Three restaurants in one? is it possible?
The concept of Trove is totally fun, and yes, 3 restaurants in one: an eye-catching parfait stand in the cutest truck lodged in the building, next to the front door leading to the noodle bar, and a huge Korean barbecue area at the back.
Between Summit Avenue and East Pike Street on Capitol Hill, this gigantic restaurant has lots of natural light with a tall ceiling resulting in a handsome and inviting space.
My primary objective: must try the parfait, and secondary, noodles; the BBQ restaurant is closed for lunch.
We sat at the bar, feeling the heat from the woks, and watched our chef worked skillfully to prepare our fried rice cakes with lamb curry and kale, chipotle pad thai with pork belly and coriander noodle with thai pesto.
A side of dumplings were in order for sharing.
The verdict from the 3 of us: rice cakes were hands down the best!
Flavors of the lamb curry was delicious, albeit more vinegary/soy saucey/gingery and less spices than regular curry, with fresh perfectly cooked kale, tender lamb.
The star was the rice cakes: fried dryly and crisp on the surface, yet remained chewy inside, it was a fun textural sensation.
I will order this again and again: something about the flavor and texture was irresistible!
It was light in sweetness with sourness: chipotle spicy with delicious fresh peanuts and Chinese yu choy as the vegetables.
Pork belly was thinly sliced and tender goodness.
Our least favorite was the coriander noodle.
The concept was unique: a stir-fried fusilli with pesto made with Thai basil, served with feta cheese and boquerones — anchovies.
However, the pasta was overcooked and too soft; and the Thai basil pesto turned out to be not too different from regular pesto.
It turned out to be a regular pesto pasta dish without surprises.
The pork kimchi dumplings were good but not wow, with nice thick chewy skin and tender pork.
We were so full after the noodles even though they did not look like huge portions; I thoroughly believe it was the magic expansion of starch in the belly after water consumption.
BUT…I couldn’t possibly give up just yet! I still had to get what I came for – parfait from the cutest truck!
The parfaits are basically frozen custard sundaes: snickers, banana split and apple pie; the twist comes from the interpretation of these flavors in a refreshing “new school” and “old school” way.
Old school delivery are comforting and familiar; such as my old school banana split with cherry whipped cream, caramelized pineapple, banana custard and almond.
The banana custard in the banana split reminded me of this Indonesian banana dessert that I had when I was growing up.
New school was interesting with DH’s apple pie consisted of poached apples, curry caramel, brown butter rice crispy.
The curry flavor was quite prominent in the parfait, and yet it belonged, and complimented all other ingredients really well.
Lastly, we picked a seasonal hot parfait with gochujang, a savory Korean fermented chili, soy bean and rice paste, in hot chocolate and frozen custard.
I thought I would have to overcome a barrier to like this creative hot chocolate float; and to my surprise, the Korean pepper paste worked excellently to deliver something delicious, new and different.
There was the unmistakable hint of beany flavor in the float, with a perfect level of spiciness, and a dark and lovely chocolate.
I was thoroughly wowed by the creativity in the parfait flavors.
They came in a branded glass mason jars to encourage reuse on the next visits ($1 off next parfait).
BBQ menu looked interesting too with the ability to grill coppa, and appetizers such as gizzards and dishes with lamb tongue.
For now, I am happy with the rice cakes and parfaits!