My Plate unites the tastes of Italy with those of Southeast Asia in one innovative flavor profile.
For the past week, the new Medford restaurant has been blanketing surrounding downtown businesses with its menu, one of which was left on my desk.
Dining out with
the Mail Tribune
My Plate Asian Fusion & Bar
17 W. Fourth St.
Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday
through Thursday, 11 a.m.
to midnight Fridays
Find My Plate on Facebook.
At first, I balked at the idea of marrying two dissimilar cuisines, but curiosity got the better of me, and last week my husband and I patronized the restaurant previously home to Redrock Italian Eatery.
Co-owners are Jia Quint Wu and Pongpeera Bulyarert, who also owns the Royal Barge Thai Cuisine in Grants Pass and, until recently, was co-owner of Pho Sur, whose merits I sung in an earlier review. Bulyaret and Nat Boonchob, who also worked at Pho Sur, collaborated on the menu.
My Plate opened to the public Aug. 6 but plans to host a grand opening celebration, featuring traditional Thai dancers from Los Angeles, later this month.
The restaurant's attractive, imperial interior pairs bold blacks and striking reds, and dozens of white paper lanterns hang from its lofty ceiling. The decor, linens, wood tables, windows and open seating arrangement all suggest an upscale dining experience.
Separate from the dining room, a chic bar runs the length of the restaurant with low back stools, leather ottomans and couches for seating.
Despite its publicity efforts, the restaurant was relatively empty when Sean and I arrived. We asked to be seated on the patio, and to compensate for the hot day, we ordered tall glasses of cold and creamy Thai iced tea ($3.50).
In addition to the main dinner menu, we were handed a sushi menu, replete with seaweed, tuna, squid and sunomono salads, as well as various types of fresh and cooked nigiri ($4-$5 for two pieces), traditional rolls, oyster shooters, sashimi ($9-$12 for six pieces) and several house specialties.
On the main menu, there were chicken, beef, seafood, vegetarian and tofu entrees and soups and salads.
Prices range from $10 for soup or a salad to $18 for oven-roasted duck in an oyster and hoisin glaze.
Smaller portions of entrees are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $7. All lunch bowls are served with a vegetable eggroll.
Italian mainstays such as pastas, ravioli, meatballs and basil are paired with curry, peanut and chili sauces in a number of the entrees. While the combinations are unusual, neither flavor profile is so pronounced that it clashes with the other.
Sean and I considered all the appetizers before deciding on the duck pot stickers ($8).
Six meat-filled dumplings were brought out immediately on a bed of fresh greens with a small bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce. Both the appetizer and the sauce are homemade. Unfortunately, the appetizers — like our meals to come — were lukewarm.
As part of the restaurant's promotional efforts, our waitress also brought us complimentary side salads. The sample impressed me with its color and variety. There were cherry tomatoes, carrot slivers, diced mango and red onions over lettuce tossed in a light ponzu dressing. The salad can be ordered with chicken as an entree for $12.
Our meals arrived minutes after our appetizer.
Sean and I were less than adventurous and both ordered Asian rather than fusion dishes. Sean chose the grilled salmon in red curry sauce ($16), and I wanted the green tea teriyaki chicken ($12), said to be a more healthy version of the Japanese dish. Our waitress also brought us a bowl of jasmine rice to share.
The presentation and color of our dishes were impressive; however, the sauces lacked the heat and complexity one expects in Asian cuisine.
The chicken was sliced, nicely-seared and served with crisp broccoli florets, green cabbage, carrots and zucchini, two asparagus spears, green onions and slices of fresh red pepper. Everything was drizzled in a sweet, mild teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Sean's food came with the same vegetable medley but in a thick, creamy red curry sauce.
We concluded the evening by sharing mango sticky rice ($8) — chilled mango halves on top of a sweet rice patty.
I'll be back to My Plate for lunch or for drinks on a Friday night. Maybe then I'll be willing to add a little more Italian to my Asian.
— Teresa Thomas