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Wasabi – Korean & Japanese – Detroit

Wasabi

Wasabi is located on Kirby just east of the DIA in Detroit. The word “Wasabi” automatically makes you think of sushi, and Japanese food. Add Korean dishes to that and you have a restaurant I definitely want to eat at. Asian food is very mysterious to me. Sushi is the most straight forward in my book. So, anytime I get a chance, I like to eat something Asian I have not before.

What made it even better was the coupon I found. More food for less money. Can’t beat that.

We started with some appetizers.

Wasabi

Shrimp Goyoza Shrimp dumplings, deep fried ($4.99).

As anyone will tell you, I’m a sucker for fried dumplings. Crunchy and hot, just the way I like them.

Wasabi

Agedashi Deep-fried tofu in tempura sauce ($4.99).

Sam was not fond of these. I believe men do not like mushy textured food. I liked it. Firm on the outside, creamy middle and salty finish from the sauce.

Wasabi

The ubiquitous Miso soup, and ginger salad. Nothing revolutionary. Taste was ok. I have had way better miso and salad.

Wasabi

I can’t remember the name of the dish I had, but it was a Korean soup. It had zucchini, tofu, and egg among other things in a great spicy broth. It was pretty good and my mouth was on fire just the way I like. I could have done with the veggies being cooked a little longer.

Wasabi

Sam had the Hot and Spicy Shrimp from the Korean menu- Shrimp, and vegetables in a hot and spicy sauce ($14.99).

He loved it. Spicy, smoky and all around comforting.

Wasabi

The sushi coming out to the tables looked fantastic with a great display of knife skills. I had the Caterpillar Roll – Spicy Tuna wrapped with sliced of Avocado and Masago on  top. It was really good. Not as spicy as I usually like, but still very good.

Wasabi

For dessert, we were pretty stuffed and just had these ice cream balls. It was green tea and strawberry. They are wrapped in a rice paste of sorts that is chewy and good. These were fun to eat. The strawberry was the best and sells out fast.

The restaurant itself is cozy and small with a modernesque look with aluminum touches. We had no issues with the service or waitress. Although, I do have to mention, I have been there again recently and the owner or manager made the dining situation uncomfortable with him yelling at the waitress and the sushi chefs. You could tell everyone was on edge with him there.

I would still recommend this place. Food is great, with a large selection. They also have Bibimbab’s, which is always a “hell yeah”. Have you eaten here, or do you have a Korean or Japanese restaurant in the area you would recommend?

Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Iridescence – Motor City Casino – Detroit

Iridescence Detroit

Iridescence is a restaurant perched atop the hotel section of the Motor City Casino. I was excited to dine there since I have eaten several times at rival MGM Casino restaurants Wolfgang Puck and Saltwater and I wanted to see how it stacked up. One of the draws to Iridescence is the great decor and the views overlooking the river and the  Ambassador Bridge.

IMG_8819

We were seated within ten minutes of our reservation, and while waiting we enjoyed live piano music in the lounge area. Upon being seated the first thing I noticed was the grand floor to ceiling wine rack. Each row is automated and rotates to deliver the required bottle of wine to the bottom for dispensing.

Iridescence Detroit

After ordering, we were delighted by an amuse bouche sent out by the chef. It was a nice chunk of crab. Wasn’t super seasoned, just simple and clean tasting.

Iridescence Detroit

Our friend Mike had the special appetizer that day. Hamachi crudo –  in foie gras, cranberry-elderflower compote, granny smith apple, cucumber, popcorn shoot ($14). I had a bite. It was good, the apples quite interesting. I was not a fan of the cucumber because it made it too watery. A version with less seeds might work better.

Iridescence Detroit

Next, the tomato soup that was poured at the table. The plate first came out with a cube of tomato covered in greens, then the tomato soup was poured over it. It came with mini grilled cheese finger sammie.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly so far. And then one thing pretty much ruined our night. We waited and waited and our entrees had not come out yet. It was an hour and still no food. It was really bad. We noticed it was not just us though. Looking around the room was lots of disgruntled faces. Not too many happy campers at this point.

