So last Sunday was Dim Sum and a movie, and tonight I went out for Restaurant Week, but I figure I can lump those together into a single post.

Joy Tsin Lau is the most well known Dim Sum place in philly’s chinatown, but after the third visit with mostly the same food options, it might be time to try somewhere new. Especially since we have vegetarians in the group, and the last time we went there was mostly pork and this time there was a predominance of shrimp.

I did try some new dishes:

  • Chicken feet – I’d seen some reviews online raving about the chicken feet here, so they’d been on my list since the last time we went. Sadly, the taste wasn’t all that exciting and the texture… I’m guessing it could have been crispier. The little bones weren’t too much of a problem, if I had wanted to be all day about eating one foot. All in all, not exciting.
  • Jellyfish – there was a big mound of tentacles, and they were tasty but didn’t quite suit the dim sum nibbly mood. They were sort of a cross between seaweed salad and cellophane noodles. They were served on a bed of half-round of red stuff rimmed with white. GeeksDoItBetter tried that part and declared it not unlike lunchmeat with unevenly distributed fatty bits. I trusted her on that.
  • Chicken buns – tasty. Very bready, but tasty.
  • pork and peanut dumplings – these were so good and tasty, but sadly they only came by after we were mostly already stuffed.
  • eggplant stuffed with shrimp – good but could have been hotter. I need to take [redacted], who also loved them (if I remember correctly) to my current favorite asian restaurant, Sang Kee Bistro, to have an even more amazing version of this dish, only made with pork
  • fried shrimp – as in whole shrimps breaded and fried – these would have been better hotter, but inexplicably they set the tray out while they were steaming and tempting, but they only put them on the cart after they were cooler. On the other hand, they were tasty and it was rather fun munching straight through the shells and eating the wiggly legs and heads (though we did keep trying to avoid the eyeballs)

Huh – that’s a lot of new dishes. Maybe the selection wasn’t as repetitive as I thought. Anyway, the plan for next time is to try Kingdom of Vegetarians.

~*~

Movie: Juno was everything people promised it would be: a wacky and crazy feel-good romp through unwanted teen pregnancy. I was a doubter, but that was some amazing script writing. And I think I want the soundtrack. YAY! I loved it so much. Vern Schillinger makes the best dad ever. It should win all the Oscars.

~*~

Amada for Restaurant Week was wonderful.

Amada is a lovely tapas place that I went to once before when I was killing time before a movie and was starving – that time I had wonderful food and amazing service from the bartender (who made me one of the best cocktails I have ever had, but which sadly doesn’t seem to still be offered there).

First course (choice of two) – I had

  • Melon con Jamon (Serrano Ham & Melon) – OMG! This was amazing. The honeydew melon (juicy even in the middle of winter) had a sugar crust on it like a creme brulee and the ham was like prosciutto. The waitress recommended this one from among the four I was waffling over, and I am so glad she did.
  • Pulpo Gallego (Spanish Octopus) – there was weird cognitive dissonance here because they had rounds of fingerling potatoes cooked in with the octopus, and you couldn’t tell the difference by sight (well, the octopus tended to have a smaller diameter and a more irregular edge, but that wasn’t reliable) so it was all a matter of how it melted on your tongue. The spicy seasoning was oddly familiar and quite tasty.
  • honorable mention goes to the garlic shrimp, which smelled amazing and I totally should have lobbied to swap out one of the second course options so that I could get three from the first course. Unfortunately, the really luscious garlicky smell was less exciting while I was eating my dessert.

Second course (choice of two)

  • Costillas de Ternera Coca (Beef Shortrib Flatbread with Horseradish, Parmesan and Bacon) – Amazing. All of the flavours were perfectly balanced, the dish was slightly gooey and sinful, but still able to be eaten with danty, dignified fingers. Even the tiny portion size was perfect because I was just able to savour every bite in the duration it was abl to hold its heat.
  • Chorizo Grilled a la Plancha – the only off note of the night. The sausage was a bit chewy, and it ended up tasting as though it had been finished off with a light buffalo wing sauce. Yes, some of that was a limitation of chorizo, but usually they are brilliant.

Third course

  • Manchego Mousse (Sheep Cheese Mousse, Pistachio Shortdough, Apple Crumb, Apple Cider Sorbet) – So good. The sorbet was tart and went with the crumb, and the mouse was a bit like a cheesecake, only much much lighter. You could definitely taste the sheep’s milk, but it was mellow and well balanced with the rest of the dish

Again, I had wonderful service, and it was really a wonderful night. If I were rich, I would eat here every month.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 at 6:59 am and is filed under Center City Restaurant Week, Events/Promotions, restaurant, Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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