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!
Get our your calenders, because Ian Driscoll best known as the extraordinary sous-chef from Central Provisions is popping up at Bao Bao on April 25th! Find out more about this Asian inspired event here: Okami: A pop-up of sorts.
I’m looking forward to seeing and tasting the yumminess that this talented chef has come up with!
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!
Entering the newly renovated Danforth Inn to dine at Tempo Dulu is a magical experience. The noise from nearby State Street fades away, and then suddenly you’re someplace else. It’s like being swept away to a private club filled with expats gathered together in some distant eastern land. This is particularly true of the lounge area, which owner Oscar Verest says was inspired by the Weyang club in the Shanghai Hermes.
Décor aside, we had heard and read many good things about bartender Trevin Hutchins and made sure to leave time for a stop at the bar. I am so glad we did! The Jakarta made with: bourbon, amaro, sweet vermouth, and absinthe could have been merely enjoyable. Instead, due to a beautiful bit of theatre and food science, it was amazing! Trevin takes the extra step of applying fire to a substantial pile of Five Spice, which he then covers with a glass, putting out the fire and collecting the delicious smoke. The cocktail is poured into the smoke which somehow remains in place, creating a smoky, sweet, bourbon masterpiece. My cocktail was so good it inspired me to take my first video ever!
Having established that Tempo Dulu is a sanctuary designed to soothe and nourish the senses, we moved on to one of several small elegant dining rooms to begin our feasting. For our dining pleasure we chose to go with Chef Lawrence Klang’s tasting menu, a seemingly endless array of intense full-flavored dishes( menus). Overseen by Maître d’ Elizabeth Tozek, the service throughout our 3 hour experience was truly exceptional. Having consumed two bottles of water and one exceptional Maine wine (Cellar Door), my wife noted that service was so discreet that our glasses stayed full seemingly without any intervention.
Then there is the food! The wonderful food: foie gras, lamb, lobster, halibut, squid, and more in one meal! I could go on at length about the richness of the flavors (So rich!), the incredible textures and scents(OMG!), but I would need to write a book to do any justice to the 13 plus dishes we sampled. Instead I will say that I absolutely loved, loved my meal and left very happy, happy! Furthermore, despite its relatively high prices, I believe Temp Dulu to be a fantastic value!
A few photos from our evening out: