Monthly Archives: November 2011

XO Kitchen: Beef Noodle Chow Fun (干炒牛河 )

XO Kitchen
148 Hester St
(between Bowery & Elizabeth St)
New York, NY 10013

 

This is a classic noodle dish served at all Canto/HK style dim sum restaurants. It is a deliciously fried concoction of beef, rice noodles, scallions, and bean sprouts. The dish is usually greasy and mouth-wateringly fragrant. The beef should be thinly cut and very tender, paired with very wide yet light strands of rice noodles. It is generally not expensive either.  Really good for brunch when you’ve had a rough night out the day before… Continue reading

Soba-Ya: Buta Kakuni (braised pork belly with poached egg in soy sauce broth)

Soba-Ya
229 E 9th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

First very important note: ask to have this come with your noodles or rice. The soup and pork belly are so flavorful that you’ll want to have something with it.

 

The pork belly is tender and surprisingly lean.  I find that most pork belly dishes come with fat juicy pieces: half fat, half meat. To be honest, I did wish there was a little more fat because the large piece of lean pork belly seemed a bit dry at times.  The egg actually did not resemble a poached egg as the yolk was not runny in the center. The yolk had somewhat condensed a bit and was at that beautiful transition between watery and fully cooked. The center was orange and had an amazing soft yet bouncy texture (vivacious viscous viscera as a friend said). It was more a soft-boiled egg than a poached egg, which I tend to prefer anyway. This egg rivals my favorite seasoned soft-boiled egg at Ippudo. The broth was light and was complimented very well by the fresh scallions.

Grandaisy Bakery: Cauliflower Flat Bread and Mini Pumpkin Pie

Grandaisy Bakery
250 W Broadway
(between Moore St & Beach St)
New York, NY 10013

A friend of mine introduced me to this bakery a couple of months ago with a box of almond cake and shortbread sandwich cookies. I went to the bakery for the first time this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised to find a breath of fresh air hidden in this New York bakery. The bakery is quite large and is very spacious, unlike most New York bakeries and cafes where they try and squeeze as much as they can into a tiny space to earn more bang for their buck. The windows are full length and wrap around the entire corner of the bakery, bringing in a lot of light. Tall standing tables are scattered to be used for a quick bite.

The Cauliflower Flat Bread was so delicious! The dough is very QQ – soft and chewy with a slight crispiness around the edges. The toppings were extremely flavorful and brought out a deeply fragrant taste of cauliflower that is often hidden behind too much salt. I’m craving more of this bread the more I think about it.

The pumpkin pie tart was also very yummy. It wasn’t as spiced as I typically like my pumpkin treats but it was definitely still a very tasty tart. Not too sweet at all (probably not sweet enough for the average American) and a nice dense consistency, I also wouldn’t mind having another one of these right now…

BCD Tofu House: Rice!

BCD Tofu House
17 W 32nd St
(between 5th Ave & Broadway)
New York, NY 10001

I love Korean rice. It is sticky, extremely fragrant, and has a beautiful shine to it. Unlike Thai rice, which is also very yummy, Korean rice grains are individually small, bulbous and slightly gelatinous. Thai rice is long and thin, usually very good for making fried rice because they do not tend to stick to each other. It is fragrant in a different way…

To make perfect Korean rice, you first have to choose the right kind of grain. It has to be small and round and be absent of any black parts. The rice should also be more recently milled as it begins to lose moisture after awhile. Another way to increase moisture is to soak the rice for about 30 minutes in the summer and 1-2 hours in the winter before you are about to steam it. If you soak it for too long, the grains can become brittle and lose some nutrition. Soaking the rice perfectly can help to make the rice sticky and resilient.

Obviously, don’t just come to BCD for their rice.  They have AMAZING Sundubu Jigae (tofu stew) and offer a large variety of banchan (appetizers – always free at Korean restaurants!).