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Obviously, the night needed to start out with a drink, and we made a beeline to Middle Branch‘s table, who was there to serve up some much needed strong cocktails. A slew of other drink sponsors were on hand, including Sapporo (with an awesome beeramid), Singha, Hiro Sake, Bombay Sapphire, Johnnie WalkerTito’s Handmade Vodka, Crème Yvette, World Sake, and VeeV Spirits.

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One theme of the evening was soup, fitting for the Fall weather. Barn Joo served a skewer of braised beef short rib over a bowl of winter squash soup. Separately they were fine, but eating them together really enhanced the taste of the meat. Phillipino restaurant Maharlika served sayote soup with beef and toasted garlic. Thalassa served up cups of lobster pumpkin bisque kataifi.

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For some more traidtional dishes, Jin Ramen doled out small bowls of miso ramen, the soup filled with sweet corn, leeks, scallions, sprouts, bok choy, and chicken sausage and pork belly for hearty, meaty flavors. Legend had some traditional Chinese dishes, such as spicy sechuan noodles, sautéed string beans (with olive leaf paste), mixed tofu with red and green peppers, and spicy diced chicken. Yunnan Kitchen served incredibly tender spiced beef, topped with black garlic and poppy seeds.

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