Showing posts with label Asian Street Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asian Street Food. Show all posts

Monday, September 25, 2017

KOTO: Up and Running and Well Worth a Call.

Up and Running and Well Worth a Call
Teriyaki duck, complete with egg.
There is some excellent Asian Street Food on offer in KOTO in French Church Street. The building, badly damaged by fire a few years ago, is beautifully repaired and KOTO have been quietly building their business over the past six months. 

Time to let people know now, says manager Jeffrey Safar Hamidi. And why not/ The food is good, service is efficient and friendly and the meals are well priced. And if,you can't manage to get in, you can order via Deliveroo.

I was delighted to take up an offer to check out the menu, nothing like a bit of variety. And no shortage of it here. The menu card is compact but with so many dishes. Rice, Stir-Fry, Ramen, Noodles, Curry, and House Specials are the main headings. There is also an outstanding lunch offer: a main course and a scoop of ice-cream for eleven euro.

There is a good list of starters too, salads and sides also. And don't forgot to turn it over to see the drinks including those cocktails. Indeed, I started with one of the latter, a Negroni, a mix of gin, Campari and vermouth. Superb!

By then our starters were arriving. The grilled chicken skewers with a Satay peanut sauce and the Spiced Fried Calamari with lime and ginger dressing were our picks. We shared. Both plates were polished off though the chicken got an agreed nod.
Chicken skewers

I’m a sucker for duck in Asian cuisine and no surprise that I picked the Teriyaki Duck from the House Specials: Teriyaki shredded glazed shredded duck, red onion, scallions, jasmine rice, grated carrots, lambs leaf and crowned with a fried egg. A beautiful and substantial dish, that egg and duck combination a winner for sure but every element played a part in a delicious bowl of colours, textures, flavours.

CL choose a seafood noodle dish. The Kei Mao comes with prawns, squid and mussels, Thai green peppercorn, mixed peppers, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, green beans, mange tout, bean sprouts and rice noodles. She loved every little bit, right down to the bean spouts. Another mega and delicious feed, all for €13.50. 

Dessert? Well, we shared the Cappuccino Mousse with burnt marshmallows. Went down well! If you want to check out the menu, you’ll find all the details here 
Kei Mao

KOTO has been up and running for six months now and Jeffrey, owner and general manager, tells me they are quite pleased with progress. To celebrate, they are are doing a series of promotions to “show and promote our Asian Street Food, our exciting cocktail list in addition to our beer and wine offering!”

The location is not new to Jeffrey (who you may well know from other his restaurant jobs around the city). His dad ran Gambieni’s, the Italian restaurant, that was in this very building for a long time. The most recent occupant here was Aroi, also an Asian restaurant, but they had the misfortune to see the business ambushed by that fire in September 2015.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aroi. Happy Birthday Boy! Plus Tips on Cooking Asian.

Aroi. Happy Birthday Boy!
Plus Tips on Cooking Asian.
Duck rolls
Aroi are celebrating twelve successful months serving Asian Street Food in Carey’s Lane. They have quite an extensive menu there. If you are not familiar with some of the Asian words, the staff will help you out and will also point out the spicy dishes (even these are marked with an “S” on the card). All mains cost a tenner and the sides a fiver or less.

I have eaten there a few times, enjoying mostly the duck dishes. This time I picked something different, the Pad Se-lew which consists of  Pork strips, Thai green vegetables, egg, keoteow, Thai soya sauce and is from the Wok Noodles section. I very much enjoyed the pork, cut into slivers the size of a small finger, and the amazing crispness of the green vegetables.
Chicken skewers
The other main dish we picked was Khao Pad, tomatoes, broccoli, Thai pepper, onion, egg, and chicken (or beef) and this came under the Rice heading. This too, with the chicken, was a winner, full of flavours. By the way, they have two sauces on the table for you, one a hot chilli sauce, the other a soya.

