Let`s pick up from where we left off…
As we began to depart from Whiskey Soda Lounge and head over to Pok Pok, it is near 9:00 and we are challenged by our own sanity – to brave such a lengthy wait. I don`t want to flip any tables.
One of Pok Pok `s selling points is its display of seating which flavours streets of Southeast Asia. Hightop communion tables, exposed light fixtures, random room dividers. It is the hole in the wall / dive which perhaps attracts tourists, locals and hipsters.
As we paced thru the crowds, we noticed the chefs in the kitchen …
We were brought to the back room. A sort of make shift addition to the whole structure. It resembled much of a basement from your grandparents’ old house or perhaps an old 70s diner. Vintage is the new “new” right?
Our drinking water is flavored with Pandanus leaf, as is done often in Northern Thailand – coconut tasting with toasted rice / vanilla / grassy flavor.
Khao Soi Chix 12.50: Northern Thai mild curry noodle soup made with their secret curry paste recipe and house-pressed fresh coconut milk. Served with house pickled mustard greens, shallots, crispy yellow noodles and roast chili paste. The broth was light, not very spicy even after we folded in the chili paste. The crispy noodles were a nice addition followed by a few sparing noodles. The chicken? Chicken drums sticks soaked into the soup sans seasoning and flavour.
Da Chom’s Laap Meuang 14: Northern Thai spicy hand-minced pork “salad” with aromatics, spices, herbs, crackling and crispy fried shallots and garlic. On the menu it said learned from Da Chom a friend’s father from the village Saluang Nai near Chiang Mai, Thailang. The “salad” portion was quite the joke as it appears to be usual sides provided at any typical Vietnamese Pho noodle restaurants. This dish resembles much of Phnom Penh’s dry noodle toppings. Taste perhaps slightly spicier. Not a bad dish, just I could’ve had this at PP in Vancouver less 3 hours wait time. Meh!
Kaeng Hung Leh 12.50: Northern Thai sweet, pork belly and pork shoulder curry with ginger, palm sugar, turmeric, tamarind. Burmese curry powder and pickled garlic. A Chiang Mai classic… Again, reminiscent of a popular Chinese dish Fatty pork belly braised in a piping hot claypot. Four pieces of pork belly, that is $3.125 / piece. Inflation must have hit America overnight. I give it the pork belly was tender, juicy and flavourful of spice. Again, I could have driven 30 mins to Richmond, BC for this dish.
Pok Pok Affogato 7.00: Condensed milk ice cream drowned in a shot of Vietnamese coffee served with Chinese donut. The silkiness of the sweet ice cream is heavenly but the small balls died a tragic death in the sea of coffee. It came melted and unappetizing. I wasn’t sure how to eat this Chinese donut. Was there supposed to be a side of congee? We dunked the fried flour sticks into the coffee and melted ice cream. Eww, how awful. Some things clearly do not mix well together. We quickly scooped the ice cream and left the rest. Maybe just order the ice cream on its own. Creekside Coffee Roaster in Coquitlam offers a better presentation and flavour .
My challenge to you is for you Pok Pok lovers to drive up to Vancouver and try the above mentioned restaurants. Happy Eating!
Portland, OR 97202, United States
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