Curry Crawl Sunday, June 18th

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Hosted by Chef John Sikhattana of STRAITS in CITYCENTRE, this culinary competition raises funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man and Woman of the Year. My friend, MsIndependent member, and fellow foodie, Raya, accompanied me to this event that neither of us had been to but for $55 you could eat yourself silly, so we were in. At the door we were given our paper fans and chili pepper necklaces to place in the basket of the chef who's dish we enjoyed the most. Almost the moment you walk into the restaurant there is a table for wine tasting and servers in tiny black dresses touring the room with platters of hor d'eourves or cocktails made with Grey Goose Vodka. It was almost too much to take in with over 10 chef from some of the city's best restaurants and food trucks, so we just grabbed one the signature cocktails for the night and let our noses lead the way.

We started out with a spiced cinnamon donut hole, then coffee curry braised brisket by Fat Bao, and then black pepper and chicken tacos from Gastro Punk. That was in the first 5 minutes. Although Raya and I enjoyed the smells and anticipation of what our tastebuds were about to experience, we both agreed that we had yet to find that "WOW!" factor.  We both felt a  Goldie Locks complex going on where some dishes were bland or boring, some got too fancy and the taste feel flat, but then there was that one dish, the one that made you want to pull up a seat and just take it all in.

My favorites were from Chef Adrian De La Cerda of the Lady Bird food truck with their crunchy, yet moist and savory Curried Okra and Corn Fritter with Cilantro and Mint Sauce. I had to go back and get a second fritter. My other favorite dish of the evening came from Chef Susie Jimenez of Trenza Restaurant with her Lamb Vindaloo Tostada with fennel cabbage slaw and chard tomatillo sauce. Susie also ended up winning with her dish, which was really the spiciest dish of the entire evening, and yet it wasn't too overpowering.of them all, and yet not overpowering. For desserts STRAITS provided mini spiced ice cream cones and SWEET Bakery provided complimentary macaroons and mini cupcakes. Towards the end of the event we heard drumming coming from outside and the Lion dancers started making their way through the courtyard of CITYCENTRE toward Straits, going inside to put on a spectacular show. Raya and I had a great time, we ate a lot, enjoyed the free drinks, and I can't wait to bring some of you other ladies with us.