Category Archives: Midtown East

Nishida Sho-Ten: FAMAZING gyoza and delicious, authentic ramen

Nishida Sho-Ten
Nishida Sho-Ten
302 E 49th St (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10017

I’m really tired of eating at fancy places (#firstworldproblems). I was about to blog about my recent trip to Bouley, then just got so bored writing about the smoked Alaskan salmon with Tasmanian mustard seed, creme fraiche, coconut sugar, and gluten free crouton (yes that is all in one dish, the amuse bouche actually – not even a real dish). I’ve come to accept that as much as I have an appreciation for places like Bouley and Jean Georges, I get most excited about eating, taking photos, and blogging about homey hole-in-the-wall places like this one!

Nishida Sho-Ten
I like eating where hip Asians eat too I guess.

Nishida Sho-Ten
So, Nishida Sho-Ten is a cute little ramen place in Midtown East. There are always diners eating there, but I’ve never had to wait in line for a seat before. Continue reading

Sushi Tsushima: deeelicious nigiri and soba

Sushi Tsushima Sushi Tsushima
210 East 44th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Aves)
New York, NY 10017

LAW and I have recently discovered a whole slew of great authentic Japanese restaurants around 41st to 44th street on 2nd to 3rd Ave (more on the blog to come!). I always knew about Sushi Yasuda, but didn’t realize that its neighbors were all super legit Japanese restaurants as well. Sushi Tsushima is one of them.

LAW and I were craving sushi one night and didn’t want any of the cheap sushi places Murray Hill is saturated with. Literally walk down any block in the area and you’ll basically hear chants and sake glasses falling into beer. Fratty, cheap, sushi places defines Murray Hill. Walk up north a bit and interestingly enough, you’ll find a little Japan. Part of why I love Manhattan is even though it’s pretty tiny, turn a corner and you can be in a completely different world.

Sushi Tsushima
We first ordered the Moriwase C set ($31 with soup and salad), which included nigiris (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and eel) and one roll of your choosing. We picked the Blue Fin Tuna roll, mostly for its value (you get to pick any roll!). The fish was fresh. Rice was great, though I prefer a little more vinegar in my sushi rice. The set certainly whet my appetite and reminded me to never eat $5 rolls again.

Sushi Tsushima
We then deviated from the sets and ordered nigiris one by one. Clockwise, we had the Seared Salmon with Lemon and Salt ($4.50 each), Yellowtail with Yuzu Pepper ($4.75 each), Sea Eel with sauce ($6.00 each), Seared Mackerel ($6.00 each), and Uni ($8.00 each). These nigiris are much more expensive than the set, and for good reason… All of them were great, but here are the specific reviews in the order from least favorite to favorite: Continue reading

Melt Shop, “gourmet” grilled cheese

Melt ShopMelt Shop
601 Lexington Ave
(between 52nd St & 53rd St)
New York, NY 10022

This is a late post, as you can tell from my box. I went with some coworkers on Valentine’s Day for lunch because we decided that since we were indulging in chocolate all day, might as well go all out with a heavy, greasy grilled cheese for lunch. I rarely order grilled cheeses because I feel like it’s something I make quite well myself. It’s all about having good bread, decent cheese, butter, and a panini press. The last time I ordered a grilled cheese was when I was at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and everyone knows that is a must-try. It turned out good but just as good as my own… anyway, I gave Melt Shop a try since I love specialty restaurants.

Melt Shop
E.D. and I both ordered the Truffle Melt ($7.95) with havarti, arugula, cracked black pepper and truffle oil on sourdough. I remember distinctly it was freezing that day because the guy working the takeout window kept closing the window as soon as someone placed their order. Nonetheless, he was very cheery and told me to have a sweet valentine’s day. Continue reading

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery
1000 3rd Ave
(between 60th St & 59th St)
Manhattan, NY 10022

Anyone who lives in NYC knows that the long lines stretching around the block from Magnolia Bakery consists of tourists and more tourists. The bakery is most known for having been featured on Sex and the City as well as the Devil Wears Prada, not for their cupcakes. I had a bite of a Magnolia cupcake at a company birthday party once and confirmed that I never had to visit. The cupcake was dry. That’s enough of a reason.


Well, Y.P. was in town and wanted something from here despite my warnings. I told her, fine, I hear the banana pudding* is great, just don’t get the cupcakes. She ended up getting  two mini cheesecakes: Pumpkin Pecan with Ginger Snap Crust and Red Velvet with Chocolate Cookie Crust ($6.50 each).

Continue reading

Seoul Food Truck – Midtown Lunch

Seoul Food Truck
51st and Park Avenue
New York, NY

Seoul Food Truck parks right near my office during lunch so S.X., K.C., LAW and I decided to check it out today for our fun workday lunch.  Seeing friends on weekdays is so much more exciting than weekends, not that weekend dates aren’t fun.  There’s just something special about taking an hour out of your work day to see someone familiar, someone you don’t have to turn your work-face on for.  Anyway, it was warm out and I wanted a Korean burrito so we went.


So, I’m actually obsessed with Korilla, Seoul Food Truck’s main competitor, and so directly compared this Sweet and Spicy Pork burrito to Korilla’s Spicy Pork burrito.*  I ordered the Sweet and Spicy Pork in a whole wheat wrap with brown rice and spicy mayo.  I don’t know why I was trying to be healthy with the brown and wheat given that I was eating a burrito, go figure.  Anyway, If you click on that Korilla link, you can compare these two burritos side by side.   Continue reading

Sushi Yasuda, the closest thing to Jiro in NYC?

Sushi Yasuda
204 E 43rd St
(between 3rd Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10017

I recently watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi again because LAW had not seen it yet.  It was, again, inspiring and humbling.  For LAW’s birthday, I decided to take him out to what I have synthesized to be the closest thing to Jiro we could find in NYC.

We ordered the omakase, which translates to, “I’ll leave it to you” in Japanese.  Ordering the omakase means you are entrusting your entire meal to the sushi chef.  It is a form of respect at these nice sushi places and also the way to go because you end up getting the freshest fish and potentially trying some new fish you did not know about.  The omakase at Sushi Yasuda ranges in price (averages at $125 per person), depending on how much you can eat and what kind of fish you are served.  The sushi chef serves about 20-30 pieces of nigiri sushi, one by one, ensuring that every piece you get is served at the proper fish temperature and rice temperature.  After the last nigiri of the set, usually an egg custard one, he asks if you would like anything else.  Our meal, including tip, was $350.  You are supposed to eat using your hands.  There is a pinched piece of cloth drenched in lemon water for you to wipe your fingers after each bite.

Bluefin Tuna

Continue reading

Hide-Chan: Pork Buns

Hide-Chan
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.