Although it came two months late, the cold weather is finally here in Manhattan. When it comes to being a foodie, something that I really love during these months is the ability to try a variety of foods that will keep you warm and satisfied as the weather gets colder and colder. A new type of cuisine that I have never tried before, Chinese Dry Pot, is one of those examples and I was able to indulge in that and so much more at the wonderful MáLà Project in the East Village.
So what is MáLà Project and why is it great? MáLà Project is a Michelin Bib Guide new school Chinese restaurant in the East Village of New York City, offering authentic Chinese delicacies in a nostalgic and chic setting.
The specialty, MáLà Dry Pot, is a merry ritual and a representative dish in Chinese cuisine enjoyed by millions of people. The secret of the dry pot is in the sauce and it requires laborious making process and takes the most sensitive taste buds to discern the golden ratio of the 24 kinds of Chinese medicines.
Often compared with Hot Pot, Dry Pot is a newer concept developed in 1970s of southern China, that offers a quicker, more modern way of dining.
So I’ll admit it, this is the first time I have ever had Chinese cuisine this way, as the version I tend to chow down comes from a take out menu (which is still great, of course) but this space is much more elaborate in its offerings and what you can actually do to create an amazing dry pot of your choice.
And that furthers my thought process in this, as you can choose from a variety of food types to put into the dry pot itself to make it taste unbelievably amazing. The Dim Sum choices outside of that were incredible, and the ones that I would recommend outside of the Dry Pot options are their Spicy Chicken with Cucumber and Pan Fried Dumplings (pork or veggie for the latter). The former in this case is served cold, and comes with just the right amount of spice level to engulf your senses but the cucumber provides a level of coolness that adjusts the heat accordingly. The Pan Fried Dumplings were dunkably delicious as well.
Now, onto the dry pot. You have your options of meat, seafood, poultry, vegetables and a category of “other” to put in, and you can also choose the spice level according to how well you can handle the heat.
I’ll say what we put in there. For the vegetables, we opted for the Sweet Potato and Shiitake Mushrooms. For the other, I wanted some sweetness, so we added some Pineapple. For beef, the Pork Belly was an easy choice for us. And we threw in some Chicken Breast for our poultry option. All of these options blended together made for a tasting experience like no other, where the chef expertly made sure that each item is highlighted in this gorgeous pot, and they all tasted incredibly put together.
This is a concept that everyone should try out this season, as it will not only warm your senses up, but will also educate you on what else is out there in the best culinary city in the world. For more information on MáLà Project, check out their official website.