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Tag: Asian

Qi

Pretty upscale Thai near Union Square.

What We I Had

I stopped in to treat myself during a long day of holiday shopping and ordered off the lunch menu.
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I had the Spicy Thai Basil with chicken and steamed chicken & shrimp dumplings.

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Not bad at all. Nice chunks of identifiable shrimp in the dumplings and nice spice to the main dish. Lunch was light enough I didn’t feel too heavy, and had enough vegetables that it didn’t feel overly unhealthy.

I also had a glass of good pinot grigio.

Decor

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Pretty with lots of abacus (abacui? Abacusses?) and sleek furnishings.

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Service

Nice and unobtrusive.

Overall Impressions

Not bad. This looks to be a good date night place and it was certainly a nice lunch break from fighting holiday crowds.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for solid food in a relaxing atmosphere.

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Momofuku Ssam Bar

Small plates-focused offering from David Chang of Noodlebar fame.

What We Had

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Honey Crisp Apple Kimchi with Maple Labane, Jowl Bacon, and Arugula – Good balance of sweet/salt/acid/heat. Crazy good bacon. Goat cheese like yogurt – a great addition.

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Fried Duck Dumplings with Romanesco and Sriracha Mayo – Really tasty little flavor bombs, but a touch salty. Nutty, rich, ducky nuggets of love.

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Veal Sweetbreads with Goat Cheese, Watermelon, and Almond – Perfectly fried sweetbreads; silky, velvety goat cheese; I want a bucket of the almond brittle; best watermelon I’ve had all year (compressed with lemon).

Decor

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Minimal with warm dark woods and natural light.

Service

Good, even though we snuck just under the quittin’ time wire.

Overall Impressions

Great flavors, an inventive menu, and a relaxed atmosphere make this a great spot for a quick bite or long meal with friends.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for no other reason than we love noodle bar just a tick more

Stir Crazy

Big chain (I’m guessing) Mongolian style BBQ & full Asian fusion menu in the Palisades Mall.

What We Had

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We started with the potsticker trio sampler – 2 each pork, lobster and chicken.

All three were winners. Nice and flavorful, prepared well with a bright little Thai style cucumber salad alongside to clean the palate.

This was accompanied by a trio of tasty sauces – coconut curry, fresh duck & ponzu.

[I’m guessing that by the time mine finally came out, I was too hungry for words. No picture.]

For a main course, I had the Thai BBQ Tacos On Parata (beef & chicken) – These were great, and that parata is addicting. The sauce on the beef was a touch sweet for my taste, but I was able to balance that out with lime. The chicken was better balanced out the gate.

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My DH had the Mongolian BBQ with chicken (aka Market Stir Fry) – We have sorely missed Mongolian BBQ over the past few years, having been spoiled by a glut of the stuff while living in NC. This wasn’t the very best rendition ever, but it certainly wasn’t bad.

Décor

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Wide open with kitschy oversized food sculpture hanging from the ceiling.

Service

Not the worst, but my food did take forever and a half to come out.

Overall Impressions

Not a terrible spot for mall food.

Rating

3 out of 5 for interesting flavor combos but clunky saucing.

Ippudo

Ramen hot spot near NYU

What We Had

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I had the Kasane Black – Authentic Kasane Tonkotsu (pork) noodles topped w pork loin chashu, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, red pickled ginger, naruto, scallions & fragrant black garlic oil. I added Nitamago (seasoned salt boiled egg). This dish was fabulous. The taste was delicate, deep, and robust all at the same time. I ate every bit, drank all the broth, and was sad I had no more room for Kae-dama (a second helping of noodles). My egg was a nice touch, and no added spice was needed – the black garlic was too interesting a flavor to risk drowning it. Get anything on the menu with the sesame kikurage mushrooms – they are lovely little flavor bombs.

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My DH had the Miso Ramen –
Soy bean paste flavored noodles in the original “Tonkotsu” (pork) based soup with pork chashu, cabbage, menma, ginger, and scallions. He also added Nitamago (seasoned salt boiled egg) and Bakudan (Ippudo original spicy paste). This dish was also fabulous. Rich, deep, complex & wholly satisfying. The spice was a nice addition here – that paste is really a standout in the world of spice additions.

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We split the Hirata Buns (pork) – Steamed buns with pork & spicy mayo bun sauce. A great way to start the meal, but Momofuku’s are just a bit better.

