I usually rave about my favorite eats on the blog, but every once in while I stumble upon a restaurant that’s simply over-hyped. In NYC there is always a list of the new “IT” restaurants to frequent if us New Yorkers have the opportunity to snag a reso. Often these must-try restaurants deliver on their long lines and rave reviews. However that’s not always the case.
I for one found that out myself when giving Red Farm a try last week. Famed for its sustainable dim-sum Chinese food, Red Farm first opened in the West Village with waits averaging 2 hours since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. A new Red Farm conveniently opened in my hood, right on Broadway, so I thought I’d give it whirl.
I thought a long wait may be in store but actually we didn’t have to wait at all before being seated. I’m guessing the craze hasn’t seized the UWS, or maybe its new location is flying under the radar for now. The interior actually surprised me – casual American furnishing (checkered red table clothes) serving Dim Sum Chinese.
Frankly I thought the menu was rather overwhelming. There was a lot to choose from, but then again I guess that’s fairly true to a typical dim sum restaurant.
To start we had the Pork and Crab Soup Dumplings. I must say that these were interesting as Blake insisted we try them (Breaking my Paleo diet completely). Apparently you slurp up the liquid in these soup dumplings and then dip them in the vinegar-based sauce. They were good but would I go back for them? No. For my main I tried something off of the specials menu and got the Thai Curry with Mussels and Manila Clams. It was good, but to be honest, there was nothing extraordinary about the dishes. My friends agreed after finishing their Udon Noodles with Grilled Shortribs & Lobster Long Life Noodles ($45… yea not worth it).
Overall, yes the food is a better-composed, definitely more sustainable, version of Chinese food. But in my opinion the concept does nothing extra to dazzle. Yea I may be eating more refined Chinese food but I’m also paying much more for it. Isn’t Chinese an indulgence food? I’m not really looking to eat organic when eating Chinese, am I? I mean I can always go to Ollie’s if want a chicken dish that I know is white meat… rather than god knows what. Sorry Red Farm, I’m not an adherent of this trend. If my limited foodie insight means anything, I’m fairly certain this is one fad that will fade.