To some people, NYE means getting sloshed and drunkenly slurring “HAPPY NEW YEAR” to every visible passers-by, or, dancing on tables whilst singing Auld Lang Syne in a human chain. For me, I much prefer stuffing myself silly with some dee-lish vegan fare from Vegetarian’s Paradise 2 (anyone find out where the first one is?), then some more with Pomme Frites as a nightcap. And you wonder how I still fit into my longjohns? Hmm…
First off, if you don’t already know, the folks who run this joint also own the much loved Red Bamboo a few stores down. Great marketing scheme? I think yes. Once, when Bamboo was too crowded, the nice Asian lady who owns the two (pretty shameful that I don’t know her name by now, huh?) directed me to VP2. Not a bad selling point in the face of hunger and cravings for some of their notorious Soul Chicken Nuggets.
Having said that, the staff here is mostly Asian, as is the food. Service has always been prompt and courteous, save for this visit… they were swamped and failed to bring us water until a ten-minute wait elapsed, which I will forgive since they were super busy.
To start off, I ordered a 16 oz. Smoothie… these can be made from a selection of 5 fruits: Strawberry, Pineapple, Mango, Orange and Papaya, blended with a banana.
I decided to go with a Pineapple, Mango and Orange blend, and was quite satisfied with the result… the smoothie did indeed taste like it was blended from fresh fruits, though it would have been nice if they blended some ice with it too.
I’m not complaining though, ice = water = less actual smoothie, so it was not a problem for me. There were some trace bits of banana that could have been blended better, but this is a small caveat.
Ray ordered a Lime Ricky, which to me tasted very Mardi-Gras-esque… this is not to say it tasted bad! It had a nice, tart flavor, and I enjoyed the finely blended slush as well as the color. Actually, I think I liked his drink better, if I do say so myself :X
Now, for my main, I ordered the “Paella Valencia” from their Seafood section. When I received my meal, I was thoroughly surprised, as I thought I would be receiving something along the lines of traditional Paella… which resembles Chinese fried rice in a lot of ways, except stew-ier.
Nonetheless, the dish had a nice, hearty sauce that didn’t exactly pique my taste buds… but it wasn’t the worst dish I’ve eaten. Just a bit boring.
The rice, which is placed on the bottom, is saturated with the broth, and was a little too mushy for me.
I also hate zucchini and there was a lot of it in there… which was not mentioned in the menu description. Overall, I wasn’t crazy happy with my dish but it was passable. Wouldn’t order it again.
Pictured here in all its glory is the Hawaiian Chicken dish, which at first glance appears to have a crispy outer layer… but actually does not.
Misleading, no? The description says it is “lightly battered and fried” but it is actually quite soft and chewy… though don’t get me wrong, it was a very tasty dish.
And did I mention the portion size was HUGE? For 10.95, this was a great deal, and with our Scoutmob app, practically kitchen robbery!
Each nugget is dense and filling, and is meant to go with the accompanying sweet and sour sauce.
The sauce itself greatly added flavor to each nugget, and munching a nugget alongside a marinated lychee and pineapples (which sunk to the bottom) was a great flavor sensation.
What I disliked most about this dish was the included veggies: steamed floppy bell peppers that at best seemed like something just to add color to the plate. But who needs color when you’ve already got a fantastic smorgasbord of chicken nuggets?
In total, our meal came to about $21 plus change, with adjusted before-discount tip. Scoutmob, how I adore thee. The deal ends tomorrow if you have the downloaded app, so GET TO IT!
To cap off my lovely year, a noshing at Pomme Frites was in order. Don’t judge! ;)
Surprisingly, it wasn’t too crowded, and we were able to snag a seat! The frites were a bit dry this time around… but since I love them so, I forgo any carrotial judgement this time. Ain’t I forgivin’? O:)
Thanks to Ray for helping me tweak my carrot rating icon!
There was a time, many years ago, when VP1 was two doors down from VP2. Do not ask me to explain the logic of this, especially as I an going back to the early 80’s. I know I had a strong preference for one over the other. Years later, one of these places transformed into Red Bamboo. I was never a huge fan, since the stuff they make I can easily cook at home. The Asian menu is not so much in my wheel house. Sadly, since the “good vegan shrimp” have disappeared off the planet (Mai Wah claims they weren’t really veg – explains a lot), I’m still searching for good har gow.