Today was HUMID! it actually smelled like a sweaty locker room outside...blah.
After my lesson, I met Satoshi in Umeda. We planned on checking out a popular burger place, but since it was going to take 25 minutes to get our food, we decided to go down the street to a Vietnamese restaurant called La Verdue du Vietnam. (don't they have the cutest soy sauce container?!)
My friend Kazumi first introduced me to this restaurant about 3 or 4 years ago and I was surprised that they were still in business. (If traffice isn't steady, a lot of restaurants close within 6 months to a year here) At the time we visited, it wasn't too popular and there weren't many customers. Today, there was steady traffic, especially for a Saturday, in the business district.
I'm going to apologize in advance, the menu wasn't in english, so I don't have the proper spelling for the foods that we ate.
Satoshi had the Pho heo fe, a spicy minced beef topping hearty beef broth and flat noodles. It came with a shrimp roll and com tai com, rice cooked with lemon grass and chicken.
I chose the banh mi, a chewy french baguette filled with pickled veggies, liver pate and ham. This was similar to the sandwiches I get in Hawaii at Ba-le. The sandwich came with a salad topped with chopped peanuts and a light dressing and also a cup of spicy broth. Yum!
Every dish comes with either lotus tea or Ca phe sua da (vietnamese coffee). We both chose the vietnamese coffee. The sweet concoction had a chocolatey-coconutty flavor...delicious!
Even after eating a large lunch, we were still craving something sweet, so we went to Palet d'Or. I've been here several times in the past, but this was the first time for Satoshi to try their desserts.
He had their Noir, chocolate ice cream, meringue, nuts and a berry puree at the bottom--rich chocolatey goodness!
I had their Rouge, this was a large strawberry macaron in a pool of red wine gelatin and berries served in a large martini glass. There was also a large scoop of berry sorbet and it was decorated with clear sugar with dried strawberries encased in it. The tartness and sweetness balanced each other perfectly!
Dinner was a recipe I got from Nate awhile back. This recipe uses a whole bottle of Kona Brewing Company's Big Wave Golden Ale. (Thanks Nate!)
(the bottle caps have cool Hawaii/English on them, this one said "lolo" = crazy.)
The recipe was easy, I should have served it with garlic bread like the recipe said, but since I forgot to buy some and was too lazy to go back out to get some (too humid), I served it over pasta.
Big Wave Golden Ale Steamed Clams -- Kona Brewing Company
1 oz. butter
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
1 bottle Big Wave Golden Ale (12 oz)
4 oz clam juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 lbs manila clams
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the garlic and onion, cook 1 minute, stirring so as not to burn.
Warm beer to room temperature then add to saucepan.
Add sugar and lemon juice, bring liquid to a boil. Turn heat to simmer 5 minutes.
Place clams in a saute pan and pour sauce over clams.
Cook until all clams have opened, serve with garlic bread.
NOTES: Soak your clams in water with a tablespoon of salt at least overnight in the refrig, this is supposed to let the clams relax and lets them spit out the sand. Since I didn't have clam juice, I added water. After adding the clams to the sauce, I cooked it for about 5 minutes. It was my first time cooking clams and I was excited as the clams "popped" open like popcorn! I added a couple grinds of pepper and garnished with parsley. With the amount of soup that this recipe makes, you'll need lots of bread to mop it up with.
La Verdure du Vietnam
1-15-14 Utsubohommachi Nishii Bldg.
UPDATE: as of March 2010, this restaurant is now closed
We had a nice foodie Saturday, hope you are enjoying the weekend!