To tell you the truth, I thought of not blogging about this dinner as chain restaurants are boring. Worse, if it were not for this coupon, I probably wouldn't even step foot into Lemongrass. Nothing against Lemongrass; it's just that I am not too fond of Asian fusion in general nor Asian fusion chains (I despise Spring Rolls, I will never ever voluntarily go to Spring Rolls, too many bad experiences). I didn't expect much from Lemongrass - all I ask was that it be better than Spring Rolls, that is all.
To my surprise, my dinner Lemongrass exceeded my expectation (at least this Bloor location). I don't know, maybe I walked in with zero expectations but I can definitely say that this one dinner at Lemongrass was better than all my previous experiences at Spring Rolls. Every item we ordered was actually pretty decent. Hence, I feel the need to write about it.
This Lemongrass location is located at the corner of a business building.From the outside, the restaurant didn't look too great - the sign looked old and it just didn't look polish and new like what you would expect from a chain. But the inside of the restaurant was bright and clean, a drastic difference to the outside.
With only my friend and I, we would be stuffing ourselves if we ordered $60 worth of food, especially when the dishes there weren't that expensive. That is why we decided to order 1/2 bottle of wine to eleviate our "burden" while maximizing our voucher.
Tom Yum Soup - with galangal ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, chili, and shrimp.
This was actually really good - hot, but not too hot, nor too sour / tangy. The herbs were fragrant and the tomatoes and mushrooms were fresh. The shrimps were also a very decent size (forgot to take a picture) and its texture was firm.
Curry Pad Thai - stir-fried rice noodles with tamarid paste with peanuts (shrimp and chicken)
I was craving curry so I ordered this instead of the normal pad thai. The curry flavor was very strong (not complaining) and the chicken also had curry flavor (the chicken was a bit on the dry side though). The noodles did NOT clump together like a lot of places tend to have it so it wasn't heavy at all. Again, lots of shrimp and the portion size was good.
Viet-Classic Mango Fish with Jasmine Rice - topped with fresh mango, white turnip, carrot, pickled radish, in a basil & rice vinaigrette.
My favorite dish that night. The fish was sooo buttery and soft, and I'm very picky about my fish. It wasn't dry and cooked perfectly - the basil & rice vinaigrette worked well with it too. The salad on the side was average; the mangos were not sweet at all so that kinda ruined the whole salad.
Overall, I had a good dinner at Lemongrass. I can't say I recommend the location or the restaurant chain itself merely on these three dishes but the food I had that night was good, so I'm just gonna leave it at that. Of course, Lemongrass is not comparable to Sukhothai or Khao San Road, not even close, but for an Asian fusion chain, this Lemongrass location is not bad.
If you've been to other Lemongrass, free to let me know your experience =)