55 Bond St (Bowery & 2nd St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 677-2223
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Seafood
Fish Cheeks is a lively spot serving up just as lively Thai food in NoHo. Brightly colored chairs fill the space with fish-shaped lights dangling above the bar. Seafood is prominent on the menu along with plenty of heat. Dishes here, both small and large, are meant to be shared family-style.
Dinner here begins with a bowl of puffed rice chips in whites, pinks and greens served with a chili jam. Hat Yai, a fried chicken dish, comes smothered in wonderful crispy fried shallots. Grab a piece and plunge it into sweet chili sauce. You won't be disappointed. Shrimps in 3 Crabs Sauce features raw shrimps served in lime juice with garlic, bird's eye chili and mint. It's similar to ceviche but not quite as citrusy. Nomtok Pork was the tastiest dishes we tried. The grilled pork is served with roasted rice, shallot and scallion witha burst of fresh cilantro. It's a dish that is hard to share. While the pork is labeled spicy, it is nowhere near the heat experienced with the Coconut Crab Curry. Huge chunks of King Crab submersed in a bowl of golden curry with red droplets of chili sauce visible throughout. On a heat scale of one-to-ten, this one ranks a ten. Clam Strip with Chili Jam also packs plenty of heat. But the clams are so tender, so juicy, they quickly rise above the heat sliced red chili. Fragrant green basil leaves adding to this flavorful dish.
Here's what we didn't get to try (at least not yet). Several tables could be seen ordering the crab fried rice with huge chunks of crab mixed with egg, scallion and rice. Fried Branzino, served whole, arrives golden brown and crusty. It is served with with fried garlic in a fish sauce broth, while grilled porgy is stuffed with lemongrass paste with nam jin seafood, which is traditionally made with garlic, fish sauce, sugar and lime. A spicy shrimp soup, called Tom Yum Goon, is a showstopper arriving in a circular silver tower. The broth is a combination of milk, shallots, lemongrass, mushroom, bird's eye chili and kaffir lime leaves. Also on the menu is a dish of baked shrimp and pork belly with glass noodles and cilanto; and a stir-fry of shrimp, scallop and squid with wild ginger, basil and green peppercorns.
Fish Cheeks is also serving cocktails, traditional Thai beers and beverages like Thai iced tea and coffee. One thing you should also be aware of is the restaurant is "credit card only," no cash.
To see more of Fish Cheeks, visit the CitiBlog
Review By: Thomas Rafael