Red Farm is the newest restaurant to land on Hudson Street in the West Village which is beginning to look like foodie heaven. The people behind it are not new to the restaurant business or Chinese food.
The place is very homey looking with wooden beams and floors with red checker clothed backs of the tiny booths that surround the place. Down the middle and in the front is a long communal table. Can I just say how much I dislike communal tables. That should go on the "out list" vs the "in list". I get it because the place is small and it allows them to pack 40 people in there but listening to the conversations next to us and the obnoxious children did nothing to make my meal more delightful. Although, I did like these chop sticks hanging from the ceiling over each table.
There was a wait when we got there. The women who was managing the seating takes your cell phone number and sends you a text about 5 minutes before they are ready for you. Her ability to gauge the time is not quite there. We were there the fifth night it was open so keep that in mind. I did. We went for a drink and returned when the buzz came in well over the initial time estimation.
The menu has starters, dim sum, mains and rice and noodles. We tried a few different things. We began with the Spicy Crispy Beef. I liked this. Super crispy and tasty. What was interesting is that it was cold which is probably why it gets so crispy. A nice one.
These are crispy duck Dumplings. These are clever. They are held together with a crab claw although there isn't any crab. I did like the curry dip in the middle which should be sopped up. Different. I do love duck.
This is the Katz's pastrami egg roll that keeps getting written about. Take a pass. One bite and we both put it down. Just didn't work for me. As a Jew, it is kind of funny considering we grew up eating Chinese food on Sunday nights and of course the pastrami sandwich here and there but it doesn't taste that good.
Pork and Crab Soup dumplings. Not for the kosher. They were fine. I have had better and I have had worse. I like how on the menu they tell you exactly how many comes with each order. Makes for better planning when ordering for a group.
We opted for a light main. Shrimp, Scallops & Mussels with rice wine, tomato, Basil and very thin rice noodles. A nice light soup. Tasted very homemade vs restaurant quality.
Great addition to the neighborhood, no reservations and they could have probably opened a joint for 60 people instead of 40 and did just fine. There isn't a Chinese place in the neighborhood and this isn't exactly your typical Chinese fare. What is interesting is they spent money on the fancy toilet which I never can understand but perhaps it is an added feature. Would I travel here from other parts of the city to check it out, not so sure I'd make the journey. But if you live in the neighborhood and have a hankering for Chinese food, go in and have a meal.
Sounds like an interesting place, and I’m totally on board with avoiding communal tables.With regard to the wait time issue, I actually started a company this summer that addresses some inherent problems there. I don’t want to seem as though I’m trying to promote myself on your blog, but would you mind if I emailed you for some quick feedback? I don’t know if anyone us as intimately familiar with both restaurants and startups as you are.Thanks,AndyPS I know how incredibly busy you are, I won’t be the least bit offended if it’s too much to ask.
send away. always interesting in seeing something new
I had a chance to check out RedFarm before the opening so my options on the menu were more limited. I do agree about the communal table and since I was there with one other from work, we sat in one of the booths.We tried a number of the starters – the Kowloon Filet tarts were really good, BBQ Pork Belly over portabello was equally as good. The duck & Fuji apple wrap was light and enjoyable. We also did try the Katz’s pastrami egg roll which was interesting but I really liked the homemade mustard that it came with. For a main, the rib eye was cooked really well and the asian spices as well as sesame seeds made it a good choice. Given the size of the space, I can see it getting loud when packed as there are only 7 total tables (including the communal). I really liked the vibe of the place with music and decor. Given who is behind the restaurant, no doubt this will be a ‘hot spot’ and the fact that they dont take reservations will create even more of a demand. I would go back and imagine if you can fill the communal table with a bunch of friends, it will make for a great time!
one big table with lots of friends would be fun
I am the operating partner of RedFarm and just wanted to provide you with a bit of information.First, thanks for trying RedFarm, we appreciate your interest.It seems that there is a bit of confusion in your post and I thought it would helpful to explain it to you.The item that you called the Pac Man Shrimp Dumplings, were in fact the Crispy Duck Dumplings (the item that you ordered). I understand that the crab claw can be a bit confusing – seems like it would indicate a seafood item – in fact it acts as a handle for the duck dumpling. You’re right, there was no shrimp inside the item: it is filled with chopped roast duck and vegetables. The Pac Man Shrimp Dumplings look remarkably like Pac Man and the ghosts he is chasing, and do have plenty of shrimp in the filling.As you surely realize new restaurants have new employees both in the front and back of the house and during the first days of business we strive to get everyone to work together and teach our staff about the system and about the facility. Even great teams take some time to gel, and trite as it may be, practice does make perfect. We care greatly about giving our guests great food and great hospitality (and accurate waiting times) and we work everyday at becoming the best we can be. We went through 3 weeks of training before opening and it is an ongoing process.As both a longtime restaurateur and a widely recognized Chinese culinary expert I am certain we (RedFarm) have some of the most delicious, fun and innovative food in our industry: not just in NYC or in the US, but worldwide. As our staff becomes accustomed to the particular challenges of our space, our location and our clientele I further believe RedFarm will be ‘worth the journey’ as the Michelin guide says.Please come back and introduce yourself. We would love the opportunity to show you how special our restaurant can be. It is a point of pride we try to instill in all our employees and make available to ALL our guests.Such a small space has many challenges – we are working hard and successfully to harness them – we are dedicated pleasing our guests.Thanks, Ed
thanks Ed. I was definitely confused on the duck. As I said in the post, going after only being open for 5 days has its challenges which over time will disappear.Definitely an interesting menu. I actually believe you could have opened a restaurant for 60 in this neighborhood and still packed them in but I understand those challenges too.Will come back and absolutely intro myself. Thanks for the comments.
I am an extreme fan of dumplings.I often thought a fast food potsticker / dumpling place would be awesome.Like the Krispy Kreme or In and Out Burger only for dumplings.