Monday, June 27, 2011


First off, I want to apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I really need a camera that takes good photos under dark lighting, I would take J's DSLR but that thing is huge!

I was feeling for sushi really bad last week and was also up for a new place. I chose JPan since they have something called the Tuna Dumpling which was literally the star of their restaurant. The place was dim but the staff were quite nice.We got seated and was given enough time (excellent!) before our waiter approached us and asked us what we like to order. I had a glass of plum wine which tasted so good and sweet at first, after 2 hours the wine got warm and started to taste like cherry flavored Tylenol medicine.

Tuna Dumpling
I was curious what was in a Tuna Dumpling or how was it even made. The plate was enormous with 2 different sauces on each side. I have no idea what they are but they sure compliment the dish really well. Tuna Dumpling, which is a big piece of tuna on the outside used to wrapped kani salad which was on the inside. Clever and delicious. There were bits of tempura flakes within the kani salad which gave it a bit of texture. Literally the best dish of the night.

Rainbow Fish Platter
Presentation was nice. Eight pieces of sashimi on a bed of greens with a sweet dressing. So, it's pretty much a salad at this point. But, it was really good. I should've had the whole plate to myself instead of sharing haha

From this point on, the food was just on the OK side. I was disappointed in the sushi which was why I came here!

Butter Flounder Fillet
J's entree which was not bad at all. The fish was cooked perfectly and paired with the sauce nicely. The house noodles that came along with it was on a total different level. They used fettucine noodles which doesn't work well when you try to sauteed it with vegetables in a Chinese-style. The noodles were undercooked and we barely even touched it.

Sushi Classic
Again, sorry for the poor quality!
A lot of places would give you the California roll but this place gave the Spicy Tuna roll, which I thought was way too soft and not spicy enough. The sushi was really good. Large pieces of fish with my rice underneath.

We also had the Angel roll and the Phoenix roll. Both were a total disappointment because the rolls were just too soft. It was mushy and the rice just wasn't holding up the entire roll together. The textures were off balance. I would stay away from these next time and stick with my sushi platter.

This place gave me mix feelings about their food. Would I go back? Yes, for the Tuna Dumplings but for the other items on the dish I'll have to think twice.

287 5th Ave 
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 788-2880 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Clemente's Maryland Crabhouse

I was so excited to go to a crabhouse. J had found about this place and the idea of an all-you-can-eat crabs just made me salivate. The walk to this restaurant was insane but yet fun, in all I walked about 4 miles that day!

There were seats above the water in the sun and that was where everyone was sitting. J chose the no-shade side which soon later resulted him with a sunburn. He sports the color red on him quite well. The staff service was a bit slow, our waiter disappeared half the time when we were trying to flag him down. But the food sure does make up for it.

Beautiful view while eating. This was actually my seat and I was facing that but J was just facing other people and grass. Poor guy, always gives me the best.

My first time trying this, not bad at all. Beer flavor but not the beer alcohol content. Plus it makes me less bloated so I can eat more.

Bluepoint Oysters
Tasted so fresh and plumped. I can feel the crunchiness of the oysters which eat bite I take. I love eating mine with lemon and cocktail sauce. Next time we're ordering more, 3 for each of us just wasn't enough.

Clemente's Garlic Style
Old Bay Seasoning
For $32.95 a person you can enjoy endless amount of crabs. It was either the garlic infused oil or old bay seasoning. I personally really like the garlic oil because it was light and it didn't overpower the crab meat much. The old bay seasoning was good also, it was salty and then the spice hits you afterward. There is also corn and fries as your sides but I didn't waste my time on those, crabs FTW!

We were extremely messy. We went through 18 crabs each. Not much but we started getting tired to work for our food. Clemente's is a great place to head to when the summer hits because seafood in the summer is such a perfect match.

The bathroom were surprisingly clean also. They had automatic soap, towel, and toilet paper dispenser. Now, I only wish their toilet was automatic flush also.

Clemente's Maryland Crabhouse
3939 Emmons Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 646-7373

Friday, June 17, 2011


I love me some soba whenever I can get my hands on it. I was introduced to soba last year and after that, I loved it and am addicted to it. Corocon is another small soba joints, I'm starting to think soba restaurants are tiny on purpose. Very home-y kind of feeling with less than 20 seats within the entire restaurant. Come early or else you'll dread the wait. Around 10 seats by the counter and only 3 tables that seats 2 people.

