Saturday, February 13, 2016

Replacement IGK/Cafe Hestia

If you've followed my posts in the past (pre-Hale and Hearty bombardment) then you'll remember that I used to eat a lot at two specific places: IGK International Gourmet Kitchen and Cafe Hestia (now apparently Island Cafe?). These were my go-to's because they had solid Asian cuisine done rather quickly and for not too much money. If I wanted a quick container of ramen, pad thai, or spicy chicken over rice, these were the best places for me to go. In the year plus that I've been at my new job, I've looked for something to fill that void, and after having visited Cafe Olympia with my coworkers a few times, I'm not quite sure this is that spot, but it's at least in the running.

I've had their salads a few times, and I was really pleased with what they had to offer. I noticed that they also had an Asian cuisine section further to the back, next to the salads as well. One day this week I figured it was time for me to put this place to the test. It was really cold so the easy first choice test was the Spicy Chicken Ramen. To be honest, I was going to get the spicy chicken over rice, but the line for the wok section was way too long.

My initial impression was that this took longer to make than at either of my previous haunts. That worried me a bit since even ramen noodles can be overcooked, and when they do they get way too soft and chewy. But, I reminded myself, keep an open mind. New places, new experiences right? I got my container home and decided to start digging in.

The vegetables were nice. The ramen was full of scallions, broccoli, sprouts, carrots, onions, and zucchini along with the noodles and broth. It wasn't all that spicy which was disappointing, but all of the vegetables were a nice change from the other two spots, but the rest of this was fairly disappointing. The noodles were completely overcooked per my initial fear, and they were unbelievably mushy and formless, and the broth wasn't all that spicy or flavorful. The nice thing about this was the chicken. It had a nice grilled flavor to it, and they were easily the best part of the dish.

Overall, a disappointing first foray into Cafe Olympia's Asian section. I'll give them a few more shots with their other dishes, but if the line for the wok section is always as long as it was the day I went, even that may never happen.

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