Let me just say that last nights meal at Paadee was incredibly special, above and beyond what I expected in Thai food. Let me back up and explain to you what the Portland Food Adventure is and why I was at Paadee last night.
There’s dining, then there’s the whole adventure. With Portland Food Adventures you get an evening with the chef, who gets to show off his great skills and create some fabulous dishes. Last night that chef was Earl Ninsom from Paadee. He prepared a 6 course meal for us. He also brought in Alan Akwai, formerly of Bluehour, Wafu and St. Jack to do the beverage pairings. It doesn’t stop there, you get to enjoy the company of new friends, who all love food as much as you do. The conversations never stopped about all they places they had eaten, all the Portland Food Adventures they had done and the comments about the food we were eating. At one point I thought I was on an episode of Portlandia. I was in foodie heaven.
We started with 3 appetizers, my absolute favorite being the stuffed flower shaped dumpling with pork, radish, shallot and peanuts. I could have eaten a whole plate of these. My other favorite dish was a Poached Chilean seabass, Taiwanese cabbage, Chinese celery, scallions with chili-garlic lime sauce.
All 6 courses were paired with some kind of beverage. The thought that went into this was spot on. We had a Tamarind Whiskey Punch, Mango Mimosa, Pinot Blanc, Sake, Singha beer and a Thai rum drink for dessert. Of all those I think the Mimosa was the most unexpected, but perfectly match with the heat off of the Thai salad of minced duck on the Belguim endive.
The question still remains, did I think it was worth $125? Well, I have explained to you what you receive on the spot. The drinks alone were not short pours at all. As a matter of fact they came around filling your drinks if you wanted more. The food was so plentiful that we couldn’t finish everything. But there is more. We left with a $20 gift certificate to Thai Bloom, a $20 gift certificate to Hokusei and a $5 gift certificate to The Albina Press. Why these places you ask? These are a few of the chefs favorite spots around Portland, and we get to experience them too.
The answer is Yes, it is worth it. I don’t know that I would attend every single month, although I shouldn’t rule it out because many of the people at the event last night had attended multiple Portland Food Adventures. They keep coming back because the experience is that spectacular.
The next event that is happening is at Le Pigeon, with chef Gabriel Rucker. This event could very well sell out and sell out quickly. These events are that popular and with so many repeat customers they know to jump on this one quickly.
So what’s holding you back from trying one of these?