Cendrillon closed in March, priced out of SoHo, and with it went Manhattan's only option for upscale Filipino fusion. Now its owners are back in business at Purple Yam, which opened this month in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. As before, much of the menu is a celebration of the pig. Elaine Snutteplutten loves lechon kawali, crispy piglet belly with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce.
While Filipino food is the starting point, the chef and co-owner, Romy Dorotan, has always ventured into other Asian cuisines. Here he's off on a serious Korean tangent. Korean-style meatballs are delicious, Elaine says, with clean, spicy flavors. They're served as sliderlike bites, tucked into bread made with purple yam flour and served with kimchee. Vegetarian bibim bap (with squash and shiitakes), made with a short-grain heirloom rice from the Philippines, is flavorful and surprisingly light. In a town where so many overhyped newcomers disappoint, Elaine writes, "this is one new restaurant that didn't—at all."
gnosh enjoys the vegetable green curry, goat curry (with rice pancakes), and kimchee fried rice, but cautions that portions can be small. "It is pretty good, but I walked out with a surprisingly large check feeling kind of pleased but not totally sated."
Purple Yam [Ditmas Park]
1314 Cortelyou Road (between Rugby and Argyle roads), Brooklyn
Board Link: Purple Yam