Monday, March 30, 2009

[NYC '09: Lunch, day 3] Emporium Brasil: Don't Pass the Salt

Times Square and Midtown was on the main agenda of day three in Manhattan. I had initially wanted to grab lunch at the Dean and Deluca café near Rockefeller – for those who don’t know me, I am IN LOVE with Dean and Deluca. I don’t really know how this love started but I think that place is absolute genius. But blegh, bad luck – we hit D&D right during lunch hour and couldn’t find an empty table anywhere so we had to improvise somehow. We walked down to 46th and turned into a small side street and settled for Emporium Brasil instead.

Sunny and Debs both went for the rigatoni com brócolis e frango/rigatoni, broccoli & sautéed chicken ($12.25) while I ordered the espaguete primavera/spaghetti with mixed vegetables in tomato sauce ($11.25). Personally, spaghetti is my least favorite type of pasta but the spaghetti dish was the only vegetarian option on the pasta menu. Anyhow, the chef at Emporium Brasil must not know that pasta is a filling carbohydrate because the pasta dishes were HUGE. The three of us all left at least half of our pasta untouched.

(Salty rigatoni)

But the size aside, I was pleasantly surprised by how well cooked the spaghetti was. It was perfectly al dente. On the flip side though, I was disappointed by the dish as a whole. The veggies was cheap, probably bought-in-bulk-frozen stuff – broccoli florets, carrots and mushrooms. On top of that, the dish was probably 80% salt. I mean, I was brought up on an HK diet of MSG-rich instant noodles and even I couldn’t take the saltiness. Sunny and Debs complained about the over-saltiness of their dishes too. Someone needs to hide the kitchen’s salt shaker.

(Would not go near this if it weren't for the al dente-ness: spaghetti primevera)

Having said that though, the service was pretty great. The waitstaff are attentive and I actually think that the service is too good for a place like Emporium Brasil. This was the first disappointing meal we’ve had during the NY trip. Oh well, I guess I can’t expect 100% perfection…even in New York City.

FOOD: 2/5

15 West 46th st.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 764-4646

No comments: