Posts Tagged ‘Shrimp’

How many ways can someone prep meat into food? When I ask this, I refer to versatile dishes that can adapt to any meat. For example, a pot pie typically uses poultry, while a burger will use almost any red meat. Here in the 21st century, we have witnessed many different kinds of food utilizing many different types of meat. Burgers nowadays use more than just beef – they can use turkey, salmon, duck, and even foie gras. Poutine can use any type of meat too, as the meat gets added to the top of the dish. By its nature, meatloaf can build with any meat. But what else can you think of that can utilize any meat? Around the world, different cultures prepare meat in different ways: as an entrée, in a sandwich, in a soup, deep fried, and more. In Southeast Asia, the locals love their curry, and thanks to culinary advancements, the world now not only sees curry widespread, but also a plethora of variations of curry. For those that have not tried curry before, some restaurants, such as Beachwood BBQ, allow customers to sample various types of curry.

Clockwise from top left: Chicken, Shrimp, Pork, Goat

Back in action with their continuing series of special monthly dinner nights, Beachwood BBQ hosted an IPA & Curry Night last Thursday night. Just like with the last time they held a Curry night last year, Beachwood BBQ presented a menu with five different choices of curry, along with five different IPA’s that each correspond to a type of curry. Individual curry entrées cost between $15 and $18, while a sampler plate of four of the curry dishes cost $19. To go with the sampler plate, guests could add on the beer pairings for $6. Traditionally, an IPA goes very well with meaty, flavorful dishes, as the bitterness penetrates the flavor of whatever you eat, acting as a pseudo palate cleanser. Thankfully, Beachwood BBQ tapped the perfect pairings for each curry dish. I ordered a sampler of the four dishes with meat, and each had its own unique presentation.

  • Chicken: the spiciest curry, I regret starting with this one. Great texture and consistency with the meat and broth, which ate well with the basmati rice.
  • Shrimp: I only got two pieces of shrimp, so this one went down fast. The watery broth did not go with the rice too well.
  • Pork: the most savory curry, this one had the greatest salt profile, typical of pork. Very tender pork made this one a well-balanced curry that anyone could enjoy.
  • Goat: more for the aroma and presentation. Very gamey texture and mild flavor, making this a great starting curry, not one to follow the chicken or pork.

Beachwood BBQ typically runs these special dinner nights every two months, each time selecting a new type of food. Word has it that a dinner night will return as early as next month during the week following Easter, and will feature Poutine! As for what day that will occur, keep your nights open on Wednesday the 23rd and Thursday the 24th, as Poutine Night will certainly return on one of those two days, should Beachwood BBQ decide to run Poutine Night.

When most of Americans picture Chinese food, they picture Orange Chicken, Beef & Broccoli, and lots of Chow Mein. What typical Americans picture as Chinese food relates as much to China as Taco Bell’s food relates to Mexico. In others words, we eat what Americans think people eat in the native country. Finding authentic food away from its origin can cause some irritations; for example, nowhere in California can anyone find a real Philly Cheesesteak – no one can get it right, as if the knowledge disappears when traveling from the east coast to the west coast. Asking the locals may help point you in the right direction on locating the real deal, so when asked about real Chinese food, I find myself at Capital Seafood.

While Southern California may have their clusters of Asian populations complete with plenty of Asian restaurants, Capital Seafood stands out from the pack. Historically, Capital Seafood locations settle in to Asian communities, such as Westminster and Rowland Heights. Now in the 21st century, an outlier now exists at the Irvine Spectrum, a massive shopping center in Orange County where the 5 and 405 freeways meet. For this location, the folks at Capital Seafood walk the line of serving traditional Chinese cuisine in a multicultural setting. If you seek out real Chinese food without the need to learn a new language, make it a priority to visit Capital Seafood at the Irvine Spectrum rather soon.

Following up with my recent dinner at Capital Seafood, our group received a communal dinner, where the servers placed the entrées in the middle of the table on a lazy Susan, and each individual could then serve up as much as they like on his/her own. Starting off the night, we received these Baked Mussels topped with Masago Aioli. These include roe in the sauce, which lends to the crunchy texture of this tapas dish.

Although not formally on the menu, Capital Seafood does carry Peking Duck, which they serve traditionally with a steamed bao bun, hoisin sauce, onions, and fried chips for texture.

At the same time as the Peking Duck, we also received Chicken Lettuce Wraps, with dried jicama, Thai basil, and hoisin sauce.

We jump right into the main event with the House Special Lobster. This specialty of Capital Seafood uses their own secret recipe for the sauce, and gives it a unique savoriness that one cannot easily describe.

My personal favorite dish, House Special Scallops, came out next. These scallops get lightly battered, fried, and tossed in the same sauce used for the lobster along with scallions, black pepper, and chili peppers. The resulting flavor carries a little of everything: sweet, salty, spicy, crispy, juicy, and savory. In fact, you can call this umami without overstating it.

Another classic done right, the Honey Walnut Shrimp came to us next. Fried shrimps comes with honey-glazed walnuts and a light cream sauce on a bed of cantaloupes and honeydew.

Those with seafood allergies need not fear, as they will love the House String Beans. Just like the aforementioned house specials, these string beans get stir-fried with garlic, chili peppers, and their lobster sauce to give it that full flavor found on the lobster, but without any worries of allergies getting in the way.

