Tuesday, October 25, 2011

EN Japanese Brasserie

I've been wanting to try this restaurant out for the longest time but never really got the chance. Finally, J and I made reservation to try this out. Why? Because I got another voucher to redeem. I'm on a roll with these vouchers this month!

The restaurant was nice and dim, perfect atmosphere for a couple. The staffs were trained well which provided a superb experience. J and I had the Aozora which is a 7-course tasting meal.

We ordered a drink for ourselves but I totally forgot what the names of each are but they were just on the OK-side.

Freshly-made Scooped Tofu
Their in-house made tofu which is made each 1.5 hours on the hour. It sure was silky and full of soy bean flavor. I really like the sweet and salty sauce that was given to pair with the tofu. Extremely different from the Chinese version where we eat it cold with sweetened syrup.

Appetizer Trio
Seared Tuna with Ponzu Sauce
My favorite of the night. I think J is right, I like anything with ponzu sauce and the tuna was seared perfectly. Mix with all the other herbs and greens with the tuna and it was just amazing.

Brussel Sprouts in broth jelly
So, after this dish I know that I don't like brussel sprouts. It just has a crunchy and weird bitter taste to it. I'll pass.

So excited to see I get an oyster! J and I have been going on an oyster frenzy and we just love eating it. Even though it was just one, it was enough to satisfy us.

Very fresh. I love the white soy sauce that was given with it. Extremely light and worked quite well with the sashimi.

Lobster in miso sauce
Disappointments started rolling in now. I thought I was getting half a lobster not just lobster meat. I like to dig and work for my seafood. Plus, the sauce was too overwhelming in this dish. It just doesn't work.
Black Truffle Egg Custard
I like egg custard because they're so soft and light just like tofu but you can taste the creaminess of the egg. But this dish, too much truffle oil. Too much truffle taste, I couldn't even eat half of it.

 Foie Gras and Filet Mignon
Another "no beuno" dish. Why is everything getting so salty? I love how they're cooked. The filet mignon is soft and tender and even the foie gras is lightly seared with a crisp (even though I really don't like foie gras). They drizzle, well more like poured, too much sauce. The sauce was already salty to begin with, it would've been a wiser idea to just lightly season it rather than doused the dish with the sauce.

Spherical Sushi
I thought these balls of sushi are just so darn cute. I like the idea of it being round than the usual presentation of the sushi.

Chestnut Panna Cotta & Sesame Cookie
The dessert was alright. I like the panna cotta but not the chestnut that was squeezed on top. I also enjoyed the cookie also. Oh, and the tea that came after the meal. Definitely refreshing and a great way to end the meal. People say that what happens in the beginning and end is the most memorable but apparently to me that's not the case. I remember everything from the meal, from the enjoyable to the not-so-great dishes.

I would like to come back to order off their A La Carte menu. Going to be looking forward to that.

En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 647-9196

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bon Chon Chicken

Bon Chon is like a fast food chain, they're literally everywhere. But one can't be compared to all others since they're all under different chefs, managers, and has a different atmosphere.

J and I had a voucher to redeem at one of the Bon Chon. I wanted to go ASAP since I've been craving for Korean fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is definitely the good stuff, double fried and drenched in the sauce of your choice - either soy garlic or spicy. Since I need to spend X amount of money, we also ordered lychee soju and deuk boki.

Deuk boki (might be spelling it wrong), is a Korea rice cake in their spicy sauce. This version however has fish cake, cabbage, and cheese. It goes great if you want something to fill you up besides the chicken. We couldn't resist the lychee soju, the scent of lychee with a hint of taste and then you get the full blast of soju. I love how this Bon Chon makes their soju, 80% soju and just 20% lychee... just how it's suppose to be.

We ordered the 20-piece wing of soy-garlic. We nearly got sick of it afterward but it just tasted so good. Everything was cleared out because we were that hungry.

Might I add this happened before 12 p.m., that's right, we drank in the morning. Definitely a great way to start the day.

This location has made it to my top list of Bon Chons. The restaurant is spacious, good service and the background music selection is great. They even have a huge projector displaying the MV on the walls, the songs are of the 90s which is perfect. They even have some Korean music thrown in there. This place is looove... at least for me.

Bon Chon Chicken
325 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 686-8282

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dessert Works: Sprinkles Cupcake

I'm not a fan of sweets much, especially when it comes to cupcakes. I rather have the cake less the frosting. But hearing that Sprinkles makes really good cupcakes, I just had to try it for myself. I need to be my own judge.

The staffs behind the counter were extremely friendly. The cupcakes were a decent size and they were priced at $3.50 each. If you follow them on twitter, they have a word-of-the-day daily and if you go in there with the word, you can get a free cupcake!

I saw the frosting on the cupcake and I was already afraid. I know how sweet and sugary frostings can be, but I was hoping this wouldn't be overly sweet. I was wrong...

Ginger Lemon Cupcake
Red Velvet Cupcake
Pumpkin Cupcake
The cupcakes were incredibly sweet. I mean, if you have a sweet tooth and love sweets, then Sprinkles would totally be for you. I have to say, the cake is really good. Nice and soft, just the way I love my cakes. So far, they make the best Velvet. I usually avoid Velvets because of the cream cheese frosting but Sprinkles works for me. I hate the overwhelming taste of cream cheese in my frosting, good thing Sprinkles made it more sweet than anything else. By the way, you can totally see the inch thick layer of frosting on top of the cake in the photos above.

Sprinkles Cupcake
780 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10065
(212) 207-8375

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekday Lunch: Urban Lobster Shack

I love lobster. So when I found out there was a lobster shack near my workplace, I was ecstatic. The only place I ever a lobster roll before was Luke's and I fell in love instantly.

