Little Serow: special fish menu

Little Serow is one of my favorite restaurants in DC. It is one of the few restaurants that lived up to the huge hype when it first opened in 2011, and it has continued to churn out amazing, unique food. Opened by the talented Johnny Monis (of Komi), and his stunning wife, Anne Marler (how obvious is it that I have schoolgirl crush on this couple?), Little Serow serves a 7 course dinner consisting of Northern Thai and Northeastern Thai food for $45. Because it operates on a first come, first serve basis and it is F*CKING AMAZING, a line starts forming around 4:30, and by the 5:30pm opening there is usually enough people to book the restaurant for the rest of the night.

I love this place. I absolutely love this place. I was completely blown away the first time I came here in 2012, and my loving feelings have only increased since then. We came here for my mother’s 60th birthday, and my parents were incredibly impressed. They appreciated the bold, spicy flavors and the unique dishes that don’t shy away from using “strange” ingredients (snakehead fish, chicken livers, an abundance of fish sauce, etc).

This year between December 2-6, Little Serow served a seafood-centric menu for $55. I came here with my real roommate, my fake roommate, and my real roommate’s friend for the second seating one cold Thursday night after spending the entire day eagerly anticipating the meal and trying to consume as little food as possible to adequately prepare. The fixed menu means that you do not need to stress about what to order, you just need to sit your butt down and eat what is placed in front of you. This special menu consisted of the following dishes (taken directly from the their website):

1. gaap kai buu
coconut husk / mud crab / shrimp paste

2. yum hoy khohm
snails / snakehead fish / rice paddy herb

3. khai luuk khoei
steamed eggs / tamarind / crispy anchovy

4. pla som
fermented fish / lobster roe / yellow bean

5. hoy prik thai
clams / green peppercorns / lime leaf

6. pla thua
whole fish / tamarind / basil

Everything is served with baskets of sticky rice, along with fresh vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, raw eggplant, cucumbers) . To start, the gaap kai buu was warm, salty, and like foreplay for our tastebuds. I scooped mine all up with the crunchy, fresh cabbage like I was eating chips and dip. It was fantastic but left me even more eager for more food. The next dish, yum hoy khohm (below), was one of my favorites from the night. The snails and snakehead fish were a symphony in my mouth of salty, sweet and sour flavors. It was surprisingly spicy, the kind of heat that lingers in your jaw for several minutes after you have swallowed.

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