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Dunkin’ Donuts

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Dunkin Donuts Düsseldorf

Konrad Adenauer Platz 14 40210 Düsseldorf (im Hauptbahnhof)

The holiday season has come and gone, with many people overfilling on sweets during the time spent with family and friends.  Cakes, cookies, and candies – typical holiday treats.  This isn’t just limited to the United States: in Germany, for example, traditional German spiced cakes and cookies (Spekulatius), fruitcakes (Stollen), and various confections and chocolates turn up only during the winter holidays.  But why stick to tradition?  A year-round deep-fried delight that fulfills the duty of sweet treats should be equally associated with holiday cheer.  The sugary, colorful glaze on top and the scent of a freshly fried donut is oftentimes enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face (especially Homer Simpson!).

Although the location is towards the back of the main train station in Düsseldorf (near platforms 16/17), the bright orange and pink lights of the Dunkin’ Donuts stand will easily catch your attention from a distance.  A simple glance at the vivid, artistic doughy creations is enough to attract interest and curiosity.  Moreover, some the names associated with these fried fritters – Blue Sky, Lemon Spirit, and Apple Lifting – are quite creative.

 

The Blue Sky donut has a bright calming blue hue on top of the lightly glazed doughnut.  Enough to make you sing Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”?  Fat chance.   The frosting makes you think it tastes like blueberries, or something fresh and sunny, but it’s just eye candy – sweet frosting with added color.  For winter, Dunkin’ Donuts sells a red glazed donut called Balthasar.  The frosting tastes sort of like cherries – definitely tastier and a sweeter than the Blue Sky donut.  A single donut costs 1,30 €.

 

Like most donut stores, Dunkin’ Donuts sells doughnut holes – small doughnuts in the shape of spheres.  Rather than the generic name “doughnut holes”, they are given the cute name “Munchkins” at Dunkin’ Donuts.  At this location, they have a variety of Munchkins to choose from – glazed, chocolate glazed, sugared with a chocolate and peanut butter filling, powdered with Bavarian crème inside, among others.  The glazed Munchkin is like a normal glazed doughnut, not too sweet as you might expect.  The sugared one, with the chocolate and peanut butter mixture, is a bit gooey – reminds me of a dog eating peanut butter.  Personal favorites are the powdered ones and the glazed chocolate – both are delicious.  The custard glaze within the powdered Munchkin is a tad sweet, but complements the dough extremely well.  Each one has a good amount of filling.  The glazed chocolate is sort of like a mini chocolate muffin – with the glaze, it has the sweetness of a brownie.  A truly yummy dessert.  And, at 1,99 € for a bag of six Munchkins, it’s not too bad for a quick snack.

 

Grab a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate with your doughnuts and you are set for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or dessert.  Or a quick snack in between meals.  You can never go wrong with donuts, especially Dunkin’ Donuts!

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Summary:

An American donut chain with various locations in Germany, Dunkin’ Donuts offers delectable donuts and hot and cold drinks that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth!  A must stop for travelers and residents alike yearning for something American.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Munchkins – 4.5/5
  • Blue Sky Donut – 4/5
  • Balthasar Donut – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.dunkin-donuts.de

Written by geschmack

January 3rd, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Rhodos-Grill

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Rhodos-Grill

Hasselsstraße 99 40599 Düsseldorf

When you combine elements of a local family owned business with a fast food restaurant, you almost certainly have a friendly staff willing to go the extra mile to satisfy each and every need.  The prices are generally favorable and the food is by and large fresh and top-quality.  Sometimes, being a frequent customer has its rewards as they may even receive extra portions as a nice gesture.  This concept is not confined to eateries in the United States, but also found overseas – as is the case at Rhodos-Grill.

 

Enter this fast food locale and you will immediately become aware of the large service counter.  There is a huge glass display case containing stored cold items that are ready to be cooked.  Nearly half of the items on the menu are visible through this display – fries, schnitzel, rice, sauces and dips, and various types of salads.  Don’t plan on coming here with large groups as there are only 5 tables here with enough seating for 4 at each spot.

