Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Breakfast: Big Wing Wong

It's rare that J and I have the chance to go out and eat breakfast. We usually don't eat breakfast together but when given the chance, we opt for a Chinese one. There's so many varieties and choices instead of your boring eggs and bacon or oatmeal or breakfast sandwiches.

I barely ever eat at Big Wing Wong because I usually go to Big Wong or Yee Li (which changed names and management a couple of times). I'm very picky when it comes to Chinese restaurants that offers roast meat. I remember back in the days where you would order a rice or noodle dish and there would be greens in it but now...not a single in sight. So far, only Yee Li gives vegetables with their rice and noodles dishes. Do tell me if there are other restaurants that does this.

J likes Big Wing Wong and it's too early to argue otherwise, so I agreed.

Roast Pork Rice Crepes.
I really wanted the rice crepes with the fried cruller but they didn't have it. I didn't want shrimp and beef so we stuck with roast pork. Made fresh on the spot and was delicious as a morning appetizer. Love how they doused the whole plate in soy sauce.

Pork with Thousand Year Old Congee.
J's go-to morning order. I would order congee but I can never finish it and I don't like how steaming hot it is! I get so impatient which then leads to me burning myself and so that would ruin my chance of actually enjoying the congee. Big Wing Wong puts julienne pieces of ginger in the congee, which I'm not a big fan of either.

Wonton Mein.
Simple and yet filling. Dumplings with noodles is the way to go when you have no idea what else there is to get. I was looking around and overheard patrons eating rice for breakfast, way too early for that. The noodles were perfectly cooked, still has that bounce which I absolutely love when it comes to eating egg noodles. The wontons were excellent also. Remember the soy sauce from the rice crepe? Try it with the wontons because it gives it that extra little salty and sweet kick.

Good breakfast? Indeed. Service was fast and ordering was pretty easy once you know what you want. Big Wing Wong is one of the places that opens bright and early.

Big Wing Wong
102 Mott St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 274-0696

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Snack Asia

Oh man, where should I start with this place? I've been trying to find a place like this in NYC because I just couldn't stand the fact that I would have to travel all the way to Hong Kong to experience the food and all. Somehow I landed at Snack Asia through Yelp and knew that this is the place I must visit.

J and I were surprised with all the times we were in 8 Ave, we never noticed this place. It's pretty much tucked on a corner and without the bright orange awning, you would most likely miss it.

They have different quick eats that you can pick up. If you're in a hurry and want inexpensive Chinese food, this is definitely the place to head to.

Rice Noodle Rolls with Fish Balls.
It was fun eating this because there were no forks chopsticks for this, but skewer sticks. For some odd reason, I actually wanted to eat like that before. Maybe I saw it on TV or something but it's nice to be able to use other forms of utensils rather than the norm. They actually put peanut sauce in this, total win! I know J loves his peanut sauce, that's actually how I got him to come...

Pan-fried Soy Sauce Noodles.
One of my all time favorite. They already had this cooked and just scooped it in the container when you order it. There isn't much going on in the noodles but just the sauce and noodle with a little chive on top. Usually at restaurants, they sauteed the entire thing with some bean sprouts...and I always see more bean sprouts than noodles. But this was pretty good.

Egg Puff.
Please excuse the photo. I actually took a piece before I noticed I haven't taken a photo yet, hence you see the missing piece at the lower right corner. It was so good, like oh my god amazingly good. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with the right amount of sweetness to the batter. I could eat these thing every day. Even J said it's pretty close to how it is in Hong Kong, score!

I'll definitely stop by here whenever I'm in the neighborhood. It's a good place when you're low on money and want some great food. No lie, it's that good! Just writing about it is making me sad because I can't have any now...

Snack Asia
5824 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 567-7558

Friday, June 22, 2012

Talent Thai Kitchen

A not-so-quick bite before J had class. I was feeling for Thai since it's been quite a while and you know, gret minds think alike because J felt the same. We didn't want to try anything new new, so we decided to come back to Talent Thai. A place we been to before and couldn't forget because the ambience and food was memorable. The last time we were here I had a voucher and sometimes, I'm pretty glad that I made myself get them because without that, I wouldn't know there's a place like Talent Thai in midtown manhattan.

As usual, we were the first to be seated. Same thing happened the last time we were here, after we got seated and our orders were taken, people starting rolling in. Another reason that got me coming back is the music that Talent Thai played, very mellow and r&b which I didn't mind and J liked. Brings back memories since a lot of them were in the 90s.

