Denver is getting so fancy these days!  I’m home for the holidays, and I find that city is cluttered with trendy ‘new American’ restaurants, and could probably take a few more, given that very few of them had any available reservations.  We ended up at Cholan, a small plates southeast Asian-fusion place.  The kitchen is run by Lon Symensma, formerly of Jean Georges Shanghai and at Spice Market and Buddakan in New York.  Cholan is industrial chic, with exposed pipes and a heavy door and concrete pillers and indie music in the bathroom and an open kitchen.  It was also a ‘small plates’ place, which I liked, because I am incorrigibly cosmopolitan, and confused my father, because he is incorrigibly provincial.  He didn’t like the food either.  But I did!  And my mother also. We had the following:

Chili Crab Rolls, Charred Corn Salad, Sriracha Mayo: Very expected, but well done and tasty.

Kaya Toast, Coconut Jam, Egg Cloud: Glazed toast that you dip in a coconut egg foam.  A singaporean dish, apparently.  The dish was both savory and sweet, and the egg added richness, but not too much, because it was foam.  I never thought I liked foam, but this made sense.

Chow Fun Noodle, Lobster, Shrimp, Black Bean Sauce: Also expected, tasted good, but like soy and fish sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken, Spiced Peanuts, Szechuan Sauce:  The chicken was deboned, rolled with some sort of protein addition, and then cooked sous vide.  It was really fantastic.  The chicken really had a unique texture, and was very very moist.  The peanuts, which seemed candied but not sweet somehow, were a good addition.

Black Pepper Short Rib, House Made Chow Fun, Chinese Broccoli: The short rib was chop stick tender and moist and very tasty.

Spiced Doughnuts, Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, Condensed Milk: I don’t really know where the condensed milk was, but the doughnuts were flavorful, not too dense, and ice cream was delectable   There should have been more ice cream though.

happy holidays, my fancies!


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