Monthly Archives: July 2011

Pepe Giallo: Branzino

Pepe Giallo
253 10th Ave
(between 24th St & 25th St)
New York, NY 10001


I had this fish for the first time in Santorini. This was the most expensive type of fish on the island because it is apparently the most tender and moist. That of course also has to do with how good the chef is… Just had this fish last night at a small, hidden Italian place in Chelsea. Though not rated very well on Yelp (3.5 stars), I thought it was actually pretty good. The fish was very fresh and grilled with lemon and sea salt. Simplicity was what I was in the mood for and it was what I got. Continue reading Pepe Giallo: Branzino

Hide-Chan: Pork Buns

248 E 52nd St
(between 3rd Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10022


Hide-Chan was one of the many ramen places on my must-try-ASAP list of restaurants. I went for lunch one day and had one of the lunch specials, which was a bowl of traditional pork ramen (you can choose noodle firmness and broth thickness) and a pork bun, all for $11. I had firm noodles and thick broth (aka extra fatty). The ramen was pretty good. Tasty broth and very al dente noodles. Fatty pieces of meat. Very solid standard bowl. Not as good as Toto… Probably similar to Ippudo.


The pork buns were delicious but tasted like a “fusion” dish because of the teriyaki sauce and mayo. I think the pork bun at Ippudo is simpler which… Depending in your mood is better or worse. Definitely eat your pork bun right when it is served while the bun is still hot and the fatty parts of the meat melt in your mouth.

Saucy Short Ribs and Tomato

First time making this. Was also a litttttttle tipsy when I was cooking so just threw a bunch of things together. Luckily it turned out well! Marinated short ribs with some soy sauce, brown sugar, and cooking wine. Then sautéed the meat until the outsides were all browned (medium rare). Added the tomatoes and got a nice juice that mixed well with the rib sauce that was forming from the marinade and the rib fat. Once the meat was about medium, still somewhat soft and chewy, I threw in some garlic to give it a little kick. Turned off the fire soon after before the garlic browned because I wanted the taste of fresh garlic with the ribs. Then voila! Bon appetite!

Xi’an Famous Foods: Dou Hua (豆花)

Xi’an Famous Foods
81 St Marks Pl
(between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003
First of all it is just great that I can even get Dou Hua so readily in New York. Xi’an Famous Foods also happens to make their Dou Hua very well. The tofu is extremely soft and silky (way softer than the soft tofu from supermarkets), a sign that it is very fresh/most likely homemade. Because this is Xi’an Dou Hua, the sauce had a lot of vinegar. I prefer Sichuan Dou Hua where the sauce consists of a salty, spicy, slightly sweet taste and is topped with scallions and chopped peanuts.

Ess-A-Bagel: Everything Bagel Sandwich

359 1st Ave
(between 20th St & 21st St)
New York, NY 10010


Everything Bagel with herb cream cheese, crunchy lettuce and tomato


Deeeeelicious bagel! The bagel was toasted to perfection. Crispy shell and chewy centers… Just warm enough to slightly melt the cream cheese. The Everything Bagel had a nice onion and garlic flavor with a tinge of saltiness. Boyfriend had the Nova Scotia on a Sesame Bagel which has smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. Bagel was delicious. Sesame topping made the whole thing very xiang (香). The salmon was good but was not particularly amazing. I would go to Russ and Daughters downtown if you want some really yummy fish with your bagel. Bagels at Ess-A-Bagel are much better though.


Butter Lane Cupcakes

Butter Lane
123 E 7th St
(between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009


Took a baking class with a friend. These are my masterpieces. We made three kinds of cake (vanilla, chocolate, and banana) and six kinds of frosting (vanilla with fresh vanilla bean, chocolate with 60% cocoa, cream cheese, homemade raspberry preserves and vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, and cinnamon cream cheese).  The class was small and intimate.  The cupcakes were alright… I’ve never gotten a cupcake at Butterlane before so am not sure if they are just hiding their secret ingredient from the class, or if their cupcakes are just sub-par.

Totto Ramen: Char Siu Mayo Don

Totto Ramen
366 W 52nd St
(between 8th Ave & 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10019


This delicious little $4.50 bowl is something I know I will crave often. Totto’s classic torched char siu (BBQ pork) with thin slivers of scallions topped over a bed of semi-sticky rice that somehow maintains an aromatic sweet aftertaste… Add a bit of Japanese mayo goodness and you’ve got one of the best appetizers there is.

Chilled Watermelon

As simple as that.

Watermelon is the perfect fruit for a hot summer day. It is just sweet enough, juicy, and highly refreshing. It apparently contains 92% water – hydration at it’s best! It is also very light so you can eat a LOT of it.

I think watermelon tastes best contained in its shell and scooped out with a spoon. No juices are lost and you can always get at least a small bowlful of pure juice after all the fruit has been carved out.

It also guarantees that you get at least half a melon to yourself…