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Talde...is it worth it?

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So i'll be going to New York for the first time at the end of June and I'll be staying in Manhattan. I've heard a few mixed reviews of Talde in the past, but I was curious if maybe they've improved. There's a lot of dining places I'm planning to go to, but is it worth taking the trip to this restaurant?

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  1. Talde is fine if you live in nearby Brooklyn and go when there isn't a long wait. Of the tens of thousands restaurant in NYC, I'd hardly consider it a go to place if I was staying for a few days in Manhattan.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobjbkln

      Talde is a lovely restaurant, with a charming atmosphere. I like the dark woods and Asian motif. The food can be quite good with a caveat, in my one trip, I ordered the tea smoked ribs and they had a strong chemical flavor that was very off-putting. I don't know if it was a fluke but it was completely unappetizing.

      The lobster rolls were delicious, with chunks of fresh lobster on a soft bun in a punchy sriracha mayo.

      The Korean fried chicken was tasty, it's hard to go wrong with fried chicken, fried anything for that matter but it wasn't a dish that wowed me considering the chicken at Mad for Chicken is a bit better.

      There was enough promise that I would go back to try the kare kare, tom kha lobster and shrimp toast.

      If you do go, go early (5ish) because the restaurant gets insanely busy.

    2. There are plenty of better places in Manhattan. You would want to go to Brooklyn to try something unique or amazing. Perhaps the penelle at Fernando's. Or Peter Luger for the steak, or Fette Sau for the bbq. Or Coney Island for a Nathan's hot dog, etc. Talde is a nice place, always packed, but the dishes need improvement.

      1. So it seems like I'll be passing on Talde for this trip. I'll be going to plenty of restaurant in Manhattan. I've been a Top Chef fan so that's pretty much the only reason I wanted to check out his restaurant. Possibly next trip when he improves his dishes.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Dr3wLA

          I don't know - I LOVED my Talde experience...

          Normally, I would put the mixed reviews down to kitchen inconsistancy, HOWEVER, I went with 2 other guests,,,,and we all had COMPLETELY different likes, dislikes and mehs -

          What dish was my absolute favorite - one person hated , the other thought was ok,,,, and so went all of our opinions on every single dish!

          I have never had a dining experience quite like that..

          But for me, I LOVED almost everything, and have been craving several of the dishes ever since...in fact I have GOT to get back, and I don't live close by,...

          1. re: NellyNel

            Ive been reading all these threads and still cant get a feel for the inherent merit of this restaurant or whether we would find it worth a visit- would we be talking about it if there hadnt been the Top Chef exposure?

            1. re: jen kalb

              If not for Top Chef, I think Dale Talde would have been still cooking at Buddakan. Top Chef has most certainly helped him gain a lot of exposure. IMHO, if Dale did open Talde in Park Slope without having been on Top Chef, I think it would have been a great little neighborhood joint, especially since there's a dearth of decent Asian restaurants. But I don't think it would have been a destination place that it is right now. And I don't think I would have had to get there before 6P to avoid a two-hour wait.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                I liked his food better at Buddakan. Now i'm wondering if Buddakan is still as good as it was, i haven't eaten there in a very long time.

              2. re: jen kalb

                Jen,

                Since I have been reading your posts for a while now, I would say that it is not worthwhile for you to make a special visit there. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the area and there's no line one night, stop in and have the lobster tom kha gai and the fried rice ---and maybe the pad thai when it's not too gloppy. I found the restaurant vastly overrated but those dishes were good, IMHO. I wish I had been to purple yam (which I know you have been to), so I could compare the two for you, but haven't made it there yet. But maybe someone who has can chime in.

                1. re: missmasala

                  I think that Talde is better than Purple Yam, even with the problems Talde has. And even as much as I like the proprietors of Purple Yam, the food is better at Talde. While I thought the food at Purple Yam was good, it was straight forward without being great, the portions were small and expensive.

            2. re: Dr3wLA

              Avoid it.

            3. I haven't endured the lines yet, but it's worth mentioning they have a perilla leaf-based appetizer, which is pretty cool since you don't tend to encounter that outside of hardcore Korean and Japanese cooking.

              1 Reply
              1. re: guanubian

                Zisu is used in Chinese cuisine and you can also find it in herbal shops/Chinese medicine, the herb was popularized by Japanese because of the ubiquitous inclusion with sushi/sashimi.

              2. Any current thoughts from the hounds?
                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/din...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jen kalb

                  I dont know if you've ever gotten there, but I haven't and much of the reason for that is that friends have told me that it's extremely uneven. When the NYT piece came out, several of them told me to read it and that it accurately reflected the situation they found. Certainly looks like this celebrity chef is capable of doing excellent work but disinterested in putting in the time to develop his 1st kitchen (including training others) and instead wants to just build the empire. I'm not interested... too many other choices.