The LUCKYRICE Festival is the Asian food festival to end all Asian food festivals! In its 7th year – and bigger and better than ever – its founder, Danielle Change, said she wanted to utilize this feast as a platform for all things Asian food and culture!
Upon first walking into the venue, I was hit with the intoxicating aromas of sesame oil, scallions, pork belly, dumplings, Korean BBQ, and so many other delicious foods and I literally said that this is how I would want my house to smell all the time.
I brought along my sis – aka the Asian food aficionado – who was not only more than happy to accompany me, but who also brought her own pair of chopsticks that came in their own special carrying case — so I knew she meant business.
Of course the first stop we made was to one of the many tables serving delicious drinks. One table, in particular, serving Bombay Sapphire concoctions, allowed for complete customization of your drinks using either Asian ingredients like ginger, kaffir lime leaf, Thai basil, and lemongrass or the more standard ingredients like lemons, limes, and oranges. Being that we were at an Asian food fest, we, of course, decided to try out the Asian ingredients and made a Thai basil, lemon, peppercorn medley. Yum!
With drinks in tow, we worked on trying as much food as we could handle including Spicy Tuna Donburi from Sushisamba, Chicken Sauerkraut Spring Rolls from Yaso Tangbao, a Salmon, Spicy Mayo, Cucumber, Edamame, Crunchy Onion, Toasted Sesame Seed Poké from Wisefish Poké, and a Tuna Tartar with a Chipotle Emulsion and Pickled Daikon from Perry St that my sister loved so much, I thought she wanted to run away with the chef.
There were definitely a lot of familiar as well as unfamiliar flavors that I tried that night and I definitely took my taste buds on one wild ride!
And just when you think that you’ve hit every table, there are more tables and even more food out back! The trick with these types of events is to not fill yourself up too quickly that way you can make it to as many tables as possible. However, it can be so difficult, especially when there is just so much good food around! I especially had a hard time stopping myself from eating these cute little Blue Crab and Shrimp-filled dumplings from RedFarm that I think they said were supposed to look like Pac-Man, but definitely looked more like little frogs to me.
One of the more interesting things I got to try that night was the Mr. Bing Manischewitz Drunken Chicken Bing, which I can only describe as an Asian-style crepe, filled with eggs, sesame seeds, scallions, cilantro, hoisin sauce, chili paste, wontons, and chicken (that was marinated in Manischewitz wine). What was even cooler than eating it was watching it being made and the guy making it was only 17 years old!
The longest line of the night hands down went to 10Below – a shop selling Thai-inspired rolled ice cream – which was no surprise considering they are well-known for having lines out the door at their shop in Chinatown. I’ve never been, but had been curious as to what the fuss was all about, and luckily the hype was real! We got the S’mores Galore and Strawberry Shorty and, while both delicious, I especially enjoyed the Strawberry Shorty since it reminded me of those Strawberry Nesquik drinks I looooved as a kid. These were definitely the perfect way to end the night.
The fest took place at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which has recently been the center of a few anti-gentrification battles (but we’ll get into that another time…) Anyhow, despite all of that, I thought the space was great, and hopefully, in the near future, it can become a place that everyone, young and old (and new and old), can come to enjoy and appreciate for what it is.
For an event of this size and magnitude, I thought it was very well organized, really fun, and such a great way to introduce people to foods they may have never tried before. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out, not to worry, because LUCKYRICE is hosting a slew of other cool events this year including a NY Moon Festival Cocktail Feast and New York Slurpfest (which is all about ramen), and after the success of the LUCKYRICE Festival, I definitely think these other events will be worth checking out!