Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jasmine 26 on Eat Street

jasmine 26RESTAURANT & BAR

I came across this restaurant.... completely random. I was browsing through friend's facebook photos, got routed to their friends' facebook photos... and saw this Buddha Belly drink:

And I thought, "oh! this is so cute! I want to go to this place too!!" And of course, that person was only the friend of my friend's friend. 4th degree of separation, and I wasn't gonna be a creep and randomly ask that 4th degreed facebook person to tell me where that place was. So, I did some google search, and basically typed in "Where can I get the Buddha Belly drink in Minneapolis?" and somehow Jasmine 26 came up.

So I was all excited to go try this restaurant, just because of the drink. And yea, it looks kind of cool on the website too. So, all the anticipation for the buddha belly drink. And well,

There's no Buddha's Belly...

But there's this kind of Buddha's Belly Martini: Vietnamese iced coffee and chocolate vodka martini
Also, the Saigon Mojito: pineapple rum and melon liqueur with fresh mint, and the Ginger Frizz: ginger infused vodka with spicy sweet ginger ale. Very delicious. I always love fun cocktails.

Since I've already sat down in the restaurant, ordered a drink, which turned out not to be the one I was expecting, (look-wise, flavor-wise... I don't know how to compare with something I've never tried.) and the fact that I already told my friends to meet me up at Jasmine 26, I kind of had to stay and just go with the flow. (wow, that's one long run-on sentence) I don't know if I was disappointed or not at that moment, but I was very satisfied at the end of the night. :)

Entrees: I was really having a hard time choosing between the noodle salads and the specialty dishes... I always like the Vietnamese noodle salads, so refreshing. I especially like the sweet and sour sauce, those you pour over the vermicelli noodle, and the marinated shrimp... yummm! A mix of sweet, tangy and grilled flavors.
Grilled Shrimp Coconut Milk Noodle Salad: Grilled shrimp tossed in coconut milk with thick "udon-style" noodles, garnished with shredded lettuce, cucumber, herbs, cilantro, and a sprinkle of roasted peanuts. Served with house vinaigrette sauce.

But instead of the noodle salad, I picked the specialty dishes instead.

Jasmine Crepe: Crispy turmeric rice crepe, filled with stir fried pork and shrimp, bean sprouts, onion and yellow mung beans. Very very delicious. The turmeric rice crepe is very awesome! Not too turmeric-ky, but enough to bring in some kick to the pork and shrimp light stir fried. I especially love the bean sprouts. The whole thing kind of tasted like Egg Fu Yong, but, well, much better version of that.

Caramelized Lemon Grass Shrimp: Sauteed fresh garlic, onion, lemongrass and shrimp glazed in a rich caramelized sauce. This very much reminds of me the sweet mayo shrimp dish I always love and order in the Chinese restaurants. But it's not the mayo, it's the sweet flavor and the thin layer of crisp that I like. Similarly, this dish is very flavorful. And that's definitely a lot of shrimp for $15! Just that they charge you $2 for extra rice... What a deal?!

Overall a pretty decent place for a small and cute dinner. Love the cocktail menu, and the setting is really nice and quite. There was quite a crowd on a Wednesday night, and the restaurant was about 70% full. Service was decent, and the server kept asking us if we wanted more cocktails. Hahaha, very smart... But I'm smarter! I have to drive, and I'll always drink responsibly. 

And no, I still haven't found that Buddha's Belly vase restaurant. And I'm still not brave enough to break that 4 degrees of separation and start asking that friend of a friend of a friend. So, please, if any of you guys out there know where they serve that cute little Buddha's Belly, let me know!!!


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