Fine Dining High In The Sky

80 Columbus Circle, #35 New York, NY 10023

Asiate is one of New York City's most finest and beautiful restaurant. It's located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in the heart of Columbus Circle. It's been voted as New York City's #1 for decor and one of the restaurants rated as world's best view.

It's not every day that Will and I go fine dining. We frequently eat at mom and pop restaurants or hole in the wall restaurants. However, earlier this month Will and I had a great opportunity to dine at Asiate.

I chose Asiate for a project I am working on for my Dining room class because of the great reviews I've read from Zagat, New York Times, and because of the beautiful views I heard this restaurant offers.

Will and I actually did get lost trying to find the Mandarin Oriental hotel even with our smart phones, so we had to ask a stranger where it was and he pointed us into the right direction. Our reservation was for 12PM, but brunch began at 11:45AM. I really wanted a window seat, but didn't request for one. The hostess actually sat us by a window seat where we enjoyed a spectacular view of Central Park and Columbus Circle. It felt like we were on top of the world.

Our server was really friendly and kindly explained the brunch menu. I liked that she and the restaurant takes food allergies really seriously because Will has an allergy towards avocado and the restaurant did provide Will with an alternative to his food which I really appreciated.

Mountain Berry Iced Tea
After our orders were taken, our server brought our Mountain Berry Iced Tea which is a mountain berry tea, fresh blueberries, and garnished with a small sprig of mint leaves. The tea was unsweetened, but our server brought a cup of assorted sugar straws in case we wanted to sweeten our teas.  

Multi-Grain Bread & Rosemary Olive Bread
A few minutes later the back server brought a tray of assorted breads and a plate of butter. Will chose the multi-grain bread as well as the rosemary olive bread and I got the rosemary olive bread too. The rosemary olive bread was shaped like a rain drop which I thought it was adorable. The bread tasted more olive-like than rosemary.
Gourmandise Tasting
The Gourmandise tasting arrived to our table and it looked absolutely beautiful! Gourmandise means appreciation of good food and drink. The host explained what each menu item was in front of us and I felt my heart race. The food was beautifully plated and it was just really vibrant flow of colors.

The Gourmandise tasting consisted of a sweet corn cappucino which looked like a real cappucino with a nice foam on top. It wasn't too sweet and had a rich and buttery taste to it! The Ahi tuna poke was served with an avocado mousse, chive oil, and rice crackers. I thought I wouldn't like the Ahi tuna poke because it was raw, but I really enjoyed it. It was seasoned perfectly.

The beef Carpaccio was delicious, soft, moist and was served with egg relish, shaved Parmesan, and truffle. Finally, the Peking duck wonton was amazing! The first bite was absolute bliss, slightly crunchy and a little sweet from the Hoisin sauce. This was possibly the best wonton I've ever had!

Will is highly allergic to avocado so he couldn't have the Ahi tuna poke and it was replaced with a fruit salad. 
Entrees: Grilled New York Steak & English Pea Ravioli
These were Will's entree. The Grilled New York Steak was served with a truffle potato gratin, zucchini, and thyme demi. The English Pea Ravioli was served with grilled asparagus, artichoke chips, garden herbs, and melted ricotta cheese.

Will asked for the steak to be cooked medium and it sure was cooked to medium. The steak was moist, a little chewy but not too chewy, and seasoned just right. The grilled asparagus and artichoke chips were quite tasty too.

I've never had English Pea Ravioli so this was definitely exciting to try. It's not your usual ravioli. There's a little sweetness to it and it's moist and just melts in your mouth. It was cooked to al dente.

Entrees: Pan Seared Halibut &  Sunny Side-Up Egg
For my entrees, I ordered the Sunny Side-Up Egg served with a smoked bacon grits, shitake mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes. I also tried the Pan Seared Halibut served with roasted fingerling potatoes, Tuscan kale, and olives.

The Sunny Side-Up Egg entree was a smaller take on a typical brunch platter, but with a sunny side-up egg sitting on top of the smoked, crunchy bacon with grits. The sunny side-up egg was slightly runny which I enjoyed. The smoked bacon added a nice crunchiness and flavor to the grits.There wasn't a lot of grits in my bowl, but it was just enough and the fat and juices from the bacon added a smokey taste with the grits which made it extremely yummy!

The Pan Seared Halibut was absolute bliss! It was light, moist, delicate, velvety, and extremely pleasant to eat. I really enjoyed it. It was sitting on top of a bed of Tuscan kale. The Tuscan kale was way too salty towards the bottom of the entree, wasn't too impressed with it. The roasted fingerling potatoes were cooked just right, had a slight buttery taste to it.

After we finished our entrees. Dessert and coffee was next.

Dessert: Cherry Crumb Cake,Cherry  Mascarpone Cream
Flourless Chocolate Cake
These were Will's dessert. The original dessert that was to be served was a Chocolate 'Avocado' Pudding, Cashew and Coconut. The host brought both desserts out, but I noticed they didn't substitute the chocolate avocado pudding and I flagged down our waiter immediately because Will cannot have any food with avocado in it. She quickly apologized and offered a substitute, either a sorbet, a fruit salad, or a flourless chocolate cake.Will chose the flourless chocolate cake and absolutely loved it. It was very moist and just chocolate deliciousness!

Dessert: Cherry Crumb Cake, Cherry Mascarpone Cream
Chocolate 'Avocado' Pudding, Cashew & Coconuts
So this is what both desserts look like together. Both desserts were beautifully placed and there's a balance between light and dark. I really enjoyed the Cherry Crumb Bake, Cherry Mascarpone Cream because it wasn't too sweet which I liked. The cherry crumb cake was soft, sponge-like, and tasted amazing.

Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the Chocolate 'Avocado' Pudding, Cashew & Nuts because I've never been a huge fan of pudding and didn't really enjoy the taste of it.

Iced Coffee and Hot Coffee

Free Candy
During our departure from the restaurant, there was a cart of jars and bins of assorted candy. The host and hostess told us to take some on our way out and thanked us for dining at Asiate. This was definitely a nice, sweet little treat at the end. Will and I later found out that the restaurant and hotel is actually connected to the Time Warner Center.

All in all, everything came together at this brunch and it was really an unforgettable experience. The food and the view from our seat just blew my mind! I really enjoyed the food, the service, and the opportunity to have dined here and looking forward to another opportunity to return and dine at Asiate again.


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