22 hours ago
Monday, February 15, 2010
Eating In - Coa
I know it is unfair to judge a place based on takeout. The texture, temperature and consistency are bound to be off (unless we are talking about delivery pizza - then these are legitimate criteria). Bearing that in mind, I will judge only flavour & spices. With Coa, I was a little disappointed. We ordered: vegetarian dim sum, shui mai, chicken satay skewers, gyoza, pho bo & udon noodles with duck. The vegetarian dim sum was a dumpling with a chopped vegetable filling. The shui mai, pork & shrimp filled pockets, were very small. I was hard pressed to tell the difference between these two appetizers and the ones in the freezer section of my Asian supermarket. The chicken satay skewers came with a nice peanut sauce but the spice mix of the skewers themselves was lacking. The gyoza was good, but nearly anything deep-fried is good (it was not pan-fried as I was expecting).
I found the pho bo to be a placid beef soup with beef chunks, not slices, that were lacking the wakening spices that I love so much about pho. What surprised me is that this is from their take-out menu. When I used to beg for take-out pho from my local place at home (they didn't really do take-out), they would give me a container of rice noodles, a container of soup & a plastic bag full of sprouts & extras. Here, it all came in one container, leaving the noodles to steep until they are ready to fall apart. The udon was spicy & the duck was nice. But it's Valentine's day - it's not about the food, and I'm happy to report that the picnic was a fun success.
I think the appeal of Coa must lie in it's sleek interior. Dark wood, white walls, green accents and a few orchids; it's a nice place to come in for a quick bite. But don't expect too much flavour in that bite.