opm asian bistro and lounge
1820 99 St NW
After two trips to my local immunization center, and spending what seemed like an entire day in line, I was finally ready to take a H1N1 vaccination in the arm. After wards, with some in the group feeling a little worse off, we headed in search of food. A quick discussion took place before OPM was suggested and we soon jumped in our cars and headed south.
Situated, in the middle of South Edmonton Common, OPM falls between an Earls and Montana's. So while it has the Asian cuisine on lock-down among it's immediate neighbours, you can easily walk a few blocks and find everything from sushi (Mikado) to steaks (The Keg) to family (Ricky's) dinning. With an upscale interior, OPM definitely gives off a trendy Asian personality. This is not your parent's Chinese take-out joint, if that makes sense. The slogan, Fresh Dining From Ancient Places, along with the name, give you a clue to the cuisine, while the menu confirms the dishes come from China, Thailand, and Japan.
With only one person at the table drinking beer, OPM's house offering China White (dark wheat ale), it was a quick round of waters while we looked over the menu. Regarding the beer menu, I was really happy to see 3 local offerings. 2 from Amber's brewing and 1 from Alley Kat. With not a lot of local brews available, OPM gets a thumbs up for including these choices along side it's regulars like Kokanee and Keith's.
The dishes will arrive to your table when they are cooked, which means you may have some down time between plates. First to the table was Lemon Scallops & Prawns. Apparently wok fired with vegetables in a tangy citrus sauce, this dish tasted like lemon pie filling. That's right, a few bites of this and I found it over whelming sweet and lemony. All I needed was a dollop of meringue. Terrible dish.
The remaining two dishes arrived together (7 or 8 minutes after the first), OPM Spicy Chicken and Coconut Yellow Curry Prawns. First up the spicy chicken, which is billed as the hottest dish on the menu. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. Sure there was some heat trapped inside the red chilies, but the chicken itself seemed to have a sweet (brown sugar?) BBQ sauce flavour. The chicken was juicy and the mixed vegetables were solid, so the dish as a whole was decent enough.
The curry prawns came swimming in enough sauce to drown a gnome. The shrimp were cooked nicely and the dish worked well. Probably my favorite of the three, it didn't have any heat but was well balanced with 'Thai' flavours. Good thing a few bowls of plain rice were delivered to the table or we would have needed straws to fully utilize the sauce.
Based on one previous visit, and the above three dishes, I don't think I'll go out of my way to come back. Nothing jumped out at anyone of us in the group, yet talking with my father, who eats here regularly, it's the appetizers that shine. Oddly enough his favorite (yam fries and rock shrimp) were not on the menu. At least our hunger cravings were curbed after the long day in line, and we were able to relax and enjoy the company.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
opm asian bistro and lounge