Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Chinese herbal menu
Browsing on Soi Langsuan, where my relatives stayed, to find a restaurant for us to eat, coincidentally Top-menu Chinese Restaurant appeared to me while its name also flashed in my mind. I had been sampled her delicious Northern Chinese (Beijing and nearby provinces) provincial food they prepared in the healthy way before. Without hesitation I found a nice window seat in this bistro style restaurant to do dinner with my relatives.
The Chinese logo of the restaurant written that 'medicine and food come from the same source', which is true to Chinese wisdom that eating is the most basic health care step. When I was a child mom used to cook meals depending on my health condition. For example, when I was hot, my mom cooked me a meal with those cooling ingredients and herbs so to avoid the development of sore throat and flu. In Top-menu some soups and dishes are cooked with Chinese herbs to counter customer's concern of headache, kidney, stomach, or even heart broken. No, the last one doesn't exist and is my imagination.
I always cook healthy herbal soup at home, therefore at Top-menu I focused only on favorite native Northern Chinese street cuisine that we hardly find elsewhere with the same quality; and I don't cook them at home either. Chinese dumpling is always one of my favorite choices in those Beijing houses so I made two orders of them at Top-menu, steamed dumplings stuffed with pork and celery (zheng-jiaozi) the first order, and pan-fried dumplings stuffed with ground pork (guotie/gyoza) being the second. The dish I also couldn't wait to order was the pan-fried scallion pancake (cong-you bing). They all tasted the true Beijing standard only with less fat meat inside and less oily. Thumps up!
In a Chinese (and Thai) dining table, we share dishes (if we don't dine alone), and eat with rice (or noodle in some cases). The next orders were cold cut beef the Beijing style, and shredded potato mixed salad, I simply ordered a bowl of plain noodle soup to accompany these traditional sides dishes. Beef cut in paper thin sheets without any seasoning, tasted naturally just what good beef should be. The potato salad was somehow so-so.
For mains we ordered the deep-fried Naning pork ribs with sweet and sour sauce, braised pork knuckles, stir-fried bitter gourd leaves, and stir-fried pak Taiwan veggies. Last two items ordered were dumplings soup, now all of you believe how much I love dumplings, and shrimp fried rice of which the taste was disappointed and shrimp hahaha hardly found them existed. There are two exciting dishes I missed, stir-fried long beans Beijing style and stir-fried mutton in running oil, simply sold out when we dined at 8 pm.
Top-menu does not offer customers Peking duck. Instead it is a kind of bistro offers true Beijing street cuisine both delicious and healthy way.
Top Menu Chinese Restaurant ***1/2
34/1 Soi Langsuan
off Ploenchit Road
Lumpini, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : 11 am - 10 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 700
* (update on 15/Feb/2010: Top-menu now expands to Sukhumvit Soi 24, near the President Park)