Cooking from the Heart
We are an Asian fast-casual restaurant that specializes in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese flavors. Our influences come from food that we ate growing up whether it be from night markets in Asia or neighborhood run mom and pop shops. We celebrate the use of sesame in our dishes because it is so widely used throughout the region of Asia and beyond. To make a Sesami bowl, all you need is a base (for us its brown rice), protein, vegetables, sauce and garnish.
WHAT MAKES A SESAMI BOWL?
We have the classic BBQ chicken which is a recipe passed down from chef Davis' mom. This dish was a favorite amongst many cookouts because of its unique sweet and savory marinade. The pork Bulgogi can be found widespread in many Korean restaurants. It's a combination of soy garlic sesame oil and Korean pepper flakes is a perfect vehicle to eat with our seasoned vegetables. Here at Sesami, we adore aromatics so much that we highlight them in our Hanoi meatballs. Made with love, cilantro, scallion, onions, and ground beef they taste like something out of South Philly. As for our crispy tofu, that was the only thing we ate for half a week straight at the restaurant! Here's how we make it. First dredged ½ inch cubes of firm tofu in corn starch then quickly blanched in hot oil. We then toss it in our Xian Jiang spice mixture of cumin, chili flakes, garlic, and salt.
Along with our signature meats are our vegetables. In Korean culture, various seasoned vegetables known as banchan are served alongside the meats and rice. These little side dishes are well prepared and served cold to cool the temperature of the rice and proteins. We love the idea so much that we decided to put our favorite vegetables to pair it inside our bowls. The vegetables have a lot of different flavors and ways of preparation. Some are simply blanched and seasoned with sesame oil. Some are grilled like our zucchini. Some, like our house pickles, are well… pickled. And some require a lot of care and detail, like our kimchi. Every vegetable and every Preset Bowl we offer is intentionally paired. One can say they are well matched.
Finally our housemade sauces. Our signature green sauce is inspired by the green sauce that is served alongside BBQ roasted meats in Chinatown. Its components of scallion, cilantro, and garlic cuts through the richness and also brightens the dish. Our Sesami ginger sauce pays homage to side salads served at Japanese eateries. FYI, there are full carrots that go into our sauce. Finally our sriracha and wasabi aiolis. Tangy, sweet, spicy umami based. There isn’t one thing that the sauce cannot pair well with.
Lastly our humble but important garnishes. There isn’t much of a backstory to it aside from the fact that we can eat them individually with rice. We invite you to try our preset bowls and be inspired in creating your own!