The 'Pac Man' Shrimp Dumplings - RedFarm NYC
When it comes to food, I will try anything at least once (multiple times if we’re referring to oysters, which I still can’t get down with, despite my determination to feel #classy with those slimy sea creatures). Anyway, this adventurous palette of mine has lent itself to trying everything from bone marrow to pig ears and even a brief career as a “foodstagrammer” (see @le_gourmet_guru for more information).
In New York, we are faced with the ever-challenging decision to try a new place or return to your regular haunts. There are endless restaurants to try in this city (and it’s hard to go wrong), making returning to your favorite spots seems like a waste. However, sometimes, you just have to return to the old faithful’s.
Last night, I returned for the third time to one of my absolute favorite Asian Cuisine spots, RedFarm. Nestled in small space in the West Village, the restaurant boasts a menu full of classic dishes with a modern flair. From their 'Pac Man' Shrimp Dumplings (pictured above) to their special Black Truffle Omelet Fried Rice (drool), you can bet you won’t leave hungry. Accompanied by two of my oldest foodie friends, we arrived at the restaurant fresh from the office and eager to dig in.
The restaurant is quaint with the majority of seating at two long communal tables. We, however, were seated immediately at a 4-person booth and began scanning the menus with a level hangry fervor reminiscent of wild animals. Hey, a girl’s gotta eat, right?
We started with a bottle of Rosé from Washington State, and began to rattle off the items on the menu at Shoshanna Shapiro speed. We started with Shrimp-Stuffed Shishito Poppers, followed by the ‘Pac Man’ Shrimp Dumplings the restaurant is known for, Pan-Fried Pork Buns, Pork & Crab Soup Dumplings (see left), Three Chili Chicken and rounding out the meal with the carby and heavenly Long Life Noodles with Chanterelles & Shitakes. Each dish brought an unmatched level of umami that beyond satiated our palettes and our stomachs. Ultimately though, the standouts for us across the board were the soup dumplings and the chicken. It’s safe to say we left our plates spotless.
The divine food aside, my only critique of the restaurant was our server’s over-eagerness to only recommend the most expensive items from each category of the menu. I can respect that as a server, you have the ability to give yourself a raise by providing good service and increasing your bill, but by only pushy pricey dishes, it merely reduces the server’s credibility, particularly when the dishes don’t sound that interesting to begin with ($50 Lobster Noodles and $70-something Peking Duck? I'll pass). I may sound cynical but hey, we’re not moneybags over here. That said, all in all, our dinner was delicious, efficient, and food-baby inducing.
Do I love to try new restaurants and foods? Yes. But when I find something I love, do I have a hard time letting go of my favorite places to try those new spots sometimes? Also, yes. That said, at the end of the day, when you can’t get those soup dumpling dreams out of your head, sometimes you just have to return to the tried and true and that's just fine.