Asian food is on my mind 24/7, 365. You know this. I’ve written about and recommended a number of places, but as time has passed, I’ve fallen out of love with some of them. Things happen behind the scenes. Ownership changes, chefs quit, suppliers change. I’m not going to write new posts on every place, so here’s a list of my current favorites (excluding Asian fusion) in St. Louis.
Fork & Stix
I’d cut off my little toe if it meant that Fork & Stix was closer to my house. Few have been able to harness the bold flavors of Southeast Asia in town, and in my mind, none are doing it better than Fork & Stix. The khao soi is Chiang Mai in a bowl. The hung leh curry and sour pork salad are unlike anything else in town.
Get dishes there you haven’t heard of. Don’t get the yakisoba. Don’t get green curry. Stop being a bitch.
The only exclusively Taiwanese restaurant in town, and tied for my favorite Chinese. I have a great memory for flavors and smells (and a terrible memory for things that are actually important) and the dishes here take me back to Singapore, Taipei, Kaohsiung. The fatty, sweet sausages transport me back to the Shihlin Night Market. Portions are huge, everything’s fresh, and they have daily specials. Tai Ke gets two thumbs up from me.
…this is a pretty obvious one. If I have to explain it to you, you’re either living under a rock or you don’t appreciate good food. Mai Lee. Vietnamese. The best.
Bombay Food Junkies
I haven’t written about Bombay Food Junkies yet because I’m a lazy shit, but this place is well worth your time. They have a popular food truck, but on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, they have a restaurant tucked away near the airport. For $12.99, you get the most unique All You Can Eat dinner experience in town. It’s almost like a tasting menu: they bring out 11 dishes for you to try over the course of an hour or so, and then at the end, you can either go straight for dessert or you can ask for more of anything. All the dishes are street foods from Mumbai, which you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in town.
Note: The restaurant is closed for June but reopens July 1st.
Asian Kitchen Korean Cuisine
Over twenty banchan plates. K-Pop music videos. Fiery, fermented, wonderful Korean food. I don’t need much more than that.
LuLu Seafood & Dim Sum
I can’t tell you how happy it made me to get lunch with owner Julia Li and have her let me try me some of the more traditional Chinese dishes that’ll be going on the menu soon. Delicious. I have little interest in American-Chinese food, but I’d sell my soul for freshly made dumplings any day of the week, and their dim sum seems to be getting better and better.
The same thing I said about Fork & Stix applies here: order outside your comfort zone. Try new things. Stop whining.