Monday, May 25, 2009

The Secret Sauce Savored @ Brodard (Garden Grove)

Quite often I was told of a secret place that has served some of the best spring rolls can be found in this nondescript place. My first reaction would have been to retort with "every pho place in town serves the same spring roll". That probably would be true in some extent, but for this place to have such a high acclaim for serving outstanding spring rolls that is going to be out of this world?

I just have to see it and taste it for myself.

Exactly a month ago, Wandering Chopsticks was hosting a dinner for her 24, 24, 24 for Foodbuzz, where she had kindly invited a few of us to join her on experiencing a 7-course meal for Vietnamese goat. Afterward, our group which also consists of Aaron of Food Destination, Kevin of kevinEats, and Kung Food Panda decided we can continue on with the evening with more foodie adventures.

Somehow Brodard was mentioned as the possible destination which instantly lighted a few of our eyes. Maybe it was the thought of spring rolls dancing in my mind, but I couldn't wait to get there to discover this mystical spring rolls that was much talked about.

On a Saturday evening, I was quite surprised on how busy and crowded it was in this restaurant. I did surveyed the place to see which dishes would be popular with the diners here that night. It was safe to say that the nem nuong cuon (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty Salad Rolls) by far was the hot item to get that night.

An interesting note that was share to us by Wandering Chopsticks was that the special homemade dipping sauce was the big reason for the enhancement of the spring rolls. Apparently, the dipping sauce's recipe is a closely guarded secret that can never be replicated and was often imitated, thus others have never came close matching to the original. The sauce in its glory had a compounded flavor of sweet with an effect of subtle and gentle creamy sauce that compliment well for the rolls.

In a joke, I guess we can inhale the dipping sauce as a soup, but I wouldn't recommend that. Dipping the rolls into this murky, but delicate garlic infused sauce will enhance the flavor profile of each roll you will taste. The sauce is neither spicy or sweet, but providing a contrast to the crunchy savory taste of the rolls.

Nem Nuong Cuon ($7.50 for 5)

The aforementioned Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty roll was the highlight of the evening for me. This pork paste can often be confused with the look of a spam, but does not quite have taste of it and without the high concentration of salt.

Bundled neatly with lettuce, cucumber, carrots, and other small forms of vegetables before being wrapped in a thin transparent rice paper like a pig in a blanket. Dip this roll into the homemade dipping sauce, you will understand on why the description can never be fully described. The only thing that will go off in your head was the bells of Saint Mary and you will want to slowly eat the roll to savor every last bite of it.

Chao Tom Cuon ($10.00 for 5)

Our next order of spring rolls was the Chao Tom Cuon (Shrimp Rolls) that is a repeat from the above Grilled Pork Patty rolls. All of the basic ingredients are the same with the exception of the main component substitute the pork patty for the shrimp paste.

It will still get you the same results as the Nem Nuong Cuon (grilled pork patty rolls) and the sauce again will play a vital role in assisting of enriching the flavor taste.

Black Jelly with pearls - $3

Binh Tom Co Ngu ($6.95)

The Binh Tom Co Ngu is like a deep fried shrimp and sweet potato tempura in a shape of tic-tac-toe boxes that had a sidekick of an Asian greens and lime sauce to go along with it. The lettuce provided on the side are used to wrap the Binh Tom Co Ngu, which you will proceed to dip into that accompanied sauce.

Banh Khot ($6.95)

In this variation of a popular Vietnamese appetizer, the banh khot served here consist of a while shrimp supplied with mung bean and a dash of turmeric powder served with Asian greens and lime chili fish sauce. The crispy rice cake's batter that holds the shrimp and it's ingredients was made of coconut milk and rice flour. Kevin remarked in his blog that the banh khot had an intense coconut flavor that the sauce emphasized on it, which you definitely can taste it.

For me, the shrimp and the turmeric powder overpower the the crispy rice cake as I did enjoyed the subtle contrast in the taste and the flavor.

Overall, I did finally get a chance to try out the much hyped spring rolls from Brodard and absolutely enjoyed it. The price was also very reasonable and the service for most part of the night ran very smoothly. I will definitely come back here to try out other noodle dishes that are on the menu, but more importantly come back for the spring rolls with the special homemade dipping sauce!

