Friday, March 30, 2012


I've seen this restaurant on Yelp for the longest time. J and I finally went there since we drove, taking the public transportation takes a lot of work unless you live around the area. Bangane is on a strip of sidewalk which no other restaurants are in sight. From the outside, it practically looks like a flower shop since it has plants lined up against the windows.

I read that the staffs at Bangane doesn't speak English too well, or even none at all. They either speak Korean or Mandarin, none of both which we speak. You have a choice of whether to eat at the traditional tables where you sit on the floor with cushions for your tush or sit at tables with chairs. We opted for the traditional seating for the full experience.

Bangane has a small menu and the sole purpose of us going there was to get their 3-course goat feast. The 3-course was only $29.99 per order and you have to at least order 2. With all the food that comes with it, it's totally worth it.

Right as we order, less than 5 minutes later the banchan starts rolling out. So many different kinds ranging from kimchi to julienne scallions to eggplant. The waitress also brought over the burner for our first course.

When you look at it, it does seem overwhelming but the process was just so fun to eat.

The mixture of different kinds of sauce. It was absolutely amazing-mazing, worked so well with the goat meat. They also use the same sauce for the 2nd course.

When the first course was served, I was so excited. We saw the waitress bring out a large goat shank and started peeling away the meat to place on our bamboo steamer.

It was insanely massive. She put every last piece of meat on the steamer, minus the fat and veins but yes... every last piece of meat.

I start to dig in right away. There's many way to eat this and it's totally up to you and what you're comfortable with. J and I took the lettuce that came with the banchan and started making wraps with it. I gave up when it comes to dipping my wrap in the sauce because I could barely pick any up, as a result I just start spreading it in the wrap itself. So delicious. The goat meat was so tender and doesn't taste or smell gamey at all.

When we were a bit more than halfway through with the goat meat, the waitress came out with another pot. A pot filled with water, chives, scallions, and that sauce I was talking about. She then dumped the rest of the goat meat into the small pot. We waited silently and slowly for our second course to cook.

While we were waiting, J started taking pieces of meat off the pot... -_-

After a few minutes (it cooked really fast!), the goat stew was ready to chow! Extremely aromatic and warms up the heart.

Finally, the third course was about to be made right in front of us. Using just a bit of the broth from the goat stew, the waitress mixed in rice, radishes, scallions, seaweed, and that sauce again! She cooked it in the same pot where the stew was cooking and combined everything together.

The last course was a light fried rice, but up to that point... we were getting so full. We really couldn't finish it but it was really good. I would love to come back with a group of friends because doing this again with J would be overkill, we need more people to divide and conquer it!

16519 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11358
(718) 762-2799

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Soba Totto

J and I love soba, we like the process of eating soba. After finding out that Soba Totto has soba and yakitori, it was a definite place to visit.

We go to Soba Totto early, before they even open. But they do open on time, which is definitely a good thing. After we got seated, greediness started to take over because we almost wanted all the yakitori on the menu. I liked how they have the unique cuts of an animal, unlike some places that just does the generic chicken meats and vegetables.

Started off with sake and pretty much ended with sake also. They have a wide range of different kinds and I absolutely love the pretty karafe that it came in. So fun to pour also. Our waiter was very patient in explaining and describing the different sakes, he also recommended us some also. Now, that's good service.

Agedashi Tofu
I've never tried Agedashi Tofu before and I'm so glad that I chose Soba Totto to be my first place because it tasted so good. Very refreshing and silky. There were also 4 pieces of tofu, yay! I always thought it usually come in pairs...

(L-R) chicken oyster, fatty salmon, 2 cow tongue
Alright, so I hate it when my boyfriend is always right when it comes to food. Why does he always choose the best thing on the menu??? The Chicken Oysters were so amazing, the piece right near the thigh of the chicken. Lord, it was heaven... plus the skin that was still attach to the oyster, no words can explain the awesomeness. The Fatty Salmon wasn't so fatty but it was grilled to perfection. The Cow Tongue was great also. J and I love strange cuts on an animal and tongue is surely one of them.

chicken skin
Crunchy goodness. Loved the charred parts 'cause it gives it that slight flavor and crisp.

chicken gizzards
One of my personal favorite cuts on a chicken. Chicken gizzard is hard to cook, but if done correctly the initial bite would be crunchy and the interior starts to taste like chicken heart (if you ever taste that before), the texture is quite addicting.

pork horumon
Horumon considers to be the part of a pig that people would just throw away because most people wouldn't eat it - according to the Japanese. But they were the ones who thought to make horumon so delicious also. It has a bit of a chew to it but doesn't chewing gum have a chew also? No harm there.

fatty tuna
I don't know why but this fatty tuna is so off-putting. It looks kind of creepy, like it came out of the horror movie or something. The color and shape just looks uber scary. Good thing I didn't order this, for once J ordered something icky! Tasted like regular tuna but it just looks blegh!

quail egg with yakitori sauce
I was craving for eggs and what's better than mini eggs? I usually don't order quail eggs because I know I can get them in a dozen at an Asian supermarket for a lot less but I was feeling not me that night... haha

(Top-Bottom) chicken liver, 2 chicken hearts
Chicken Liver was decent, nothing special there. Although I do have to say that some people can't handle the liver because there's a texture issue there. Depending on how long its cooked, it can be soft and mushy or hard and grainy. Chicken Hearts are the bomb! Sad how they only give 3 on a skewer but they were just so juicy and tender.