Our group also got to try a new dish coming soon to their menu, Sesame Shrimp. The flavor resembled the house special dishes, but with less spice and not fried. Imagine teriyaki sauce or eel sauce, but nowhere near as sweet. The onions and peppers helped to offset any extremes, leaving for a mild yet solid entrée.

Just when I expected dessert to roll out, out comes the Chilean Seabass. Chilean Seabass needs no introduction ever. At Capital Seafood, they serve it pan-seared with light soy sauce and scallions. Honestly, you do not need anything more than that, as Chilean Seabass already carries enough natural flavor that adding anything more would muddle it up.

At last, our dessert came to us piping hot. Each of us at the table received our own Baked Almond Tea. Upon first sight, these appear full. However, the puff pastry layer on top simply hides the steamed almond tea underneath, which carries soft almonds in the liquid bottom. To eat this, take the provided soup spoon and poke right into the pastry layer, revealing the almond tea inside. Spoon up the tea underneath, and rip out pieces of the pastry to eat with the tea. Describing this in words takes more effort than actually giving it a try, so I highly recommend leaving room at the end of your meal to order these for your party. If you feel like taking these to-go, the restaurant requires a $5 collateral for the cup. Should you return the cup, the restaurant will return your $5.

Capital Seafood does not deal with nonsense – they deliver authentic Chinese food as the world should see and taste. Visitors expecting to find Chinese fast food like Orange Chicken or Chow Mein will quickly realize that people do not eat that stuff religiously in China. Prior to visiting Capital Seafood, visitors should explore the menu and understand what to expect. Capital Seafood also has Happy Hour during the week, as well as Dim Sum in the mornings. They like to appeal to everybody, and everybody deserves to try authentic Chinese food!

All around the world, people find different reasons to go out to eat. Many eat simply for necessity, while others eat based on preference. When you break down the preferences, what reasons may you come across? Value? Quality? Location? Atmosphere? Regardless of the reason, we can all agree that going out to eat has turned into a staple in our lives, despite the notion that one can live an entire life without ever going out to eat. Once in a long while, you discover something that meets all the aforementioned criteria. When something sounds too good to exist, it usually comes with a drawback. This time, the drawback simply relates to time. While The Globe Dine Bar will last for a while, their monthly will fade away soon.

More than your typical gastropub, The Globe Dine Bar sets an international precedence in a local setting. Combining world flavors with terrific imported drinks, The Globe truly represents its namesake by bringing together cuisine from other countries to a small Southern Californian community. Every month, the chef travels to another country in search of inspiration for The Globe’s monthly special. February’s specials revolve around Chinese New Year, welcoming the year of the snake with three Asian-inspired dishes. Out of their monthly specials, their Beef Rib Nasi Goreng stands out the most. For $18, this massive plate comes with charred beef short ribs with a sesame, soy, and ginger glaze (Gedo-Gado) on a bed of Nasi Goreng, served with a side of vegetable salad with sweet chili dressing. Enough to feed 2-3 people, The Globe serves a generous portion of Korean-style on-the-bone beef short ribs, along with stringy vegetables with sweet chili sauce. On the other side of the plate lies a pile of Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian fried rice, which includes chicken, shrimp, and bacon lardons. Oh, and they top this off with a fried egg and include puff chips. From one corner to the other, this plate easily reaches two feet across. It boggles my mind how they can serve so much food for such a low price relative to how much food one would receive off this plate. Sadly, as a monthly special, this dish will not stay around for much longer. You have less than 10 days to head over to The Globe in Garden Grove to order this mammoth meal!

Have you ever heard of the Hedgehog Theory? What do we know about hedgehogs? People know hedgehogs best as little critters covered with spines that serve as a defense mechanism. A hedgehog never uses its spines in an aggressive manner – only to defend. Because of this temperament, the hedgehog specializes in defense, and has done so for aeons. The hedgehog theory states that specializing in one field significantly increases longevity and lifespan. This concept applies to nearly every subject and industry in the world, especially in the food & beverage industry. Generic restaurants will serve a variety of food, while higher-end restaurants specialize in a type of cuisine. For example, a BBQ restaurant will typically cater a menu focused on BBQ. So when local legend Beachwood BBQ announced a Curry & IPA night, I had to travel there once more to vanquish my curiosity.

Clockwise from top: Shrimp, Pork, Chicken, Goat

Following up on their ribs, mac & cheese, poutine, and meatloaf special event nights, in conjunction with their Pliny the Younger raffle, Beachwood BBQ has developed their first-ever Curry & IPA Night. Similar to the meatloaf night, guests could select a curry dish from five offerings: pork, vegetarian, chicken, goat, and shrimp. On the menu, Beachwood suggested an IPA to pair with each curry. For those guests that could not make up their minds when ordering, Beachwood offered the choice of a curry flight – for just a few dollars extra, guests could choose four out of the five curries to serve as a sampler dish. To pair with this, Beachwood also offered a 4-beer flight to go with the curry flight for just $6. The hedgehog theory may state that specializing in one particular thing will lead to longevity, but doing the same thing all the time does not always yield different results. Sometimes, you have to break out of the routine and try something new. Luckily for us, we have Beachwood BBQ, known for always staying ahead of food and beer trends. If you missed Curry & IPA Night, follow Beachwood BBQ on Facebook for their next special dinner night. Based on previous nights, expect the next one to occur in approximately two months.