I’ve always been mystified at Asian fine dining. Growing up, we had big banquet halls or private rooms in Chinese restaurants where you order lots of seafood and 10+ family-style dishes for a large party of ten. Focus was not so much on decor or service. It was the food and the quantity of it.
Now, I credit Nicole for bringing me into the world of white tablecloths, great service and beautifully plated food. I remember my firsts: a beautifully atmosphered Yamashiro in Hollywood, a not-so-impressive but tasty meal at Jean-Georges Shanghai. I wasn’t converted by any of those. Overpriced and not especially memorable. But then came the epitome that was Mr. and Mrs. Bund by Paul Pairet. That was my first ever exposure to molecular gastronomy, and to this day, I affiliate Pairet’s lemon dessert (which takes three days to make) as my turning point.
As someone who is really into cheap, ethnic food — I’ve typically strayed away from the Asian fine dining. But Spice Market really shone through. I’m not an expert in Southeast Asian food and I won’t pretend to be. And although the food is probably (most definitely?) not authentic — it worked. I’ll spare the commentary. I already did a piece on their seasonal specialties, so I’ll conclude this post with a slew of food porn that I haven’t posted up already. Favorites: pork belly, hamachi, mushroom appetizer, kumquat carrot cake and butternut soup.
403 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014