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Top 25 Ethnic Dishes We Love: Asia



Sherpa’s Adventurers Restaurant – Boulder


Let us sum up what you need to know about Boulder’s Sherpa’s Adventurers restaurant:  the food is delicious, the service is friendly, and if you go before cold weather sets in you can sit outside on their lovely patio to enjoy both the food and service.  The menu includes items traditionally found in Indian restaurants – tikka masalas, aloo gobi, vindaloo – but you really must not miss the Tibetan specialties.  Especially recommended is the thupka.  This steaming, hearty bowl of noodles, rich broth, veggies, comes with your choice of meat.  Be brave, order the yak.  The meat is sweet, tender, and mild and goes perfectly with the thick chewy noodles.  Also recommended:  the Sherpa Stew.  A highly seasoned, flavorful dish of broth, dumplings, vegetables, and choice of meat (again, go for yak) will prepare you for your next mountain climbing adventure.



Beef with Tomatoes

Chez Thuy – Boulder


Vietnamese cuisine has Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and French influences and that means that there are more flavors to love.  Chez Thuy is the best Vietnamese spot in Boulder County – indeed, it’s beloved in Boulder County thanks to a wonderful menu and, of course, owner Thuy Le herself, a fascinating women who can quickly size you up and offer dish recommendations.  Some favorite entrees are beef with tomatoes.  This dish is deceptively simple and so delicious it sometimes shows up in dreams.  In addition, the curry stew is hearty with large wedges of potato, yam, carrot, and meat or tofu in a thick coconut curry.



Warm & Spicy Chocolate Cake

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse – Boulder


They might be known for tea—it is in their name—but equally important is what you eat with the tea, and that’s where the Dushanbe Teahouse shines. Enter this dessert plate; with a modest chocolate cake turret and side of avocado ice cream (you read that right), the only tough part of the visit is deciding which of the many teas to pair it with. The cake is more airy than most, resembling its molten lava cousin and making it that much harder to slow down on the devouring. Though the chocolate flavor is solid, there is a subtle buzz of cinnamon and other spices (cardamom, perhaps?) that runs throughout. The spice is reinforced by a layer of chile caramel sauce upon which the cake and ice cream sit. And while vanilla ice cream normally suffices for most chocolate cakes, this isn’t most cakes. Instead, the avocado is rich, creamy and most importantly, cool, as it balances the bit of heat from the cake. Whatever guacamole flavor you might be wary of, don’t be; it’s much closer to a green tea taste with the way it refreshes the whole mouth.



Chef’s Choice Biryani

Flavor of India – Longmont


Rice may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Indian food, but when the rice is the flavorful basmati strain and it is woven with meat and spices into the collection of elaborate dishes known as biryanis, created during the Mogul Raj, it is not just a staple but an experience. Flavor of India in Longmont offers biryanis in several varieties – chicken, pork, lamb and shrimp. We recommend you combine them all in the guise of the Chef’s Choice Biriyani.



Goong Ob Woon Sen

Busaba Thai – Louisville


While the classic dishes like pad thai look nice enough, on a big plate garnished with shredded carrot and beet, we couldn’t resist something a little off of the beaten path. The menu describes the dish as “steamed bean thread noodles with shrimp, bacon, garlic, ginger and cilantro, in special soy blend,” and that’s exactly what you get. Its served in a bowl, so it’s fairly light, and the noodles are glassy and perfectly sticky. Large, fresh shrimp and slices of salty bacon are complimented by a whole garlic clove and a sliver of ginger. It looks and tastes a little like home-cooking, and that’s because the proprietors are a family from Thailand, using mom’s old recipes. Brilliant.



Aunt Tai’s Curry Chicken

Spice China -Louisville


The first thing you’ll notice here (besides the floor to ceiling murals depicting Chinese village life) is the enormous book that is their menu, including an impressive Shanghai section. Let us save you the trouble; order Aunt Tai’s Curry Chicken. Whoever Aunt Tai is, we love her for this warm dish that flirts with having a stew-like consistency, yet leaves you wanting more, even on a 90 degree day. The not-too-sweet coconut curry sauce binds everything together and sticks to soft chicken, chopped carrots, bell peppers and onions. It’s a dish that satisfies a hankering for sweet and sour, but isn’t the ordinary sesame chicken in a white carton that you might expect to find along the Front Range. (You can still get a white carton to-go if you really want, though.)



Shoyu Ramen

Sushi Tora – Boulder

Sushi may be the most iconic of Japanese menu offerings and it is the item from which Sushi Tora draws its name, but sushi is far from the whole of the cuisine, and while Sushi Tora’s sushi is remarkable, we are recommending a different Japanese dish. You will have to show up on Saturday or Sunday between 11:30 to 2:00 to get it but Sushi Tora’s ramen is worth the effort. The dish is a soup of chinese style noodles in a lighter shoyu broth, with bamboo shoots, green onions, fish cakes, soft boiled eggs, and roasted pork, and it’s delicious.




Tiffins India Cafe – Boulder


What’s in a name?  Tiffin is an Indian English word meaning a small meal, often referring to lunch or the box that contains the lunch.  In this case the name is somewhat misleading – these meals aren’t small, the portions are large and filling.  Start with samosa chat.  Two richly seasoned samosas come smothered with chick peas in a slightly sweet, spicy sauce with crunchy noodles sprinkled on top.  One bite gets you flaky pastry, tender potato, mealy chick pea, sweet cinnamon, tangy cilantro, and spicy red chili.  Follow this with a dosa.  Imagine a thin, crispy, buttery crepe made of rice and lentil flour wrapped around a spicy potato filling.  Now imagine it is a foot long and four inches across.  This impressive dish comes with chutneys for dipping and a side of sambar.  Finish off your meal with cardamom-laced, cream-rich carrot halva.  You will feel, for a moment, like you have traveled far from home.



Ma Ma’s Chicken Soup Noodle

Zoe Ma Ma – Boulder


Zoe Ma Ma serves food like Mom makes – if Mom is from China.  Luckily for all of us, even those without a Chinese mother, that food is simple, filling, healthily made, inexpensive, and available in downtown Boulder.  It being Mom-style food, you really must try the Ma Ma’s Chicken Soup Noodle.  You will get a bowl filled with chicken broth, shredded all-natural chicken, vegetables, and rice noodles and you will feel like, for that moment anyway, everything is right with the world.  Also notable is the Sunday/Monday/Tuesday special – Sichuan Braised Beef Noodle.  It just sounds good, and the taste follows through.  It’s a dish rarely found on American Chinese menus and alone is worth the visit.  It’s a saucy, soupy, brothy, spicy, dish loaded with thick noodles and chunks of tender meat.  When you are offered cilantro and scallions to finish the dishes, by all means say yes.

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