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Mar 29, 2007 09:39 AM

Vong Review - Not so Great

I know it’s not everyone’s favorite but I was caught without a reso at the last minute and had this available. Old friends all of a sudden in town. And I figured I like Mercer Kitchen so how bad to this stable be.

The front staff was great, hostess extremely pleasant, no problem with a good table. I give the front staff a 9 on a scale of 1-10.


Drinks – My normal Pelligrino and a Chopin martini for my buddy. When he re-ordered they came back and told us they ran out of Chopin. What is this a “C” list resto, running out of a good Vodka. Can only give it a 2 for running out.

Sesame rice crackers with peanut sauce. Served instead of bread. And butter. Fair at best, the peanut sauce was nothing to write home about. I give it a 3.

Apps. – I ordered the raw tuna with avocado wrapped in rice paper. The rice paper must have been 40 pound paper versus thin sheets that I was expecting. The spice waaaay overshadowed the tuna, too much, too much, I could not really taste it. And the dipping sauce did nothing to the dish. I give this a 3 as well. Mrs Jfood ordered the shrimp satay. We both thought these would be grilled, but they came fried, our mistake for not asking. She gave the dish a 4.

Entrees – I ordered the Black Sea Bass fragrant coconut juice, parsnip purée and lime. A small piece of steamed sea bass, some puree and a quarter sized serving of pureed lime. The server poured the coconut juice on top. It was well prepared but was pretty flavorless. I give it another 3. Mrs Jfood ordered the Salmon poppy seed crust, lemon-chili syrup and grapefruit confit. This was a winner. The salmon had some flavor (obviously wild) and the crunchiness of the sesame seeds with the chili syrup was really nice. I give this a score of 8.

Desserts – We took a pass given the other courses. Cut our losses.

Service – Fair at best. Waiter was a little condescending, only showed up at the table to give us special, take our order and give us the check. Never came by to see how things were. I can only give it a 3.

So overall, Vong gets a 4 on the Jfood scale, which means it is a no-returner. To many other choices in the neighborhood.

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  1. Well, the board rings true! This place is really tired. It used to be a favorite 5+ years ago but it's way sloppy all around (food, table staff, decor). Thanks for the review. Although different cuisine, I enjoy Pampano (East 49th and 2nd Ave). The menu is quite diverse for Mexican--not spicy vs spicy offerings.

    1. I agree. I went there a month ago and had the tofu. Great quality tofu, but what they did with it was quite bland.

      And it's a shame you skipped the desserts - that was the only rewarding part of the meal.