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.
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.
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.
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.
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