Two Palate Dining: Four Sisters Restaurant
She Said Four Sisters Restaurant
I need to be very clear that Four Sisters is one of my favorite restaurants in the whole world! I adore. It’s our go to place whenever we have something to celebrate (even if it’s just another month’s survival) or when we need a morale boost (you probably have PCOS, buckle up this conception thing could get difficult). While I love them, I do admit that even though they are overwhelmingly wonderful they aren’t perfect. I have had two not so great experiences and probably about 20 wonderful ones. But it’s the two bad experiences that always make me focus my critical eye and palate on the meal. So even though it’s so of my favorite food it’s always exciting to see will this be wonderful or find a time when it’s not great to be here?
Four Sisters is a Vietnamese restaurant and it’s absolutely beautiful on the inside. I love the sunny yet mellow dinging room décor accented with beautiful paintings. They also have the distinction in my mind of having the most beautiful fresh flowers I have ever seen in a restaurant. I love them! They always have huge displays of fat bright roses and interesting flowers I don’t even know the names of. Checking out the floral arrangements is always one of my favorite parts of eating here.
We always get the crispy pork spring rolls for a starter. They are awesome! The spring rolls are perfectly crispy. And the combination of pork and the vegetables inside is a perfect savory meaty blend. And then when you dip them into the fish sauce (which I don’t normally eat, I never eat fish)- forget it, totally tasty!
I always get the same entrée. Although, I do think about trying more items from their menu soon. That’s a really big step for me because I really like to go to a restaurant and have one or two things that I can order and know are great. I’m not the type of person who wants to know the specials or try new dishes. The Ga Kho Tieu (chicken in a clay pot) is my dish. I love it. It’s so warm and the texture of the chicken is amazing. It’s juicy but it has an amazing perfectly cooked texture on the outside. You can get it with black pepper or ginger and I always opt for black pepper given the choice. It’s really sharp and spicy tasting but not overly seasoned or too hot- it’s just right. When eaten with a few scoops of their always well-steamed Jasmine rice, it’s one of the best meals I know of. I grew up in East TN and while most people may think of gravy and biscuits I always think of well-peppered chicken and rice (I was a really picky child about food and I hated potatoes until I was about 20 but I loved rice). Eating this meal in a strange way always takes me home; it’s probably why I love it so much. It may sound strange that South Vietnamese food can salve my homesick Southern heart but I think it proves two vey important truths:
All over the world people are fundamentally the same.
Southerner’s the world over are just better cooks!
I wanted some of RJ’s Shaky Beef. Until I learned that you can’t be trying to conceive and eating rare meat (I love rare beef!) it was my dish. It’s something else that really reminded me of home. Every time I taste that grill taste and eat a piece of ripe, red tomato it takes me back to every cookout at my Grandma’s. I love the lime, salt and pepper sauce it comes with to. I could eat that condiment on everything. I was really happy because he had a couple of pieces of meat that he (checked to make sure were cooked thoroughly) and I got a taste of it again!
The service was really good. They stay on top of your drink levels, help when you need it but don’t hover and question you to death. I can’t stand hovering service, it makes me feel really nervous. They are great about not hovering at Four Sisters. I have two small complaints. One is that they don’t have desserts that really appeal to me at all. Two, I always think that my Sprite tastes really bitter. I just discovered (like, now, writing this) that they don’t serve Sprite. When I ask for sprite they say yes but bring my 7Up! I can’t tell you how crazy that has made me feel and I’m slightly miffed at that. If they had told me it would be one thing but you know Sprite and 7Up aren’t the same drink. I just wouldn’t have ordered it instead of always hoping for a better syrup mix. Or least I would have been prepared.
I’ll totally go back!
Crispy Pork Spring Rolls- 10
Clay Pot chicken with Black Pepper 10
Shaky Beef 8
Overall Experience 9
He Said Four Sisters
From the moment you enter into Four Sisters, you are ensured an enjoyable experience. They always have huge displays of fresh flowers that are beautifully arranged. The waits are also remarkably short for a restaurant of such good quality. I first discovered Four Sisters several years ago at a company Christmas party, and it has rarely disappointed since.
As always, we started with the Cha Gio (Crispy Pork Spring Rolls) served with Fish Sauce. This was a great appetizer for our meal. They are always served quickly, and hot and fresh from the fryer. It’s a big internal struggle for me when these first arrive. My taste buds want to just get them into my mouth as soon as they get to the table, but my brain knows that if I did I would burn my mouth beyond all reason. My brain can only win the fight for too long, and eventually I have to grab one and take a bite. It’s never been long enough, and I always wind up lightly burning my mouth no matter how hard I try not too. They’re just that good. The crunch of the wrapper is a great introduction to the other flavors and all the vegetables are cooked perfectly. The pork adds just the right level of meatiness to this mouth symphony. It doesn’t overpower the other ingredients, as meat can do. It hits just the right notes in accenting the vegetables and wrapper. On it’s own it would be fantastic, but dipping it in fish sauce really takes it to the next level. I never thought I liked fish sauce, but this combination has really changed my mind. I would eat here just for the Crispy Pork Spring Rolls.
For my entrée I ordered the Bo Luc Lac (Shaky Beef). This dish is always incredible. The presentation is very inviting. The cubes of marinated beef look ready to pop right into your mouth on their bed of cooked onions, lined with tomatoes. I don’t like the taste of tomatoes, but it does add to the beauty of the dish. I don’t eat the tomatoes or most of the onions, but this dish is still incredible. The chunks of beef are delicious. They are comforting, and reassuring, but at the same time have a touch of the exotic. The beef is grilled until it’s somewhere between medium and well done. For those of you that prefer your beef rare, let me assure you, in this case it’s done to a turn. Cooked any more and it would start to get leathery, but any less and it wouldn’t seal in the flavor as well. The lime sauce provided for dipping puts this dish firmly in the exotic category and gives a great tartness to the beef. My favorite bites in this dish are actually the tiny little pieces of onion that are caramelized to such an extreme that they almost taste like mushrooms. Most of the pieces of onion are longer strings that are grilled, so you have to dig for these little nuggets, but when you get them they are quite the little treasure.
Kari got the Ga Kho Tieu (Chicken with black pepper in a Clay Pot). This is a dish that we have enjoyed many times. The Chicken in a Clay Pot is at first glance, very appealing. The pieces of chicken are a reddish orange with a sauce that they were cooked in, and served in. The sauce has a sweet taste to it that keeps me coming back for more and more. The sauce is so good that when the chicken is gone I spoon it over the rice that is served with most dishes at Four Sisters. The rice, by the way is fantastic as well. You can really tell they take a lot of care in everything they serve here. This is like grown up sweet and sour chicken that has gone to college. The taste is at once complex, and too simple for words. The black pepper adds a great savory feel to the sweetness that the sauce offers. Overall, a great pairing of salty and sweet.
Crispy Pork Spring Roll Rating-10
Shaky Beef Rating-9
Chicken with Pepper in a Clay Pot-10
Overall Experience- 9
Have you had Vietnamese Food? What’s your favorite Asian dish? By the way, have you voted in our Choose Our Adventure poll?