Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wow! It's already the 300th post! Where has the time gone! Thank you so much to all my devoted readers! What better place to review or discuss than the newly opened Red Velvet Asian Cafe in San Juan Capistrano. They are exactly what this area needs. There are barely any Asian places around this area and it's about time that someone introduced a great new restaurant to this old-fashioned area. It's a breath of fresh air to be able to have the option for a variety of Asian foods at reasonable prices.
You can't tell from the outside but the inside is newly furnished with a mix of dark wooden or red furniture. When you enter, menus are conveniently placed and a plasma TV with the menu displayed on the side. Once you decide what you would like to have for that day, you can head on over to the counter where friendly servers are waiting to take your order. There is a set of wonderful teas to choose from. After you are finished ordering, you can proceed to find a seat and wait eagerly as the food is being freshly prepared then brought to your table.
We selected two types of tea to try. They pour the tea into their special cup and a built in strainer is placed a top. Afterwards it is sealed with a lid to sit and brew. I was so enamored with the cup that I asked to buy a bunch for my family! It's the perfect cup to let the tea simmer and you can choose how long or how strong you would like your tea. Even though I am not a big fan of teas, I could taste the delicacy and great flavor of the tea. Once you open the lid, it releases the aromatic smell. We tried the Jasmine and Strawberry Tea. I love to watch the exquisite tea ball blossom and bloom to reveal the wondrous strawberry in the center.
One thing that caught my immediately on the menu was the House Special Chicken Wings appetizer. It's fried Chicken Wings stir-fried with Scallions, Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic, & Jalapeños. The wings were crispy on the outside and tender & juicy on the inside. You can smell the delectable scent of the seasonings. Goes great with rice!
My Mom ordered the Curry Chicken. It's marinated Chicken and Potato in Spicy Yellow Curry Sauce. They use chunks of chicken breast and a variety of vegetables. The curry was strong and goes well with white rice. A variety of colorful vegetables were used to enhance the presentation.
They suggested the Black Peppered Beef and we decided to try it. It's tender pieces of Steak sautéed with Onions in a Garlic, Black Pepper, and Ginger Sauce. This cooking style is commonly known as the French-Vietnamese style. I thought the beef was really tender yet crispy on the outside and well seasoned. The sweetness of the onions really bring out the flavor of the sauce and beef. I really enjoyed this dish and I love any dish that has plenty of meat!
I couldn't resist ordering the Walnut Shrimp. It's Fried Shrimp tossed in a Creamy Sauce topped with Candied Walnuts. The shrimp was very lightly battered, fried well, and still tender inside. I hate thick batters and I am glad they used the batter sparingly as well as the sauce. It was not overpowering and you can taste the flavor of both the shrimp & sauce. The candied walnuts were really good. They actually gave quite a generous amount of shrimp for the price.
Every entrees comes with your choice of two sides. You can choose from the Garlic Noodles, Rice (White, Brown or Fried), Side Garden Salad, Garlic Baby Bok Choy, or Steamed Vegetables. Need I say more about what I would choose! I automatically went for the noodles! They had just the right texture and the flavor was good. I just wished it had more garlic, but that is because I am a garlic-holic.For dessert we decided to try the Banana Xangos. It's a Caramel Banana Cheesecake Spring Roll sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar and served with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. I really liked the idea of this and the execution was great. The spring roll had just the right amount of cheesecake, caramel, banana, and seasoning/flavor.
All in all the food was good and much better than I thought it would be. The place is brand new and immaculate right now. It's a great location off the Ortega Highway. They are open Mon-Sat 11AM-9PM and closed on Sundays. Be sure to check out their great lunch deals. I have to come back sometime soon to try out other items on the menu. The day I came they were starting training on Milk Tea! Even better! A place where I can get some good food and wash it down with a great drink! ^_^
Red Velvet Asian Cafe
31654 Rancho Viejo Ste. D
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675