Mori Soba
Kamo Shio Soba (duck dipping broth)
I had the simple Mori Soba. I like the soy sauce with scallions and wasabi dip. At the end of your meal you get an interesting rectangular teapot full of broth and pour it into your soy sauce and that's your soba-yu, a nice soup to end the meal.

I don't remember exactly what the name is for the dessert but it was just fried dough with ice cream and fruits. It was pretty good, but not the best and it would've been perfectly fine if we skipped dessert and just ordered another karafe of sake.

Soba Totto really scored high in my books. Love the different yakitoris and the soba was great also, oh and the service was A+!

Soba Totto
211 E 43rd St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 557-8200

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jin Ramen

Jin Ramen opened a couple of weeks before the actual day we went to eat, which means it's pretty spankin' new. Just two weeks in and the place was already packed. J and I arrived around 7pm-ish and there were lines out the door. Luckily, it was only a 5-10 minute wait and we were seated soon enough.

The menu was small which I appreciate. Small menu usually means (to me) that they either make those certain dishes really well or they like to focus on those dishes to perfect it. You don't need a big menu to lure in a big crowd.

Nankotsu Kara-Age
J and I knew what we wanted already, I mean it was a small menu afterall. First came the fried chicken with cartilage. I didn't taste any cartilage with my chicken but they are good pieces of fried chicken chunks.

Kani Salad
My favorite of the night. I always see Kani Salad as just shredded cucumbers and imitated crabmeat but Jin Ramen sure twisted it around. I love Seaweed Salad and I was so thrilled when I knew they incorporated into the Kani Salad. The mix of textures and flavor just explodes in your mouth. Crunchy, sweet, tangy, salty, slimy, zesty... it was all there.

Shoyu Ramen
Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen
I had the Shoyu while J had the Spicy Tonkatsu. The broth was really good and I loved their char siu. Two things that didn't impress me was the bamboo shoots and the noodles itself. There wasn't much flavor in the bamboo shoots and I love bamboo shoots that comes in the ramen bowl. The noodles were a bit overcooked, like literally just 30 seconds overcooked - makes a big difference. I like ramen noodles to have that slight bite to it.

It wasn't a bad meal but if they tweaked those two things then this would be a bowl of heaven because I always thought that broth and char siu are the difficult items in the bowl. But really, their char siu is soooo good.

Jin Ramen
3183 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(646) 559-2862

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yummy Noodles

After seeing Big Apple Nosh go to Yummy Noodles, I knew I had to visit it again. J and I ate at this place a couple of years ago and it wasn't really anything memorable. The restaurant looked shabby and was quite broken down. Located at the far end of an alley-way, it can be quite deceiving.

I was glad that we decided to come back because the experience the second time around truly changed. Seated promptly and right by the window of where the clay pot rice was made, was pretty neat. J and I ordered three items off the menu, the first two were a must because that was the reason why we came and the third was just a why-not-let's-just-get-it-anyway type of dish.

Dan Dan Noodles
First time trying Dan Dan Noodles and I love it. The noodles were springy with a bite to it which is so fun to eat. The minced meat sauce flavored the broth nicely. It was a simple bowl of noodles but the idea of perfecting the noodles and the taste of the broth is so not simple.

House Special Chinese Sausage and Minced Pork Rice Casserole
It's been so long since I've had clay pot rice, my mom attempt to make it at home and it just wasn't the same. I wanted that crust when we reach the bottom of the pot, and I wanted the pot! I was happy that this choice of clay pot consist of chinese sausage, preserved duck, minced meat and a fried egg. Boy, was I in happyland. I also love pouring soy sauce over this, J tried to stop me from saltness overload... oops?

Silver Fish with salt and pepper
I never thought of ordering silver fish or tiny white fish (as some may call it). This dish is usually ordered when I"m eating out with my family which consist of 8+ people. But for some reason, I wanted it. Freshly fried and they were so plumped!

When we near the end of our meal we realized that we should've ordered a vegetable dish. Something that would help us in clearing our palate of fried and salty goodness. Definitely keeping that in mind for next time since we will most likely return.

Yummy Noodles reminds me of something that came out from a Hong Kong drama. The feeling and vibe is purely Cantonese and I really like that.

Yummy Noodles
48 Bowery
New York, NY 10013
(212) 374-1327

Monday, March 19, 2012

Drink Up: Teado

I've seen this place all over the Chinese magazines and when I actually looked it up on Yelp, it looked really adorable. I also looked at the menu to see if anything caught my eyes and it sure did.

