Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Asia Nine

We went to Asia Nine for dinner during their Thai Restaurant Week. Asia Nine is a moderately-priced asian/sushi restaurant on E Street right across from the FBI building. It's been open about a year and I eat there fairly regularly due to its proximity to my office. I love the spicy Basil Noodles dish and their sushi rolls are pretty good too.

On this night we started things off with a bottle of berry flavored soju (a Korean liquor). It was very strong and made going back to work afterward quite amusing.

For our appetizer we tried something off of the special Thai Restaurant Week menu: shrimp rolls served atop a bed of crispy noodles and carrots with a tangy dipping sauce.

Sushi Roll - tempura shrimp roll topped with a crispy basil leaf and sriracha chili sauce.

On our quirky but charming waiter's recommendation, B ordered the Ginger Sauté: fresh ginger, onions, scallion, mushroom, and bell pepper sautéed in Chinese soybean sauce with shrimp.

My entree was from the special menu. It was a Thai seafood curry served in a young coconut. The presentation of this dish was beautiful. The jasmine rice was wrapped in a pouch made from a leaf and the curry was oozing out of the top. I spooned the spicy curry over the sweet rice and scraped out a bit of the coconut meat to add another textural dimension. What a unique and flavorful dish. I wish Asia Nine would add this to their regular menu.

We had a very pleasant dinner at Asia Nine with attentive service and interesting dishes. They are also a reliable option for take-out and a fun Happy Hour spot for office gatherings. I don't think I'd go out of my way to stop at Asia Nine but I like having it in the neighborhood.

Second Thoughts from B

My main dish was good but certainly nothing to write home... er... write a blog about. The appetizers on the other hand were noteworthy. The shrimp rolls may have been presented on the bed of crispy noodles and carrots but eating that bed along with the dipping sauce was the real treat. The crunch of the noodles, sweetness of the carrots, and zing of the sauce was a nice surprise on what would otherwise have been thought of as nothing more than a garnish. Like the presentation of J's entree, these thoughtful touches are what makes a meal memorable.
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