at Tin Drum Asia Cafe

I was invited to Tin Drum Asia Cafe in Roswell last night and boy, am I happy I accepted that invitation!  The cafe is well-lit and is meant to evoke the streets of Hong Kong.  Since I’ve never personally been to Hong Kong, I’ll have to take their word, based on the decor.  I had  the house brewed iced tea – a mixture of black, green blackberry jasmine and passion fruit teas; quite yummy! 

My meal started with the Coconut soup, which was tasty, and did not contain protein, but probably has chicken stock as the base (I noticed it is not available as a vegetarian option, hence the guess on the chicken stock).  Next came the Crab and Cheese Spring roll with a sweet and sour dip.  Of all the things I tasted, this was not my favorite; not to say it isn’t good, but (for me) there are better options on the menu, like the Panko Crispy Shrimp Tacos……..this is what will take me back to Tin Drum Asia Cafe.  LOVED LOVED LOVED the Panko Crispy Shrimp Tacos!  Two fat shrimp are coated in panko and flash fried and served in a flour tortilla with a little rice and smooth & cool  wasabi cucumber cream sauce.

The Pad Woon Sen (Woon Sen is a type of glass noodle served in the dish) is a nice comfort food; this particular Pad Woon Sen is a family recipe.  I enjoyed it, but will probably only order it on rainy or cool evenings.

I really enjoyed the Mango Stir-Fry.  This particular stir-fry was served with chicken.  The chunks of chicken are big and juicy and slightly crispy and tossed in a sweet chili sauce with fresh mango, basil. onion, and jalepenos and served over rice.  I adored the contrast of the firm chicken with the soft mango and the contrast of the heat from the jalapeno and the sweet mango.  I would definitely order this dish again!

The Tin Drum Curry was very flavorful, but not nearly hot enough for my taste, and I would like more of the sauce to eat with the lovely, fluffy rice.  By the way, this dish can be ordered H-O-T, and that is just how I’ll order it next time!

They saved the best for last………..the Tikka Masala!  YAY!  double YAY!  Now, this is what I’m talking about!  I waited all night on this dish, and it was so worth the wait.  The chicken was sautéed with Indian curry sauce and topped off with beautifully diced tomatoes and cilantro and served over Tin Drum’s fantastic rice.

Some important facts I learned about Tin Drum:

The chicken they use is from local farms that are concerned about the human treatment of their chicks.  I. AM. SO. HAPPY!

They have an excellent gluten-free menu, and the owner is very passionate about offering allergen free alternatives.

About half of the entrees can be vegetarian.

All items are made fresh to order.

No item on the menu is over $7.75.

So, here are the things you might want to eat at Tin Drum Asia Cafe:

Panko Shrimp Taco, Mango Stir-Fry, Tin Drum Curry and (especially) the Tikka Masala.

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I know it’s been a while……..

………..and I do apologize.  Things have been mighty crazy in my world, and while I’ve had some scrumptious meals lately, I haven’t had too much time to blog.

My most recent forays into the food world include:

Sushi House Hiyakawa

Kevin Rathbun Steak



I’m going to combine these four, so take note…

Sushi House Hiyakawa (or Atlanta Sushi) has, in my opinion, the BEST sushi in the city.  Tiny little place that I now make reservations for.  On my most recent visit, I had the spicy tuna, grilled yellow tail jaw, miso soup, surfer clam, yellow tail nigiri and Asahi on tap.  Suffice it to say, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices, so that is what you might want to eat at Sushi House Hiyakawa.

Kevin Rathbun Steak serves my favorite onion rings.  EVER.  You have to ask for the “old way”, though, to get the thin, crispy batter.  The onion rings come with KRS’ homemade sauce, similar to 57; nice and tangy and the perfect offset to sweet onion.  The Kumomoto oysters are so sweet, yet briny at the same time.  No need for the cocktail sauce and Saltines, not even lemon is necessary!  I love the atmosphere at Kevin Rathbun Steak as well.  I’m not a red meat eater, so my choices last time were simply a dozen oysters and “old way” onion rings.  You might want to try their steaks, though, since it is Kevin Rathbun Steak.

Eduardo’s was recommended by my friend Janelle, the bar manager at Steam House Lounge (love Janell, love SHL).  It was good, as far as Mexican food goes.  I had the black bean soup, Guacamole Mexicano and rice, but my favorite was the Tres Leches; they did an excellent job on the Tres Leches!  My husband had the Carnitas and he said his was excellent, so if you go to Eduardo’s, you might want to eat the Carnitas, but definitely want to eat the Tres Leches……muy bueno!

And I’ve saved the best for last:

Bacchanalia, is, without a doubt, the most incredible restaurant in Atlanta.  I cannot think of another place I would rather eat in Atlanta, given an unlimited budget.  Everything, from the gruygeres that you start of with, to the cheese tray is just unbelievable!  Of course, the menus change weekly, based on local and seasonal availability.  There are some staples in the first and last courses, such as the crab cake and the flourless chocolate cake, but everything else pretty much changes or slightly varies from week to week, so what I had for my entree might not be available the evening you go, so my recommendations are for naught here.  The service is impeccable, the atmosphere is unchallenged and the food, without a doubt, is exceptional.  So, here’s what you might want to eat at Bacchanalia –!

