Say you're a Chinese-American businesswoman, running Cleveland's premier Asian market. Your partner retires, you move the store down the street, and you give it a new name. It all sounds perfectly reasonable. Still, we can't help chuckling over King Chung's decision to change the name of her popular market from Tink Hall to Tink Holl (rhymes with "stinkhole") when she moved from Asian Plaza to Man Kam Plaza (1735 East 36th Street) in the spring.
No matter how you spell or say it, though, the new store is a real find. Even if you're clueless about the culinary role played by cuttlefish balls, squid nuggets, or canned mangosteens, there are scores of enticing ingredients here. We were particularly awed by the stunning variety of Asian sauces: Fish sauce, plum sauce, duck sauce, sweet chile sauce, hot bean sauce, black bean sauce, soy paste, nuac cham, hoisin, and ponzu are just the ones we can remember.
There's also live fish and seafood, sushi-making supplies, teas, a vast array of dried noodles, and porcelain and melamine dinnerware. Many of the products are beautifully packaged and would make an impressive addition to a food-themed gift basket. Tink Holl is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Spare change . . . Beginning this weekend, the Wine Room (2317 Lee Road) in Cleveland Heights unveils a sophisticated new twist to its menu: Owner Raj Singh and Executive Chef Mark Wilson have installed a collection of tapas-like starters, nibbles, and desserts. Among the offerings will be chilled yellow-tomato soup with crème fraîche and chives ($2.95); seared lobster skewers with tangelo-mint aïoli ($5.50); a sharing-sized platter of Syrian flatbreads with kalamata-olive tapenade, cherry-tomato-and-garlic relish, and eggplant-and-golden-raisin caponata ($9.25); and chocolate fondue for two ($6.50). Tasty as they sound, the new dishes are only temporary: Long-term plans call for expanding the wine bar into a full-service eatery, with an upscale menu of burgers and bar foods.
Meanwhile, the Brass Tap Bar & Grille, Wilson and Singh's tony Wickliffe sports bar (30829 Euclid Avenue), is set to debut next month. In spring, we reported that it would "channel a Big Apple vibe, complete with N.Y.C. memorabilia and a Wall Street-stock-style beer-ticker, with prices that rise and fall throughout the evening" ("Big Apple to the Core," May 18). Turns out that concept rankled more than a few Cleveland sports fans. We put the bug in Wilson's ear, and next we heard, Singh had dropped the N.Y.C. motif as "too limiting." That's putting it politely.
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