9892 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 530-1744


Brodard on Urbanspoon

Brodard on Fooddigger

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back to the Routine @ Taipei Golden Pork Chop Rice and Noodle (Rowland Heights)

Oh wow! I just realized on how much time have passed since my last post.

My new job pretty much have taken top priority and so many reviews are also in the back log. I just don't have the motor or the inspiration to write new post. Writing a new review seemed daunting at these busy times, but I think I was just satisfied by eating out and let the review peculate itself until I get the inspiration.

How did I decide to choose this pork chop place to be my next review? Well, truth to be told, my visit to Urasawa because a quagmire because I wanted to brush up on some of those dishes and my review of several other places was just too difficult to write in a few paragraph. In essence, this little place is my way of easing back to write more reviews.

My boy Kung Food Panda had mentioned a few times to me that this Taipei Golden Pork Chop was disappointing, but my co-workers loved this place. No need to ask because I know who I would trust for opinions on where to dine.

This cafe shared the space with a supposed Izakaya that was operating only at night while the pork chop operation occurs for only a few hours during daytime for lunch. I remembered a place called Brochette (the name on the side for the Izakaya) took a long time to finish decorating the interior a few years back. I was very surprised to see how minimal the decor was inside even after the long remodeling. Seriously, nothing inside of this place would ever suggest to me that an Izakaya was in effect.

When I dined here the first few times, the TV stationed next to the entrance door would be airing some Taiwanese broadcast shows for its Taiwanese diners. The food would come out in a lighting speed of only a few minutes as I witness the kitchen (through the glass) that they only have two items prepared for lunch.

The sad part about this place was that there was only two main dishes: Pork Chop or Chicken Leg. Both can be served either with steamed rice or in the noodle soup. In reality, the noodle soup is very bland and the meat's flavor would disintegrated in the soup. You can understand why I would skipped the noodle in favor of having the meat coupled with steamed rice instead.

For $6.50, the pork chop rice served with their own relish, stir vegetables, and soy sauce boiled egg always comes out in five minutes or less. It came out so fast from the kitchen, we often ordered to go for our office nearby. Very popular with my co-workers because it was fast with no fuss, but quite often I am unsatisfied after the meal.

1. Pork Chop Rice - $6.50

My impression of the lightly breaded pork chop was that I enjoyed the meat, but I am not that thrilled with the portions of the pork chop that was served nor was I happy about the minced meat that comes with the rice. For $6.50, I would have gone else to fill up my stomach, but for a quick pinch, I guess this place would have to do.

For a better pork chop and a better value, I would suggest going to Shu May for their larger portion with cheaper price. If you have to ask...yes, I can order an extra set of pork chops without the rice for $4.20. This would make an expensive meal if I decide to make an added purchase for one dish.

The menu is still a work in progress as they only 17 items, but with only four main courses so far. I would ventured a guess that they have a small staff and would only prepare a certain amount of dishes in three and a half hours of operation (the restaurant opened from 11am-2:30pm from Monday to Saturday). I think if they continue to draw a crowd like I have seen recently, they would have no problems in introducing new items to their menu.

One of the dish I would recommend was their cold tofu with preserved eggs. For most part, many of these small appetizers or cold dishes are passable in their version of Taiwanese food. It was very standard in terms of what was being offered, but you definitely can get better Taiwanese food in SGV.

Tofu with Preserved Egg - $3.70

That report is a bummer for me to consider coming back here regularly for lunch. Too bad I cannot sway any one from ordering from here or Red Ant because those two are tiring place to get lunch. The new hot spot for lunch in Rowland Heights?....Maxim Cafe.

Don't ask me why on that answer for lunch question in Rowland Heights. As in for me, I can't wait to go back out for dinner or lunch on the westside or SGV! Stay tuned because those reviews will come out very shortly.

Taipei Golden Pork Chop Noodle and Rice
1380 Fullerton Rd.
Suite 106
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 810-5570


Taipei Golden Garden Pork Chop Noodle and Rice on Urbanspoon

Taipei Golden Garden Pork Chop Noodle and Rice in Los Angeles