It was my turn to choose a restaurant this week. Molly Woo’s it was.
#1: A fellow Central-Ohioan had posted a tantilizing photo of mango chicken on her blog. #2: Joel said he was in the mood for Chinese. #3: I didn’t find any negative reviews online. #4 My sister said the place had good atmosphere. #5: Prices on the lunch menu weren’t astronomically high.
Negative: The restaurant is located inside a shopping mall. The server was almost too attentive, and apologetic (although this could be counted as positive, since she didn’t charge us for the pot of tea “because [she] felt so bad about our plates not coming out at the same time”).
Positive: Portion sizes weren’t so huge that you felt guilty cleaning your plate / bowl. You don’t wonder if your definition of chicken or pork is the same as theirs. Comfortable booth.
We were seated in a booth between the window to the mall walkway and the restaurant’s bar, so I can’t comment much on the ambiance. If you’re looking for an intimate conversation with your company, you may be disappointed; the booth backs aren’t very tall, so you’re just as likely to hear other customers talking.
The “Poke” starter, described as having, “tuna tossed with pineapple, avocado, red onion, ginger soy, sriracha chili sauce, over sticky rice” was tempting, but I ended up ordering the egg rolls and wonton soup.
The soup was clear and flavorful. However, the wilted baby spinach leaves and the julienned carrots were a bit large to handle even with the soup spoon. The two wontons were tasty and had a pleasant texture inside and out.
A Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities had an excellent dipping sauce that one could almost drink by itself. Ever since I’ve had it, I’m always eager to try egg rolls at other Asian restaurants to see if their dip is similar. No place has matched KinhDo’s.
Molly Woo’s sauce was thick and a bit too complex. I can’t be completely fair in my judging of the egg rolls themselves, because I let them sit while I started on my soup. The cook slices each egg roll on a diagonal for an artistic presentation, but this allows the filling to cool rapidly. Lots of meat in the filling; you decide if that is a positive or negative.
Joel ordered the cashew chicken. He commented on the flavor being strange, but he didn’t mean that it wasn’t good. Something about the brown sauce. When I asked if he meant that it tasted strongly of herbs or alcohol, he let me taste some to see for myself. I picked out a water chestnut, snow pea pod, and chunk of chicken, as well as a forkful of rice. Each ingredient maintained its distinct flavor and texture, so that it was difficult to think about what was going on with the sauce…the honey? Pleasant overall, though mysterious.
If there weren’t so many more hours left in the day, I might have ordered the seasonal sorbet served with seasonal fruit and syrup, but how then would I justify a second dessert with afternoon coffee? They also offer coconut cream pie, banana spring rolls, crème brûlée…