We spent a great evening at ChoLon which is located at 15th and Blake in Denver. According to their website www.cholon.com, ChoLon, translates to "big market”, and is named after the largest Chinese-influenced market in Saigon, Vietnam.
A peek at the kitchen:
A glimpse at the restaurant:
They have small bites, small plates, large plates and Wok choices. We decided to try 3 small bites and 3 small plates. Our friend Elena joined us, so we each picked two to try.
First off, they bring you a Sesame Rice Puff with Tomato Chili Jam. This was a nice crunchy appetizer to start the evening with.
I thought this was pretty cool, something different from the standard bread and looked fun. Taste wise it was good but not great with a nice dipping sauce. If for nothing other than cool factor I liked it a lot.
Jonathan picked the Pork Belly Pot Sticker, with Ginger Mustard and the Butternut Squash Soup with Golden Raisin Miso and Root Vegetables.
Barb picked the Curried Duck Spring Rolls, with Cilantro Yogurt and the Shrimp Cakes with Nuoc Cham and Lettuce Wrap.
Elena ordered the BBQ Chicken Bao Buns with Cucumber and the Green Papaya Salad with Tamarind Sorbet and Grape Tomatoes.
We'll go with the order of how plates came out.
First up was the Curried Duck Spring Rolls.
She says: These were a great start to the night. Crunchy, chewy filled spring rolls. The cilantro sauce was a great sauce to swirl your spring roll in. The contrast between the warm spring roll and the cool sauce made me want more.
He says: Yum! That is all, one of many things that makes me want to go back.
Next was the Pork Belly Pot Stickers.
She says: These were really good as well. I think I could have an entire meal of the spring rolls and the pot stickers.
He says: Double yum. Ok, I need to watch out or all you will hear from me is well, yum. But seriously, these were great. Wonderful cooked pork inside the dumpling made me a happy camper
Next was the Bao Buns.
She says: This was a very interesting dish. You open the bun up and make your bite. We had BBQ Chicken, cucumber and other items. This was a lot of great flavors mixing together. I loved creating it and the taste. I didn't like the messiness of it though.
He says: Bah the messiness was kind of fun, and I agree that the chicken and all the ingredients were very tasty, but for me maybe because I did not put enough on but the steamed bun seemed to detract from the overall flavor rather than make it better.
Next up was the Green Papaya Salad.
She says: This dish was my least favorite of the night. I wasn't expecting this dish to be such a cold dish and the tamarind sorbet just made it that much colder.
He says: Rarely do Barb and I completely disagree but here we do, this was one of my most memorable dishes and one that kind of makes me smile when I think of it. The sweet tart taste of the sorbet just made this salad fun, and fun to eat. I wish every salad could make me want to have more like this one did.
Next up was the Butternut Squash Soup.
She says: This was a wonderful warm, rich soup after the cold salad. It was crunchy and tasted delicious. I wanted to lick the bowl clean!
He says: YUM, darn it there I go again, but really that’s all I can say. This wonderful soup was one of those that warms the stomach and makes the taste buds scream for more.
Last up was the Shrimp Cakes
She says: This was a great end to the meal. I didn't care for the Nuoc Cham (the dipping sauce). It didn't really seem to fit the dish, and it was messy running down your fingers as you ate the lettuce wrap. But, the flavors of the shrimp were good.
He says: Well here is the one thing out of so many great dishes that I was not impressed with. It wasn’t bad and some people at our table liked it but for me, meh. Looking back wish we would of stopped at the soup.
We tried two: Bread Pudding with Palm Sugar Ice Cream and Caramelized Banana and the Spiced Doughnuts, Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream and Condensed Milk.
The doughnuts came first, but we were all in agreement that we wished they were the last thing we had as they were Elena and Barb's favorites. Jonathan favored the bread pudding.
She says: Yum! The doughnuts came out spiked with a small bamboo stick. The doughnuts were light and fluffy and the coffee ice cream had a nice kick to it.
-He says: YUM! Nope that does not do it justice - YUMMMMM! These were out of this world yummy even for a non coffee drinker like us. The combination of the incredible donuts and the rich wonderful coffee ice cream will blow your mind. If there are 2 of you, you may want to get 2 orders as you’re not going to want to share even though there is more than enough on the plate to do so.
She says: The bread pudding was good, but after the doughnuts, it just didn't stand up. It was also messy to dig into. It was hard to cut into and get just the right bite.
He says: Yeah, would have to agree this was the lesser of the two desserts, but it was still a good bread pudding and I enjoyed it, but this was quickly pushed aside for another bite of the donuts.
Overall, we had a wonderful meal and this was one of the two restaurants from last year that were dying to go back to (the other being DISH in Edwards). Next time you’re in Denver or anywhere close and hungry, GO HERE you won’t regret it. As always, thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or email us at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com
Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos