Opening Week at Pig and Khao
Sep 27th, 2012 by donuts4dinner

My friend Ash, a food blogger in her own right, heard about Pig and Khao (get it? cow?) from her sister, who must have a Google alert for the words “pig face salad” to have found out about this place so fast. We detoured from our already-scheduled dinner in Ktown last night and headed to the Lower East Side instead to catch this Filipino/Thai collaboration between former “Top Chef” contestant Leah Cohen and the Fatty Crew (of Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue) on its second night in business.

Pig and Khao NYC

Pig and Khao NYC
Cutest pig butt ever, am I right?

Pig and Khao NYC

The promise of bottomless tap beer in the garden was tempting, but I couldn’t resist this Phuket Punch, a blend of prosecco, grapefruit-cinnamon syrup, and mint. The first note was biting citrus, then came the warming cinnamon, and finally the light, refreshing wine.

The tap was having a tantrum when we arrived, so my friend Kim ordered a Tiger lager instead and sipped it from a bowl as instructed. (The tap began working later in the evening, and the staff offered to let Kim have at it, too. Bonus!)

Pig and Khao NYC

Pig and Khao NYC
green mango salad

Succulent, slightly charred chicken over a lemongrass slaw where mint and cilantro were the stars, with a little bit of lime and plenty of ocean flavor from the tiny dried shrimp that flecked the plate.

Pig and Khao NYC
sizzling sisig

A classic Filipino dish that Ash called “pig face” but that the menu more delicately labeled “pork head”. Hot dishes with a raw egg to mix in happen to be a favourite of all three of us lady-diners, so this was an instant hit. It smelled like the barnyard, but it tasted like bacon wrapped in foie gras. I loved the blend of meaty chunks and melt-in-your-mouth fatty chunks.

Pig and Khao NYC
grilled sirloin

We ordered this to have a dish with some sauce, but we might have been better off with the khao soi recommended by our server. The sauce was indeed the point of the dish with its extremely spicy red pepper flakes, but the steak itself didn’t quite work for me in the context of a wrap. It was too tough for me to tear with my teeth, so I ignored the bibb lettuce and ate it with fork and knife. This is the one dish I would skip next time.

Pig and Khao NYC
crispy pata

This was another dish Ash wanted to compare with the ones back home in the Philippines, and we were all pleasantly surprised that it arrived off the bone and fit for rabid consumption with soy sauce and liver dipping sauces. There were juicy, meaty pieces and dessicated crispy pieces and crunchy skin with an inch of fat still attached. Heavenly.

Pig and Khao NYC

The point of Filipino food for me is the halo-halo, and this one will keep my tongue lolling for a while. Ash pointed out that the ice in your everyday halo-halo is crushed and therefore a little trying to eat; this shaved ice went down smooth and became a nice sweet milk slush as it grew warmer. Ash also pointed out that this is a pared-down version of the halo-halo she’s used to with so many ingredients it can overwhelm the palate. The strips of macapuno (coconut) were sweet, thick, and chewy, and the pinipig (crushed rice) added a toasty flavor and a light crunch. The ube (purple yam) ice cream was sweeter and more flavorful that I’ve had it, but the thing that really amazed me was the leche flan.

I will never order flan for dessert, because it’s too weak for me, too thin and gelatinous and slippery. I like a hearty dessert. I like cookie dough. You know what I mean. Ash described leche flan to us as thicker and creamier than the flans we’re used to, but I had no idea. This was like cubes of cheesecake. Only they tasted better than cheesecake. And there were only TWO of them in my bowl! Next time, I’ll be requesting extra leche flan. Because there will be a next time.

Pig and Khao NYC

Pig and Khao NYC

The menu is set to expand in the coming weeks, but you can view the prototype we ordered from here:

Pig and Khao Menu, side 1
Pig and Khao Menu, side 2

Pig and Khao
68 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002 (map)

The Lemongrass Grill Curry Puff – Financial District – Thai
Aug 18th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

The curry puff is common to Thai, Malaysian, and Singaporean cuisine, but none of those cuisines is common to me, so the first time I tried one, I was in heaven. Sort of like an empanada, sort of like a samosa, it’s pastry stuffed with a thick curry, chicken, potatoes, and onion and deep-fried.

Since that original curry puff, I’ve tried as many as I can find in NYC, but I always go back to the one at Lemongrass Grill.

It’s the flakiest, the curry-est, and the most way-too-delicious-to-last-more-than-two-bites. The puff isn’t hard like a samosa’s, so the filling gets to mingle with it.

But really, it wouldn’t be anything without the dipping sauce it comes with. It’s vinegar-based with chunks of cucumber that taste a little bit pickled and a little bit sweet. I didn’t even like cucumbers a couple of years ago, but I would still dig those things out of the little cup with my fingers when my boyfriend wasn’t looking.

And I always follow my curry puff up with their chicken pad thai (which is also my favourite in NYC), or the Gai Tom Kha soup.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne-Half Star

Lemongrass Grill
84 William Street
New York, NY 10038 (map)

138 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016 (map)

2534 Broadway
New York, NY 10025 (map)

61A 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217 (map)

156 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 (map)

Thumbs Down for Thai Me Up
May 13th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

If I was to tell you there’s a sandwich shop on 14th Street called Thai Me Up, which of the following would you think?:

1) Heeeeeeeeeee.
2) Laaaaaaaaaame.
3) Grooooooooooss.
4) A combination of 2 and 3.

I appreciate a good pun as much as you do, but what if I told you the store is owned by this guy and his hair?:

And what if I told you that the ingredients in one of the dessert drinks is magic?

And what if I told you the website says, “Thai Me Up Sandwich Bar opened in march of 2007 to rave reviews from visitors loving its delicious dishes and fun, sexy concept”? That’s right. Fun, sexy sandwiches.

I haven’t actually stopped at Thai Me Up yet, but in light of this, I really can’t wait to go have an extra-firm-tofu-induced orgasm.

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