Monday, August 22, 2011

Growing up in the Midwest, my introduction to Asian cuisine was limited to bright yellow egg drop soup, sickening reddish-pink sweet and sour pork and fried crab rangoon.

After college when I moved near Kansas City, I fared a bit better with the dumplings and lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang’s.

It wasn’t until I moved to the East Coast that I got a true taste of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines. The use of foreign ingredients and the complexity of flavors and spices intrigue me. For some reason, I still crave and miss those flavors, second to pork, of course.

Even in Istanbul, I’m still on the hunt for really good Asian food. Last night, we stopped at Quick China in Nişantaşı for dinner. This restaurant serves respectable sushi, Japanese and Ramen noodle dishes as well as Chinese and Thai cuisine. We ordered a mix of edamame, a rainbow sushi roll, wonton soup, pad thai and chicken ramen noodles.
Quick China's chicken ramen noodles filled with cilantro, red chili peppers, scallions,
bean sprouts and bamboo shoots.
Our meal got me thinking about some of the best sushi and ramen I’ve ever had during our travels this past year. Surprisingly, that place was Kisaku, a Japanese Restaurant, located on the top of floor of the Al Khaleej Palace Hotel in Dubai’s Deira neighborhood. (I never did write about that meal, so why not share it now?) Granted, I haven't traveled anywhere in Asia yet, but it's on my list of must travel-to places in my lifetime - particularly Southeast Asia.
Maybe this isn't a very sexy food photo, but trust me, the ramen was very good!
A spicy broth with ramen noodles for the slurping!
I never would have expected to have such sublime sushi and even a mammoth-sized bowl of ramen noodles - filled with sliced pork - of all things in Dubai. Our Pakistani friend we were visiting was more than happy to let us venture off on our own for this meal.
Sushi rolls
Tuna and salmon
Being located near the sushi bar was an added bonus. 
Watching the sushi chefs in action in Dubai.
Of course, I asked if I could take pictures of the chefs in action, thinly slicing the fresh fish and placing on rectangular plates for sashimi or laying it on a bed of sticky rice to make sushi rolls.

I remember Jason and I ordered way too much food and couldn’t eat everything. Total cost of our meal: 345 Dhs or about $94 USD. That meal was worth every cent because it left a lasting impression of what sushi should be.

Afiyet Olsun!

Tagged: , ,