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MA PECHE = NO!

David Chang, I love your restaurants and food and frequent them often. I happily write reviews of the various dishes, but it's really not worth my time here.

I went to Ma Peche for an anniversary dinner last night, excited to try another offering from you, and was stunned that you're selling this food to people. Every dish was severely lacking in flavor, balance, interest of any sort - to the point that they tasted BAD. In fact, the octopus salad, steak frites, and trout were so actually UNAPPETIZING that by the end I was literally taking huge bites to make the meal end more quickly. After leaving, we had to chew gum and rush home to brush our teeth because we were both feeling gross.

This dinner last night was easily the worst meal my husband I and I have ever paid for.

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Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

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  1. why would you continue to eat it if it was so bad? Did you say anything to the manager?

    1. I've read very mixed opinions about Ma Peche. If the memory isn't too painful to revisit, would you mind describing -how- some of these dishes failed, particularly the steak frites? Were they the 'frites' fashioned from rice?

      http://nymag.com/bestofny/food/2011/s...

      Originally it seemed you were faulting the dishes for being bland, but then they seemed to taste actively bad. The flavours must have been extremely unpleasant to require chewing gum and toothbrushing.

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      Ma Peche
      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      3 Replies
      1. re: Winterpool

        I had a wonderful meal there recently and would have described it completely differently. The flavors were wonderful and deep and complementary. All of the dishes I ordered, however, were different from yours.

        1. re: Winterpool

          Where have you read bad reviews for the overall impression to be "mixed"? My impression is that on Chowhound, at least, opinions of the food there are largely favorable. Some people dislike the atmosphere, but they often still like the food. I think very highly of it myself.

          1. re: Winterpool

            I would also love more details on why you didn't like certain dishes. I can't tell whether you meant the dishes were bland or unappetizing and gross-tasting. I'm genuinely curious - I've only been to Ma Peche once and didn't have any of the dishes you had, so I don't have an opinion on them either way.

            Next time though, I suggest you stop eating and speak to the manager instead of taking huge bites of unappetizing food!

          2. My experience of Ma Peche is so at odds with yours that I looked at which places you've liked. You've posted positive things about the Indian retaurants on 6th and several restaurants along 9th between the mid-forties and low-fifties. I actively dislike both areas (with three or four Hell's Kitchen exceptions, none of which you mention). It appears our tastes are very different.

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            Ma Peche
            15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. I have had some very good meals at Ma Peche but i have to agree that the steak frites there was lacking...at least for my tastes. The whole sous vide preparation seemed to fall flat for me as the steak was a chewy and fatty mess. There was not much edible meat on this cut. I recognize that it is a ribeye and fattier than a strip but this was just a hunk of fat.

                the pork chop on the other hand is fabulous.

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                Ma Peche
                15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: Yaxpac

                  You're right - I should have been more clear, and I absolutely should have called the manager over, but my ability to explain the problem really wasn't there - I would have been too vague. Other than "I'm just not enjoying this". Which is probably fine.

                  It's hard to describe what made the food so bad. And I was very hungry, which is why I ate the it. I think the more-than-half-empty dining room probably sent the message to the staff more than my plate.

                  So, more than tasting like "bad something wrong" it was just..unappetizing, and then by the end of the meal I felt icky, instead of happily satisfied. Or even normally satisfied.

                  And yes, I like the occassional cheap Indian meal on 6th, and some places on 9th, but I also love Momofuko Noodle, Ssam, Daniel, Morimoto, Babbo, and other higher-end, better-quality restaurants that might be more in line with tastes in this thread.

                  Anyway! Let's see. The summer roll was fine. Nothing special, but fine. The octopus salad, touted by the disinterested waitress as "great", had barely-there, too-thin slivers of octopus that couldn't stand up at all to the huge pieces of cilantro. The large pieces of peanuts sprinkled on the whole thing seemed out of place and clunky. The flavor was barely-there, not sharp or vinegary or anything like one would expect. It wasn't even a delicate mild flavor.

                  The side of potatoes had some decent flavor with the aioli, and I was chowing on these, but I think they too, were super-greasy to the point where I felt slightly ill after leaving - and I like my share of fries and fried foods. Something was just off, and we left plenty in the dish.

                  The steak was almost raw, which I personally don't mind, but was super-chewy and had almost no flavor. The rice frites were also super-chewey, which was fine, but so greasy that they were glitening with more oil than a fry. Flavor was, once again, barely there. Just not worth eating.

                  My dish - the trout with bacon and broccoli rabe - I had to get it. Sounded delish. There were two big pieces of trout, rolled up like dowels in their own skin. I love fish skin when treated right. This was just soft. And dark brown. And mushy. And that was really unappetizing even though it tasted fine - like plain fish. There was almost no sauce on the plate, there was ONE tiny piece of bacon about 3 inches long tops (more of a garnish than part of the dish) and maybe 2 tiny slivers of broccoli rabe underneath. Again, almost no flavor, and no identifiable sauce of which to speak.

                  Conversely, I'd had a business lunch at the boring-but-reliable Red Eye Grill earlier in the day, and the boring-but-reliable sesame-crusted tuna over sauteed veggies and mushrooms was phenomenal and very tasty and flavorfull in comparison.

                  Hope this helps clear up my feelings, and I'm glad some other folks have had better experiences there. Thanks for the feedback/discussion!

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                  Ma Peche
                  15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                  1. re: Jel212

                    Thanks for posting the details. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience there. My comment about the Indian restaurants on 6th was not meant as a downscale dining putdown vs. upscale dining. I eat downscale as much as possible, myself. It's just that my experiences on 6th have not been good, although I have not been there recently. I think there's slightly better cheap Indian food to be had in the upper twenties on Lex.

                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                      I actually have to agree - my experiences on 6th haven't been good, either, in the past few years. A shame! I'll have to scout some new places.

                      I really appreciate your input!

                    2. re: Jel212

                      I appreciate your post. My experience there was the opposite--everything was way over flavored, with no balance at all. The service was aloof. The space was sterile/cold. I'm a huge fan of Ssam and have really enjoyed Noodle Bar and Ko, but this was the first time that I could understand where all the detractors were coming from.

                      1. re: Jel212

                        I have been a big fan of Ma Peche in the past, and had a spectacular dinner there in Late August. I returned for dinner last night. Four of us shared a number of dishes, including the squid salad which was offered as a special. I had more or less the same comments about this dish as you had with the octopus salad. Quite disappointing considering the height of the bar that had been set for me in the past.

                        Best dishes of the night were the "bread soup," the divine corn with nori and togarashi, and the Crispy Pig Head.

                        I wish they would return the Coquillage to the menu!

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                        Ma Peche
                        15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                        1. re: erica

                          I've had the "Juliet" steak a few times, and have always found it to be full of flavor, a perfect med/rare, and yes, well-marbled with fat--just the way I like my beef! I've always enjoyed the rice fries too. I've never found the fingerling potatoes to ever be greasy. While I've not had the octopus salad, I've had the squid salad more than a dozen times, and have always found it to be well balanced with the cilantro, and full of fish.

                          As for the OP, as my dear friend RGR says: "chacun a son gout!"

                            1. re: FoodDabbler

                              So Tien Ho is leaving. Will that make a difference at Ma Peche?

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                              Ma Peche
                              15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                              1. re: erica

                                I would guess it will. I don't know anything about the replacement, Paul Carmichael. The menu at Ma Peche was distinctive and it changed often. I imagine they can maintain some of their dishes without change, but new ones they introduce will certainly carry the new chef's mark.

                                It'll be interesting to see what Tien Ho's new place will be like. http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/10/...

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                                Ma Peche
                                15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019