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Has anyone been to "red egg" in chinatown

s
Sunshin Jun 23, 2008 07:44 PM

Peruvian Chinese sounds interesting...

  1. Miss Needle Nov 3, 2008 09:13 AM

    We ordered a bunch of dishes from Red Egg:

    chicarron de pollo served with salsa de aji -- light beer-battered; well fried, but it wasn't what I expected as it was beer-battered chicken breast with no evidence of skin; the salsa was really good
    shanghai steamed pork buns -- doughy; on the bland side; lots of water chestnuts in the filling -- not totally sure if that went together
    camarones con huactay -- OK; wouldn't order again
    taro and cilantro dumplings -- good; freshly made and served piping hot
    fresh fish with ginger and scallions -- good; had better renditions but we were happy
    snow pea shoots -- good; not as much wok hai; sprinkled with browned garlic on top
    ginger creme brulee -- never received it

    We were looking forward to it after reading some of the reports here. And I was really happy to read about a restaurant that's trying to break the stereotype that all Chinatown restaurants are cheap dives. It's amazing how many people I meet who think that Chinese food has to be cheap and has to have rude service.

    The decor was definitely a step up above most restaurants in Chinatown. And the service was pretty cordial. While the waitstaff didn't speak English perfectly, they were trying. I don't have a whole lot of experience with Peruvian food, so I can't really say whether the Peruvian items were well prepared or not. I can only give you my opinion of the two Peruvian dishes I ordered.

    The fish I ordered was good, but with Red Egg's attempts of trying to be more "Western" with the service, they spent quite some time filetting the fish tableside so that by the time we received it, it lost the whole sizzle of the hot peanut oil over the ginger and scallion. I appreciate what they were trying to do, but I'd rather have my fish whole.

    There was one thing that happened, though, that kind of pissed me off. I ordered one ginger creme brulee. They mistakenly brought out the white egg custard. So I told the waitstaff. A few minutes later they brought out what originally looked like creme brulee. I took a spoon to it, and the brulee part was so damn hot that it stuck to my spoon in one gloppy mess! I'm no pastry chef, but even I know that you need to let a brulee sit for a few minutes so you have the juxtaposition of the crispy top and the creamy custard. Well, I then took a bite. It wasn't ginger creme brulee but the white egg custard that we sent back earlier with a freakin brulee top! They couldn't be troubled to make a new dessert so they tried to put one over on us. That was inexcusable. I called the waiter over and told him what happened and told him I wanted this to be off the bill.

    Sounds like their strengths may be in the dim sum. As I only had one dim sum item, I can't really say whether or not their dim sum is great. But after that dessert incident, I think I'll be spending the extra time going to Flushing for my dim sum.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle
      bigjeff Nov 4, 2008 11:21 AM

      damn that is wack! about the dessert. as you read, the place really excels at dim sum and not the other stuff but totally understand if you skip the place due to that really really bad judgment call.

      1. re: bigjeff
        Miss Needle Nov 4, 2008 11:56 AM

        That was indeed a pretty bad call. I guess they thought that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between ginger creme brulee and an egg white custard with a brulee top. Sad thing is I was really looking forward to the ginger creme brulee as I love ginger dan tats and have a very difficult time finding them.

        1. re: Miss Needle
          l
          Lau Nov 6, 2008 05:21 PM

          haha dude thats lame

          the exact same thing that happened to me at XO branch off lafayette...i ordered beef cheung fan and the guy thought i said chow fun (i guess they sorta sound the same), they brought it out, i explained to them that its not what i ordered and then they took cheung fan and took the pieces of beef and put it in the cheung fan, very lame

          1. re: Lau
            Miss Needle Nov 10, 2008 09:57 AM

            Oh, that's funny. Huge difference between the beef from chow fun and cheung fun -- the prior being seared and the latter steamed. Sometimes I wonder if the chefs actually think they can get away with pulling the switch.

      2. re: Miss Needle
        JungMann Nov 6, 2008 05:18 AM

        I'm saddened to hear you didn't enjoy your experience, but I am unsurprised as none of the dishes were among Red Egg's strong suits. The camarones con huacatay are not very good at all, nor are the steamed pork buns. The former come with a sauce that doesn't really complement the shrimp (which are somewhat mushy) and the latter are gritty and oddly crunchy from the excess of water chestnuts. There are far better dishes on the Chinese menu. As for the creme brulee, I actually would not be surprised if the ginger just didn't come out as pronounced as it should have in the custard. The coconut pudding and mango rolls, however, are terrific.

        1. re: JungMann
          Miss Needle Nov 6, 2008 05:29 AM

          Unfortunately, it wasn't ginger creme brulee. I've had ginger dan tats and egg white dan tats in the past before. And while I haven't had a ginger creme brulee before, I surmise it should probably taste similar to the filling of a ginger dan tat. A ginger creme brulee should have egg yolks in it as well as ginger flavor. It was definitely the same filling they use for egg white dan tats sprinkled with some sugar and torched 10 seconds before they served it to us.

