Spice Market Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week. Some people aren’t into it, and I understand why. Reservations are difficult to get, restaurants are always crowded, and if you don’t choose your restaurant carefully, you can end up with a mass produced menu that is not a real reflection of the restaurant’s abilities.
But…I get up early to get reservations. I don’t mind crowds or a little research. And – mostly – I’m cheap.
Thus, we hit up Spice Market for restaurant week.
Having been to and loved a Jean-Georges restaurant before, I expected wonderful food. What I did not expect was a humongous, gorgeous restaurant that looked like it was straight off the set of Indiana Jones! I felt like I was somewhere in between Morocco and Malaysia amidst the intricate carvings and dark wooden details. A hip and totally beautiful space.

I started off with the house made ginger ale. Sweet, slightly spicy and intensely fizzy, this was more of an aperitif than a drink. It was complex but not at all floral or overpowering – it made savory dishes more savory, spicy dishes spicier and brought out the sweet undertones in other dishes. It was one of the finest non-alcoholic drinks I have ever had.

Indian poppadums and spiced tomato chutney. The lentil crackers had a distinctively legume-y taste and shattered at the merest glance. Their crispness was a perfect counterpart to the chunky tomato chutney that was sweet, spicy, and fragrant with mustard seeds. I could have finished this off on my own…damn dining with other people!

Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Radish and Soy-Ginger dressing.
This was not life changing, but it was delicious and well prepared. The salmon was fresh as could be, with that fatty taste that such good salmon has. The avocado was creamy and fruity, the radish had a peppery kick and the soy-ginger dressing was a spicy-salty-savory delight. Despite not being revelatory in any way, it was an expertly prepared twist on a classic.

Charred Chili-Rubbed Beef Skewer with Thai Basil Dipping Sauce.
SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM MYSELF! These beef skewers ROCKED MY PLANET!!!  I mean, these are the best kebabs I have EVER eaten! Sweet, juicy, hearty beef with a crispy and lightly spicy crust giving way to the softest innards imaginable. The way that the char played off the beef’s inherent sweetness was cooking at its finest – really letting the ingredients shine. The Thai basil dipping sauce was cool and fragrant, cutting through the fabulous fatty taste of those skewers. I could have eaten about 19 of these as my main course.
Or for breakfast, every day.

For my main, I got the Cod with Malaysian Chili Sauce and Thai Basil. It was, in a word, perfection. The cod had an almost impossibly crisp crust that surrounded luscious, velvety fish. The chili sauce was almost entirely sweet, in contrast to the mellow fish, but there was just the fainest hit of spice at the end. It was so late on the finish that I almost missed it – but then my nose started to run from the heat! The chiffonade of cucumbers and basil on top added a light and vegetal taste to the dish, and completed it perfectly.

I ate the Ovaltine Kulfi with Spiced Milk Chocolate Sauce and Caramelized Banana for dessert. This creamy dessert, rich as ice cream but light as mousse, was a chocolate BOMB. I mean it was sweet, it was heavy and it was perfection. I could not really detect any spices in the chocolate affair, just sweet milk chocolate topped with some light-as-air whipped cream and whimsical caramel corn. De. Lish.
That’s what this whole meal was, really – de. lish. I got some awesome service from our excellent server, AND I got four courses for only $35. Most restaurants only offer three courses, and most restaurants do not have such excellent food, atmosphere and service.
And no restaurant has ever made me want to eat a beef skewer for breakfast.
Until now.
Spice Market on Urbanspoon


  1. Sarah Rahman says:

    That dessert rocked our worlds. The lamb curry was amazing, too. They extended their restaurant week till the 27th, you know!

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Sarah-ummm…do you think we should go back????