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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lemme tell you a little secret... Don't Tell Supper Club

Earlier this month I had a chance to check out the new Don't Tell Supper Club. Now... it's a little bit of a secret so I won't give away too much. hehe. Mostly just the food parts. :P

Don't Tell Supper Club
2026 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 432-8282
Price: $$$$+

Is this place a restaurant? Bar? Or nightclub? Yes. ^_~ They are only open Thursday-Saturday nights. And after 10PM, it becomes a nightclub. What I liked about this place? The decor is eclectic... a little fancy, a little fun, and a little naughty. I especially loved the caged chandeliers at the bar. You also get a show while you dine which is the concept of a supper club.

We arrived on a Saturday night at 7PM. There were 4 of us and we were seated right in front of the stage. I would've preferred to be seated farther back so we can see the stage completely... But out of the 4 seats, I had a pretty good angle to the stage. The waitress came by immediately to take our drink orders. Our waitress was Alexis (I think?), I liked her a lot. :)

(I apologize for some of the photos btw... since it's more of a mood and performance lighting, it was not great for pictures.)

All of their cocktails sounded really interesting. We asked the waitress for some recommendations on the coolest looking ones. So I started with the Most Unusual Tea (Hendrick's Gin, basil, lime juice, a touch of chamomile) $14~ 
I love anything with dry ice which makes a cool smoking effect. The cocktail was poured tableside on the basil leaf. I really liked this. The flavors were just right... I could taste the gin as well as the basil. Hendrick's Gin is one of my favorites... if you haven't tried it, this is a good drink to get. :)

The waitress also brought by some drinks on the house. I think she said it was like a Dreamsicle.

Trainspotting (Gosling Rum, Cana Brava Rum, lime, orange, pineapple juices with a hint of coconut) $14~ This was definitely a fun drink. I started to see that their presentation is their strong suit. The syringe was "injected" into the drink tableside. I liked that it was interactive.

Contortionist (Tito's, fresh fruit puree, lemon, topped with champagne; served with Pop Rocks) $13~ This was fun too, a pretty drink with contrasting colors of the drink and pop rocks. All topped with a fun twisty straw. However, my friends said the drink flavor wasn't too exciting. 
That seemed to have been the general consensus on the cocktails. Pretty and fun, but the flavor lacks a little... whether it wasn't strong enough or the flavors were muddled, or wasn't sweet enough, etc.

While we were waiting for our drinks to come, a magician came by our table and did some tricks. I was impressed! The tricks were fun and the magician guy had a really great attitude. He later did several acts on the stage and I liked him best out of all the performers of the night. He had great energy and was just fun! (I'm not posting any more pics than this! You'll have to go and see the shows for yourself!)

We ordered the food in two rounds. All their dishes are kinda made for sharing. And again... we saw that their presentation game is strong! Every plate came with a cool decoration on the platter, and it just keeps getting more epic.

Jumbo Lump Crab Filled Eggs (tarragon, lemon, paprika panko) $14~ I loved the platter that this dish came on. The steampunk octopus was unexpected and very cool. I've never had lump crab on eggs before. I liked it a lot. The paprika panko was a nice bit of color.

Heirloom Tomato Watermelon Salad (cornbread croutons, balsamic gel, basil) $12~ Plus Grilled Shrimp +$7~ I don't like watermelon, but I ate everything else... and surprisingly this was my favorite dish of the night! The shrimp was so plump and cooked perfectly. But my favorite bite was the cornbread crouton. It had really great flavor and texture. It wasn't super crunchy like normal croutons. I would eat a whole plate with just that.

DT Castle Burgers (chipotle mayo, cabbage, cilantro, pepper jack, bacon) $16~ This normally comes with 3 sliders but we asked them to add a 4th since we had 4 people. The sliders were good. The chipotle mayo was bold and smokey. I liked it, but some didn't for that same reason. The texture of the buns were good. And the bacon is TOTALLY necessary! hehe.
Truffle Parmesan Fries. Instead of ordering the Steak and Frites, we just got the fries as a side. As it was served, you can already smell the truffle, which is a good sign. It was good...but got cold quickly. Still... I pretty much like all fries. haha.

Crispy Seared Key West Cobia (pan seared atop kale, shaved brussels sprouts, swiss red chard, soy sesame glaze) $48~ "Serves 2 to 3". I was super excited to order this. I had seen pictures of a giant WHOLE fried fish on Yelp and I thought this was it... since they only had one fish dish on the menu. Plus a giant whole fish would definitely feed 2-3 people and justify the $48 price tag. Yowza! However, when it came... we were confused. I was like "we didn't order this... did we?" It was just 2 normal filets of fish on a long plate. 
The waitress confirmed that this was indeed the cobia. So I asked her about the picture I saw, and she said "oh, that's a prop!" And it was being served at another table, that's why we got the pointing hand on our platter. She asked if we wanted the fried fish prop brought over and I said yes. Might as well get some cool pictures, even though I was so disappointed that it wasn't for consumption! The fried fish prop was certainly impressive! 
I mean, just look at it!! But the cobia dish itself was a disappointment. First of all, it barely feeds 2 people, unless you've ordered a lot of other dishes. The fish could've been seared more too. I wonder what justifies the price point? It's quite expensive... Is cobia an expensive fish? I don't really know. The flavors in the kale, brussels sprouts mixture was good though. You can definitely taste the soy sesame glaze.

