I ordered a peach cocktail whose name escapes me and which is not listed on the website (Note to self: Always photograph all menus). It had rum and coconut milk, a touch of chili, and boba pearls in the bottom. Tasty! And entertaining. But too easy to slurp down quickly, so I had an Old Saigon after that.
Then came an amuse bouche: a giant puffed rice cake, propped up on a stand and served with a flavorful and spicy tomato jam.
More specifically, French onion soup with gruyère. Oh my goodness, these dumplings are good! Apparently soup dumplings, or xiaolongbao, are a Shanghai specialty. The onion soup is a ChoLon twist.
(In case you're wondering, the chef's name is Lon Symensma – he's using a classical Western culinary background to translate Asian dishes. The restaurant name is a play on his name and the name of Saigon's Chinatown, Cholon.)
Doesn't this fried rice look delicious? That's a poached egg on top. I was very happy that the dish was not oversalted, as fried rice often is.
The main course was the kung pao chicken.
The chicken is brined and deboned, then folded into a tight bundle and cooked sous vide – sealed in a plastic pouch and immersed in hot water at a consistent temperature for many hours. The process results in very tender, succulent meat, which is then served with a kung pao sauce with vegetables. Ordinarily I would like some plain white rice with such a dish, but with so many earlier courses, I was happy to have just a couple of pieces. The rest of my share I took home for a delicious lunch over rice the next day.
I needed to save room for dessert!
Molten chocolate cake with salted peanut ice cream and toasted marshmallows. Quite a decadent treat and more than enough for two of us to share.
|If you have a week night free or can plan ahead and make a weekend reservation, ChoLon is definitely a place to try. They do lunch, too! More soup dumplings are in my future. Maybe in yours, too.|
1555 Blake Street #101
Denver, CO 80202