Hitting all of the high notes on otherwise shaky ground, my husband opted to wine and dine me into my new decade. His plan to distract with food and champagne was brilliant.
Since Temple Gourmet Chinese, is a BYOB restaurant, our beverage of the evening was champagne. A good choice as it went well with all of the dishes we ordered. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for a Monday night. Several couples and a few groups were also celebrating and we even heard another cork or two pop from the bottles of bubbly brought in.
Skipping the appetizers, we got right to the point, choosing three favorite and vastly different options. The Grand Marnier Prawns is such an elegant way to prepare the very large shrimp. Battered, and deep fried leaving them crispy and then coated with a luscious, orange spiked cream sauce, they are lick your lips delicious.
The Baby Eggplant with Garlic Sauce is a perennial favorite in our family. The color of the eggplant is just beautiful, and the slippery texture and spicy burst of garlic make this dish surprisingly fun to eat.
Our third dish was a special request lo mein. The kitchen was accommodating when I asked the waiter if I could get a mixture of the lo mein ingredients in one dish. They included shrimp, beef, pork and slivers of chicken in the stir fry along with big pieces of mushrooms and baby corn. Now one of my favorites, I would be very happy to see them put this on their permanent menu.
Victor Kuo the owner, was perhaps born to a restaurant career as his parents owned the Peking Pavilion once found on Oakland Street in Red Bank. Twenty four years ago, when we were new to the area, there weren’t too many upscale restaurants in Red Bank. The Peking Pavilion was a favorite, and now Temple is as well.
Fortunately, we are starting to see a windfall of good restaurants in the Red Bank area. We are looking forward to more of the empty storefronts opening, and more good food coming our way.