Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District serves Southeast Asian food in an exotic setting.
You’ll be transported to Southeast Asia in this sexy, enticing atmosphere.
At Spice Market, you will find dishes from Thailand, Korea, India, Malaysia and more that are served family-style with a fusion twist.
Considering Spice Market has been around since 2004, it still draws a crowd. On a Tuesday evening, this sprawling establishment was packed by 8 pm.
Papadam: We were served Papadam, an Indian starter, which is a fried, crispy cracker. The chutney prepared with tomatoes, aromatic Indian spices, including mustard seeds, was flavorsome with a kick of spice.
Raspberry Lychee Martini (left): A refreshing martini that was light, crispy and not too sweet. My favorite of the two.
Ginger Margarita (right): A highly talked about drink at Spice Market, and so I had to try it. The margarita sort of tasted like ginger-ale, meaning you could barely even taste any alcohol, but there was most definitely alcohol in there. A bold ginger flavor with a kick of spice. Divine!
Chilled Prawns: The prawns sat over a bed of ice and were served with a sweet & spicy cocktail sauce. The shrimp was soft, fresh, and juicy, it just melted in my mouth.
Spiced Chicken Samosas: The chicken samosa was filled with moist minced chicken and it was a tad bit spicy, nothing you can’t handle though. The cilantro infused yogurt sauce was smooth and creamy with a slight kick. Incredible combination and a must do!
Black Pepper Shrimp: The sun-dried pineapple bits to the right were sweet and tangy. The shrimp was soft, juicy and consisted of good amounts of black pepper. When paired together, this appetizer was sweet and peppery. Light, healthy and delectable.
Striped Bass: This dish consisted of Korean flavors and was on the spicier side. Striped Bass combined with wok fried Napa cabbage, jicama, cucumber and kimchi were both sweet and spicy. Additionally, this dish was a tad bit salty, but still appetizing.
Chili-Garlic Egg Noodles: And yet another dish that had both the sweet and spicy elements that I love. When this side arrives, you need to give these noodles a little toss so all the flavors combine. The seared shrimp was soft and tender. The noodles were prepared with chili, star anise, basil and honey. Although they mention “garlic” noodles, this side wasn’t garlicky at all. Despite that, this was an excellent side with generous portions of shrimp, and it tasted even better the next day.
Ginger Fried Rice: When this dish arrives, break up the egg into the rice. The heat of the rice will cook the egg and scramble it. There is a prominent flavor of ginger in this dish. Highly seasoned dish and easily one of my favorite dishes of the evening.
Ovaltine Kulfi: There was a lot going on in this dessert. A slice of caramelized banana sitting over ovaltine flavored chocolates. The chocolates were insanely delicious. To the side were caramel flavored popcorn with a butterscotch sauce and incredibly light whipped cream. A creative dessert that came together impeccably. This was my favorite dessert out of the three.
Cassava Cake: It was my first time trying a Cassava Cake. The cake itself wasn’t sweet, however it was served with a side of condensed milk ice-cream and a ginger sauce over the top. The orchid petals adorned this lovely dessert, however the Cassava Cake was just okay for me.
Thai Jewels: Tropical fruits combined with shaved coconut ice. This dessert was pretty good, but I didn’t love it.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Spice Market
CUISINE: Asian Fusion, Thai, Vietnamese
FAVORITES: Complimentary Starter Papadam | Ginger Margarita | Lychee Raspberry Martini | Spiced Chicken Samosas | Chili-Garlic Egg Noodles | Ginger Fried Rice | Coconut Sticky Rice
VERDICT: 4.5 / 5
Spice Market is easily one of my favorite restaurants. It’s a trendy, upscale restaurant that has elements of both romance and character. It’s rare for me to find all of those attributes in one restaurant. The idea of bringing different flavors from all over Asia to one place is brilliant. Being of Indian origin myself, I can honestly say I really enjoyed the Papadam and Chicken Samosas. The flavors were fairly authentic with a slight fusion flair. The one thing I will say is there is some spice in almost every dish, some more than others, and so you need to be able to handle at least a little spice to enjoy the food at Spice Market. One of my all time favorite restaurants and a must do when in the Meatpacking District. Highly recommended and will definitely be back.
Food: Excellent | Drinks: Outstanding | Décor: Romantic/Trendy/Sexy | Service: Excellent/Attentive | Value: Fair/Good
403 West 13th Street, New York, NY
Have you been to Spice Market? If so, what is your favorite dish to order?