leave your inhibitions at the door
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.
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.
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
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.