If you have had the mediocre mooncakes,( 月餅 yuebing) that are sold here in the East or the US as opposed to the real thing sold in China, do let that deter you from checking out the Mooncake Food restaurants here in NYC. Unlike the pale mooncakes that may come your way in NYC on Mid Autumn Festival, Mooncake the Restaurant is a dazzling display of Asian fusion cuisine, with the creators having ancestry of varying places in East Asia and South East Asia (Vietnam and Chinese), and perhaps one other.
I was so impressed with Mooncake on 359 West 54 Street just East of 9th Ave.. ( also 28 Watt St. and 263 West 30th ).
This place is amazingly comfortable to sit in and eat, with a long wide bar, and seating opposite, while the kitchen is behind the full length of the long bar. Bright and modern atmosphere in a small space makes for an intimate setting with the friendly staff and the cooks and of course the food.
They do many take out delivery orders, but the reason to go and have a meal is to see the nice presentation of food and have as many pints of Sapporo as you and your guests desire for the low price of $2.50 per pint of draft Sapporo.
That is not happy hour price, that is the price from open to close, and let us not be a lush, for the food is varied from a creative selections of the Bahn Min (9.50), Dumplings (6.50) Spring Rolls (5.50) and Heros at 8.00 (Grilled Chicken; Pork Chops w/ Mango; Smoked White Fish Salad and more all with add cheese for 1.00), as well as plates of food (entries), salads and a variety of noodle dishes that transcend one selection and are found in many of the menu selections including the salad selection (soup, with salad, as an entre, etc.).
Plates are at 9.50 and include Octopus with Spinach Noodles Short Ribs Shanghai Style, MISO GLAZED SALMON, and more.
I have to admit aside from seeing the cooks prepare all the different foods while sitting at the bar, I only know the CRAWFISH DUMPLINGS and CRAWFISH / SHITAKE MUSHROOMS WANTON (ordered without soup), and of course the pint offering of Sapporo. These are Shanghai Style Wonton (上海式的餛飩), and quite delicious. The other option is Peashoots and Roasted Garlic Wonton. This leads me to mention the Vegitarian friendly menu with Peashoot Dumplings and Other itmes on the menu.
The Crawfish Dumplings were so good. I have found that they are a balance between too thin dough skin and too thick dough skin. They are created in house and are fresh.
Dinner Specials at 16.00 change daily but consistent weekly, such as Grilled Prawn and Glass Noodles with Cilentro Mint Pesto on Mondays, and Garlic / Sesame Grilled Hanger Steak on Saturday.
A very nice array of Salads are offered at 9.50 with highlights using items such as Tofu, Shrimp, Seared Tuna and Arugula, Broiled Salmon with Mesclun (and lemongrass) to Asian Pear with Chicken Sausage.
For this consumer confined to the habits of contemporary western culture, if I am looking for shuijiao (水饺), Dumpling that is, this is on the top of the list. They have an excellent in house puree jalapeno hot sauce, for anything you order, and people ordering their dishes that are meal oriented items will not be disappointed in portions.
359 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
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