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Lemongrass – Cherry Hill, NJ

I was invited to attend a preview press dinner at Lemongrass. The owner Danny Dang was very welcoming and he stated that this was a dream come true for him to open his own restaurant. I do not review previews, but what I can tell you is that I had a great time there. Below each course is a description from Danny of the dish.

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1) To begin, we start with a Lobster Roll for each individual to show off our creativity, as well as presentation, since the Lobster Roll is our creation.

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2) We will follow up the Lobster Roll with the world famous phở from the Vietnamese people. This is as traditional as it comes, and any chef who is competent in Vietnamese cuisine should be able to prepare a phở properly. The broth must be hearty with a nice balance of ginger and herbs. We are quite proud with our phở.

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3) Banh Xeo. We choose this dish to display our finesse as it is very difficult to cook the Banh Xeo and keep it nice and crispy.

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4) Basa Fillet is a recent hybrid of fish, and it is not French-influenced, but rather, American-influenced. We are, perhaps, the only restaurant that offers the Basa this way.

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5) Flank Steak to demonstrate the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine.

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6) Mì Quảng, which is a traditional tossed noodles bowl from Central Vietnam, where I come from. Mì Quảng is a meal, like phở, that properly demonstrates the traditional Vietnamese culture and values. And as with phở, Mì Quảng will test a chef with his or her patience, care, and dedication.

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7) And to end on a lighter note, we serve our twist on the traditional dessert, Flan, to show off our creativity, and a rich and healthy tea to show our quality. As a tea-drinker, I have tried many, many teas. Some are quite expensive; however, we choose this particular tea because of its taste, quality, and aroma.

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