Week 1

My Resolution this year is to try a new restaurant each week.  The rules are that it doesn’t have to be a newly opened restaurant, just a restaurant I haven’t eaten at before.  I’m hoping to broaden my eating horizons – it’s far too easy to become stuck in a rut food-wise.

So today, during my wedding flower search, my sister and I tried Red Chili in Newark.  It’s a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant near the Newark Auto Mall on the corner of Ballentine and Stevenson.  My sister had heard that the food was good, but that the service was slow.  Since we had a ton of time to kill in between flower appointments, I agreed to give it a try.

We arrived at 11AM, a bit before the lunch crowd.  Parking was easy, which is always nice.  We were greeted by a lady in a parka at the hostess station.  I guess the parka made sense since the restaurant was a bit chilly.  The inside was spacious and clean, decorated in warm browns.  A bar is to the left as you enter, and the center holds a small stage.  The only thing I really didn’t care for with the decorating was the bench style seating.  I think of it as a half-assed answer to a booth.  Bench seating doesn’t offer the intimacy of a booth and you can often overhear other conversations, and people masticating as well.  Ick.

We ordered the roti appetizer and the satay chicken appetizer.  Both were good, but neither came with a small spoon to use when serving the sauces or cucumber.  The roti was a bit doughy for me and not as crispy as I know it can be.

My sister ordered the mango chicken lunch and I ordered the yellow curry chicken lunch.  Both came with a soup (spicy tofu), steamed rice (can upgrade to brown rice for $1) and a small salad.  The mango chicken was light and sweet with a bite from the bell pepper and onion.  Think of it as similar to sweet and sour chicken, but without the fried part of the chicken.  The yellow curry was good as well.  The curry itself was creamy.  The potatoes and chicken were tender too.

At first the service was really good.  Drinks were brought out quickly, along with appetizers and soup.  But when it came time to pay our bill the service had slowed considerably.  By then, there were 4 other small groups in the restaurant, so that may have had something to do with it.

If I’m in the neighborhood again and feeling the need for food, I might stop in and eat.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t wowed enough to deliberately seek them out.

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