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If you go to Floating Rock once, you're hooked for life. Well I've done it and now I have to have my Cambodian fix whenever I'm in Boston.

 

Fresh from the plane, I was spirited off to Revere--where FR is located.

 

I have to admit that we're having a bit of a problem with the same old formula. We can't seem to stray from these dishes:

 

Tigers Tears: a beef salad that includes thinly sliced lemon grass, roasted rice (?), peppers and ???

 

Longbean salad: such an innocent name. This salad haunts me--why can't I get this in New York? GG will have to fill us in on the ingredients.

 

Fish cakes--an absolute explosion of flavor. I tried these at the Cambodian joint in Ft Greene and this is how I described it to GG and YY: "It's like black and white vs color."

 

Catfish and jackfruit soup--an intense curry-like soup.

 

As you might imagine, the place is a little quirky. For example if you find you need to use the restroom, prepare to stroll through the kitchen where they might be butchering an entire side of beef, or sauteeing something with flames shooting everywhere or rolling out noodles.

 

There are local characters. I already have my favorite -- and now it's like seeing a celebrity if I spot him when I return.

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Ahh, Floating Rock, one of my reasons for living.... :)

Tiger Tears; different than the Thai Yum Neur, because the strips of beef are fried, then mixed with ground, roasted rice, for a little texture, some slivered sweet peppers, lots of fresh chilis, slivered lemongrass, and lots of assorted herbiage, some basils and some of the herbs you can find in Vietnamese markets, but can't identify...this whole-hearted use of fresh herbs as major ingredient is what make Cambodian one of my favorites...

 

LongBean salad; my favorite here! Chinese longbeans cut in inch-long pieces, tossed with lots of lime juice, prahok (Fermented fish paste) and dried preserved fish bits...Served with lots of saw-tooth herb and chopped cabbage to cut the saltiness. Great mixed with warm rice, too, the flavors seem to melt...

 

Catfish and Jackfruit soup is becoming a must for me, too...Love the chewy bits of banana flower shoot in there, the creaminess of the cococnut milk, while its usually not my favorite, is so necessary as a vehicle for the intensity of the spicing here..My mouth is watering....

 

It's always better to do lunch here, or a very early dinner, because their closing hours are a little unpredictable...We did a Sat.nite dinner there, and ended up going at 6:00, closing the place at 8....BYOB..

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  • 1 year later...

This weekend I was back in Boston so of course my first stop was Floating Rock. It's so convenient to the airport that there's really no other choice.

 

Once again we got the old favorites: tigers tears, long bean salad, catfish soup and the fish cakes. The long bean salad was even better than before...brighter somehow. Perhaps there was a more intense lime juice, and we also noticed small dried shrimp, which we hadn't seen before.

 

galleygirl noticed a plate of huge fried shrimp come out of the kitchen and she immediately demanded to know what they were. The waitress pointed to an boring sounding "Shrimp with pepper" or something like that -- Floating Rock is not known for making their food sound fancy or appetizing. This dish is what salt and pepper anything should be. The shrimp is lightly breaded with a Thai breading and then fried along with sliced scallions. I'll let galleygirl describe the dipping sauce, which she correctly identified just by giving it a cursory look.

 

We also gorged on chow fun (sp?) and chili pork. Yes, all of this for just three people.

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I was fortunate enough to be in on this visit. I was somewhat unimpressed by my last meal here..the 6 PM dinner..we had 2 SOs along, who are not as adventurous as we are.

 

This lunch was awesome...bold, bright flavors..I'll be back soon.

 

Notice these meals are almost exactly 1 year apart, and we still get the same dishes..+ a few more :lol:

 

This place is very convenient to visitors flying into Logan...just a block or 2 from the Revere Beach T stop of the Blue Line..just take the train a few stops away from the city..worth the detour.

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  • 4 years later...
Guest Aaron T

Had lunch at Floating Rock on Monday (note that they are closed on Tuesdays) but was not wowed.

 

I had the tiger tears salad. I asked about the long bean salad and they said the beans were out of season and hence unavailable, so it was not on the menu. I also asked if there was shellfish in the fishcakes and they did not know. The cooks knew what was in it, but did not know English names for the ingredients. So I did not order that. I would love to know if the fish cakes have shellfish - anyone know?

 

In addition to the tiger tears beef salad I had the spicy chicken, which is a rice dish. Chicken in a yellow curry sauce with bell peppers next to rice. The beef salad was as described in previous posts.

