Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pok Pok Walks the Talk

With an appeal for donations to relief efforts for Burmese cyclone victims on its home page, Pok Pok shows why it's the go-to spot for the real flavors of the streets of SE Asia. In a previous post, before they opened their front patio and another dining room in the house next door, I said it rocked. And I'm here to tell you, that hasn't changed.

We were invited on the occasion of the Good Fairy's birthday, making a party of six. We ran through a fair sampling of the dinner menu, larger parties being a good idea at a place like this. Among other items, we sampled the Chinese Muslim Lamb Skewers, little cubes of lamby lusciousness; Laap Pet Isaan, a northeastern Thai dish of duck breast, liver and cracklings topped with mint, sawtooth herb (culantro), mint and lime (photo, top), richly flavored with just the right balance between herb and meat; as well as their classic green papaya salad which gave a tart and refreshing break from the many many meaty items.

Despite the fact that we'd ordered more than we probably should have, a special of whole fish came to the table and was set upon with gusto by all present, its mild flavor a nuanced combination of fresh mushrooms and herbs, showing that everything that comes out of this kitchen doesn't have to be spicy hot or strongly flavored.

The cocktails carried their weight, too, the night's special a coconut milk, lime and mango-infused vodka that was almost milkshake-like and icy, though the mango was pretty much lost in the richness of the coconut milk. There was also a drink using an Asian fruit vinegar as the base, which may be a new ingredient we'll be experimenting with here at home.

Details: Pok Pok, 3226 SE Division St. Phone 503-232-138.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like ya'all had a great evening. We were treated to Pok Pok in July while we visited the Good Fairy. I LOVED the drinking vinegars. I have looked in "Cowtown" and at an Asian grocery in the East Bay, but have had no luck in finding the product. Any hints?

Glassylady in Vacaville

Anonymous said...

Pok Pok is fabulous and one restaurant that we find ourselves going back to again and again. With all the fabulous new and old places to try here in Portland I find it hard to frequent any one place...but not Pok Pok. Love it, and thanks for making my b-day that much more fun. xoxox

Anonymous said...

I found the asian vinegars at one of our local asain markets...try the beverage aisle? The vinegar aisle? Did you ask anyone at the store? I found pineapple, blackberry and coconut. Deeelish.

Kathleen Bauer said...

I'd keep trying the Asian markets in your area. I was wondering if Blossom Vinegars, produced here Portland with organically grown fruit and no sugar, would be the same thing? Or are there other ingredients added to the drinking vinegars?