F&F recommends:

Asian

Arirang.  The unofficial national anthem of Korea, this enduring folk song also lends its name to a Korean market on Eubank.  You can purchase rice cookers, stew pots, frozen and fresh goods, oils, sauces…just about anything a Korean native might be missing when so far from home. In the rear of the store, in a small but clean and bright area with just three tables and a counter, you can sample the best Korean food in Albuquerque.

Korean groceries

Korean groceries

Start your meal with hyeonmi cha, a thin brown rice tea.  Our dining partner, Master Jaeshin Cho of Dynamic Tae Kwon Do Academy, told us that you will see this tea in every nearly eating establishment you visit in his native Korea.  It’s ubiquitous!

Next came the traditional side dishes, banchan, including another common sight on a Korean dining table: kimchi!

Banchan and hyeonmi cha

Banchan and hyeonmi cha

 

Bulgogi, grilled marinated beef served with vegetables and rice on the side, is one of the most popular dishes,.

Bulgogi

Bulgogi

 

One of my favorites is dolsot bibimbap but today I felt like eating noodles so I ordered jap chae, chewy noodles with thin strips of grilled meat and vegetables in a light sauce.

Jap chae

Jap chae

 

Since my visit early last year, the intimate eating area has added a table and created new menus with English translations for those of us with little to no Korean language skills.  I keep forgetting about this place and I’m glad to have joined some friends today for some lunch.  I will add it back into my regular rotation.

I’ll leave you with a video of the Seo-Do Traditional Songs Institute performing Arirang and also a reminder to share your food with your table mates. It’s the Korean way! Mashikeh mogoseyo!

Arirang Oriental Market on Urbanspoon

You really can’t beat the prices at Golden Chopsticks. The portions are generous, too. The cooks in the open kitchen are quick and will get your order out faster than you can watch this old video of the Back Dorm Boys lip syncing Chinese opera:

Everything we’ve ordered there has been fresh and not weighed down in sauce. Even the delicious orange chicken with its sticky, spicy sauce manages to remain light.

Spicy orange chicken

 

My absolute favorite thing on the menu is so inexpensive, it feels like I’m cheating somehow. Their wonton soup is the best in ABQ. You have to try it!

I always go get a double order of this when I’m sick

 

When you crave Chinese food, make a stop at Golden Chopsticks. You won’t be sorry! Sihk faahn!

 

Golden Chopsticks on Urbanspoon

Asian fusion is not on it’s way out. Not if Street Food Asia has any say in the matter.  With the most aggressive and absolute social media campaign I’ve ever seen for a restaurant, Street Food Asia is a business and won’t let you forget it.  Patricia Frohm, wife of chef Tai Tok, has extensive business management experience and it is quite apparent she knows what she’s doing. Every single social media outlet for this place is current and engaging. The location, that sweet spot in the middle of Nob Hill, must get tons of foot traffic. Well, as much foot traffic as you can get in Albuquerque.  But is the food any good?

The dishes we ordered, although fresh and appetizingly presented, were bland, as if Tai Tok was holding back. Give us your best shot, sir! We Burquenos can handle our spices.

Shrimp and fried calamari aren’t enough to liven up this dish

 

Two in our party settled on sharing a trio of Small Plates from the Asian Tapas Menu.  The best of the three was Kuala Lumpur Street Satay with grilled marinated portabella mushrooms, crunchy red onions, and a marvelous peanut sauce. What set this dish apart from the others we ordered was the flavor sans sauce or embellishments. If you need sauce to make your food taste good, you’re doing it wrong.  The satay sauce was delicious but these mushrooms didn’t need the added flavor. They were great all on their own.  Not so the other two Small Plates.

