Local Food Musings : Dd33

I’ve been slacking off in the Test Kitchen last weekend and have nothing to show for it this week. I am proud to say though, that I have gone through my pantry and threw out items that have either expired or will never see the light of day. I also organized my craft room to make room for my business inventory. Life is good.

One thing I did do late into Sunday night was mess around with Royal Icing (and food coloring) trying to make those cute pansies from Joycelyn's inspiring blog. I found instructions in Peggy Porschen's Pretty Party Cakes  and if I can bribe my photographer to do a step-by-step picture guide I’ll detail it here on my blog soon.

About Dd33. For the local folks here in Richmond, Virginia who maybe interested, this is the somewhat new (maybe a year old) Asian Bistro that opened at the Shoppes at Twin Oaks on Cox rd. It’s a venture by David Du and his parents (owners of Peking Restaurant). I don’t know what 33 means – must be a lucky number (I’m Chinese so I know numbers mean a lot both in business and personal decisions).

On our first visit (I don’t remember when), we were hit by sticker shock. With what we ordered we did not feel that it merited that price. Anyway, we decided to go back last Friday with my sister-in-law and her hubby.

I never did like its interior. I was never sure whether it was a club or a restaurant. Our bored waitress rattled out the specials of the day in a monotone voice. We ordered three appetizers: the crispy tuna sashimi roll which was outstanding, the calamari was a bit overcooked but tasty and I totally forgot what the last starter was.

Anyway, on to the main entrée. I ordered the braised Korean short-ribs which came perfectly seasoned (I think the sauce was a bulgogi jus). The crispy polenta cakes that accompanied them were on the dry side. (I believe if you don’t spend the time making Polenta – don’t bother) .  I convinced the “Hungry Hubby to try the scallops and clams over the truffled cauliflower puree. His dish turned out pretty mediocre and the puree – tasted too much – well – like cauliflower. I was disappointed because I expected it to taste at least 25% like Patrick O’Connell’s truffle-dusted scallops over cauliflower puree – I remember this dish being a highlight of Chef O'Connell's tasting menu and is actually on the cover of last book, Refined American Cuisine. Darn it, I guess if I want a dish to taste a certain way I have to make it myself (we recently scored U-10 size, dry-packed scallops – the scent reminded me of the ocean breeze – a sign of great seafood – guess I know what I'm making this weekend!)

My sister-in-law had the seared tuna and her husband had the Pork Tonkatsu. I had a taste of both their dishes and they were nothing to sing about. There was nothing exciting about their dessert offerings either, but we tried two of them anyway. The five-spiced churros would have been better if they used a better(asssertive) chocolate for the dip . The other dessert was a banana's foster roll – I don't have an opinion of that because I don't remember how it tasted like or if I even tried it.

Dd33 has great appetizers, their dinner is a hit or miss and I’d rather have dessert elsewhere. They have an extensive menu. I think they are trying so hard for this Asian fusion type of menu that some of their combinations fall flat as with the polenta with my short ribs and their desserts. For a price tag of $154.00 (tip not included) – 3 appetizers (which were pretty tiny plates), 2 beers, 1 soda, 4 entrees and 2 desserts – there are a lot of other places that might offer a better experience.

7 thoughts on “Local Food Musings : Dd33

  1. Well, even if it was a bit over priced and not consistent, at least you had good company right? I think at the end that's what counts. And… you cleaned out your pantry which is always a big pain in the behind! LOL!

  2. Too bad about dinner. Inquiring minds need to know…. where did you score the dry pack scallops? I am so sick of the wet pack. Can't get a good sear for the life of me.

  3. I'll take yeast over Royal Icing any day! But, I'll really look forward to a step by step from you Veron.
    I've been try to get into my pantry for a wipe out for a month and it hasn't happened. Now I have jury duty tomorrow . . .fun!! not and only interesting if I get on one.

  4. I hate when I go to restaurant and am disappointed. In this economy, if I spend money to eat out it should be at least as good as I can make myself, or something I couldn't make myself at home!

  5. Veronica:

    On my last trip to dd33, I also got the Korean short ribs, and loved every last bite (including the crispy polenta cakes). When you mention dry polenta, I know what you're talking about: I've had that many times (at other places). This one experience of mine, however, was different: I actually was raving about the polenta!

    I like the atmosphere, but I have found the service hit/miss. And my partner in crime often walks away disappointed (he never seems to get something he can rave about, save for their sablefish).

    Then on the trip home, I hear about the price. I agree, for what they offer now, the prices should be more reasonable… and looking at the numbers of folks they currently have on a Friday or Sat., they could use more bodies coming through the door. Yet, I am happy to see someone doing Asian fusion.

    I ate for the first time tonight at Zed Cafe, and hope to post a review soon on Messycuisine.com.

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