I'm Not A (Sand)wich

I’m a blog about pan-Asian eats, tapas wine dinners and free gift cards. Just like you.

The Riff/New Digs Combo Pack: Padi Restaurant

A little bit of friendly hospitality can go a long way, particularly when tequila is involved.

I’ll always remember an otherwise routine trip to pick up a takeout order from Rasa Sayang, the excellent Malaysian eatery in North Wilmington’s Independence Mall. As I waited for my order, I took a seat at the bar and noticed a tank of pineapple chunks bobbing in a vat of clear liquid. A nearby staffer caught me staring.

“It’s Patron,” he said. Try it.

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This was server/manager Patrick Wang, who was now lifting a tab at the bottom of the container to release a stream of pineapple-infused tequila into a shot glass. Then he pried open the top, scooped out a sizable hunk of fruit and plopped it into the glass. Bottoms up.

It wasn’t an earth-shattering moment, but a friendly and fun gesture from a smiling and enthusiastic staffer. These sort of things stick with customers and go down smoother than a tequila-soaked pineapple.

I was happy to see this Wang had made his way over to Padi, a new pan-Asian sister restaurant in Hockessin named for the Malay word for rice plant.

I spotted Patrick carrying a tray of goodies during Padi’s grand opening party last week and asked him if he remembered me and the Patron story. His eyes lit up and a grin spread across his face.

“I’ve got something you need to try,” he said, before dashing off and returning quickly with a tray of lemongrass-infused vodka shots. This time he did one with me.

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Padi’s pan-Asian umbrella allows for maximum creativity and flexibility from the kitchen, which borrows elements from Thai, Japanese and Malaysian traditions. Up top are fried dumplings, and chicken breast stuffed with a melange of veggies, cellophane noodles and more. Below are cups of endive cradling homemade rice paper stuffed with a delicious mixture of pork, peanuts, and more.



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And then there’s Padi’s secret weapon: sushi from former Utage chef Chihiro Oka. Plain and simple, the man is Delaware culinary royalty, having worked side-by-side with his father Yuichiro for 22 years at Delaware’s first sushi restaurant. Look for more on Padi in an upcoming issue of Delaware Today.

Wednesday, October 27: Kitty betterment organization (and recent Best of Delaware honorees) Forgotten Cats is teaming with Market Street’s Chelsea Tavern for its second annual Yowl’oween Happy Hour, beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Drink specials, free hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction are all part of the program, along with live music by Nik Everett. A tax-deductible $10 donation is all it costs for entry, or $7 with the donation of an unopened bag or cans of cat food.

Click here or call 792-7096 for more info.

Free beer! Okay, we’re all ready to hand out another free $10 gift card to Iron Hill Brewery and restaurant.

Just like last week, the first person who emails me the correct answer to the following Iron Hill-centric trivia question gets a shiny new gift card rushed to them in the mail.

Here’s the question:

Q: Name the artist who painted the murals for each Iron Hill location, as well as beer labels and t-shirts.

Once again send your answer to mamis@delawaretoday.com, and keep checking back for more chances to win. Do not leave your answer in the comments section.

***UPDATE*** We have a winner, and this winner’s name is Amanda Moretto of Wilmington! Congrats Amanda, and enjoy the sweet, beer-flavored taste of victory. The correct answer is Jeff Shaller.


Video: Jay Caputo, the award-winning chef and owner of Espuma, and special guest chef of the James Beard House in New York City tonight, likes his ingredients fresh. Very fresh, as you can glean from this short video sent in by PR consultant extraordinaire Peter Breslow. See Jay fishing for yellowfin tuna 50 miles offshore, landing a whopper, and then breaking it down back inside the Rehoboth kitchen.

 The resulting dish–tuna tartare pineapple cannelloni–is pretty mindblowing. See for yourself:

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