Saturday, July 12, 2014

Red Rose Restaurant: Original Cambodian Cuisine

Red Rose Restaurant in Pailin Plaza is one of the original Cambodian restaurants that is still open for business unlike other former restaurants that opened in the early 90's including Khemara Restaurant on Westfood Street and Mekong on Broadway Street.

Cambodian restaurant lowell
Red Rose Restaurant Lowell, MA
The restaurant is probably the most popular Cambodian restaurant among the older Cambodian community within Lowell as well as out of state Khmer people.  Every time I meet another Cambodian person out of Lowell, Red Rose usually comes up in conversation. "The last time I went to Lowell, we ate Ka tiev at Red Rose."

It was also the "Go To" restaurant for  my sister and out of state relatives for a hangover meal the morning after my wedding.  Coincidentally, they also bumped into our other friends from the wedding.

The restaurant has undergone many renovations and expansions throughout the years.

Their extensive menu is provided in a white binder with menu pictures.

We arrived on a late Saturday morning and picked a booth in the main dining room.  They also have an newer additional on the right with additional seating.  All the young waitresses looked like they are freshly shipped from Cambodia.  She asked us in perfect Khmer, if we wanted iced tea or hot tea.  Jasmine tea is complimentary in most Cambodian restaurants.

After glancing through the menu, we placed our order with the young immigrant and waited for our food. The clientele was mostly older Asian families compared to the younger clientele that Simply Khmer attracts.

We ordered a couple of apps and 2 noodle dishes to share.  One thing to remember is that most Cambodian/Vietnamese restaurants do not abide by the appetizer/entree order.  They will bring out whatever is ready first.  Many times, we received our appetizers after our meals.  In this case, both our appetizers and noodles were brought out the same time.

The fried egg rolls was served with the sweet fish sauce.  I would have preferred the sweet chili oil.  It lacked filling and was mostly the wrapper.

spring rolls
Red Rose Egg Rolls (5) pcs for $ 3.00
The fresh spring rolls were totally stuffed and thick.  Many people skimp out on all the fresh herbs and ingredients but there was plenty of pork and spearmint in every bite.

Red Rose Naim Chow Spring Roll (2) pcs $ 4.00

I still cannot fathom restaurants that call themselves Cambodian and cannot make a good plate of Mee Ka Thung.  Our dish lacked flavor and was served on the colder side as if it was the first thing that was made on our order.  The dish is available in 2 sizes "Small" for $ 8.00  or "large" for $ 10.00.  I'm glad we went with the small because it was not great.

Red Rose Mee Ka Thung Special Small $ 8.00
We also shared a lort cha special.  That was the best dish on our meal.  The eggs were crispy and the thick noodles had flavor.  The spicy fish sauce topped it off well.

cheap lunch lowell

As expected, the bill was pretty cheap.  For two apps and 2 entrees and tax, the total was $ 24.25.

  1. Red Rose Restaurant
  2. Address: 716 Middlesex Street, Lowell, MA 01851

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