I placed my order with the girl behind the counter and waited about 5-7 minutes for my order. I was thinking, ooo taking a while so it must be fresh. I saw they also had fish and chips, even fried clam strips so I know next time I'll go back for those.

Lobster BLT
I ordered the Lobster BLT. I thought it was interesting so I gave it a shot, plus it was the special of the day. Oh, how easily I give into things.

Definitely looks appetizing but the taste speaks otherwise. Even the bacon looks dried like it's been sitting there for days...
I like the idea of parsley on the lobster roll but it doesn't enhance anything at all. There was a lot of lobster meat, to a point where I couldn't stuff the lettuce, tomato and bacon. But it's just too bad that the lobster meat was extremely bland. The lobster is mixed with mayo and celery, pretty much like a lobster salad. I was greatly disappointed. I know I won't be getting another lobster roll from them, but as for the other fried goodies I will definitely give it a go.

Urban Lobster Shack
805 Third Ave
Manhattan, NY 10022

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dessert Works: Wafels & Dinges

This past Friday morning, I heard my co-workers talk about waffles on a truck and I just had to ask if they were talking about Wafels & Dinges. They were like yea, they're usually around here on Fridays. I knew then and there that I wanted to try it. I've heard many good things about Wafels & Dinges and here's my chance to finally try it since it's only a block away from my building.

When lunchtime came, I zoomed out of my office and went to get lunch and then swing by the truck to get my waffle which will serve as my dessert.

When I got there, there was already a line. I should've expect it. But the line moved quickly and I was so excited when it was time for me to order.

The lid cover for my waffle. The guy on the truck said if I bring the lid back, it'll score me a free topping. Awesome!

Brussels Wafel w/ dulce de leche, nutella, strawberries, walnuts, and whipped cream
Are you salivating?
I love how ginormous the waffle was and all the toppings were so generous also. The waffle was extremely crisp on the outside and soft like a pillow in the inside. Tasted like how a real waffle should be.

If I ever see Wafels & Dinges on the street, I'm definitely not going to pass away the chance to get a waffle. It tasted so heavenly.

Wafels & Dinges
Food Truck has various location, please check website.
(866) 429-7329

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fatty Cue

A post long overdue but worth the mention.

I wanted to take J to Fatty 'Cue just because they had fried rabbit. How often in life will we ever come across fried rabbit in NYC? That's why once I read about Fatty 'Cue and their Buttermilk Fried Rabbit, I knew I had to make the trip and try it out.

Whereas all the other items on the menu weren't as appealing at the rabbit, we were willing to try new dishes and even dishes that we are quite familiar with.

We got seated by the door, which I didn't very much like but everywhere else was taken. Plus, it was my fault for not reserving a table the previous day (I totally forgot to call them and J forgot to remind me also).

You get a sense of fusion through the way things are being presented. And the only Asian thing would be the chopstick and plates, nothing else.

Drewish Princess
Caviar and Corn
Not a bad combination at all. The corn was sweet and the caviar was a bit salty which definitely compliments each other quite well.

Not as fresh as I hope it would be, but what should I expect - this place is no seafood place. J and I just crave for some so we gave it a shot. I like my cocktail sauce better and they didn't have.

Clams and Bacon
The clams were quite big, winner already. The broth was quite amazing. Very clean tasting with a hint of spice. I just wished the bread wasn't so hard and toasted, felt like weeks old bread. So hard to soak up the broth.

Smoked Brandt Beef Brisket
Don't let the appearance fool you. This dish was quite the bomb. How can you not like brisket? I also love how they sauteed some onions and place them on a bed of lettuce, so good. And that chunk of yellow thing on the lower right hand side, cheddar cheese. I didn't know what it was so being me, I took a piece into the mouth. Big mistake, I do not like cheese that way.

Buttermilk Fried Rabbit
The star of the night - rabbit. It's surprising how much half a rabbit is. One thing I found from eating buttermilk fried anything, it taste great when it's fresh but as you chow down on your current pieces and neglect the others the consistency and texture changes. By the time I got to my last piece, the fried exterior shell of the rabbit started getting soggy and the crunchy-ness disappeared.

Would I come back to Fatty 'Cue? The chances are slim unless J wants to or if any of my friends bring it up. I already tried what I wanted and it wasn't bad, but it's not worth a revisit unless they plan on changing their menu. I mean, afterall, their rabbit was worth the trip.

Fatty 'Cue
50 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-5050

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekday Lunch: Sophie's Cuban Cuisine

I've only had Sophie's once before and it was a nice experience, I just can't believe it took me this long to step my foot back into Sophie's again - it was about 4 years ago.

Ever since I changed my job location, I had to start all over and see what's around my office to lunch on. I totally forgot how Sophie's taste since it's been so long. They usually have different specials for each day of the week. I like the entrees that includes 2 sides, it's a sufficient amount that will definitely fill you up within $8-10 each. They even have sandwiches if you feel for a Cuban Panini but I like a hearty meal.

Ox Tail Stew w/ yellow rice and maduros
I always had a thing for ox tail (no not some crazy weird fetish thing), I just like how they taste. My mom would occasionally make soup with it and stewing it sounds quite fantastic also. I knew I had to get the Ox Tail Stew and what's better than having it with rice. The sauce from the stew soaked the rice making it taste so much better. I also really like the maduros, fried sweet plantains. A bit on the oily side but it was so sweet and I love bananas.

Sophie's Cuban Cuisine is a great place if you're in the mood for some home cook meals. They are a chain restaurant, so map them and maybe you'll be in luck if you have one near you.

Sophie's Cuban Cuisine
805 3rd Ave
Lower Atrium

New York, NY 10022
(212) 308-1024