Washington DC 20036
In weekend Recap Part 1 I mentioned the Hubs and I ate at a restaurant called Little Serow. I even talked about the process of actually getting to sit down to dinner. It was such an experience that it truly deserved its own post.
Little Serow is an interesting little restaurant. It only holds 28 people-ish, and the decor consists of a “tin roof” ceiling, turquoise walls and is very minimalistic. You can see the kitchen and staff working as you eat, and there are 3 servers, 1 of whom is the co-owner. We sat at their center island on stools, which because the floor is poured concrete were off kilter. This likely would annoy most people but I didn’t even remotely care, especially once the food came out. (I wasn’t able to take any pictures, they do not allow flash photography or video so I am borrowing these from other sources (which are linked)).
The way the restaurant works is it is a $45 prefix menu plus wine/beer/drinks.
They serve you only what is on the menu.
If you don’t eat it, too bad, so sad.
The wait staff was incredible. The NICEST people you’ll ever meet. You’d expect them to be pretentious but that they were not.
We weren’t sure which wine to go with and they were extremely accommodating and honest. The Hubs and I both went with the recommendations. I had a German White and The Hubs had a Lambrusco? (not 100% certain about the name/spelling). They brought out a little container of sticky rice & a basket of other veggies, and then proceeded to explain that these items were to be used to balance the heat and intense flavors we were about to experience. They said it would makes sense once we started to eat.
The first of 7 “courses” came out, it was called “nam prik num“… yeah I don’t know what that means either but they served us Pork Skins which we used to dip into salsa-type mixture of chilies, shallots and shrimp paste (could be wrong about specific ingredients). It was Delicious and Spicy!! Holy heat batman! It was a gradual heat and of course we were trying to save the basket-o-veggies in case we “needed” it later, so we toughed it up and sucked down our water/wine.
The 2nd and 3rd courses came out together the 2nd was called “tom kha gapi” which was shrimp, ramps & galangal. OH and of course chilies… so it was spicy!! This was a soup and we were meant to dip the rice into it. So we did delve into our reserve sticky rice and it all started to make sense in my mouth. The 3rd course which went well with the soup was “soop naw mai” this was a salad-type mixture of bamboo shoots, salted snakehead fish topped with rice powder. This particular dish was salty, sweet and acidic all at the same time. The coconut in the soup helped to balance this meal. Foodie, I am not, nor pretend to be but I’m starting to finally “get it.”
The 4th course was “gai laap chiang ma” …yahhhh girlfriend ate Chicken Liver & liked it! WHAT, hold. the. phone. This course was smokey and salty. They served it with cabbage leaves. It kind-of reminded me of eating Chicken Lettuce Wraps but on a whole other level. Like to even compare the two does not do it justice.
The 5th course was one of our favorites (all the courses were delicious) but this one deserves a special shout out. It was called “naem khao tod” this was crispy rice, sour pork sausage and peanuts in a chili based sauce. The crispy rice was divine! I popped one in my mouth and literally turned to hubs and said “OMG, you have to try this.” I haven’t said that since love at first bite into the pansotti at Del Posto in NYC.
Have I mentioned yet that each and every one of these courses is incredibly spicy?
I feel bad for course 6 because I don’t fully remember it. I think I was still in heaven from course 5 or drowning my mouth and lips with agua. The Hubs was drunk by this point also so he’s of no help (thanks for nada homie). It was called “gai lan bla kem” and consisted of salted fish, egg and “greens”. I really feel bad that I cannot remember it because I know it was delicious.
The last main course came and this was the “si krong muu” or as I would call it Fall Off The Bone & Your Chair pork ribs with a mekhong (thai) whiskey sauce topped with dill & crispy onions. I was so full at this point that it was a struggle to actually put anything more into my stomach. But the pork was so incredibly freaking delicious, I am not even remotely exaggerating, that I powered through and ate it all anyway. We were STUFFED… and still wanted more.
MORE WE GOT!
The Pièce de résistance was when they brought out the coconut sticky rice for dessert. Ahhhhhhhh. The perfect finish to the perfect meal.
This meal was a culinary experience like no other. We’ve eaten at pretty good restaurants in NYC (Del Posto, Daniel… etc) but nothing quite compared to the service and taste explosion that went on during this meal.
I will caveat this by saying that this may have been the spiciest meal I’ve ever eaten. The heat never compromised the integrity of the individual flavors. So if you’re now interested, and no they did not pay me to write this, just be careful if you’re not adventurous and don’t like spicy food.