The NY Times food section a few months back did a little neighborhood overview of "new" Harlem, and mentioned Caffe Swish, even though I don't really consider this area Harlem anymore. It's even more Columbiaized than when I lived there 10 years ago. A couple of bartenders I knew tried to dub the neighborhood SOHA (SOuth of HArlem), but it never really caught on. The neighborhood has just too many annoying college kids to ever be cool for hipsters. I think Soha, the bar, still exists though on Amsterdam Avenue.
At any rate this Pan-Asian joint was OK -- didn't blow me away but decent and cheap. I have no idea if they are sister restos with the downtown Swish Cafe. I guess their signature is shabu-shabu (Swish for the swishing of dipping meat in broth), but it was a balmy Saturday evening, so a bit too hot for shabu-shabu. My cousin had this fusion dish above -- grilled chicken and mesclun, served sandwich-style between scallion pancakes.
Other dishes ordered included miso ramen with salmon, and a Thai duck dish served in a basket over an open flame. Thankfully I didn't get E.coli from the spinach in the ramen.
(212) 222-3568; 2953-55 Broadway (115th Street)
Their food is ordinary to plain awful. The sushi is the worst I've ever had- the rice even looked and tasted old. The seafood fishy and flavorless. Their delivery service is rude and so desperate for a dime. Anyone who cares about themselves should stay away from this deplorable restaurant.
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