To recap: so far, I had some really nasty tripe, some okay noodles, and a neat little fried bun thing. I was ready to eat something I knew would be good.
Restaurant 4: Big Wong King, 67 Mott St.
Food: Roast pork
Now, anyone who’s known me longer than ten minutes knows I think Big Wong’s roast pork is the greatest meat on Earth. It’s tender and sweet and just greasy enough and just crispy enough on some bits… I love it. When I moved away from NYC, it was the last place I went to and when I moved back again, it was the first place I came back to. And despite swearing I would not gorge on any one food, I probably ate most of what you see there.
Restaurant 5: Singapore Café
Food: Fried fish balls
While I scarfed down roast pork, I encouraged my husband to go find something else to try, and he returned from Big Wong King’s neighbor with fried fish balls. (As you can see, I had a hard time getting a good photo of them, as I was now all greasy-fingered.) The best description I can think of for these fish balls: sardine donuts. Puffy and a little chewy, like a good fried donut, but salty and oily and, of course, fishy. The biggest surprise? My kid ate like, all of them.
Restaurant 6: Fay Da Bakery, 83 Mott St.
Food: I don’t know!
I was still feeding fried fish balls to the kid (there’s something I never thought I’d say) when my husband picked this up. “What is it?” I asked. He shrugged. I took a bite. He took a bite.
Him: Oh my god, that’s so good!
Me: I know! Is that coconut on it? I don’t even like coconut!
Him: I know! What is that on the outside? Fruit?
Me: Maybe. No, it’s like…
Him: Oh, and this cream inside! It’s awesome!
Him: With the little pieces of fruit in the cream? I think it’s pineapple, maybe.
Him: Och. So good.
Me: TURKISH DELIGHT! That’s what it tastes like!
The exterior had that same creamy-yet-rubbery consistency as Turkish delight, almost like a marshmallow, but mango flavored. And the cream inside reminded me of an ambrosia salad, minus the canned fruit. It was fantastic — and it was the first food I’d tried that day that I knew I’d definitely be back for.
Coming up: that great banh mi I mentioned and another incredible something from Fay Da Bakery.