The food here is a mixed bag.  Gyros are extremely good.  Portion sizes are huge and worth the 5,10 euro price tag.  The meat is well seasoned and full of flavor.  There is a good amount of fat attached to the meat, which can provide a tasty addition depending on how you look at it (of course, this can be upsetting for many people).  An order also comes with banana peppers that complement the gyros well.  The only downside is the addition of raw onions, instead of grilled.  As a result, you will be left with onion breath long after finishing the meal.

The rice dish, flavored with tomatoes, chunks of softened carrots, and huge chunks of chicken meat, is an absolute mess.  On this visit, the starch was completely mushy and the entire dish wasn’t heated up enough to qualify as a warm dish.  Moreover, the dish suffered from quite a good amount of plain chicken fat in the dish that made it even more repulsive.  I’m fairly certain that rice isn’t supposed to be watery and gooey like that.  There were large chunks of chicken breast and small cuts of dark chicken meat that made it a meal in itself.  Nevertheless, despite costing only 3 € for a large portion, it was a total disaster.

 

The 2,10 € order of currywurst is lackluster, not too spectacular.  The curry sauce itself is a little bit sweet for the sausages.  Maybe there wasn’t a lot of curry added or they expected the sausage’s saltiness to counteract it.  Nonetheless, the flavor is pretty predictable.

 

Another popular fast food dish in Germany, aside from currywurst, is Frikadelle – minced meat combined with various spices and ingredients, formed into balls or shaped into patties, and then pan-fried.  Think hamburger, but a lot tastier and thicker.  Order them hot and you get a nice crust on the top and bottom – a nice contrast to the meat inside.  Simply put, the frikadellen here are a pleasure to eat.  And at 1,60 € per, it is certainly a good deal.

One of the better items to order at Rhodos-Grill is the rotisserie chicken.  Whole chickens can be seen from outside the window spinning on the rotisserie.  The chicken is absolutely amazing – each piece of meat is moist and juicy.  Cut right into the bird and you not only see the clear juices running off the bone, but also the steam rising up from the piping hot chicken.  The skin is full of flavor and isn’t overly salty.  At 6 euros for an entire chicken, it may be a tad pricy.  But finding good roasted chicken is hard to come by in these parts of town, so it is definitely worth it.

 

On an earlier visit, the fries were cooked fresh and served hot and crispy.  The second stop, though, was a completely different result.  The potatoes were soggy and lacking that crunchy texture.  The third visit was in between.  With so many entrées being served with fries, it’s extremely important to maintain a good French fry consistency.

Rhodos-Grill is a favorite of the locals – and with good reason.  Filling, tasty, and moderately priced – what more can you ask for from a local joint?  If you happen to be in the Hassels area of Düsseldorf, this fast food Greek establishment is worth paying a visit.

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Summary:

A local fast food restaurant in an urban part of Düsseldorf, Rhodos-Grill serves up an assortment of typical quick service foods including pizza, baguettes, sausages, roasted chicken, burgers, gyros, and French Fries.  Friendly atmosphere.  Extremely inexpensive.  Delivery service available.

(Note: Food was ordered to-go and served at home – hence, the plates are not from the restaurant)

Overall – 4 stars

  • Gyros mit Zwiebeln (with Onions) – 4/5
  • Rice with Chicken – 2/5
  • Currywurst – 3.5/5
  • Frikadelle – 4.5/5
  • Rotisserie Chicken – 5/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

January 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Baan Thai

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Berger Straße 28 40213 Düsseldorf

Second Thai restaurant in as many days, second visit to this place since my arrival in Germany – apparently, the second time seems to make everything taste a whole lot better.

