I have a picky palette and little intolerance for less than impressive food. After recently attending the Ember Room opening my interest was piqued. The opening had been a success with hordes of guests filing in and tall slim waitresses passing out drinks and little samplings of dishes.
As I exited, my mind made up on leaving the opening, a little dish with pork belly was thrust into my open hand. I savored the dish as the crowd pushed me toward the door.
As I made my way home, my thoughts were on that pork belly. I wanted to taste it and other delicacies that came from the 1800 degree stone oven centerpiece.
The stone oven centerpiece is where my next night at the Ember Room started. The Ember Room after opening is a much different atmosphere. It is quietly busy with communal tables downstairs and an intimate dining room upstairs.
The bar was also quiet but packed. After being sold on a drink by my lovely server, I was in the middle of my second Mr. Pink (which was light and airy and made me wish for spring– Belevedere, muddled mint, Campari), when I was ushered to their second floor. Sitting under 3800 brass Thai bells, the dishes began to arrive.
I started with a mushroom salad. Now typically, I wouldn’t order mushrooms because they are not my thing, but this salad was probably one of the best dishes of the meal. The mushrooms almost tasted meaty, the red leaf lettuce was fresh and the ginger goat cheese and curry puff rice complimented the plate nicely.
The salad was then followed with a small but delicious plate of scallops dressed in a bacon vinaigrette. After the scallops, the spicy pulled pork tacos, easily my favorite dish of the night were set in front of me. Two unapologetic bites into the tacos (I forgot my manners as they were so delicious), one of the head chefs came to my table. Ace, part of the Chace Restaurant Group sat down to explain the Ember Room.
As part of a collaboration between the Chace Restaurant Group, and the famous faces of Ian Chalerm Kittichai, and Todd English, the Ember Room’s American- Korean flavored comfort food typifies the slow and low cooking genre. Evident by the large stone oven, the slow and low menu was a three month meeting of the minds of the brilliant chefs.
The Ember Room itself was curated from years of Asian culture where feasting was made to honor people, making them feel wealthy in soul and mind. This concept they achieved. Opening their 5th restaurant soon (other brilliant concepts include Spot Desert Bar and Obao Restaurant), the Chace Restaurant Group succeeded with Ember Room.
I finished the dinner with another Mr. Pink and the coconut bruleed cheesecake. After thinking that I could smear coconut all over my body and brulee it, the waitress appropriately brought me a warm towel to wipe my hands signaling the end of a delicious dinner.