Address: 202 Centre Street, New York
There is a new Chinese restaurant in town call Red Egg, and the food is awesome! Red Egg brands itself as a Chinese/Peruvian restaurant, so you can also find Peruvian dishes such as Chicharron De Pollo and Ceviche there. But I am definitely more interested in the Chinese food.
The dim sums were one of the best dim sums I have had in the city; they were more refined and tasty, you can tell after a bite that alot of care went into making each dim sum dish. I recommend the steamed shrimp rice roll, fun gaw, stuffed tofu, steamed spareribs and fried pork dumpling. The steamed fun gaw was very similar to the ones my grandma used to make. So good.
Gan and I enjoyed the food there so much that we went back again for dinner tonight and we liked it even more now. We ordered the "secret" sauce rib eye steak, which the waitress told us candidly that the chef would not disclose the type of sauce used when asked, mushroom & tofu and a bunch of dim sums as appetizers. Can't ask for a better Chinese dinner then this. Service is really nice too.
Address: 152 W 49th St, New York
If I live or work in Midtown area, I would probably go to Izakaya Hagi after work, every day. It is not that the food there is out of this world, or that the drinks will blow your socks off. There is just something about the atmosphere, the food and the drinks, which reminded me of Tokyo, my favorite city in the world. Like a true izakaya, Hagi serves yakitori, sashimi, rice dishes, stir-fry dishes and tons of sake, shoju and beer. The yakitori (we ordered chicken skin, chicken, meat balls & pork belly) are not the best compared to those at higher end yakitori places such as Yakitori Totto, but definitely better than Yakitori Taisho. I don't usually see Bonito sashimi at many restaurants, which prompted me to order a plate, and my conclusion was that Bonito is way too fishy to be eaten as sashimi. I do love the fried gizzards, kara-age style (marinated in ginger juice and then deep fried) and the stir-fried pork belly with bean sprout, as well as garlic fried rice. As for the drinks, we thought the Ume (plum) Beer and Tropical Beer were interesting and tasty, and the yuzu sake was very refreshing. We will definitely go back there again.
Note: be prepared to wait at least 40 minutes for a table, even on weekdays. They don't accept reservation.
Address: 176 Perry Street, New York
Jean Georges' less formal and supposedly less expensive Perry Street restaurant was the third and final restaurant we went to during NYC restaurant week. This is also the restaurant which I had reserved for the biggest group - 9 people in total. I am not sure how "hot" the restaurant is, or still is, but I was able to get a table for 9 people about one month ago.
It's hard not to notice those transparent minimalist apartment buildings driving by the downtown area of West Side Highway. But I only found out on the day of the dinner that one of these buildings actually houses Perry Street restaurant. Perhaps like many first timers, Gan and I thought the entrance to the residential apartments was the entrance to the restaurant since there's no sign outside to let us know otherwise. And obviously, we don't look we live there and were shooed off "politely" by the doorman to the restaurant next door.
Before Perry Street, we had been to a number of Chef Jean Georges' restaurants including his flagship restaurant Jean Georges, his Soho restaurant Mercer Kitchen, and his fusion restaurants Spice Market and Vong. Other than Vong, we were not extremely impressed by his restaurants. But I enjoyed the food at Perry St, and thought the restaurant week menu was done pretty well (limited menu, but done well). I really love the calamari appetizer with yuzu dipping sauce (a side order), the heirloom tomatoes & mozzarella salad and the Lemon flan & sorbet dessert. The Grilled Hanger Steak which Gan ordered was delicious too.
I noticed the waiters and waitresses at higher end restaurants are often less enthusiastic about serving customers during restaurant week. The waiter at Anthos behaved that way, and so did our waiter at Perry Street. Not to say that they were rude or anything, but a smile or some enthusiasm while talking our orders/serving us would be nice. Despite the slightly snobbish service/environment, the food at Perry Street did live up to my expectation. I definitely want to go back again to try out its regular menu.
Crispy Calamari with Yuzu Dipping Sauce and Sesame
Lemon Flan and Sorbet Dessert
Address: 36 West 52nd Street, New York
Gan is definitely more familiar with Greek food than I am. I have only eaten at Greek restaurants once or twice, so I am not knowledgeable about Greek food, which makes it difficult to review the food at Anthos. But then again, according to Gan, the menu at Anthos aren't exactly Greek; just that the dishes incorporate some form of Greek ingredients such feta cheese, olives, grape leaf etc. One thing for sure, the food at Anthos was tasty and the portions were generous, considering it's the restaurant week menu.
I really liked the dishes that Gan chose - mussels and calamari with couscous and milk fed chicken. I thought those two dishes were very unique and flavorful, and surprisingly refreshing. I didn’t enjoy the arctic char dish that much, thought it was quite boring actually and I didn't like the feta cheese on the fish. Overall, Gan and I had a great time dining at Anthos, although I felt that the restaurant was slightly overhyped.