Monday, October 3, 2011
Our server was chipper and full of smiles, if a little overwhelmed handling all the tables on his own. But he nipped about the room taking orders and then, as defly as possible, providing steaming bowls and platters to a diverse assortment of guests. It did take awhile, though, to get our orders in, and then for them to appear, but it sort of played into the whole lazy tropical vibe they have going on. Also, it's no quick Chinese take-out joint; there is heart and soul in this food.
We started off with a couple of appetizers (a market special of stuffed zucchini blossoms had unfortunately already sold out.. this is another reason I like to eat earrrrly!): a mountain of crispy calamari (the crust was exceptional, the squid a bit chewy) with a bracing dipping sauce redolent of lemongrass, vinegar and garlic, and a hearty canneloni-style dumpling filled with meaty wild mushrooms (we opted for pan-seared, but they were a touch too chewy and greasy: I'd recommend going for the steam).
For entrees we sampled a good variety: a meat, a chicken, a fish. The first bite of Pai Koot (Singapore-braised spare ribs) encountered an unfortunate hunk of gristle which was initially off-putting... but a second bite (and third, fourth, fifth, ad infinitum...) proved it an anomoly. The rest of the rack was rich, meaty and fall-off-the-bone tender, sided by a pillow of rice to sop the surplus of fragrant sauce, and smokily charred lettuce that held it's inner crunch while the edges of its leaves wilted into submission. Of the chicken dishes, we opted for ayam panggang, which unfortunately was inhaled by its orderer so I can only vouch for the fact that the meat was fork-tender and juicy, with a fragrant smoky char and looked sublime. And the velocity with which is was consumed is going to have to speak for its tastiness.
117 W. 10th St.
(Bet. 6th Ave. & Greenwich Ave.)
tel. (212) 633-0348
Posted by webdebnyc at 7:19 PM