SOHO, NYC | Every time the awesome ride-sharing car service VIA expands the range of their delivery service, I seize upon it to go further out of my neighborhood to try out new restaurants. So was the occasion recently when VIA finally expanded service into Soho and the rest of Lower Manhattan. Finally, the needed (and economical, at only a $5 ride from the Upper East Side) convenience to check out NYC "foodie" insider favorite Mooncake Foods on Watts Street.
Yes, there are two other locations actually closer to me, but this location was the one that first caught my attention, so it was worth the travel to sample what first got me interested in their menu: the crawfish dumplings.
They are delicious layered with great flavors of sweet, lump crawfish tailmeat, earthy shiitake mushrooms, watety crisp water chestnuts, and floral celery. Thet are plump, toothsome, and still not too heavy, the dumpling dough thin yet firmly wrapped around the crawfish mixture to hold the whole morsel together throughout each bite, even when dipped into a nicely spiced and acidic yet well balanced teriyaki-style sauce brightened with chopped scallions.
I had only meant to try the dumplings, but since I have a perennial weak spot for off-the-beaten path dishes, the cold salad of sliced octopus and spinach noodles caught enough of my attention that I had to try that out as well.
As you can see, the spinach "noodle" is closer to a spinach fettucine, and possessed the the same, more flour-y bite of a fettucine, and less of the slight gumminess that is more prevalent in Asian-style foods. The octopus did have a fresh taste to it, and sliced thinly to make it properly manageable to chew. The star, though by default really, as the slightly creamy sesame sauce with plenty of that salty, nutty sweetness to compliment the very clean yet less notes of the boiled (and unfortunately not grilled) octopus.
thankfully, the crawfish dumplings are more than memorable for dumplings, and have only piqued my interest enough to look forward to another $5 car service ride to any of its locations to sample more of their menu.
I hear their pulled pork sandwich (with curry lime BBQ sauce) is another winner.
Mooncake Foods | 28 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013 | (212) 219-8888 | mooncakefoods.com