One of the more intriguing things about the New York restaurant scene is the ability to find little gems that are going to please and won’t break the bank. It’s easy to to pay huge sums for eating at the cult and the Michelin starred restaurants, but finding good food at a reasonable price is a difficult exercise.
A tip off steered us in the direction of Graffiti -a tiny Asian/American restaurant in the unprepossessing East Village district of Manhattan. In fact, the façade of the restaurant is also so unprepossessing that it was almost impossible to locate it. But we did and we were let in to a tiny room with a single communal table. OK, some people may find this too intrusive, but it is the food that is supposed to be the attraction here.
A starter of Pickled Ginger Scallops with Candied Red Chilli was cooked to perfection and was not over spicy whilst the Green Mango Paneer was smooth and unctuous. Both priced at $12.
Pickled Ginger Scallops with Candied Red Chilli
Main courses at $17 were also excellent value for money. Duck Portobello Gratinée with a Mustard Onion Confit looked a bit messy on the plate (see photo below) but the combination of the duck and the mushrooms was a very satisfying fusion. Braised Beef Rib with Red lentils and a Brioche was less successful but a nevertheless satisfying dish.
Duck Portobello Gratinée with a Mustard Onion Confit
Wine and beer opportunities are very limited but the Malbec we had with the meal was perfectly adequate at $35.
All in all this is an unusual and interesting experience – certainly a bit out of the ordinary for New York. Chef/Owner Jehangir Mehta has implemented fusion cuisine to a very high plateau, so different from some attempts by other chefs which has only resulted in confusion cuisine. And at an average price of around $65 a head including New York style service charge it’s real value for money.
Graffiti – 224 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
Open 5.30-10.30 daily
Value for Money 14