Whoa. Don't get excited, but I think we've finally found an asian restaurant Idle Husband wants to eat at. On Friday (like most Fridays), he went out for lunch with some of his work colleagues. Each week, one of them has a choice as to where they go and this week, they chose OPM. We kinda joked about how they'd have nothing to offer him and that was that. Until Friday evening when he proclaimed OPM to be the best place ever!! And since I had fawned over their menu the night before (trying to convince him that there were tons of great things he could order), he decided he wanted to take me there Saturday for dinner.
He wanted to go back the next day. I was floored.
I've actually been to OPM before. In fact it was my choice of restaurant when I was getting together with some friends as per our yearly catching up ritual. But I was there for lunch, so I got one of their Buddha's lunch boxes. I can't really remember much about it. I don't think I was that impressed? I'm starting to think we shared the caramel banana spring rolls? I dunno. My memory is junk at the best of times.
After I returned from the bathroom (I'm a girl. I have to check every bathroom out in every store and every restaurant. It's the rules), I found Idle Husband had already ordered some appetizers.
The wok fried squid was really delicious and slightly spicy. I still prefer the Greek method. Calamari just goes really well with tzatziki, what can I say? I wish they would have had some dipping sauce with this. Actually, maybe I should just be that person who carries around condiments in her purse. Little tupperware of tzatziki. I think it would have gone nicely with their spices.
We came for the hibachi wings. It was something Idle Husband tried on Friday, and he raved about it all Friday night and Satur-DAY. I wouldn't normally pick something like this in a restaurant. It's entirely too messy and fiddly and attention-drawy for me. Oh hi! I have sticky chicken fingers and I'm smoking up the joint and one napkin isn't enough! *Smack smack* Ok, I really loved it. Don't order it on a date. Order it with your husband or some friends who've seen worse from you. The wings come cooked so don't worry, you're not sitting there forever waiting for them to reach a safe temperature. You're just crisping them up a little all while trying not to catch your sleeve or hand in the blue flames and/or start a grease fire. It's fun, interesting, and kinda dangerous. (Also, can I be that person who brings marshmallows to this party?) The parmesan sauce was really nice with them, too, albeit kinda hard to dunk the meat in. Especially since they were pretty friggin' hot after their minute on the grill. And I know their menu says a POUND of chicken wings, but there wasn't that much and they weren't the normal, greasy fried wings you'd expect. It was actually a really nice light appetizer.
We always share appetizers, but here you share your main as well. I like that style. I can pretend I'm eating at home and not in a restaurant. Plus, if you're there with a bunch of people, you'd get to sample a lot of dishes at one time and I love that. Everyone has to order something different in these restaurants. That's the rule. You have to discuss your choices beforehand. It's very important. No one wants to have two of the same main. Gah. What's the point in that? They also brought a side of rice which was a little dry and flavourless, but you know what? I like my rice dry and rice tasting. And I liked eating it between bites of each main. It was kind of like a palate cleanser.
Idle Husband's choice main dish was the mongolian beef. I know he picked it because of the name and it's relation to his other favourite "asian" restaurant, Mongolie Grill (I hate that place. The meat is frozen. You have to try to squish shitty old vegetables and slimy noodles into a tiny bowl. There's no sneeze guard. They dump far too much sauce in your bowl and then weigh it. Everything gets quickly stir fried to ensure the meat is tough and the vegetables are so thoroughly saturated with sauce they can't even be called vegetables anymore. And for all of that, it's entirely too expensive. I'm the one who refuses to eat there. I suffered through it twice. I will not suffer again). This beef, on the other hand, was good. It was tender. It was flavourful. It wasn't soaked with sauce. I liked the onions and scallions a lot (I started to pick those out for myself). I don't understand the bed of styrofoam it was served on. It didn't add anything special. I also wouldn't order it for myself. I wasn't keen on the sauce which tasted less sweet and more soy sauce to me (but I liked it so much better the next day). Whatever. Who cares about me? Idle Husband loved it, still loves it, and will probably eat it every time he goes.
My choice main was sweet and sour chicken. I know. It's not very adventurous. We all know what that tastes like, but it came with "cool cucumbers", and I wondered how cucumbers intermixed with sweet and sour sauce would work. Guess what? They were so good lightly warmed and with the sauce! So good, in fact, the next time I make sweet and sour chicken, I'm going to put cucumbers in, too (and then I'll call it my own ingenius creation! mwhahaha). The chicken was really good and the sauce was sweet and tangy and those crispy weird chip things it was served on went really well with everything, too. Soft chicken, almost still crisp cucumbers, crunchy chip things. It was a pyramid of textures!
So there you have it. I think we've found a new restaurant for our special occasion meals. The entire cost of this meal was literally half what we would have paid at Koutouki's (that makes cheap me happy) and we came home with a box of leftovers (that makes breakfast me happy). And did I mention? I'll be able to have good ginger beef again (that makes craving me extra happy)! You should go and get happy, too.