Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
I passed so many times in front of Alpha Fusion, mistakenly not noticing a place that serves some fantastic pan Asian cuisine: Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese mainly and more intriguing, a wide choice of vegetarian dishes. There, I spoke a bit with Chef Henry Yang who I met few months ago in Brooklyn. Owner of Alpha Fusion, that he opened 10 years ago, Chef Yang is passionate about his food: we talked about his upbringing when he came at age 16 in the US from China, and how he learned to make Japanese cuisine. Chef Yang is now vegetarian and he is trying to serve vegetarian dishes more appealing to meat lovers like me; and I have to admit that he is doing a pretty good job. In fact, I was there with my nephew Valentin who never had fake meat before and he was tricked.
Here is what we tried at Alpha Fusion:
First, they brought a cocktail called Hendrick's Samurai, made with Hendrick's gin, muddled cucumber, sprite and lemonade. This was not too strong and quite refreshing, a good way to clean your palate before a meal.
Then was the uni shot, made with sea urchin, sake, ponzu and yuzu sauce and tobiko (fish eggs). This was quite good, but I admit that it was a bit difficult to drink because of the shape of the glass. I love sea urchin and liked the acidity the ponzu and yuzu gave to this. I thought It was an interesting take on oyster shots.
Then, we got to try one of their most famous dishes: the sushi pizza. It is made with salmon, spicy Tuna, seaweed salad, avocado, jalapeño, peanut, fish egg with spicy aioli. The crust is not a pizza crust but a fried corn tortilla that adds a nice crunch. It is a bit messy to eat, but each bite is like an explosion of flavors, not as spicy as I thought.
Next were some vegetarian dishes where the meat or fish were made with soy protein. As I mentioned above, it was quite well done and my nephew did not realize he was not eating meat. This was not only thanks to the protein used, but also the sauces that were delicious. I was glad it was well executed as I tried few times fake meat and it was not always successful, like one time when I had seitan at a now closed restaurant called Gobo, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants, except for that dish, where the taste and texture was off. But at Alpha Fusion, I loved every dish that Chef Yang brought, especially the boneless spare ribs with BBQ sauce, that had a perfect texture and taste.
There was also the vegetarian panko chicken with Thai chili peanut sauce that had a nice crunchiness:
Or the basil chicken that was also a great dish, the soy protein smothered in a delicious sauce:
The last vegetarian dish we tried was the fish steak that was also surprising. It definitely did not have a fishy taste, but for sure the texture of a fish like swordfish or mahi mahi. It was good, but I thought the other dishes were better.
At that point, I should mention the lychee tini cocktail that came, made with vodka, lychee liquor, lychee juice and a splash of sake. Really good!
Back to sushi, we got the Chef's selection that had:
- Kampachi (Amberjack) with daikon, ponzu and serrano pepper.
- Matai with a gold leaf.
- Hamachi with spicy daikon and scallions.
There is also Jimmy's sexy roll, made with shrimp tempura (nice crunch), topped with chopped tuna, salmon, yellowtail , avocado, run and tobiko (fish eggs). This was very good, with plenty of flavors, a sort of decadent roll.
Another dish that is quite popular these days is a salmon poke that was elegantly presented:
The last dish is the ramen, a must have. This tonkotsu ramen is simply amazing, especially the broth that only contains water and pork bones, cooked for 12 hours, to give that creaminess.
We left Alpha Fusion so full and were glad to have a bit of a walk, despite the snow. Alpha Fusion is a great place to know: the food there is very good and Chef Yang succeeded in creating an original menu that makes you want to come back!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Alpha Fusion - 365 W 34th street, New York, 10001, NY