June 23, 2014
RedFarm is basically a standard Asian fusion restaurant but a little bit better. We wouldn't call this "authentic" Asian but it's sort of healthy organic farm-to-table nonsense which is obviously ideal and pretty rare as far as Asian food goes. Imagine the menu of PF Chang's, but more creative, not disgusting, and not embarrassing to announce you ate there on instagram. Bottom line: you should probably go.
We went to the Upper West Side location for an early pre-Bachelorette dinner so the atmosphere was lowkey while also being slightly kitschy and cutesy. The downtown RedFarm in the West Village is more sceney and harder to get a table. They don't take reservations at either but if you walk in when we did you will have no problem. I mean, you should probably go when we did, because no one wants to eat that much Chinese food before a night out anyway. There's also a big communal table in the middle and I can't imagine that being a fun place to sit on a Saturday night.
Trendy chic people in the West Village. Trendy chic and/or hipster families on Upper West. The thing they all have in common is that they like their Asian food classy and inauthentic.
For some reason there were like three different waitresses who brought us the different dishes. None of them were Asian. One of the waitresses spilled water all over one of us, so that was a fun bath.
Is it instagram worthy? Anyone whose been around the NYC food instagram block has for sure seen the Pacman dumplings and pastrami egg roll without ever setting foot inside RedFarm.
How likely that you'll see a celebrity? Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, Julieanne Moore, people who care about organic food.
Heels or flats? Either, depending on night or day and UWS or West Village location.
What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. JK. Dining with the parents, lunching with friends, dining with the boyfriend or a date if you're down with eating carbs in almost every dish on the menu.
Pastrami egg roll - This shit is really good and is made with Katz's Deli pastrami. In other words, the perfect thing for a Jew to eat on Christmas.
Eggplant with smoked salmon - This was a fried eggplant chip with smoked salmon on top. This tasted like a latke, and I was confused why this Asian food was so reminiscent of Jewish grandma cooking (but chicer) until google told me that one of the founders is Jewish. Figures.
Tuna with crispy noodles - Oh shit that is fresh. Has a lot of random ingredients that I wouldn't have thought to put together including blueberries, jicama, edamame and ikura. But it was fucking good.
Spicy crispy beef - Good but not that good. Hard to chew and a little dense, kind of like hard sesame chicken. It tastes orange-y but not spicy. Not a must-order. A lot of unnecessary grass on top.
Pacman dumplings - The colors of the different dumplings actually correspond to different flavors and are not just for kicks (unlike the dumpling's eyes). So surprising. The flavors are shrimp dumplings mixed with lobster, leek and mushroom, blue carb, and bamboo shoot (in that order, duh).
Soup dumplings - If you're a die hard soup dumpling fan then you should try this but we've had both better soup and better dumplings. The sauce is very acidic.
Vegetable and peanut dumplings - Very peanutty. A little chunky for a dumpling but we were still into it.
Vegetable fried rice - This didn't taste as unhealthy as I want my fried rice to taste. I sort felt like ordering a side of oil but then again I also kind of felt okay eating something Gwyneth would eat with her eyes.
West Village: 529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 // 212.792.9700
Upper West Side: 2170 Broadway, New York, NY // 212.724.9700