I'm a fan of chef Bill Taibe from dining at The Whelk, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. (I'm sure I would have been a fan of Le Farm, too, but sadly in the 10 years I've worked down the street in Westport I never made it there before they closed the doors. Unforgivable, I know.)
Today, I finally had lunch at Kawa Ni.
My dining companions, Veronica and Anastasia (not their real names), had been before, so they lead the way in terms of the menu.
I was surprised at how tiny the place was, and could understand how it's impossible to get a table on weekend nights. I think I've seated more people in my dining room on Thanksgiving.
We started off by sharing a few small plates, and each ordered a lunch entrée. The food came out hot and was fresh and vibrant.
Next up was the Peekytoe Crab Rangoon with a carrot ginger dipping sauce. The rangoons were deep fried to perfection. Seriously, I didn't even need the dipping sauce with them. The insides were creamy and delicious.
I'm Italian, so if there's one thing I know about it's rice balls. This rice ball – the Onigiri – however, couldn't have been further from the arrancini of my childhood or have been more amazing. We tried the Pickled Farm Greens with pickled peanuts and cashews. The rice was the perfect amount chewey, the sauce creamy and the greens wilty. Delish!
There was no way I was going to this place and not getting noodles. I had the Turkey Ramen which was a braised leg, sofrito, egg over ramen in a broth that was so flavorful I wanted to pick up the bowl and drink it. And don't get me started on dishes that include an egg; they have me at hello.
Veronica and Anastasia (again, not their real names) both had the spicy miso. Anastasia's flushed face gave away the heat that was in the bowl. I had a quick taste and it was a welcomed punch of heat.
Four hours later and I'm STILL FULL.
That's the sign of a great lunch experience.
Believe the hype.
19 Bridge Square