Kuala Lumpur Street Satay

 

The Seoul Street Grilled Beef Bulgogi Kimchi was the most disappointing. My companions didn’t even finish them.  The beef was sparse and mixed with diced kimchi as if the chef wanted to create a salsa with the two components rather than allow the kimchee to do it’s job in this dish.

disappointing Korean lettuce wraps

 

The final small dish, stuffed tofu with pineapple, mango, and vegetables, was quite close to making the mark.  The presentation was appealing and all the ingredients were fresh. Still, too bland. Just too bland. The sauce covering the plate upon which the tofu “sandwiches” lay was like a watered down version of the satay sauce we’d just enjoyed with the mushroom skewers.

Gorgeous but ultimately unsatisfying

 

If you are the type of person who likes to “see for yourself,” try Street Food Asia and let us know what you think. But bring your earplugs. That place is LOUD.

Street Food Asia

3422 Central Ave, SE

ABQ, NM 87106

505.260.0088

 

StreetFood Asia on Urbanspoon

 

Have you ever tried food from Laos? If you’re in Albuquerque,  drop in Sakura Sushi Thai and Laos Cuisine in the Northeast Heights for lunch or dinner.  They offer homey cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere and the service is impeccable!

Start with some sake. They have quite a few varieties listed. Here, we have TyKu’s Super Premium sake in a sleek black bottle:

Cold sake with peach undertones

 

After you’ve had a few cups of sake, nibble on some appetizers. Sakura Sushi offers Japanese, Thai, and Laos dishes on their menu so you’ll have plenty of choices.

Steamed edamame

 

Vegetable tempura and gyoza

Next, you move on to the real deal. You absolutely must try this handmade pork sausage. It’s a little spicy but not over-powering. It’s the best thing on the menu!

Handmade pork sausage on bed of cabbage, carrots, and broccoli

If you’re in the mood for sushi, try the specialty rolls and wash it all down with some hot sake. The price is affordable and the family running this restaurant make sure you enjoy your visit.

Sakura Sushi Thai and Laos Cuisine

4200 Wyoming Blvd. NE (C-2)

ABQ, NM 87111

505.294.9696
Sakura Sushi Thai & Laos Cuisine on Urbanspoon

The only Filipino food I’d ever eaten was a marvelous adobo made by my sister-in-law, who is from Manila. It was amazing, heaped over a pile of steamed white rice and served with simple vegetables. But Filipino Kitchen had so much more to offer.

Sharing a courtyard with the Rt. 66 Malt Shop on Central

Buko!

Cantaloupe juice

I know it’s a large picture but I want you to take in all that yummy goodness!

The new menu offers options outside of buffet, such as specialty items and appetizers. There is also a take-away menu and desserts, which we will try next time for sure!

Salad bar and fruit

Filipino Kitchen buffet

Filipino Kitchen buffet

My buffet selection. And yes, the adobo was excellent!

Two people in our party opted to order from the menu, just to try something different.

Shrimp tempura

Pancit Canton

 

The restaurant is spacious, very very clean, and the wait staff are attentive and quick. You can’t ask for more! Lunch buffet is 12.95 so drop by Filipino Kitchen!

 
Filipino Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Outsider in a village seeks to learn tai chi from the master but villagers are forbidden from sharing their knowledge. He must earn their respect and gratitude before they will allow him to study their secret art.

Tai Chi O

Tai Chi O poster

Tai Chi O, the first in a planned trilogy, will be distributed by Well Go USA so there is a very high chance we will actually get to view it.  With  Stephen Fung directing  and Sammo Hung as action director, we’re practically salivating here.  Diversion Pictures is hell bent on creating a new Chinese martial arts star and we’ll be keeping an eye on what develops.

When the trailer hits the internet, we’ll make sure you get to see it.

Do you crave pho?  We do.  And we’ve tried quite a few Vietnamese restaurants in Albuquerque to find pho with a soup base which doesn’t overpower all the other little goodies you add.  Saigon has it! With two locations, you don’t have very far to drive to get your pho on.

The rooster crows

The rooster crows as much as you like.

Shrimp curry

Shrimp curry

PHO!

PHO!

 

Shrimp and pork dish

Shrimp and pork dish

 

Fried tofu and noodles, for the purist

Fried tofu and noodles, for the purist

Saigon on Urbanspoon

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