Front of the restaurant.

Back of the restuarant.
We were pretty much situated in the middle.

Nothing better to start ourselves off with some wine. If you read my previous adventures, J and I are on the wine wagon now.

We ordered a bottle since last time we kept ordering glasses of the same thing. It saves us money and we don't have to keep telling the waitress to refill.

Peanut Dumplings.
Anything peanut and J would order it, it's like he got a peanut fetish...I was quite surprised that I liked it also. Crushed peanuts with onions and turnips was pretty delicious. The white wrap was perfect, slightly chewy but not to the point where it starts sticking to your teeth.

Fried Calamari.
I initially didn't want this but they didn't have mussels. To settle, I agree with the waitress and ordered calamari. I usually don't order this dish often because there's so much on the menu that would be interesting to try. But, I didn't regret ordering this. It was crispy and the calamri was tender, the spicy chili sauce was also spicy which is great.

Pad See Euw.
I wanted noodles but I didn't want Pad Thai, nor did I want anything spicy so I end up getting regular broad noodles in sweet soy sauce. It was delicious, even though it wasn't spicy it was hot because of the black pepper. For some odd reason, I really like vegetables and tofu with Thai noodle dishes. The vegetables and tofu are coated nicely with the sauce, maybe that's why.

Massaman Curry.
One of the milder curry on the menu. J loves his vegetarian duck.

I took too long to take the shot so my lense got fogged up. Dreamy much?

Sticky Rice.
I was curious as how they did the sticky rice here so I made J ordered it. He agreed since it'll be regular Jasmine rice or this. We eat Jasmine rice all the time at home so sticky rice it was. It was definitely sticky and tough but once it touched the curry, it was perfect because it gave a nice chewy texture.

Talent Thai Kitchen is one of my favorite Thai place to eat at. It's small but the food and service delivers. Something that I will definitely not pass on.

Funny story. First, there was a kid and an adult that came in and said there would be 6 people total so the waiter sat them next to J and I where there were tables free. Somehow the group got larger and we ended up offering a table that was connected to our table. The waiter later came by and gave us another table since the couple on our other side had left. We didn't really need the table because the small table perfectly held everything we had at that moment. Such lovely service, which is why I'm so raving about this restaurant.

Talent Thai Kitchen
210 E 34th St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 725-8888

Monday, June 18, 2012

Heidelberg Restaurant

After months and months of pushing this off, I finally gave in and agreed with J that we would go to Heidelberg. I don't know why I was so against it, maybe it was the photos I saw on Yelp that wasn't totally appealing, or maybe German food never crossed my mine, or because this place is located in the Upper East Side.

Met up with J on a Friday evening after work and walked up to Heidelberg. It was a beautiful day which made the walking a lot more enjoyable. We haven't walk around the city like this in a while.

Once I walked into the restaurant it was like I was warped to Germany. The decor and atmosphere made you feel as if you were actually in Germany and eating at a German restaurant. The staff was insanely friendly and kind.

J and I already know what we were going to order so we jumped right into it.

J and I usually don't drink beer much but he wanted to get the boot filled with liquor, so why not? It contains 2 liters of beer, insane much? Took us about 2 hours to finish...kind of pathetic haha

Headcheese in a vinegar sauce. So good. It taste so similar to pickled chicken feet which I love gnawing at. The headcheese was gelatinous with random bites of meat, cartilage and rubbery skin. Delightful.

Sausage Platter for One.
Three different kinds of sausage with potato salad, sauerkraut and red cabbage. Let's just say that all three sausages were excellent and had their own distinct taste. To me, it seems like the lighter the color of the sausage, the milder the taste.

A whole pork shank, boiled potato and sauerkraut. This dish can feed 2 people, no joke. The pork was big. There were so much meat on the shank that I was amazed. The skin was crispy and crunchy, J loved that part. The meat was tender and moist, the potato worked with the entire dish...surprisingly. At this point, I was totally convinced that German food is da bomb.

And after 2 hours later (literally), we finished it! It also took us 2 hours to finish our meal. I love how none of the staff came over and rushed us, they did not bother us throughout the entire meal unless we gesture them over. Time flies when you enjoy yourself with no interruptions. I appreciate this kind of service and it's one of the best way to keep your patrons happy and coming back.

Asbach Coffee.
I don't know what compelled J to order coffee because he never does after a meal, maybe it was the brandy that was in it...

...or perhaps it's the whipped cream with grated chocolate.

