224 E. 10th St.
This eclectic, savory, and sweet brainchild of former Jean Georges pastry chef Jehangir Mehta is as culinarily colorful as its name suggests. Unlike some of the East Village street art around it, the miniscule space is easy to miss—so tiny you need to squeeze yourself in. A few dangling chandeliers and wood carvings decorate the lilliputian interior, but the menu is painstakingly designed, with carefully juxtaposed flavors and textures served in shareable portions at $7, $12, and $15. Hot chile spikes delicately-wrapped pork dumplings and crunchy Chinese noodles, while candied red chili and ginger provide sweet-and-tart counterpoints to slivers of pickled scallops. Mini-buns loaded with moist shredded pork are perked up by tangy apricot chutney, and in Mehta’s brilliant burger riff, slider-size beef patties spiced in an Indian-kebab style reveal shades of cumin, coriander, fennel, mint, or lemongrass with each bite. Only the limp texture of oversauced shrimp leaves an underwhelming impression. Given the chef’s pedigree, desserts—especially the chocolate-hazelnut cupcake freckled with chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies “caviar”—should not be missed.