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On my recent business trip to NYC, the team had a very busy schedule. But we rewarded ourselves with food, we crashed without a reservation, Nobu 57 (which was so crowded and noisy like a Chinatown dim sum restaurant on a Sunday morning) and Spice Market (which was much nicer and we hung around till late).

I had a few hours on my own and managed to try two interesting eateries – Xi’an Famous Foods (see later post) and RedFarm.

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YS picked RedFarm on the upper west side for lunch on the day I was leaving.

The decor was deliberately non-Asian while it serves Asian “fusion” cuisine. The restaurant has another location in West Village.

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On their website, their story is:

… This new destination from dim sum master chef Joe Ng and Chinese food expert Ed Schoenfeld aims to be one of the most exciting and influential restaurants in the country. RedFarm brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern and inventive Chinese food and super-charged dim sum complemented by modern, rustic décor.

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We did not try the signature dishes (which received rave reviews online) but were very satisfied with what we ordered, some came from their daily special menu. However, it took them a long time to prepare the main courses, we waited well over 30 minutes. Not really acceptable in Manhattan at lunch time.

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Seabass and avocado tart to start. Whatever that was inside the tart was very tasty. These came quickly.

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BBQ’d duck omelette and black mushroom rice. The duck was lean and attractively presented in a wooden bucket with ample green veggies.

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My favorite was the grilled lemongrass pork chop and rice. Nicely charred especially the scallions, and the meat had a sweet taste. Very flavorful and big portions of meat, but there was not enough rice in my opinion. The big flavors and sloppy presentation are characteristic Chinatown style.

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Overall, the fusion menu seemed very well designed and executed but it is a bit on the pricey side – knowing how much something very similar would have cost in a pure Asian restaurant. Beside it is not that much more comfortable than a Chinatown restaurant. The dining room was 100% packed and very noisy, and two women who sat next to us decided to outshout the other patrons and we suffered.

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I almost forgot to mention the drinks menu which was very extensive, something that few Chinese restaurant could match.  I ordered the cucumber thyme cooler (non-alcoholic) and it was refreshing – must be a mega seller in the summer months.

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Decent food.  Something about this restaurant, possibly the inventiveness of the dishes, reminded me of this celebrity-owned place in Covent Garden, London (see our earlier post here).

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