I've heard good things about this place, especially their Yuba and Stamina soba. Unfortunately, they were out of Yuba (I was bummed) so I ended up getting the Sesame soba and the boyfriend confirmed on getting the Stamina soba.

Steamed Chicken Meatballs
Don't underestimate these balls. It's covered in sticky rice which was a great touch. The chicken was extremely soft and tender, worth the 20 minute wait for these babies.

Sesame Soba
I was confused when they brought me my soba tray. Good thing the waiters are patient and they explained to me how and what I was suppose to do to my food, besides eat it of course. I get to grind my own sesame seeds and then place them on my soba. What fun! Really, no sarcasm intended. The sauce which I used to dip my soba was so refreshing. A light sesame and peanut-y taste.

Maybe I'm not the best grinder but who cares, it tastes great either way.

Stamina Soba
Winner of the night. They give you a small bowl of broth that hovering over a flame. Dip your soba in the broth for 15 seconds and voila. I love the soup! They had bits of pork and beef in the broth.

After the consumptions of these soba noodles (perfectly cooked by the way), we had sobayu. I had no idea it was called that until now. After finishing your soba noodles, the waiter would come by with some fresh mild broth which you pour in your sauce. With that, a new flavorful broth is made and you can drink it. So yummy. The stamina was still the best, J fished out the last drop in that bowl.

So much dessert to choose from, they even had specials of the day.

Annin Tofu
Before you jumped to conclusions and think it's only 3 small spoonfuls, what a rip-off. Ok, maybe it was a rip-off but it was worth the ripping off. These tiny bits of tofu are the shizzle. Packed with flavor and not one bit water-y. Tasted homemade, no skimping out on the ingredients. It's basically quality over quanitity, and I totally dig it.

Green Tea Affogato
Ok, I really hate it when J picks the best on the menu. This little dessert really gives some extreme satisfaction. Maybe it was the chewy mochi or the crunchy cornflakes. Pour some matcha green tea and it's heaven. Other items in the cup, red bean and green tea ice cream. I wanted seconds, actually I just want my own!

Sadly, this restaurant is in the middle of nowhere. You really need to find it to know where it is. But yet somehow, it's always packed - even on weekdays.

61 Delancey Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 925-5220   

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekday Lunch: Backyard Chicken

Working in the Financial District makes it hard to be able to find a decent lunch meal. I stumble across Backyard Chicken from my coworkers. After much interrogation of asking them where it is, I finally ventured out to find it. It's a tiny shop for takeout only, sorry no seats or tables here.

They're only open for lunch with chicken of fish of your choice. Their price is fairly cheap with a good amount of home-style cook food. A 1/4 of a rotisserie chicken with 2 sides and a lemonade is only $6. And might I add, the lemonade is fantastic. Perfectly sweetened and it goes so well with the entire meal. They also have grilled salmon but I always opt for the chicken.

Lemonade + Mash Potato, Chicken Leg, and Spinach
I asked for gravy with my mash but I guess they forgot. They do get a bit busy during lunch hours because the food is affordable and good. I love the spinach because it's not one bit creamy or anything, when you bite into it actually taste like spinach. A lot of their sides are seasoned very well, they don't skimp out and you can tell by just looking at them.

The chicken is good. I had the dark and white meat before and always go back to the dark meat because the chicken that they roast are already a bit on the dry side. Warning, not much seasoning here for the chicken. They do have different sauces for you to choose but they're 25 cents each. I usually use the gravy that comes with the mash but not this time!

I really do like Backyard Chicken. The staff are nice and the food is good. Oh, and the lemonade is just oh so greattt.

Backyard Chicken
241 Pearl St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 406-6600

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hakata Ton Ton

Japanese hotpot in the summer? Let's go!

When it comes to food it doesn't matter what kind of weather is it. I might be eating boiling pots in the summer and ice cold desserts in the winter. As long as my stomach get some sort of satisfaction then my brain is happy.

I made reservations for HTT knowing they won't have seats if I just walk-in. With restaurants like this, that a lot of people know about and with fantastic food that is being serve, it's better to come prepared.

HTT is known for their hotpot dishes and also their tonsoku which is basically pig's feet. They have a ton of delicious appetizers also, hot or cold.  J and I got carried away with ordering, as you will see in the photos below.

Hakata Mojito
I wasn't going to order anything to drink, hoping to stick with just water than take on some empty calories but J was so persistent about it I ordered the mojito. Totally glad I did, one of the best ever just because it was sweet. If you like minty sweetness, you would love this.

