Monday, April 11, 2011
Ba Bay, DC
Ba Bay is an incredible modern Vietnamese restaurant that opened at the end of 2010 in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC. I finally made it down there for a memorable dinner off their recently debuted springtime menu. I was joined by fellow foodie and Ba Bay regular, Leleboo.
I arrived a little early, so I started with a cocktail called the "633" consisting of Brugal rum, St. Germain, & milk punch topped with culantro. It was a fresh tasting starter.
We shared a trio of appetizers. First, we had an "autumn roll", consisting of rice paper filled with egg, jicama, veggies & Chinese sausage. The dip of hoisin sauce and peanut was good. The roll had a nice kick, too from jalapenos inside it.
We got a small portion of their chili glazed wings topped with scallion. They were more sweet that spicy, and they were finger licking good.
The third appetizer was a purple cabbage salad tossed with peanuts & herbs. The magical ingredient though was the dressing, a fish sauce vinaigrette. There was a complexity to the dish combining the bitterness of the cabbage with a little sweet and pungent. It was light and delicious.
For the next course, I ordered their soup special. It was a smoked pork broth loaded with Saigon noodles, which were like segments of udon noodles, topped with braised pork, ham hock, celery, and a soft poached egg. The broth alone was tremendous and complex in flavor.
Leleboo shared her dish, Papa Weaver's grilled pork loin with a fish sauce glaze, accompanied by rice noodles, bean sprouts, peanuts & scallion. The pork was wonderful with a nice crispy skin.
We also shared a side of flash fried cauliflower with chiles. This was also really good.
We ordered two desserts to share as well. First was the Vietnamese coffee milkshake with a small churro in it. They gave us straws normally used to sip bubble tea for this drink, and like Vietnamese coffee, it had a stronger, bolder coffee flavor.
The second dessert was a lemongrass pot de creme with a lime sabayon, pineapple compote and almond crumble. This was spectacular- not at all heavy and a wonderful combination of sweet and sour flavors.
633 Pennsylvania Ave SE