  

From the moment you catch sight of this restaurant in the Düsseldorf Altstadt, you instantly become aware that it’s a Thai establishment – not only because of its namesake, but also because the structural design, particularly the entrance, is traditional Thai.  This continues as you walk inside the place – the entire restaurant captures the essence of Thailand, from the architectural woodwork of the tables and the frames, to the wooden railings and the figures on the walls.  The place exudes Thai culture all around – the music coming from the loudspeakers is Thai and the attire worn by the waitresses is also traditional.

Naturally, this carries on further to the menu as there are not only familiar dishes you can find at any other Thai restaurants in Germany, but also rustic favorites seldom found anywhere else.  Not only is there an extensive list of items on their standard menu to choose from, but also multiple monthly specials to whet your appetite.  These vary in price and are also unique.  Deciding on what to order could be a difficult task in itself.  But rest assured, whatever you order will be delicious.

 

Compared to the ones found in Thailand, the Tod Mun Pla (fish cakes) at Baan Thai is right on.  An order comes with 7 medium sized fish patties accompanied by a small bowl of traditional sweet dipping sauce.  The sauce consists of freshly sliced cucumbers, diced red onions, red peppers, and ground peanuts.  Alone, the fish cakes are amazing, but dipping in the sauce takes it to a whole new level.  The textural combination of spongy fish and the crunchy nuts and vegetables creates an enjoyable experience.  This mixture of flavors is truly authentic Thai.  As an appetizer, an order of Tod Mun Pla will set you back 6,90 €, but it’s definitely worth it.

   

Another common Thai dish is Rad Na – stir fried rice noodles in a gravy sauce.  Although the dish itself is lacking in the flavor department, an order comes with the standard four condiment tray – fish sauce, sugar, chili flakes, and chili pepper vinegar – with which you are supposed to personally season the dish to your liking.  People have differing tastes when it comes to noodle dishes – some like it overly spicy, some individuals salty, and others like it a bit sweet.  Hence, alone, the Rad Na with chicken, together with broccoli and cauliflower florets and sliced carrots, leaves a lot to be desired.  But after adding the condiments, you are supposed to fulfill those desires yourself and only then can the dish really take off.  Additionally, as part of the exclusive monthly special, the Rad Na is listed at only 6,90 euros.

A favorite of many Thai people is Nua Kem (salted Thai Beef Jerky) with Sticky Rice.  This is common Thai street fare.  The strips of beef are marinated extremely well in a mixture of sugar and soy sauce and then fried to perfection.  But don’t be fooled by its simplicity.  The beef packs a ton of flavor and, when eaten in conjunction with the sticky rice, is absolute heaven.  Although some restaurants serve Thai beef jerky with a sauce, it is simply not needed here.  The meat breaks down easily in your mouth.

 

Baan Thai – translated as Thai house – is an absolute must stop when in the Düsseldorf Altstadt.  The chefs working furiously in the kitchen know how to serve meals that satisfy both Thai and foreigner taste buds alike.  It is definitely one of the most authentic Thai restaurants outside of Thailand.

 

Summary:

One of the best Thai restaurants in Düsseldorf, if not in all of Germany, Baan Thai dishes up authentic and traditional Thai food in an exquisite atmosphere.  An enormous menu, in addition to specials that change every month, makes this restaurant worth visiting time and time again.  Outstanding service.

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Overall – 5 stars

  • Tod Man Pla (Deep Fried fish cakes) – 5/5
  • Thai Beef Jerky with Sticky Rice – 5/5
  • Rad Na Gai (Stir-Fried Thick Noodles with Chicken in gravy) – 4/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.baanthai.de

Written by geschmack

December 30th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Sukhothai

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Heinrich-Heine-Platz 1 40213 Düsseldorf (im Basement des Carsch-Hauses)

Oftentimes, when you enter a food court, you will find a mixture of popular fast food joints along with ethnic eateries, all featuring quick meals at very inexpensive prices.  Normally, the quality of food is sub par and the entrées are sometimes secretly enhanced with glutamates and other artificial flavorings.  Travel to Germany and you will not find that here – particularly at the restaurants at Carsch-Haus.  Sure, you will come across an assortment of cultural flavors as you would at any food court.  But the ingredients are innovative, the setting is stylish, the service is splendid, and the food is fantastic.  Sukhothai stands out among the rest of its peers here, particularly because the food is natural, fresh, and darn good.

