20357 Hamburg, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)40 4306780
Date eaten: February 17 9:17 pm
Price: € 6.90
Oh the glory that is satay! Not only one of Thailand’s top 3 exports, the other two being wacky names for their royals (Bhumibol in the house!) and of course, sexually transmitted diseases, satay might be one of the greatest contributions to the global food chain.
When done correctly, its simplicity is as stunning as it is pleasing. Some tender chicken straight off the charcoal grill and a peanut sauce that combines the sweetness of palm sugar or honey with the refreshing heat of ginger and the bite of fresh garlic are all it takes to make for a great meal. Throw in some exhaust fumes from about a million mopeds, and one is immediately transported to a street food stall in Bangkok. If done poorly, satay just might make you wish you had ordered a ham sandwich.
I wish I had ordered a ham sandwich.
Don’t let the zen-like sparseness of the dish pictured fool you. No meditating master chef was at work here. The uniform color made the alarms go off, before I had even tasted the skewered insulating foam on the plate in front of me: where were the grill marks? Where the scent of charcoal? Instead these appeared to have come straight out of the kitchen appliance from hell: the deep-fryer. (The only thing worse than satay out of a deep fryer is Wiener Schnitzel.) The crust did have an amazing ability though. While being cool to the touch, it managed to conceal behind its dry barrier relatively moist chicken, at a core temperatur of what I’d guess to have been around 397°C. The resulting burns on my tongue did manage to make the next course, tom kha gai, more bearable.
But what about the sauce? This I had hoped would be the saving element, the deciding goal in the 90th minute of the World Cup final, turning desaster into delight. But alas, the shot went straight over the cross bar. Thin, uneventful and boring. But strangely enough, I wish there had been a little more of it. Because the last two skewers were rather dry and drab all on their own.
The beer was an Erdinger Weißbier. Light and refreshing.
All in all a pretty lame Number 22. While not inedible it left me pining for the real thing. Minus the mopeds.