Yesterday was a long day in Tulsa. I had 4 appointments with donors, starting at 11AM. But the good thing is, I had plans for both lunch and dinner, which equals 2 blog posts! Originally I had a lunch meeting scheduled with a suiteholder, but they had to cancel so I met my friend Shawn instead. He suggested KEO Asian Cuisine. I had never been there, so I was sold.
It’s located at 91st and Yale, in the same strip shopping center at Russo’s, which I had blogged about last year. I really like that 3 sides of the restaurant are all windows… tall windows all the way to the ceiling. Lets in so much natural light. It’s not very big, with seating for maybe 100. Mostly tables and half booths (bench on one side, chairs on the other). Eventually I also noticed they have 2 really tall booths. The back of the booth goes up about 6 feet. It’s really cool looking.
There’s also a small bar area to the right when you walk in. The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived at about 11:45, but by the time we were eating our meal it was packed. It’s a very modern looking restaurant. They also have a location on S. Peoria, in the Brookside area.
I arrived about 5 minutes before Shawn, and within a minute of me sitting down a little bowl of edamame arrived at the table. I really like that it’s complimentary. Never seen that before
The edamame was cold. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. They were good, but I do prefer hot. The spice was really interesting on top, and when I asked the server he said it’s almost like the seasoning packets in ramen noodles. Very interesting. When we looked at the menu, they actually do make a couple of dishes with ramen noodles. That’s a first for me. Oh and that seasoning, it has a kick. Not when you first eat it, but after a few minutes it creeps up on you… fast. My lips were burning. But again, the spice was really good so I didn’t mind.
We started with spring rolls. When I said that our server asked if we wanted the fresh ones. I had no idea there was more than one kind! Then I looked and saw they offer crispy veggie spring rolls and Cambodian spring rolls. Shawn made the call on sticking with fresh.
These were really good. I like that they weren’t fried. The rice paper is so thin, and doesn’t add anything heavy to the roll. I like that they used whole shrimp instead of minced or ground. The peanut sauce was thick, but delicious. It was almost like a paste, but not in a good way. I ate the julienne stuff that you see in the top left corner of the plate. It was carrots and I think ginger. Very good and fresh and palate cleansing.
The menu isn’t that big, but no surprise I still couldn’t decide what to order. I finally narrowed it down to Malaysian style fried rice or pad Thai. I know pad Thai was a boring option, but I often use that as a gauge at a new place… if they can do that, the rest of the dishes will be good. I do that a lot at Mexican restaurants… if they can do good fajitas, everything else will be good. The server immediately said the fried rice, and he recommended it with chicken. I was pleasantly surprised when he asked if I wanted white or brown rice. I’ve never been to a restaurant where you were given that option for fried rice. So I went with brown.
This dish was excellent. The rice had so much flavor. I could not stop eating, even well after I should have. The egg was just eh. Wasn’t really a fan. I’ve only ever seen one other restaurant do that. Next time I would just ask them to leave it off. I really like the crispy shallots. They added a nice crunch to the dish.
I forgot to take a picture of Shawn’s, but I tasted it… Thai sweet basil with chicken. It was fantastic as well. A little kick, but just enough.
I will definitely be going back to this restaurant. The food was delicious, the server knew his stuff, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.