Khong River House Brings Together Southeast Asian Flavors Along the Mekong River

Lincoln Road is one of the most popular (tourist) destinations in Miami Beach, and home to many great restaurants.  Just steps away from the outdoor Lincoln Road Mall is the Southeast Asian restaurant Khong River House*, which combines flavors from all countries along the Mekong River — you can probably now figure out how the restaurant got its name.  Though it might not look like it, the restaurant actually has quite a bit of seating available inside.  There’s also a special upstairs private room/lounge — with private bar!

I started the evening off with an appetizer, Charred Eggplant Larb.  Dried shrimp, shallots, herbs, lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar.  Wanted to try something new.  Had never heard of larb.  Of course I had to try it.  What came out was this…

021915_khong_eggplant

Honestly, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all.  The charred eggplant was more like soft eggplant.  And it was mixed in with a bunch of what I would describe as “forest greens” (i.e. herbs that look like grass).  I can’t say I’m really a big fan of eating raw cilantro… I also wasn’t sure where the shrimp and fish sauce were!  So I’m gonna have to give this a no.  Wouldn’t order it again.  And especially not for $16.  Some of my dinner companions seemed to like it though, so maybe it just didn’t suit my personal tastes.  I will say that it does photo quite well though…

I ordered the Oxtail Fried Rice with Bone Marrow Butter as my main course.  Black bean sauce-braised oxtail, with daikon (a root vegetable) & blueberries.  Sounds totally delicious, right?!  Well, the oxtail fried rice did have a noticeably full taste — not too bold, but still pretty flavorful — so I suppose that was nice…

021915_khong_oxtail

But like the appetizer, this unfortunately didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  There wasn’t anything special about the presentation.  It just looked like rice cooked with oxtail meat, daikon, and blueberries.  There may have been some non-common form of rice in there, but I’m not sure.  I’d give it an okay-fine.  I probably could’ve done without the blueberries.  If the oxtail were more juicy and tender, this meal might’ve been closer to fine.

The best part of the meal was probably my Thai Iced Tea, which I enjoyed to the last drop.  I’d particularly recommend it if you’re into sweet drinks.  I rate it a good — and would definitely order it again!

Overall, Khong River House is in a great location and has a delicious-sounding menu, but it’s not really able to deliver much bang for your buck.  IMHO, it’s really particularly pricey given portion size…

*Location:
1661 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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