Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eats and sweets at Kaleidoscope, Chikalicious Puddin' Bar

EK was in town for several days, and for dinner with MH and I, she suggested Kaleidoscope. Above is my order of "East Indian Rice Sticks," which was sautéed with "shrimp, red onions, spinach, yellow split peas, and cashew nuts in a cilantro turmeric wine sauce." The description doesn't mention the yellow raisins in there, which some people don't like, but which for me usually adds a welcome, subtle sweetness to fried rice or noodle dishes (as in the Golden Needle fried rice at Canton Gourmet).

The shrimp was of decent quality and quantity, but despite their fierce coloring the noodles themselves were a little on the soft side and tasted both bland and wet. The different textures and flavors just didn't come together. All in all I'd call the food at Kaleidoscope serviceable but not really outstanding; it's one of those places that reaffirms my belief that places trying to cover a variety of cuisines may be better off focusing on doing one of them very well.
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Afterwards we hit up Chikalicious Puddin' Bar, just a few doors down. Between the three of us we got all of the varieties offered: Brioche Bread Puddin', Adult Chocolate Puddin', and Vanilla Custard Steamed Puddin'. These were puddings of the British variety, meaning steamed, boiled, and baked sweets with sauce poured over them, instead of soft mounds of creamy pudding (like I was going for here, but failed at). I was surprised to see that the dark chocolate pudding was thick enough to be scooped out like ice cream, and that it also had a similar texture. It had a nice bitter edge though, which I enjoyed: adult, indeed. The bread pudding and the steamed pudding were both okay—the former was cold and the latter was hot, but had both been the same in temperature, I feel like they would have been similar.

Everything was tasty enough, but nothing that I would crave or return for (I suppose that sort of sums up the entire evening of food). Well, at least it was good to spend some time catching up with the ladies.

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