I posted about the Dumpling Inn this week – this post is about it’s sister restaurant, Del Mar Rendezvous. I was invited to come here on behalf of the restaurant and arrangements were made by BAM Communications. Check out the review below and see our special giveaway from Del Mar Rendezvous for San Diego Restaurant Week (January 15-20, 2012) at the end of this post!
Del Mar Rendezvous is a cute little restaurant nestled into a shopping center in downtown Del Mar. We’re told there are nice ocean views from the restaurant, but seeing as we got there after sunset, I can’t confirm that. It is a cozy little spot though. Upon arriving, we were asked if we needed vegetarian or gluten-free menus, which we did not, but it was nice to see that option available for people with dietary restrictions. We were seated quickly and started perusing the menu. We asked about their specialties and for some recommendations before making a final decision on our meal.
[Jasmine Hot Tea – 2 cup press]
I brought Laura with me for the tasting at Del Mar Rendezvous and we started out dinner by sharing a 2 cup french press of Jasmine hot tea. The manager came by to talk to us about the restaurant and told us that they had recently switched to organic, fair trade teas. The teas were nice and flavorful and they gave us more water to continue having the tea after the first press.
[Honey Glazed Spare Ribs – marinated for three hours in five spice, the moist and tender meat falls right off the pork ribs]
The Honey Glazed Spare Ribs were one of the items recommended to us by our waiter and by the manager. These little babies were fall off the bone tender and had a really nice sweetness to them. The sweetness was not overpowering but a bit more of a “little touch of sweetness” with a nice flavor and spice from the marinade. It had a nice char on the very outside of the ribs as well and we both enjoyed the ribs. We each only ate one though, to save room for the rest of the meal that was to come.
I loved this little saucer of soy sauce. So cute!
[Steamed Pork Dumplings – also known as xiao long bao or Shanghai style soup dumplings, ours are filled with pork and green onion; served in a bamboo steamer with a side of medium spice dumpling sauce]
I felt the need to try the Steamed Pork Dumplings (or Xiao Long Bao aka Soup Dumplings) here as well, to compare it to what I had at the Dumpling Inn. Here you only get six dumplings and they’re about the same size. The wrapper/dumpling dough was not as nice and chewy as the one at the Dumpling Inn but the ones here have a lot more of the soup/broth in them. I warned Laura that she should eat the top and then drink the soup, and she heeded my warning but still accidentally spilled soup out. Oops! They’re hard to eat the first time.
[Inside pork dumplings]
I loved how soupy these dumplings were and that made me pretty happy. I think the wrapper was not as good as the one at Dumpling Inn but I love the inside broth on these a bit more. They each have their pluses and minuses.
[Shanghai Style Noodles – chicken, beef, and shrimp sautéed with baby bok choy, baby corn, broccoli, carrots, and snow peas atop hash brown style lo mein noodles (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside)]
The Shanghai Style Noodles were also recommended to us and we tried those out as well. The noodles were crispy on the bottom and soft on top, so after you mixed this dish together you got a mixture of textures. Some of the soft noodle and some of the crisp, making for a fun texture. It was a good mix of veggies and meats and I loved that crispy texture on the bottom. The flavor of the sauce was not too bad, not the best ever, but I still liked it. I’m not sure what I thought it was missing, but the texture made it fun.
[Walnut Shrimp – 7 breaded jumbo shrimp sautéed with carrots and peas in a creamy, sweet white sauce; topped with caramelized walnuts and encircled by steamed broccoli]
Okay, I’m going to tell you now: This was my favorite dish of the night. I’ve never had Walnut Shrimp before, probably because I know it’s made with mayonnaise and that scares me for some reason. My great love of shrimp though overwhelmed me and I decided it was high time I try it.
The walnut shrimp had a slight sweetness to it. The shrimp were huge – none of those skimpy itty bitty shrimp here! And the walnuts had a wonderful crunch and sweetness to them that I just loved. This dish was the highlight for me!
[Kung Pao Pork Tenderloin over Sauteed Snow Peas – Pork Tenderloin pan fried, roasted, over sauteed snow peas and in a Kung Pao Sauce – a restaurant week exclusive dish]
This Kung Pao Pork Tenderloin is one of the Restaurant Week Exclusive Dishes that Del Mar Rendezvous offers. The pork itself was very, very tender and the kung pao sauce is spicy, but it’s not one of those punch you in the gut kind of spices. It’s more of a lingering spice, after eating one piece the spice started to build up in my throat, but it wasn’t a bad burning sensation. The more I ate, the more the spice increased so I cut it by eating some brown rice and some of our other dishes. I loved how tender the pork was and the sauce had a really nice kick to it, but it was a kick that I was able to handle nicely. Very good!
[Mile High Mud Pie – mocha almond fudge ice cream piled 4’’ high atop a chocolate cookie crust and topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate sauce]
I can’t leave a place without trying a dessert and Laura and I opted to get the Mile High Mud Pie as our sweet item to round out our meal. It surely is Mile High – this thing is huge! A little intimidating at first, but I’m happy to report we conquered this baby and finished every bite. The mocha almond fudge ice cream has a nice little coffee flavor with plenty of bits throughout. The cookie crust made me quite happy and it was my goal to try and get bits of the crust in with all of my bites. Really tasty dessert to share with a friend!
Laura and I really enjoyed our meal at the restaurant. We had a great time trying a bunch of their dishes – I’ll have to come back just to get more of that awesome walnut shrimp! Yum!
This meal was complimentary and provided to us by the restaurant. I was not compensated for the review and all opinions are my own. Thank you to BAM Communications for providing me with this opportunity!
Del Mar Rendezvous
1555 Camino Del Mar, Suite 102
Del Mar, CA 92014
Win Dinner for 2 to Del Mar Rendezvous During San Diego Restaurant Week (January 15th – 20th, 2012)
Del Mar Rendezvous has been kind enough to provide me with a certificate for dinner for two! The certificate is only valid during San Diego Restaurant Week. This gives you the opportunity to try a three course meal on behalf on the restaurant and to check out some exclusive Restaurant Week-only dishes that they have in store for their dinner guests. Check out the menu here!
Want to win this certificate? You’ve got four ways to enter! Here’s how:
1. View Del Mar Rendezvous’ menu for San Diego Restaurant Week and tell me what item you’d most like to try if you win. (Good for 1 entry)
2. Post about this contest on your Facebook page: I entered to win dinner for 2 at Del Mar Rendezvous during SDRW! Want to win, too? Visit the link below! http://bit.ly/zyu0Mx (Good for 1 entry)
3. Tweet about this contest: “I’d like to win dinner for 2 at Del Mar Rendezvous during SDRW! http://bit.ly/zyu0Mx @kyten” (Good for 1 entry)
4. Add this site to your RSS Reader (Good for 1 entry)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Contest ends January 11th, 2012 at 11:59PM PST. Winner will be picked January 12th and the certificate will be mailed to them. Certificate is only valid during San Diego Restaurant Week. Alcohol and tip not included.