Sherman's Food Adventures: Sang Nuua Catering

Sang Nuua Catering

Of all the blog posts I've ever done, this would be the most unique of them all.  So after I had visited Portland in November, I got a message from Sang Nuua Catering asking if I was interested in trying out their catering services.  Yep, I was definitely interested, but there were a few issues.  First, I don't live in Portland and second, wouldn't we need a kitchen?  The first problem was solved quickly as I was heading down to PDX with the fam.  Second problem was alleviated since I was staying somewhere with full kitchen facilities.  Since plates and utensils were provided, we had nothing else to worry about.  Hence, we made arrangements for the fam to try their Pan-Asian dinner.

We started things off with the Vietnamese-Style Glazed WingsChef Aurora has worked at the famed Pok Pok and Nong's Khao Man Gai, so she knows a thing or 2 about Thai cuisine.  Hence, it was by no surprise that the wings were fried up crispy, but were super juicy and tender inside.  The fish sauce caramel was pungent being briny, sweet and garlicky.  I thought this was a great start.  My only wish is that the wings were darker in color (for aesthetics, as it made no difference in the eating enjoyment).  It is true that it is more difficult to get a darker color with rice flour though.

Next up was the Green Papaya Salad served with sticky rice on the side.  This was a fairly large portion, just like the chicken wings.  This meal could serve more than 4 people in my opinions (stay tuned for the rest of the dishes).  Fresh and crunchy, the salad featured julienned green papaya, green beans and tomatoes.  The dressing was sweet, briny and plenty tart that was an excellent appetizer.  It only whet our appetites for the rest of the meal.

We moved from that onto 2 salads including the Thai Steak Salad (can be had as Mushroom for those who are vegetarian).  This sported a considerable amount of tender strips of steak that were first seared, then stir-fried in herbs and seasoning.  It was then plated with Thai basil, onions and cilantro in a spicy dressing.  The result was essentially an all-meat dish that was sort of a "salad".

Chef Aurora then proceeded to fry up some eggs (Fried Egg with Vegetables) in oil until they were crispy on the outside, but still fluffy on the inside.  These were served on a bed of greens with fish sauce dressing.  Not a complex dish by any means but super tasty nonetheless.  I love eggs, so this was a textural delight to go with the fresh crispy greens.  Of course the dressing was at its briny and fishy best with sweetness and some acidity.

One of my favourite dishes was the Turmeric-Fried Catfish over rice noodles and herbs.  The fish was fried up beautifully where the color was appealing and the texture was buttey soft.  Lots of flavour from the marinate itself, but it didn't hurt that we had a spicy pineapple sauce to go with it.  Normally, catfish can taste quite muddy, but this was kept to a minimum.  Rather, it was more naturally sweet than anything else.

Lastly, we were served the Whole Roasted Bird (that was dressed and put into the oven at the start) served with GinGar sauce and sweet garlic sauce.  Slathered with hoisin and 5-spice, then roasted with herbs, the chicken was aromatic.  The skin was crispy while the meat was moist, even the breast.  Loved the gingar sauce as there was both ginger, garlic and scallions.  But really, the sweet garlic was pretty rad too with lots of fresh garlic.

For dessert, we were served something simple and refreshing in a sliced ripe Mango.  Overall, the food prepared by Chef Aurora is restaurant-quality, but served at your choice of venue.  Ingredients are fresh and prepared beautifully.  The amount of food is enough for more than 4 people.  So there we had a lot of leftovers, but Chef Aurora packed-up everything for us.   As mentioned by Chef Aurora, a kitchen isn't necessary for her catering services.  The menu would just be altered for the venue.  However, I wanted the full-meal deal and ensured that my hotel had a full kitchen.  I guess an Airbnb would work for this purpose as well.  Whatever the case, I am glad we got to experience this.  Totally spoiled with delicious food!

*All food for this blog post was complimentary*

The Good:
- Lots of food!
- Impactful flavors
- Beautifully cooked proteins

The Bad:
- To get the full-experience, a full-kitchen with enough counter space would be ideal


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