Monthly Archives: April 2012

Shabu Tatsu: Healthy, Hearty, and Delicious!


Shabu Tatsu
216 E 10th St
(between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

Shabu Tatsu serves up traditional shabu shabu, aka. Japanese hot pot.  Its name comes from the sound of swishing your meats in the hot water.  Unlike Chinese hot pot, shabu shabu is much lighter.  It uses a dashi broth made from just hot water and seaweed.  Chinese hot pot is heavier and often uses a hearty pork bone broth or an extremely spicy beef stock with various seasonings.  I prefer Japanese hot pot because the light broth cooks the meat and vegetables without masking their natural flavors.  Though, because the broth has no real seasoning effects, you need very fresh ingredients and deliciously fragrant dipping sauces.  Normally shabu shabu is served with ponzu sauce and a sesame sauce.  In addition to the sauces, Shabu Tatsu also brought freshly chopped scallions and daikon to mix in.

  

We ordered the Prime Rib-Eye Beef Shabu-Shabu Dinner Course, which was $26 per person.  $26 is a lot to pay for cooking yourself some veggies and meat in a boiling pot of hot water, but Shabu Tatsu really showed me how it is completely worth it.  The set included an amazing vegetable platter and of course, a big plate of prime rib-eye.  The vegetables were extremely fresh – no stringy veggies to be found.  The veggie platter also included tofu and Kishimen (wide and flat wheat noodles) and Malony (fat, rounded, and translucent noodles made of potato and corn starch).

  

The prime rib-eye was cut in the perfect thickness (not thin to the point of papery non-existence… something you find in some shabu places… but still thin enough to be cooked in just a few seconds… and thick enough to taste like meaty meat).  Because shabu meats are served raw, they have to be high enough quality to be eaten raw… this is definitely not enforced in certain places.  Shabu Tatsu’s meat is very high quality, smooth and did not contain any knots or stringy bits.

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A slice of home…made banana bread

After returning from a week of tortilla chips, tortillas, guacamole, more tortilla chips, more tortillas, and meat meat meat, I have craved fresh salads and homemade banana bread.  Banana bread is probably one of my favorite baked goods because it is soooooo incredibly easy to make, sooooo incredibly easy to alter (Chocolate chips?  Coconut flakes?  Walnuts?  Dates?  Been there, done that), tastes so g-damn good, AND puts all those gnarly looking bananas to good use!

Banana bread is the first baked good I learned to make and is one that I will continue to make forever and ever.  I have always used the same recipe and have never rarely failed.  I don’t remember where this recipe is from but I love it because it uses yogurt (not to replace butter, never replace butter!!!!!!!!!) to help tenderize and keep the bread moist. Continue reading A slice of home…made banana bread

Playa del Carmen: The Ultimate Food Guide

My foodie adventures in Playa del Carmen were… a little bit stressful, mainly because I tend to get stressed out very easily but also because I DIDN’T HAVE PROPER YELP OR CHOWHOUND.  I had TripAdvisor instead.  I don’t know if any of you use TripAdvisor but this was my first time using it intensely for food.  Here are examples of what TripAdvisor reviewers write:

  • “This is the BEST TACO place in Playa del Carmen!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – person who has only been in PDC for a day
  • “My hubby and I loooove this place so muchhhh.  We even got to take pictures with a Mexican man in a sombrero hat after!”
  • “The fish was soooo fresh and I loooved the truffles and everything was sooo cheap! So affordable!!” – person who ate at a $$$$ place

Basically, TripAdvisor food reviews are not very helpful but hey, you gotta take what you can get.  I essentially spent hours looking up the “must eats” on the World Wide Web, then the “bests” on TripAdvisor, and finally had to cross reference these “bests” with what some other bloggers have written about.  After meticulously putting a list together with almost all our meals planned, we ran into a few bumps in the round.  There were a couple of times where the restaurants I wanted to visit simply didn’t exist anymore.  Other times the restaurants were just… not good (when TripAdvisor says the seafood is fresh, don’t believe them).  Below is a list of places I tried and my general thoughts about them.  I hope this is helpful for anyone who decides to visit!

Continue reading Playa del Carmen: The Ultimate Food Guide

Playa del Carmen: Snacks

It’s my last day in PDC.  I’m going to do a quick post and leave for brunch at this place that sells 1 liter smoothies for 35 pesos, about $2.70.  I plan on doing a massive post on Wednesday documenting my whole trip so stay tuned!  As for now… SNACKS:

Empanadas for the road, 17 pesos each.  We got a chorizo one, a spinach and cheese one, and a chicken one.  The spinach and cheese was by far the most flavorful.  All were pretty damn good though, even the thick crust… I liked dipping it in the chimichurri sauce (top right).  I always thought empanadas were super heavy but these were very light.  I think they key is that real Mexican food does not use as much cheese as American Mexican food.

Cinnamon sugar churros are one of my favorite things, especially from Disneyland where it costs about 3x what it should.  These churros were smaller in length and width and were extra deep fried.  They were sooooo good.  The cinnamon sugar was a little less sweeter than the US versions which, as you should know by now, I prefer.  From what a friend told me awhile ago, apparently cinnamon sugar churros are an American thing.  Real Mexican churros are plain and dipped in chocolate.  I had those before in Cabo and… a small restaurant in Boston.  I like both though the chocolate one is probably more of an adult snack because the plain churro is surprisingly slightly salty and the chocolate is delicious bitter dark chocolate.  Here on the touristy streets of PDC, they only had the cinnamon sugar version. Continue reading Playa del Carmen: Snacks