Good Taste : A taste of the East on Martha's Vineyard
File photo by Ralph Stewart
As the temperature drops outside, turn up the heat on the food you eat. No need to take the trip to Falmouth or bribe a friend rushing to the boat to bring you a last-minute order from Peking Palace or the Golden Swan: This winter the Island has an offering of Asian flavors to keep your hankerings at bay.
Here is a selection:
Eleven North in Edgartown hosts a Pan Asian night every Thursday. Offerings change each week and have previously included Martha's Vineyard bay scallop fried rice, beef tataki, lo mein, char siu ribs, and nuoc cham (a dipping sauce) pork over steamed rice and yellow curry sauce. Prices range from $10 to $20. Check out their Facebook page for weekly specials, or call 774-549-9187.
Chef Alex Nagi and JB Blau are "addicted to Asian food." From experimenting with Asian inspired Saki cocktails with fresh ginger puree and prosecco, to the numerous Asian ingredients that inspire the menu, M.V. Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs offers an alternative to New England fare. Recent specials include cashew chicken with vegetables, cilantro and basmati rice, and teriyaki glazed pan roasted pork loin with vegetable bamboo rice. Grab a seat at the bar and try pan-fried pork dumplings or crispy vegetable spring rolls, both under $10 on the bar menu (also often by request in the dining room). Be on the lookout for spare ribs in the near future. For more information, call 508-696-3000 or visit mvchowder.com.
Sushi is alive at Seasons Eatery & Pub in Oak Bluffs. Enjoy miso soup, seaweed salad, kani salad, or your choice of sashimi. Buy two rolls on the special weekday list and get the third half off. Also, receive 25 percent off sushi on Thursdays. Call 508-693-7129 for more information.
Visit Bangkok Cuisine in Oak Bluffs for a wide variety of options such as green curry: a mixture of bamboo, green beans, bell pepper, eggplant and basil in a coconut curry sauce. Or try the house special, Bangkok duck: a crispy boneless half duck served with tamarind sauce. Lunch specials are served Monday through Friday, from 11 am to 3 pm, and vary from pad thai to ka paw kai, a mixture of ground chicken, bell pepper, green bean and basil served over rice. Lunch specials are under $10 (excluding duck entrees). Call 508-696-6322 for more information.
The China House in Edgartown offers up favorites including General Tso's chicken and chicken lo mein. A lunch special of fried rice and your choice of wonton or hot & sour soup is available for under $7. For more information or to order take-out, call 508-627-7272.
Warm up at Atria, also in Edgartown, with their Pho-inspired, Vietnamese rice noodle soup with napa cabbage, seared duck, and fish sauce. Or try their rare ahi tuna tempura with tobiko, ponzu, and pickled ginger. Also, the extensive burger menu borrows flavors from the East with the Thai-spiced shrimp burger with fresh chiles, herbs, bean sprouts and sambal aioli and the Bombay bird, a ground turkey burger with curried aioli, watercress, apple and papadam. Call 508-627-5850 or visit atriamv.com for more information.
Check out Wok Wednesdays at Park Corner Bistro in Oak Bluffs for a Chinese-inspired meal. Offerings include pot stickers, dandan noodles, kung pao chicken or tofu, sweet and sour shrimp and barbecued
spareribs while sipping on a Singapore sling, lychee or green tea martini, or a ginger-lime riki. Call 508-696-9922 for more information.
If you want to cook up your own creations, check out Uma Datta's Indian cooking demo at the Vineyard Haven Library on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 pm. Ms. Datta is an experienced caterer and cooking teacher who has been a regular instructor for ACE M.V. She will be making breakfast foods from Northern, Middle, and Southern India. Learn how to make aloo or gobhi parathas; sandwiches made of potato or cauliflower; poha, a dish made with flattened dry rice; and upma, a roasted cream of wheat like dish. No registration is required, but call the library at 508-696-4211 with questions.
Finally, if you would like to explore Asian cuisines in your own kitchen, check out "Recipes and Garden Tips from The Egg Roll Lady of Martha's Vineyard," a Vietnamese instructional cooking guide from the West Tisbury Farmers Market's own Egg Roll Lady, Chef Thi Khen Tran. Her cookbook is a step-by-step introduction to Vietnamese cooking, from how to find and select ingredients, to how to cut vegetables and prepare sauces. Recipes range from Banh Canh, shrimp ball soup with rice noodles, to lemongrass ribs. The book is available for purchase at Cronig's Market and Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven.
Rumor has it that a new Pan Asian restaurant is opening this spring. Keep your ears and taste buds open.