We were getting full but wanted to try a couple more things. So here goes Round 2!

Big Eye Tuna Tartar (scallions, yuzu, togarashi, black radish) $19~ Again... a cool display with the dish. This one was especially fitting to the establishment's name. The fish...while tender, was completely overwhelmed by the spices. The flavor wasn't bad or anything, it just didn't let the fish shine.

Kobe Beef Carpaccio (shallot black pepper vinaigrette, key lime, yellow tomatoes, toast) $20~ This was good. The beef was sliced razor thin and actually fell apart when we tried to scoop it up. Flavors were good, although slightly too salty. Definitely squeeze some of the little key limes onto each bite. It makes a difference!

For dessert, they had 3 cakes available, so we just got one of each.

NY Style Cheesecake (vanilla cheesecake with a hint of lemon and orange on a graham cracker crust) $12~ The other two cakes towered over this one and I felt it got kinda lost. It was ok. I didn't get the hints of citrus very much and the texture was fine. Wasn't too impressed.

Wedding Cake (white chocolate buttermilk cake filled and frosted with Italian buttercream frosting) $12~ Pretty. Loved all the different textures on top. Flavor wise... a little bland. And the cake felt like it was just taken out of the freezer or something... didn't taste fresh and was quite hard.

Chocolate Mega Tron Cake (6 layers of chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting and crushed candies between each layer; covered with vermicelli sprinkles) $12~ This was by far my favorite out of the three. I really liked the crunch candies within the layers and it's incredibly chocolatey. But like the wedding cake, it was hard, like it was just in the freezer. I wonder if they get their cakes from a third party...? I left it alone for a while and let it thaw and it was better. And vermicelli sprinkles? We were soooo intrigued! Vermicelli is a type of really thin rice noodle often used in Vietnamese cuisine. But it was just normal chocolate sprinkles. haha. I think they used the word "vermicelli" to describe the shape.

I had a good time. The food and drinks were a little hit and miss but overall we had fun. Our waitress was great! I really enjoyed watching the magician guy. He was definitely my favorite. I won't give away too much on what he did, but he was on that stage a lot! You gotta go check it out yourself to see what kind of performances they have! This is definitely something different to do in Dallas... since it's our first ever supper club. I would recommend y'all experience it at least once. And for those who like to party it up, the nightclub part starts after 10PM!

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

Quality of Food:



Value: (comped)

Overall Experience:


Friday, September 15, 2017

Vietnam Part 2: Hanoi

We were in Hanoi for 5 nights. I highly recommend our hotel: La Belle Vie. It was by far the nicest one we had on the trip. All the hotel staff were super nice, their roof top pool was awesome, and the daily breakfast buffet spread was top notch!

Our first night in Hanoi, we wanted to get BBH (Bun Bo Hue). So the hotel recommended a place. They said it's where the locals go. Driving up in the taxi, we saw a row of people sitting outside on tiny little stools and low tables, very local! We thought we were going to have to sit out front like everyone else, but luckily they had an inside, upstairs, with AC!

Bun Bo Hue O Xuan.
Bun Bo Hue. We all got the same thing. 
They had a very small menu. But this is what they're known for so of course we had to get it. I did not know that BBH does not come spicy by default. I've only had it in Dallas and everywhere serves it spicy. I actually liked that it was not spicy. They give you a jar of chili sauce to add on your own. And that was SPICY!! A little scoop is more than enough. LOVE LOVE LOVED the BBH. I think it was one of my favorite meals of the trip. The noodles were perfect cooked. There was plenty of meat and it was filling. The broth had great flavor too. A great recommendation!

Of course we stopped by a boba place by our hotel. :P
Ding Tea
Classic Matcha 32,000 VND. Pretty good!

We went looking for pho one day cuz the only pho we've technically had was the hotel breakfast. haha. But we couldn't find the place we were looking for. But we found one that only served chicken pho. Why not?

Pho Ga 42
Chicken Pho (with or without gizzards). 
Although I eat most organ meats, I don't like liver. So I wasn't sure what all they put in the loaded one... I opted for just the meat. I liked it. It was light, but still flavorful. There was lots of chicken. The portion size was more than enough. I actually like the pho in Vietnam. I've heard many stories from people saying the pho in Vietnam is not great. I think because it's not like the US where we get a ton of meat. And the flavors are quite a bit lighter. Which is better for me. I don't like things that are too salty. The only thing I don't really care for is the actual noodles. It seems to be a thinner noodle and feels overcooked.

Mr. Bay Mien Tay
My friend wanted to come here specifically for a certain dish. But once we got there, they told us it was sold out. haha. Oh well. They had a pretty big menu.
Nem Nuong Lui (grilled mint pork in stick).

