Fish Cheeks advertises themselves as a no pad Thai zone. The colorful and fun restaurant offers items that deviate from the norm, but their choices aren’t as adventurous as advertised.
Like any good meal, we began with a bottle of wine. My mom chose the Cabernet Franc:Antoine Sanzay Saumur-Champigny, which was described as “medium, pomegranate, cherry and stone.” I really enjoyed this wine because it wasn’t too heavy, but it was light and had just the slightest hint of sweetness.
We were served rice cracker puffs with a chili sauce as a starter. I’ve never seen this done before, but I really enjoyed it. The puffs were as fun and colorful as the decor in the restaurant, but the chili sauce added a great heat element to jazz them up.
We ordered the Namtok pork as our appetizer, which was grilled pork, roasted rice, shallot, scallion, cilantro and chili. I really enjoyed this dish because although it was hearty and spicy, it still had a refreshing element to it from the cilantro.
We chose two entrees and decided to share them. We ordered the seafood pad cha, a dish with stir-fried shrimp, scallop, squid, wild ginger, green peppercorns, basil and Thai eggplant. Although Fish Cheeks advertises their menu as meant for the “adventurous souls,” I found this dish to taste like a stir-fry I could get at any Thai restaurant. The seafood in it was excellent and the dish was overall tasty, but there wasn’t anything special about it.
Our second entree was the coconut crab curry: Southern style curry, jumbo lump crab meat with mortar and pestle crushed curry paste and betel leaves served with rice. This curry was spicy, rich and creamy, and the crab in it was fantastic. This was my favorite item we ordered overall, and the rice tasted great with it.
Although the food served at Fish Cheeks isn’t as eclectic as they advertise, it’s still delicious food. My only caveat is it is extremely spicy and not for the faint-hearted when it comes to heat. Proceed with caution, but they do offer non-spicy dishes.
Address: 55 Bond St, New York, NY 10012
Phone number: 212-677-2223
Price: $$ Expensive
Hours: Mon-Thur 5 PM-11 PM, Fri 5 PM-12 AM, Sat-Sun 12 PM-4 PM
Service: Our server was kind, helpful and attentive.
Atmosphere: Colorful, eclectic, fun and cute.