Straits Restaurants are flourishing in various locales around the world, including London, Atlanta and San Francisco. Recently opened in Houston’s uber-hip CityCentre complex, the new Straits was crowded, noisy, and happening - all great things when their tasty dishes are added to the mix!
Upon entering we saw a large bar area filled with people chatting, drinking and clearly enjoying the bustling ambience. Not to be left out, we tried a house specialty drink, the ginger martini, which was, shall we say, intoxicating?
Wanting to enjoy more than cocktails and conversation, we headed for one of their dining rooms, our taste buds excitedly anticipating sampling their Singaporean and other Asian specialties. Straits wide range of flavors includes culinary offerings inspired by Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Nonya, and India.
We were seated in front of the huge open kitchen enabling us to watch their chefs' every move. And do they hustle – white coats and shooting flames everywhere! This is one live show you don’t want to miss.
Their menu offers small plates, soups and salads, a raw bar, and entrees of beef, seafood, poultry, vegetable and noodles or rice. It’s the perfect place for sharing dishes to sample the variety of tastes of Southeast Asia.
We chose one of their most popular starters: Roti Prata Crisp, which is griddled Indian Flatbread. Although the menu refers to it as “crispy” spiced Indian Bread, it was neither crispy nor spicy. In fact, it was actually soft, moist and heavenly. A light curry dipping sauce added a bit of zest to the taste sensation.
Our other starter of Crab Cakes was flaky crabmeat in a fried-to-crunchy-perfection crust, served with a subtle, finely chopped mango salsa.
Our waiter recommended the Skirt Steak and Watermelon Salad. Most of the tables around us also had this dish, so we thought it must be good. The lime dressing with the arugula and melon was refreshing and tasty; the steak was chewy but flavorful.
Many of the main courses have curry sauces or exotic flavors. We found two unusual selections that thoroughly tantalized our taste buds. We chose the Boneless Kopi Short Ribs accompanied by butternut squash puree and parmesan risotto. The ribs were super, falling-off-the-bone tender and succulent. Our other entrée, the Origami Sea Bass en Papillote was served in a paper bag, keeping it moist and sweet.
Speaking of sweet, when the dessert menu was presented, we opted for a special treat that was both distinctive and scrumptious – Cheesecake Pops! The plate came with three different pops –a chocolate covered ball of cheesecake, each with its own yummy topping of chocolate chips, almonds or Oreo cookies. We scarfed up all three faster than you can say ‘‘This can’t be fattening!”
If you find yourself looking for a fresh new taste and want to explore a new part of Houston, text "Straits CityCentre" into your GPS and follow the crowds.
800 W Sam Houston Pkwy
Houston, TX 77024