Needless to say my husband Sam had quite had it and called over the floor manager. At first he seemed a bit surprised and taken aback by our complaint. He didn’t say much and walked away and then came back. He had gone to check our reservation time (8:30 pm). At this point he said that while we had ordered multiple courses, our wait was not too over but it was still more than should be. Mind you it was 10:00 pm at this point and I was fuming, but bit my tongue. So, he said that the appetizers were on him and on that que the plates came out.

After he walked away, we were very unhappy to be honest. Not that we wanted anything or to get “free” food, but, we did not feel it was handled well. It didn’t feel sincere, and it definitely wasn’t an apology. More unfolds after our dinner…

Iridescence Detroit

I had the fish chowder ($24). I have to say, despite the huge and almost unforgivable time misstep, this is one of the best dishes I have had all year. Fish, clams, salmon, shrimp, sticky sweet rice and this deeply flavored and slightly salty in a good way broth. I could eat it all over again. It was superb. It almost redeemed the whole night for me. Almost.

Iridescence Detroit

Mike had the Yellow Perch breaded in Better Made potato chips ($23). This too was a deliciously cooked fish. I was also surprised at the amount of food on the plate. Usually places like this give you a sliver of fish.

Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Roasted Atlantic Salmon with risotto ($23). It was cooked perfectly.

We were very happy with the food, but to be honest we were eating while still upset at the way the situation had been handled.

At some point during the meal, the manager finally noticed we still were not happy, and he finally cracked a smile, gave a real apology and was very friendly and said something along the lines of let’s end the meal on a sweet note and enjoy dessert on us. Finally, a real apology.

Iridescence Detroit

For dessert we tried three things. Mike ordered the apple pie with cinnamon ice cream ($7). It was quite good and not overly sweet. The apples also still had a bite to them just the way I like it.

Iridescence Detroit

I ordered the Candy Sampler ($12). It was whimsical looking but fell short. It was more dessert than “candy” and the execution on some parts was just not there. The best part was the Vernor’s float, and I am not even a Vernor’s fan. I loved the pop rocks on the rim of the cup and you could actually drink via the twizzler. It was fun and I was expecting something more whimsical.

Iridescence Detroit Iridescence Detroit

Sam had the Key Lime Pie ($7). It came with mango, basil and lemon sorbet. The basil was fantastic. So fresh and the perfect bite to end with.

Iridescence Detroit

Overall, the food was great, and better than I expected. I understand that sometimes kitchens can get overwhelmed and you could see the Chefs mad at work in the back. However, looking online at some other reviews it seems that the long wait for food has been a common issue. They need to fix this issue as it was the only issue we had and quite unacceptable. So, for now if you would like to dine there I would suggest to go at a time that is not usually as busy as Friday night, hopefully your wait won’t be as bad at that time. I would love to hear your thoughts. Is a long wait made up for by great food?

Iridescence on Urbanspoon

Tria – The Henry Autograph Collection – Dearborn

TRIA - The Henry

Anyone that lives in the area knows the Ritz in Dearborn is no more. It was sold last year, and out of the remodeling rubble The Henry has emerged. Within its walls is Tria, a restaurant described as “An American Brasserie”. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the hubby and I were invited to dinner there. I was expecting maybe an even stuffier albeit updated version of the Ritz restaurant. Let me just say, I didn’t imagine the swanky, modern and luxurious decor that greeted us as we walked into the hotel.

Blue, silver and white tones, crystal chandeliers, huge mirrors and amazing art. I was impressed, and its hard to really impress me.
TRIA - The Henry

The restaurant has a good sized bar, and a mixed style of tables.TRIA - The Henry

The menus were already at our tables. They were folded and sat like pyramids.
TRIA - The Henry

The menu selection is great. They have tapas style specialties and they also have dinner plates. There is something for everyone whether you are famished from a long trip or want to snack and enjoy drinks in between meetings.TRIA - The Henry

The meal started off with the complimentary bread.
TRIA - The Henry

If you know anything about me, you should know that I thoroughly enjoy appetizers, even more than the dinner itself.

