Take a scale, weigh the complaints against the praise, and Lemongrass, on Bayview south of Manor Rd., which specializes in Asian fusion, is a big winner.
The only major fault, according to Cynda Fleming, Hanna Rd., and Ellen Dimitropoulos, of Rumsey Rd., was the amount of salt in their main dishes.
During their mid-day visit Fleming chose the lunch special of Thai lemongrass soup and a spicy eggplant tofu stirfry ($11.99). The last, she said, had a “lovely texture with lots of cashews that work well with the nuttiness of the tricolour rice. Sometimes those aren’t very plentiful in stirfries.”
But the stirfry sauce was the guilty salty fault.
Her soup: “It has a lovely aroma of tamarind and coriander, with a fantastic balance of sweet and sour. Full of fresh corn, mushrooms, celery and chunks of tomatoes.”
Dimitropoulos’ also had a lunch special combo ($11.99), crispy Thai lemongrass sweet and sour halibut stirfry with a Vietnamese chicken wonton soup.
The fish: “Lightly breaded but the sauce was way too salty. I loved the tricolour rice.” The stirfries came with simple salad greens with mango. She was surprised at how big the soup bowl was.
Linda Lord, of Fleming Cres., had the tiniest complaint, if you can call it that: “Too much rice.” She ordered the green Thai chicken curry with a spring roll as a combo ($9.99) after being warned that the red curry, which she had asked for first, was the spiciest item on the menu. She was happy with what she got “but can’t imagine what the red curry would be like”. And it was “delicious, not salty at all”.
She was surprised by the spring roll: “It had more breading and wasn’t as flaky and oily/greasy as spring rolls usually are.” She was also surprised by finding eggplant in the curry.
Their meal started with a pot of honey ginger tea.
Fleming: “Wow, very strong ginger taste. It hits you in the back of the throat, but it’s nice that it’s not overly sweet.”
By the time dessert time came, they said, they had had ample food so chose two for the three of them.
The prices seemed high to them compared to the mains, but theychanged their minds.
Fleming: “They’re very large and a lot of attention has been paid to make them look special.”
Coconut sorbet, $7.95, served in a frozen coconut on a bed of ice underneath a banana leaf. Deep-fried bananas, $9.50, which they called sub- lime. It comes with a vanilla ice cream.
Dimitropoulos: “I did not think I would like the deep-fried bananas that much.”
But let’s get in a tiny complaint: They thought it would have been better with the coconut sorbet than the ice cream.
Dimitropoulos: “Overall it was a great luncheon experience. The food was good, the service was attentive and it was great value.” ($25 each including tax and tip for a starter, main and shared dessert for lunch.)
Lord: “For a restaurant in a neighbourhood with a lot of delicious Asian offerings, Lemongrass stood out as serving up real value for money.”
Fleming: “This restaurant definitely gets do-again status. I appreciated the friendly staff and the attention to detail in the dishes. You don’t always see that at this price point.”