 

Although this restaurant isn’t particularly big, the place is definitely eye-catching.  Sukhothai smartly utilizes a calming green to adorn its walls and soothe its guests.  The attractive, modern atmosphere doesn’t exactly scream out Thai, but it properly matches the high quality and close attention to detail given to the food.  Seating, primarily consisting of black high chairs, is quite limited here.  One aspect worth mentioning is the open kitchen here.  Guests can watch as the chefs meticulously prepare each and every dish before being served.  Places like these make the dining experience even more exciting.

Sukhothai’s menu is limited to a handful of dishes for each of the following categories: salads, soups, poultry, meat & seafood, and noodles.  There are roughly five or six entrées listed under each one, which isn’t bad when the food tastes as good as it does.

 

The Panang Curry is a must for anyone visiting Sukhothai.  For people familiar with Thai panang, the first bite may be off-putting because it tastes entirely like the Satay peanut sauce.  But continue eating it and it gets addicting.  The chicken is moist and tender.  The curry has the perfect amount of curry paste mixed in.  Essentially, the cooks adapt the curry to the German tastes and many people seem to enjoy it.  The Satay chicken is also good.  Instead of your traditional chicken skewers with peanut dipping sauce on the side, this dish is served with chunks of chicken swimming in the sauce.  The presentation is identical to the panang curry – the only difference is the taste.  Again, the chicken is superb.  The peanut sauce itself is a bit sweet and, unfortunately, the cucumber salad palate cleanser (Ajad) you would typically find served with Thai satay is nowhere to be found.

 

The glass noodle salad is another winner.  This is the refreshing salad that you will be yearning for after (or before) eating a main dish.  The ground chicken complements the texture of the silky noodles and the crunchy assortment of vegetables extremely well.  The sauce isn’t overpowering.  Most important in this dish is the fresh ingredients used – peppers, cucumbers, green onions, and carrots – all providing a harmonic flavor profile.  The dish isn’t spicy at all.  Many Germans enjoy eating Gebratene Rice (fried rice) or Gebratene Noodles (chow mein).  Order these items in Deutschland and they will normally include curry in them.  The chow mein here isn’t exactly spectacular – it’s pretty standard fair.

Sukhothai boasts cooking authentic Thai cuisine using the original recipes of the Michelin star chef Wanphen Heymann-Sukphan.  With the name of an internationally renowned chef attached to the restaurant, you know that you are in for a treat at Sukhothai.

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Summary:

Sukhothai, situated in the food court area in the basement of the Carsch-Haus department store in the Düsseldorf Altstadt, is a delicatessen serving up authentic Thai cuisine in a modern, sophisticated setting.  Limited selection of items on the menu, but cooked right.  Prices are reasonable.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Panang-Curry Chicken (Gang Panang Gai) – 4.5/5
  • Satay-Sauce mit Erdnüssen (Gai Sauce Satay) – 4/5
  • Glasnudel-Poulet-Salat (Jam Wun Sen Gai) – 4/5
  • Gebratene Nudeln mit Hühnerbrush (Bamee Phat Gai) – 2.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.sukhothai.ch

Written by geschmack

December 29th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Dunkin’ Donuts

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Dunkin Donuts

Konrad Adenauer Platz 14 40210 Düsseldorf

When I noticed that there was a Dunkin’ Donuts in the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, I was totally excited.  I grew up in Southern California, where there are only a few Dunkin’ Donuts around town and I never had the opportunity to visit one.  Before I left Düsseldorf this time, I knew that I had to try one of their donuts!

