Francia – Korean Vegan Cafe

We went into NYC today to see Wicked. For some reason I hadn’t seen a play on Broadway yet, so it seemed about time to go see a show.

Afterwards we decided to try out a restaurant we haven’t been to before called Franchia. It’s a vegan cafe that has “Korean inspired Asian fusion vegan cuisine” according to their website. The atmosphere was really nice, peaceful and relaxed, but still had a fancy feel to it. There are three tiers of dining levels, draped fabrics, and simple Asian design, which I love.

We ordered two “small plates/quick bites” as they call them, the crispy scallion pancakes and the soy ‘chicken satay’ sticks with barbeque sauce. We were almost brought down by the metal chopsticks. I’ve gotten much better at using chopsticks after a long lesson at a restaurant with one of my friends a few years ago, but I’d never encountered metal chopsticks before. They’re so slippery! I really liked the scallion pancakes and would get them again. They came with a tasty soy and scallion dipping sauce. The ‘chicken satay’ sticks were decent, but they didn’t stand out as something special to me. Also, the sauce didn’t taste like barbeque sauce to me, more of a peanut sauce maybe.

As an entree I ordered the Soy ‘Beef Cutlet’ Stone Bowl. In the menu they claim the stone bowl comes “out sizzling hot to create a layer of delicious crispy rice all around the bowl”. They’re not lying when they say it comes out sizzling, you can literally hear the sizzle…and I have a burn on my wrist to prove it! Injuries aside, the presentation of the appetizers and the entrees was really nice. My entree was also decent, but not special. I haven’t had much Korean food before, so I wonder if Korean food just isn’t my thing, or if I just need to try other things on the menu. The food was made well, but just wasn’t really my taste.

The atmosphere was really nice though, and there are other menu items that look intriguing to me like their dumplings, their wide tea selection, some of their noodle dishes, and banana fritters on the dessert menu. I would definitely go back for another try.

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