we found a good restaurant

Saturday was Stanley’s birthday (he’s 57 now, whoa!). We had a quiet day and then come evening I took him out to dinner. We decided to try Bond, an Asian fusion restaurant that recently sent out a mailing. Without the mailing, I wouldn’t even had known it existed. Bond is at 250 Westport Avenue in Norwalk. Before it was Bond, it was Kai Fusion, and before that, it was a super crappy Chinese buffet. I went to the buffet just once and the only way I would’ve gone back is if that was the last place I could get to for food and I was so starved I was nothing but skin and bones (which would take about a year to happen if I stopped eating tomorrow ... ).

Never knew it changed to Kai Fusion. You can’t see the front of the restaurant from the Post Road (Westport Ave. here) because it’s in a strip mall located behind the Goodyear (or Goodrich or whatever it is) and they never advertised in any way that reached me (I would’ve noticed sushi being offered practically next door!) Anyway, we’d decided before we left the house that if it gave us an icky vibe, we’d hit the door.

We were surprised—it didn’t give us a bad vibe at all, quite the opposite. Very pleasant decor, walls woven with strips of steel or some other metal, panels, a hibachi room off to one side. Minimally decorated for Christmas (which I liked very much—I’m ready to take an Uzi to those monstrous blow-up lawn decorations). Tables, booths, some large circular booths, and the hibachi room. We were seated at a booth, which was roomy and comfortable. Lots of staff, very pleasant to us.

We asked the waitress to recommend a couple of appetizers, and she suggested the pork dumplings and the Thai crab cake. The pork dumplings were served on a bed of mushrooms and a wonderful sauce, maybe peanut-based? I’m not sure—but it was as far from your typical friend dumpling as you can get. The filling was light and it wasn’t the least bit greasy. And the presentation was pretty—arranged like the chef cared about the food. The crab cake was equally good—you could taste the chili—it was one of several flavors and in no way overwhelmed the crab. The crab cakes were served with a small salad with an excellent dressing (again, the chili flavor was there, but again, not overwhelming). So far, really good.

Stanley ordered Spicy Mango Shrimp, with mango, jicama, bell pepper, vermicelli, and a Thai herb sauce. He loved it. I’d been craving sushi for oh, two months or so, so that’s what I ordered, the selection with nine pieces of sushi and a tuna roll. Absolutely fresh, the rice was perfectly done—I was so happy. Both meals looked beautiful when they were served. Again, like the chef cares. I love the dinnerware. And the waitress quietly gave us forks for the appetizers and Stanley’s meal—a nice touch. I don’t use chopsticks often enough anymore to be comfortable with them.

While we were eating I noticed a waiter serving what looked like a softball on fire to someone. It turned out to be fried ice cream. This is what they served Stanley for his dessert when I mentioned that it was his birthday—it was impressive, batter-covered bananas and a huge scoop of ice cream served aflame. After the staff sang Happy Birthday, he was to blow out the ice cream. He said it was great—and it was the first time he’d ever had fried ice cream. I ordered a key lime tart, which was served with a small scoop of coconut ice cream. The tart filling was good though the crust tasted a little like defrosted cardboard—but the coconut ice cream was great. it was served with a green apple, not sauce, but more like a syrup (I forget what this is called—coulis, maybe?) along with a raspberry syrup/coulis. Again, beautifully presented. The waitress recommended a chocolate dessert—next time, that’s what I’ll get.

So, we’re thrilled that the restaurant is so good. We normally don’t order appetizers or desserts but it was a special occasion, so ... the bill wasn’t too bad, about $70 (adult beverages not included—we don’t drink, which saves us a LOT of money!) And the place does takeout—we can call in the order and run over and pick it up. I just wish the place would get busy—I want them to survive and thrive. I liked the staff we spoke with. The only negative thing I have to say, really, is that it can get pretty noisy, mainly because of the hibachi room, but it stopped bugging me pretty fast. I think all the metal walls and strips magnify the noise. But outside of that, it was a very enjoyable evening.

Afterwards, we stopped at Stew Leonards to get some birthday cake. Which we were too full to eat tonight, but I insisted we get it anyway (I haven’t had birthday cake for my birthday since I can’t remember when—maybe next year ... I’ll start asking for one about a week in advance, that should give Stanley enough time ... !) Then home to watch “Murder by the Book” on Court TV and read the paper, etc. A very nice day, I think. I hope Stanley really does like the shirts and sweater I gave him (he asked for more RAM for his computer—I gave that to him as soon as it arrived from Crucial—why let it sit around?)

Sunday I’ll continue Christmas shopping (I think I’m about a third done, and have figured out about half the what, which is the hardest part), setting up my new laptop, and getting some odds and ends done for work.  Next week will be really busy, lots to do for work: more store skins, two websites, billing ... just glad I work at home because we’re supposed to have two or three nasty icy days coming up.

Am I jealous of my parents, who are now down in Panama City Beach? Oh yeah.

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