Moving days…. no, moving WEEKS are usually filled with stress. But I refuse to bend down to the laws of nature. After hours of packing boxes and getting myself covered in a thick layer of sweat, grime, and dust, I was sneezing all over the place. Bits of kleenex were probably stuck to my face, and I turned to my boyfriend and said, “I am hungry!”.
“How about if we go to Annisa before we move out of the neighborhood?” He asked.
“Done” We made the phone call. They had space at the bar, we were ready to go. But it turns out that I had packed all of my nice shoes and clothes. I had a funky Marc Jacobs shirt, red tulip skirt, a left over leather jacket that I forgot to pack, and flip-flops. My top half was going to a concert, and my bottom half was going to the park, but alas the host will just have to deal.
I stepped in the door and noticed the average age in the restaurant was about 50, and I was woefully underdressed. I quickly moved as close to the podium as possible so that the host had no view of my feet. I then floated to the bar, and situated myself before his had a chance to vomit in his mouth. He seemed like the type.
Amuse Bouche 7/10 Chicken liver mousse with mustard and pickled plums. It’s creamy and on a paper thin pastry. It was a very pleasant way to start the night, though the richness of the mousse was a little aggressive.
Steak tartare with bulgar and cinnamon 8/10: The steak tartare was clearly Asian fusion in flavor with shallots that were cut as big as the steak. There was also a hint of some soy based sauce. The black sesame paste and tofu sauces were a delightful substitute for egg.
Duck foie gras soup dumpling 10/10: Ah the famous dumpling. Without it, I don’t think the restaurant would exist. It took me a moment to get over the fact that the soup dumpling is not shaped like a traditional soup dumpling, so it was harder to shove the whole thing into my mouth. However, once the warm dumpling hit my palate, my doubts evaporated. It was just heavenly.
My date tried to get me to spew out my food by saying that it’s about 10x better than Joe’s Shanghai. I will not be tricked into giving up my delicious food! I don’t think you can compare this to Joe’s Shanghai for the record.
At this point, there was a pause in our service. I overheard earlier that the travel channel was at table 10, so maybe they had to switch up the menu or take pictures or something.
Striped bass with bottarga 7/10: Nothing to really complain about, but I didn’t think there was anything new or special about the dish. It was extremely acidic, as if the skin was soaked in lemon. If you have an acidic palate you might love this, but I don’t. They were also running low on snap peas. We each got 1/3.
Spanish mackerel with Korean chili paste 7/10: The sear wasn’t as crispy and yet was more burnt than the previous fish, but I liked the sauce a lot better. It was tangy and sweet, but didn’t stick to the fish like a condiment. The little chunks of Japanese sweet potato were a great addition to the dish. The fish arrived to the table too hot, which is a pet peeve of mine.
<insert picture of buffalo>
We were betting on the next protein, and in the heat of winning, I completely forgot to take a picture. We had buffalo steak with horseradish foam. I would give it a 5/10… I just don’t like the flavor of buffalo, and it had nothing to do with the Asian/French fusion that we were enjoying. The meat was gamey as expected, and the sauce wasn’t good enough to cover up the livery flavor.
Cheese course 4/10: I don’t understand why this wasn’t optional. I love cheese, but once again this just didn’t make sense to me. There were heavy French influences in the rest of the meal, but I thought the point was that we’re eating *Asian* fusion and not *French* fusion, and a large percentage of Asians are lactose intolerant. Also a large percentage of the cheeses were from some place random and tasted quite pungent. The spectrum of flavors and textures were narrow, and the pile of raisins in the middle made for poor accompaniments.
Fried milk something on passion fruit something 5/10: Could not hear a word the guy was saying and then he quickly disappeared to attend to table 10. The cracker/fried milk thing was interesting and melty. The passion fruit (panna cotta?) was okay. It wasn’t inspired enough for me to finish, which is sad. I love sweets.
Chocolate desserts 6/10: From left to right: Molten chocolate cake was rich and delicious but not molten in the center. Chocolate square with malt balls… tastes like something I could get from a random chocolate store, and the square could get seriously dangerous if you inhale it. It’s like a pile of finely crushed cookies. Chocolate flan was okay. Chocolate bubble tea. So instead of grass jelly, there were crunchy chocolate bits. I guess I would rather have a chocolate drink and the grass jelly bubbles… or even chocolate jelly bubbles?
6.5/10 The coconut popsicles on the left were good and got the 6.5/10 alone. I can’t remember much about the candied ginger or the other thing. Was it chocolate, or was it poop? (movie reference)
Overall I’m glad that I tried Annisa. It had such a strong start, but such a weak finish. I think if I had the meal backwards, I would be more likely to return. Maybe next time I will hang out at the bar with 2 orders of dumplings and one protein. I think as long as the dumpling dish exists, I would consider stopping by when in the neighborhood.