So last night night Zuimei and I went to Lee. For those who haven’t heard it is chef Susur Lee’s other signiture restaurant – the cheaper one. I wanted to take Zuimei out for a fancy dinner before he left back for China and so I asked around the office. Rosebud’s and Amuse Bouche were also in the running but Lee’s is literally a three minute walk from my office and I was able to make a reservation.
My first impression was “oh shit”, and if I hadn’t handed the matre de my coat I probably would have left. I found the decor pretentious and honestly to be unappetizing. The pink polyurithane table tops did not really do much to make me feel like I was in for something special, just something fad-ish. I know it easy to bash on someone else so let me say the food was perfectly cooked. Perfectly. However for all the hype I was expecting something that would take my breath away.
Now, I am a big flavor guy. I will take the merlot over the cabernet. I like bacon over procuitto. Mmm doesn’t that sound good bacon over procuitto…then wrap it in pancetta! LOL Seriously though I think some of the finer nuances of the food were lost on me. We ordered the Singapore slaw with it’s 18 ingredients and…it was a nice salad. I wouldn’t write home about it though.
Next came the jerk chicken which was edible but I would avoid it in the future… and cracked chicken skin? Eww… Next was the carmel black cod which was one of high points of our meal. The cod was perfectly cooked. There wasn’t anything stunning about it flavor wise, I have had real teriyaki in Japan that was as good, but nothing as well cooked here.
The scallops came next and they were the highlight of our meal. They were perfect. You could drop a knife on one and would split like soft butter, it was amazing. The flavor with the bacon ran up and slapped you without being totally overpowering. Next time I will just order five plates of that.
The last dish for us was the Szechuan Pork which, while tasty wasn’t anything we hadn’t had before at other Asian restaurants. And perhaps that was the issue. We eat out at asian restaurants all the time. We know where to go for whatever type of food we desire; Cantonese, Shanghainese, Singaporean, Northern Chinese and more. When we decide to eat “fancy” we should probably eat French.