This Dunkin’ Donuts stand is pretty small, although they have several varieties of donuts to choose from.  Most of the ones in the glass are decorated with mouth watering frosting that will definitely push your caloric intake for the day.  Behind the counter, they have their Munchkin donut holes.  A cute name indeed!

All giddy with excitement, I had trouble choosing which donut to try.  I ended up selecting a Frühlings Donut (a springtime donut) with the name “Erdbeer Traum” (strawberry dream”).  I also ordered a small hot chocolate with whipping cream on top.

  

The donut was absolutely wonderful.  There was some strawberry filling in the middle of the dough, which finely complemented the sweet frosting on top.  The donut itself was delicate and a bit sweet.  Overall, it was a great American treat.  The hot chocolate, on the other hand, was miserable.  Even though it looked great, the whipping cream was completely worthless.  In fact, it made the hot chocolate even worse!  I was expecting something sweet to warm my soul on this cold, windy day, but the drink tasted absolutely atrocious.

Overall, the donut and the small drink cost 2,09 EUR.  Not bad at all!  Next time I’m at the main train station, I will definitely be dining on Dunkin’ Donuts in Düsseldorf, Deutschland!

 

Summary:

An American donut chain toward the back end of the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, Dunkin’ Donuts offers delectable donuts that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth!  A must try for travelers yearning for something American.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Frühlings Donut: Erdbeer Traum – 4/5
  • Hot Chocolate with Whipping Cream – 2/5
  • Service – 4/5

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Written by geschmack

September 29th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Schnitzel Huber (Update)

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Schnitzel Huber 

Berger Straße 14 40213 Düsseldorf                 [CLOSED]

My second time around at this fast food establishment in the Düsseldorf Altstadt was better than the first.  How can that be?  Well, this time Schnitzel Huber offered discounted plates at reduced prices!  This is extremely advantageous when you’re walking by so many different restaurants, but don’t want to pay outrageous prices for a meal.

I stopped by this place for lunch on this Monday afternoon.  I ordered one of their special plates, consisting of a decent sized piece of schnitzel, French fries, a small portion salad with your choice of Italian, French, or yogurt dressing, and a small drink (think kid’s meal drink) – all for 5,50 EUR!

The schnitzel came with a wedge of lemon and chives scattered over the top.  Even though my aunt said that it tasted somewhat old, I thought that the schnitzel was absolutely perfect.  The pork was moist and flavorful.  It was breaded really well and turned out nice and crisp.  The French fries were not hot and golden, but they still tasted decent.  I chose to get French dressing for my salad.  Although it was very creamy and yummy, they poured a bit too much over the vegetables.  For my drink, I ordered a Lift apple soda.

Schnitzel Huber offers both indoor and outdoor seating.  The inside seating areas are quite modern and comfortable.  If you enjoy people watching, then the seats outside are the perfect places to sit.

By the time I finished eating the entire plate, I was completely happy.  If schnitzel tastes this good at a fast food joint, I can’t imagine how good it tastes at a fine dining restaurant in Germany!

 

Summary:

Schnitzel Huber serves up tasty German schnitzel at affordable prices.  A must stop for those looking for delicious German food at prices that can’t be beat!

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Schnitzel – 4.5/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Salad – 3.5/5
  • Service 5/5

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http://www.schnitzelhuber.de/

Written by geschmack

September 28th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Schnitzel Huber

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Schnitzel Huber 

Berger Straße 14 40213 Düsseldorf                 [CLOSED]

Situated in the Düsseldorfer Altstadt, this fast food type restaurant features schnitzel, schnitzel, and more schnitzel.  I visited this place for lunch after doing some shopping in the Altstadt.  It was the first time I had eaten German food in Germany and boy, was it delicious!

