***While our contributor's ticket was comped, all opinions expressed are our own.***
Every time I walk into Talde Jersey City, I remember why I love it so much; it’s just got dope vibes. Not only is it a beautiful restaurant, but the staff is super nice. One of those awesome people is Ally Eisenberg the Sales & Event Manager at Talde Jersey City & Atlantic Social. I got to e-meet Ally through email chatting about all things food and Jersey City. We talked about what it’s like working alongside Top Chef Alum Dale Talde and Three Kings Restaurant Group, and her favorite dishes at Talde JC, which are the Yuzu Guacamole (more to come on this) and the Chow Fun, yum. Then on Tuesday March 21st, I was able to meet Ally in person for their most recent communal food event, Hot Pot Night. I had no idea what to expect, but I’m quite sure I will never be the same.
Photo from Asian Journal
We were shown to our table with the hot pot pots ready to go. There were individual pots set up which should definitely attract solo diners or anyone new to the area. You can hit up one of their communal events and make a few new friends without double dipping into each other's food, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing. Me and my friend opted to share.
If you’re not familiar with Hot Pot, it’s similar to fondue in the sense that you cook and dip items into a communal [hot] pot. It’s a super social form of shared dining that’s perfect for every occasion. Talde’s version came with either spicy or regular broth and a choice of five proteins: Manila clams, scallops, shrimp, mussels, short rib, pork belly, lamb shoulder, and pork wonton. It was served with unlimited accompaniments: kabocha squash, bok choy, corn, bean sprouts, miyatake mushrooms, udon noodles, ramen noodles, rice noodles, veggie balls, fish balls, bone marrow, fried tofu, 6 minute eggs, and Talde sacha sauce.
The menu was priced at $65 per person allowing us to try all 8 proteins between the two of us. We decided to double-up on pork belly and short ribs and chose spicy broth.
Our meal started with an order of Yuzu Guacamole and Pretzel, Pork, and Chive Dumplings. I had had the dumplings before paired with the spicy mustard and considered it my favorite bite of food ever that was until I had the Yuzu Guacamole. OMG. How had I never ordered this before? How, Sway?! It is an absolutely perfect bite of food: the crispy rice and guacamole are the perfect combination of different textures, flavors and temperatures. This will now be ordered every time I go to Talde.
Our broth, proteins, and accompaniments came out as we were finishing our appetizers. Once we got over the initial shock of the amount of food and the beautiful presentation, we began dropping any and everything into the broth and impatiently waited to eat. After a few minutes clams started to open; noodles and wontons started floating to the top and we were ready. I’m not going to claim to know how one is supposed to Hot Pot in the traditional sense; I just went in and it was wonderful. The broth was deeply flavored but not heavy and the Sacha Sauce was the perfect complement to every single thing. Can you please bottle it so I can take it home!? We finished our meal off with Talde’s special 5G cookies. I don’t know what kind of sorcery went into making these perfect sweet and salty bites, but they are not to be missed!
Talde JC is in a class of its own elevating food beyond the mediocre cuisine of bars and new restaurants. Their spin on Asian American food and commitment to bringing fun and elevated dining experiences to the community of Jersey City is a breath of fresh air. To experience the communal dining experience at Talde, they host a monthly all-you-can-eat/drink Kamayan Filipino feast that boasts a new menu every month in their basement speakeasy, Miss Wong’s. I will definitely be checking it out. For more information be sure to follow them on Instagram @taldejc.
Pro-tip: If you haven’t been, run, don’t walk, to Talde, stuff your face and then go dance it all off at Miss Wong’s.
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