Both Jen and I always love to go to a restaurant for a tasting. It is so cool to actually get to see the owner or sous chef trotting out their best and chat with us. Well a couple weeks ago, we got an extra special treat. Vincent Tan, owner of Asian Fusion restaurant Thalia Spice invited us to be part of a party of his friends . Talk about a fun evening, Wine, food, and great new friends.
I asked Vincent about the term “Asian fusion” and he explained that his food consists of regional cuisines , that are integrated with different tastes and flavors. He also said that he likes to work with the local farmers to bring fresh meats and vegetables to his dishes. Thalia Spice opened about seven years ago when Malaysia born Tan came to Chicago and decided to provide the food community with a new option. With this option, I couldn’t wait to get started but first we had to wait for the other guests.
The one thing that we all had in common was that we were fashionable women who were making Chicago a better place . They included Alicja Burek, who I found out we had a mutual friend, the fabulous Benjamin Cotrell, Marian Hephzibah Lee, who is very active with her charities, and the third was a charming young lady named Sophie. Around the table we sat drinking and getting to know each other. Then our feast began.
Our servers brought out a beautiful plate of Mango scallops. They were garnished with tropical flowers and the scallops were as tender as any meat. The mango was so sweet that I just kept nibbling at them as well. With this kind of a start, I really was excited about what was next. Grilled shrimp came next with a tangy sauce that I fell in love with . Vincent was so pleased when our next course showed up, Volcano soup. As I have said before, I am not a soup person. Tasting this one, made me want more and I wasn’t the only one. With a coconut broth mixed with spices and filled with shrimp, scallops and fresh mushrooms, it was truly a gourmet treat. Salads were next and we had two delicious ones, the first was a specialty salad with fresh papaya and a yummy peanut sauce for dressing. The second was called numtak and it had the sweetest meat I ever had and boy was the meat tender. Sushi was part of the evening as well, noted was a little number called kama sutra. (no I am not kidding) it was a charming mixture with calamari, mussel, shrimp with cheese on top. Delishh…. We couldn’t stop picking at Thalia’s ribs… they were that good and the meat fell right off the bone. The sauce is still in my mind and i will be back for those ribs again.
Desert is supposed to be a celebration and these goodies were the perfect ending of to our evening. Everything to a tasty mango pudding to something called death by chocolate, filled our plates as we added more deserts and wine and laughter. Women who started the evening as strangers were now friends. Thanks so much Vincent for a great evening.
Thalia Spice is located at 833 W Chicago Avenue. They are also open for brunch on the weekends as well. Did I happen to mention that the cocktails are scrumptious too. Try the lychee martini ..heavenly…