It was a late night, I decided to pay Teado a visit after my doctor's appointment. Seems about right to treat myself to something sweet since I just got a shot.

The interior was small. One small table that seated 2 people and 3 chairs by the window out-looking the streets. I ordered a Rose Green Milk Tea with Bubbles.

Rose Green Milk Tea w/ Bubbles
The truth is, I ordered it because it was pink. I'm such a sucker for cute pink things... even drinks! It was a mistake since the drink came out not so great. It was a cross between a really bad yakult and honey and lemon. It was quite hard to finish, which I ended up not finishing. I would love to come back to try their regular Bubble Milk Tea. I mean, the decor of the shop is really adorable. Little Mario and Yoshi dolls, it's just pretty. I'm going to cross my fingers for a better experience next time.

145 Hester St
Store D

New York, NY 10002
(212) 226-7687

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ippudo NY

J and I have been to Ippudo before it got all the hype it does now. I remember back then when we ate, we didn't have to wait over an hour for seats. Because we want that satisfying taste again, we waited. Would we do it again? I don't know, maybe when we're either desperate enough or drunk.

The waiting area is crowded and the later you go, the longer you would have to wait. We arrived around 6 and still have to wait for an hour, imagine those that came at 7... they would have to wait 2 hours.

When we finally got seated, we were starving and didn't really care about my wallets... as long as our stomachs were satisfy. The waiter was quite fun to chat with despite the little grumpiness in our voice. We placed our order and waited (yet again) patiently for our food.

Hamachi Carpaccio
I find that I dislike sashimi but I love carpaccio. The only difference is that there's a light citrus-y in carpaccio which I absolutely love versus just raw slices of fish. I mean, I eat sushi but not sashimi. Anyways, the Hamachi Carpaccio was very refreshing. The light yuzu citrus dressing that covered the hamachi brings out the taste of the fish, which isn't pungent at all. I also like how they pickled the jalapeno, not spicy/hot at all.

Kurobuta Steak Ginger Sauce
I think the reason why we ordered this was because of the fried egg, and I definitely misinterpreted kurobuta steak for a real steak... fail. But, nonetheless it was a nice dish. The slices of pork could use a bit more flavor and it was a tad bit dry. Good thing there was the fried egg because the runny yolk totally saved the day.

Umakara Tori Tatsuta Age
Fried chicken wings without the bones? Yes please! Not only that, but it was stuffed with minced meat and that spicy tangy sauce was so addicting. Sad that there was only 2 pieces of wing... wish they would just have more in an order.

So, time for the ramen. Ippudo is known for their spectacular ramen, that's what everyone said I'm just reiterating the truth. I've had ramen at other shops and after having that first spoon of soup I understand and remember why J and I like Ippudo so much.

Akamaru Modern
J's bowl of ramen goodness. There's an extra garlic oil and miso paste which makes the bowl so awesomely good.

Shiromaru Hakata Classic
I had the classic bowl. Yea I know, how boring can I be... but hey, I like to savor the simple things in life. The broth was so rich and flavorful. The noodles were cooked just al dente and I love how they make the egg. J and I need to write down places that makes their egg runny just like in the photo. Though, Ippudo does give you 2 options for eggs... either poached (which J had) or seasoned salt boiled egg (which I had).

To end the meal, we ordered a dessert that left us remembering it the last time we were here.

Matcha Brulee
Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee. I don't remember it being this small back then but it was enough to satisfy us since we were stuffed by the end of the meal. The crust was a tad bit burnt and I do think the dish should've been deeper.

So yes, I do like Ippudo. The place is actually really good, it's no joke and it "might" be overrated but the food justifies everything. It lives up to its expectations.

Ippudo NY
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bubble Me: CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice

I first knew about CoCo when it opened around Baruch College, I usually get my Bubble Milk Tea (BMT) around Chinatown so seeing a joint that's around 23rd Street really sparked my interest. They have another CoCo opened around 45th Street, as far as I know, the BMTs are pretty consistent here.

It was late night, around 9:30pm when I decided to stop by CoCo to get my BMT fix. The wait was quick since I ordered the regular BMT. Unlike other BMT joints, CoCo hands you your straw which means you can't choose your color. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think they have a wide range of colors to begin with. The 2-3 times I've been here, it's either been red or orange.

Besides the straw colors, the actual BMT was pretty good. Regular milk and tea with tapioca but with a slight twist. I taste a bit of mocha or coffee in there, which is not a bad thing. I like that refreshing and unique twist to a classic milk tea. The tapioca are chewy and it isn't that sweet, winner there!

Overall --
Service 4/5
Atmosphere 3.5/5
Taste 4/5
Likelihood to return is 85%

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
38 Lexington Ave
Manhattan, NY 10010
(212) 851-6618