You would know Chef Bob Tam from Bitter & Twisted, the beloved bar and restaurant in Downtown Phoenix. Showcasing masterful drinks from Ross Simon and creative and flavorful dishes from Chef Tam. He’s the one that put the ramen burger and dumpling burger in our hands and we certainly aren’t mad about that! I love to creep on Chef Bob Tam’s FB page because he’s always eating at some of the best ethnic places. If there’s one person I trust has done his research on this topic, it’s him. So I’m taking the creeping out of the job and asking him to give us his top 5 Ethnic Restaurants from around town and what you’ll find him ordering from the menu.
1. Dim Sum has become a ritual. There are over a dozen must have dishes I try to get each time I go; har gow, sui mai, daikon squares, century egg porridge, tripe, etc. But what has always been my personal fav is “Phoenix Talons/Claws” or chicken feet Pretty much every dim sum joint has them but if I had to pick one place it would be Mekong Palace Restaurant 66 S Dobson Rd. Suite 120, Mesa, Arizona 85202
2. Beijing Garden Restaurant in cofco has hardly any Beijinese dishes…but they do have French fries and huge selections of super ethnic Hunan and Sichuan dishes like frog leg casserole and chicken cartilage casserole. But the steamed fish in lotus leaf dish is like nothing I have ever had before in the best way possible. Spicy, floral….Amazing. 668 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008
3. 5 words. Haji baba lamb tongue sandwich! 1513 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281
4. Pho Thanh I believe has hit cult status level…its why they expanded like 4 times. Everyone has had the soups sandwiches, Noodles, etc. But one of my favs is on the latter “House Specialty” section. #129 stir satay Fried pork organs w/ sour green mustard. Nice spicy wok flavor, gamey pork parts with cruchy pickled mustard….bowl of rice…. done deal. 1702 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015
5. Khyber Halal’s Goat Karahi reminds me of a very similar dish I fell in love with in a Xinjiang Muslim restaurant in Beijing…spicy gelatinous and lots of ginger pop. 4030 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016