Mooncake Foods

by Susan on January 7, 2009

[Food:4/5]

Delectable pan-asian food.
Bold flavors.
Cheap prices.
Friendly service.

Those four sentences explain why I have a huge crush on Mooncake Foods in SoHo. My love affair with this quirky, diner-like eatery started with lunch. Since then I’ve returned countless times, for lunch and dinner. Sometimes it’s just my husband and I; sometimes we go with friends. Over Christmas we were a party of nine family members. Regardless of meal or company, everyone leaves smitten with Mooncake’s cozy feel and fabulous food.

Most of you probably haven’t heard of it, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time deciding whether or not to share it with you. But it’s the New Year and I’m feeling generous. Consider this review a belated holiday present.

Chicken wings, glazed with honey and soy, get the browning treatment under the broiler. Make sure you get the piquant, jalapeno dipping sauce.

Oversized mussels are baked with sambal mayo.

Dare I tell you these delicious starters are just $4.50? The retro prices match the décor.

A handful of menu sections offer heavier fare: sandwiches, salads, wonton soups, a section simply called “plates”, and daily dinner specials. Dinner specials and a killer dish of Grilled Prawns and Glass Noodles will run you $16. Everything else tops out at $8.80. Yes, it’s almost obscene.

This is where one might begin to worry about the ingredients and the portion sizes. They’ve got to cut a corner somewhere, right? Wrong. Mooncake’s meats and fish are fresh. Their vegetables are bright and crispy. Their portions are generous (there’s even a good chance you’ll have leftovers).

The steak sandwich (“add a buck for cheese”) is laden with juicy bites of beef and vibrant peppers.

Spicy Hoisin Fish Tacos are the make-your-own variety. A filet of moist white fish is grilled on a banana leaf and served with hoisin sauce, flour tortillas, and cucumber slivers.

The Miso-Glazed Salmon has more flavor than at restaurants who charge triple for a smaller portion.

The salads are served in the deepest of bowls; a bottomless pit of green leaves and innovative dressings. The Warm Portobello Caesar with salmon and tofu dressing is my personal favorite.

The only dishes I’ve found disappointing are from the wonton soup category. It’s the only place where Mooncake’s healthy fare backfires. The MSG is missing, and to me, so is the flavor.

The menu is lengthy. The flavors are abundant. I’m confident it’s hard to mis-order at this SoHo gem. You too, will be over the moon.

Mooncake Foods
Cash Only
28 Watts Street
New York, NY 10013
212.219.8888

ps. There’s also a Chelsea location.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lindsley January 7, 2009 at 10:41 am

Darn it–I was hoping the cat would never be let out of the bag on this one, but Moon Cake deserves a bigger following, so I won’t cry.

I do beg to differ on the wonton soups! I order them all the time for lunch with the pea shoots, toasted garlic and shrimp–the flavor is great and the $6.50 price tag makes for a huge, cheap lunch.

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