15 W 56th St (between 5th and 6th Ave, Midtown West)
Fatty Kat Eats: Beet Salad, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pork Buns, Fried Rice, Spicy Roasted Rice Cakes, Lamb Noodles, Cereal Milk Soft Serve
I spent one night this past summer watching every Netflix show / movie / documentary about David Chang and fell deeply in love with him. I'm pretty sure it was his love of food more than his sweaty face and stocky stature that did the trick. And ever since I started working in Midtown West, Má Pêche has become a solid lunch spot for me in what I call the "culinary butt crack of Manhattan."
I've rarely been disappointed at Má Pêche, probably because by the time I finish my pork bun, I'm already so damn happy that the rest of the meal is smooth sailing. Ok, that's not exactly how it goes. But the food is so creative and good.
This is going to be a bunch of visits in one post (holla @nikkiber730), which means a whole lot of food porn. So...let's begin! This beautiful Willy Wonka looking dish was the delicious Beet Salad with sheep's milk yogurt. You can't see the red and golden beets, but they were there, and they were gorgeous. The yogurt loaded up the beets and greens with a heavier texture and flavor, both of which hit a high note with me.
THESE ARE THE BEST BRUSSELS SPROUTS I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. There, I said it. Note to my future husband: the Fried Brussels Sprouts should never leave the menu. Never. These crispy greens were coated with some type of spicy and creamy concoction. The name of the sauce escapes me (#blamethefoodcoma). I found several fancy raisins in the mix as well. No words can do justice to this dish, so you will just have to try it for yourself (and obviously invite my ass).
Pork Buns. What is there to say? The Momofuku restaurants are renowned for their steamed buns stuffed with pork belly. Not just any pork belly--the finger lickin' good kind. These are pretty much on par with the pork buns at Ippudo, and you know what that means--foodgasm all day and night.
Damn. Even my mom's Fried Rice doesn't taste like this. I don't know which cook in the kitchen stole Harry Potter's wand, but that person magically cooked the rice so that every chunk was crispy like soccarat. The lobster, shrimp, cilantro, shishito peppers and coconut milk did a fine job of making this into an Asian version of paella. And yes, it was phenomenal.
Sometimes we need a little reminder of what's good and what's great. The Jerk Chicken Wings did just that. They were good. A little too salty but good. Neither of us were impressed, but we easily got over it. On to the next one...
When I ordered the Spicy Fried Rice Cakes, I was thinking more along the lines of this rather than what you see below. Regardless, the chewy rice cakes were delicious. The heavy combination of fried garlic and spicy pork ragu was a double savory threat, which should only be used in the right hands. Believe me, someone at Má Pêche has the right hands.
I don't think the Duck Crepe is still on the lunch menu, but I assure you it rated high on my yummy scale. The crepe was more of a crispy pastry than a crepe. You know me...I like crispy stuff, so it was fine by me. The duck was incredibly tender and heavily seasoned, and it gave this dish a kick of flavor flav.
I am the biggest soup noodle enthusiast this side of the Pacific, so trust me when I say the Lamb Noodles were downright ridiculous. There is so much funky flavor in all of David Chang's food, and this bowl of wonder is no exception. The tender noodles swam elegantly in a rich broth with some bok choy and lamb to boot. I'm not a huge fan of lamb, but I'm a huge fan of these noodles. Mmmmm....
I wish Má Pêche had desserts off the Milk Bar menu. I want something unique if I'm going to sit my bum down for a proper meal. Right? Otherwise, I'd just go to Milk Bar and call it a day! if you know me at all (or stalk me on Instagram), you know I get weak in the knees for Cereal Milk Soft Serve. In the summers, I kill one every other day at a minimum. On this particular day, though, we tried an inferior flavor that I have since forgotten about due to mediocrity. You don't even have to ask. The cornflake crunch was still bomb diggity!
We also tried the Candy Bar Pie. Good. Just good. A little too sweet, but the name lends itself to a sugar rush, so we should've known better.
Má Pêche is such a fatty's dream in Midtown where all you have is mediocre restaurants, takeout joints and delis. Their food is so different and delicious that I'd actually drag my butt over there for dinner too! Me like.
Mrs. David Chang