New Xe Lua in Chinatown

86 Mulberry Street New York, NY 10013

Will and I haven't been to Xe Lua  since the first few months of dating which was about 4+ years ago. We recently came here for diner after work since we were both craving for Vietnamese food.

We noticed it is now "New Xe Lua" and the staff and ownership have definitely changed. Everyone looked new and different, but at least they are friendly and accommodating. The menus, layout, and decor is the same. Unfortunately, the quality of the food has changed and we weren't quite pleased with the quality of it.

We ordered the following:

I found it kind of interesting that they served us ice water in Coca-Cola glasses.

Ice water

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
I don't know about you, but whenever we have Vietnamese food  - Vietnamese spring rolls are a must have! The springs rolls at New Xe Lua are skinnier then your typical Vietnamese spring rolls  This is the only restaurant I know that has skinny Vietnamese spring rolls that taste differently and feel differently. Will likes the spring rolls, but I've never been a huge fan of these.

Crispy Calamari with Avocado Puree

Crispy Calamari with Peanut Sauce 
I was really craving for crispy/fried calamari so that's why we ordered it. The crispy calamari initially came with a green sauce (this wasn't mentioned on the menu).

I asked the server what the green sauce was, but they didn't know and asked one of the hostess/managers and she said it was a mango puree (why was it green?). After she received confirmation from a chef, she told us it was actually avocado and I told her Will is highly allergic to avocado so she replaced it with a peanut sauce (this is served with summer rolls) instead.

Sadly, the calamari wasn't crispy as I had hoped and lacked seasoning.

Pho Xe Lua
Will ordered his usual Pho Xe Lua and said the soup/broth wasn't as good as it used to be and not as savory.

Barbecue Beef with lettuce and bun
This was my entree/dinner. The beef was cooked to just the right texture with a bit of sweetness to it. I have had this dish before at other Vietnamese restaurants, but they all taste pretty similar. 

Although the service was on point, but the food wasn't. The quality has sunk and it surely feels like there's a few missing touches. The chances of us returning to New Xe Lua are probably slim.


Popular posts from this blog

Italian Eats at San Marzano

What's Cooking in My Kitch

Why I Love Hometown Hot Pot