of 4 couples. They, and we, had to maneuver for them to be seated. It reminded me of being back in the crowded public transportation in Calcutta! The seating is uncomfortably close. In a corner behind my seat, there was a group of 4 very loud women, and towards the end of the meal the noise level had risen to splitting headache proportions. Also by this time, the room was so uncomfortably hot that we had to ask our waitperson to turn down the temperature. This back room has hard surfaces making it very noisy, it has poor ventilation - that explained the slightly funky smell and the heat!

                                                      Our noodle dish was the Kon loh mee (egg noodles, choy sum, ground pork, pork belly char siu) - I had tried to convince my wife to share the laksa, but she did not want something soupy! My loss. The noodle dish was quite pedestrian. We had brought home some as leftover, and I had this for lunch today - I really could not tell how it was that different from some of the packaged noodles I make at home! Most pedestrian!

                                                      Our meat dish was the beef rendang. While it was properly executed, I get better rendang at the Indonesian weekend fair in Duarte or the Chicky Barbeque and Grill in that same minimall.

                                                      The kaffir lime custard with lychee was a bit too heavy and acidic on the custard, and not enough of the lychee portion.

                                                      While the service was prompt (we were out of that place by 8:15), this is not a place worth a second visit for us. I am sure others experiences will differ.

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