I went here on a tip from a friend who really likes this place. A friend of mine made an early reservation and we came in to try it.
It's a tiny place in the east village, you can probably fit 12 people in it, but you're literally on top of each other (we actually shared a table with two other people). It's crammed with decorations and is kind of eclectic looking with red brick walls, a chandelier...sort of like someone's living room except with a bunch of tables. It does look sort of cool in its own way, doesn't feel like a restaurant.
There are four people working there, a cook, two servers (who i believe may also be the owners) and a busboy; the kitchen is literally on your way to the bathroom and you walk inches away from the cook.
The food is a modern asian fusion w/ some indian influence (the owners are indian i believe). I'm generally not a fan of asian fusion and this was no exception.
Here's what we got:
- watermelon feta salad, mint sorbet: this was one of those dishes that was way too modern and trying too hard. It's thin slices of watermelon with a mint sorbet on top and feta sprinkled on the side. The mint sorbet was kind of gross and was not what we were expecting at all. My friend ate one and thought it was gross, i ate the rest b/c i was hungry, but this was just bad.
- chili pork dumplings, grapefruit confit: these were ok, they were steamed dumplings with the confit and it was sprinkled with sev (sev is this indian crunchy things they use in chaat normally...hence the indian influence)....this was fine, but nothing special, i can get better steamed dumplings in chinatown for a $1 (literally)
- pickled ginger scallops, candied red chili: this was the best dish of the night as it was actually reasonably good. It was thinly sliced scallops with this chili sauce. I thought it was pretty decent.
- braised pork buns: these were again sort of asian fusion. These were mantou buns (seem to be all the rage these days...funny to me b/c i've been eating them since i was born basically) with a shredded pork topped with these crunchy things that look at like corn flakes (they usually use these in chaat as well). The buns were fine, just normal steamed mantou. The pork was kind of bland and just sort of blehh. The whole dish was whatever really.
We were still hungry, but decided to skip ordering anymore and ended up getting drinks / apps at Ten Bells. It's pretty rare I'm very negative on a place, I think I usually do a good job of screening, but this place was not good and I'm not sure what the hype is over this place (it got great yelp reviews by a significant amount of people), but i thought it was very mediocre and not worth taking your time to go.
here's the yelp review: