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


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Brodard on Fooddigger

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