Friday, August 8, 2008


Believe me, Fresh IS fresh. I had the good fortune of trying out this seafood restaurant in downtown NY with my friend. This restaurant is exactly what its owner set out to do - the seafood is fresh and the preparation is perfect. With fresh in mind, me and my foodie friend set out to order the freshest items on their menu - this meant nothing that could be prepared ahead of time, such as pasta or seafood sausage.

I did my research on Fresh ahead of time, so I was looking forward to seeing the fish cheeks that I read so much about. To my disappointment, it wasn't there! So I started off with the Grilled Hawaiian Prawns, then the Seared Big Eye Tuna as my entree. My friend had the Tuna Tartare and Roasted Halibut. Before our appetizers came, our server treated us to some very good tuna springrolls, which were topped with a citrusy aioli with a hint of heat.

Here's a rather long and detailed review of what we had. You can skip the text and just look at the beautiful photography if you're interested. ;-)


I have to say that I may have been too busy talking to fully appreciate my meal, but I know for sure that the Grilled Hawaiian Prawns were possibly the best prawns I've had. Our server had told me when I ordered the item that the prawns came in just last night, so I was very pleased to hear that. When the plate came, all signals told me it was perfectly cooked - the prawns had a nice bounce in the meat and the flesh was not entirely white. It smelled delicious, and tasted delicious...perfectly seasoned. The accompaniments (avocado and tomato confit) were a nice complement to the prawns.

Grilled Hawaiian Prawns with Avocado and Tomato Confit

As for my friend's Tuna Tartare, it was quite flavorful. It was served with Taro Chips, a nice contrast of texture to the soft tartare.

Tuna Tartare with Taro Chips and Wasabi Caviar


My entree was overshadowed by my appetizer. Sadly, Fresh fell into one of those appetizer is better than entree category I have for restaurants. The tuna was fresh, but was a bit stringy (perhaps this was due to the cut of the meat)...there were these stringy membranes in the grain of the meat, and it took some strength to cut them. The fish came with baby bok choy, sticky garlic rice and shiitake mushroom - they were good, but not hit you over the head wow. I figured by now that it is food (or combinations of ingredients) I've never tasted before that have the wow factor for me...being that I'm Asian, a dish with Asian ingredients would take more to wow me than anything else.

Seared Big Eye Tuna with Baby Bok Choy, Sticky Garlic Rice and Shiitake Mushroom

I had two bites my friend's Roasted Halibut with Asparagus, Maitake Mushroom, Corn Puree and Pickled Shallots. From what I could tell, the fish was perfectly cooked. My friend said the fish was buttery, a good sign of a halibut cooked pefectly. I wasn't sure though about the combination of pickled shallots and fish. As for the maitake mushroom, I told my friend that it "tasted like feet, not that I know what feet tastes like." I haven't had that type of mushroom before. I don't know if it was the preparation of it with vinegar or that it's a very assertive and bold kind of mushroom that I didn't like.

Roasted Halibut with Asparagus, Maitake Mushrooms, Corn Puree and Pickled Shallots


Despite reading a good number of negative reviews on this part of the meal, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is contrary to popular opinion. The dessert menu had your standard Molten Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Moouse Cake, but it also had a few interesting items like Pineapple Upside Down with Coconut Sorbet and Lime Sauce and Olive Oil Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Strawberry Sorbet.

I had the Lemon Almond Tart with Cassis Sorbet. Although I did not taste the almond, it was nicely done and was perfectly refreshing for a summer night. My friend's Olive Oil Cake had an interesting crunch on the outside. I have made Olive Oil Cakes before, and they can be dense. So I appreciated the fact that the pastry chef cut the cake horizontally and added some fruits in between the slices.

Lemon Almond Tart with Cassis Sorbet and Fresh Berries

Olive Oil Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Strawberry Sorbet

Last and finally, we were treated to Oatmeal Macarons at the end of our meal. Macarons are French almond cookies with a buttercream filling. I am a fanatic when it comes to Macarons, so you could imagine the excitment on my face when I saw these. I was fooled...they looked like macarons, but tasted like oatmeal cookies. Very interesting...

Oatmeal Macarons

Overall, it's a good (above average) place for fresh and perfectly cooked seafood. I know now that when I go to Fresh, I don't have to worry about overcooked and tough fish.

No comments: