By grace.g.yang ยท September 13, 2010
Under: American,Asian,Brunch,Burgers,Cheap Eats,Chinese,Drinks,Lunch,West Village

Taking a break from the usual Michelin Monday posts to write about a fun dim sum I went to over the weekend with David and Laura. Betel invited some friends and family to a preview of their new dim sum service and I was invited by a coworker. He ended up being out of town on the day of the reservation, transferred it to my name, and initially I was going with other coworkers but then they ended up having other plans. I invited David and Laura for a preview of their brunch since they were interested in checking it out. David and I in front of the restaurant:


It was their first day of dim sum service and they were testing out the menu and the service – everything was free except for drinks (I ended up ordering a carafe of yellow kiwi and pineapple sangria). We started with the salt and pepper cuttlefish:


Cuttlefish is in the same family as squid and had a very similar texture, but the preparation at Betel was exceptional; bits of cilantro in every bite and a special sauce with chili peppers that added just the right amount of heat to the dish. It ended up being our favorite dish of the afternoon.

Our next course was the wagyu steamed buns:


None of us were particularly fond of the dish; the wagyu was mealy and overcooked (and very sweet) and the basil on top tasted soapy to me. I also thought the buns were a little too soggy and the steaming could have been more even.

We had to wait quite a while before our next dish came out – the omelet with mussels:


It reminded David of an omelet we ate in Taiwan, but I thought there wasn’t enough seasoning (it really tasted like nothing, only a slight texture of egg) and the mussels were also very overcooked and rubbery.

Our final dish, the bahn mi burger, took quite some time before it arrived:


The burger came with sweet potato fries that were delicious, but the name of the burger was a little deceiving; I thought it would be more similar to a bahn mi sandwich than what we received. David liked the burger but we all thought it should’ve been renamed (the burger comes with pickled daikon and carrots, which is why I’m guessing they named it a bahn mi burger)

We really liked the space at Betel and didn’t even mind that the stools we sat on didn’t have backs (although David had to get up once or twice because his back hurt). I like the concept of Betel’s new dim sum brunch, but when I think of dim sum, I think fast, cheap, and delicious and this just didn’t cut it.

Betel on Urbanspoon

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