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Page history last edited by Mark P 15 years, 5 months ago

Betelnut Review


Betelnut gave us mostly par / decent Asian-inspired dishes, though a few were too salty and thus difficult to eat.


Per recommendations and because we wanted to try many dishes, we ordered entirely off the small plates side of the menu. Here's what we had in the order it was delivered:


  • Papaya salad. Betelnut's rendition, including papaya, grapefruit, lots of mint, and some cilantro, was mild. We liked it but may not repeat it. The grapefruit lover liked the dish initially and then said it further grew on him.
  • Dumplings of pork and shrimp. Pretty standard; not that interesting. Small, but there were many. Perhaps the most interesting feature was that I only noticed the shrimp at first, someone else only noticed the pork at first, and someone else noticed both. Both flavors were in each dumpling and we all could notice both if we paid attention; this just proved each of us has different sensitivities / inclinations about what to notice.
  • Minced chicken in lettuce cups. Pretty reminiscent of mu shu, though without the sweet (hoisin) sauce. In short, it was chicken, smelling strongly of garlic, mixed with pine nut, wrapped in lettuce. Straightforward.
  • Fried calamari with chili peppers. Pretty standard. Breading is like KFC, though not as crispy. Properly salted -- this is often a problem with calamari. Balanced: no component (calamari, peppers, breading) overwhelms the others. Unsurprisingly, the peppers are spicy, as we most directly observed when two of us bit one at the end of the dish as they took it away, then noticed neither of us had water.
  • Szechuan green beans. Pungent with garlic. (We easily smelled it as they put it down. In fact, we still smelled garlic after they'd taken it away, unfinished.) Quite salty -- we couldn't finish it. Pretty much just garlic and salt. As such, it was "pretty generic." Green beans were still crispy.
  • Glazed pork short ribs. Salty. Really salty. Sweet too. They looked messy. That wasn't much of a problem because we barely touched them because they were so salty.
  • Fried bananas. Different from most renditions of the dish. Decent bananas, thickly coated with breading like that of the calamari. The breading wasn't crispy. Inside, the bananas were a bit mushy in center -- we all had differing reactions to that. Served with a pretty good vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and ground peanuts. People called the dish "par."



  • Beteljuice (rum, midori (honey-dew liquor), and pineapple juice): Weird, but we like it.
  • "House Brewed Betelnut Far East Wheat by Pyramid Brewery": An average quality wheat beer. Smooth. Creamier in texture than most. Less sharp than most.
  • Jasmine tea.


Betelnut is swanky. Not only is the multi-level expansive room -bigger than it at first appears- stylish, but also the Cow Hollow/Marina crowd was well dressed and pretty.


As for service, the runners/bussers were good, usually cleaning up a dish immediately after we finished it and delivering the next one soon after. The waitress, however, was often difficult to find. For example, we had to ask someone else to bring us the check because we hadn't spotted her in ages.


The total was $30/person including tax and tip but not including drinks.


Original Announcement


This Wednesday at 8:00pm we'll head to Betelnut in Cow Hollow for some pan-Asian dishes.



Please tell me if you are coming!


Comments from Other Attendees


The following also get fairly good reviews:

  • sea bass (large plate)
  • firecracker shrimp (small plate)
  • anchovies with peanuts (small plate, not listed on the menu when we went)
  • pea and potato samosa (small plate) (not quite as good reviews as the others)


Feel free to add remarks here.

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