For the price of €4,95, you can get a (120 g) piece of crispy schnitzel with chives and a wedge of lemon on top.  Plus, you can get French fries and a choice of sauce on the top.  Talk about great value!  Of course, you have to order and pay for the drink separately.  Even though it is a fast food place (they have a front counter with cashiers, like at a McDonald’s), the food is served on a plate on a tray and you have to get your own utensils from the counter.

The schnitzel was crunchy and delicious.  The breading wasn’t fattening at all.  I personally don’t really like using lemon on the schnitzel, but the mushroom gravy I got was somewhat sour tasting.  It had mushrooms and onions in there, but it just tasted a little odd.  Instead of fries, I decided to get the potato croquettes.  I really wished they had mashed potatoes, but unfortunately they don’t.  The croquettes are totally crispy on the outside, warm on the inside with the potato filling.  It completely warms your heart!

I tried the spinach bowl, hoping that it would taste like Boston Market’s creamy spinach.  Instead, you get a small bowl of blanched spinach, flavored with some garlic.  It was a little watery for my tastes.  They need some Boston Market here.

Overall, this place is really nice.  I would definitely come back here for more.  Heck, I would even open a Schnitzel Huber in America if I could…

Summary:

Great value, excellent prices.  Probably the least expensive plate I have seen thus far in Deutschland.  Delicious schnitzel.  Outdoor seating.  Bathrooms downstairs, relatively clean.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Schnitzel – 4.5/5
  • Potato Croquettes – 4/5
  • Spinach – 3.5/5
  • Mushroom gravy – 3/5
  • Service 5/5

 

31. August 2009

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August 31st, 2009 at 11:34 pm

China Restaurant Dschunke

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China Restaurant Dschunke

Charlottenstr. 59 40210 Düsseldorf

Located near the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, this place has a great ambiance.  After passing through the double doors, you immediately sense that you’re in for a Chinese experience with all of the elegant statues and dining furniture.

I stopped by this Chinese restaurant for lunch after coming back from the Hauptbahnhof and the AquaZoo on the 27th of August with my aunt.

 

As a long time lover of dim sum, I was really looking forward to trying it here in Germany.  To my surprise the restaurant menu features many well known types of dim sum, from siu mai to sao pao to choung fun.  However, they don’t have the push carts commonly found in LA dim sum joints.  Instead, you have to order them from the menu and they aren’t cheap at all (don’t worry, the menu is in English too!).  Many dim sum items cost around 3 € with the same portion sizes back home.  We ordered the siu mai (pork steamed dumplings), har gau (shrimp dumpling), shrimp cheong fun (noodle roll), and cha shu cheong fun (BBQ pork noodle roll).

 

I also ordered the chicken chow fun (thick noodles with gravy) and my aunt ordered the Chinese green vegetables with oyster sauce.   The shu mai was just decent (I’ve had better) and the shrimp dumpling was just a tad better.  The shrimp cheong fun was simply okay, nothing to get excited about.  The BBQ pork cheong fun was really good, almost like the ones I love.  The sauce they use, however, was too thick for my liking.  Had they used the kind as in LA, it would be excellent.

 

The Chinese green vegetables were pretty standard fair.  The chicken chow fun had a different type of vegetable than what I was used to.  Overall, though, it was better than average.  I just couldn’t eat a lot of it because I was already full eating all of the dim sum.

Cost was around 39 € including 2 green teas and a bitter lemon soda for my aunt.

Summary:

Great, elegant seating.  No outdoor seating available.  Bathrooom is located downstairs, fairly clean but somewhat dark.  Service was just okay (another table complained about the long wait, even though it was for lunch and there were only two tables taken – one waiter).

Overall – 3 ½ stars

  • Shu Mai: 2.5/5
  • Hargow: 3/5
  • Shrimp Cheong Fun: 3/5
  • BBQ pork Cheong Fun: 4/5
  • Chicken Chow Fun: 3.5/5
  • Service: 4/5

 

27. August 2009

Written by geschmack

August 27th, 2009 at 6:00 pm