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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spice Table: Decent but Needs Some Spice, Good Kaffir Lime Custard

You know how I feel about anything Asian Fusion, so I did enter Spice Table with some skepticism. The verdict is that it's ok and I should probably have more dishes on my next visit but I wasn't blown away like at Son of a Gun most recently.

The fact that I can't pinpoint the best dish is a problem. They were all good to above average but short of fantastic. Take the very promising-looking Kon loh mee noodle bowl with its egg noodles, choy sum green, ground pork and delightfully glistening char siu slices. The pork tasted decent enough, but there was wow factor. No punch of flavor and all the ingredients weren't melding altogether to great effect.

The fried cauliflower was good -- crunchy and well-fried and mildly flavored. I wished it had some punch. I asked for sambal sauce. They brought me some and I had overlooked that it would cost me $1. That's like charging for kimchi. Dislike.

The lamb belly satay was interesting and very tender. I had to punch up the peanut sauce to add some flavor.

The soft-shell crab toast was also so promising and the deep fried soft-shell crab was indeed good but didn't have the wow factor. Think it didn't help that we got too many fried dishes but wouldn't the few strands of greens in the noodles balance out the heaviness?!

The best thing, if I thought hard, would have to be the kaffir lime custard with lychee, which I don't usually go for but tried at our server's suggestion. It was creamy and tasted tart and sweet, dotted with small pieces of lychee.

I may return but can't fight the feeling of many reviewers, which is that it's food I could get at a fraction of the price in San Gabriel Valley. If it offered something different and new, I'd pay the premium but am not convinced it does yet.

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