Talde

I used to watch Top Chef religiously. Well, until Top Chef Texas.  I got about 5 episodes into it and decided I’d rather beat my foot with a rusty claw hammer than watch another episode of reject cooks found in the kitchen at some Chili‘s. Aside from the Texas season, Top Chef has featured a few stand-out chefs, one of which is Dale Talde. I like this dude. He worked at Buddakan, wore a DQM hat, was hot headed and hated everyone; my kind of guy. And after he got in Michael Chiarello’s face, on an episode of Top Chef Masters, Talde quickly bumped his way to the top of my list of favorite chefs on the show. (I can’t stand Michael Chiarello and his bullshit olive garden type food.) When I heard Talde was opening a restaurant in Brooklyn, I had to go check it out and see if his s--- talk was real.

 Talde is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th Street - home of the “urban family”.  Now the last thing I wanted to do was wait behind a screaming baby while its parents checked their iPhones and drank beer, so I patiently waited months to visit, until all the culinary hype-beast crowd subsided. As you walk in, you’re greeted with a bar and walls that are decorated with Asian wood carvings, like an old school Chinese restaurant would have in the 70’s. There are a few tables and booths, and an open kitchen where you can hear Talde’s monotone voice yelling out “Fire one octopus, Fire one shrimp toast.” I had already seen the menu before we went there, so my friend and I did not waste time ordering. Here’s what we ordered:

Pretzel Pork & Chive Dumplings ($8):  The filling was nicely balanced, with tender pork and chives, and wrapped in pretzel dough. The spicy mustard was tricky, though. It was one of those mustard that hit you at the end and all of a sudden your nose is running more than a model in a club bathroom.


Shrimp Toast ($11):  Four slices of shrimp toast, with a sunny side egg on top, and Chinese sausage gravy on the side.  If I had to deconstruct this dish and describe it as a woman, the shrimp toast, with its tender shrimp and chives, was like a really hot girl. The perfectly cooked egg was her trust fund and the sausage gravy was her twin sister. All I can say is if you don’t order this dish, you will die an empty person.

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Korean Fried Chicken ($23):  A tender chicken breast, deep fried and served in a Kimchi yogurt sauce with grapes and mint. The chicken was perfectly fried, with a crunchy outer crust, and had just the right amount of seasoning, with a little kick that was turned down by the yogurt. I had a hard time not dipping the grapes in the Kimchi sauce. My one gripe with this dish is the price point. $23 is steep for a piece of chicken breast
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Shrimp Fried Rice ($8): A huge bowl of rice, mixed with shrimp, scrambled eggs, bean sprouts and hints of Thai basil and sesame oil. I liked this dish. It reminded me of the fried rice I make at home, using leftover white rice from the night before.


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New York is full of shit talkers, especially in the culinary world. I took Dale Talde off that list. The food was good. Actually, it was better than I expected.  Simple Asian flavors done in a twisted way.

Talde
369 7th avenue, Brooklyn NY
(347) 916-0031
 
 

4 comments:

  1. I tried going here practically the same week it opened, which was a huge mistake. The situation was exactly the one you described as the one to avoid, so good call. Needless to say, I didn't get to eat there yet.
    Those pretzel/pork things look divine. I'm def. gonna try going there again.
    But I can't believe Dale would approve of those god-awfully hideous, 99c store, red-and-white pattern plates! They are so unappetizing :/

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  2. [...] south and people who marry their cousins.  My first experience with Korean fried chicken was at Talde. The problem is Dale Talde is Philippino and not Korean.  That was like buying a slice at an [...]

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  3. [...] who knows me knows how big a fan I am of Top Chef. I’ve been to Dale Talde’s Talde Brooklyn as well as Harold Dieteltre’s kin shop. Next up to bat was Leah Cohen’s Pig & Khao. [...]

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  4. […] came from Dale Talde and his latest project Pork Slope. After a panty dropping meal at Talde, I was excited to see what he was going to do with everyday bar food. I like nachos, I like pulled […]

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