Woks and fryers have no place in the open kitchen that dominates this tiny café, where the emphasis is on grilled and steamed pan-Asian dishes flavored with bold sauces, such as garlic lime chili and curry peanut. Now a small local chain, this diner-style SoHo flagship is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and furnished with simple Formica tables and secondhand chairs. The chefs use fresh homemade ingredients to create popular dishes such as the signature miso-glazed salmon and the octopus and spinach noodles with spicy tamarind. Most menu items are less than $10, making Mooncake ideal for a quick, affordable lunch.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.