The main dishes are quite substantial and quite a few people settle for that, great value at a tenner. But we usually get a side or two, a fiver each, as well. On one occasion we ordered three but that was too much!
Pad Se-lew
The two we shared the other night were Porpia Bpet tod: duck rolls, sweet chilli, pickled chilli and cucumber and Satay Gai: -  chicken skewers with peanut sauce. Those duck rolls - I’ve had them here before - are simply outstanding, quite spicy with the chilli. The chicken skewers are a much calmer dish but delicious.

Aroi has a short wine list but we ordered a couple of Asian beers: a Bottle of Chang and one of Tiger. Lots of soft drinks on the menu too including refreshing palate cleansers like ‘white tea with lemon and ginger’.

Khao Pad, with Chicken
We spoke with Vincent Richard, Manager of Aroi Cork: “Our healthy cuisine avoids the obscure chemicals and additives so common in our food today. We do not use M.S.G. in any of our preparation, and our focus is on market fresh local produce, that is naturally low in fat.   You can single-handedly battle the winter sniffles with our spicy beef noodle soup - it heals you from the inside out.  Our fresh and healthy approach, along with the phenomenal value of dining at Aroi, is what sets us apart from others.”

But it is not just the food Aroi had to get right, after all they had being doing that in Limerick for several months before opening in Cork. He emphasised that getting the right staff and giving them the right training is also key. And Aroi have passed on some tips if you’d like to try Asian at home.
~ Tips on cooking Asian food ~
·         Always cut, wash and prepare ingredients in advance of cooking.
·         Use a wok when steaming vegetables for a stir fry – the curved edge allows for varied cooking temperatures which is beneficial when cooking meat and vegetables together.
·         Ensure you have other necessary utensils for Asian cooking like a steamer, sharp knifes (for cutting ingredients), tongs and a pestle and mortar (for grinding spices).
·         Use chop sticks only with rice bowls as they don’t work well when eating from a plate.
·         Rice cookers are the quickest way to cook rice and can be used in microwaves.
·         Use natural flavour enhancers like mushrooms, herbs and spices which do not contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
·         Always use fresh vegetables.
·         Choose dark soy sauce over a lighter colour as it is low in salt.
·         Use fresh ingredients like ginger or garlic for delicious taste and strong smells. Garlic has many health benefits too as it is rich in vitamins and low in calories.
·         Use different mixes of meat and vegetables to create optimum flavours. Asians like to use the ying and yang method in their cooking – They balance flavours by using both hot (ying) ingredients and cooler (yang) ingredients. An example of this would be having a hot sauce over plain chicken pieces.

  • We were guests of the restaurant, as part of its birthday celebrations

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Aroi’s Tubby Buddha’s A Good Food Sign

Aroi’s Tubby Buddha’s A Good Food Sign
Char-grilled duck
There’s a tubby Buddha in Aroi - you’ll see him on the stairs as you enter. It’s a good sign. You’ll be well fed here. And at a fair price.

On your entrance, you’ll see lots of well-dressed staff. Another good sign. They'll take good care of you. You won’t even have to ask for your water glass to be re-filled. And there are smiles all round.

You’ll also notice lots of customers here in the Carey's Lane venue. You may even have to wait a few minutes for a table. Another good sign. You are in an excellent restaurant, serving Asian street food, all mains for a tenner.

Aroi started in Limerick about twelve months back but this is the Cork Aroi, boy. Both are proving very popular and there has also been much praise from the critics for chef Eddie Ong Chok Fong.
Aroi's menu is on your table when you arrive along with the chopsticks (don't worry - knives and forks and spoons too!) and it looks neat and tidy but there is much reading in it, great choices under headings such as Curry, Stir Fry, Grilled, Rice, Wok Noodles, Noodles Soup, and Salads. Twenty four dishes in all described in detail for you, the hotter ones marked with an “S”.

Each of the mains costs €10.00. But do check out the sides as well. There are about nine of them, most of them costing a fiver, great to share if you are part of a group. By the way, the lunch-time menu is the same and the usual deal here is one mains and a gelato dessert for ten euro.

We had previously been impressed with some of the curry dishes, including the Red Duck and the Yellow Fish, so we went for something different on this occasion. Nuea Pad Khing (stir-fried beef strips, scallion, ginger, chilli and wood mushrooms), was one under the general Stir-fry heading. Superbly cooked, this went down well.

