Chowdown at Irrawaddy - Sunday, 13 October 6:00 pm
Fellow St. Paul/Minneapolis Chowhounds! Small chow down planned for Irrawaddy on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Because seating is so limited, we'll need to limit it to max 10 Chowhounds. Let me know here if you'd like to join - first come, first served. I have three already signed on....
I second everything that Shoo Bee Doo said. Because of the seating shortage, I got there early and learned that the recent favorite, squash fritters, wasn't available. As we were about 40 min early, we ordered another dish: fried homemade tofu squares. These were amazingly light, almost fluffy, served with a mild chili/tamardind sauce.
The fried squash/onion appetizer would remind of an Indian pakora. These were very popular with the walk-in crowd and several trays were sold while we were there. They are large - about as big as a fist and the flour binder was light, but tasted like a mixture of chickpea and yellow pea
We revisited the chicken, round rice noodle, cabbage, egg and chickpea noodle dish along with Rangoon noodles, that were thinner, spicier and had more carrot and other julienned vegetables. There was a different sauce here - also tamarindish, but with chili and dried galanga(?) powder.
These are served with fresh lime and cilantro.
Ruby chicken was a hit, though I was a bit scared by the big chunks of dried chilies - maybe an inch wide. However, the spice was not overwhelming
Mildest was a chicken vegetable dish (note chicken theme here) that was served with a soup.. All the flavors were bright and distinctive.
As Shoo Bee Doo noted, the only disappointment was the fish in coconut sauce. I'm not a tilapia fan at the best of times, and this was poorly cooked, with a globby, goopy indistinct sauce complete with frozen peas. There wasn't really even a turmeric/garam taste - it was just bland.
Great company, excellent food and gave the inspiration for another Chowdown soon - Momi, maybe?
This small restaurant (a few tables inside a Burmese grocery store) would be worth trying again. There's so much unexplored territory.
I met with 3 members of teamkitty last evening for the chowdown. Two members had already ordered an appetizer for us all and a soft noodle salad. The appetizer consisted of popcorn ball-size and shape of fried squash. Each squash piece was shaped like a french fry, then fried into these balls like a fritter. They were wonderfully tasty and crunchy with a lovely sauce.
The soft noodle salad also had a great flavor and texture. It was room temperature.
We all ordered various entrees - stir fries and curry. The flavors were wonderful. We agreed that we had not tasted those flavors before. Though Burma (now Myanmar) borders Thailand, the flavors weren't sweet like Thai. They weren't quite Indian either though one of the condiments was tamarind sauce.
We did not care for the mild, light colored fish curry, but the curries could use further exploration.
The 3 members of teamkitty were great conversationalists and knowledgeable about the food as they had been there before.
All in all it was a great evening and we need more chowdowns like this. We missed you, TDQ.