Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop




What I Ate: May 31, 2009 (Wendy's, Asia Cafe)

Posted 31 May, 2009 at 10:19pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: Wendy's - Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Wendy’s - Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Dinner: Asia Cafe (8650 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 336-8888‎). After our latest experience at Din Ho, we were very happy that Asia Cafe really was good. In fact, they were close to being great. It's certainly quite authentic (even more so than most of the Chinese restaurants we've dined at in the Bay Area) and they know how to cook. A few of the vegetable ingredients - kong xin cai (water spinach) and asparagus - were a bit old (the stalks had become tough from not being harvested early enough for them to be tender), but the flavors were spot on and the execution of the dishes were clearly Chinese (specifically Sichuan-style).

Dong Po Pork Elbow ($11.50) - a bone-in pork shank slowly cooked in spices. The sauce was flavorful and not so salty that you can't mix it with the pork as you shred it (sometimes the sauce can be too salty and the meat isn't flavorful enough on it's own so it's a balance as to how much sauce to put on without being overwhelmed - here, you just shred the pork, mix with the flavorful sauce, and eat). The skin is the best part with much of the fat rendered so it has a wonderful aroma, flavor, and chewiness (almost like you are eating gelatin instead of fat). So good.
Asia Cafe - Dong Po Pork Elbow

Shrimp with Garlic Sauce ($9.50) - just sweet enough with just a touch of spice (Tina asked for reduced spiciness). It was a big difference from the overly sweet dishes of Madam Mam's Thai Cuisine and Din Ho - we were glad for the balance.
Asia Cafe - Shrimp with Garlic Sauce

Garlic Sprouts with Twice Cooked Pork ($8.95) - this is one of the best preparations of Twice Cooked Pork that I've ever. The pork was perfectly cooked with a great mouth fell (slightly chewy allowing you to release the flavors slowly but dissolves in the mouth within seconds).
Asia Cafe - Garlic Sprouts with Twice Cooked Pork

Water spinach with garlic ($7.95) - I loved that they don't have a problem with using a lot of garlic. The only problem with this dish was that some of the stalks were tough.
Asia Cafe - Water spinach with garlic

We loved the food (particularly the two pork dishes) so much that we've already decided to come back next weekend when my parents come and visit.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Asia Cafe is in the back of Asia Market - a relatively small grocery. You order at the counter, pay up front, receive a number, and get your own dishes when your number is called (multiple times as dishes are finished). Who needs service when the food tastes good?
Asia Cafe

1 comment to What I Ate: May 31, 2009 (Wendy's, Asia Cafe)

Nate, June 2nd, 2009 at 11:53 pm:

  • Pretty uncomplicated, almost surprising, considering the setting. Good find!