13 October 2013
I planned to meet a friend and fellow food writer blogging at Toast to Roast for some drinks in Midtown one evening, but needed to find some food beforehand. I have never been a big fan of the David Chang empire of food (see my review of Shōtō in Toronto), but I saw that Má Pêche would be in a convenient location — so went for it.
I’ve not been in this space since it was called Town many aeons ago (beware of link, it’s my old set of reviews from years ago…). It began badly, from a loose step (horribly dangerous) going downstairs to waiting for ages to get a drinks order in the not-that-busy restaurant. I eventually ordered and tried to pair things up somewhat smoothly.
My first course was a ceviche of black bass. This was a voluminous portion and done well, especially the crispy skin. But nothing too special to be honest, but satisfying. That changed with the next course…
This octopus confit was a disaster. The octopus tasted just awful, like it’s been left out for a few days. Confit? Huh? It had the consistency of chewing gum. The flavours were lacking totally too. A complete miss of a dish that should really be a “do not do” at culinary school…
Up next for a “main” was the butter roasted cod. This was not bad, a solid piece of fish. Again, tho, nothing too special, something you can get pretty much anywhere. Nothing made this dish, nor anything else tonight, something you’d walk more than a block to have. So far rather disappointed.
My dessert was based on peanut butter, and it worked well. But again, it looks like culinary school fancy overrode sensible. I ordered a scotch and I sensed the server noticed my disappointment, so he comped me a 2nd glass of a different single malt to taste. That was a nice touch.
I left Má Pêche with my opinions on David Chang restaurants pretty much the same. Bats way above its weight, tries to sanitise ethnic food without the need to. Needless to say there’s little chance I will be back in this place again — especially with that extremely hazardous loose step…
15 West 56th Street
New York, New York