Drinks weren’t the only thing on the menu during our weekend at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans – there was plenty of good eating also to be had. To help us soak up the libations from the night before, we headed to Maypop’s much buzzed about dim sum brunch.
Maypop, which is home to Food & Wine 2016 “Best New Chef” Michael Gulotta, is located in downtown’s South Market District, and features a unique menu of elevated, Southern-influenced Southeast Asian cuisine. For the brunch menu, Gulotta and Chef de Cuisine Nick Stackeni created an array of non-traditional dim sum offerings showcasing different styles, ingredients and flavor profiles.
We started our meal with Savory Curry Beignets with wasabi & lime leaf powder before diving into the dim sum. Other traditional dim sum style items included the Spicy Bone Marrow Broth serve in a quart container, pan-fried Turnip Cakes served with housemade XO sauce, Octopus Shumai made with housemade octopus sausage stuffed dumplings topped with chili oil and spicy mustard, and Bacon Scallion Pancakes made with a small amount of grits for extra texture and served with a spicy cucumber kimchi and oyster salad.
While there were plenty of choice from the menu our highlights certainly were the pork and cane syrup sausage stuffed Sesame Balls, that are a savory play on the traditional Vietnamese dessert bánh rán and are both crunchy and chewy with a flavor that resembles pancakes and sausage. The Oxtail Dumplings were also a standout made with beef jus and turnip kimchi, and those looking for southern brunch fare the Crabmeat Toast can’t be missed. It’s made with warm crab and asparagus salad tossed in a green garlic vinaigrette, served on thick cut housemade bread and topped with a spicy roasted garlic and coconut oil hollandaise.
It’s New Orleans so you must have a drink (or several) with your meal. Our favorite drinks were the Vindaloo Bloody Mary made with spicy curry and clove flavor; the Espresso Sua Da with hoodoo chickory liqueur – a powerful pick-me-up and Maypop’s twist on a Vietnamese iced coffee – and the Maypop Java Freeze with frozen Mount Gay silver and eclipse rums, passion fruit, coffee and whipped cream.
Make sure to stop by Maypop’s epic weekend brunch next time you’re in New Orleans and until then check out the tasty dishes below.