I have an embarrassing confession to make– when The Honey Paw first opened on Middle Street, I labored under the delusion that it was merely a noodle bar. I could not have been more wrong. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Instead, The Honey Paw turned out to be hands-down one of the best Asian fusion restaurants that Portland has to offer. From the snazzy decor to the vinyl record station in the corner, the joint is unabashedly hip, but the food means business. We sat in a daze after our meal, the savory flavors and textures lingering on our tastebuds.
THP features a solid selection of beer, wine, and some dynamite cocktails. Full disclosure, I like my drinks sweet and fruity, and as such I would put The Honey Paw’s elixirs right up there with some of my other favorite fancy watering spots in town, such as as Sonny’s, Walter’s, and The Armory Lounge. We dug into some light starter fare such as pickled veggies and scallion pancakes, all decent, and then moved into more serious dishes such as the smoked black cod and the white tuna tartare special. Both seafood selections were excellent.
Our appetites whetted, we then dove headfirst into the lobster toast and fried spare ribs. I’m not lying when I say that these are two of my new all-time favorite apps, and I’m fairly certain that if we hadn’t ordered more, our crew would have started fighting over the remnants with knives and forks in hand. The ribs in particular has Chris and your truly almost falling out of our chairs with culinary delight. Not to be missed!!
Moving on to the main course, the noodle bowls and sandwiches were all very tasty indeed. The fried chicken sandwich had a great interplay of western elements such as mayo and American cheese and then eastern influences like napa kimchi. The smoked lamb kao soi, a favorite of reviewers on Yelp, was mind-blowingly good. Imagine the best bowl of rich broth reminiscent of massaman curry over tender, smoky lamb, and then add just the right amount of spice and tang via mustard greens, lime, jalapenos… the dish deserves all the praise it receives.
Once we were done, we shuffled over to our usual dessert haunt of Gorgeous Gelato, talking about our meal the entire way. This was definitely one Friday lunch for the books!