Austin Monthly critic Jolène M. Bouchon reviewed tropical paradise She’s Not Here this week. Though she seemed to have mixed results at every course from the downtown Pacific Asian restaurant which opened in August, her overall impression was positive.
Bouchon noted that while tropical ingredients abound in both the cocktail and regular menu, the flavors stay out of the “treacly” territory. The sushi pieces returned mixed results:
Each piece of nigiri (yes, the price is for one piece) is augmented with complementary flavors: the gloriously silken nama hotate (scallop) was a dream, brightened by a touch of lime, such that my friend exclaimed, “This is like a f**king French kiss.” An unexpectedly mild horse mackerel, on the other hand, was overpowered by its grapefruit garnish.
For the temaki (hand rolls), Bouchon found the popular crab butter to be “[o]ne of the tastiest,” but the sakanaviche “didn’t deliver the limey tang and chile heat.” The soft shell crab proved to be her favorite bite (“It’s the kind of dish you wish you’d ordered two of.”) and while she wished the pork shank was more tender, “the flavor was great.”
For desserts, Bouchon enjoyed the “bright and not-too-sweet” pineapple-passionfruit sorbet, while “the emmer rye cake topped with white chocolate flan was leaden and too earthy.” She concluded that given the high prices, she “wouldn’t go back really hungry” but that the restaurant has “winning charm.”
Over at the Chronicle, Emily Beyda published a review of South Austin restaurant Asiana Indian Cuisine, noting that it is a place “that feels like home.” Though she noted it is “never going to be mistaken for some kind of nouvelle cuisine hot spot,” she asserted that the restaurant caters to “every level of palate sophistication.”
Noting that Asiana often hosts families, Beyda summarized the menu full of “the most popular Americanized Indian dishes.” She praised the “butter-tender” tandoori chicken, the saag paneer’s cheese with “a nice elastic bounce,” and the cauliflower 65, a “South Indian take on kung pao cauliflower.” She noted that “Asiana is a restaurant that takes your hand and gently guides diners through very bold flavors,” like the butter chicken, which is made with:
[...] impossibly soft, pillowy meat absorbing the pool of creamy, buttery tomato sauce that tastes almost like a smokier penne alla vodka, the perfect accompaniment to their fresh-cooked, crispy-edged naan, whose spongy interior makes the ideal tool for sopping up all these saucy plates.
Beyda also highly recommended the buffet, though she advises not going in with expectations of certain dishes.
- Restaurant Review: She’s Not Here [Austin Monthly]
- All Coverage of She’s Not Here [EATX]
- Restaurant Review: Delicious and Nurturing Indian Fare at a South Austin Strip Mall [Chronicle]