Serious Eats: Talk
Can we impeach Frank Bruni as NYT food critic ?
Is it just me or does Frank Bruni continually under-rate/under-appreciate any restaurant that is not Italian, a Steakhouse, or haute French cuisine ?
As a great case in point one need look no further than his review this week of Shang. I have eaten there twice and loved almost every dish I ate. How could he say the dressing on Chef Lee's signature Singapore slaw was too sweet and cloying? Everyone I know I loved all the flavors and textures it presented. Did he try the chickpea fritters?
They are addictive to say the least. The foie gras was divine and presented much differently than almost anywhere else outside Spain. Other standouts that he failed to mention include the white sablefish, the tofu custard, the duck breast and the wagyu beef. Of course there were a couple of duds such as the turnip cake (too salty) and the crispy lobster (I agree with you on that one) but, overall, the food is both innovative and complex with many subtle, sophisticated flavors and numerous delicious sauces.
A couple of years ago he also gave a mediocre review to a now-defunct (thanks in large part to Mr. Bruni's review) restaurant named Varietal that presented edgy, innovative and mostly delicious cuisine. He is also the only person I know who did not generally praise the great Alinea in Chicago.
I think he is doing a disservice to New Yorkers by only praising the plainer food that he seems to personally enjoy. As a critic of the most influential newspaper in the world, he needs to broaden his horizons. There is a whole world of interesting food to be enjoyed and it is sad that he repeatedly fails to do so.