Mooncake Foods has the Winning Formula for Lunch
It’s a tried and true and idiot proof formula – offer tasty food made from quality ingredients, with sufficient portions at a fair price and the people will come. Then why do so many places in Midtown screw up the equation? I digress. On the other hand, Mooncake Foods has always scored an ‘A’ in this subject in my opinion, at their locations in Chelsea and SoHo. So I’m very excited that they’ve brought their low hanging fruit to the grateful lunchers of Midtown West.
If you’ve been to the other Mooncake Foods locations, you’ll know what you’re in for – It’s Asian inspired dishes (don’t look for authenticity here), spanning almost all of the East Asian culinary genres. But most importantly, almost every entrée on the menu is under $10. You could order a Thai affected steak salad ($6) with your Japanese (via Nobu Matsuhisa) inspired miso glazed salmon ($8.95). Or you could opt for their adaptation of a Chinese Wonton soups ($6.50), with crunchy and fresh Vietnamese summer rolls ($4.50), pictured above.
They do sandwiches very well here, and out of their extensive menu of soups, salads, entrees, and sandwiches, I’m having the most fun working through the latter. For example, the porkchop sandwich ($7.50) – they take tender and thin slices of pork, brushed with a bit of hoisin and quickly grilled, and pair them with a sweet mango chutney and irresistibly crunchy and fresh bread. Add a drizzle of spicy chili oil, and pair with a fresh side salad with carrot ginger dressing, you’ve got yourself a very tasty and very filling lunch for under $10.
Their play on Asian fish tacos is also a winner. An order comes with an impressive portion of broiled tilapia that’s nicely browned on top, but still flaky, sweet, and moist within. Fold a few morsels of tilapia into a flour tortilla, add a swipe of spicy roasted pine nut hoisin sauce, and perhaps some crunchy cucumbers and cilantro. The result is an exceptional bite of food that’ll fill you up for lunch and for only $8.95.
Overall they’re very consistent – I don’t recall ever having a bad experience eating at any of the three Mooncake locations. On the other hand, naysayers may say that the menu takes too many liberties with authentic Asian flavors, and they might be right. However, it’s ‘safe’ food, to the point where I’d feel comfortable dragging along my Café Metro loving co-workers (somewhat out-of-Midtown-bounds to boot) without fear of repercussion. The food might not blow you away, but it’ll certainly impress you when it comes to portion and price. Will I return for another meal at Mooncake Foods? I went back for dinner the same day.
The + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- Almost everything on the menu is under $10 and are quite tasty
- The portion sizes always fill me up
- The menu has a lot of variety, and should accommodate a variety of palates (vegetarians, picky eaters, spice addicts, etc)
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- It’s technically out of Midtown lunch bounds
- It’s not authentic / I don’t like Asian fusion
- The dining room is cramped / crowded
Mooncake Foods, 359 West 54th St (between 8th & 9th Ave). 212-262-9888