Fire + Ice
Level 4, Palisades Center Mall, West Nyack NY
Web Site: http://www.fire-ice.com
I usually go out of my way to avoid mall food — this goes without saying in that I go out of my way to avoid malls in general, because I hate the entire experience of having to fight for parking spaces and then schlepping around and being exposed to screaming kids and families that look and behave more like throwbacks to their Cro-Magnon ancestors rather than modern humans.
More often than not, the food in most shopping malls is more expensive than what you can get at a regular local restaurant or diner and of considerably less quality. I also hate the gimmicky-ness of most mall restaurants.
But sometimes it’s unavoidable that you have to eat in a mall, particularly if it’s a timing issue, such as when you want to go see a movie, which are increasingly becoming attached to large shopping complexes.
Recently I had a chance to eat at Fire + Ice, one of the newest additions to the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, which sports an AMC theater multiplex as well as a SONY IMAX. While I wouldn’t call Fire & Ice a destination dining location, if you’re going to be heading out to a movie, it’s not only one of the most reasonably priced venues at the mall but it can also be a relatively healthy place to eat, as well as an entertaining experience.
Get your pan-cultural Teppanyaki here. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Essentially, the concept behind Fire + Ice is no different than Mongolian Barbecue or Teppanyaki-style cuisine, where chopped up ingredients are placed on a large, circular iron griddle and various sauces are applied in order to quickly cook the dishes. Like most Mongolian barbecue restaurants, there’s a one price fits all, a set $9.00 and $15.00 for lunch and dinner respectively, with drinks and desserts separate. Fire & Ice has a full bar with a complete menu of alcoholic beverages and cocktails as well.
Where Fire & Ice differs from standard Mongolian or Teppanyaki is that you aren’t limited to just Asian-style preparations and flavors. You get to pick your own ingredients and sauces, fill them up in a bowl, and the chef prepares it for you. You create the combinations that you like, so if you want something that tastes Asian, Italian, Mexican, or some fused combination thereof, provided you pick the ingredients that goes into the dish, that’s exactly what comes out. Usually.
In addition to standard Mongolian/Teppanyaki-style proteins such as sliced steak, blade steaks, chicken tenderloins, shimps, scallops, squid and fish, there’s also hamburgers and turkey burgers you can have made on top of buns and hoagie rolls if you want some type of interesting burger or cheesesteak prepared.
Including a good selection of stir-fry vegetables of different ethnic origins, there’s various different types of noodles available as well as rice, if you want to make a fried noodle or fried rice, in addition to tortillas if you want to make fajitas. There’s also a salad bar if you want your creation served over fresh romaine lettuce or a mesclun mix.
The dining room is spacious, although given the fact the place is in the mall on the main entertainment level with the movie theaters and arcades it gets pretty loud and raucous, especially on the weekends. It’s definitely a family-oriented venue.
Once you’ve picked out your meat, vegetables and carbs (which in my case, I avoided altogether, you can go completely low carb and high protein in this place) you pick out your sauce combination. There are approximately a dozen sauces, with savory, sweet and spicy variations that you can combine. I found them to be a little on the sweet side and fairly salted, so there is no need to add extra seasoning, although you can request additional soy and chili sauce during the cooking process. On your first go you might only want to use about a half a container of sauce for a very full metal bowl of meat and vegetables.
Once you’ve placed your stuff in the bowl, you bring it up to the cooks at the round griddle to grill it up for you. I’m amazed how these guys are able to track over 20 dishes cooking at a time, but they instruct you to follow your food around the grill and stay in front of it so they know who gets what. If you have any specific food allergies, you can also request your food be cooked in your own pan in the kitchen.
My first dish was a basic beef and vegetable stir-fry with shrimps. As I recall I used a combination of Szechuan Sauce, Sweet Chili and Teriyaki. I was impressed with the quality of the beef and even though the shrimps were small they tasted fresh, although I didn’t like the fact they didn’t remove the tails.
For dish #2 I was trying for something equivalent to a Polynesian stoner fusion dish, like Loco Moco meets Creole. On the bottom you got two hamburgers, with melted Swiss cheese topped with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Onions, Scallions, Celery and Jalapenos sauteed in a combination of Curry, Zesty Orange and Teriyaki. I liked it.
For the final plate I went traditional Asian again, using Szechuan/Teriyaki combination with chili sauce but with Chicken Tenderloin and a BIG whallop of roasted garlic. Another success.
All in all I’d definitely say if you are heading to Palisades Center for movies and/or shopping, definitely give Fire + Ice a spin.