True Midtown Kitchen

Cornbread as the "bread"
There is a lot of potential for True Midtown Kitchen.  If they're able to straighten out some kinks such as service and lock down an actual menu, True MK could become the new gem of midtown. I would like to note this visit came about two weeks after the grand opening.  I didn't realize it or I would have waited a bit longer to try it out.

The main complaint I have about True MK is the service or really the lack thereof.  While of food was good, the waitress couldn't really tell us what anything on the menu was.  She was also really slow and seemed to keep forgetting about us.  For example, after getting our drink orders she said she's going to get us our cornbread to start. Another ten minutes went by before the bread actually made it to our table. Unfortunately, it was a sign of things to come.

Here's a rundown of what we actually ordered. We had the appetizer portion of the short ribs that came with a Thai peanut sauce and a side of dry rub.  For $9, you get three ribs.  That's a whopping 3 bucks per rib.  Not to say it wasn't delicious, but that's pretty steep.  The ribs were nice and juicy but the best part was the dry rub.  It has distinctively middle eastern flavors.  I'm sure I taste cumin and coriander along with the more traditional sugar, sea salt and cayenne.  There's an entree portion of the ribs that would be very satisfying only if there's plenty more ribs.

Another appetizer that we ordered was the fried chicken and onion rings with fondue ($10).  It consist of 5 or 6 large, bulky onion rings and a few small nugget size chicken that had been battered and fried.  I thought the onion rings were a little soggy on the inside, especially since the rings were not separated. It was also really greasy so coupled with the fondue; it was just too much. The pieces of chicken were white meat and some were fried for a little too long making it tough.  I liked the fondue.  It tasted very smoky - perhaps it consists of smoked white cheddar or gouda and some mozzarella.

Pararabelle $14
We ended up ordering three different dishes.  The pararabelle, the kitchen and dumplings and the BBQ Scrimps and Grits. Let's start with the pararabelle.  It's a pasta dish consisting of roasted pulled pork, collard greens, black eye peas and wide thin noodles.  The entire thing was topped off with some sort of cheese.  I have to say I really liked this dish.  It tasted like something you would come up with leftovers from Sunday dinner.  Although very good, I thought it was a bit under portioned.  If I didn't have any appetizers I would definitely be still hungry.

Kitchen & Dumplings ($17)
The Kitchen and dumplings had a lot of promise.  The description on the menu is as follows braised beef, smoked fried chicken and dumplings.  The braised beef was really good but I thought it tasted a lot like your typical roast. Same flavors but the quality is much better.  The fried chicken were the same little nuggets in the fondue appetizer.  It had the same problem too.  Some pieces were fried just a tad too long making it tough.  The dumplings are fried which I wasn't expecting.  They taste a lot of like mashed potatoes that have been formed into little cakes, battered then fried.  I like the texture.  It was fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

The final dish that we ordered that night is the BBQ Scrimps and cheese grits.  It came in a big soup bowl filled more than halfway with grits.  Big, succulent shrimp topped it off.  I didn't get a chance to try the shrimp but my friend said it was really good and cooked perfectly.  I know that it's not just shrimp and grits.  There's also some mushroom thrown into the mix.  I did get to try to the grits.  I ordered a side of it to taste.  I thought it was ok.  There was a lot of cheese but I thought it needed a little more seasoning.

When I spoke with one of the waitress, she hinted that the menu is not quite set in stone yet.  It seems that the chef knows basically what he wants for this restaurant but is probably still feeling out what would work and what doesn't.  I am hoping TMK can keep the quality up no matter what the final menu will be.

The service is definitely not what you expect from a restaurant of this caliber.  My waitress apparently started out as the hostess and then was thrown on the floor. Let's just say typically when I get such service I don't return to a restaurant, but I am willing to give it another try sometime down the line.

Interesting note:
One of my friends wanted to host a birthday dinner at True MK and she was told for a party of 15 or more it would be more like a catered event.  The guests are not allowed to order off a menu.  Instead, the party will be served one or two appetizers and have a choice of two or three entrees.  My friend was quoted $38 a person.  So apparently this is the way True MK deals with private parties.  Good or bad? You decide.
True Midtown Kitchen (opening soon) on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi - I've been following your blog for a while now since finding it on Urbanspoon. I live in midtown and had great hopes for True MK--we've had some very good meals at the other True---but except for better service seems like we had just about the same experience you did, right down to the tough chicken. Like you we'll give them one more chance though :)


  2. I think the wide, flat noodle you might be referring to is 'pappardelle'. I'm going to tonight- hope things have improved from your experience!

  3. Hey guys.. thanks for reading my blog. I am suppose to go to True MK next weekend for a birthday party. Typically, it would still be too early to go back but my friend is set on it. I will update this blog if we do end up there. I believe pappardelle is correct. I googled it and for once didn't get a correct answer. Happy Dining!

  4. hello , the issue you had are typical of what happens in a brand new restaurant , In the future it my be more beneficial to get an accurate representation of what the restaurant really is capable of doing by waiting at least a month to do a review.i am sure the changes will be made after all he was not nominated this years for James beard "best chef of the south" for nothing

  5. I believe I mentioned that this visit is about two weeks after True MK opened and I know that there are kinks to be worked out. I understand Chef True's ability and respect his talent. That's why I fully expect this new endeavor to be successful. This is just a recount of my first experience at True MK. When I do try it again, I will update it according to changes.

  6. Blah Blah Blah James Beard award who cares.

    1. I wasn't impressed at all!! Sad, sad scene, still.


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