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at Floataway Cafe

You know the girl who is on the outside fringes of your inner circle?  The one you see at the weddings or birthday parties who seems to know everyone, and everyone knows her, and you make polite small talk and then walk away, only to see her again in six months or so and “shampoo, rinse, repeat”.

I feel this way about Floataway Café.  I do like revisiting Floataway Café every now and again because I know the restaurant is like that girl you see every so often; there but forgettable until next time.  I always forget how much I like Floataway until I go back.  The service is unobtrusive; the atmosphere is comfortable, the food is sure to be good and the prices are almost reasonable.

My husband, David, and I went to Floataway last night, and as usual, were happy with our experience.  We started off with an appetizer of Kumamoto oysters with champagne mignonette, roasted chicken livers with rosemary and red onion jam on a slice of baguette, and fried okra.  Of course, each appetizer was very tasty and I especially enjoyed the okra.  Note to self:  find some finely ground corn meal.

Both of us opted for pizza for our dinner…..David’s with sausage and bacon and mine with white anchovies, peppers and capers.  The crust was nice and chewy; the sauce was full of flavor and just the right amount, ditto with the cheese.  Although we didn’t ask, I’m pretty sure that the meat on David’s pizza came from Star Provisions’ curing locker.  The amount of meat on that pie was abundant and did not disappoint.  I loved the white anchovies on my pizza; they’re rich and almost subtle with just the right amount of saltiness.  The heat from the peppers, however, was too much for me, so I had to take some of the pepper rings off.  I know that the kitchen cannot control the heat quotient of the peppers, as each pepper can have its own amount of intensity, so I didn’t mind taking the peppers off my pizza.
We ended dinner with the fig and brown butter tart with crème fraiche and buttermilk ice milk.  Fabulous.  Absolutely fabulous.

So, if you go to Floataway Café, here are some “things you might want to eat”:

Wood grilled chicken liver bruschetta  with red onion jam

Kumamoto oysters with champagne mignonette

Fried okra

Sausage pizza with prosciutto, bacon and chorizo

White anchovy pizza with pepper rings and capers

Fig & brown butter tart with crème fraiche and buttermilk ice milk

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at The Capital Grille – Dunwoody

My very dear friend Leslie had been invited to bring a guest to the new Capital Grille in Dunwoody (on the back side of Dillard’s Perimeter Mall).  Leslie invited me, and of course, I said “yes”, mainly for Leslie’s company, but also a night out. 

When we arrived at The Capital Grille, we were met by a very friendly host staff.  It was very refreshing for someone to act like they actually wanted you in their restaurant, as opposed to that surly greet you might receive when the staff is “doing you a favor” by being there and maybe (or not) acknowledging you. 

The managing partner seated us near the open kitchen which thrilled us both.  We actually chose the chairs that face the kitchen so that we could see all the action. 

Our server, Anna, was pure charm.  Anna left Food 101 (where she had worked with the Angry Chef Ron Eyester) after six years to come to The Capital Grille.  If you go to the Capital Grille in Dunwoody, you should request Anna for your server.

I ordered a signature Stoli Doli Martini – careful with these, they go down easy – while Leslie indulged in a lovely wine.  We ordered off a reduced menu that was being offered and settled in for the ride. 

Our amuse bouche was a carrot ginger soup that was yummy, and apparently only offered for lunch.  After the cup was cleared, we received our wonderful appetizer of calamari that was served to us by a pleasant young woman who is learning French service (if you don’t know what French service is, it is a very difficult one-handed manipulation of an oversized spoon and fork that serves food off a “main” plate or platter onto each diner’s plate.  It can take a long time to master French service, trust me). 

Next came our entrees – mine was the sushi grade tuna with gingered rice and three asian influenced flavors served alongside the gargantuan chunk of tuna.  Leslie had the massive serving of lamb chops with cherry moutard, and we shared the creamed spinach.  Our dessert was a humongous slice of chocolate cake with hazelnut and creme anglais.  I won’t go into all the details of each course; suffice it to say it was all pretty amazing and earns the right to be called fine dining.  I will also add that the portions are GEN.ER.OUS.  Seriously generous!

This is an old school atmosphere, with the wait staff wearing jackets and neckties, the water servers/busser/backwaiters wore long white aprons and black bow ties, and the bar staff looks like they were plucked from a magazine.  I loved the “old boys” club decor, and the bar looked very snazzy, with red and black furnishings.  There are paintings all over the walls, ranging from individuals important to Atlanta, to hunting type images.  What is odd about the decor, and I was told is “signature” to every CG, is the very large eagle and the clocks set to different time zones.  Another signature decor is the bronze lions greeting you at the door (ala Las Vegas).

Here are the “things you might want toeat” at The Capital Grille:

Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers

Sushi Grade Tuna with gingered Rice

Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops

Creamed Spinach

Chocolate Cake with hazelnuts and creme anglaise

The Capital Grille’s website:

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My inspiration for this blog

My inspriation for this blog is my friend Leslie.  A few years ago, I was doing a blog for a challenge.  Leslie and I went to see the movie “Julie & Julia” and I mentioned to (the just retired) Leslie that perhaps she should start a blog, and she did.  Leslie’s blog is “The Food & Me”.  Check it out……….

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