Turnip Cake With Ham and XO Sauce from Chinatown Brasserie (380 Lafayette Street, 212-533-7000)
OK, this might sound a bit like a generalization, but Year of the Takeout didn’t have high expectations from Chinatown Brasserie. That’s because it seems like another one of those Chinese restaurants that obsesses over French cooking techniques to the detriment of making good Chinese food. Or, as the Voice‘s Robert Sietsema paraphrases, “Chinese food for white people.”
But hey, the restaurant delivers, and we couldn’t leave our desk today, so we ordered in and waited for the worst.
Now, we can’t speak to the whole menu, but goddamn: The $7 turnip cakes are outright paragons of porky, pan-fried starch. And the XO sauce — a spicy, fishy paste of sorts — adds necessary heat and garlic to these rich and simple slices.
We’re very tempted to order again from this belle Brasserie.