Friday, January 8, 2010
You may have heard of David Chang, the hottest chef in New York City right now, cooking with a Korean/American fusion style at Momofuku. I first heard about him through Anthony Bourdain, but it wasn’t until my favorite Vietnamese cookbook author, Andrea Nguyen, spoke highly of his dishes that I took interest in his cuisine. I dove into his newly released cookbook and recreated his dishes at home and fell in love. I was excited to discover that a new restaurant has opened in Minneapolis of the same ilk as Chang’s famed Momofuku, but instead of fusing French technique and American taste with Korean cuisine like Chang has done, Chef Neil Guillen has incorporated Filipino cuisine in his newly opened restaurant Subo. The similarities between Chang and Guillen don’t end there, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl wrote an article that rumored that a former restaurant that Guillen was a chef at, Kuma Inn in New York City, was possibly an inspiration to Chang as they were pioneers of small plate Asian fusion dishes. Any similarities were laid to rest when I visited Subo. Chef Guillen has created a menu that is truly unique. The Roasted pork candy which is a variation of the signature dish at Kuma Inn was incredible. It consisted of caramelized Chinese sausage swimming in vinaigrette of palm sugar and lime gastrique. I hope that Subo adds this vinaigrette to their drink list…it’s that good, a perfect balance of sweet and sour. This is a dish that I would love to recreate at home as it seems simple but according to the manager at Subo, Jean-Michel, it is quite difficult and time consuming. I will trust his judgment, especially after learning he is a member of the bone marrow fraternity. For those unfamiliar with bone marrow, or as many of us call it …God’s butter, it is the flexible tissue found in the center of a veal bone and when roasted and eaten is the equivalent of a culinary orgasm. I digress, as marrow is fodder for another rambling post. The Lechon Kewali was another incredible dish. It featured a perfectly deep fried pork belly with a crispy skin and a tender savory inside served with a spicy vinegar soy sauce. The sauce had chopped hot Thai chilies tempered nicely by the vinegar/soy sauce. It was complemented nicely with a hint of fish sauce that Jean-Michel said was made in house. Subo has so many incredible looking dishes that I would be doing you a disservice by trying to explain them all. I highly recommend checking this place out. I will leave you with a tip, definitely check out Happy Hour between 4 p.m to 6 p.m. Some of Subo’s popular dishes including the pork candy are discounted to $5 and there are some good Sakes offered at a great price.
Picture of Pork candy taken from msp.mag.com