Sweet, spicy, smoky and sultry, we ate our way through 19 plates at the Lucky Rice Grand Tasting. Here's what we got for you.
'Lucky Rice' on Serious Eats
Last night, we exchanged chopsticks for tumblers and paid a visit to the Lucky Rice Cocktail Feast (subtitled "A Journey East") for the liquid diet portion of the festival's fourth annual run. Come check out the drinks and appetizers we sampled over the course of the evening.
Last night was the second night of the Lucky Rice Festival, and it was all about ramen. Four courses, four chefs, all noodles. Plenty of noodles were served and much slurping ensued. Yuji Ramen (see our review here, Ivan Ramen (see our review here), Sun Ramen's Ramen Lab, and Chuko (see our review here) each served up a course.
The Fourth Annual Lucky Rice Festival—a week-long event celebrating Asian cuisine—officially kicked off last night with a "dumpling party" featuring some amazing bites from chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food. There were not only dumplings but also noodles, meatballs, and even the rogue tostada. Despite any seeming differences, the dishes were all united in deliciousness.
The Lucky Rice Asian food festival is getting its drink on May 2nd, and we're giving away two tickets for the night.
On Friday night, the Lucky Rice Asian food festival had its most ambitious event, the Grand Feast. At the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Columbus Circle, guests were treated to some delicious and innovative bites from chefs like Ming Tsai, Todd English, Masaharu Morimoto, Susur Lee, and other famous chefs from around the world. It was incredible to see, smell, and taste how all these chefs took Asian cuisine to whole new levels with dishes like edamame dumplings, pig blood popsicles, and snapper with dashi and trout roe. Guests were also treated copious amounts of drink options, from cocktails made with Bombay Sapphire, whisky from Suntory Whisky, and Singha beer.
We were in Dumbo—under the Manhattan Bridge, literally— for the Lucky Rice Asian food festival Night Market on Saturday night. The rows of vendors, which included Asian restaurants like Sripraphai and Red Farm, as well as non-Asian ones like Maialino and Cookshop, lined up to serve dumplings, soba noodles, kimchi, green tea-ramisu (get it?) and other great bites.
Both chefs' interpretations of Thai cuisine lean towards the traditional, yet the flavors that came pouring out of the tiny three-man kitchen last night were unlike anything I've ever experienced anywhere. While the cuisine of central and Southern Thailand might be about the balance of the four basic flavors—hot, sour, salty, and sweet—Chef Ricker was very clear that this is emphatically not the case with the Issan dishes derived from Laotian cuisine eaten in the North.
The Lucky Rice Asian food festival continued last night the roof of the Gansevoort hotel, which was transformed into a Hawiian getaway complete with top Hawiian chefs serving delicious dishes that showcased island-grown ingredients. Hosted by Hawiian Airlines, the event featured Chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, two of the founding fathers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, as well as Chef Vikram Garg and Hawaiian Airline's own executive chef Chai Chaowasaree. Click through the slideshow to see their creations!
Next Wednesday, the Lucky Rice Asian food festival will be hosting a Sunset Luau at the Gaansevort Meatpacking Hotel. Some of Hawaiia's biggest chefs—Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, Chai Chaowasaree, and Vikram Garg—will make their spins on traditional luau food with drinks from Lani Kai's Julie Reiner. Hearing about the event made us ask—and we expect we're not the only ones—what is traditional Hawaiian cuisine? And what's Haiwaiian food like today? I talked to some of the participating chefs to get their thoughts.
As you may have noticed, we're getting excited for the Lucky Rice Asian food festival, a week-long celebration of Asian eats coming to New York early this May. But as drinks are as much a part of the food culture as, well, food is these days, the week kicks off with a massive cocktail event: the Epicurean Cocktail Feast.
At Serious Eats HQ, we've been talking about night markets a lot of late. We're pretty stoked about the Lucky Rice Night Market on May 5th, and we had a good time at last weekend's Taiwan Night Market. We've even seen some night market-like sights on Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, with communities gathered under sodium lamps to eat tacos at trucks and carts along the street. And the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn has made some definite suggestions of events combining night food and culture. But we don't really have night markets in this city, which is a big shame, as they're pretty much the most fun you can have while eating.
This week we're giving away 1 pair of tickets to the Grand Feast, the largest and most comprehensively delicious event of this year's Lucky Rice food festival.
Win two tickets to this year's Night Market, part of the Lucky Rice Asian food festival.