          I did write the owner when I got home and he responded yesterday saying that he took it up already with the manager and the staff. So hopefully what happened to me won't happen to anybody else. That said, there are so many great restaurants in NYC. So it's doubtful that I'll be going back there.

          Yes, if one is going, I would say stick to the Cantonese Chinese side of the menu. And it's probably another good alternative to Dim Sum Go Go if one wants dim sum in the evening or late at night.

          1. re: Miss Needle
            x
            xigua Nov 6, 2008 09:49 AM

            I'm sorry to hear about such a bad experience. However, I was wondering if their ginger creme brulee is a derivative of the cantonese dessert (jiang zhi dun nai - mandarin pronounciation) or (gy-ong zup dun lai - bad cantonese pronounciation), that consists of ginger juice, milk and egg whites but not yolk?
            www.orderinny.com

            1. re: xigua
              Miss Needle Nov 6, 2008 10:37 AM

              As I have never had the ginger creme brulee at Red Egg before and as I'm not familiar with the dessert you're talking about, I'm afraid I can't answer your question. As bigjeff had the ginger creme brulee there, perhaps he can answer the question as to whether there is any yolk in the dish. The dish was not creamy at all -- it was exactly like the filling of an egg white dan tat and didn't have any of the dou ha qualities big jeff was describing earlier. It also looked exactly like the egg white custard tart I sent back earlier (well, with the exception of the brulee). And there wasn't even a hint of ginger in it, and I'm pretty good at picking up tastes in food.

              So bigjeff or anybody else who's had the ginger creme brulee there, can you please let me know whether or not there's egg yolk in it? The color of my ginger creme brulee was a slightly transluscent white.

              1. re: Miss Needle
                bigjeff Nov 6, 2008 02:15 PM

                it was definitely eggy but . . . I don't remember the color; it was definitely silky like do-hwa and definitely ginger-y but as I recall, very nice. sorry I couldn't be more definitive and again, sorry you had the bummer meal! shoulda stuck with all dim-sum! (but you know that already, now)

                1. re: bigjeff
                  Miss Needle Nov 10, 2008 09:58 AM

                  Well, it definitely sounds like I've got the white egg custard. Thanks for the description.

      3. x
        xigua Sep 26, 2008 09:43 AM

        I was there last Saturday for dim sum and was impressed, especially given low expectations. The food is in general better than the large dim sum houses, with fresh ingredients and very well made, both fried and steamed. Of course, I can't vouch for the Peruvian menu.
        www.orderinny.com

        1. JungMann Sep 26, 2008 07:48 AM

          I am surprised Red Egg doesn't get more play. Not only is the food good, but the half-off happy hour is one of the best deals in that part of the city.

          Admittedly the space is kind of weird and the cocktail menu has yet to be finalized, but the dim sum, the real star of the show, was much better than other board favorites I've visited. The har gau were wrapped in a delicate, translucent dough that offered a bit of toothsome resistance without replicating the glutinous quality I frequently encounter. Siomai was equally satisfying. Transitioning from seafood to poultry with the chicken and scallop buns did not disappoint. Generously filled, they were a hearty pleasure, though I tasted more cilantro than scallop. Fried pork dumplings were equally plump and juxtaposed crunch and chew. Though fried, they had barely a hint of grease while still retaining all the flavor of a good fry. The meat dishes, however, are what will draw me back. The plump and juicy beef balls were 1 inch orbs of deliciousness. Short ribs were good, some of our party took to gnawing on the bones to get every last bit, but the lamb chops were flavorful enough to fill your dreams with mutton and hoisin for a week. At $3.50 for two (during happy hour), they were a steal and will have me coming back again and again.

          5 Replies
          1. re: JungMann
            bigjeff Oct 28, 2008 07:04 AM

            ya I've been recommending the place constantly since eating there (my review above); the happy hour is pretty awesome it seems; from when to when is it? next time, try their steamed dumpling stuff, esp. the taro-cilantro one.

            1. re: bigjeff
              JungMann Oct 29, 2008 06:37 AM

              Happy hour is 4-8 Monday thru Friday. I went for brunch this weekend and was thrilled with the dishes I got off their daytime menu, though our one Peruvian dish didn't really do it for me.

            2. re: JungMann
              c oliver Jun 15, 2009 01:31 PM

              Hi, We're in NYC off and on again for a month and I've been interested in Red Egg for a while. Do they still have the half price at happy hour? Are you still pleased with the food overall? It surely does sound great.

