Jeepney is a Flip joint downtown on 1st Avenue that has been getting popular for its large format feast known as “Kamayan Night,” which they host only on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Essentially they cover the table with banana leaves, cover the banana leaves with rice, and then cover the rice with all sorts of delicious food.
The one caveat: you eat with your hands. It gets pretty messy, but if you’re careful like I was, you won’t slobber up your $4000 camera rig.
The drinks at this place are all very tropical island-inspired, which is fun. They have a Flip version of a pina colada, which is made for two to share:
And smoothies made with a sweet bean ice cream:
There’s also a variety of Flip beers to sample as well:
So what the fuck are people eating at Kamayan Night? There’s lamb stew, rice cakes, baby bok choy, banana ketchup ribs, stewed pork belly, sweet sausage links, spring rolls, pickled cukes and onions, and a fried whole red snapper. Everything was delicious – seriously; not one item on the table was lacking in flavor and tasty, exotic island goodness.
The lamb stew, although it felt like a winter dish and a bit out of place from the other items, was really packed with spicy curry flavors. It came across more like a mountain dish to me, as opposed to an island dish. It was surrounded by sweet rice cakes which ate like a bread.
The baby bok choy was refreshing and sweet, as was the array of pickled cukes and onions. They much needed green pop and crunch to the meal.
The sausage links were sweet and meaty. The skin casing was a bit thick and rubbery for my liking (I like char grilled casings that snap and crunch); I assume they were boiled as opposed to grilled.
The stewed pork belly was hiding under the bok choy. This was really great. Soft, flavorful, and super porky.
The spring rolls were a nice texture change up as well: crisp and light.
The banana ketchup ribs were amazing. I tasted the banana but not so much the ketchup, which I suppose is a good thing. There was a mild heat to them as well. Really nicely done.
I think the star of the meal, for me, was the fried whole red snapper.
It was so fucking crispy on the outside, yet tender and light on the inside. It was easy to pull apart and avoid bones as well.
I even dug into the cheek at some point, which was nice.
For dessert, I thought this dish was a bit small for four people to share, but it was really good and refreshing. It was sweet bean ice cream on top of coconut flavored shaved ice and garnished with flan, some small cubes of minty jelly, and then topped with Rice Krispies.
Same thing from a second visit (ube ice cream):
A couple of things I noticed:
1) Apparently not every Kamayan feast is the same. The table being set up next to us had shrimp as well as a clam stew of some kind for ravaging:
2) The walls are adorned with some hot naked broads. Enjoy:
If you’re feeling courageous, try Balut – a fertilized duck egg. Half duck, half egg. A fetus, basically. Sometimes crunchy with fowl parts.
201 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003