Address: 9 Jones Street (btw West 4 and Bleecker), New York
Ever since we saw Harold Deterle competed in Season One Top Chef, we have been hoping that the talented chef would open a restaurant in NYC. Our prayers were answered when Perilla was opened in the West Village neighborhood about a year ago. However, we only got a chance to eat there on Tuesday night due to our very long to-try-list of other restaurants. But hey, better late than never!
The food is seasonal American. We ordered the Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly and his signature dish, the Spicy Duck meatballs for appetizers. As for entrées, we had the Roasted Duckling, Oil Poached Chatham Cod and Grilled Hanger Steak. Gan and I really liked the Crispy Pork Belly appetizer, and I thought the dish reminded me of the Crispy Suckling Pig dish from home, which we only eat on special occasions. The spicy duck meatballs with sprinkles of mint and a raw quail egg on it was delicious; But the dish would have been perfect if he makes it into a soup dish. The oil poached cod with sambal-like toppings was just ok. Personally, I thought it didn’t have the “kick” I was looking for in a fish dish presented like a Malaysian or South East Asian style Ikan Bakar (grilled fish). He could have been more adventurous with spices and flavors since he trained with some of the best chefs in Thailand.
The Roasted Duckling was cooked well, although the mustard greens, barley, pistachios, golden currants, crispy pork fat (secret to awesome Malaysian Chinese cooking) and ginger sauce did nothing to enhance the duckling’s flavor. All of us (including Eu Wen) agreed that the grilled prime hanger steak was the best dish we ordered that day. It was juicy, delicious and the red shallot puree and natural jus complemented the steak nicely.
I was surprised to find out that the restaurant was half empty when we went there, given the Chef's popularity. I guess most New Yorkers who did not follow the Top Chef series probably would not know Perilla and its talented Chef. On top of that, the restaurant's location is hidden in a quiet section of West Village. Harold really needs to step up and differentiate himself from the other chefs, perhaps utilize more of his training from Thailand and take more risks in his cooking. Relying solely on the “Top Chef” title is just not enough for New York City.
Local Creamed Corn with snipped garlic chives and Edamame Falafel with lemon-tahini sauce
Romesco Oil Poached Chatham Cod with black olive gnocchi, oyster mushrooms & summer zucchini saucesauce
Grilled Prime Hanger Steak with cauliflower creamed spinach, red shallot puree & natural jus