I have been saying I’m going to start adding food into my blogging mix and I’m deeply sorry that it took so long. Please forgive me while I play catch up.
There’s been a lot of talk about EMM Group’s new venture on Bowery which includes an Asian-Fusion Restaurant (The General) and two night clubs (Bow and Finale). The restaurant is headed by Top Chef winner Hung Huynh and officially opened January 8th, 2013. I was lucky enough to go to the Mock Seating, which is a pre-opening, usually invite only seating in a restaurant.
The General just kept unraveling into funny coincidences. I was very familiar with the large mural painted by street artist Alec Monopoly that covered the building’s exterior during the construction, I often thought it was one of the coolest walls on the Lower East Side. What I didn’t know was that it was by Alec Monopoly and that Alec is actually my friend’s brother. I also didn’t know there was a restaurant being constructed behind it.
In fact when my friend and seasoned photographer Madison McGaw invited me to dinner, he only divulged that he had reservations and failed to even tell me where it was. I blindly accepted because I hadn’t seen him lately and I naturally trust his tastes. I showed up to the unmarked building, mural now gone (I’m actually very sad about this), and was utterly lost.
Once inside the meal unfolded nicely. The crowd was pleasant, Madison was a friend of the maitre d’ (who is also an “alternative” model, gotta love NY) and the service was excellent.
The menu is split into sections: Rolled, Cold, Raw, Hot, Large Format, Rice and Noodles, Simple, Traditional, Sides
Here’s Madison and I’s food recap:
I had what was obviously the most popular choice in the room: A grapefruit flavored cocktail with a peppered rim. I actually liked it a lot, but I’m no alcohol expert and I could see it being too sweet for some people’s tastes.
Cold Noodles chicken, red pepper, peanut sauce
– These weren’t the best cold noodles I’ve ever had, albeit that was in a little mountain town in Korea. So, what I’m saying is, they were good, but you could skip them and not be upset.
Chargrilled Corncob kabayaki butter, chives, truffle
– This is a must, they were delicious, and if you’re as big of a fan of Grilled Mexican Corn as I am you will love these.
Reuben Spring Rolls pastrami, kimchee, sweet mustard
– ALSO a must! Madison informed me that he has had this combo before, whereas I was a bit skeptical, but believe me, they are delish!
Boneless BBQ Spare Ribs sesame, scallion, honey barbeque glaze
– Pass. We actually didn’t order these, they just gave them to us and when we said, “We didn’t order these” the waitress said, “but I think you will REALLY enjoy this….” but unfortunately we didn’t. They were bland.
Rice and Noodles Section
Cinderella Risotto beachwood mushroom, acorn squash, truffled xo sauce
– This is by far the most impressive looking dish, but you betta be hungry. This is rich! Anything with truffle is rich, but this is especially, it was very good though.
Crispy Beef chili, carrot, leek
– This was legit, I would get it again, but nothing to write home about.
Overall, the meal was good. Of course the menu didn’t have prices on it when we were there so whilst writing this review I went into temporary shock upon seeing how much a plate of beef costs. HOLY MOLY. I hope you’re an investment banker or you’re with your Dad when you eat here. Speaking of the menu and continuing with the coincidences, apparently my college roommate designed the menus for the General. She notified me immediately via Twitter upon seeing my check-in. Small world.
AND if you ever wondered how a professional photographer instagrams food when a restaurant is poorly lit and flash ruins the visual texture of the meal: