Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S Fall Food Review 2012: Spice Edition!!!
Post Hurricane Sandy and the Noreaster we just witnessed I decided to treat myself to a Thai dinner and thought of none other than Spice. Spice has several locations throughout the city. Two are clustered in Chelsea on 8th ave and another lone location is in Union Square. No matter which location you go to the food is the same which in my opinion is a very good thing. I decided to go with a sampling of the appetizer menu and then a main course.
We’ll begin with the Curry Puffs, followed by the Golden Fritters, then Fresh Summer Rolls, chased and topped off with Fried Calamari and a lime to cleanse the palate.
The Curry Puffs
The Curry Puffs I actually dove into first just because their flaky pastry shell looked so deliciously golden I had to see what they were like. First off I have to say these Curry Puffs are the bomb if for nothing else than their flaky pastry shell on it’s own. The inside is filled with potato and peas and curry pureed together with some spices. The overall experience is amazingly good. The sauce provided is sweet and compliments the puffs but I think they are good enough to eat on their own. There is a sweet after taste that lingers on the tongue after each bite. I would put it on par if not slightly above some Indian Samosa’s I’ve had in the past.
After this bite I had immediate understanding. The genius of the combination puff pastry with curry puree’ is beyond smart!!! If I had known they were going to taste as amazing as they did, I would have ordered at least two more orders of this delicious appetizers.
Now for the honest review of the Fried Calamari. Overall they were fried to golden perfection and had that expected lightly greasy goodness to them. They were light and bursting with flavor into your mouth. However, the salt content in these bad boys were just too much for me to ignore. I otherwise found them very enjoyable. The tang of the sauce that accompanied the saltiness in the calamari only compounded the thought that eating all of these would give me high blood pressure or a massive migraine. I have to say in this appetizer Spice dropped the ball or the entire salt shaker into the batter. Not good.
These summer rolls were given to me in my order I believe by error of the server who took my order as I wanted Spring rolls and not summer rolls I was expecting fried goodness wrapped with the skill of a master chef and what I received were these Caterpillar like cocoons of wrapped raw vegetables that were bland and actually almost cause me to vomit after the first bite had been down all of a minute. I don’t know if that’s a sign that I tend to prefer my foods (when I have a pig out day) to be fried verses raw. It really is a shock to the system. So maybe I’m a bit prejudiced against the summer rolls but I feel in my honest opinion they were awful.
The Main Course
For my entree after piquing my appetite with the appetizers I approached my Black Noodles and Chicken. Generally speaking I tend to like my dishes with some heat to them. So ordering Thai food I wanted to taste my favorite noodle dish with crushed red pepper. On the heat index I like mild heat to making you sweat and your nose run kind of spice. The crushed red pepper has a distinct flavor and heat that just marries well when combined with sugar like the sugar in the sauce that the black noodles are drenched in.
Knowing what I know now about the awesome wonder that is the Black Noodles and Chicken (Spicy) anything can be dealt with once the first bite of this dish hits your mouth including the over salted Fried Calamari and the underwhelming if not nauseating Summer Rolls. Do you see it? Can you understand it? As they say seeing is believing, but I say while the candy for the eye is a sight to behold, tangible taste that either sublimely matches or surpasses the appearance of the dish is what it’s all about. The experience. The opposite is true if the taste of the dish lacks in comparison to it’s presentation and appearance. That being said, this dish has the perfect balance of flavors between the perfectly cooked slices of chicken and vegetables interwoven between broad rice noodles cooked in a sweet dark sauce and topped off with crushed red pepper. As I said previously. Behold perfection.
This in my opinion is the best noodle dish I’ve had to date and will always have as an “Ace in the hole” go to as an entree. So in sum Spice has a very worthy array of food offerings that can serve as great comfort foods and simple yet sophisticated master pieces of culinary art such as The Black Noodles with Chicken (Spicy). Till next time this has been Fall Food Review: Spice Edition by THEJNSREPORT.