Posted on | January 19, 2008 | 30 Comments |
Siv’s birthday was on a Wednesday this year. We had a private celebration at home, with just the two of us, where I cooked a bunch of his favorite dishes. Then Friday night, we had another celebration with the gang, and after considering a bunch of places, I picked Red Fin as the venue. Siv’s favorite cuisine is Pan-Asian, and Red-Fin was advertised as Asian Fusion, and had some rave reviews too.
Red Fin is owned by the same sushi chef who owns the famed Wasabi Bistro in Belltown, and it is adjoining one of the hippest Seattle hotels Hotel Max. The restaurant is very stylish, completely decorated in Red, with a very nice bar with a large communal table in typical Seattle style. The place is supposedly a sushi bar, but the non-sushi menu is huge! The long list of small plates, followed by a really good selection of large plates, and a bunch of soups and salads along with a whole separate sushi menu provide even the pickiest eaters a bunch of options to choose from. The name suggests a predominantly seafood restaurant, but there was one person in the party who doesn’t eat seafood. That is when I scanned through the menu to find all the meat options, and I was surprised to see that there was almost an equal proportion of surf and turf dishes! I spotted a couple of veggie items in the small plates section, but none in the big plates. There were some nice salads as well, but lack of vegetarian entrees wasn’t a problem for this group.
I had made reservations for 10, and they gave us a large table on a separate section away from the bar and the rest of the crowd. That was really nice, since we were a loud bunch. Speaking about being loud, the drinks here were to die for! Typical Asian fusion style, they had a nice array of fruit sakes and other mixed cocktails. I had the Lychee Martini, one of my favorite drinks, and it was as good as any I’ve had! Siv started with a Ginger Manhattan which knocked his socks off, in his own words. All of us had way too much to drink that night, and then someone had a bright idea to move on to shots! After dinner we all got so drunk, I was surprised to find desserts in my pictures! Seriously, I had no memory of ordering or eating any desserts! Well, that shows how much fun we had right?
As I mentioned before, the small plates selection was huge! But the birthday boy had a wise idea to order multiples of a couple of dishes. I, and most others are all about trying a bit of multiple things, but Siv wanted to eat the dishes that he likes to his heart’s content. So, he ordered four orders of the chicken satays and crab fritters, without even tasting the stuff. Well, it was his night, and lucky for him both the dishes were not bad, so he didn’t have to listen to the whining There sure were more delicious sounding items in the menu, which we wanted to try, may be next time..
The Indonesian Chicken Satay with Curried peanut sauce and Cucumber-Daikon salad is for sure one of the best satays I’ve had. The chicken was tender and moist, and the curried peanut sauce was a great accompaniment.
Tempura Crab Fritters with Wasabi Tartar Sauce were not bad either. I love anything tempura, and with crab it just gets better. The wasabi in the tartar sauce is part of the “Asian Fusion” I guess, but I have to say it was a great touch.
For the main dish, Siv and I decided to share a couple of items. He picked the King Crab Soup – this one seriously knocked my socks off.. The soup was so hot and spicy, with the right amount of crab flavor. It had mushrooms and carrots and other veggies, and the broth just tasted so great! The crab pieces were so large and juicy. I would go back just for this soup!
I picked the Red Fin Burger , I have been on a burger spree lately, and I always like to order the namesake dishes in any restaurant. My burger had the Oregon country natural beef on ciabatta bread with star anise-pickled red onions, grilled pineapple and wasabi-honey mustard. It also came with some fries and a ginger ketchup. I almost forgot to click a pic, but luckily I remembered before Siv had his half. So here is half a burger. Frankly, the burger was good, but not great! If they intend to name a burger after the restaurant, they better make sure it is out of this world! I was a little disappointed after seeing all the yummy dishes everyone else ordered, but the crab soup more than made up for the burger!
Here are the rest of the dishes that our friends ordered. I was too busy drinking and chatting, I didn’t get to taste all the dishes as I normally do… a small privilege of being a “restaurant critic”. I did taste these amazing Duck a l’Orange Chinois - Pan roasted Five Spice Maple Leaf Duck Breast on Forbidden Black Risotto with Ginger-Orange Gastrique, Baby Bok Choy and long bean tempura. The duck was so soft and tender, it was just one of those “WOW” dishes. The risotto made with forbidden rice, was crunchy and pretty too… Loved that one bite I got of this dish! Wish I had ordered this instead of my stupid burger…
Baby Spinach Salad in English Cucumber with sesame-white miso dressing, toasted soy nuts, cherry tomatoes, shaved red onion and bell pepper. Looks good, doesn’t it? The soy nuts sure tasted good.
Seared Sea Scallops with Cucumber Tobiko sauce, shaved onion-melon salad and salmon roe.
This is one of the sushi rolls H ordered. The only sushi we had from a sushi restaurant. I had a bite, and it was really good. I don’t remember which one it is.
Red Fin Salmon of the day, this is a chef’s preparation that changes everyday. Nice presentation, but I didn’t get to taste!
Sichuan Peppercorn-crusted Beef Medallions on a Fingerling potato, wild mushroom and bacon ragout with Balsamic soy onion marmalade and gorgonzola cheese. Another dish I was too drunk to taste.
As I mentioned before, we had a bunch of desserts, of which I have no memory right now! The pictures didn’t turn out good either. They brought Siv a mini tart with a lighted candle and had promised to sing Happy Birthday for him. It was pretty late by then and there were only two waiters working. Our waiter brought the other guy to sing with him, but we all started singing before they even got a chance to open their mouth, they didn’t have to do anything.
Happy Birthday once again, my darling! Now that your birthday is over, it is my turn, and mine lasts a whole month, you know…
Siv had a terrific night, thanks to this fun gang…
I think she had the most fun, but she is too young to have so much fun, and ended up getting a timeout. Isn’t she a Cutie?