Friday, July 24, 2009

"Over"Spice"d" Market

I've had Spice Market on my radar for a long time, but never got around to it. So when restaurant week came around, my husband and I took the opportunity to cross it off my to-do list. We tried out the restaurant for lunch to make it wallet friendly. While the decor of the restaurant was stunning, I was disappointed that neither the food nor the service matched the decor. Of the 4 dishes we tried, I thought only 1 was a winner.

Since my husband and I started house hunting (I am potentially saying goodbye to NY and hello to CT), I've been paying a lot of attention to home decor. I could not get over the chairs at Spice Market! I especially loved how the distressed wood displayed within the restaurant was combined with modern chairs. I was snapping pictures of the place like a tourist!

Check out the distressed wood!

And then there was the food...We started off with the very well-stuffed Chicken Samosas and Shave Tuna. I was glad to find that they did not skimp on the Samosa filling at all. It was nicely spiced and was served with a cooling cilantro yogurt. I only wished they arrived piping hot. As for other appetizer, the tuna floated in a milky mixture of chili tapioca with Asian pear and lime, which I thought drowned out the flavor of the fish.

Shaved Tuna appetizer

Then came our main courses of Striped Bass with Wok Fried Napa Cabbage, Waterchestnut and Cucumber, and Cod with Malaysian Chili Sauce Thai Basil. The sauces in both dishes overpowered the delicate flavors of the fish - the vinegar in the former; and the pool of chili sauce in the latter. I thought the chili sauce was very tasty and packed a big punch, but there was simply too much sauce on my plate. On top of that, I thought the fish was just ok - it was only lukewarm and a bit overcooked.

Cod with Malaysian Chili Sauce Thai Basil

Fortunately, the desserts were much better than our main courses. My Thai Jewels and Fruits with Crushed Coconut Ice was, unlike the flavors we had in our main course, delicate.
It had slices of papaya, among other fruits, with chewy jelly pieces and half melted & fragrant coconut ice. It was a somewhat familiar dessert to me since it was similar to some Chinese desserts, but could be strange for others due to the fruit, chewy jelly and coconut juice combination. My husband had the passionfruit sorbet inventively served (and most definitely frozen) in a cute little Chinese takeout container. It had just the right amount of sweet and tartness.

Thai Jewels and Fruits with Crushed Coconut Ice

Most customers would assume that a restaurant would put some of their best dishes on their restaurant week menu to draw repeat customers, so I was surprised to find that only 1 dish was good. As for service, our appetizers did not arrive at the same time (I had to wait an extra 5 minutes at least for them to catch my tuna and "shave" it), and our server took my husband's main course order wrong. Based on my experience, I would not return to Spice Market again. If I do, perhaps I'll stick to their non-fish dishes that can better withstand the punch of their spices.

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