There are a few chefs/restaurateurs who have the golden touch. There is a reason they have the golden touch. They are perfectionists who think strategically from the menu to the staff to the way the restaurant should look. Regardless of sweating the details, the food has to be delicious. David Chang not only has all of those qualities, his concept and execution of everything served from appetizer to dessert has charted new territories in a way that makes him a leader in his field.
Ma Peche is Chang's first entry into the uptown world. Ma Peche is located in the Chambers Hotel. When you walk in, there is a small room that sells all the desserts from the Milk Bar. Nice for the neighborhood to stop by and buy a cookie. The restaurant is downstairs. Completely transformed from the past tenant. There is something European about the room. Simple light wood with a communal table as well as a variety of separate tables around the room. The design is minimal but completely works with the food being served.
Lunch is available, dinner will open soon. It is definitely the perfect place for sharing. My friend and I started with two plates off the raw section of the menu. Sliced squid mixed with scallions, peanuts and lots of garlic. A tad too garlicky for me but my friend loved it. A simple clean fresh salad.
The other raw dish was thinly sliced fluke with a mixture of herbs in the middle ( almost like a pesto, hidden under the greens) and tiny pieces of pineapple and crispy rice puffs on top. Excellent. I loved the pineapple mixed with the fish.
Our next course we had a few plates from the smaller portion cooked dishes. Frisee with tiny pieces of crispy tripe over a poached eggs and jowl croutons. We mixed it up and made it messy. It is a very rich salad and delicious. Lots of flavors happening in this dish but the tripe is clever. Certainly not something you see on your every day menu.
The mussels were supreme. Would love to know where they source the mussels. I have never seen mussels this big and plump. Almost the size of my thumb. Steamed in a crab paste and beer. Full of flavor and a beautiful presentation.
The other dish was the ribs. Pork ribs that are cooked for who knows how many hours with ginger and a lemongrass caramel. They are so sticky that a fork and steak knife are served on the side. My friend took one bite and said "my ribs don't taste like this". Wow.
We ordered one big plate and tried to order something not too heavy because we were ordering so many other things. We opted for the chicken. The chicken had been pushed around the bone to create a large round pop with crispy skin wrapped around it. Juicy and perfectly cooked served over sauteed mushrooms, green papaya and peanuts. That part alone was simple. I kept popping the mushrooms in my mouth.
Nice touch is that they serve coffee which you can't get in the other Chang restaurants. The word on the street has been a resounding thumbs up. There is a reason…the food is top.