Monday, May 25, 2009

New Kid In Town Part 4 - Red Plum Asian Bistro

On Memorial Day Weekend I finally tried the last of the new Asian fusion restaurants in my neighborhood. It's one of 5 new restaurants in the neighborhood, so I'm almost to the end of the list. (There is a good chance I may never eat at #5 due to it being a bad neighbor.)

First there was Haiku. Then there was Ginban. Now I'm trying the lastest, Red Plum. I've been wanting to try this place for months, but it's always been so crowded that it was really hard to get a table. The place is a little bit of a "scene" for such a small restaurant. The bar is often busy till quite late at night. Last night we lucked out. I guess everyone was home grilling.

I always thought of all of the Asian places in town, Red Plum was the prettiest. Ginban is too over the top. Haiku is nice, but lacks a little kitsch. Red Plum has always drawn me in.

Here is the sushi bar. Unlike Red Plum's sister restaurant next door, Toyo Sushi, the sushi bar doesn't reek.

Here is the dining area. I like the glass waterfall at the far end.

We were seated very quickly and our waiter Chris immediately came over and introduced himself. He was very personable. We were given our menus and drink menus, which had a very extensive sake list. Kevin and I opted for fruity cocktails though. I had a Green-Tini and he had a Lychee Martini. I tasted his and liked his better. It was delicious.

Service continued to be quick and efficient (such a change from Ginban) when we ordered our appetizers. Chris said he works the kitchen at lunch, so he was quite knowledgable about the menu. I opted for a Vietnamese salad. Kevin had the crab cake special.

Chris recommended the Vietnamese salad, but I thought it was a little lackluster. It was too heavy on the peanuts and not enough mango to keep the flavor contrasts going. It was good, but had the potential to be so much better with a different balance of ingredients.

Kevin really loved his crabcakes. I tasted the sauce that came with it and I thought it was really good.

He loved the menu with its variety. There was Thai curry and General Tso's chicken along with all of the sushi and Japanese noodle dishes. I don't think it's all the different from the other fusion places, but Kevin noticed it more with this place. Maybe because the good service allowed him to actually relax and read the menu.

Next came the entrees. I had Thai chicken breast strips. I'm not sure what made them Thai, but they were perfectly crispy. The dipping sauce was a sweet-spicy blend with lots of coconut flavor. My guess is that is was probably Thai chili sauce mixed with coconut milk.

Kevin had shrimp in red curry sauce. It was spicy, but he asked for mild spice and was not disappointed.

The shrimp were as artfully arranged as my chicken.

We were offered a dessert menu, but declined because I still had chocolate peanut butter cake left over from the birthday party, so I don't know how that would have been. I'd say it was a nice restaurant and an enjoyable evening. The prices here were pretty reasonable too. They were more in line with what you would see at a sit-down Chinese restaurant.

So out of the three Asian fusion places, which one is the best? I'd say food-wise they're all about the same. I can't say that one place had more stand-out dishes than the rest. I think Red Plum has the best prices. Ginban is the most expensive and has the worst service. Haiku is in the middle price-wise, but the service is also pretty good. Their delivery is quite fast. I guess where I eat in the future will depend on cost and where I can get a table.


The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds like you had fun trying everything!

noble pig said...

Well it sounds like a successful night! Cute place.

The Blonde Duck said...

Rouge's not confessing anything! He's trying to tell her about his aunt and her expierence before it's too late!

Sara said...

Looks like a really interesting menu! I love asian food of all types.

Bunny said...

5 new restaurants in your neighborhood, that's amazing! My whole little town doesn't even have 5 restaurants in it! LOL!! I really liked your review of the restaurant, very nice!

Emily said...

Ahh, nice review. This place sounds like a winner. The food looks great, and I'd really love the lychee martini. Sue says they're good. I have no clue what lychee tastes like.

Adam said...

I'm down with anything that has crab cakes, they just really rock for me :)

And good call on the reek-free sushi bar. You should walk right out if that happens... it's just gross dude.

Glad you guys had a great time. Asian fusion is always a nice treat.

Anonymous said...

The Thai chicken looks great.