Tiger Fork

Tiger Fork took care of us from the second we walked in. Their cocktail menu starts with combinations of liquor and holistic medicine. Even though it sounded delicious, I opted to not get the drink billed as an aphrodisiac in the presence of my husband’s grandmother and instead decided the pisco and lavender concoction that promised to ease anxiety. My father-in-law, on the other hand, had no qualms about ordering the aphrodisiac but I’m convincing myself that in the dim light, he just didn’t read that part. Oh please, god, let this be the case. The cocktail menu comes with an admonishment about not consuming more than two. Have they been sued? Should I be nervous about drinking this? It sounds like this could lead to the real-life reenactment of Baby It’s Cold Outside (“Say, what’s in this drink…?”)

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All the drinks were delicious, especially my husband’s Small Medicine (in the middle), which featured smooth whiskey and a slight spice. Bonus: my anxiety level dropped right away!

The two specials of the night were beef bao and surf and turf fried rice. We ordered both, along with the pork ribs, spring rolls, and green beans. The bao showed up first. As I eagerly bit into it, it sprayed hot chili oil all over my husband’s arm like a delicious, spicy gleek. They were beautifully brown and crispy on the outside with a rich, meaty filling.

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The ribs were next. I will never understand why it is so damn hard for legitimate barbecue smokehouses to make ribs that are even halfway decent (Myron Mixon, looking at you) and yet Tiger Fork (and super honorable mention: Tail Up Goat) make it look so easy. These ribs made my life complete. Roasty garlic, sweet sauce, and salty peanuts joined forces. The meltingly soft meat didn’t hurt either. We licked these bones clean like a bunch of hyenas eating…uh…Chinese barbecue ribs.

The spring rolls were my mother-in-law’s answer to the ribs she didn’t want. I’ll be honest and say these were just spring rolls. I liked the horseradish mustard that came with it because even though I don’t like horseradish usually, it made me feel like I was breathing smoke out of my nostrils like a dragon. I’m sure the pork terrine inside was great, but I could hardly taste it over the flavor of the roll itself.

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The fried rice and green beans arrived last. When I ordered it, I couldn’t believe I was spending $15 on a plate of green beans but when it showed up at our table, I couldn’t believe either the size or the delonculous flavor. The beans were so crisp given that they were drenched in garlic-chili sauce. It was spicy. It was charred, it had everything I needed. There was more than enough of it to go around, and I ended up picking one bean at a time off the plate while everybody sat and watched, powerless to stop me.

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This brings us to the fried rice. Obviously, this was not my choice. Were it up to me, I think I would have ordered everything on the menu before this. But sometimes I have to be nice to my hosts and throw them a bone to show my appreciation. It also had prawns and brisket in it, so it was making some pretty big promises. It wasn’t bad. It didn’t have the telltale salty soy sauce flavor, but instead a light, nutty sesame oil aroma. The pieces of brisket were a little tough but the delicate prawns more than made up for it. And it’s not all bad; I used some of the rice to soak up the leftover sauce from the green beans and shovel it into my mouth with a tiny spoon that was intended for sauce but was a much better implement than chopsticks.

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A minor detail, but one worth mentioning: our after-dinner coffee was served with legit actual heavy cream. Nothing makes me angrier than when restaurants bring out a tiny carafe of skim milk and pretend like it’s cream.

I almost forgot the final touch! Homemade fortune cookies contained an unexpected twist in the form of popular song lyrics. Just one more small detail that Tiger Fork owns.

Price: $50 per person.

Bottom line: Dishes at Tiger Fork ranged from pretty good to life-changing and the service was outstanding, so I’m edging it into my “Favorites” category. I would eat here again in a heartbeat.

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