Creating Genuine, Unique Flavors with a Humble Canvas - The Delicious, Interesting Porridges and More at Porridge and Puffs [Thoughts + Pics]
She is the best! Her food is one of the only ones that gave me memories and emotions that were conjured up like the Anton Ego scene in Ratatouille.
Great report as always @Chowseeker1999. I’m surprised you didn’t try one of my favorite dishes there, the brown butter mochi with miso caramel.
Ps I think you meant Le Bernardin.
Thanks! And thank you for catching that typo.
Ah! We saw the Brown Butter Mochi but we were too full to order it. Next time! Thanks.
This is so far off base from the porridge I grew up with I don’t know how to process it
I thought I was too but ordered it anyway for research purposes. Praise the lord for whoever invented 6-way stretch pants.
Chowseeker has never let me down in recs
To be honest, there is ALOT going on in those porridges. I mean edible flowers? With what looks like an already seasoned and flavored porridge with all those pickles on top of that…ehhh I guess I have to try it to be fair
This. She could have called it chao like her vietnamese heritage—but she didn’t because that’s too restrictive (the elders and young in’s would cry foul and balk at the prices) But porridge is more of a broader canvas without the preconceived notions or limitations that anyone can attach to it.
When we eat her food, we automatically stop to try to figure out how it compares to OG things because the way she takes ingredients in so many different directions, it just doesn’t work. Yes there may be Malabar spinach or some other herbs common in Vietnamese cuisine but it would be prepared in completely unexpected way.
Fanatic review as usual and you hit the nail on the head—no bling bling, just working with simple ingredients through pickling and fermentation or unexpected uses is where she shines. We were so inspired by her we even had a porridge bar for our daughter birthday party recently.
I’m so very interested, what a great report. I can never have too many pickled things. Road trip, eastbound for Pickles and Jam Porridge!
Yah, definitely the menu description might look like there’s a lot going on, but the crazy part is that it works (at least for our palate). You know I love OG authentic, simple dishes, and I can appreciate fine dining tasting menus when done correctly. Chef Minh’s cooking feels like it’s from the heart. It’s not traditional cooking, but at the same time, it’s not haute cuisine nor “fusion” cuisine that we’ve seen with so many places recently either.
It’s just unique, but not for the sake of “art” or some weird esoteric calling. She’s just cooking stuff you wouldn’t find at, say, OG places in Little Saigon or Sam Woo, etc. and the flavors we’ve tried have been enjoyable. Thanks.
Thanks for the review. This place certainly looks very interesting but is it just me or is the portion ridiculously small for the price? After all, porridge is dirt cheap to make…
Not with those ingredients. And they’re composed dishes with multiple components carefully plated, not just ladled out of a pot. Lots of prep.
What I meant is that the actual porridge portion of the dish should be a lot bigger since it’s just broth and rice.
Another fantastic report (8 visits?!?!?!?)
I never thought I would see porridge plated with tweezers. We’ve reached the end.
That’s clearly not the balance she’s looking for. They’re composed dishes.
" On top rest strips of boiled chicken and sliced mushrooms (usually woodear and shiitakes), tangled in their shades of beige and russet. Garnishes pop: pickled celery, frizzled shallots, a small hill of chopped green onions."
Now I’m even more confused, none of those ingredients seem especially expensive or labor intensive to prep. So why do we only get a seemingly minuscule amount of porridge and chicken?
What if she called it risotto?
Is the portion size much different than Sqirl’s?
If each porridge is cook to order like a risotto, then it’s a different story.
Just seems like you have very strong opinions about the price for knowing precisely nothing about the labor or price of her ingredients, or what she’s learned about what is necessary to make the business actually work, having had pop-ups that were ultimately not sustainable economically in the past.
Precisely, it’s a very subjective, but reasonable view, through the lens of a typical consumer. Other than the price of chicken that she’s using, I’m pretty sure I know how much organic celery, shallots, green onions, shiitakes, and woodear costs since I stock them at home very often. It’s also not difficult to deduce the amount of labor it takes to, pickle, frizzle, and chop these ingredients.
Again, it’s obviously a subjective view, but as a consumer that had seen numerous variations of porridge, it’s only reasonable to draw on those comparisons in terms of price and portion size even though the current price/portion ratio might be the only way for said business to be profitable.
Note: I’m not disparaging the business. In fact, I would love to try this place soon. This is just a discussion of a subjective view on portion size of porridge.