Tag Archives: spice

A Delicious Plate of Alexandrian Food in Astoria

Kabab Cafe
Kabab Cafe
2512 Steinway St
Astoria, NY 11103

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been sick with the flu, hence, the lack of publishing. I haven’t eaten much other than soup and cough drops for days now. I’m feeling better though! Writing this post made me long for the days my taste buds could differentiate between unique flavors. Recently, I had to go to Astoria for a work project and had some time for myself to eat whatever I wanted. A friend of mine, Miss A.M., who is obsessed with all things Egyptian highly recommended Kebab Café, mostly for the delicious food but also for Ali, the owner and chef.

Kabab Cafe
I came in when it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so I had the restaurant to myself. Ali was preparing food. The “kitchen” was tiny, taking up just a small part of the already tiny restaurant. This is Ali here, behind the mound of fresh vegetables. Throughout my meal, we spoke at great lengths about his passion for food. He says he was born in the kitchen and that to truly understand someone, you have to understand their food. “This is Alexandrian food, not Egyptian,” he made sure to mention to me may times. When I told him I was Chinese, he smiled knowingly. “You guys know how to appreciate food.”

Kabab Cafe
I couldn’t stop looking at all the beautiful vegetables he was working with.

Kabab Cafe

Kabab Cafe
Some slow-cooked meat with lots of veggies he was preparing for dinner. Continue reading A Delicious Plate of Alexandrian Food in Astoria

Karaiya Spice House: Karaiya’s Signature Fish

Karaiya’s Signature Fish – a rendition of Hunan 剁椒鱼头 (Double Pepper Fish Head)

Double Pepper Fish Head is a traditional Hunan dish, where a gigantic fish head is covered in spicy peppers and, according to Alan Wong, owner of Karaiya, “simmered in special Camellia oil [aka tea seed oil] collected from trees.”  At Karaiya, they use a whole fish instead, which I strongly prefer because it does not have as much of the goopy stuff fish heads have.  This fish is tantalizingly addicting.  The yellow peppers on one side and red on the other is steeped in a hot oil, which helps to create this extremely tasty sauce.  You can then buy a plate of noodles to throw into the sauce.  Something about hot searing oil and noodles… you can never go wrong.


Even with the noodles, I still always need to gorge myself with their delicious bamboo steamed rice to temper the heat from the fish.


This is one of those must-hit restaurants every time I go back home.