22 June 2010

It's True, I've Never Been to Pok Pok

You know those restaurants you can’t stop hearing good things about and you spend months thinking/planning a time to go, but it just doesn’t happen and then suddenly you’re the elephant in the room who hasn’t been? But by this time, you feel like you can’t even go, because everyone has hyped the place up so much that the food is supposedly better then sex and it’s just never going to be as good as anyone has made out to be and so you find yourself, a food blogger, avoiding a very, very good thing, for very, very bad reasons. Welcome to my Pok Pok situation.

Saturday night, my two fake sisters were in town and what a better occasion to do it up. We made reservations for 6 at 6, I wore my new strappy wedges that make me oh so tall and I anticipated my virginal Pok Pok meal for count em’ 3 days.

We left all decisions in the hands of our waiter (smart choice) and as each dish was brought out, he explained in detail the ingredients and how to eat each item. I was too excited though and I couldn’t take pictures, comprehend ingredients and eat all at once, so I sat dumbfounded for a moment or so and then just started grabbing food as fast as I could, because as it goes with family style—when its gone, it’s gone.

The food was exquisite, the flavors unique and bursting with spice. I started with a special cocktail, made with mango infused vodka and coconut milk; it was like a very mellow version of a piña colada straight up. The Khao Soi Kai, a delicious soup had a bone-in chicken leg and thigh in it, with the meat literally melting off the bone into the broth. Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings were as good as everyone describes them— spicy, garlicky and yet caramelized with a hint of sugar. The Kuung Op Wun Sen— gulf prawns cooked in their shell with pork belly, soy, ginger, whiskey . . . had too many ingredients to even doubt their prestige. Everything was like nothing I’d ever tasted.

The table favorite was the Muu Paa Kham Waan—boar collar meat smothered in garlic, coriander root and pepper, and then glazed with soy and sugar, grilled and served with a spicy chili-lime-garlic sauce. We paired the small slices of meat with sticky rice. They serve you mustard greens covered in crushed ice to chew on post spice.

We ended the meal with two desserts: the Coconut Ice Cream Sandwich—ice cream made with coconut and pieces of jackfruit (a mango/papaya tasting fruit) a top a sweet bread and drizzled with chocolate syrup and the Pok Pok Affagato—condensed milk ice cream drizzled with Vietnemese coffee and served with two homemade doughnuts.

Anticipation equaled about 3 days and some odd hours. The meal was prepared in about 40 minutes and it was consumed in about 10. Brilliant, delicious, can’t wait to go back, relax and enjoy it all again.

Pok Pok & Whiskey Soda Lounge on Urbanspoon

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