Last night my husband and I went to meet his brother and family for dinner here. It happens to be one of our favorite places to eat. It is relatively close to Little India, which we keep saying we are going to try.
Tan Tan is a huge, seafood palace that generally specializes in all things Asian. And all things seafood. Their menu is like a novel or an Asian seafood bible. The book they hand you that is actually the menu has specific sections for Vietnamese, Chinese, Pork, Poultry, Vegetarian, etc. And of course the seafood section is the largest. You have your choice of salt toasted oyster, clams in black bean sauce, mussels in sate sauce. You have before you a plethora of all things from the sea.
Normally my husband, who truly loves mussels and clams, is not interested in these dishes. We usually split the roasted duck and the scallions as a side or I order my favorite soup and he gets his own thing. Only at Tan Tan am I able to find a soup that is both a wonton soup and a noodle soup. Yes, you heard me correctly. It is both a noodle soup and wontons. I usually can’t decide between the two and this way I don’t have to!
But this time I was determined to try something different. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food but when I find a dish that I adore, I stay pretty committed to it. Why try other things that may not delight my taste buds like the one that I have fallen in love with? Bollocks to that, I said to myself. I am ordering the curry duck vermicelli soup. I love duck and I love curry and I adore noodles. How can this go wrong?
I am sorry to say that I disappointed myself as a foodie. The waitress set the soup down in front of and it looked delicious. It was a dark rust color with a creamy base. Noodles peaked at me from beneath the broth and pieces if duck floated in the broth. There were fresh, green basil pieces swimming in the midst of all of this. My expectations were very high at this point. Maybe too high.
I took a sip of the broth. it was okay. Mild and sweetish. It did not have the spice that I had been craving. It needed something. I added some Sriracha sauce which did not help. I thought limes might help. I tried the noodles and they seemed more like spaghetti noodles than the rice noodles that I am used to so they had a rather overcooked feel to them.
I tasted a piece of what looked like a taro root which was the perfect complement to the broth. Don’t get me wrong; the broth was good. Maybe just not what I expected.
Then there was the blood cube. I pulled a liver colored piece of… I don’t know what out of the bowl and asked my husband what it was. I was told it was blood.
I dropped it on the plate. Blood? Why? Why would they do that? How do they get it in the cube? Why oh why can’t I bring myself to eat it? What kind of foodie am I? Once again I am stumped by something that makes me squeamish. I started to feel a bit sick. I poked the blood cube with my chopstick and pulled back a bloody chopstick. All I could think about were flies and blood born diseases.
My husband ordered the Szechuan chicken which looked and tasted delicious.
My sister-in-law ordered the duck soup the last time we went there. My husband actually ate the blood cube, the sick fuck. On the way home last night I couldn’t help but ask him to describe what it tasted like while also dry heaving at the thought.
Those of you reading this (is anyone reading this?), please don’t let this one review deter you from trying anything at Tan Tan. The roasted duck is to die for. You can order a side of Chinese broccoli or scallions. Their soups are amazing, hot and nurturing. There is something for everyone at Tan Tan.
Oh, and for those of you who voted on my last poll (all fucking three of you), I could not see the write in because apparently I have to pay for an account with PollDaddy but it was a fifty-fifty vote for Galatroise and Commander’s Palace. So Galatroise is where my husband and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary dinner.
So, next time you want to try a new restaurant check this place out. You won’t regret it. Just think seriously before ordering the duck soup.