Caveat, I visited Red Farm during their opening week so growing pains are expected. However, my meal was so dispiriting I barely wanted to review it.
Highlights - The restaurant is welcoming and rustic but still elegant. There are earthy touches such as hanging plants in the window. The decor is very appealing and the host is very pleasant. Service was efficient and commendable given the newness of the restaurant.
The crispy beef was flavorful with some heat and crispy, but neither warm nor cold. Presentation was inconsistent, several tables ordered it and some had lotus chips and red peppers, others did not.
The pac man dumplings was visually pleasing and well executed. Each dumpling was unique in texture and taste. The avocado was a pleasant surprise and the sweet potato always welcome.
The pastrami egg rolls are better than the ones at Food Parc. Crispy and fresh, they were appealing with the mustard sauce.
Lowlights - The soup dumplings were one of the worst iterations I've tasted with thick doughy, dry skin and awful crumbly filling. I was aghast. The soup dumplings at Chinatown Brasserie are leagues better which makes this beyond strange. It was so amateur I could hardly believe it.
Shrimp and peashoot dumplings, the shrimp were overcooked.
The entrees, severely problematic. The shortrib dish was unexpected in execution. I was expecting something slow cooked. It was sauteed strips of shortrib, tough and chewy and the sauce was overwhelmingly, inedibly salty. I sent it back. Truly, inedible. If you ever ate an entire party size bag of potato chips as a child, you've experienced what I call salt burnout. That's what I achieved with one bite of the shortrib dish.
The three pepper chicken was completely crazy. It was nothing like three pepper chicken, it was some sort of Americanized kung pao chicken. Three pepper chicken does not have peanuts. It was too SWEET, and had no ma la, no szechuan peppers. It was quite simply not three pepper chicken. It was bad kung pao chicken with good ingredients.
I am a Joe Ng devotee and I waited with such anticipation for Red Farm. I truly love Chinatown Brasserie and had high hopes for Red Farm but it is a hot mess.
Some items are just AWFUL in multiple ways. Some of the dishes just don't make sense and worse are poorly executed.
Such a lovely space and so much potential. Such a talented chef and I have hope that he can turn it around with some focus on consistency and authenticity.
380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014