Monday, August 16, 2010

Neisha Thai

My TP and I were searching for a small meal - just enough to ready our stomachs for some adult beverages later, if you catch my drift. So, we found ourselves at Neisha Thai on the one side of the Tysons Corner Center that I never knew existed.

As soon as we walked in TP noticed that that music we heard over the sounds of running water from the fountain in the middle of the restaurant sounded real - and indeed it was. Neisha Thai provides the rare entertainment of live music on the weekends! That night, it was a pair (who seemed to be a married couple) playing the flute and guitar. They even played my favorite Bach piece, Wachet Auf! (Sleepers Awake!).

Normally, I am quite wary of food establishments that carry too much on their menu, but I think Neisha Thai may be an exception to this rule. Despite all of their many offerings, however, we decided to go with their famous passion beef, Thai iced-tea, and a very traditional dessert.

The Thai Iced-Tea: the tea to condensed milk ratio was about 1:1, so if you like more tea to milk, then this is not for you, but the flavor of the tea itself came through
Overall: B+

The passion beef is their critically acclaimed flank steak that is marinated for three days before being cooked and served. It came out on a hot plate topped with ginger and a side of red cabbage and carrots.

The Meat: the meat was ultra tender due to the 3-day marinade extravaganza, we barely even had to use our knives, the slices were perfectly thick and slightly greater than bite-sized
The Marinade: TP wanted to try this because it sounded like Korean kalbi - I think it tasted more akin to bulgogi marinade, and definitely more on the sweet (rather than savory) side, which wasn't a bad thing . . . and neither were the sesame seeds on top, which everyone knows I love
The Topping and Sides: the only down side to this dish was the unreasonably massive heap of ginger atop the meat, and the sides of cabbage and carrots were a welcomed addition of veggies, but not terribly well seasoned
Overall: A

Passion Beef

Mango with sticky rice seems to be the most traditional Thai dessert. I appreciate the fact that even the the way I have seen it plated is the systematic and consistent across restaurants. What it is is fresh mango, sliced and fanned out along side sweet sticky rice topped with condensed milk and, in this case, dry, roasted/toasted (not sure which) mung beans. My sister had been encouraging me to try this dish for months before I finally got a chance to share it with a few friends at Vannipa in Falls Church, VA - where they served it with sesame seeds (yum!) instead of mung beans.

The Mango: literally, one half of a beautiful, ripe mango, fanned out with the top still in tact - delicious
The Rice: very sticky and very sweet - just the way it should be
The Toppings: you can never really go wrong with condensed milk, and the mung beans (as opposed to sesame seeds) added a subtle, nutty flavor and a wonderful crunch
Overall: A+

Mango with sticky rice


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