Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pig and Khao

A while ago TT and CT invited Mr. M&P and I to dinner at Pig and Khao. Food with lots of pork? Yes, please! This Fatty Cue related restaurant with Chef Leah Cohen offers Southeast Asian cuisine focusing on Thai and Filipino dishes and flavors.
CT and I were in charge of the menu while the boys took control of the $15 all you can drink beer from the keg (self serve). Of course, I ended up ordering too much as we left the restaurant with our bellies in our hands. We started off the night with the Chicharron ($4) which was crispy pig skin with a side of vinegar. This was very good. So crispy and light with a mild pork flavor while the vinegar cut through the fat nicely. A great snack that went well with the beer.

Next up, the Sizzling Sisig ($14) with meat and other pieces from a pig's head, chilis, and a runny egg on top. You're supposed to toss everything together while it's sizzling. This version was okay. It had nice sizable chunks of meat but lacked the flavor and texture I wanted. I'm a fan of connective tissue with its sticky gummy texture but this dish didn't have it.
The Grilled Pork Jowl ($13) was next and it was refreshing compared to the fatty items we've had so far. The unctuous pork jowl cooked until crispy on the outside was paired nicely with fresh, sweet watermelon, vegetables, and crispy chicharron. Can't have enough fried pork skin. This was a well balanced dish.
The Quail Adobo ($15) was a last minute add on but turned out to be really nice. Quail itself isn't very meaty but what you do get is tender dark meat. This version was cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and szechuan peppercons. A salty, sour taste in every bite.
With meat in every dish, we needed some vegetables to help balance out the meal. So we ordered the green papaya salad (~$5). It came with sliced pork on top.  Doh! So much for that. But once we got past the pork (it went into our stomachs, no doubt), the salad was so refreshing. Light, pungent, sweet, and sour.
I wanted to try some noodles so we also ordered the Khao Soi ($16). These red curry noodles with chicken, mustard greens, and coconut milk were really nice. They were kind of difficult to share but we made it work. The noodles soaked up the thick curry sauce and made for a messy slurp. But the flavors were complex and inviting.
The Crispy Pata ($26) is always a must order at any Filipino restaurant. Except for here. This was a total miss as the pieces of fried pork leg were overly cooked and dry. I pretty much used the leftover red curry sauce and various dipping sauces to revive the meat. It was a hopeless effort though.
At this point, we were really stuffed. But I couldn't help but order the fried fish as well. I had diner's envy when I saw other people order this. It looked divine. The Whole Fried Fish ($29) came in a hot and sour broth with lemongrass, kaffir, tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, cilantro, and Thai basil. The mix and match of flavors in the broth was really nice. The fish was cooked well being crispy on the outside but soft tender meat on the inside. Even though I was very full by the time this dish hit the table, the lightness of the broth allowed me to keep going and eat a good portion.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Pig and Khao. Though some dishes failed, the majority of them succeeded. Many of the flavors were bright and inviting. I think this is a good foray for people to try more "exotic" foods as they serve a good variety.

Thank you TT and CT for inviting me! I can't promise I won't over order again next time!

Pig and Khao
68 Clinton Strett
New York, NY 10002
(212) 920-4485
pigandkhao.com

2 comments:

  1. Just learned that a Top Chef contestant opened this place. She went out a couple people before that Italian dude Fabio.

    ReplyDelete
  2. great meal.

    good for brunch too!

    ReplyDelete

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