Dim Sum at RedFarm
We stopped in for brunch on Sunday and were pleased with the meal and addition of RedFarm to the West Village. We stuck mostly with the dim sum items.
We were seated immediately around 11:30am, and there looked to be a short wait afterwards, as the restaurant quickly filled up. It was nice to see that they have a proper cocktail list, and are using high quality ingredients like fresh juices (and the bartender was using jiggers and not freepouring). I wasn't a huge fan of the tart yuzu caipirinha that my husband ordered, but he enjoyed it immensely.
The pastrami egg roll was good but not as life-changing as others seem to experience it as. Maybe you need to grow up in a Jewish household to really appreciate it! The egg roll was served very hot and crispy, with a tangy mustard sauce. It was tasty, and an interesting fusion of two cultures.
I loved the pork and crab soup dumplings. Four to an order, so they're not cheap, but the skins were incredibly thin and tender. The filling was juicy and fragrant with mushrooms, pork, and crab. Wonderful soup, too -- maybe some of the best I've had. Up there with Nan Xiang in Flushing. Really great. I'd order these again in a heartbeat, and maybe get two orders next time. They were a little hard to pick up, unfortunately, as they don't seem to be serving the dish with metal tongs, so we used chopsticks.
The pan fried pork buns with spicy sauce were new on the menu. Imagine a char siu bao pork bun, fried on the bottom, and served with a spicy red sauce drizzled on top. The filling was good, and of high quality meat. The wrapper was perfectly fluffy, and I liked the crispy bottoms of the buns, but I think the spicy sauce was a little overpowering. If they dialed back the spicy sauce, you'd be able to taste these a lot better. They would very good, but could be improved just a little.
Kung pao chicken dumplings were solid. I didn't quite understand the chunks of onion and bell pepper, with peanuts, and a sweet sauce surrounding the dumplings. The dumplings themselves were excellent -- savory and meaty, filled with very tasty chicken. This dish was best experienced with a bite of dumpling and some of the other "kung pao" ingredients at the same time, which made it a little hard to eat and somehow the concept didn't pull together all the way.
We also had their very cute ‘Pac Man’ Shrimp Dumpling. The presentation was excellent. The different flavors of dumplings for the "ghosts" didn't really come through all that well, but the shrimp were very fresh and bouncy, and the dumpling skins were also thin and excellent. Perfectly cooked. We also enjoyed the fried disc of sweet potato that was 'Pac Man' a lot.
The room is bright and feels comforting. The service was excellent and very friendly. Overall, I think they're still tweaking and improving, so it might be a little while longer before RedFarm hits its stride, but if anything, the soup dumplings are worth the return.
529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Stopped in yesterday for a late lunch around 2pm (they only serve until 2:30). The BBQ Berkshire Pork Belly served on portobello mushroom was awesome but a little on the sweet side. Like the best Chinese BBQ roast pork I've ever had, though. Meaty, tender, flavorful, with a hint of Thai basil. The shrimp stuffed Jalapeno peppers were excellent and very well-fried, not greasy at all.
Our Shrimp & Snow Pea Leaf Dumplings were fragrant and delicious as well. Perfectly cooked shrimp. The pan fried pork buns with spicy sauce were as good as last time, maybe a little bit more generous on the filling than last time, which made them a little harder to eat, but the sweetness of the char siu filling was delectable and matched up well with the spicy sauce. And the soup dumplings were great, perhaps better than a previous visit. Incredibly thin wrappers, lots of wonderful soup. Non-traditional, a little, maybe, as I found some other vegetables like diced shiitake mushrooms in the filling, but I still found them wonderful.
We had one of the two-tops against the wall, which was nice. Our server was very attentive, and they did a good job of pacing the meal and clearing plates, so we only had 2 items on the table at a time. However, it was rather loud (which I hadn't noticed before) and I'm wincing just thinking about how insane it must get for dinner. I think I'll stick to brunch for now.