Here I was again, another Friday night, another incredible food event. Hot off my stint at the Charleston Wine + Food, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend the Lucky Rice event at the Mandarin Oriental on Friday, March 20th, thanks to my friend Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen and Todd Leong, husband of the event’s founder- Danielle Chang. The flavors were certainly different, and lighter, than what I had experienced in the South, but every bit as satisfying!
Now in it’s 5th year in NYC (the event is also offered in cities like San Francisco, Miami, and Las Vegas), LuckyRice is known for shining the spotlight on the best and brightest of the Asian-focused chefs and mixologists. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to step inside the Mandarin Hotel, you’d know about the gorgeous views and opulent decor that await you on the 36th floor. It’s truly an event planner’s dream! Featuring stand-out Asian restaurants such as 2 Duck Goose, Maharlika, Mokbar, Morimoto, Pig & Khao, and Asiate, Lucky Rice brought attendees a true NYC feast. That doesn’t even begin to touch the two dozen or so chefs that brought us amazing nibbles and desserts over the course of three wonderful hours.
While we noshed, we were treated to live piano music, numerous sake pourers, and custom drinks from sponsors Bombay Sapphire and the Manhattan Cricket Club. Gorgeous views of Columbus Circle and well-dressed attendees kept us occupied.
Before I could get too distracted, I made a beeline for what was (unknowingly) to be my favorite dish of the evening. The chef, of course, was Morimoto. At his booth, they were serving up spicy cold noodles with pork belly, crispy garlic rayu, and sesame. This was not a detox dish, for sure! This dish was such a home run, as the textures of the crispy rayu and the creamy pork belly melded perfectly with the sharp spice of the noodles. It’s obvious to say we went back for seconds!
Some other highlights included Pig & Khao’s green curry shrimp, Spice Market’s soy cured salmon, and Mokbar’s raboki ramen.
While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting some lovely ladies from Cathay Pacific Airways who were serving up lovely sour plum tea that paired excellently with the salty dishes!
Was your favorite Asian restaurant featured at Lucky Rice? If not, tell me about your favorite restaurant below in the comments!!