You know, there are many reasons why I have come to like food as much as I do today. One such reason is my father, who works as a chef. Over the weekend, I had the fortune to A) eat out with my parents, B) eat at a place I haven’t tried for a long time and C) remember to blog about it. The result… is this.
Location: 633 Silver Star Blvd.
Price: They have daily specials which are rather good deals, along with lunch specials that cost $6.95+ upwards of about $12
Feeling particularly bold this particular day, I decided to take a decor picture right off the bat even before we ordered. Lo and behold, for I accidentally took a picture of our guest judge for today, my father.
Unlike me, keep in mind that my father is a particularly harsh judge. In any case, we decided to order the beef curry meal ($6.95), the chicken curry meal ($6.95), Hoi Nan Chicken w/ rice meal ($7.50, iirc), and a pair of roasted quails from the daily special menu (2 for $8). The three meals came with a complimentary drink.
First to arrive was my father’s Hoi Nan Chicken rice. My father hated it.
Hoi Nan Chicken usually comes with chicken that has been deboned. In addition, it will often be accompanied by a flavored rice and at least one kind of dipping sauce. Personally, I thought this dish was fine, if a little bland. Keep in mind: I told my dad not to order this since he wouldn’t like it…
The curry sauce that arrived was rich and flavorful with the right level of spice and just a hint of coconut milk flavor. The beef brisket that was used was rather tender, and there were those delicious fatty bits that other chinese restaurants sometimes lack because they are trying to be more healthy (HA!). When mixed with the rice, this was a rather enjoyable dish. For me, at least. My dad tried the sauce and did not like it. Also, he told me they were using the cheapest kind of beef you can buy at meat providers. 😦
My mother’s chicken curry dish was the only dish that my dad actually enjoyed of the four things that we ordered. He provided an interesting rationale: it might be hard to notice in the pictures that I’ve given here, but though these two curry sauces look exactly the same, they are actually different curry sauces. I did not believe him originally, but being curious, I took a spoonful of my mother’s curry sauce and compared it to my own. Indeed, the chicken curry sauce was about one shade lighter than the beef curry sauce! My dad, realizing my incompetence, has decided to help explain (both for my sake and yours!).
The chicken curry sauce is lighter because chicken is a more tender, less flavorful meat that requires less strong flavors. As such, this particular curry sauce was not really spicy at all — instead, it contained more coconut milk to accentuate the flavor of the chicken, which left the curry pleasant and unintrusive for the mouth. Beef on the other hand is a heartier meat that can handle more seasoning, and as such, the beef curry sauce was spicier and stronger in general. Apparently, it is actually fairly common place for better Thai restaurants to make different kinds of curry sauces for different kinds of meat! It’s interesting sometimes to recognize how much I still have to learn about food.
Some of you who have had dim sum before may have come into contact with quail. I know I certainly have — the usual result is overly salty, somewhat tough, and lukewarm meat. Such is fortunately not the case with these two quails — the meat is succulent, juicy, and lightly flavored with hints of both lemongrass and honey. Most importantly, the meat was still hot, making the quail taste particularly fresh and not ‘gamey’ at all. Oh, and my dad begrudgingly said that this dish was OK.
Verdict: I think it’s telling when my dad claims that he dislikes a restaurant but says it’s okay to go back to it. After all, usually, when he doesn’t like a restaurant, he will refuse to go back to it EVER again no matter how many times we ask. For myself, I had a rather pleasant experience and I liked the ambiance and the food, so I will definitely be returning.
Dad: 1/4 (I told my dad the rating system was out of ten. He gave me a score out of four. His rationale? I only liked one dish. He told me to convert it myself, so I could change it to 2.5/10 if I wanted. However, I wanted to leave the integrity of his judging intact.)