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The lemongrass chicken “bowl”, with spicy bang-bang, roasted mushrooms, and charred egg plant
Updated May 29, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
I have wanted to return to Khe-You for more than a year, ever since I ate there way back in October of 2013. The uniquely spicy Laotian sandwiches have intrigued me, so I went and tried the new lunch menu.
The rice pudding with mangoes and cashews
Chef Soulayphet Schwader was there and remembered me from 18-months ago. Khe-Yo is a rare New York City Asian genre restaurant that also has Michelin-star-caliber hospitality. I loved that they served moist towels before the meal, and the water glasses were crystal clear.
I started with the Bang-Bang butter poached lobster sandwich. The second I lifted it, I knew that the roll was perfect. It was light and slightly crispy. It did not overpower the sandwich contents, nor was it hard to chew or exhausting to the masseters.
The spice was exactly what I had imagined. The lobster meat was enhanced perfectly by the sauce. I devoured the entire sandwich in three minutes, which is pretty socially unacceptable, come to think of it. The lobster sandwich was $19, but the others are only $11.
Next, the chef wanted to show me some things, so he brought out the Nong Khai style Pho, which is a brisket, oxtail, and beef-eye-round soup. The plating is artistic and comes with condiments to cleans the palate, such as the iceberg lettuce wedge. It was the special market bowl of the day.
Khe-Yo was awarded a special category of Michelin-star this year. This place is a hidden gem for lunch. It is one of those rare places that is not only hip and exotic, but also backs it up with great food made by a real chef.