Jean-Georges Spice Market located in the revamped, hip and chique Meatpacking District is a French owner/ chef’s interpretation on Asian street food inspired through his Asia culinary travels. The concept is ingenious. Street food is filled with bold flavors, exotic finds, fast and convenient and best of all cheap! Not so much at Spice Market. It’s my first dining experience at any of Jean-Georges restaurants and recommended by my fellow diners Sin Yee, Samantha and my sister, Linda. The decor certainly had a blockbuster movie set wow effect but the food unfortunately was a lackluster. On the menu, Spice Market covers a varied Asian street food, from Malaysian chicken satay skewers to Indian spiced chicken samosas. It is written on the menu all dishes are family style and is repeated by our waitress as an introduction, though I find the portions of the food to be a one person entree with tongs in each entree to pass around on the table.
For appetizers we ordered the Lobster Summer Roll, Citrus-Dill Gelee Galangal Emulsion and the Mussels Steamed with Lemongrass Thai Basil, Dried Chilli and Coconut Juice. The Lobster Summer Roll is a delicate version of the Vietnamese summer roll. Each is thinly rolled then sliced into a sushi single bite sized. A light refreshing starter. The mussels was a simple boiled mussels in a Thai inspired broth which was delicious. The appetizers are better in comparison to the entrees which probably explains the men and women in business attire for a social networking corporate party that seems pretty common at the Spice Market.
On to the entrees the menu is categorized into Seafood, Meats and Vegetables, Noodles and Rice. We ordered the Halibut Cha Ca La Vong Herb Salad which was a boneless Halibut topped with dill salad in a broth with rice noodles submerged below. The halibut tasted slightly overcooked. Along with the halibut, we shared the Onion and Chili Crusted Short Ribs Egg Noodles and Pea Shoots and it tasted very ordinary or perhaps a better bowl of Short Ribs Egg Noodles can be found in Chinatown for a cheaper price. We ordered a Chili Garlic Egg Noodles Seared Shrimp and Star Anise which essentially was a stir-fried egg noodle dish with mini shrimps. The final dish we ordered the Nonya Seafood Laksa Gulf Shrimp and Scallop. A very creamy with foam infused dish. Foam is uncommon in Asian cuisine, presentation was artistic with airy and delicate drops of spice onto the surface of the foam broth. Each of the entrees surprisingly came with noodles and disappointingly the texture of the noodles missed the mark.
Spice Market///403 West 13th Street New York NY 10014