230 Fifth – Malaysian Monster Madness!!!!

230 Fifth
230 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10001

I’m sitting at my desk the other day putting together VIP ticketing proposals when I get an email, sent to everyone in our office from my co-worker, Mike Smith.

Subject: Suit Up, Fine Humans

To Those Concerned (that’s all of you):

On this Thursday, April 29th, I intend to institute the inaugural Artist Arena Suit It or Lose it Dress Up Day. While I love the casual dress code we’ve got around here, every once in awhile I like to pretend I’m all growns up by putting on nice clothes. On Thursday, I will be in full regalia, suit and tie and all. I invite all of you to join me. Anyone who does not will be required to work downstairs with Jimmy at his desk. Good luck getting anything done with him shouting in your ear about Mark Teixeira’s batting average all day.

Everyone who dresses up will be invited to join me at 230 Fifth. It’s an upscale bar on 5th ave with a dress code (collared shirts, no sneakers, no shorts, etc). So if you do not dress up, you won’t be able to join the rest of your cohorts at Happy Hour. See how that works?

It’s fun to look classy for a day. It’s bad to do it for more than that, so take this chance. If you feel too dressed up on Thursday, you can always come to work on Friday unshowered in sweatpants and a frayed O-Town t-shirt to balance it out.

This is an odd request coming from Mike. When not riding around on a Voltron Lion wearing a jockey outfit, Mike is normally sporting jeans and a Phillies t-shirt. What makes it even more strange is that Mike is really internetally challenged. He has no Myspace, Facebook or Twitter account. You won’t find him any where in the www.world. In fact, I didn’t even know that he knew how to use email! I assumed the message was merely spam and I went back about my day.

Then comes Thursday, April 29th and more than half of my co-workers at Artist Arena are walking around suits and various forms of dress clothing. Me, I was rocking my standard outfit: a polo shirt, jeans and Vans sneakers (FYI – I ONLY wear Vans) so there was no way for me to join in the after work fun. I popped onto the 230 Fifth website only to discover Mike’s translation of the dress code was grossly misrepresented. In fact, right there in plain English are the words “Nice dress jeans, sneakers and a collared polo shirt are fine.” As I sat cursing Mike’s name for duping me, I saw the following menu item:

Romli (“Hamburger”) Sliders – Kuala Lumpur’s famous spiced beef sliders, chili sauce, aioli, pickled cucumbers.

I knew what had to be done. Calling Bull Shit, I left the office on my lunch break and bought a very smart, stylish and handsome looking tie. With all the sophistication and class in the world, I put it on over my polo. At the end of the day I joined the rest of my well dress co-workers and Mike for an event I am now calling the…

“Artist Arena roof-top black tie party to benefit Mike Smith’s Internet Profile.com”

230 Fifth is a Penthouse lounge and bar with a roof top garden plunk down right in NYC’s Flatiron district. Enter into the office building and the line forms to the right. Open from 4 pm to 4 am, 230 Fifth is known as one of NYC’ premier roof top bars open 365 days a year. In the winter the garden is kept warm with heat lamps. They even offer patrons use of their signature red fleeces. I didn’t know this before I arrived and definitely asked out loud “why are all these people wearing red snuggies? Is this some cult I wasn’t warned about?”

The views from atop the building are stunning. The garden spans the entire north side of the building. You can see the Hudson river from the West, midtown to the North and Flatiron / Grammercy to the East. It’s dead center on the lower half of Manhattan and definitely worth a visit and a cocktail. The crowd is a mixture but mostly young professionals and executives. 230 Fifth is a popular place for private parties, especially in the entertainment business. You can see a list of them on the website. We were lucky enough to attend a gathering of New York’s movie baddies. Celebrity sightings included King Kong, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the Cloverfield Monster.

Once our prom party was show to our tables, I ordered a glass of Scotch to start the festivities. As soon as we were settled in, I ordered the Romli (“Hamburger”) Sliders. They arrived so quickly that I am wondering if they are pre-made or they knew they were in the midst of someone as Burger Famous as I am. I actually never found out, so we’ll stick with the latter. Before we get into what my taste buds will tell you, let’s discuss “Romli.” Methinks this is a misspelling but it’s based on a Ramly Burger, a popular met burger served in Singapore. But here is the crazy part…they’re illegal there so they are smuggled in!

Onto the review. First off all, these are not “sliders” and in fact they fall under the category of mini-burgers. (For an education on burger types, please read this in depth explanation from A Hamburger Today.) The patty, although small, was still quite thick, which automatically removes it from the slider category.

They came on small potato rolls, which gets 230 Fifth a point because potato rolls are AWESOME. I pulled off the cucumbers (YUCK!) and bit in. Whoa! Not what I was expecting AT ALL. The chili sauce and aioli took a surprisingly back seat to the flavor of the meat. While it was not juicy or greasy, it was a carnival of flavors. It had a really distinct spicy taste coming from the curry powder and pepper mixed into the meat. It took me back and I had to go into a 2nd bite with a clear mind. The best I can describe the flavor would be to compare to that of peppered lamb meat more commonly used in gyros. It was quite good and the fact that it didn’t have cheese didn’t even occur to me until right now. Unfortunately they were cooked a little more than I would have liked and due to the windy and crowded rooftop, a little cold.

Does anyone else know where there might be a place in or near NYC that serves Ramly style burgers? I totally understand the Singaporean obsession and now know why NYC’s finest baddies are clamoring to get into 230 Fifth!

7 out of 10 ounces

Looking good!

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