Overall our meal was near perfect – not a note missed or a taste out of whack. Words are falling short when describing just how good the broth here is. Pure comfort – rich, deeply complex, delicately balanced – a balm for the soul. For the expertise used in preparing your food, the price is beyond fair. ($15-$16 per bowl + $2-$4 per addition). Sure, you can get a decent bowl of noodles for half the price, but this is something better. Whole. Other. Level.

Décor

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Ippudo has a great vibe – young, boisterous, open – and the Beasties (among other great bands) in the sound system.

Seating is at large communal tables – not the place to bring small children or strollers. The decor is modern and minimal, yet layered and very interesting.

Service

Friendly & efficient.

Overall Impressions

This place is hands down better than Republic, and might even edge out Momofuku Noodle Bar in the pantheon of noodle houses. (ok, it does, but just by a little)

If we lived next door, my DH would happily let it make us fat (and I don’t think I could put up much of a fight).

Rating

DH is calling this his best NY meal ever. This includes WD~50, local & seasonal up the wazoo, celebrity chef vehicles, Beard Award winners and noodles from culinary luminaries.

I would say for noodles it is the best – I just can’t put it over WD~50s Eggs Benedict — I dreamed of that dish for over a year and half and planned a vacation around it before we lived here (it lived up to expectations and then some — unfortunately, WD~50 has overhauled their menu since — understandable, but sad).

Ippudo can’t help but be a 5 out of 5. Run, don’t walk. Wait in a ridiculously long line if you have to (and you might – lines are often crazy, though we lucked into a 15 minute wait on a Sunday late afternoon)- it is worth it.

Talde

Pan Asian fusion in Park Slope helmed by Dale Talde of Top Chef fame.

What We Had

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Pretzel Pork & Chive Dumplings w Spicy Mustard – Right off the bat, our favorite dish of the evening. Dumplings are always welcome, and it’s really rare to find a dumpling that wows. These are just such dumplings. Incredible depth of flavor, with a really cool slight pretzel aftertaste. Don’t worry, it totally works. The tahini mustard is not to be missed.

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Hawaiian Bread Buns with Filipino pork sausage, garlic vinegar mayo & pickled shallots – Another great dish. The house made buns were sweet & light, the sausage deeply flavorful. A knockout in two bites.

Hawaiian Bread Buns with fried fluke, garlic vinegar mayo & pickled shallots – This was the very best kind of fish & chips fish on a roll. Buttery, crispy, not too much batter – delicious.

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Singapore Chili Soft Shell Crab Banh Mi – Crazy good crab that actually had taste. So often with soft shelled crab, the crab taste disappears. That was not the case with this dish. This sandwich managed to taste just like a Banh mi (with the pickled carrot, cilantro and sturdy French bread) and yet somehow all it’s own (thanks to the crab and hot/sweet chili sauce). Another winner.

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Crispy Oyster & Bacon Pad Thai – This dish made my DH wow. I danced in my chair. Perfect char flavor and finally enough acid in a pad Thai that we weren’t scrambling for the vinegar sauce.

The oyster was great; a real gem, but didn’t quite mesh with the rest of the dish.

If you don’t like bacon, don’t order. The bacon is rich & double smoked – the first bacon bite informs the rest of the dish.

Décor

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Lots of reclaimed sculptural wood murals, cozy and snug. A great date or night out with a few friends place.

Service

Friendly, but really busy.

Overall Impressions

This was a knockout meal. We were fortunate enough to get to sit at the chef’s bar overlooking the kitchen, and the kitchen was running like a well oiled machine. It was also nice to see ‘he of the restaurant’s name’ working the pass.

The food was amazeballs; my only gripe is that by the end of the meal, all that salt really caught up with me and I thought I might explode. A small gripe to be sure, but one worth noting for the salt sensitive. No single dish left me thinking ‘too salty!’ This was a cumulative effect.

Rating

5 out of 5. Run, don’t walk. Wait an hour if you have to – it is worth it.

UPDATE (07.13) – The 5 still stands. Talde has become our go-to dinner spot (or brunch! Bacon & Egg Ramen with Buttered Toast Broth FTW) and the first place we take out-of-towners. On the weeks I don’t post a review, it is most likely because we went to Talde instead of somewhere new. Sometimes multiple times in a week. Plus, most times we visit, Chef is in the house and he is one of the most gracious restaurant owners I have ever met. Needless to say, he has won our support – and repeat business – time and time again.