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A Flavor Pleasure Cruise Awaits in St. Johns Town Center

Skip the passport and let cuisine transport you to Asia

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St. Johns Town Center is awash with places to stick your fork into, but finding something new can be a challenge. If you’re done with burger baskets, and barbecue dressed in plaid, Rush Hour Kitchen is up to the challenge of serving something other than the same old, same old.

Rush Hour offers a broad variety of Asian fusion, so we took a little tour around the continent. From Thailand to Vietnam, they have a grip on the cuisine, at least the Americanized version, because everything was delightful. They don’t seem to believe in small servings, so be prepared for giant portions.

We started with rice wraps (veg friendly) and dumplings. The two hearty Fresh Salad Rolls ($3.90) were stuffed with veg and avocado; the little Pan Fried Pork Dumplings (six for $5.50) were crisp on the outside and featured pork, ginger, soy sauce and sliced green onion. Both were delightful.

In the build-your-own section, you’ll choose a base of rise or noodle (add $.50), and protein of steak or shrimp (either $8.90), chicken or tofu (either $7.90). Then it’s time to select a style. It was tough choosing between Spicy Bang Bang and Orange, but in the end I opted for neither and ordered Japanese Hibachi style with rice and chicken. As soon as the huge bowl of rice, veggies and chicken was plunked in front of me, I knew I’d made the right choice. It’s not quite as fried as tableside hibachi, but it’s a darn good alternative.

The Rice Vermicelli Salad ($10.50), aka Vietnamese Bún bowl, with fragrant pork and noodles was my top pick. This is the perfect summer dish. The base is long, cool rice noodles and slivered veggies like carrots and cucumber—perfect when the weather swelters. Paired with a large piece of lemongrass pork and a crunchy spring roll (I subbed shrimp rolls), it’s a riot of textures and tastes. Adding a splash or two of the fragrant fish sauce gives everything a new flavor and makes it that much better. Attack it with chopsticks for the full experience.

The tour wouldn’t be complete without a little foray into Thai cuisine, so I ordered a bowl of Green Curry with Shrimp ($11.90). I might have ignored the little flame on the menu, so, boy, was I in for a surprise. This is a spicy dish, really spicy. I was not expecting the punch it packs! After I mixed in a little extra rice, it was all good; the flavorful curry was a joy to eat.

Despite its fast food style name, Rush Hour really delivers on delicious—plus it’s a welcome break from the usual. While the menu is a little all over the place, there wasn’t a single thing I wouldn’t order again. I highly recommend the transcendental trip to the other side of the globe offered at Rush Hour Kitchen.
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