The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

New York City Eats: Mooncake Foods

We got off the train at Columbus Circle with our sights set on hanging out in Central Park for a couple hours, but it was just a little too cold and a little too rainy for our tastes.   Worse yet, those mega-giant donuts we got off one of those trucks didn’t keep us filled as long as we wanted.

Having recently written my post about restaurant sherpas, I had a plan for a reputable resource for a lunch recommendation.   My close friend and blogger The Winegetter not only has good taste and a keen sense for value, he knows me.  I trust him.    So when he suggested The Terrace at Jean-Georges, I knew that was the place to go. Better yet, it was right by where we were.

But as you can probably tell by the name of this post, we went elsewhere.
 
Mooncake Window

 

One of Boom Boom’s co-workers who moved to Manhattan a year swore by Mooncake Foods.  I tried to point out that The Winegetter has never steered us wrong and that this co-worker steered us wrong a mere 18 hours before.  And I also showed her that it was a good 15 minute schlep in the opposite direction of where we were going later.  But it didn’t matter.   He’s almost as good a salesperson as she is and he sold her on this salmon dish there.

I was encouraged by the fact that this place was as simple as can be and only had room for a dozen or so people.
Mooncake counter

 

Mooncake Foods is a small chain of four restaurants across Manhattan that serves what they describe as “Asian comfort food.”   What sets them apart from other Asian restaurants is that they’re focused on trying to make their food as healthy as possible.   In addition to the use of fresh and, when possible, organic ingredients, they also make as much as they can by hand – dumplings, stocks, and juices.   They also don’t use woks or deep fryers – everything is grilled, steamed, or roasted.

 

Here’s what we ordered

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Curry Lime BBQ sauce

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Curry Lime BBQ sauce

 

Miso-glazed salmon over brown rice

Miso-glazed salmon over brown rice

 

Lemongrass shrimp and rice noodle salad - Lemongrass marinated shrimp, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mesclun, Thai basil, cilantro, jalapenos, rice noodles, OIL-FREE Vietnamese, ginger, chili, fish sauce dressing.

Lemongrass shrimp and rice noodle salad – Lemongrass marinated shrimp, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mesclun, Thai basil, cilantro, jalapenos, rice noodles, OIL-FREE Vietnamese, ginger, chili, fish sauce dressing.

 

Curry chicken stew

Curry chicken stew

 

I really wanted it to suck badly so that I could say, “I told you so.”  But it didn’t, so I couldn’t.  I can’t really give it a glowing recommendation, either.  The pulled pork is no match for mine and the curry was bland.  While the salad  and salmon were pretty good, they weren’t anything that I couldn’t whip up myself without a second thought.   That’s not bragging about my cooking prowess,  it’s more that the menu felt a little amateurish.

I suppose that’s the whole point of comfort food, right?  It’s supposed to make you feel like you’re eating a home-cooked meal.   Everything was in the 10-12 dollar range, which is great for Manhattan and fits well with the simplicity of the food.

So in that context, Mooncake is worth a shot.
 

 

Click to add a blog post for Mooncake Foods on Zomato
 

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “New York City Eats: Mooncake Foods

  1. a2sicilian
    June 9, 2015

    You can’t give up anything from Jean-George with anything named Mooncake :). Last time we were in New York, for our fancy night out I ended up choosing Daniel over Jean-Georges. One of the biggest culinary mistakes, probably. Daniel was fussy French boring. I have one of Jean-George V.’s cookbook, have cooked from it many times.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      June 9, 2015

      I know, i know. I pribably would have liked Mooncake more if we hadnt passed up Jean-Georges.

  2. Salty Sweet Life
    June 9, 2015

    I think I feel the same way when I eat somewhere and think–“I can make this better at home”. Comfort food or not, I want something that blows me away. But, you are right $10 isn’t bad for Manhattan! Hopefully you’ll make it to Jean-Georges next trip (and don’t ever do that again)!

  3. thefoodandwinehedonist
    June 9, 2015

    Thats why i avoided Italian restaurants and steakhouses for years. Ive softened a little on Italian, though… Based on responses to another post, i think we may be in the minority. There’s a lot of people who are perfectly content with sameness. Oh well, another eeason why we rule, right??

  4. Denise
    June 9, 2015

    Great looking flavours. Where are the moon cakes?

  5. lolaguerrero
    June 15, 2015

    Wish I knew about this we were in NY last month. We will visit again next year so I will check it out.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      June 15, 2015

      Its worth a shot for cheap eats. Given a choice, id go back to Bassanova ramen in a heartbeat. Check out my review

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2015 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , .
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