Palm Beach, Part IV: Buccan and Imoto

Sunday, May 20, 2012 3comments No tags Permalink 0

Buccan is the hot restaurant in town, and we stopped by for dinner our first night in Palm Beach. The
4-7pm happy hour is a dream deal – half off all wines and draft beers.
$5 rosé for me and $3 beers for Pierre.

We
don’t have a car which means our eating options are limited but luckily
Buccan is just two short blocks from The Brazilian Court. Spray on the mosquito
repellent and off we go. We had drinks in the front lounge and then
dinner at the communal table.

Squash Blossoms, five to an order stuffed with three cheeses (ricotta,
parmesan and mozzarella), basil and pine nuts. Served with a little hot
dish of tomato fondue. Post-squash blossoms, I used the housemade
foccacia to soak up every bit of that fondue.

Steak Tartare, seasoned with herbs and black truffles.
Topped with a single yolk (no white, just yolk) deep fried. Poke and let
ooze, spoon up with grilled bread.

I ordered Yellowtail Snapper for my entree. The menu notes that it’s
served with Thai green curry, bok choy, and sticky rice. When I read
sticky rice, I thought sticky rice as in Thai sticky rice.
You know, sticky rice. Instead what came was regular Jasmine rice.

This
made me think of my first week of college at NYU. The cafeteria was
serving pork and vegetables with rice for lunch. But the rice (and
remember, that was when I just moved to the mainland) was not regular
rice. It was Uncle Ben’s-style where the rice grains don’t stick together. I ate the rice with a spoon. That was a first.

Could not resist dessert. They’ve got Tarte Tatin, Lemon Mousse, Warm
Cookies, and Peanut Butter Pie. I’ve been on a chocolate kick lately,
so hello Chocolate Torte. A cross between pudding and flourless
chocolate cake. Served at room temperature with piles of whipped cream. You can never have too much whipped cream.

Two nights later we went back, but this time to Imoto, Buccan’s sister
restaurant located right next door. Imoto just opened a few months ago.
It’s a lot smaller and the prices noticeably higher. We sat at the bar, a
Yuzu Collins to start. Of the many rolls, the Rainbow Roll with King
Crab
(pictured) was my favorite.

Pork Spring Rolls with mint and Thai basil – two rolls halved and
wrapped with bibb lettuce. Served with a pickled chili dipping sauce.

Grilled Wagyu Beef Short Rib, came with kimchee and edamame
fried rice. The rice issue came up again. When the waitress brought over
the dish, she asked:

“Do you guys need a spoon?”
“Nah, we’re good with chopsticks”
“Well, the rice doesn’t stick”
“Oh, it’s not Asian rice?”
“No, it’s the kind that doesn’t stick together. I think you’ll need a spoon.”

So we ate it with a spoon. Still good, especially the ribs which were so tender. Just wish they used the
“right” type of rice. Especially in an Asian-inspired restaurant.

Imoto gets their desserts from Buccan for the time being, so I went
straight for the peanut butter pie. Cool with a simutanously fluffy but
dense peanut butter cream filling, a chocolate ganache top and graham
cracker crust. The whipped cream was again, of course, and always, the
perfect accompaniment.

3 Comments
  • Cassaendra
    May 20, 2012

    Hi Kathy, The food shots looks great. Amazing that restaurateurs still don't understand how important rice is in Asian cuisine. The wrong rice throws off the dish, whether it's "flavored" rice, like jasmine, or textural, like brown rice or converted. : It is interesting to see the different dish preparations depending on what part of the country you're in.

  • anonymous
    May 23, 2012

    I literally laughed out loud with your 1st comment about eating rice with a spoon. I do the same with any rice that isn't short grain. Rice should be in bowls.Alan

  • anonymous
    July 16, 2012

    Thanks for the review kathy. The rice with the snapper dish is sushi rice as is the rice for the fried rice. If the hot broth is poured over the rice by the cook (which they aren't supposed to) it will loose all its stickiness. I will change the wording though, because I do see your point about expecting thai style sticky rice. Thanks again.

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