Thursday, January 21, 2016

Maison Premiere, Cocktail Bar - Brooklyn, NY

Oysters, cocktails, and absinthe. How can one say no?

J and I thought we were being smart by heading over to Maison at 4:15pm, happy hour time is from 4-7pm. But when we arrived, the place was already packed. The maitre d put our names down for a 5pm seating so we had to kill about an hour around the neighborhood.

We weren't able to get seats at the bar or a table. Instead, we sat at the corner, with the ledge as our table and stools as our seats. J made sure we can order oysters and be served it when sitting there since the counter space looked very limited.

The wait staff were very professional, and the cocktail connoisseurs were helpful in helping us choose the right absinthe to start the night with. Maison is one of the hot spots in Brooklyn that serves absinthe that is dripped with sugar and chilled water. Quite amazing, really.

Since it was happy hour, we ordered pretty much every oyster on the menu. They have a variety of oysters from Connecticut, Massachusetts and British Columbia Canada. Other than the oysters, they have an a la carte menu that specializes in seafood. But honestly, once you're on the oyster wagon you wouldn't want anything else.

The cocktails here are amazing, the atmosphere was so fitting. I can stay here for hours just drinking absinthe and slurping on oysters but that would probably end terribly. One thing that stood out from this amazing experience (yea, there's even better), was when J ordered the Old King Cole Martini which was stirred table-side. The set up for this cocktail was placed on this copper tray, although it might not be copper since the lighting was so dim, the waiter was literally the table that held up the tray and the connoisseur started his performance. He explained the liquor that was being placed into the mixer and how many parts of each. It was nice. What's even nicer? The olives was served separately and when you're ready you can place it on the martini or you can just munch on it without having it soak up the cocktail. I have to say, the olives were good and I hate olives. This definitely might be a turning point for me.

Food ~ 5 out of 5
Price ~ 4 out of 5
Service ~ 5 out of 5

Happy Hour Menu
Absinthe Selections
Vilya Absinthe Verte
The Great Bambino
Endless Oysters - so delicious
American Pharoah
Old King Cole Martini
The making of Old King Cole Martini

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ganso, Ramen Bar - Brooklyn, NY

A good ramen shop is hard to find, let alone trying to find one in Brooklyn.

It was one of those nights where J was craving for ramen and I refuse to head out into the city, so we were left with limited options in Brooklyn. After minutes of deliberation, we chose Ganso. It was on my radar, but back like 2-3 years ago, and to be honest, I don't even remember why I wanted to go there.

The ramen shop was quite large, more spacious than your average traditional ramen joints. The place was very modern and chic, with random Japanese posters all over the walls. I chose to sit at the booth, nice secluded seats to be away from people and you don't have to worry about speaking over or under people's voices.

We ordered two appetizers and then our own bowl of noodles.
The Braised Short Rib Buns were served first. It felt very underwhelming when I bit into it, the bun was filled with shredded scallions to a point of which it should be just known as the scallion bun, the miso-mustard glaze was barely there, the taste of the beef short rib was bland, I couldn't find a thing about the bun that was good...maybe the bun itself?
The Japanese Fried Chicken on the other hand was a different story. When it was placed on our table, I literally just stared because it was the least eye-appealing fried chicken I've seen. The pieces were small and oddly shape. At first taste, the chicken were extremely over-seasoned and salty. But, dip it in the yuzu-mayo sauce and it turned into a perfect little morsel of goodness. That literally made me do a 360.

After finishing the appetizers, which I rather go on and on because I was enjoying the Japanese crafted beers with it. This is one of the few ramen shops that carry a variety of Japanese crafted beers. Their menu on it is quite descriptive, so you'll definitely be able to pick on to your liking; bottled or draft.

The ramen was bomb. I honestly wasn't expecting much but I was glad I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought. The Spicy Soboro Miso ramen had a kick-ass spicy miso broth which was addicting. The chili was ground and mixed in with the miso paste which gave the broth a really different and special taste. Noodles were bouncy, al dente and also a lot. J's Tori Shio ramen was good also, opposite spectrum from mine. His had a more clearer broth, very flavorful and oil-less; it's like a Japanese version of mom's chicken soup.

Food ~ 4 out of 5
Price ~ 3.5 out of 5
Service ~ 3.5 out of 5

Japanese Crafted Beers

Japanese Fried Chicken

Beef Short Ribs Bun

Spicy Saboro Miso Ramen

Tori Shio Ramen

Ganso Ramen
25 Bond St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Being Back

I admit I had been on a long hiatus and I didn't have the motivation to blog about anything. It was a time where I was conflicted, lazy and lost interest.

But after thinking about it weeks and weeks, I did realize that I did want to do this. It's a passion, and I believe I do still feel it. Being able to eat and experience new cuisine and share it is quite a blessing, either for my own reference or for those that are curious and willing to learn.

Catching up is going to be a bit difficult, I've been to a lot of places since October of last year and all worthy of sharing; whether it be something out of this world, average, or merely sub-par.

Let 2016 be something different. And hopefully, something more.