Resturant Review: Spice Market
Restaurant: Spice Market
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Lush or Lacking?: Lacking
Personal favorite dish: Probably dessert
I am a huge fan of master chefs that have a myriad of exquisite restaurants located in prime locations – obviously they’re doing something right. Jean-Gorges is one of those guys and Spice Market is one of his culinary concepts creations. His other NYC restaurants include Nougatine, ABC Kitchen, Perry Street, JOJO, The Mark, among others. This restaurant King badass has made himself tremendously well known among foodies particularly for his 3-Michellin star rated restaurant named after, you guessed it, himself. Humble, I know. I always feel awkward sneaking a camera into a restaurant that’s THAT nice, but I did manage to capture a few images at his less exorbitantly expensive but near equally delightful Spice Market.
Spice Market is a charm. Located in the heart of Meatpacking, one would be quick to assume this place is swanked out. To my surprise, this place was fancy but not pretentious, expensive but not uptight. The restaurant is Asian-inspired and it’s a bit like entering a temple when seated downstairs – I’m sure they did this on purpose as an innuendo to the food and wine healing the soul or something. In addition to this, in the evenings the lighting is dimmed to such an extreme that you can eat and drink as much as you want and people can barely see you.
I was seated downstairs with family in a private seating area (pictured above) that was cushiony, colorful, and isolated – loved it. This seating situation was ideal since we had a party of 6 and needed the extra leg room. The waiter immediately greeted us and entertained us to some wine – we obliged. I also treated myself to a specialty cocktail called the Ginger Margarita… twice. It was a tequila-based cocktail with ginger and lime. The ginger spice component was a total win.
As an appetizer I enjoyed the Tuna Ribbons with chili tapioca, Asian pear and lime. I enjoyed this as much as I’d enjoy any raw tuna dish, so nothing struck out to make the dish very distinct. Also, I find that people have to have a liking for this type of food, and I do occasionally. Next up were the entrees. The plates are designed to share so we ordered a vegetarian dish, two fish dishes and a meat.
First up was the Sea Bass with cabbage, water chestnut, and cucumber. This was hands down my favorite meal of the night. The flavors were subtle yet evident and I loved the touch of chestnuts – brought an earthy feel to the dish. The second entree I tried was he Nonya Seafood Laksa, which is basically a stew of shrimp and scallops. I’m usually a big fan of both fish but I’m not so into pools af sauce so my “unbiased” opinion is that this dish would have been better if served after the marination. Next up was the Wok Charred Eggplant with sweet chili glaze and peanuts. I’ve never had an eggplant gone wrong so I’d call this entree paired with the bass a bi-winner. Last up was the Red Curried Duck. Though I did not partake in the devouring of this meal, it appeared to me that the duck was succulent because the ladies were near fighting at the table over it – I kid, we’re too classy for childsplay, of course. But really, the duck was another total winner (tri-winning!).
Last up were the desserts. We ordered the Thai Jewels And Fruits with crushed coconut ice, and Pandan Cake with toasted coconut ice cream. The former tasted a but dull but the latter was surreal. I melted into the kulfi and the sweet coconut flakes textured the dish to perfection.
After three hours of eating, we finally packed up and headed home. In all I’d say that I’ve had better Jean-Gorges experiences, but would highly recommend checking out his Asian twist and visiting this restaurant for the heck of it.
FASION RECOMMENDATION: Dressy Casual