Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mixed Messages at Megu New York

By: Patrick Chang

Ever since I heard the seductive line on The Travel Channel’s show Steak Paradise “At Megu, beef is king and there is no better beef than Kobe beef,” I immediately fell in deep infatuation with Megu. As a Texan, there’s no better comfort food than a nice juicy steak and those words were a sweet temptation to me. I knew I had to try it out, and right upon booking my reservation, I was as giddy as a little girl thinking she’s getting a pony for her 5th birthday. During the episode of Steak Paradise, the manager of Megu demonstrated just how delicate their Kobe beef was. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but he melted a block of beef just by rubbing the meat gently between his fingertips. I didn’t know such thing was possible and was impressed with disbelief. I was convinced that my steak experience was going to be magical.

My trek to Megu was miserable. NYC was in the middle of a cold front, the temperature was blistering and the snow was pounding. I barely had any senses left by the time I got there, but as I stepped into the establishment, I was met with a sense of comfort. It was an energetic, trendy, and hip place. First thing I noticed were the techno beats blasting from the speakers. The second thing was how I was greeted by an array of alluring hostesses ready to seduce my wallet. The hostess led us to a waiting area with a bar, where there was another glowing angelic figure. I questioned myself “have I died and gone to heaven?” That’s when I realized that my mouth was salivating, but couldn’t figure out if it was from all the walking beauties or the scent of steak permeating the air.

Besides the gorgeous hostesses and bartenders, I would say the next best thing about Megu was the dining room, its design, décor and ambiance was simply breathtaking. At night, a hand carved giant ice sculpture of Buddha in the middle of a pond with floating rose petals sat in the middle of the dining room.

Sautéed Unagi Salad with Mustard Sauce: **** out of *****
I am personally not a huge fan of Unagi. Sure, I’ll eat it and appreciate it for what it is, but it’s never something I crave. Surprisingly though, this dish did well with me. Who knew that mixing mustard and Unagi would create such a unique and perfectly tangy dish. The flavors were interesting that oddly complemented each other quite well.

Let me tell you something though, this dish was almost the end of Patrick Chang. I had a close encounter with death when choking on a piece of bone in my Unagi.

Kobe Beef and Asparagus Croquette: *** out of *****
How did they get the Asparagus to stand up like that?! The presentation of the dish was pretty simple and a bit odd. I was hesitant in ordering the croquette since I knew it was just going to be a ball of fried meat and fried vegetable, but for some reason I was drawn to it. I must have wanted it subconsciously wanting to challenge it. I was thinking to myself “why anyone would want to ruin a good piece of meat by deep frying it?” After my first bite of the Kobe Beef Croquette, I was amazed. The croquette wasn’t dripping with oil or grease and was surprisingly excellent. There weren’t any fillers, just meat (a big plus). The beef within was extremely tender, juicy, and flavorful. The thin breaded skin and panko flakes brought good texture to the croquette. The breading did not overpower the dish as with most fried food. It was a good complement to the beef and brought it some crunch. The asparagus differed from your typical tempura. The breading was made with the panko instead of flour, but honestly what is there to talk about for fried vegetables?

Premium Kobe Sirloin Beef Steak Served with Platinum Rice: **** out of *****
This is the bread and butter of Megu. They are known for their Kobe Beef. Our steaks were incredibly delicious and flavorful. As always, I ordered my steak rare. One thing you learn from Anthony Bourdain is never order meat over cooked since the chef will use a lower quality meat to hide its lower quality by having it over cooked.

The quality of Kobe was superb. The meat was tender and melted in my mouth. There was a lot of hype to Megu and it takes merit to be featured on Steak Paradise, this surely does lives up to the hype.

Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Beans: ** out of *****
Really? Honestly? COME ON … no pastry chef in the back? The world famous Megu is going to serve me a green tea ice cream for dessert? What a joke… I can buy green tea ice cream anywhere…

Overall: This meal was the fastest meal I’ve ever eaten at a nice restaurant. I think I was in and out in 45 minutes. You can say this speaks a lot for the service, food and disappointment. The service was impeccable. The food was brought out and taken away the minute we were done. Water was refilled constantly and never hovered a dangerous thirst level. The food portions were small and not filling, but what can you expect? Its not a Chinese buffet!

62 Thomas St
New York, NY 10013-3820
(212) 964-7777

Megu on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

Went to Megu for restaurant week. Not too impressed with the food, but ambiance was great.

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST!!! MORE PLEASE this guy is awesome!!!

Irwin said...

I have to agree with Anna. The food at Megu was not that impressive.

But great story!

Jessica said...

Oh how disappointing! The thing about great dining is that it's so much more than just the food; it's the entire experience from sipping good wine to eagerly waiting your next entree. Sorry Megu disappointed. :(

Anonymous said...

I know it's kind of simple but I like making meatloaf...Make sthe kitchen smell yummy & such a comfort food

Thanks for the gigordyneve@yahoo.comveaway,

Gabriel S-J. said...

I love to make garlic mashed potatoes with broiled salmon!

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