Bun Bo Nam Bo 60,000 VND. This is their signature dish. It was sooooo good. My favorite dish of the trip, I think. Sooo much texture with the peanut and crispy garlic chips and bean sprouts.

Banh Khot (dragon eggs pancake) 65,000 VND. Cute little bites. It's almost like a mini Banh Xeo in texture.

My friends wanted to try this place cuz it was there, and they've never been. haha. It's a fast food place... and they have fried chicken. Wasn't cheap either..
Spicy Fried Chicken. Their spicy fried chicken was damn good. Way better than the KFC we went the day before. haha. (Just to try KFC in Vietnam, you know? Wasn't worth it.)
Vanilla Soft Serve (with chocolate hard shell). Meh.

Royal Tea
The Royal Tea here isn't as good as Ho Chi Minh City, and the selections were different. Boo..
Guava Passion Green Tea 43,000 VND. The drinks were still good tho. But why didn't I get the cool cups?!?

Peach Orange Strawberry Oolong Tea 49,000 VND

Cari Truong
We came here because my friends wanted broken rice plates. Only to find that broken rice is not popular in the north and so they don't have it anymore. So we just got regular rice plates. haha.
Com Suon (rice barbecue) 65,000 VND

Beef with Yellow Rice

Trung Nguyen Legend
Have you heard of weasel poop coffee? Or the more popular one globally is the luwak poop coffee. But in Vietnam, it's the weasel. My friends wanted to buy the beans but couldn't find a place that wasn't going to rip them off. So they found this cafe that served it.
Legend Coffee 150,000 VND - mimics the "weasel" coffee. 
The process copies what the beans go through in a weasels digestive system or something like that. So it's not REAL poop coffee, but that makes me feel better. haha. It's super rich and hella strong. But really good with condensed milk. I can see why people would pay a premium for this.

We did 2 tours while in Hanoi. Lunch is typically included and catered to more Western palates. Not really the greatest food.. haha.

Bike and Boat Tour

Halong Bay Tour. We had this lunch on the boat. It was cool.
Cucumber Salad

Steamed Prawns

Stir Fried Squid with Celery

Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Fried Chicken

Fish with Tomato Sauce

Steamed Rice
Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Afternoon Tea Time - Green Bean Dessert, Tea, Pineapple

Hanoi Food & Drink
After the tour we found this place just across from our hotel. Their food turned out pretty good. So I had them 3 times on our trip. haha.
Beef Sauteed with Mustard Greens

Crispy Roast Pork. They only serve this from noon-8pm or until they sell out. So we missed out the first night. But we got it to go and ate it by the pool the next day. It was awesome!

Beef Sauteed with Ramen. This is the dish I had 3 days in a row. haha. Got it to go to eat at the hotel room while I watched a movie. Total relaxation!

We wanted to do another afternoon tea since we had so much fun in Ho Chi Minh City. But this time we wanted to do an actual High Tea with the tiered carriers and stuff. We decided on the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. It was highly rated for Afternoon Tea and the hotel is really nice.

High Tea 460,000 VND (per 2 people). This was by far the most expensive meal we had on this trip. And honestly, it wasn't even that expensive... but seemed really high since we've been paying so little for food. haha.

Pastry Stand:
Homemade Scones, Financiers, Madeleines
Finger Sandwiches,
Seasonal Fresh Fruits

It was not good. The display was meh. And the food was meh. I think they copped out with the fruit tier. And the pastries were lackluster too. Bleh.

Selection of Metropole fine teas
- Darjeeling de Printemps
- Mint Green Tea, Earl Grey pointed Blanch. This was my favorite one of the bunch. The mint was very mild.
- Quatre Fruit Rouge, The des Vieux Gancon

Fresh Coconut Juice 130,000 VND. The most expensive coconut ever!

Metropole Egg Coffee 120,000 VND. We've kinda been wanting to try this egg coffee thing, but gave up looking for it cuz none of the locals we talked to have heard about it. haha. But they had it on the menu so we got it. It's quite good. Super rich. And the candle underneath kept it hot. But we left it on the fire too long and it cooked!! Turned into coffee custard. hahaha.

Bun Cha Huong Lien
My friend wanted to come here cuz apparently Obama came here? There are pictures to prove it! (This is supposedly a Northern cuisine? I don't know much about the regional cuisines in Vietnam, but this is typically found in the north. Just like the north doesn't do much broken rice, but we found it in Ho Chi Minh City.)

Bun Cha (grilled pork, rice vermicelli, herbs with broths of sugar vinegar fish sauce) 40,000 VND. You basically take a chopstick full of noodles and dip it into the broth. You don't dump the whole thing of noodles in there. Quite interesting. And the broth is cold. I was full so I only sampled. It was ok. Wasn't my favorite.

Fried Seafood Roll (prawn, crab, pork, vegetable) 30,000 VND. Way too big. Felt like it was very greasy.

Fried Crab Roll (crab, pork, vegetable) 7,000 VND

Overall, the food in Vietnam was good. I wouldn't fly here just for it though. haha. I DID enjoy the price point enormously. :P