100 Favorite Dishes, No. 29: Tom Kha Gai At Bambu
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2012 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
Every time I've cooked with kaffir lime leaves, I've purchased big, thick, tough foliage from the grocery store. If I didn't cut them up a little before adding them to whatever curry or stew I was working on, they where chewy, overwhelming and unpleasant to eat. So when I pulled a small, tear shaped leaf from my bowl of tom kha gai at Bambu and bit into it, I was completely caught off guard.
The herb resembled a curry leaf in size and shape, but still exploded with the mysterious floral and citrus notes kaffir lime leaves are known for. I asked my waiter about the discrepancy and he was quick to answer. "The owners grow those leaves in their back yard," he told me. I was impressed.
The soup is clouded with coconut milk, but still as bright as lemon tea, and loaded with tender shreds of chicken breast and the occasional straw mushroom that bursts in your mouth when you bite. Bambu may be a bit of a drive -- the restaurant is buried in the back of a Richardson strip mall -- but this soup is more than worth it.
No. 100: The Cleaver and Block Burger at NHS Tavern No. 99: The Bone Marrow at the Meddlesome Moth No. 98: Arepas at Zaguan Latin Cafe No. 97: Jalapeno Poppers at City Tavern No. 96: Elotes: Everywhere No. 95: Dan-Dan Noodles at Royal China No. 94: Smoked Ham Mac and Cheese at The Porch No. 93: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 92: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso No. 91: Devils On Horseback At The Chesterfield No. 90: Ginger Soy Baby Back Ribs at Tei Tei Robata No. 89: Croissants From Rush Patisserie No. 88: The Reuben At The Cock & Bull No. 87: The Brisket at Pecan Lodge No. 86: The Roast Chicken At Bolsa No. 85: Chicken-Fried Egg at Union Bear No. 84: Brisket Tacos At Manny's No. 83: The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes at Smoke No. 82: The Oxtail Ragout at Central 214 No. 81: The Italian Beef At Jimmy's No. 80: Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict at Smoke No. 79: Veal Cheeks At Bijoux No. 78: Sweet Shrimp At Yutaka No. 77: Pho At Lemongrass No. 76: Shanghai Buns at Jeng Chi Dumpling House No. 75: Pepper Bomb At Goodfriend No. 74:Veracruz Cafe's Sopa de Atlahua No. 73: Fish and Chips at the Londoner No. 72: Italian Combo At Carbone's No. 71: Breakfast Schnitzel At Crossroads Diner No. 70: Berkshire Pork Belly Buns at Howard Wang's Uptown No. 69: Bolognese At Princi Italia No. 68: Cabrito a la Parrilla at El Ranchito No. 67: Kimchee French Fries At sSahm Food Truck No. 66: Just About Any Burger At Off Site Kitchen No. 65: St. Pete's Chili Dog No. 64: Mesa's Enmoladas No. 63: Pork and Octopus at Oak No. 62: Spicy Crispy Wings At Malai No. 61: Spicy Fish Soup At Korea House No. 60: Deviled Eggs At R&D Kitchen No. 59: Falafel At Fadia Bakery No. 58: Bistec Con Queso At El Tizoncito No. 57: The Burger At Local No. 56: Patty Melt At NHS No. 55: Guisado Verde Tacos At La Nueva Fresh And Hot No. 54: CFS At All Good Cafe No. 53: Ramen At Tei-An No. 52: Fried Chicken At Sissy's No. 51: Sampler Plate With Samoon at Judi Bakery No. 50: Dolmas At Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 49: The Sloppy Taco At Off Site Kitchen No. 48: The Fried Bologna Sandwich At Maple And Motor No. 47: Sour Cream Enchiladas At Mia's No. 46: Pork Banh Mi At Nammi No. 45: White Clam Pizza At Nonna No. 44: Banh Mi From Nammi No. 43: Pastor Tacos At La Banqueta No. 42: The Brunch Burger At The Grape No. 41: The Scotch Egg At Central 214 No. 40: The Nooner At Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 39: The Large Tabouleh at Ali Baba No. 38: The Chile Relleno At Avila's No. 37: The Brussels Sprouts Fritters At Snack No. 36: Loukoumathes At Greek Fest No. 35: Coffee and Doughnuts At Rosemont No. 34: DIY Fried Chicken Taco at Pollo Campero No. 33: International Bakery Cuban Dulceria's Cubano No. 32: The Pork Chop At Acme F&B No. 31: The Crispy Duck At Bangkok City No. 30: Panamericana Torta At Tortas la Hechizera
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