Zagat: Pac-Man Dumplings Among Top Local Chinese Restaurant's Whimsical Treats
The Red Farm Chinese restaurant in the West Village is scoring big points in the Zagat Survey for serving dumplings inspired by the famous video game "Pac-Man." Zagat editor James Mulcahy filed the following report.
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Zagat has released its 2013 New York City Restaurants guide and the unlikely winner for Best Chinese is Red Farm in the West Village.
Owner Eddie Schoenfeld has partnered with chef Joe Ng to provide a fresh take on Chinese cuisine.
"We've taken an unabashedly unauthentic and kind of whimsical look at the food that we serve," says Schoenfeld. "Our restaurant is designed to be a fun place to dine."
With communal tables and farm-to-table fare, Red Farm aims stand apart from the model of a typical Chinese restaurant.
"One of the big issues in our industry is the similarity of one Chinese restaurant to the next," explains Schoenfeld. "Some people don't see the really special and wonderful side of Chinese food. We were just lucky enough to be one of the first restaurants in our marketplace to be able to go in a different direction."
New York diners wait for hours for dishes like the pastrami egg roll and the Pac Man dumplings, which offer a playful take on traditional dim sum.
Schoenfeld sums up the appeal, saying, "My chef/partner Joe Ng crafts dumplings that look like Pac Man ghosts, where Pac Man is a crunchy tempura of sweet potato, and the ghosts are little different shrimp dumplings. One of the things that we offer here is food that is sourced carefully, with things that are put together a little bit cleaner. Just by its own nature you can't be completely farm to table, but it still can be product driven and it still can be seasonally driven."
With an expansion of the West Village location in in the works and a new outpost is planned for the Upper West Side, Red Farm's popularity could inspire a new breed of Chinese eateries.
"We're coming into an era now where we're going to see more creativity in the Chinese food business." Schoenfeld promises. " I think it's something to be excited about."
To see more results from the New York City Survey, visit blog.zagat.com.