Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Xiao Ye is for the Children
The kid is back! While I was gone, the state turned down our LLC for Crackhaus, which is whatever. I thought the name was funny, but long term its probably not a good look to turn your work into a joke all the time haha. The spirit of the restaurant is the same, but during my trip, I focused it.
Our previous menu for Crackhaus was a more modern take on TW (T-dub = taiwan) Classics that I'd eaten growing up. Things like Cracksauce and Tarofongo (which will still be on menu), but other things like Tang Chu Grouper Cheeks (that fried fish with red sauce and pine nuts) that got axed. I would still love to do that restaurant one day, but traveling I saw a lot of young people taking a crack at the classics in their own way. Like how young cats down South used to always jump on that "Bout it Bout it" (LOL) beat when they came up or how people used to jump on "The Symphony" or how Pun and Fat Joe did "Deep Cover". No one had the same beef noodle soup or minced pork on rice. Every one had their own take, their own "secret", a story to tell... So that's what Xiao Ye is. Its my take on the classics. 88 BARS (88 is lucky lol.. remember "If you can't save money you useless, and all you gonna have is excuses!").
YOU KNOW IM IN THE HOOD LIKE CHINESE WINGS!!! But for real, what I like about TW, is that people were all trying to be original. People weren't peepin' each other's dishes and trying to shark bite, they all brought their own style. I feel in NY, with all these banh mi, ramen, and pork bun copycats, people aren't really trying to come provocative. I remember way back in the late-90s when my boy met ghostface, he told him, "Just come provocative black... come provocative." And I always remembered that shit. Don't shark bite.
The other thing that really stuck out to me about night markets was that its for the kids! Night markets are almost always next to colleges and youth culture hangouts. You see graf, you see mad people on scooters w/ sars masks, and every one is just out late tryin to get it in. I really felt that aspect. Its a little like St. Marks if I had to compare it to somewhere NY, but its less tourists and more local.
With Xiao Ye, we're gonna create a place that's youth cultural. I'll be blogging all the art/photos we create for the restaurant, the menu items as I write the recipe book, and we'll have a late night menu with drink specials. Most importantly, its going to be priced conveniently. It sucks that by the time you can afford the dope shit in life, you're old, ugly, and probably have diabetes. So, I don't want to perpetuate that. Jenny Miller has the menu and prices so she'll put it out later today. Below are some of the things that will be at the spot. I cook at the crib, not at the restaurant and I don't think about "plating" shit cause I'm about to eat it in 20 seconds so, peep it for what it is. I described crackhaus as abrasive before cause that's how I see youth culture, hip hop, etc. Its got angst and a story to tell, but people got wet between the legs so I'll call it "youth cultural". No more tears.
This is the oxtail based crack sauce. Emery and I were reading about the umami marketing hoax and did some research. Basically, umami is MSG. So then we started researching about what items create natural MSG. For instance, soy sauce has it naturally. We thought about the most addicting foods: spaghetti, hong sau, stews, etc. Tomatoes and meat when stewed for long periods release glutemates and basically create natural MSG. So, I took a classic hong sau and infused it with heirloom tomatoes. I probably won't use heirloom at the restaurant cause then I gotta tax people, but it tasted the same with commodity tomatoes.
This is my master stock of lu wei. In Taiwan, this is the champ, the taste of Taiwan. Everywhere you go, stinky tofu and lu wei. Its a soy based stock that everyone freaks out with their own blend of spices and random ingredients. I put beef shank, duck wings, and taro in this yesterday for lunch.
These are duck wings. Really dope with beer when watching the Durantula wreck shop on Kobe.
This is cold sliced beef shank that was in the pot
Lu Roh Fan in a big bowl for dinner on my beer pong table. Lol, day before I left, sparkz and baer came over to eat.
Lastly, just wanted to let everyone know the team. Like with Baohaus, its all family. Emery moved up here two months ago and manages all operations, Evan's been here since day one and does purchasing/training/manuals, and Ning is full time now as the Brand Manager. No outside press, no marketing/ad agency fools, plus, Matt Baer! My Jewish-Irish Catholic-Brother-from-another-mother. We've been friends for a while and he has been over for every Chinese New Year dinner, chinese christmas, etc. so he knows the deal. We really started eating together in Beijing a few years ago and its been a lot of fun. Xiao Ye has actually been in the works as an idea for years and after Baohaus took off, we felt it was time to do it!