Asiatique

our 2nd outing at restaurant week, on the heels of a great evening at bella luna, was very hard to pick. it was the last day of the week and there were so many great restaurants to pick from – chalk, view and cumin stood out but asiatique was by far the most intriguing. the newly built structure stands next door to where mesh (now stone creek) was located in west chester. reading the menu and the biographies of the chefs got us quite excited.

the whole structure was built from ground up and the interior is very chic. asiatique bistro and lounge has a very cosmopolitan city feel – subdued lighting, minimalist decorations, chill beats all add to give it a very nice vibe.

(above L: kirin ichiban and stella artois on tap; above R: mango-infused vodka waiting to be “martini’d”)

while we waited in the lounge area for the rest of the group to arrive, the bartender gave us some background on the place while serving up some kirin ichiban on tap (i havent seen that before!) they also make infused vodka martinis and i can vouch that the lychee martini is amazing! other flavors we saw were mango, pineapple and orange. i’m sure they are all quite good. just make sure you have a designated driver to take you back home.

(above L: chenin blanc (compliments of the bartender) and kirin ichiban; above R: spring mix with wasabi+caesar drizzle)

our group was very cooperative and ever ready to experiment with the menu. it became quite apparent that we were all going to be sharing the food on the table. our 1st course was salads with very interesting dressing that were made in-house: wasabi+caesar, sweet chilli+basil, ginger+soy. chubs, however, chose the soup of the day which was mushroom. it sounded quite dull to me while ordering but boy, was i wrong!. the soup had bits of mushroom that had been pulverized in a blender and was flavored with a mild curry spice. it was ridiculously satisfying.

(above L: wok sauteed five spiced shrimp; above R: malaysian style chicken satay and asian basil pesto)

2nd course was appetizers which, in my opinion, is where asiatique shines. they make asian inspired kebobs, satays, rolls and on-a-sticks! we had a nice sampling with the crabmeat and goat’s cheese rolls, chicken satay, five spice shrimp and lemongrass scented beef (clearly the winner).

(above: crabmeat + goat cheese spring roll and spiced miso aioli)

(above L: lemongrass scented beef kebob and asian basil pesto; above R: pork shank, baby carrots and espresso scented reduction)

the main courses were by no means for the faint of heart (or stomach). generous portions of meat and veg arrived on large platters with a choice of white or brown rice. the seafood medley was well executed and the ribeye had a familiar flavor from the kebobs. the pork shank was gargantuan but the ribs…i’m salivating even thinking about them. perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy. a few bites into the entre, we all realized that it would be futile to try and finish. better sense prevailed and we decided as a group to not try, and save room for dessert instead!

(above L: seafood medley of scallop, calamari, shrimp, mussel and yellow curry + coconut broth; above R: char-grilled lemongrass scented beef ribeye and sichuan string bean)

(above: indocine inspired slow cooked short ribs and baby carrots)

and i’m glad that we did! the desserts are also made in-situ. housemade ice-cream came in little cubes. they have 16 different flavors that they rotate their way through. the rasberry was creamy, the lemon ginger had a nice bite to it (fresh ginger pieces) and the kulfi was decadent with saffron. the ice cream was served with a flare of sarawak peppercorn caramel that challenged the tastebuds into new territory. the chocolate tart (truffle) was dense and rich but yet felt light. it was truly bittersweet and came with just enough saffron creme anglaise to keep you scraping the plate for more.

(above L: bittersweet chocolate tart with saffron creme anglaise; above R: housemade ice cream (raspberry, kulfi, lemon ginger))

at the end of the night, we noticed the bartender capping all the liquor. reminds me of a paddy field.

(above: closing time)

their menu has so many items that look interesting. and their happy hour has great prices too. we’re surely going back for more!

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