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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Spice 28

Spice 28
1228 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Neighborhood: Market East

[11.06.2012 Update: After I posted my review on Yelp, Ben, the general manager, invited us back to Spice 28.  I will post a further update after round 2.]

The external decor of Spice 28 is rather abysmal, but the inside - with its modern, sleek look and neon lights glowing here and there - reminds me very much of Pod and Morimoto.

We arrived here for dinner on a weeknight, and it was fairly packed, so that was a good sign.  We started off with the fajitas  (interesting item to be on the menu given that Spice is an Asian restaurant) and crispy calamari.  Both dishes were good in the sense that they tasted like what I expected (but also not very hot, as if they had been sitting somewhere for a little while...).  But, they were bad in the sense that the only Asian twist to them was the traditional varieties of dipping sauce that accompanied each dish.  Not exactly very creative, and perhaps a little bit deceiving.

The waiter must had asked the kitchen to fire up our entrees before we even got our appetizers, because before we even got through half of either appetizers, our entrees came to the table.  Normally, I would have no qualms with this, because - as anyone who knows me can attest to - I eat rather fast.  But, I was trying to pace myself, and by the time I got to my entree, it was borderline lukewarm.  The food itself (chicken basil fried rice) was decent, but perhaps that's because I'm comparing it to the gold standard at Tuk Tuk, a cozy little Thai place in Long Island City that makes incredible basil and green curry fried rice.

To close off the meal, the kitchen sent out some sort of pancake on the house.  We were advised to stop talking and eat it while it was hot - so we did.  What greeted my taste buds was bland, and not what I would want to be the last impression guests have upon leaving.

Luckily, that wasn't our last impression of Spice.  We split the bill, one Amex, one Visa.  When the receipts came, it became apparent the waiter had split the bill, but charged both halves to my card.  Yay, I won!  We told the waiter of this mistake, and his response was for us to exchange cash with each other, laughed, and walked away.  There was no way I wasn't going to write a review after that!

Would I go back?  Before the check incident I would have said yes, because some of my fellow Yelpers have given it rave reviews.  After the check incident?  Probably not.  Food and service are what I look for when I go out to a sit-down, and from this experience, Spice 28 provided neither very well.

Fajitas, this comes w/ 4 slices.  Obviously, we dug in before this picture was taken
Crispy calamari


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