Sunday, July 22, 2012

Asian Cafe in Glenshaw

As much I enjoy going to hip restaurants such as NOLA on the Square and The Porch at Schenley, every so often you'll want to go somewhere where there is familiarity and you know what to expect.  No, I'm not talking about national chain restaurants.  I'm talking about Chinese take-out restaurants.  In fact I even did a review of Hong Kong Taste that is near my townhouse.  Reasons why I like Chinese take-out restaurants:

1.  You get to eat bastardized Chinese food(I'm looking at you crab rangoon and general tso's chicken)
2.  You know what to expect and it never lets you down for the most part.
3.  You at least get variety of food to choose from whether you are a carnivore or vegetarian.

So if you've never had Chinese take-out, you've never really lived.  This past weekend, I happened to past by a take-out place in the new shopping center in Glenshaw called Asian Cafe.  It clearly is a take-out restaurant with a few dining tables, but I find the name to be rather silly.  For one it doesn't look like a cafe at all.  Initially I thought they named it that way because they wanted to distinguish themselves from their competitors and fancy themselves as a sophisticated take-out restaurant.  I do think that is true for the most part, but as I was looking at the menu they also provide Thai fusion cuisine.  I thought that was a little bit of a twist(just like when Hong Kong Taste used to make sushi), but do they do a good job of it to warrant being called Asian Cafe?  Let's find out.

For our appetizer we got the red sauce wonton.  First I like that they put scallions on top of the dish to give it a bright aspect to the dish.  The wontons were fairly huge as far as the skin goes.  I felt that there wasn't enough meat inside the wonton even though the meat itself was good.  The red sauce was the best part of the  dish.  I thought it was pretty spicy, but I considered it tame compared to other spicy dishes I've ate.  Other people might consider it really spicy.  It just depends how much spice you can tolerate.  I also liked how thick the red sauce was and how it covered all parts of the wonton.  The thickness of the sauce gives the wonton more flavor and kick to it.  It was a good dish overall; it just needed more meat in it.


For the main course, we got the Penang curry with beef.  It's a spicy dish that is famous in Malaysia that is flavored with curry, garlic, and coconut milk.  The beef was spicy and tender, and you can taste the ingredients as you take each bite but don't overpower one another.  I like how they added the green beans and carrots to make the dish more bright and colorful.  The orange was also a nice addition, but I didn't squeeze any of the orange juices on the dish because the dish had enough flavors.  I've had better Penang curry at other restaurants, but for Chinese take-out, it is the best thus far. 

Overall as much as I liked the food thus far, I would have to try more of their dishes to see if they really deserve the name Asian Cafe.  The one thing that I won't think will change is the atmosphere.  It looks just like any other take-out place in the city but only nicer looking because it's new.  Hopefully eating more of their fusion cuisine and liking them will convince me that they deserve the name.  Lastly, the prices of the food are fairly reasonable. The two dishes came out to around 13-14 dollars.  Then again most Chinese food take-out places' prices are almost always reasonable.

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