Saturday, September 10, 2011
Cafe Bua named a "Top Dog" of 2011
Here's the review: "Then we hit the Munch jackpot. The words “Asian fusion” can often translate to “menu disaster,” with restaurants trying to re-create dishes from a half-dozen or more countries instead of concentrating on just one.
Thai-born Oat Chorphaka pulls it off with Cafe Bua.
Skip the Philly cheesesteak, meatball parm and grilled Reuben on the menu and proceed directly to soup. The hot-and-sour soup, with shrimp, calamari and chicken, is terrific.
“Confused my taste buds in a wonderful way,” said Rutkowski, who also favored the Peking duck roll (“the perfect amount of plum sauce and crunchy scallions and cucumbers”).
Another soupy knockout: the wonton soup, with garlic, ginger and cilantro and choice of chicken, shrimp or pork. Dines delighted in the roast duck noodle soup and its cilantro-fueled “pop of flavor.” Highly recommended: the spicy beef salad, with skirt steak, watercress, green apple, sun-dried chile and a roasted rice and lime dressing.
Hall raved about the red curry chicken meatballs. “They bounce with flavor in your mouth. The spices dribble on your tongue and are a slam dunk!”
The Vietnamese pho-like beef stew noodle soup seemed the only letdown among the soups. The grilled pork chops: dried out, with a surfeit of seasoning. The spicy pork Korean tacos, in flour tortillas and with a spicy Asian coleslaw, are recommended.
The coffee crème brûlée divided the crew, but the Cafe Bua shaved ice turned out to be a showstopper, a magic, multicolored mountain of vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit, red bean paste and chopped ice topped with syrup and condensed milk. “A cool and tantalizing surprise,” Goldring noted.
Eat fast, because this science experiment masquerading as dessert turns into electric-green goo pretty quick.
You can drive right by Cafe Bua, slipped into a generic strip mall, without noticing it. But it sounded like the Munchers were already making plans to return."
In addition, the esteemed Peter Genovese, the Munchmobile's driver, chose my little favorite restaurant as one of the best places found on the Summer 2011 tour.
"Cafe Bua, 1353 Stelton Road, Piscataway; (732) 819-3900. I shudder when I see the words “Asian fusion,” which is often a recipe for cuisine that tries to be everywhere and ends up nowhere. Cafe Bua, run by Thai-born Oat Chorphaka, dazzles with singular, often spicy dishes such as the hot-and-sour soup (more Bangkok than Beijing), red curry chicken meatballs and Korean tacos." To see what other restaurants were chosen, click here.