Homemade Apple Strudel.
I've gotten myself a true dessert. Slices of apple with cinnamon walnuts wrapped with a paper thin pastry crust topped with powdered sugar and a good generous dollop of whipped cream. I'm in total bliss. The strudel was perfect and the whipped cream was so light. I could eat another 2 plates of this stuff.

Absolutely beautiful. I would go back just for this...this.

I was so surprised how much I enjoyed my time at Heidelberg. The food was great and service was superb. This is one of the places in NYC I would recommend anyone to come eat. If you never had German food before, Heidelberg is the perfect place to start with. It's a bit of a travel if you live in Brooklyn but totally worth it. I definitely didn't regret the walk.

Heidelberg Restaurant
1648 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028
(212) 628-2332 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dessert Works: Yat Yat Sweet

It's nice to know that Asian desserts are being served other than the generic American sweets. I mean I like cakes, cupcakes, ice cream and sweets of those sorts but you have to admit that they're quite overly sweetened sometimes. There are moments where I want dessert but not crazily sweet to a point that I feel like I need to rinse my mouth.

Yat Yat Sweet opened up in Brooklyn and serves Hong Kong style dessert and beverages. I always see it on television how Hong Kong-ers would order or eat in their desserts. Usually in styrofoam containers which is great since you can hold on to it whether it's hot or cold. What Hong Kong-ers call dessert in Cantonese is Tong Sui which literally means "sugar water" in English.

Ice w/ Evaporated Milk & Toppings. (includes small sago, mix fruits and lychee popping boba)
Such a refreshing cold dessert.

Herb Grass Jelly w/ Coconut Milk. (includes longan, passion fruit and lychee popping boba)
Can you tell that I'm obsessed with the popping boba? They're so fun to eat because if you put enough pressure on them in your mouth, it burst open with the fruit flavor. The herb grass jelly in this was extremely bland, wouldn't hurt to put some sugar in them. Plus, the amount of coconut milk was a joke. So little, this particular dessert was dry in general.

Ginger Soup w/ Black Sesame Mochi.
There's only 5 pieces in the container, wish there was more because they're pretty good. Even though it's hot dessert, it's really soothing. I wish there was more to it than just plain ginger soup with mochi balls, like maybe have the option to add toppings like taro or sweet potato...that would be pretty awesome.

7-Up w/ Salty Lemon.
Sweet and salty, love that combination. Be great for a hot summer day which it was that day when I went.

A nice rare shop that sells Hong Kong desserts and beverages. No longer do I have to tell my mom to make some Tong Sui, I can just get my fixin' here.

Yat Yat Sweet = Day Day Sweet --> everyday sweet!

Yat Yat Sweet
1926 Bath Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 513-6355

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weekday Lunch: Bian Dang Truck

Thanks to my new app which I got recently, I can tell which food trucks are around me. Such a useful tool to sure a hungry stomach. I found that Bian Dang, a Taiwanese cuisine, truck was around the neighborhood so I walked a bit. Giving the nice weather, too nice since the sun was blairing down.

The line was insanely long when I got there, probably more than 10 people. But, I was determined to get me some Taiwanese lunchbox!

After waiting for 15 minutes, my order took less than 3 minutes to reach my hands. That's pretty quick, I started to get a bit worried but I might as well hope for the best.

I got the Chicken Leg over Rice with Meat Sauce. was a big portion.

Delicious meat sauce that is just clinging on the rice.

Amazingly crispy skin. How can you have chicken without the skin?! That's illegal!

The coloring on the chicken looks heavenly. The meat sauce was quite different than what I expected. Then again, I never had Taiwanese meat sauce before. The meat sauce is on the sour side and I found that it's from the pickled cabbaged they used. Extremely tasty because it's not the usual savory flavor you would get, a little kick of sourness is definitely unique.

What I do regret is not getting their tea egg. It probably would've went perfect with the entire meal, although I did have a problem finishing it. The prices for the truck is $1 less than if you get it at their storefront.

Various Locations - check their twitter
New York, NY

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Boat House

I've been wanting to go to a seafood house for the longest time. Always seeing on television the great spiced seafood from the south gets me salivating each time. And at that moment, it feels like I go to the south to get my fixin' or fly to the west coast for The Boiling Crab. But I don't have to worry about that anymore, because recently Boat House just opened and it serves seafood, Louisiana style.

They have all the prices written on a board right by the door when you walk in. They also have another small menu with other items like fries, wings, and soup on it. Boat House offers 4 types of seasoning to your seafood - Rajun Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Butter or The Whole-Shabang and you can also pick your level of spicyness.

