Big Bowls/Little Plates
16 Glen Road
Rutherford, NJ 07070
Open: Sunday-Saturday 11:00am-8:00pm
My review on TripAdvisor:
There are times that I just stumble upon a really good restaurant by accident. I found Big Bowls/Little Plates on my Dining program with Mileage Plus and once I tried it I have been coming back ever since. The food and service are just excellent and the atmosphere is downtown ‘hip’.
For a small restaurant in downtown Rutherford, NJ it is so interesting in it’s decor. The use of the exposed brick walls, the Christmas lights on the ceiling and the wooden tables gives it a ‘City Vibe’ with a contemporary twist. The tables are larger made to share the space but in the era of COVID we are kept apart. While most of the orders when I was there both times were take out, it is more fun to eat in when you have the chance. With excellent, friendly service and engaging jazz music in the background it makes for a wonderful place to dine in.
The urban vibe of Big Bowls Little Plates
The best part of Big Bowls/Little Plates is the food. Everything I have had here is excellent. My trip to the restaurant I decided to try a combination of small plates. The first dish I had was the Szechuan Raviolis ($5.95), which were a type of dumpling that I had steamed which came with a spicy Szechuan Vinaigrette. The dumplings were excellent, perfectly steamed and filled with a well spiced pork mixture. The only problem that I had with them is that the sauce overpowered them. It is best to have served on the side.
The next dish I ordered was the Roasted Pork buns ($5.95), which were a type of opened face bun filled with crispy roasted duck sliced thin and tucked into the bun with a side of scallions and plum sauce to dip into. These were heaven as the combination of soft buns with crispy duck had a nice crunch to it and the plum sauce added a zing to it.
Another dish I enjoyed Pork Dumplings ($5.95), which had another spicy mix tucked into a light wrapper. I had them steamed but again remember to ask for the scallion and butter sauce to the side for dipping. I tried the Vegetable Dumplings ($5.95) but I had them pan-fried. I thought this added to flavor with that extra crispness to them. The chopped vegetables inside were fresh and sweet and the soy sauce served on the side added to their flavor.
The Scallion Pie ($4.95) is a version of a Scallion Pancake that is fried out crisp and served with the plum sauce on the side topped with more scallions. Each bite revealed finely chopped scallions accented by the sauce that gave them a savory flavor.
The Scallion Cakes have freshly chopped scallions in each bite
On my second trip I finished my Good Friday meal with a nice sized bowl of Fried Rice ($4.95). Being a religious holiday, I had to avoid meat. That was no worry the waiter informed me. This sticky rice combination has scrambled eggs, chopped scallions and bean sprouts. This has a nice combination of flavors and textures and flavor is fantastic. Light with an accent of chicken stock.
The Fried Rice here is light and flavorful
On my most recent trip to Big Bowls for dinner with my aunt, we shared a order of the General Taos Chicken Little Plate ($5.95), which was wonderful. These were small pieces of fried chicken in a honey, Hoisin hot sauce and topped with sesame seeds. Each piece burst in your mouth with the hint of hot chili.
The General Taos Chicken Little Plate
We shared a order of the Scallion Pie ($4.95), which are the scallion pancakes which were pan-fried to a crisp perfection served with an extra order of the plum sauce. I had enjoyed the Pork Belly Buns so much the last time that I ordered a order of the Peking Duck Buns ($6.95), which were delicious.
The Scallion Pies are perfectly pan-fried
There were two soft rice buns split with crisp Peking Duck, thinly sliced with plum sauce and sliced scallions tucked inside and these also had a nice bite to them. The duck was juicy and flavorful.
The Peking Duck Buns
I never intended to order dessert but I had seen the dessert wontons on the back of the menu and decided that we would share the Strawberry Nutella Wontons ($6.95). These were six fried wontons filled with rich Chocolate Nutella and then topped with whipped cream and lined with fresh fruit. The plate was studded with sliced strawberries and blueberries. These were mind-blowing as they burst in your mouth with rich gooey chocolate and had the crunch of the wonton wrapper.
The service here is very helpful in making the many choices that you have and could not be nicer. The food comes out very quickly so that you can enjoy your meal in a timely manner. They do close currently at 8:00pm during the COVID pandemic so time your meal accordingly.
Big Bowls Little Plates is the whole package.