Penang Bowl - Our twist on the traditional satay with ground chicken but made without peanuts served in a bowl served with a butter fried naan bread
Chicken 65 - Fried chicken with curry leaves, slit green chillies and spicy yoghurt sauce
Both were delicious. I loved the sweet creaminess of the satay - almost like a sweet Thai red curry with the soft naan bread. The Chicken 65 came with an explosive kick that hit the tastebuds in a fiery but delightful way.
The restaurant isn't huge - maybe 30 seats and it has some stiff neighbouring competition with Anada next door and Cutler and Co not far away. However there probably isn't an Asian offering. The concept is unified Asia so dishes that are from specific parts such as the Thai satay and the Southern Indian Chicken 65. There are Japanese dishes, Chinese dishes...Speaking to the owners, there is a lot of passion for what they want to do and achieve and they really do enjoy the dishes they have put on the menu. They are true advocates of what they have done.
There was quite a bit of mingling before we were invited to be seated and then another wait for the food. Once it got going though, things moved quicker. We enjoyed the following dishes:
Duck Salad - Shredded duck leg, cucumber, green papaya, lychee, red chilli and papaya dressing
Pui’s 3 Fungi Rolls - Cabbage rolls, each filled with a mix of enoki, oyster and shitake mushrooms, served with garlic konbu sauce
Pani Puri - Mini puff pastries stuffed with potato, chickpeas, pomegranate, tamarind sauce and served with spicy water
Black Cod - Black cod fillets marinated in Saikyo miso, served with grilled asparagus and baby carrots
Achari Rack of Lamb - Braised and slow cooked rack of lamb in mustard oil, flavored with Fenugreek, fennel, cumin seeds & cloves,
Drunken Noodles - Stir-fried flat rice noodles, chicken, green peppercorns, wild ginger and Yamazaki whiskey
Lemongrass Crème Brulée
Thai Tea Panna Cotta with Honey Syrup
Coconut Sago Pudding - Young coconut meat, roast coconut flakes, corn and micro herbs
I'm just going to discuss some highlights and lowlights and although Steve and I were invited to this meal as guests, what I write comes from my heart and mind. The duck salad was fresh and zingy - on the spicy side but a good duck salad. The black cod had a hint of the Nobu signature dish but was actually very white with none of the black cod skin. It was flavoursome enough and a decent interpretation. The lamb cutlet was tender and tasty of Indian spice again with a good chili explosion.
The pani puri felt a little copy cat to Tonka's version and not quite as refined. I wasn't that impressed at Tonka and the same applies here. The cabbage rolls weren't my bag either as I felt they were a bit too bland.
The three desserts were surprisingly good and I'm not really an Asian dessert fan. The creme brulee had a lovely creamy and silky consistency that was rich and just with a hint of lemongrass. The panna cotta had a beautifully sexy wobble to eat and I enjoyed the sweet tea flavour. The coconut sago pudding was probably the least favourite as it was quite solid in texture and didn't really have much flavour but I suspect it was overpowered by the sweetness in the panna cotta and the creme brulee.
I hope The Rickshaw does well. There is passion there but I'm not sure it can manage to draw in the crowds it needs to every day especially earlier in the week. It would be good to see it succeed.