BY STEPHANIE AMY COLLAZO
Republic is an Asian fusion late night hot spot where both hipsters and businessmen can be found devouring quality eats at an affordable price.
After months of hearing rave reviews about the food at Republic I had to go see what all the fuss was about. When approaching the restaurant I thought we were in for a long wait, considering the flood of people I saw entering the establishment, but I quickly learned that the restaurant was much larger than it looked from the outside, and we were seated within minutes of our arrival.
The décor of the restaurant is somewhat minimalist. Patrons are seated cafeteria style at long wooden tables and the walls are covered in black and white photographs of people covered in noodles.
Republic offers an array of small dishes like fried wontons, beef satay and grilled chicken skewers all for $7. The menu also features dishes like pad thai, glass noodles and sautéed rice priced at $13 and under.
After spending a good 10 minutes going over the menu of mouthwatering dishes I finally decided to start the meal with an order of fried calamari and order spicy coconut chicken for my entree. The fried calamari ($7) was accompanied by a sweet chili sauce, the combination was phenomenal, a little spicy, a little sweet and a perfect crunch.
Shortly after finishing the calamari our entrees arrived. The spicy coconut broth noodles came in a large bowl with a Japanese soupspoon. The portion was much larger then I had expected, enough to split between two, and cost a mere $12. The soup consisted of turmeric-coconut broth, rice noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro, fried shallots and lime. The spicy coconut chicken broth noodles were interesting; though you could smell the coconut you could mostly taste the lime and cilantro. The ingredients tasted fresh and there were large pieces of chicken in the dish. This dish is a definite must have if you’re a fan of spicy food.
My first visit to Republic was far from disappointing, the large portions, fare prices and modern decor has made this restaurant one of favorite late night East Village hot spots.