Anju.......

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I was SOOO excited to try Anju as my good friend and chef, Aman Adatia, had been talking it up for weeks! It was also on my top 10 restaurants I've been dying to try... Anju is a Korean Fusion restaurant located near the Science Center downtown at 507 10th Street SW. There were four of us that arrived and sat in the front window of the house-like restaurant. Anju is similar to a tapas restaurant in that all the dishes are meant for sharing and they will be served when they are ready- not everything is to come out at once.

We started with some really good bubbly and decided the try the lobster carpaccio $10 (carpaccio is a dish of raw meat or fish generally thinly sliced or pounded thing):
The salad that came along with the lobster had a delicious Asian vinaigrette and was very tasty. I have never eaten raw lobster before but I found it to be quite delicate although a bit slimy for those squeemish palates out there. I couldn't get as much of a lobster flavor as the other diners but although small this dish was simple and delicious.

I was a bit disappointed with the service from early on... The restaurant was practically empty and it took her over 35 minutes to take our dinner order as we were all ravishingly starving.. We decided on the next dishes:
Marinated beef short ribs with a side of Kimchi $16 (traditional Korean pickled dish made of cabbage and seasoning)
The short ribs were tender and very delicious with a hoison type flavor and I have never tried Kimchi before but REALLY enjoyed it! It reminded me of pickled cabbage rolls or something.
We dined on yam fries with a sweet chili aioli and this delicious ox tail ravioli with an edamame sauce to dip in... This was our favorite dish!!! SO TASTY! Unfortunately the waitress did not bring out our pasta soon enough so it was luke warm though.. SO FRUSTRATING because pasta, like soup, is best enjoyed piping hot.For another side we had salted crispy anchovies $6- The Korean version of bar nuts!!!! They were covered in an Asian glaze with sesame seeds and actually quite good! They are meant to be salty and a bit fishy tasting... Also served whole so that you get all of the nutritious protein and calcium from their bodies.
We ordered the Kimji risotto which was only $6 and you could add lobster for $10 which we opted out of since we had the lobster carpaccio. The risotto had mascarpone cheese in it which made it very rich and creamy. It was not the most flavorful risotto I have ever had but a great effort for a Korean fusion restaurant!
This dish was my absolute FAVORITE!!! Lettuce wraps with pork belly and rice. The best part was the sesame/pepper oil in the white spoon which really gave it an Asian flavor which kind of reminded me to peking duck somehow? The roasted garlic and green pepper also added great flavor... SO YUMMY!!! And beautiful presented. This dish was an absolute hit.

I wanted to order two more dishes: the tempura prawns and the mussels but unfortunately the service was so poor that we were just ready to get dessert and leave by the time she made it back... I am SOOO disappointed in the service at this restaurant! I was really looking forward to a unique and special meal and can't help but be left angry at the service we received considering we ordered two bottles of wine and a variety of dishes... Aman knows the owner Roy who he is going to mention this to.. I hope that they can get their staff to be more attentive so that I can give them a higher rating if I dine here again...


Here is the French press coffee they serve for dessert with some rock sugar as the sweetener.. pretty unique :) More dessert photos to come!FOOD FANATIC RATING: 7.5/10

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