 

Both dishes were very mild - not spicy at all - not even barely. :unsure: When the waitress asked me how I liked it I said it wasn't very spicy and should I put the red sauce with chili flakes (from the bottle on my table) on my food. She instead offered a shaker of chili flakes (without the sauce, which she said would not mix well with the food). I was told that they make the food from mild to spicy.

 

I didn't realize when I order a dish called "Spicy Chicken" that the default would be mild. It was fine but no more spicy than chicken tikka masala.

 

I took the T there from south station (changing lines twice) on my way to the airport and based on this meal was not worth the detour.

 

I may give it another shot, emphasizing that I like spicy.

 

It is a true hole in the wall, with all the charm and lack of pretense that implies. Not a bad thing.

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Huh, I'm stumped. I've been going for at least 5 years and I've never had a bad meal there so I'm not sure what happened. I've never had the spicy chicken dish so I can't comment on that. Did you not like the tigers tears because it wasn't spicy enough or did you just not like it, period?

 

And as for spice - maybe it's the maniacal gleam in the eyes of my dining companions that is getting me true spice?

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Guest Aaron T

I thought the tiger tears was ok but not at all spicy enough. I need to use the maniacal gleam strategy next time. That and specifying that I want spicy, even for dishes with spicy in the name. I picked the spicy chicken on the reco of the waitress. It was in the traditional cambodian section of the menu.

 

Abby - do you have a sense as to whether the fish cakes had shrimp/crab in them or whether they were "swimming fish" as i call them?

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I thought the tiger tears was ok but not at all spicy enough. I need to use the maniacal gleam strategy next time. That and specifying that I want spicy, even for dishes with spicy in the name. I picked the spicy chicken on the reco of the waitress. It was in the traditional cambodian section of the menu.

 

Abby - do you have a sense as to whether the fish cakes had shrimp/crab in them or whether they were "swimming fish" as i call them?

Fish cakes usually contain some shrimp as a binder...Next time I'm there, and they don't have long beans (which are in season, BTW), I'm going to ask for Tirk Kreoung Pahok, which is pretty much the same as the ingredients in the Long bean salad, but without the beans. They usually give you cabbage, Thai eggplants, and beans to dip into it...I discovered this at another Cambodian place in Lynn, Mittapheap.

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I thought the tiger tears was ok but not at all spicy enough. I need to use the maniacal gleam strategy next time. That and specifying that I want spicy, even for dishes with spicy in the name. I picked the spicy chicken on the reco of the waitress. It was in the traditional cambodian section of the menu.

 

Abby - do you have a sense as to whether the fish cakes had shrimp/crab in them or whether they were "swimming fish" as i call them?

The tigers tears has spice but I wouldn't say that it's delicious because it's so spicy.

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  • 1 year later...

Floating Rock is pulling a Lotus of Siam - they moved to fancier digs in Cambridge. Fear not though, strangely a Cambodian restaurant called Thmor Da simply took over where Floating Rock left off. Same space, same restaurant but from what I remember a slightly different menu.

 

We did get our dearly beloved Tigers Tears and that was just as hot and delicious.

 

5565500940_edcde85740.jpg

picture courtesy of yumyum

 

We usually try to order a long bean salad with prahok, and this attempt is usually hit or miss based on server knowing what we are talking about. This time he seemed to know - we started by asking for a long bean salad with prahok. But what came out was entirely different and totally delicious. It's called Prahok k'tis and I guess I would describe it as a sort of Cambodian bolognese sauce. Porky but also studded with slivered chilis and laced with that good old funky fermented fish paste - prahok. The sauce is served in a bowl surrounded by raw wedges of cabbage, long beans and cucumbers. We'd eat it by taking a veg sliver to shovel up some of the sauce and then dab a bit of rice into the package. Such comfort food, so delicious.

 

Picture courtesy of yumyum:

 

5564909595_95fcf83c8d.jpg

 

The pescetarian at our table seemed to think there was a fish version of this sauce and indeed there was, hilariously served with charred steak bits. The carnivores at the table happily scoffed this up.

 

5564904529_279ee8d2cd.jpg

picture courtesy of yumyum

 

We had tons of other food, all good but the only dud I thought was the papaya salad which was almost too funky with prahok.

 

5564917881_8aeace94a0.jpg

picture courtesy of yumyum

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