This weekend I redeemed a Real Deal voucher at Passport Restaurant and Lounge in Ann Arbor.
Yeah, yeah, I know the place really is a mixed bag when it comes to other diners’ reviews. But we figured it was worth trying, for half-off.
The huz and I were both starving Friday night after work, so we went for a relatively early dinner. We were promptly greeted, seated, and waited upon, all by pleasant staff members. There were very few other patrons at the restaurant at this time, so it was rather quiet, with serious classical music playing. I believe there is also a bar area on the other side of the restaurant that we did not get to check out during our visit.
First off, the menu is rather scatterbrained which honestly usually concerns me. Passport doesn’t know what it wants to be. Fine dining? Sushi? Thai? Swiss Onion Soup? Sea bass? I think they’re trying just a tad too hard here.
Well, so anyways, as an appetizer we decided to split two sushi rolls – Philly and Spicy Tuna. I thought the sushi was good! Admittedly I’m a huge amateur in the world of sushi, but I had no complaints about the sushi, and would order it again if I were to return.
My dinner entrée was the Thai Curry Coconut Milk Rice Bowl, to which I added shrimp. I enjoyed this! The sauce was really rich, creamy, and flavorful, with a medium heat level, as I requested. (I should stop wimping out at restaurants and start ordering “hot” heat levels!). The Thai Coconut Curry sauce covered an abundant quantity of vegetables, primarily multi-colored bell peppers and scallions. I was pleasantly surprised by the generous amount of shrimp in the dish as well, but having the tails removed would have made the process of eating this dish a little easier. The other half of my bowl was a large serving of rice, with which I mixed with the sauce and vegetables as I made my way through the dish. I know this was “Thai curry” and not Indian, but I still would have liked to maybe see a Basmati rice rather than plain white rice with the dish. All in all, this was really tasty, and I took about 1/3 home as leftovers.
This huz ordered the very affordably priced chargrilled ten-ounce ribeye steak with garlic mashed potatoes and a side of julienned vegetables. He said his steak was very good and basically devoured this plate like a caveman. (PS – This is a pretty generous cut for a supposedly ten ounce steak, amirite?).
Dessert was agreed upon! To complete the Passport experience, we ordered a bread pudding dessert with a creamy rum sauce. Normally I am not a bread pudding person, and this was the huz’s choice, but I must admit I rather enjoyed it! First off the portion was HUGE. The slabs of bread were dense and mildly sweet. Tasty!
Overall we had a pretty good experience at Passport. To summarize:
- Service was good. Friendly staff.
- Happy Hour specials – we had a discount on our sushi rolls, and enjoyed $3 glasses of wine.
- Prices were fairly reasonable. Some of the entrée prices are rather steep, but we ordered the more moderately-priced items. Also our food tasted good.
- No waiting! We were seated right away.
- Quiet noise level means we can actually have a conversation without shouting over the table.
- Atmosphere is lacking. This is the primary issue with the place. No liveliness, and classical music wasn’t really my Friday-night-dinner style.
- Fruit flies were buzzing our food which was not fun, and moderately concerning.
- Scatterbrained menu. Trying too hard to be too many things. Passport is having an identity crisis. Some might argue that the large variety is a pro, not a con; however, I maintain that the best restaurants usually have a shorter menu of items in which they specialize.