Tuome

Every once in a while, we feel the need to check out the latest and greatest in the East Village. The neighborhood has just been teeming with new restaurant activity.

Tuome is an Asian fusion sauce fest.

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The decor was all hip and wood-y. We sat in a side room just wide enough for 2 rows of tables with one side jammed up against a wall of windows, which were thankfully insulated for the winter. On the other wall were what looked like stacks of giant black and red poker chips.

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We had a fancy cider, because that seems to be the thing to do in east village, especially since I don’t drink beer.

Photo Jan 23, 6 44 38 PMSquash soup with thai chili 6.5/10: Nothing special, but it was warm and creamy

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Deviled eggs 7/10: The deviled eggs were fried so that they have a thin crispy crust. the red chilis remind me of the sweet and slightly spicy red sauce that goes on Korean preserved crab/squid. It has just a little bit of tang.

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Octopus with potato foam: 8/10. The octopus was a little overcooked. But I found the chewy squid hash in xo sauce delicious. The potato foam was a great touch. But once again, the octopus was lightly fried, and the hash was very fried.

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Mushrooms with sixty minute egg 3/10: This seems to be the sauce for a pasta but with the pasta missing. Way over sauced and way over salted, the mushrooms were almost impossible to eat. The delicate and perfectly cooked egg was immediately lost in the sea of salt and sugar. The bits of enoki mushrooms were fried, which destroys the bouncy delicateness of the mushrooms. The bean curds had not been soaked long enough before being sautéed, so they ended up too gummy.

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Peanut noodles 5/10: The pig out for two comes with a peanut noodle. It’s a thick udon covered in salty peanut sauce and lots and lots and lots of fried garlic. I would eat this alone, but not with…

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Photo Jan 23, 7 28 56 PMPig out for two: 8/10 is the signature dish. Perfect cubes of berkshire pork are placed on a bed on oyster sauce. The skin was crispy and crunchy, and the meat was unbelievably melt in your mouth tender. The persimmon and walnut salad was a great juxtaposition to the richness of the protein.

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But by the end of this course, the sweet and saltiness of the oyster sauce as the peanut sauce from the noodles were almost overwhelming. We had to use the red and green chili sauces just to cut the richness with some acid.

Photo Jan 23, 7 29 21 PMSticky rice with chinese sausage 3/10: I expected much more out of this dish. the flavors were great. This is a great use of a 50c chinese sausage. My mom would lose her sit if she had sticky rice this overcooked. She already got on my case for boiling my zong zi for 30 minutes too long. This tasted like someone forgot it for about for 5 hours. Either that or they don’t know how to wrap the leaf shut properly.

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Chinese “beignets” 3/10: Which are man tou/hua juan that are.. you guessed it… fried! and drenched in caramel sauce! Oil is now seeping out of my pores. My boyfriend actually liked this dish. I just like my man tou less oily.

I think many of the dishes would be quite delicious on its own. I might even like the dessert if it were paired with a lighter meal. But you simply cannot sweet and spicy sauce *everything* and fry everything. It’s just too much. So even though there were plenty of 7’s and 8’s, my overall rating of this restaurant is a FIVE out of 10. Also I’m disappointed that the executive chef, Thomas Chen, has a Chinese name, but has startlingly poor handle on Chinese cooking techniques.

Would I go back? Yes probably just for the pig out for two, and I would ask them to hold the noodles. I would happily eat the dish with some plain old rice instead.

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