5 Reinvented Takeout Staples at Talde
Fried oysters and bacon. 'Nuff said.
For this week's review, I headed out to Park Slope to visit Talde, the new restaurant from Dale Talde (of Top Chef and Buddakan fame). It's easy to like the grub served here; much of it is elevated reinterpretations of beloved Asian takeout staples: dumplings, buns, pancakes, and more. Only instead of the half-happy, half-disappointed feeling that comes after ordering off Seamless.com, your reactions will be of surprise and delight. Here's what not to miss.
1. Crispy oyster and bacon pad Thai: So often pad Thai is a treacly sweet clump of sticky rice noodles with some puny shrimp thrown in for good measure. While this version is definitely saucy and intense -- perhaps slightly too much if it's the only thing you order -- as part of a larger meal shared among friends it rocks. Giant crunchy oysters and nuggets of smoky bacon? Yes, please.
2. Lobster tom kha gai: Tom kha, the spicy coconut soup, is always in my Thai takeout order, but it usually comes with a single shrimp and some sad, shriveled mushrooms. Here you'll find a huge brothy bowl filled with a hearty amount of lobster chunks, corn kernels, rice noodles, and cilantro. Willing to wager it's the best tom kha in the city.
3. Saigon crepes: My love of banh xeo has been well documented on Fork in the Road, and again, this is the best version I've found in New York. The smoked shrimp and Chinese bacon filling pairs beautifully with the herbs and coconut-turmeric crepes. Dip them in the nuoc cham and then stuff your face with 'em.
4. Market ramen: A bowl of ramen without bobbing slices of chashu is like a book of poetry without any rhymes: Something's just off. But the noodle soup here subs out meat for slabs of smoked tofu, fingerling potatoes, and plump shiitake mushrooms. And you know what? You don't even miss the pork.
5. Pretzel, pork, and chive dumplings: What's takeout with an order of dumplings? Not a takeout order at all! Only Talde offers dumplings that have been blanched in a baking-soda solution before being pan-seared and oven-browned, creating a crunchy exterior like a pretzel. Naturally, they're served with spicy Chinese mustard.
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