Má Pêche

By grace.g.yang · April 12, 2010
Under: Asian,East Village,Korean,Lunch,Midtown West,My Life

Last week, I went to lunch with some friends at David Chang’s newest restaurant, Má Pêche. The restaurant has been talked about for quite some time; it’s in the Chambers Hotel and has a take out option that had a soft opening a while back serving bahn mi sandwiches, cookies, and soft serve ice cream. The actual restaurant opened last week and when we went, was packed with guys in suits from the office buildings in midtown, very different from the hipsters that crowd Chang’s East Village restaurants (another difference between the East Village restaurants and the midtown restaurant: we didn’t have to wait two hours for a table – there was actually no wait at all).

I hadn’t read many reviews about the actual sit-down restaurant, but my friend, Charles, grabbed a sandwich the day before and had really good things to say about their bread. Eunice, Connie, and I all picked dishes that we thought were interesting and then narrowed it down to four dishes to share. Starting with my least favorite – côtelletes de porc (newman’s farm, mo) – pork ribs, lemongrass caramel:


The pork ribs fell off the bone and the meat was very tender, but the lemongrass caramel was tooth-achingly sweet and made the pork seem like a dessert dish rather than a savory appetizer. Eunice and Connie both thought the sauce was a little on the sweeter side, but I don’t think they disliked it as much as I did.

Connie and I are big fans of tripe, so we ordered xà lách frisée – frisée, tripe, jowl croutons, poached egg:


The tripe is stewed for a long time so the texture is not too chewy or gelatinous (not like the tripe you’d get in Chinatown for dim sum). I was skeptical about adding frisée to the tripe because I figured it would wilt from the heat, but it actually made the tripe in its chili sauce seem less heavy.

My favorite dish from our lunch was ôc sên sauvage – wild burgundy snails, pork sausage, garlic, tarragon:


And when I say “favorite,” I mean the dish I didn’t dislike (none of the dishes were incredible, I thought they were all very good). The snails were absolutely delicious, especially with some crusty bread dipped into the garlicy sauce. Connie and Eunice both liked the sausage, however, I think I might be so used to chicken sausage that I don’t like the taste of pork sausage because it’s too greasy and heavy compared to the stuff I like. The sausage was topped with thinly julienned green apple pieces that made the sausage a little less heavy, but I would’ve liked a dish of just snails.

Our last dish, bun du riz (niman ranch) – rice noodles, spicy pork, sawleaf herb:


One reason I think David Chang is overrated is because I think a lot of his food is reproduced Asian food at a markup, like P.F. Chang’s (okay, I did not mean to be THAT mean, but seriously, if you purchased this dish in Chinatown, I think you would spend $4 MAX whereas at Má Pêche, we spent $18 on these rice noodles). Yes, I understand that he uses Niman Ranch pork but even then, there really is no reason his food should be so expensive. That being said, the dish was satisfactory.

After lunch, we walked by the raw bar to watch the chef prepare oysters and then walked upstairs to the bakery area to get some dessert. They no longer sell cake slices (to avoid staleness) but they do sell pie slices:


All of their cookies are individually packaged along the wall:


We ended up not buying anything because I was in the mood for soft serve but they only had salty pistachio and cereal milk and I don’t like either of those flavors (cereal milk, which is trademarked by David Chang, tastes like the milk from Cheerios + Life + Wheatabix…WHERE ARE THE LUCKY CHARMS OR KIX OR ANYTHING TO MAKE IT SLIGHTLY SWEET?!) While I’m not a huge fan of David Chang’s take on Asian food, I do like some of his American dishes and will be back to try his short ribs and skate.

Ma Peche on Urbanspoon


Reader Comments

I would like to know if you ever think something is “incredible” because I think you just complain about everything. You need to say some positive stuff once in a while.

Written By erin on April 13th, 2010 @ 5:25 am

Yeah. I agree with Erin. Just because you have a rockin’ body doesn’t mean you can’t think other people have rockin’ bodies as well.

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