ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro in Downtown Denver is an eclectic mix of Asian dishes, intermingled with other cuisines from around the world.
The Colorado Wagyu Beef ($34) was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The morels added some earthiness, while the asparagus brought a slight bitterness to the party. The green curry bernaise sounds good in theory, but it didn’t provide much heat.
The Soup Dumplings ($11) were a mash-up on the traditional Xiao Long Bao and French Onion Soup. The result was a masterful mix of cheesy onion goodness with the playful of soup dumplings.
The Pork Belly Buns ($15) is a play on the traditional Peking duck. The pork belly was well cooked, with a nice char and most of the fat rendered. The sauce was way too sweet for my liking, and the buns a little too “bready”.
The Brussels Sprouts ($12) take this dish in a Thai direction. The addition of ground pork and kaffir lime, just really didn’t come together.
The Kaya Toast ($9) is kind of akin to Asian French toast. The coconut jam is typically sandwiched between the bread, but this interpretation had bruleed type bread with a do it yourself coconut jam spread. A fairly good rendition of the dish.
The Pandan Upside-Down Cake ($9) is a take on the classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake with the infusion of the Asian ingredient of pandan, which some compare to Asian “vanilla”. For me, pandan doesn’t really have a flavor that I can discern. The smoked coconut sherbert helped to offset the sweetness of the cake. Opinions on this dish were lukewarm at best.
The Spiced Doughnuts ($9) are a take on café su da, or Vietnamese iced coffee, which is super strong French roast coffee mix with sweetened condensed milk over ice. The doughnuts were well cooked, the ice cream strong with the condensed milk sweet enough to induce a diabetic reaction. This was the winning dessert dish.
I was mostly impressed with ChoLon, but I do think their menu is a little too big and ambitious as some of the combinations just don’t seem to pair well together.