              1. re: c oliver
                s
                Simon Jun 15, 2009 04:31 PM

                yup, it's awesome...4-8pm weekdays...check it out

                1. re: Simon
                  c oliver Jun 15, 2009 05:05 PM

                  Will defnitely go there. Yum yum.

            3. a
              anil Aug 24, 2008 08:50 AM

              I have tried dim sum on one occasion, and peruano on another. I have to admit it was relly underwhealming for the decor and presentation.. it was at best average.

              1. p
                prcentauri Aug 15, 2008 05:20 AM

                i went for dim sum right around the time of the opening... i found the place to be average to above average actually... i mean most of the chinatown dim sum is pretty mediocre with a few standout places. this is not one of those standout places but it is decent.

                1 Reply
                1. re: prcentauri
                  j
                  jeffffposc Aug 15, 2008 08:47 AM

                  I went to red egg recently and ordered most things off of the menu with a large group.
                  The earlier posters are right- there is very little peruvian influence, which is very disappointing. I thought the dim sum dishes were just ok, and the other dishes were mediocre to bad.
                  I would describe it as a dim sum place which is overpriced for the quality, and tries to get away with it by calling itself peruvian fusion (and being north of canal.)
                  I should've known to be wary of standard chinatown dim sum dressed up for a slightly different neighborhood. next time back to queens or sunset park...

                2. bigjeff Aug 14, 2008 08:14 PM

                  damn the reviews sound bad from our resident canto-experts; and here I am, potentially going there next sunday for a bday dinner. any suggestions or experience at this place? or perhaps a change of venue, someplace different in ctown.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bigjeff
                    scoopG Aug 15, 2008 03:15 AM

                    How many in your group? Have not been to Red Egg yet. Yogee Restaurant on Chrystie Street should work. Bright and clean, like the Shanghai Cafe which could be another option.

                    1. re: scoopG
                      bigjeff Aug 24, 2008 04:23 AM

                      ended up going on saturday night and, just want to say it was an excellent meal, ordering the way we did and expecting exactly what it should be: dim for dinner.

                      I went with a group of 20 so we took the two round tables towards the back and joined them like an 8. we mostly ordered dim sum and also ordered a few dishes from both the chinese side (vastly outnumbering the other) and the peruvian. I'll break down the dimsum first, and then the dishes.

                      the dimsum was excellent. the evening selection was smaller than your average place but everything was above average. everything was steamed/fried/made to order so we had the siu mai, the beef balls, the spring rolls, the seasfood siu mai, veal chops with black pepper, steamed, taro cilantro dumpling (excellent), the plain cilantro dumpling, fried pork dumplings, roast pork bun (came steamed instead), crispy shrimp roll, red egg's shrimp dumpling (big crystal dumpling), dumpling with assorted seafood and soup dumplings. all of it was fresh made, delicious, fresh ingredients, big chunks of meat and seafood. all the steamed dim sum items were great and garnished with such fancy things as roe and shredded beats. everything was plump, juicy and so wet that even our chopsticks pierced some items, as they hadn't developed a "skin" from being carted around for an hour in a typical place. the shrimp dumplings were excellent, the taro dumpling was really nice (the filling had diced vegetables, maybe pork, small taro chunks, water chestnut, then steamed in a crystal dumpling wrapper that also tasted like it had taro flour in it; very nice. the fried items looked good, (the fried pork dumplings were 3 to an order but big fat juicy ones, perfectly fried (not too long, no crust, but still with a soft skin). the pork bun was not so good, and the soup dumplings, while tasty and juicy, had thick skin. tasty ski, but thick skin. the beef balls were somewhat bland, but good. the veal chop was very nice, two chops with at least 5 or 6 good bites.

                      we also ordered peking duck sliders (basically, a half peking duck served almost traditionally, with 5 gua-bao), aji de gallina which was shredded chicken mixed w/ potato and peppers and other ingredients, served inside a fried flour tortilla bowl (fancy), sauteed hollow vegetable (the typical, and very nice), popcorn tuna, which was unbreaded tuna chunks deep fried, and served over sweet-sour-type sauce, but fresh. this dish was actually pretty nice. someone also had the peking pork chop ( also typical, but very nice). the other thing was a tempting seafood curry bread bowl, but that would've been difficult to share on a lazy susan. the shredded chicken tasted like chicken pot pie but with a spice kick; not bad at all. the rest of the peking duck came out on a plate, just as if you had ordered it from a cantonese bbq takeout, and was actually quite nice, although the skin wasn't really crispy enough.

                      service was good natured but rough and true to the reviews, basically locals, no imports. hot sauces and other condiments had to be requested but never provided with utensils but comically, a scissor was presented on a tray by our server, who used it to cut the spring rolls and other things in half. but, they were very attentive, really nice with us and able to accomodate almost all our requests.