Seared Veal Liver Sashimi
Half seared half raw, it was a different balance of texture. The cooked side was soft while the raw side was crunchy, quite interesting. The sauce was great also.

Atlantic Salmon Carpaccio
This dish was definitely one of the few dishes that made the taste buds go "fresh." I also love the pairing of all the colors. I don't know what the small orange balls are but they're crunchy and yummy! You might not be able to see it but they also have salmon caviar on top.

Sauteed Pork Tongue
Utterly disappointed with this dish. It wasn't sauteed and it was bland and dry. There was a sauce that came with it but it was just a sesame based sauce, didn't do much for my taste buds.

Foie Gras Inari Sushi
Sadly to say this was one of my favorite dishes. I don't like foie gras like that, maybe it's the texture or taste but I just don't like it. The only reason I like this dish is the inari sushi, the sauce that is smothering the sushi is delicious. J loves foie gras so I'm glad I can just throw the piece of foie gras to him and just enjoy my sushi.

Grilled Pork Tonsoku
What we basically came here for. I can't believe how soft they are, and gelatinous too. Never thought I would eat pigs feet outside of home but this was indeed good. If you think this is gross, well then try it and then tell me that again.

The before and after photo of our hotpot. We chose the Motsu Hotpot which is beef intestines hotpot. We had intestines before and totally forgot it would be chewy, oh wells, it was still good!
Warning though, you should try and devour this pot quick before it goes into the salty level. As the pot cooks while you eat, all the vegetables and meat get salty. If you eat slow, make sure you like sodium chloride or have a huge glass of water next to you.

Soba Creme Brulee
Dessert to end the meal with. I was surprised when the waitress gave us tea, it's 'cause I did not expect it at all. I have to say, the tea helped the saltiness a lot. The dessert came out and we were so happy the ice cream was in a bowl. You know how hard it is to eat ice cream on a plate? They just never learn, but HTT did! The black sesame ice cream tastes truly authentic because there was so little sweetness to it, love!

Lovely meal. I want to come back and try the Tonsoku Hotpot, maybe it would be less salty. This place would be great for winter but during the summer they have a/c inside so you'll be in good hands.

Hakata Ton Ton
61 Grove St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-3699

Monday, June 6, 2011

Peking Duck Sandwich Stall

Finally, J and I made our way out to Flushing, Queens. First stop was definitely this Peking Duck Stand, known for their $1 duck sandwiches. Surprisingly, there's no line. Why is that? No one likes peking duck?! Or maybe you just don't see the $1 sign.

I guess that's quite hard to miss 'cause I didn't even see that sign.

You pretty much tell them how many sandwiches you want and they whip it up right then and there for you. It's fast because they have pots of buns cooking in the back, the duck is being sliced by one lady while the other assembles. Fast and cheap, lovely.

Probably the best because everything taste better when it's cheap. They don't skimp out on anything here, you get all of it and more. A soft bun that covers the piece(s) of duck, scallions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce. Next time, I'm going to buy 10 all for myself.

Peking Duck Sandwich Stall
Main St and 40th Rd
Flushing, NY 11355

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recipe: Bánh Cống

A simple Vietnamese dish that is served as a snack (well at least to me it was - and still is). It's fried with your choice of dipping sauce or none at all. The process of these dough-y fritters are extremely simple!

- Deep Fried Shrimp Cake batter
- any sorts of beans
- shrimps
- water
- oil (to fry)

Three simple ingredients to make the final product, and also water but I know we all know what water is.

I used this large metal soup spoon to get the rounded shape of the Bánh Cống. You can find this is any Asian kitchen gadget store.

After prepping everything, it's time to make the mixture. The package on the batter tells you to mix 12 oz of flour with 1 3/4 cups of water. I usually eyeball it and mix it to a light gooey consistency. It also tells you to wait 30 minutes for it to rise but you don't need to!

Get your pot of oil ready. I fill the pot just so the oil can cover my "metal spoon," fries better that way!

In goes the action!
What you want to do first is take the "metal spoon" and fill it with a spoon of the mixture, then put the beans in, top it off with a shrimp, and take another spoonful of mixture to cover the shrimp. When that assembly is done, place the "metal spoon" into the pot. It should take no longer than 3-5 minutes for each one. When its golden brown remove it from the oil!

I love these as snacks and it's so easy and simple to make. Who knew that 3-4 ingredients can make something so mouthwatering and complicating-looking.

I love eating mines with fish sauce.
Next up, how to make - fish sauce!