While Congee, a delicious, rice-based porridge may be very popular across Asia, there is only one place that I know of in Portland serving this colorful and immensely satisfying dish. Do yourself a favor and head over now to The Honey Paw to try their latest version of this delicious treat!
There is nothing like the food from warmer climates to cut through the chill on a winter day in Maine, and there is no other local restaurant with such a wide range of foods inspired by some very hot places as the The Honey Paw.
We started with lemon and ginger hot toddies, a thoroughly delicious way to warm up with just the right bite of ginger and the nice addition of cloves.
We followed this up with the beautiful and rich lobster tartine, a well-deserved menu standard,and an appetizer special courtesy of the chef of smoked mackerel mousse,egg, and beets on a large hash brown. So very good! The mackerel was salty and smooth- just perfect. Add in the beets and the potato,and it all came together in just the right mélange of crunchy,creamy,tangy that says happy happy to me!
We followed this up with a Beef Rendang so tender and rich, served with beautiful turmeric pickles and perfectly made rice. You’d be hard pressed to find a dish with more comfort, unless it was the chicken pho with matzah balls. OMG!!! This soup has everything I love about pho and matzah ball soup: tangy, rich,bright full of flavor! Wow!!
I have to eat here again soon, and I definitely can’t wait for Chef Duffly’s upcoming dinner at Flanagan’s Table January 31st!
The Honey Paw, is a brand new sister restaurant to the renowned Eventide Oyster Co. and Hugo’s. The space is uniquely refreshing, with a large communal table at the heart of the room and counter seating ringing the outside of the restaurant. The set up makes the space feel very welcoming and more open than many of Portland’s other new restaurants. Even more delightfully unique is the menu. Billed as a non-denominational noodle house, the dishes range across Asia and incorporate such varied ingrediants as duck, veal, and goat to yield fantastic fare. The resulting dishes are bursting with one of a kind flavors and textures. I love it so much,that I have now been back three times. Twice for dinner and once for lunch.
The menu is divided into four numbered sections from small to large. While I love small plates, I really enjoy the option of having larger dishes. Particularly because they are all so good. One of my favorite dishes so far, is the charred Pork shoulder served with fermented turnips. This dish made me so happy! Reminiscent of the candied pork I used to get at Chinese restaurants as a child, but elevated to a grown-up decedent taste sensation. The fermented turnips add a nice tart counterpart to the sweet charred pork. The wok fried collards were one of the tastiest things I’ve had this year. Smokey pork hock, tender collard greens and topped with amazing onion rings, the ingredients combine in a way that I would have never imagined was possible. So yummy/savory/spicy/good! Other dishes that I have enjoyed, include the Wok Fried Wide Noodles with its uniquely prepared pasta and the Crab and Pork Wonton that just burst with unique flavor and textures. In the case of the Wok Fried Noodles the texture of the fried noodles made this seafood dish so much more interesting than noodle dishes found elswhere. While the crab broth was deliciously rich and infused the tender pork wontons with a marvelous taste. Of special note, your meal cannot be complete without trying their rich soft serve. Congratulations to Chef Pisha-Duffly, he is creating oh so satisfying meals here that you won’t find anywhere else.