Tycoon Asian Noodle Shop
3309 Kirby Parkway
After a special Saturday morning screening of Percy Jackson and the Olympians a few weeks ago, we found ourselves hungry and in East Memphis. I suggested to Warren that we try Tycoon, since he always says, "We should eat there sometime" when we drive past it. (It's en route to the Winchester Farmer's Market.) However, as we tried to navigate there, I got confused about where we were, and then Warren said, "Hey let's go to that place I always talk about instead."
"You mean Tycoon?"
"That's the restaurant I'm talking about," I said. (Ok, I might have called it Typhoon on accident, but that alone shouldn't have confused him so.)
Then Warren accused me of lying and trying to take credit for his awesome idea to eat at Tycoon. God help us in our golden years!
As we tried to locate the restaurant, I went ahead and read some of the reviews that I found online, so Warren couldn't yell at me about that. I read a few that said the food was good, the servings were large, and that the lunch menu was affordable. That was all I needed to know.
We arrived at the restaurant, located in a non-descript strip mall, and filed inside. I was pleased to see that the inside was not decorated in that basic Chinese restaurant style. Rather it had a pink and green palette and lots of (fake) greenery and flowers to give it a tropical feel. (See, Typhoon, wasn't too far off!)
A man greeted us at the door and gestured for us to sit anywhere we liked. There was another table or two in the restaurant, but it was far from crowded. We headed towards the back and settled in a booth not too far from the booth where (presumably) the owners' four children were sitting and watching a movie on a laptop. This got Satchel (7) thinking about what life would be like if his parents owned a restaurant. "Could I eat anything I wanted?" he asked excitedly.
Jiro (5) who had been allowed to bring in his DS could care less about the kids in the other booth, the menu, eating, or anything else going on. (Hence my objection to the DSes at the table.)
We were presented with menus and started the business of deciding what to eat. There were lots of Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese options. I was downright torn. One of the reviews I read said that there were Polaroid pictures of every dish on the menu up by the cash register. I saw them as I came in, but I didn't examine them. For whatever reason, I chose not to look at them before ordering. (Don't do what I did. Look at the pictures before you order!) I eventually decided on a coconut curry with chicken, hot and sour soup, and an eggroll. (I'm an athlete!) Warren decided on pho. Satchel, who read the menu himself and tried to order about 50 things, settled on the butterfly shrimp lunch special and hot and sour soup. (He's graduated from egg drop soup.) Because Jiro was totally checked out, I let him order the chicken nuggets on the kids' menu, only because it was cheap and there was the option of getting them with fried rice.
Warren joined Jiro in electronic wonderland (via his iPhone) while Satchel and I enjoyed our appetizers. The eggroll was really good and the hot and sour soup was really, really good. (For me, the eggroll and soup are always a good indicator of whether I'm going to like the rest of the food.) Satchel noted that the soup should actually be called sweet and hot, because it's very spicy to him. He basically used it as a vehicle for his wontons, much like the salsa at Mexican restaurants is a vehicle for his chips. I picked the long tofu cubes (parallelograms?) out of mine and fed them to Jiro. "Hey, I only got one piece of tofu!" Satchel complained when he saw the bounty I was giving Jiro. I slid a few extras his way to keep the peace.
We were still debating whether something in his soup was a bamboo shoot or a noodle, when the rest of the food arrived. (I was arguing for noodle, since I thought he was more likely to eat that.) Warren immediately started making noises of approval and excitement when presented with his giant bowl of soup. Slurping was all we heard from him for the next fifteen minutes. Satchel was similarly smitten with his fried shrimp. There were 6 large, crispy ones served with a hearty serving of fried rice. Jiro's kids' meal was kind of crazy. He had TEN chicken nuggets. Satchel really wanted one, but couldn't stand the thought of trading away one of his prized shrimp. I assured him that Jiro would not eat all ten and he could have one if he was patient.
My coconut curry with chicken actually had shredded coconut on top, which I loved. The other ingredients included potatoes, green peppers, carrots, onions, and cashews. It was good, but not great. Maybe just a little bland. This didn't stop me from eating most of it though! Satchel also supplied me with his shrimp tails to eat. (It's my party trick.)
While I waited for everyone to finish, I moseyed up to the register to peruse the Polaroids. Immediately I was mad. There were several items that looked a lot better than they sounded on the menu! I went back to the table and sulked until the check arrived. Our total was $27.40, which is less than $7 each. Not bad at all.
On the way out I forced everyone to look at the Polaroids, but instead of sulking, they suggested we try new dishes on our next visit!