When Redfarm opened in the West Village, people turned out in droves for the upscale dim sum. It’s been a few years and a second location later and this modern take on Chinese is still super popular. Since my parents and I were on our way to theater, we needed to eat an early supper and therefore didn’t have much of a problem getting in. (Much…we still had a little wait.)
The food looks quirky and fun, but it’s not the only part of this restaurant that picks up current trends. Redfarm is not designed like your standard dim sum palace. Instead, it looks like all the Tuscan-y farm to table spots that popped up all around the city a couple years ago. So, yea, you could say this restaurant was built for the Instagram age…but it’s also just plain good.
There are two famous dishes here – the pac-man dumplings and the pastrami eggroll – so I’ll get this out of the way now: we ordered both of them.
The dumplings are as cute as they look on the ‘gram, but they also taste really good. The shrimp inside was a huge chunk, not the pureed nonsense you normally get in dumplings. As for the eggroll, it was nowhere near authentic, but it was so tasty with nicely seasoned meat and a perfectly balanced honey mustard dipping sauce. Both of these dishes are trendy, but I still recommend ordering (especially the eggroll).
We didn’t want to stop with just one type of dumplings so we also got the duck and crab ones that came out looking like little hermit crabs. These were wonderful. The dumplings themselves had a lot of great flavor, but the best part was the pool of Thai curry these little crabbies were swimming in.
When it came to entrées, my Mom and I were starting to get full so we split the duck lettuce wraps. They may be found in the starter section of the menu, but it was definitely large enough for an entree. The duck was chopped into crispy little niblets and the hoisin sauce was great as hoisin usually is. I didn’t even need the pico de gallo that came on the side. Even after his own entrée, my Dad couldn’t help himself from navigating his chopsticks in the direction of the extra duck we left on the plate.
I wish I could remember the details of the lightly crisped fish my Dad ordered. He absolutely loved it, and I have to admit that it was prepared beautifully.
And another sign that this isn’t just Chinese – it’s trendy Chinese – the cocktails are great, too. There’s a lovely drink menu going on, with lots of herbs and shrubs happening.
Redfarm is not the kind of place you go when you want that lazy Sunday night Chinese tradition. (That’s due to both the price and style of cuisine.) It is the place you go when you want some inventive dim sum. And now that they have an UWS outpost, I don’t feel like I’m fighting a scene when it comes to getting a meal.