                      and actually, everything I just listed was only for one half of the party, as we had split the food orders between the two tables. they did a similar thing, but ordered more dishes off the menu, instead of the dim sum which we overloaded on. they ordered some whole fish dishes, fried rice, and some other items which I couldn't identify.

                      for dessert, we had a few orders of the ginger creme brulee and the coconut pudding; both were excellent and probably the most fusion dishes on the menu; the ginger creme brulee tasted like the finest do-hwa, but with some egg, while the coconut pudding (served in the shell of course) was simple, fresh and delicious.

                      we ended up paying $38 per person for high quality dim sum, a whole lotta beers, and a ton of food, I had done my research on this board and others and stuck to the game plan of loading up on the dim sum and I'd highly recommend the place for large groups. oh and in case anyone remembers, there was a big splashy cantonese seafood place that opened here a few years ago; this place took it over. and, decor, while shiny, was actually not excessively over the top and was perfect for our meal, occasion and group. and, there were other large groups seated as well; we had a 7pm reservation.

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        Peter Cuce Aug 25, 2008 12:59 PM

                        I like it a lot, for New York. The dim sum is cooked to order and is very fresh, with some of the best har gow I've had in a while, great wrapper, perfectly cooked shrimp. The steamed rice rolls also seem much fresher than most other places. I went with a group and we tried nearly all the dim sum, and I think it's better than most places in Chinatown, except for Dim Sum Go Go.
                        Unlike bigjeff, I don't find the service rough at all. Instead they are quite professional and friendly, much more so than most restaurants in Chinatown. I like the high design decor, a nice change from the standard dim sum hall, but I can imagine it wouldn't be to everyone's taste.
                        I went once for dinner and tried the Peking Pork Chop, which was tasty and well-cooked, with good quality meat, something along the lines of a good quality orange beef, but probably not something I'd order again.

                        1. re: Peter Cuce
                          bigjeff Aug 25, 2008 02:38 PM

                          well I didn't have a problem or anything with the service, but just echoing some of the reviews concerning the "discontinuity" between the space-odyssey-2001 decor and the lack of "imported" waitstaff; in fact I like very much that they kept it local. staff was relatively young and energetic, although the very nice shrimp sui mai was bought over by a much older gentleman (perhaps the young owner's peruvian-raised father, even). for sure, I will be headed there again for dim sum; actually I didn't see the steamed rice rolls, which we would have ordered the hell out of! maybe only on the day-time dim sum? actually, I'd like to compare the daytime with the evening, because there is a definite price difference ($2.75 vs $4, $3.50 vs $4.50, etc.)

                  2. designerboy01 Jul 16, 2008 12:14 AM

                    I went there to get a copy of the menu. I didn't eat there because I didn't find anything on the menu that was appealing to me and I'm not into Fusion but more into Traditional dishes. $20 for 5 duck sliders kind of turned me off while they were selling in Flushing for .75 cents (hopefully better quality) and I think I was the first one here to link them to eating White Castle Burgers up on CH. It looked kind of empty and that wasn't a good sign too. I can't say its bad but the people I was with and I agreed to go with one of our "Tried and True" restaurants that night,

                    This restaurant's theme is not Chinese Peruvian. I actually think they are trying to be a non-traditional HK type of restaurant which I personally don't like unless I was there more for atmosphere than food.

                    1. D...DF Jun 25, 2008 12:36 PM

                      Chandavkl appears to be right:
                      http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

                      One of these days I'll get down there and confirm, but at first glance it looks to be a gussied-up version of a chifa.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: D...DF
                        o
                        Oliverstreet Jun 25, 2008 01:42 PM

                        The Peruvian angle -- while played up in the pre-opening press -- is seriously downplayed on the actual menu. There are only around 5-6 offerings on an otherwise extensive (mostly dim sum and small-plates) menu.

                        I went for lunch on Sunday and the whole thing feels rather incongruous. A semi high-end space, but pedestrian cooking. I wanted to like it! Perhaps it was in our ordering, but none of the staff seemed able or interested in helping us ferret out the signature dishes. We had duck with turnip cake, lettuce wraps, a couple of orders of dim sum dumplings and garlic spare ribs. Everything was very very heavy. I think the closest comparison I can think of for this place is Dim Sum Go Go, and I find their cooking to be much more flavorful than Red Egg's.

                        That said, I'll give it another chance. Maybe they just need some time to get going.

                      2. c
                        Chandavkl Jun 25, 2008 09:17 AM

                        Gayot review seems to indicate that it's dual cuisine as opposed to a fusion. There are Chinese Peruvian restaurants in Los Angeles (not that improbable of a combination as there was once a good sized Chinese population in Peru, many of whom have since moved on to the U.S.) that serve mostly Peruvian food and a few Chinese dishes with a Peruvian twist. I'm not sure if Red Egg is out of that mold.

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