Had the DUCK at Cendrillon
- Jessica Shatan May 15, 2000 06:46 PM
Went back to Cendrillon, 45 Mercer betw. Broome and Grand and had the softshell crab entree again (see link) this time it was a bit too heavily fried and greasy but still wonderfully flavorful.
But I did try the DUCK that people have raved about and it was VERY good... cooked in a chinese style, and slice and presented that way, too. Practically a whole duck, I think, on a bed of the nicest (read: very tender, not so slippery) 1/4" wide cellophane noodles that had been tossed with a garlicky chinese stir-fry (mung bean sprouts and other veggies). Also came with 2 condiments: mango chutney (fresh) and tomatillo sauce--very hot but literally bursting with flavor.
Next time you're in the nabe, duck out of the madness that is SoHo and check this place out.
Another dish that is usually excellent at Cendrillon is the whole grilled fish, which they have as a special many nights. When we were there about 10 days ago, it was a sea bass, impeccably grilled with chilis and tomatoes, with a light yellow coconut curry sauce. Wonderful! We hae neer had a bad meal there, but this was a standout. We also had the manila clams and the beef tapa appetizers, and the duck, The duck itself was very straigtforward, not much in the way of assertive seasoning, but the apotheosis of flesh in crisp skin.
We also has Fore^t, a Belgian beer that was not on the menu and was certainly one of the best beers I have ever had.
re: Alan Divack
I have been a big fan of Cendrillon, so it pains me to mention this. A group of us had dinner at Cendrillon a week ago, and one person had the special - grilled whole red snapper. Upon taking the half-eaten fish home, and polishing it off for lunch the next day, this person discovered a multi-legged critter in the mouth of the fish. No, there are no such critters in this person's fridge! Perhaps it occured before the fish arrived at the restaurant. Unfortunately, this discovery was made too late to address it with the chef. From now on, when ordering whole fish, it might be a good idea to make it open up & say 'Ahhhhh' before digging in.
If you stop by around 5pmish (teatime), you can enjoy a traditional Filipino merienda, which is like a substantial snack before dinner time. God knows we Filipinos love our snacks! They have all kinds of delicious pastries and cakes, and also have an extensive list of teas.
I'm not as crazy about the actual entrees as some of the diners from the previous links. When I order adobo, I expect real adobo, not a glammed up version of the dish. So when I want authentic, I go to Elvie's Turo Turo or Manila Gardens when I'm in Manhattan, and any of a number of places when I'm in Queens or New Jersey. When I want atmosphere or am dining with someone who's picky about presentation (Filipino food usually isn't too pretty), Cendrillon it is. I guess it is notable that when Filipino writers have book parties, they always throw them at Cendrillon.
re: Jess Nepo
Thanks for the tip.
How much times lapses betw. Merienda and dinner?
I was kind of aware that this was philippino food "prettified and dressed up" but since I have very little to judge ot against and it tastes so good (and the place is so nice) I got into it... but I can see your point!
re: Jessica Shatan
Merienda is usually like 5pm, while dinner is on the late side (much like the Spanish time for dinner)--around 8pm. But any time is the right time for Filipino barbecue, which you may have sampled at any of a number of local street fairs. The barbecue is best described as a few juicy chunks of marinated pork on a stick, marinated and charred with crispy bits. The flavor is piquant and a little spicy, best washed down by some beer. YUM!