When funny man Chris Taylor isn’t being funny with “The Chaser” team he’s eating; seriously the man knows his food and restaurants. Billabout caught up with the comedian during his recent culinary tour of New York City and drilled him about what we’re missing and where to take mum and dad.
3. Can you give us the detailed menu to your favorite feed?
If you could design some kind of mash-up menu between “Momofuku Ssam Bar” and “Torrisi Italian” Specialities, that would more or less be my perfect meal.
4. What do you make of the American portions?
For the most part, they’re completely fine. The restaurant portions are generally consistent with every other country I’ve dined in. It’s only when it comes to take-away joints or delicatessens that things get a little carried away. Sandwiches in particular can grow to the size of the Guggenheim. And it’s probably wise to go easy on the fried chicken at places like “Pies ‘n’ Thighs” and “The Commodore” – one or two pieces can be fine. Any more than that, and you’ll be needing the number of a good heart surgeon.
6. Drink of choice and where?
Again, so many to choose from… the PBR at “Max Fish”; the mezcal at “Mayahuel”; the absinthe at “Maison Premiere”; and the gin cocktails at “PDT”, “Death and Company”, “Employees Only” and “Weather Up”. Am also a big fan of “Pianos” on Ludlow Street for general imbibing and loose behaviour.
7. Which restaurant would you take your parents to and why?
Probably somewhere really fun and tasty like “Lupa”, “Frank’s” or “Roman’s” – authentically buzzy trattorias where my father’s not going to be panicking about the size of the bill. Or if they were spending the day uptown at the art museums, I’d take them to lunch at either “Sushi Yasuda” or “The Modern Bar Room”, both of which are really great.
8. Most Australians think the coffee in the US is crap. Do you agree? Where would you recommend?
I’d recommend drinking from the East River, which tastes more like coffee than anything you’ll be served from most NY cafes. If you’re after a genuine flat white like we’re used to at home, then your best bet is to go to “Ruby’s Cafe” on Mulberry Street. Or just do what I do, and only drink tea while you’re in America.
9. Best dessert?
The caramelised torija at “Degustation”, closely followed by the chocolate soufflé at “Perilla”. (I’d also gladly eat “Momofuku’s” steamed pork buns for dessert – in fact I have on two separate occasions.)
10. How would you rate the service? Anything the Yanks can improve on? We can pass on the message for you.
I actually find it to be genuinely excellent. In fact, it’s only when you visit America that you realise how shoddy a lot of our service is back home. New York’s bartenders are especially great. I really love how when you order a glass of wine they pour it right up to the brim, and sometimes even beyond.