You may not be able to go to Hawaii this summer, but you can have the ultimate foodie-cation in the East Village at noreetuh (128 First Avenue).
The fabulous Michelin-recognized restaurant presents modern Hawaiian with influences from Asia and the Pacific. Most New Yorkers – including this reporter – may confess to have never dived into this genre of food. But one thing is unanimous. They are going to swim away absolutely loving it.
The minute you walk in the space you feel a loving embrace. Every detail is charming, and the staff is just as delightful. Walls are covered in Polaroid photos of customers who have been lucky enough to visit. After your first taste from the menu, you firmly believe they must come back again and again.
Start off with a tantalizing drink from the menu that highlights fantastic beers from the state like Kona, as well as superb wines across the board that score Wine Spectator accolades. Cocktails are libations full of joy such as the Coconut Sangria with butterfly pea soju, coconut cream, and mint syrup.
Then dive into incredible – and I mean incredible tastes. A true treat is their musubi, which is a popular Hawaiian snack made with rice and ingredients wrapped in a sheet of nori seaweed. The classic SPAM is scrumptious even if you are a SPAM virgin. Trust me and try it.
You could simply eat at noreetuh a la tapas style and have absolute satisfaction. The colorful Japanese Medai Crudo with cucumber, green almonds, and calamansi is divine. Sugar Snap Peas with Chinese sausage, Thai basil, and fermented black bean sauce are well-balanced in structure and execution. You will be equally pleased with the Big-eye Tuna Poke with macadamia nuts and pickled jalapeños. It tantalizes your senses.
Then you will be amazed with the best selection of skewers. They melt in your mouth and awaken your love for food with Spanish Octopus surrounded in five-spiced bacon and charred scallion; or Iberico Pork Belly Skewers with miso daikon ginger seasoning.
And without a doubt end your beautiful summer dining experience with mind-blowing dessert selections. The Bruléed Hawaiian Pineapple is simply exquisite. You melt away to the sights and sounds of the great state in just one bite that is the sweet fruit served with lime zest and ‘alaea salt. For chocolate lovers the must is the Chocolate Macadamia But Brownie served warm with coconut ice cream. Willy Wonka would even take notes on this one for his factory.
Chef/Co-Owner Chung Chow and General Manager/Co-Owner Jin Ahn have simply created magic at noreetuh. Get your sparkle on this summer and indulge in one of the best foodie experiences you will have this season.