News from Around Banderas Bay | October 2007
|Classic Oriental Cuisine in Vallarta|
Gary R. Beck - PVNN
BanderasNews food writer and restaurant reviewer, Gary R. Beck, pays a visit to Archie's Wok. One of the truly special "eating and meeting" spots in Puerto Vallarta, this Asian restaurant was founded by John Huston's personal chef in 1986.
|Since 1986, Archie's has been legendary in Puerto Vallarta for serving original cuisine influenced by the intriguing flavors of Thailand, China, and the Philippines. For reservations, call (322) 222-0411.|
In 1986, the personal chef of John Huston founded this Asian cuisine restaurant featuring a combination of Thai, Filipino and Chinese cuisines that reflect his heritage. Now, his widow Cyndi Alpenia, his son Chef Sergio, and his lovely daughter Kiyoki run it - and the food is wonderful.
It took a couple friends to convince me to sample Asian food in Puerto Vallarta, since I was accustomed to one of the best cities for it, San Francisco, CA. But after a couple bites, I was in Heaven, and now this spot is on my list of Puerto Vallarta restaurants to visit often!
On a recent visit, we started with a tender and succulent Thai Calamari Cocktail. Crispy wonton baskets were filled with ginger-lemongrass chicken salad, a concoction of marvelous flavors and textures.
Fried rice dishes are featured. We sampled the coconut fried rice with light yellow curry, crunchy vegetables and chicken. This dish was good with a crisp green salad.
After I confirmed that the Filipino Chicken Adobo was a national dish of the Philippines, we opted for it and were extremely pleased by the moist meat, which fell off the bones due to slow cooking. The mix of spices including ginger and cloves was flavorful but not hot. Rice was used to absorb the sauce and prolong the pleasure of the richness. I also highly recommend their wonderful Vegetable Lasagna with shiitake mushrooms, tofu, wasabi and ginger pesto.
One reason alone to visit Archie's Wok is to try the Coconut Rice Pudding with mango and vanilla. Not a speck will remain on the plate. Hand-crafted gelatos by local Italian artisans Da Vinci are delicious, especially the tart passion fruit. A signature dessert remains the Lime Pudding Cake, which arose from a family recipe.
The restaurant's setting is tropical, open and warm. Thrilling for us was the quiet, soothing music of "Best Local Musician 2006," D'Rachael who entertains diners with her fabulous vocals, harp and flute on weekends.
Located at 130 Francisca Rodriguez, 1/2 block from Los Muertos Pier in the Zona Romantica of Puerto Vallarta, Archie's Wok is open Mon-Sat from 2-11 pm. Closed in September and October. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling (322) 222-0411.
After 20 years in the San Francisco restaurant business, Gary R. Beck turned his attentions to cooking, dining out, creating recipes and exploring Puerto Vallarta's rich array of eateries. Famous for his restaurant guide, available online at CafePress.com or Lulu.com, Gary also writes restaurant reviews for Puerto Vallarta newspapers, Bay Area magazines, and now, a feature column for BanderasNews.com. Contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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