Talde Brooklyn

Outrageous Asian fusion from a “Top Chef” All-Star

By Erik Mathes

You know you’ve had a special dining experience when you leave a restaurant already planning to go back as often as possible for the rest of your life. That’s what happened to me at Talde Brooklyn, and I hope that it happens to you, too.

The creation of Top Chef alumnus Dale Talde and partners David Massoni and John Bush, Talde features a menu loaded with unexpected flavor combinations inspired by the chef’s childhood and fueled by his overactive imagination. Think pad Thai with fried oysters and bacon, Korean-inspired fried chicken with kimchi yogurt, mint, and sliced grapes, and guacamole spiked with puckery yuzu juice, served on crispy rice rectangles, and topped with La Quercia speck.

Since coming in sixth place in both Top Chef: Chicago in 2008 and Top Chef: All-Stars in 2011, Talde and his partners have earned a loyal following at the establishments run by their Three Kings Restaurant Group, from swanky Manhattan hotel rooftops to downtown Jersey City and the shores of Miami Beach. And with eye-catching wood carvings made from Asian mahogany, a curated wine list with over 100 bottles, and memorable dishes like kung pao chicken wings with peanuts and house-made buttermilk ranch (that earned a spot in Food & Wine’s “best chicken wings in the United States”), it’s no wonder that their Park Slope destination was awarded a four-star review by New York Magazine.
The dish that did it for me was the chow fun. Full disclaimer: it’s a dish that requires some deft work with your spoon, fork, or chopsticks before you devour it if you want the best possible experience. That’s because the wide, flat noodles arrive rolled up in a spiral with the top crisped—take a moment to flip them over to unfurl them a bit. Then wrap them around some pickled mustard greens, crunchy sliced radishes, and tender braised pork shank with its deep, rich jus.

That’s what I’ll be going back to Talde for at least once a month for the rest of my life.

Just make sure you also try chef Talde’s version of halo-halo for dessert. The traditional Filipino treat is a textural melange of shaved ice, condensed milk, coconut, pineapple, lemongrass, and tapioca topped with Cap’n Crunch—and you might also find some fresh berries in there along with other seasonal additions. Like everything on the menu, it’s meant to be shared.


Dinner: Sun–Wed 5 PM–11 PM; Thu–Sat 5 PM–midnight
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11 AM–3 PM

price range

$15 (wonton noodle soup) to $35 (whole roasted branzino)