Ma Peche | Tien Ho | David Chang | Momofuku | New York Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Ma Peche HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
New York
Location: 40.762861,-73.975368
Open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: (212) 757 5878
Address: 15 West 56th Street
New York, New York, 10019
Country: United States

On a recent trip to New York má pêche was in our sights. We had dined at Momofuku Ko (amazingly good), the Noodle Bar and Saam and we were going to do so again but we hadn't yet made it here. We wanted to try the legendary Beef 7 Ways (or Boeuf Sept Facons as it is titled on the menu) of chef and partner Tien Ho so we timed our visit so that four of our friends would be in New York at the same time because you need at least six people to tackle the gargantuan quantities of food served during this special meal.
The restaurant is easy to find in the Midtown area. You descend into a large, almost cavernous space below ground where the well-trained staff meet and greet and seat with professionalism and efficiency.
It is easy to find interest on the clever wine list with many natural wines on offer including many of our favourites from the Jura. We were delighted to see that Philippe Bornard's Tant Mieux sparkling Ploussard was available. This pale pink, lightly sparkling, fragile beauty is a perfect aperitif so that's where we began. The sommelier seemed happy that we were devotees of wines from this emerging area of France.
And then the food started arriving! First course was Niman Ranch beef tongue with basil, whole spinach leaves, fresh roasted peanuts and plum vinaigrette. The tongue was piled high on a white plate and smothered with the fresh leaves and the tangy vinaigrette. It was soft and unctuous and devoured with gusto by everyone at the table.
Also served at the same time was just-seared "Imperial Beef" wagyu with ginger, scallion and circular slices of radish served in two rows down the sides of a large white platter. Like the tongue, this had clean flavours with the radish providing a nice spiciness.
By this stage we were introducing our friends to the exotic Chardonnay of Jean-Paul Ganevat the most fastidious winemakers of the Jura.
Next came lightly spicy sausages made from beef from both of the previously mentioned suppliers and cut into meaty chunks on the platter. These were flavoured with lemongrass, Thai basil and shallots. Also on the platter were slices of Cote de Boeuf from 4 Story Hill Farm (PA) served with butter, thyme and garlic. These were served with a bottomless bowl of lettuce for wrapping beef or sausage along with bowls of condiments to add to the lettuce wraps, including the classic Momofuku pickled vegetables.
When this major dish was cleared away we foolishly slipped in an extra dish of carrots with bone marrow. It was delicious and very filling due to the richness of the lovely bone marrow.
We now were confronted with stark reality when the fifth and sixth courses landed. A massive shin of beef from Pineland Farm (ME) oven-braised with crab paste, onion and chilli was served at one end of the platter while at the other end was the oxtail which had been braised in soy sauce, sherry and apple juice. Both dishes triumphs for fusing cooking cultures. This was massive. It certainly slowed us down but the deliciousness of what was served kept us going!
Luckily the last of the courses was a recovering cup of consommé flavoured with coriander (cilantro), basil and lime. This was deeply-flavoured and very restorative. So much so that we decided to order a whole slightly warm Époisses de Bourgogne and some freshly baked baguettes to slather it on.
With the cheese we enjoyed one of Axel Prufer's delicious Languedoc reds the Le Temps Des Cerises Avanti Populo. This is a light, refreshing and very natural low sulphur wine.
And somewhere near the end, when you might otherwise drink Madeira, we had this extraordinary dark, rich beer made in Piedmont Italy. It was the Bierria la Baladin Xyauyù Gold an extraordinary drink of great complexity which we found very cleansing after this marathon eating effort.
This meal shows that there is a very talented chef at work here and we therefore have no hesitation in recommending this delightful restaurant even if you just want to pop in for a simple lunch of toasted cheese sandwiches or do as we did and have the full on 7 course meal.


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