Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pig & Khao: A Most Delightful Combination

 Chicharrons with coconut vinegar & a Michelada
My favorite thing about my friend Shannon visiting is that she is a fearless foodie.  I will literally forgo going to restaurants until she comes to town so we can experience them together.  However, she's gotten into a stale routine the last few years of going to the same places over and over again.  This visit, I was determined to break her out of her routine and introduce her to my yummy neighborhood!

Pig and Khao opened over the summer and I've been dying to try it!  Using a Google Offer ($15 for $30 - yeah, baby!) - which we desperately needed after our week of eating out - we jumped in chicharrons deep!  What??  That's a saying.

Grilled Pork Jowl with watermelon, and chicharrons
The restaurant is sleek, modern, tiny, and congested.  It's a little noisy and a little too friendly with the neighbors seated next to you.  But this is indicative of many new restaurants in NYC these days, especially in the LES.  The nice thing about these tiny little places, is that the eavesdropping is usually fantastic and so is ordering off of other people's tables.  "Um, I'll have what that person two tables down is having... yeah the noodle thing."

We of course started things off right with a couple of cocktails and some five spice chicharrons with coconut vinegar (it's okay, I didn't know this was a thing either).  They were fresh, hot, crunchy, spicy, salty... the best.  If you've never had fresh chicharrons, you are missing out.  To wash them down, I had a Michelada, (Genesee beer, P&K sangrita, Thai chili salt) one of my favorite drinks and a good deal at $6.  Shannon had the Phuket Punch (Prosecco, grapefruit-cinnamon syrup, and mint), which I determined tasted exactly like applesauce, and we agreed that was not a bad thing at all.

Grilled Curry Lamb Ribs
Our next course was Grilled Pork Jowl with watermelon, chicharron, toasted rice, lime-chili fish sauce, and herbs.  This dish was so damn near perfect that I dream about it at night.  The pork jowl was grilled perfectly and melted in your mouth as soon as it hit your tongue.  The jowl paired with the sweet, refreshing watermelon, spicy, salty, crunchy chicharrons and the perfect hit of acid from sauce and a little cool cilantro - it was truly amazing.  We practically licked the plate clean!

As an entree we ordered the Grilled Curry Lamb Ribs that came with an  a little yogurt sauce, pickled beets, whole wheat roti chapatti.  We also ordered a side of their vegetable of the day, which was some sort of Asian green with a tasty little sauce on it.

The perfect bite makes Shannon very happy -
that cocktail wasn't hurting either!
Okay, I'm not going to lie, I really do love food that requires assembly like this.  I enjoy putting together that perfect little bite of food that suits my palate just right.  These lamb ribs were fantastic!  They were tender, well seasoned and grilled, and not gamy or fatty (which can happen with lamb).  The combination of the meaty smoky lamb, with the cool yogurt, tang of the beets, bitterness of the greens, sweetness of the coconut rice rolled up in that light and delicious roti was amazing!  And as you can see from Shannon's face, it made us that happy!
Turon - banana fritter, chocolate sauce,
and salted caramel ice cream
For dessert - yeah, we managed to shovel some more food down our throats - we got the Turon (banana fritter, chocolate sauce, and salted caramel ice cream).  This was probably our least favorite dish of the night.  I mean don't get me wrong, we ate it, but it was lowest on the list.  The "banana fritters" weren't exactly what you want from a "fritter."  These were essentially pastry wrapped bananas, like you'd see at any typical Thai restaurant.  Nothing to write home about for sure.  However, I would write home about that salted caramel ice cream, because it was fantastic.  I recommend just ordering a dish of that.

At the end of this amazing meal, we definitely felt like pigs and cows... not to be confused with Pig and Khao!  It was excellent, and I am soooooooooooo excited to go back when their garden is open!

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