Tom and I were invited to a tasting dinner of Rice K‘s Lunar New Year’s menu by a fellow Astoria foodie Taleitalei. This was our first invite as bloggers to an event like this so we weren’t sure what to expect.
When we arrived, we looked around for an obvious group of people, not seeing one, we stood at the entrance for a minute then Taleitalei flagged us down. She said she recognized us from our Instagram pictures. Someone recognized us… we felt pretty cool!
Other guests of the event slowly started to arrive and we were introduced to the owner, Sue, who walked us through the menu. We ordered cocktails, Tom and I both opting for a Pom Margarita recommended by our host. It’s a salt rimmed pomegranate margarita. This isn’t normally a cocktail we would order, we usually like spicier, savory margaritas, but it was tasty.
Then… the food started to arrive. Bowls upon plates upon bowls and platters of food. The food looked fantastic, so were excited to snap a couple of pics and then stuff our faces. However, our new foodie friends had other plans.
They were quick upon the food arranging all the plates and snapping pictures with their portable lights. We had never experienced anything so intense and it was so worth it. We got some of the best food pictures we’ve ever taken. I will be investing in one of those lights much to Tom’s dismay…
I wanted to title this blog post like the beginning of a joke because when all the people having dinner at Rice K saw all of us snapping pictures with tons of portable lights, they were probably waiting for a punch line. They were all staring at us.
Once the photo frenzy was over we were able to start eating. We’ll take you through each item on the menu and our thoughts.
Oxtail Soup: Oxtail, Carrots, corn, and cilantro. It was a pretty chilly night, so the soup was warm and comforting. The oxtail was tender and completely fell off the bone.
Longevity Noodles: Udon, mince pork, cucumber, carrot, and beansprouts in a soy bean paste. This was my second favorite dish after the dumplings, which I will get to soon. I love noodles in all shapes and forms. They had a nice chew. The vegetables had a nice crunch with the soy bean paste wrapping it all up in a nice bow.
Shrimpy Luck: Shrimp wrapped with chicken and mozzarella cheese crispy. Yes, those are sprinkles you see on top of the shrimp. Yes, the dish sounds a little crazy, but it was GOOD. Tom and I both really enjoyed it. You can’t beat any kind of meat wrapped in meat with cheese and then fried. The sprinkles actually added a subtle sweetness.
Uncle Lamb Dumplings: Lamb, cabbage, scallion. These were my favorite. I LOVE dumplings and I LOVE lamb! The wrapper was soft with a nice chew and meat was seasoned very well. You honestly cannot go wrong with this dish.
King of the Sea: Lobster sautéed with ginger and scallion. There was LOBSTER! The light ginger sauce really enhanced the delicate flavor of the meat.
Wang Wang Steak: Steak sautéed with pepper, onion, mushrooms in a light pepper sauce. Tom is a big meat eater, so he really enjoyed the steak. For me, this didn’t wow because you can get pepper steak pretty much everywhere. It was definitely good, just nothing special.
Dragon Fish: Black cod lightly fried with a sweet and soy sauce. This dish looks super cool and tastes just as good. The batter on the fish is light and crisp. The fish was soft and flakey. The sauce was sweet with a little tang. It was all around a fantastic combination. We really liked it.
This was such a cool experience for us. We met some really nice people and ate some pretty awesome food. We love being a part of this community in Astoria. We never want to leave.
PS. If this menu sounds delicious to you, and it should, you can experience it for yourself on Friday 2/16 at 7:00pm for Rice K’s Second Annual QiPao Runway in celebration of Lunar New Year. It’s $38 a person and drinks are $5. There will also be live music!