Saramsam—the latest venture from restaurateur Ravi DeRossi, the mind behind popular NYC restaurants Mother of Pearl and Avant Garden—has opened in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The new eatery serves Filipino dishes such as Lumpia, a crunchy spring roll stuffed with faux meat and paired with a side of iloko (fermented cane vinegar) for dipping, Tokwa (silken crispy tofu and brussel sprouts), Kamatis Bagoong (heirloom tomatoes, fermented fruit, and black beans), and more. The menu was developed by Chef Rajah Abat, who wanted to create an experience for diners that would emulate the warm hospitality, nostalgic ingredients, and the informal, communal style dining of the Philippines.
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“The idea behind our newest restaurant is to put plant-based thought on traditional Filipino and Ilocano recipes while honoring and respecting the culture. Filipino cuisine relies heavily on meat products. The challenge is how to coax deep umami flavor bombs by using vegetables. Hence, fermentation is a big part of what Saramsam is about. We can substitute the funk of bagoong (fermented fish) by fermenting black beans,” Chef Rajah Abat told VegOut.
Saramsam is open for outdoor dining Wednesday-Saturday from 5pm to 11pm and Sunday from noon to 11pm. Indoor dining at the restaurant will begin on September 30.
On his next projects, Ravi DeRossi said “As well as Saramsam we also have three new plant-based restaurants opening this year. Cadence (a soul food restaurant), Soda Club (a fresh pasta and natural wine bar), and Arana en el Jardin (Spider in the Garden), a Mexican restaurant.”