HONS – House of Noodle Soup @ 790 Reservoir Avenue, Cranston
After my dentist appointment, I knew I needed to sit down and reminisce on the good ol’ days in RI at HONS. The restaurant was bought out by one of my sister’s childhood friends’ family several years ago. They are Chinese, but can make a mean bowl of Vietnamese soup.
Hons - Fried Egg Rolls
Pass on the egg rolls. I ordered them because I wanted something to munch on. There wasn’t much flavor or ingredients to make them taste that good. I only commend their frying skills, perfectly golden brown. Fish sauce was bland. Needed more oomph. I prefer my own homemade egg rolls and my mom’s fish sauce ;)
Hons - Steak and Meatball Pho
Nothing beats a good bowl of hot steamy Vietnamese noodle soup on a brisk cold morning. Phở, as it’s often called, is an aromatic rice noodle soup served with pieces of sliced raw beef or slivers of cooked chicken along side bean sprouts, Vietnamese basil and lime. Soup base varies, but the majority of broth is made with beef bones, onions, cinnamon and star anise. The soup base at HONS is delicious, I think, better than most Viet places. Proportions are good too. The small bowl filled me up just right. They have a range of sizes, up to extra extra large bowls. I always order sliced beef and meatballs. I’m not a fan of the normal tripe, tendon, and flank combo. With the meatballs and sliced beef, I would always dip it in a combination sauce made of sweet hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot sauce.
Four Seasons Restaurant @ 361 Reservior Ave
Took my family to dinner here. I wanted to treat my parents out since they rarely go out to eat. I ordered alot of dishes, just so I can finally blog about this place. I even saw old friends there. This is how small RI can be :)
Four Seasons - Spicy Thai Style Chicken Wings
One of my favorite appetizers is their spicy Thai style chicken wings. The skin on the wings are always crispy. They are salty and spicy since it’s tossed with jalepenos and chilies. Super addictive, especially after eating the first wing.
Four Seasons - Little Neck Clams with Black Bean Sauce
I’m not big on clams, but my parents loved it. I originally thought the dish had smaller clams tossed in black bean sauce. When they came out with a plate of hugeee clams, I was a little frightened. haha. I got to try a couple though. Sauce was good, savory but didn’t overpower the taste of the clams.
Four Seasons - Striped Bass with Ginger and Lemongrass
The striped bass was delicious. The combination of ginger and lemongrass goes really well with the fish. It’s a very Southeast Asian way of preparing whole fish. It was my mom’s favorite of the night.
Four Seasons - Garlic Peapod Stems
This is a must order at any Chinese restaurant. Stir-fried with garlic and salt, peapod stems is a popular dish to eat family style.
Four Seasons - Yang Chou Fried Rice
Yang Chou fried rice has a mix of many ingredients. It is one of the more popular Chinese wok fried rice dishes. Some of the most common ingredients include rice, bbq chinese style pork (cha siu), baby shrimps, scallions, eggs, carrots, and peas. Despite the name, this dish does not originate from Yangzhou; instead, the recipe was invented by the Qing Dynasty’s Yi Bingshou (1754–1815) and the dish was named Yeung Chow fried rice since Yi was once the regional magistrate of Yangzhou (source from wikipedia).
Four Seasons - Combination Mi Ca Tang
I absolutely love mi ca tang! Wish I can make it as good as the chefs here. It’s a very popular Cambodian dish made with wide rice noodles in an oyster sauce. It’s typically stir-fried with eggs, baby corn, carrots, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms and a choice of meat, usually beef. It bears similarities to the Thai dish of Rad Na. For this particular dish, they omitted baby corn, carrots, and mushrooms. The sauce covers every noodle and it taste better with shrimp. For this dish, it was a combination of chicken, beef, and shrimp. Every time I eat here, I would order this! Last time I was here, they ran out of noodles. I was super sad :(
Four Seasons - Loc Lac
Loc Lac is another popular Cambodian dish. It is made with cubed beef, stir-fried (usually medium or medium-well) and served on a bed of raw sliced red onions, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The best part of this dish is dipping each cube of meat in a sauce consisting of lime juice and black pepper. It is identical to the Vietnamese dish known as Bò lúc lắc. It’s perfect with Jasmine rice.
Four Seasons - Salaw Machu
Saving the best for last! Another great Khmer cuisine classic is their Salaw Machu, commonly known as the Cambodian Sour Soup. The sour soup base is made with tamarind. Recipes for soup bases vary, sometimes only tomatoes and pineapples are added to the tamarind soup base to get that sour taste. Nowadays, the powdered tamarind soup base (Knorr brand) can be easily used to achieve a similar flavor profile. For this particular dish, it called Salaw Machu Kroeung. “Kroeung”, in Khmer, collectively means “blended herbs and spices”. Along with its use of the tamarind soup base, galangal, lemongrass, Thai chilies, basil leaves, garlic, prahok, sugar, salt, and fish sauce are blended together to make the rest of the soup base. Ong choy, small Thai eggplants and a choice of meat are added for more flavor and texture. It takes about an hour to cook the soup, on top of prep time. The complexity and richness of Salaw Machu Kreoung makes the taste even more worthwhile for your tastebuds!
— Charmin Bear J