I started off with the Angry Seafood Cocktail – poached shrimp, jumbo crab, and fruit de mar spicy tomato sauce ($9.50)

It was playfully presented in an ice bowl. I really loved the presentation.
TRIA - The Henry

It was a great start to the meal. Cold and crisp. Buttery crab and shrimp. I would have liked a less sauce and less powerful herbs (I believe it was parsley) so I could taste the sea food even more, but I still loved it.
TRIA - The Henry

Next up was the waitresses recommendation Oysters Rockefeller – fresh shucked oysters, pernod cream, spinach, bacon parmesan crust ($9). I asked for it without the bacon. The oysters looked beautiful. They were good, but not really my favorite.
TRIA - The Henry

The Woodland Mushroom Flat Bread was one of our favorite things of the dinner. It is always the simple dishes that are executed so well, they capture your heart. It has caramelized onions, chevre, arugula, truffle oil ($7). Grilled bread, tangy goat cheese, bitter greens and all dressed nicely. Just perfect.
TRIA - The Henry

Maybe its just a soft spot for caramelized onions. You can never go wrong with them.
TRIA - The Henry

My hubby wanted a vegetarian pasta so they modified their fettuccine for him. Creamy sauce, fresh peas, and sprinklings of cheese.TRIA - The Henry

I had the Rosemary Grilled Shrimp: tomato olive fondue, grilled bread ($10)

The shrimp was big and so succulent. It was some of the best shrimp I had had in a while. I couldn’t really pick up on the rosemary, but that didn’t matter to me. Rosemary could easily overwhelm the dish, and I’m glad it was subtle. The olives in the tomato sauce were a really good element.
TRIA - The Henry

Funny thing. I kept snapping photos of the dinner, so the couple next to us was intrigued and asked me what it was for. I told them it was for my blog. They were really sweet and insisted I take photos of their dishes for my blog. So, this is for you anonymous couple! Hehe. She had the Seared Diver Scallops – sweet pea puree, crispy pancetta, beluga lentils ($22)
TRIA - The Henry

Her husband had the Pork Plate – roast tenderloin, braised shoulder & crispy belly, Brussels sprouts, mustard seed slaw ($18)
TRIA - The Henry

All sides at Tria are $5. I like sides almost as much as I like appetizer. Its a way to taste more things, and usually fulfill my carb obsession.

We had the Inspired Mac & Cheese

TRIA - The Henry

The House Tater Tots were a revelation! Crispy on the outside, but like creamy liquidy mashed potatoes on the inside. Absolutely amazing.
TRIA - The Henry

The Butter Whipped Potato was also so good.My carb craving was very much extinguished after these sides.
TRIA - The Henry

For dessert, I usually go with the light and fruity route. I did find my absolute all time favorite thing in the whole wide world, Creme Brulee ($8). I am a discerning creme brulee snob. If the crust is too thick its ruined, if its not fresh I can tell, and if its made with less than quality ingredients I scream bloody murder. This was AH-mazing. Seriously. Perfect and a really healthy portion which is great for sharing. Two could easily eat this. The ingredients used were fantastic. I could see the vanilla bean in the custard. No cheap vanilla essence here. I have gone back since then and had this again!
TRIA - The Henry

The hubby went with the Sorbet Sampling. It was raspberry, mango and lemon sorbet. It was like eating real mangoes! These house-made sorbets were so pure tasting and so delightful and refreshing to eat.
TRIA - The Henry

Tria is a welcome breath of fresh air to the Dearborn area. I would definitely recommend it. They have something for everyone. It is a step forward in the city’s culinary scene. A restaurant with an imaginative menu, along with fresh great quality ingredients helps fill a void that I have longingly wanted addressed. The decor and ambiance is divine, and the wait staff is impeccable. They also plan on having lots of “shows” coming up with their award wining pastry chef doing things like making a wedding cake in the dinning room. To keep up to date on all this you can find them on Facebook.

p.s. Occasionally I accept dinner invitations, which in this case the food was provided for by Tria but all opinions as always are my own.

