Sunday, July 31, 2016

Restaurant Review: Reren Laman and Bar - Washington DC

D.C.'s Chinatown Offers More than Chinese Food

Think everything Asian?

Jumbo Pineapple Shrimp

It turned out that Chinatown was about two blocks from my hotel in DC this past week. Now I imagined rows of restaurants serving chow mein and sweet and sour chicken. When I imagined it a little more, I thought I might get some more authentic or exotic dishes that were still Chinese, like a spicy beef or fried tofu. What I learned quickly was that Chinatown has much more than just Chinese food. Thai, Vietnamese, Ramen, Dim Sum, and even a few American places, are scattered throughout this section of town and there is a lot to pick from.

General Tso's Bourbon

For lunch we tried Reren, which is described as Asian Fusion cuisine. There was an assortment of entrees, noodle bowls and small plates to choose from that really could satisfy even those who might not really like Asian food as a first choice. My friend ordered Pineapple Jumbo Shrimp, which featured a nice selection of vegetables and pineapple that my friend really enjoyed. This also came with white rice. The shrimp were rather large and cooked without overcooking. My other friend ordered General Tso’s Bourbon Chicken which she also thought was quite good. 

Seaweed Salad

For my lunch, I chose a seaweed salad and an order of the Reren Signature Lamen. The seaweed salad was similar to others I have had, featuring a nice sesame dressing and some seeds scattered on top. It was fresh and nicely chilled. The Lamen was a fun dish. Usually I describe a menu item in my own words, but I can’t beat how they have it on their menu as “rich creamy Reren broth, melt taste pork belly, tea egg and season greens.” Of course it was the pork belly that had me and I needed to know what “melt taste” was, and it was delicious! These were huge slabs of pork belly nestled in noodles, that were a wonderful fatty texture that demonstrates good cooking, and they had that salty undertone of bacon. The dish was a delightful mix of flavors that really melded with the salty pork, the creaminess of the egg, and the brine of the greens. 
Reren Signature Lamen

The service here was very friendly and they were accommodating to the fact that our time for lunch would be brief as we had to return to the conference. The chef even came by to check and see how we liked our dishes. The atmosphere was also warm and cozy. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how good their Thai Iced Tea was, and I have had a lot of Thai Iced Tea.

I would recommend this for both a quick or leisurely lunch if you find yourself in Chinatown.

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