As much as I love cooking, potlucks and dinner parties, I’m also a huge fan of going out to dinner with friends. I get all excited and jump up and down a little when I find out about a new restaurant opening. I can’t wait to try it out and suggest it to all of my friends and plan dinner dates.
Lately, I’ve been loving restaurants that give you a unique dining experience. It sounds funny to say that taking part of preparing the food is what makes it better. Isn’t the point of going out to eat so that you don’t have to cook? You’d think, right? These places bring you the food, but there’s something to preparing your own food that makes it taste just a little better, and more memorable. You’ll see what I mean. Keep reading…
Here are my top three favorites:
1) Bimbimbap: I first discovered Bimbimbap when I was in Nepal, and even though this is a big and filling rice bowl, I didn’t want it to end. Bimbimbap is a Korean dish where they bring you a sizzling bowl of rice mixed with tons of veggies, chili paste, and a fried egg. They also bring a bunch of veggie sides in a small bowls so you can add what you want and when. I love how you can change your meal up after just a few bites.
Here’s a photo of my rice bowl. I ordered it with Tofu and without the fried egg:
2. Ethiopian: I first had Ethiopian many years ago in Boston when I was visiting my sister. It is served family style, and the food comes out on a platter of bread. Then they bring out rolls really thin bread called Injera. This bread is rich in iron, and the texture is kind of like a really soft or spongy flatbread. The fun part is that you tear off a piece of bread and grab the food, so the bread becomes the utensils. What’s great is that you can even eat the platter!
Here’s what the bread looks like. This wasn’t my picture. I grabbed it from Shebelle Market (Thanks for letting me use this)!
3. Traditional Chinese Hot Pot: I am love with soup & noodles, so I can’t get enough of this. Chinese hot pot is Chinese soup fondue. At the table, you get a check off list (like if you were at a sushi restaurant), and you choose your broth, vegetables, protein, and noodles. Most hot pot places have a sauce bar too, so after you order your soup, it’s time to make your sauces.
The tables have burners built in, and the broth comes out first. The nice people at the restaurant will give you a run down on how it all works, and they’ll turn on the heat and warm up the soup for you. Then, the veggies and noodles come out, and you can then start to cook it to your preference. You’ll have your own bowl and ladle, so once you finish cooking, you can ladle it in the bowl, then add sauces.
This is also one of the only places I can find traditional ramen, which makes me smile. What’s fun is that you can change the taste and try new sauces for each new bowl. They also give you a lot, so you’ll have lots of leftovers. Yes please! Below are some pictures!
Here are the places I took these photos and recommend in the Central Florida / Orlando are for Bimbimbap, Hot Pot, and Ethiopian
Chinese Hot Pot: Noodles & Rice Cafe – Full Vegan Menu Available
Bimbimpap: Seoul Garden Restaurant – Bimbimbap has vegetarian option and can make vegan by ordering no egg
Ethiopian: Nile Ethiopian Restaurant – Whole veggie plate is vegetarian (not sure about vegan)
What do you think? Feel free to pin these pictures for future reference! What’s your favorite fun food or creative dinner date place? Tell me in the comments!