Tom’s Oyster Bar – Royal Oak

Toms Oyster Bar

One of my favorite restaurants in Royal Oak is Tom’s Oyster Bar. To state the obvious, they are known for their oysters, and seafood. They always have such delicious specials to choose from. We went early so it was a bit empty. I never mind that there though. Its always comfortable sitting in their wood paneled dining room, visually perusing all the seascape, fish and boating art hanging from the mahogany walls.
Toms Oyster Bar
Toms Oyster Bar

I was not in the mood for oysters that day. Even though they have an amazing selection that I have had on many occasions. You can see their vast menu here.

We started off with the Artichoke and Spinach Dip – baked with Asiago cheese & served with pita chips.

Toms Oyster Bar

It was thick and delicious. You could taste the artichokes and the cheese.
Toms Oyster Bar

I was in an onion ring mood. Don’t ask. I crave the weirdest things at the weirdest times. They were exactly what good onion rings are. Crispy, oily and guilt inducing.
Toms Oyster Bar

I had the buffalo shrimp salad. The shrimp were huge and perfectly cooked. The creamy salad dressing a perfect compliment to the spicy shrimp. The only thing is I wish it was less hot sauce, since the delicate flavor of the shrimp was overwhelmed.
Toms Oyster Bar Toms Oyster Bar

The hubby had the Shrimp Pasta Alfredo I believe. He loved it. Creamy and perfectly satisfying. Something that soothes the soul. His one qualm was there was way too much sauce, and the richness made it too hard to finish the plate.
Toms Oyster Bar

His shrimp was amazing, plump, and so juicy when chewed.
Toms Oyster Bar

For dessert, we had the Key Lime Pie. I usually hate pies (the weirdo I am), because my dislike for pie crust. But this one was made with a graham crust. It was sweet, tart, creamy and the perfect light bite.
Toms Oyster Bar

I’m sure we will be in again, and maybe next time I will have some pictures of their amazing oysters for you.

Have you been to Tom’s Oyster Bar? I know they have a few other locations, one location being in Detroit. You should definitely stop by. Especially now that their patio will be open.  I can’t wait to go again. I’m obsessed with seafood and can’t go too long without it.
Tom's Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Monterrey Cantina – Royal Oak – Mexican

Monterrey Cantina

Mexican food is one of those cuisines that you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. At least for me it is. Nachos with beans, jalapenos and cheese, bean burritos, fresh salsa to snack on, there is something for everyone.

Our favorite place outside of mexican town in Detroit is Monterrey Cantina in Royal Oak. Now, its a bit Americanized, but still really good. Its nothing like On the Border (which to me has nothing to do with Mexican food), but its not fully authentic either.

In the summer, the patio is always bumping with a long wait, and its located in the middle of main street, so its prime location.
Monterrey Cantina

We hang out in Royal Oak alot, and have ate here sooo many times.
Monterrey Cantina

The decor is rustic and playful with big peppers everywhere.
Monterrey Cantina

I had my usual. Refried bean burritos with rice and beans ($12). Yummy! Perfect ratio of beans to sauce and cheese.Monterrey Cantina
Monterrey Cantina

Hubby had the veggie quesadilla ($10), which is huge btw.
Monterrey Cantina

Lots of cheese, zucchini and peppers. Very fresh and simple.
Monterrey Cantina
Monterrey Cantina

If you are ever in the area past 10pm on Friday and Saturday night check it out since everything is 1/2 off. It also seems to be the place most club goers come eat before hitting places like Black Finn and Mr.B’s. Again, its not authentic mexican food, but its pretty good simple food for what it is.
Monterrey Cantina on Urbanspoon

Oslo – Detroit – Sushi & Thai

Oslo Detroit

On the corner of Woodward & John R. is a place with an inconspicuous sign. It simply reads Oslo. My friend Mike bugged me for a few months to check it out and once I saw a coupon on Restaurant.com I was psyched. We got the $50 off $100 gift certificate for 4 dollars, count them, one, two, three, four! So, I knew I was in for a feast.
Oslo Detroit

On the inside the decor is on point. Fresh and funky. With lots of modern wood accents all around and a great hand painted mural.

