BlogDH goes to Asian Cafe

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Like many Brown students, we were bummed to say goodbye to Spats– a go-to bar and hangout spot on Angell street. Needless to say, when Asian Cafe announced its opening, we knew we had to try it. We sent five of our most adventurous writers to give Asian Cafe a try in the name of journalism.

For your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a number of our thoughts to give you an insight into the holistic Asian Cafe experience.

Initial impressions:

  • “I was skeptical about the cost efficiency of all you can eat for $20. Would I really eat more than twenty bucks worth of sushi, tempura, etc. in one sit down, with no take-home allowed? Potentially, if I were trashed, and hadn’t gorged myself with Annie’s Mac and Cheese a few hours earlier. Nonetheless, I threw my fucks to the wind, and ordered a couple of pieces of raw sushi, seaweed salad, sweet potato tempura, and ice cream (duh). I considered consolidating all of the tables orders onto one of those Mad-Libs esque menu sheets (what is an adverb that also tastes like spicy yellowtail?), but I figured, ‘nah, the restaurant’s got this.’”
  • “Spats was an important place for me on campus — not because I ever went there, besides the time that I was kicked out for ‘disorderly conduct,’ but because my Dad had decided upon my move-in to Brown that Spats was where it was at. Every time we talked on the phone he’d ask ‘so how’s my fave place Spats with the 20 oz. beers?’ Needless to say, I felt an obligation to welcome the new restaurant on the block.”
  • “There were around twenty to thirty people already in the establishment, which was encouraging. No one seemed too upset…yet.”
  • “I miss Spats.”

The Food

  • “The sushi was meh.”
  • “As soon as we ordered, things started to go awry. All of the sushi seemed to arrive, along with a couple of mismatched orders (which ended up being for other tables), but no other portions of the meal showed up. We explained to our waitress that we were missing a salad, three miso soups, pork dumplings, and a sweet potato tempura. Only the miso soups ended up making an appearance. I suppose this could’ve been okay, considering people tend to over-order with these deals, and my stomach was rather satiated from the half of my order that had arrived. But then, shit really hit the fan with dessert.”
  • “My experience at Asian Cafe was overwhelmingly positive. Sure, the BBQ squid left something to be desired – that something being edible BBQ squid. Yes, we were forced to eat our ice cream with chopsticks because the waiter ‘ran around trying to find the spoons’ for half an hour. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the mysteriously named ‘shrimp tempura avocado cheese’ that was a main ingredient in one of the specialty rolls.”
  • “I give it a B- . I feel like any sushi place is going to come by hard times on Thayer, given their proximity to the wonders of Haruki East/Express. Also, I had forgotten how chewy octopus was.”
  • “The sushi was okay… actually maybe it was subpar, but for the price, I was able to eat a lot of it, so I’ll move it up to ‘okay.’ I also had so much tempura—zucchini, sweet potatoes, and shrimp. It was questionable and delicious. The menu also offered pumpkin tempura so I felt like I satisfied my Fall College Gal quota of pumpkin everything.”

 

The Service

  • “Our extremely kind servers definitely had way too many tables to work and as a result, we got a lot of food that we didn’t order and didn’t get a lot of the food that we did.”
  • “Some of us developed a theory that we were served based on the waiters perceptions of how many calories we could (or should) consume.”
  • “A fun cheat code I discovered: they will serve you sushi that you did not order, but with enough similar looking rolls on the plate, so that you are halfway through the plate before your real sushi comes out, and then they inform you that you just gobbled down the adjacent table’s entree.”
  • “It could be looked at like the restaurant version of Secret Santa, given the knowledge that what you order will most likely be served to a different table.”

The Dessert

  • “After reminding our waitress for the third time that we were missing part of our entrees, we said, ‘Let’s just skip straight to the dessert.’ She asked us which ice cream flavors we wanted (despite the fact we had all recorded them in our order), and then she broke a bombshell: Despite being listed on the menu, the green tea ice cream was not available. Honestly, f**k you, Asian Cafe. Or, as one of my fellow bloggers put it, ‘with that announcement, the light behind [my] eyes went dark.’ I tried to move on, and asked for red bean, even though I don’t even know if I like that flavor. Ten minutes later, another server came over. We asked for ice cream, AGAIN, and this time he said, ‘There is no red bean.’ The only thing they could offer us in compensation was one of our missing seaweed salads . . . for dessert.”
  • “I am still unsure as to what kind of dessert I had. It was supposed to be almond ice cream—something no bloggers had heard of. The bowl did indeed come with a green, cold thing that looked like pistachio ice cream but tasted, according to one blogger, “like Rainbow Road from Baskin Robbins.” It also was decorated with almonds— but was not almond ice cream???”
  • “We didn’t get fortune cookies. Every other table got them. We didn’t. How will we know what’s going to happen in our futures?!?!?!”

Decor

  • “This place is swagged out with bamboo everywhere. 10/10”
  • “The décor was INCONSISTENT, which for some reason either bothers me or intrigues me—a good summary of my experience at the restaurant in general. Outside there were LED color lights fit for a dorm room/nightclub, but inside there were trippy chandelier-esque lights. Strings of decorative strawberries/hearts decorated half of the area where we sat and the other half was decorative red chili peppers?? A winter holiday decorated (??) paper lantern with Santas and candy canes was the last thing you saw on your way out. They were playing with you from the moment you went in until the moment you left.”
  • “The bathrooms were clean. However, the promising toilet paper holder, the ‘never runs-out 3000’ was in fact, out. Thankfully, the toilet paper was by the windowsill, close enough to reach.”

Overall Feelings

  • “I hope whichever table got my shrimp shumai enjoyed the shit out of it. 10/10 would go again.”
  • “Basically, I paid $20, plus tax, and tip, for some mediocre sushi, and a huge bundle of lies. Asian Cafe isn’t all you can eat, it is all they can remember to bring you. That said, all of the servers seem nice, so I am sorry that the restaurant they work at is such a disaster. If you are looking for unsatisfactory food, but a highly comedic experience with friends, check it out.”
  • “I would definitely go again. I feel like it would be a good exercise in patience and spontaneity. What will I get this time: the pumpkin tempura I ordered or my neighbor’s sushi? Who knows?! It’s exciting. And hilarious.”
  • “Would I go again? Meh, not unless I really want a fuck-ton of sushi. Maybe I’ll go back for the green tea ice cream…Just maybe.”

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