In this city, finding a restaurant to dine in can be daunting, painful even. Now multiply it by the number of people with whom you are dining. Here are the questions posed to your fellow diners, in no particular order: What area in the city do we want to be in? What cuisine are we feeling? What’s new, hot, fresh? Should we revisit a favorite? The answers: “Well, I’m in Brooklyn, so downtown would be best,” “I’m on an Asian kick” and my favorite, “Whatever you guys decide.”

So when one of our Fab Five friends returned to the city from Seattle for a quick vacation last week, we most certainly had to get a dinner in. The task of finding a place, this time, fell to me. I chose Red Farm (@RedFarmNYC, 529 Hudson St., 212.792.9700, It hit all of our location, cuisine and experience points.

Red Farm doesn’t take reservations for small parties, but you can put your party and dining time on a waiting list. They will seat you when you are all there, and we were, at our chosen time. They sat us at the large communal table that runs down the middle of the room. I was amazed at the design of the restaurant, from the sliding door to the space the size of a dorm room that housed the bar. It’s like a big dinner party in a minimalist’s studio apartment.

Reviewing the modern Chinese menu, we were all taken with a few items, from the starters to the dim sum, to the rice and noodles and the specials too! Red Farm’s farm-to-table approach to Chinese food means heightened flavors and a new experience with traditional dishes.

I led with a firm decision of fried oxtail dumplings from the specials menu, and collectively we added BBQ pork lettuce wraps and spicy crispy beef from the starters. Baby, I want to mainline that spicy crispy beef! Thin slices of beef, lightly coated, fried and dressed in a sweet-savory-spicy sauce. And those dumplings were like a shredded beef patty with a satay-like peanut sauce. Get into it!

Moving on to the mains, we ordered sautéed black cod with black bean and Thai basil, wide rice noodles topped with barbequed roast duck and some vegetable mains of Chinese broccoli with shiitake mushrooms and sautéed string beans with spicy chopped pork.

So which of our main dishes had me coveting the last bite? It’s on the blog at

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl or on Facebook For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at Follow AmNewsFOOD @NYAmNewsFOOD.