Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lucky Belly

I made the trek to Lucky Belly in Chinatown just because I've heard so much about it! Usually, sifting through traffic and finding non-existent parking is not my thing, but lucky for Lucky Belly, I did just that!

Located in the old Mini Garden on Hotel St. and Smith St., I love the ambiance. A rich wooden interior with natural light from the ceiling-length windows, you would never think you were eating in Chinatown.

I asked my good friend Allen to eat here with me one day. He works in Downtown, so I though it'd be convenient for him. Worked out!

I got there around 1050am and they apparently open at 11am. 11am went by, 1110am went by and finally around 1115am, they opened their doors. By that time, 5 different parties were waiting. Some of the older people waiting were pretty upset, but Lucky Belly's staff were gracious, apologized and took it with a smile.

So what did Allen and I order? Pork Belly Bao, of course! I've heard nothing but good reviews on that. Next, Duck Lumpia. But sadly, 5 minutes after ordering, they came back and said they were out of that that day. Then, Belly Bowl and Ku Chu Chung Braised Brisket Tartine, which apparently was the waitress' favorite.

Verdict? It all started out really well with the Pork Belly Bao. Delicious. Fatty. Refreshing cucumber slice to balance it out. And yes, lots of cilantro!! Thumbs up!

But, it went downhill from there. We waited for our Belly Bowl and Tartine for about 15 minutes when it seemed like all of the tables around us were getting their Belly Bowls first, even when sitting down after us. And I have proof. Our friends who just so happened to stop in and have lunch, sat next to us. They ordered the three exact same dishes as us, and received all before us. UH WHAT. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. Come on, at least serve the people first who sat down first! It's only fair!!!

And, when the Tartine and Belly Bowl finally arrived, the Belly Bowl broth was extremely salty, while the Tartine was just a bunch of stringy beef chunks, not tender at all. Allen and I barely ate any of the Tartine. I still won't pass up my ramen from Tenkaippin for this!

I know the menu here is constantly changing, so I definitely want to go back and give it another chance. Still would love to try their Duck Lumpia, Shrimp Gyoza with edamame avocado puree and ponzu and their Tempura Shrimp Tacos!

PS- Lunch was reasonably-priced. Thumbs up! Hard to find that in this day and age...

Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-2pm, 5pm-12midnight
The Window: Thurs-Sat take out 10pm-230am

Pork Belly Bao

Braised Brisket Tartine

Belly Bowl- comes with belly, smoked bacon and arabiki sausage

Roasted Garlic Spread on the braised brisket

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