Rue Du The, Burlingame, CA

Rue Du The is quite an unexpected experience. Before I sat foot in the establishment I was almost certain it is going to be just another overly feminine Victorian style tea room. I was wrong. There were not a hint of pink, floral or lace. The ambiance is natural, cozy and very casual. A gender neutral non Asian tea room is a rarefind these days.

The tea selection is not bad. Decent amount of higher quality ‘serious’ tea and lots of fragrant and fun ones. All the tea they have are on display in these little tin cans which you can open and smell. Pastry selection is rather limited but I like the lemon tart and brownie I have tried. Scone was average.

Rue Du The is probably not the place you can make a special occasion out of. (Ladies, leave those felt hats and feather fascinators at home) It is a great laid-back spot for everyday tea time.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Wheat Roll Prosciutto with Sweet Roll

Little Lucca Sandwich Shop, Burlingame, CA

It is rather hard not to like these sandwiches. For less than 8 bucks you get a super size sandwich fully loaded with decent ingredients. To be perfectly honest, the quality of their deli is average and the bread wasn’t the most amazing. The prosciutto was a bit dry and the bread roll wasn’t fluffy enough. The chicken breast was reasonably tender though. However, it is the value that really trumps all. One sandwich could easily feed two very hungry souls. The garlic sauce they put on the sandwich is delicious.

Cash only but the have ATM inside of the store.

Straits Restaurant, Burlingame, CA

There were a time when Straits was one of my favorite restaurant chain in the bay area. I love their Palo Alto location with the relaxing ambiance and consistent quality food. I would take my out of town friends to the Santana Row Straits and hang out with my buddies at the SF Straits. Long gone were the good old days of this restaurant chain. The quality of food had slowly gone downhill over the years. In fact, the Palo Alto Straits is the only remaining one that still serve semi decent fusion Singaporean fare.

Made reservation for 8:30 but still waited long before we finally got seated. That’s understandable for a busy Friday night. What wasn’t acceptable is the fact that we waited another good 15 minutes before our water glasses were filled.

A bit worried about the quality of the food, I was cautious and decided to order only their better know dishes. The dinner started off fairly well with some decent Roti Prata. The texture was crispy and fluffy but the dipping sauce was a bit mellow. Not the best I have had but still a very likable dish. Unfortunately the two entrees were total disasters. I have always like the origami seabass at other Straits location but this same dish here tasted like a completely different recipe. It is overwhelmingly sweet with no trace of ginger and other seasoning. The quality is horrible for a $35 dish. The Singapore Chili Lobster, a $39 ‘signature’ dish, was another disappointment. The chili sauce was again too sweet and the balance of flavors just weren’t there. I don’t think it will be difficult to find better chili lobster/crab at half the price at many other restaurants.

I could not recommend Straits at Burlingame. I couldn’t help but wonder… what happened to this once great restaurant chain?