By Christopher A. Pape
There are few times that I can truly remember every dish that I’ve eaten at a particular restaurant. And there are even fewer times that each dish is remembered with such pleasure than at RedFarm – the ultra hip and deliciously sinful Chinese fusion restaurant in the West Village.
RedFarm brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern and inventive Chinese food combined with a décor that can’t be beat. From the first bite of the spicy crispy beef to the last scoop of mango panna cotta, my guest and I loved every moment. It didn’t hurt that the staff – hipsters and trendsetters – were friendly, helpful and interesting to talk to. Or that the space itself – with its communal table, moody lightening and rustic charm – was the perfect setting to enjoy the wildly popular creations of chefs Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld.
Apprehensive, as I usually am, to make sure I order the best of the menu – I conferred with the knowledgeable bartender who steered us in the right direction. We began with the aforementioned spicy crispy beef, which had complexity, depth of flavor and excellent texture; it was a portent of good things to come. We also ordered a duo of shrimp dishes – shrimp-stuffed shishito peppers and yuzu-wasabi shrimp that we both seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection – allowing the shrimp to be juicy, plump and tender.
From there we moved onto the acclaimed (and I promise delicious) dim sum. It is here that chef Ng talent shines brightest. We enjoyed the most famous dish on the menu, ‘Pac-Man” shrimp dumplings. The dish is comprised thusly, four dumplings of various flavors (crab, leek, lobster and bamboo shoot - all with shrimp) and a tempura fried sweet potato shaped in the form of Pac-man…chasing the dumplings to eat. It was a clever presentation, but most importantly it was a delicious dish. Other dumplings we enjoyed were the pork & crab soup dumplings and the crispy duck and crab dumplings. Each was a standout dish in it’s own right.
We eventually moseyed along to the entrees and ate a deliciously innovative three chicken chili that was spicy (but not overly so) and moist. Another favorite was the sautéed lobster, egg and copped pork. Many adjectives come to mind to describe the dish, but succulent is the most apt.
In the end, RedFarm is a restaurant that is both satisfying and hip – a rare combination in this city loves superficiality and pretense. My guest and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal and urge you to try it yourself! •
529 Hudson St.