The concept with Boat House is the same as The Boiling Crab. You order, they come back out giving you a bib, gloves, a bucket for shells, and a nut cracker. When your seafood are ready, it comes out in a plastic bag and you dig in. Takes a lot of work but if you love seafood, this is quite enjoyable because you get to lick the sauce and spice off your fingers. Yes, I don't bother with the gloves because it's like impossible to peel/break the shells of the seafood with it on.

Cajun Fries.
Definitely could use a bit more spice but it's ok. It's a great side when you're eating the seafood and want a tab bit of a break.

Cajun Wings.
Taste just like regular fried chicken but fresh and crispy. I'm really hoping they amp up their spices with these fried plates.

Canadian Oysters.
Where exactly in Canada, we do not know. But they are so good, not briny or have that seafood smell at all. They're more on the pricey side but a splurge I'm glad I make every time.

Clams in Lemon Pepper Sauce.
I love clams. Actually I love all types of seafood but usually clams would come first because they take the most least effort to eat. It must be the season for these critters because they are so plump and juicy.

Snow Crab Legs in Garlic Butter Sauce.
I was hesistant on ordering this but glad I did. They cooked it perfectly and the labor of getting the meat out of the shells were successful! The meat was also very sweet and fat.

Crawfish in Rajun Cajun Sauce.
Finally, the star of the night. The reason why we come back again and again. It's suppose to be crawfish season now and going to end soon, pretty much the whole Spring season is when it's best to have crawfish. I love when I find roe in my crawfish, sort of get a bit excited. Oh and the corn that was in the crawfish bag totally soaked up the sauce which made it sweet, salty and spicy. Divine!

After 4 pounds of seafood, well 2 pounds for me and 2 pounds for J, we were stuffed. I need to come back before the end of the month so I can pig out on more crawfish. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.

Sodas are refillable which is great. The staff are friendly and tries to accomodate you as best as they can but don't blame them when it starts getting busy.

4807 8th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 633-5880

Weekday Lunch: Biryani Cart

There are so many food carts out there, especially halal carts which makes it quite overwhelming. Usually we just choose the cart that pretty much closest to us or go to the one that was conveniently there.

I been having some hit and misses with halal food carts because each vendor makes it differently. The meat and the sauce are pretty much similar throughout all the carts but the rice is the splitting point for me. I like the basmati rice, long grained and nicely spiced. There's only a handful of places that don't overcook their rice here in midtown.

While doing my lunch walks, one day I saw a cart that said Biryani Cart. Doesn't look like the regular menu I'm used to seeing so I gave it a try, not to mention the other carts closer to my office wasn't so great.

Halal food are so inexpensive, for a mere $5 you get all of the above. If you're a small eater, can definitely be split into two meals. Everything on the plate was extremely flavorful. I always order the chicken over rice because it's a safe bet. Back then, I would just have them put the white sauce on but recently I've been loving hot sauce. The two sauces, white and hot, perfectly mended together to give you the full affect of halal food.

If you see the little peek in the center, the rice is basmati which I absolutely love. This cart has been my go to place for a good hearty container of halal food. I've been going there nearly every week since I discovered it. Oh, they even dress your salad with vinaigrette - how awesome is that?

Besides the usual chicken/lamb over rice and gyros. This Biryani cart has different items on their menu. Anything from curry chicken to kati rolls to marsala chicken. I'd love to try their other dishes but I always find myself ordering the chicken over rice over and over again.

Biryani Cart
On the corner of 45th Street and 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekday Lunch: Asian Station

My firm had previously ordered from Asian Station and what we had was so memorable that I had to get it again. Ok, I mean go there again but get something else because I have no idea what my firm ordered.

Hot and Sour Soup.
Pretty decent in my opinion. There were chunks of tofu and mushrooms. If it was just a bit more on the hot side, then it would've been perfect. But for a side soup, this is quite good.

Baby Eggplant w/ White Meat Chicken in Garlic Sauce and Rice.
This was delicious. Great hearty Chinese meal which really does the trick if you want something on the rice side. I ordered brown rice since it's a lot healthier and I don't feel too guilty. If you're not a big eater like me, this splits perfectly into two meals which you can do lunch and dinner or lunch and lunch.

It wasn't too pricey given that it's in midtown manhattan, just $7.50 for the rice and side of soup. Definitely one of the better Asian food in midtown I've had so far.

155 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 752-7321