Sunday, July 17, 2005

lunch from Au Cyclo

After I had mentioned the salad rolls it was too late, Steph was hooked... try as I might to suggest alternatives, sandwiches, roti, or anything else, Vietnamese it was to be. So I trudged 5 blocks to Laurier and du Parc to investigate Au Cyclo.
Potted plants lead up to the second floor entrance, the dining room is nice, modern and quite upscale. The charming and beautiful waitress seated me at the bar with a menu and a glass of water, take out was no problem she said but it might take a while. I was on a tight schedule but, after a glance at the menu I knew there was no turning back. Lots of interesting stuff that you don't encounter in your run of the mill soup joints.
I ordered some salad rolls, obviously, and ban xeo (ground mung bean pancake with shrimp). Feling I needed more, I consulted with the server, we had already begun discussing the menu, and I asked her for a recommendations. She steered me towards the chicken with lime leaves and glutinous rice, and I went for it, but truth told I would have gone for almost anything on the menu.
It must have taken about 20 minutes, and I was starting to get really shifty, being late make me extremely nervous, but the food finally arrived. The bag was a little light to be honest. For $40 I was expecting a great slew of food. I got a light white plastic bag with three small take out containers.
After running back down du Parc, I opened my bag of treats. Steph joked that I had gone to Vietnam to get the food, before proceeding to devour everything put in front of him.
The salad rolls were nice and warm, freshly rolled, not rolled at 9 in the morning and forgotten about. Apart from that, nothing really special. The ban xeo was small, but definitly delicious, stuffed full of bean sprouts and a few shrimp, it was a delictely crispy yellow crepe with a soft, slightly runny centre, slightly sweet and a touch oily, in a tasty way.
Now I had been picturing something akin to the chinese dish of sticky rice steamed in leaves with assorted savory fillings, chicken integrated into the rice. What the final dish turned out to be was inch thick disks of sticky rice, the width of a small orange, which had been deep fried until golden and puffed up. It was moderately sweet and chewy enough to stick in your teeth. The chicken was a nice piece of chicken thigh, marinated and cooked (grilled?) with threads of lime leaves sprinkled over top. It was delicious, more so because it was out of the ordinary.
All in all a pretty good meal. Not cheap, but freshly made, from a restaurant that is definitly worth further investigation.


Post a Comment

<< Home