So first, some spring rolls ($3). I can eat spring rolls every day for the rest of my life. Clap if they make you happy 🙂 These were perfect. Everything a spring roll should be. Crunchy, super hot and just comforting.
Oslo Detroit

Being coconut shrimp fans, we went with that ($9). These were nothing special. I wouldn’t really order them again. Tasted just like the ones I buy from Costco. Pass…
Oslo Detroit

I felt like a soup, and at the waitress’s suggestion I ordered the Oslo Noodle Soup – fresh noodles, garlic, celery & bean sprouts ($3)

Let me tell you, if I ever had a Harry met Sally moment, it was over this soup. It seemed so simple looking when it came out, but the broth had so much depth, each slurp was an “ahhhhh” moment.  It was salty, nutty and fresh. There were so many notes to this soup, it sang. If you still didn’t get the point: ORDER THIS SOUP!
Oslo Detroit

Oslo is known for their sushi. So we had to order some rolls. I can’t remember the name of this one, but its a roll of salmon, cream cheese and avocado – then the whole roll is put in a tempura batter and deep fried. This was Ok. It had a bit of a fishy taste which I’m guessing came from the oil.
Oslo Detroit

Its my prerogative to eat as many spicy tuna rolls in my life as possible. So, me and mike each ordered one ($6). First thing I noticed was they look more square than round. Nothing special here either.
Oslo Detroit

Spicy Scallop Roll ($6.50) – thats the one on front on the picture below. The one in the back is the Cherry Blossom – salmon/cu/inside top w tuna/lemon/fish eggs ($11)
Oslo Detroit

Close up of the Cherry Blossom below. The slice of lemon is a nice surprise. This didn’t look rolled well either. To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan of their sushi dishes and was a bit disappointed. Seemed too sloppy, and not authentic at all.
Oslo Detroit

I have to say, their Thai dishes made up for the sushi! They have very authentic food, with the “mom n pop” in the back making it.

Hubby had the shrimp fried rice ($11) – he loved it.
Oslo Detroit

Mike had the Suki Yaki – Veggies & glass noodles in a spicy garlic sauce ($10)

Here is a little story about Mike’s dish and the exchange with the waitress:

Mike: “I want it super spicy. Hotter than Hot. You know how they make it hot, make it hotter! I can take it.”

Waitress: “Are you sure man, the chef is thai, so their spicy is real hot, like its really hot.”

Mike: “Yeah, real spicy. I love me some spicy food.”

So what happened was the dish came out, and mike took one bite of it and then he drank a whole cup of water. He couldn’t eat it. I had a taste and all I could taste was burn. It was a shame. The dish looked good.
Oslo Detroit

So Mike got to share my plate, which we both agreed was really good. I had the Drunken Noodle – Bean Sprouts, Onions, Bamboo, Wine, Egg, Fresh Noodles & Basil ($10 + $2 for shrimp)

I had it w/o the wine, and I’m not really sure there was basil in it. But, it was really good and satisfying.
Oslo Detroit
Oslo Detroit

For dessert we had the fried ice cream. Its oreo ice cream thats tempura and quickly fried.
Oslo Detroit

The other was tempura fried bananas with vanilla ice cream. I liked this one better. The combo of the crunchy warmed banana with the cold ice cream was good.
Oslo Detroit

I definitely recommend trying Oslo. Especially since they have all sorts of amounts of coupons / gift certificates on Restaurant.com. I also heard they got a cool club downstairs.

The one thing that did bother me, was the sushi took waaaaayy too long to come out. BUT, the service was amazing and friendly that it didn’t seem too much of a nuisance, since we were kept entertained by our fabulous waitress.

Again, their menu is huge and offers alot to try. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the sushi. Stick to the Thai dishes, you won’t be disappointed.
Oslo on Urbanspoon

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