No shortage!
The other mains was the Char-grilled duck served with Thai green vegetables and Tamarind sauce. Again, both the meat and vegetables were perfectly cooked, a joy to eat.

And then there were the sides. Went a bit overboard there! Rice in a separate bowl came with the beef and, in addition, we ordered: fish cakes, full of flavour in their own delicious sauce; superb crispy duck rolls, again with a delicious sauce; and a small stack of the crispiest chicken wings with dipping sauce.

After all that there was little room for gelato - their only dessert! No shortage of drinks here, by the way: wine, beer, soft, teas and coffees. No shortage of anything really! Excellent food, excellent value for money.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Asian Street Food in Cork City

Asian Street Food in Cork City
Enjoy Eddie's Asian Experience

Red Duck Curry

Asian Street Food hit the streets (well, one street!) of Cork City last Friday night when Aroi opened its doors in Carey’s Lane. Aroi means delicious or tasty and has had a successful six months in Limerick and now Chef Eddie Ong Chok Fong has brought the Asian experience to the heart of Cork.

If you like dishes like Pad Thai Noodles, Red Duck Curry, Som Tam Salad and Pandan Chicken, all served, street food style and perfect for sharing, then make a date at 6-7 Carey’s Lane (021) 427 2388.

The ethos in Aroi (pronounced Aroy) is to serve market fresh, locally sourced ingredients. “Our healthy cuisine avoids the obscure chemicals and additives so common in our food today. Aroi sources authentic herbs and spices and we do not use M.S.G. in any of our preparation.”

Yellow Fish Curry

Sounds good and tastes pretty good too as we found out on opening night when we called to sample. I absolutely enjoyed my Red Duck Curry (with peas, aubergines, baby corn, long beans, lime leaves and cherry tomatoes). Where else would you get it? The duck perfectly cooked and those lovely crisp vegetables.

CL went for the Yellow Fish Curry (with cod, salmon, smoked haddock, calamari, prawns, cherry tomatoes, baby corn and beans). Another bowlful of spicy deliciousness. By the way, the very spicy dishes are marked with an “s” but if in doubt ask the very helpful staff

No starters here. Just pick your mains. All curries and stir-fries are served with rice and mains cost a tenner, aside from a couple of rice dishes that come in at nine euro.

Some side dishes
If you want to add to the mains, then there are a bunch of sides dishes, most of them costing a fiver. We loved the Pandan Chicken, the Satay Gai (chicken skewer with peanut sauce), and the Thai calamari. But there are many more, including Chicken Wings and a Crispy Lotus Salad and each with its own sauce.

Lots of choices too when it comes to mains: Noodle Soups, Wok Noodle dishes, Salads, Rice Dishes, Grilled Dishes. Check them all out on the website here.

How about a drink? No shortage. We enjoyed Singha and Tiger beer and they also have Chang. Three choices each of red and white wine, most at a fiver a glass. Plenty of soft drinks also, plus teas and coffees.

Chef Eddie: Drop by some time

Valerie O’Connor, who does the PR for Aroi, says chef Eddie has enjoyed extensive attention from the food media since the setting up of Aroi in Limerick. “Hailing from Malaysia and cooking street food in Thailand since his schooldays, former Michelin star chef Eddie was nominated in the Best Chef in Munster category as well as best casual dining and best ethnic food at the prestigious Food and Wine Magazine Restaurant of the Year awards this summer. He has received glowing reviews from the country’s toughest food critics and been featured in the top food publications across the country.”

“It is not just the authentic Asian food, made with fresh herbs from his native Malaysia and Thailand, but the terrific value that customers can enjoy. With no dish above the €10 mark, groups can indulge in mains with as many side dishes that their appetite can manage, rounded off with delicious home-made gelato and coffees. Noodles dishes are created using rice noodles which are naturally gluten free, and everything is made with an abundance of fresh vegetables and are low in fat yet full of good things. With Asian beers and wines to match your feast, Aroi is sure to excite the discerning palates of Cork food lovers.”

“Drop by some time,” the smiling chef said as we made our exit. We will.