170 Waverly Pl (at Grove St, West Village)
Fatty Kat Eats: Cucumber Salad, Kimchi Cauliflower, Chicken and Mushroom Egg Rolls, Braised Pork Belly, Forbidden Chirashi, Deviled Tea Eggs
New York City generally has everything for everyone at every hour of the day. One thing that's hard to come by is good dim sum. When I lived in Hong Kong, good dim sum was everywhere just like pizza is here. So when I heard about Joseph Leonard's Annual Dim Sum Brunch, I was all aboard.
Joseph Leonard is my favorite brunch spot in the city. That's a heavy thing to say, but I'm really there all the time, so it must be said! Reasons to love this place: 1) the food is creative and delicious, 2) the restaurant is tiny but adorable, and 3) the brunch playlist is all about 90/00's hip hop and R&B. The Annual Dim Sum brunch is hosted by the chefs over at Chez Sardine, so you know it's going to be something special.
First up, an array of beautiful dumplings: BBQ Veggie, Shrimp and Pork and Mushroom. The Shrimp Dumplings were topped with some ridiculous creamy mustard/wasabi sauce. While the steam job wasn't amazing, it didn't take away from the whole package.
Next, we munched on the fantastic Cucumber Salad. This cold, mellow vegetable goes incredibly well with sesame oil, ginger dressing, chili oil, fairy dust, you name it. When the Kimchi Cauliflower arrived, the party really started. The bacon vinaigrette and crispy tempura substantiated the entire bowl of albino broccoli and fueled some of that Korean heat. Awesome dish.
I had to try the Szechuan Beef for nostalgic reasons. The cold beef was a surprise for some, but the meat was still very tender and flaky just as I remember as a kid. The sweetish sauce was certainly different from most Chinese takes on beef. The Chicken and Mushroom Egg Rolls were so simple yet so freaking good. Perfectly sized and fried.
When I bit into one of the Crab Fritters, I thought, "WTF is this and why do I like it?" These fried balls struck me as more egg and dough than crab. Either way, delicious! The whipped cream cheese was like woah! And so was my waistline... The Braised Pork Belly made me see the light. That kind of fatty flavor is hard to come by. It just melted at first bite. I wasn't a huge fan of the chalky tofu knots. They always belong in some kind of soup and should never be out in the world on their own.
You are now entering the Forbidden Chirashi. So impressed with the chefs. I'm used to chirashi that is simply sashimi and rice. Nope, not here. The Chinese sausage, spicy mayo, mushrooms and scallions were banging!
We tried the wonderful Deviled Tea Eggs (not pictured) and finally reached the end of our savory dishes with the Coconut Crepe. Wow. It's like...how do you even come up with this stuff? Just so you know, confit pork, bean sprouts and fish sauce stuffed in a coconut crepe means you've reached nirvana.
Our fatty sojourn ended with the wonderful Banana Coconut Pudding with sago and roasted peanuts. If you're one of those stupid people that don't like Asian desserts, this is not for you and you suck.
You're probably wondering, when will the food stop. The food stops when the fat lady sings. She sang. Yup, that's me circa 2007 (3:42 for your's truly). #nostalgic