103 1st Ave (between 6th and 7th streets)
New York, NY 10003
I love Filipino food. I didn’t really discover this until Jeepney (sister to Maharlika) popped up in my neighborhood and I got to try some excellent Bicol Express (slow roasted pork shoulder in coconut milk). I haven’t blogged Jeepney yet because I never have my camera when I go, but I definitely need to soon. It embodies everything I know about Filipino culture: fun, familial, loud, and delicious. Ugly Kitchen is another Filipino restaurant in the East Village that my friend L.B. is involved with (and even worked in the kitchen!). It embodies the same kind of vibe as Jeepney’s but is a bit more affordable (mains are $10-$15 whereas at Jeepney where they are $15-$20).
L.B. welcomed me and Y.N. with dangerous fruity cocktails that the bartender threw together as a special for the night. The most dangerous part of the cocktail was that it didn’t taste dangerous…
Y.N. asked for the most popular dish on the menu: The Ugly Grilled Chicken ($14), which consists of two pieces of fire grilled chicken with a Korean fusion marinade and a side salad and rice. As simple as this sounds, it tasted pretty damn delicious. The chicken was flavorful, had a strong charred flavor, and was fairly tender. As the chicken cooled down, it got less tender (so eat quickly!), but was still tasty. Great home cookin’ for when you don’t want to take out the grill (or don’t have one because you live in NYC).
L.B. got the Sizzling Sisig ($13), which consists of spicy minced pork belly, liver, pork cheek, all sautéed together in onions and soy sauce with an egg on top. The waiter cuts the pieces up on the sizzling stone plate when the dish is brought over. The bite size pieces are fatty, and super fragrant. It’s a classic Filipino dish that I haven’t quite learned to love just yet but can see why it is Filipino comfort food. Continue reading Ugly Kitchen: where I had balut, a duck embryo. It was great.
231 E 9th St
(between Stuyvesant St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
The way I feel about Robataya is the way people should feel about their significant others. It’s always a treat when I get to spend time with Robataya. I always feel better about myself after I spend time with it. The more I spend time with Robataya, the more I grow to love it. The reason I haven’t fully blogged about Robataya sooner is because all my photos have been pretty crappy. The lighting is not the brightest and there’s a yellow warm hue that my old camera just couldn’t handle. But LAW recently got me an awesome Olympus PL-5 so I knew it was time to showcase Robataya.
I hate using the word “tapas” but that’s kind of what Robataya serves up. The menu offers a variety of grilled (over an open hearth) vegetables, meats, and seafood. There are a number of appetizers on the menu as well but the stars are all in the grilled items. I ALWAYS get the brussels sprouts ($6). It’s ALWAYS the freshest, most perfect brussels sprouts. ALWAYS perfectly grilled. ALWAYS salted just right with Suzu Salt, a salt imported from the Noto peninsula in Japan. According to Robataya’s menu, this salt “can only be produced by using the cleanest seawater in the region. Its saltiness is rounded by acidity, bitterness, and sweetness.” Continue reading A Perfect Meal at Robataya
Sundaes & Cones
95 E 10th St
(at 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
After a 20 hour work day, right after an 18 hour work day, the weekend arrived and the sun came out to play. I had the usual at Soba-Ya for lunch and decided that I really wanted some ice cream. Normally, LAW suggests that we get a tub of Haagen Dazs and make root beer floats at home but no, that day I wanted some real ice cream served to me by the scoop. I wanted hard ice cream as well, none of that mushy soft serve stuff that I usually love from Mickey D’s. I yelped the best ice cream places closest to Soba-Ya and found Sundaes & Cones. It is rated 4/5 and has 465 reviews – solid.
The “Sundaes & Cones” name conjured up an image of a small-town ice cream place with families lining up for some good ol’ cookies ‘n cream. It turned out to be an Asian ice cream place with a variety of interesting and unique flavors, such as black sesame, taro, ginger, Thai iced tea, green tea, mango, lychee, etc. You get the picture. Asian flavors aside, they also have the usuals like vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, etc. But they also have flavors like avocado, corn, pumpkin, strawberry cheesecake… think Il Laboratorio (ice cream place in LES that reminds me of a hospital) but more homey.
Continue reading Sundaes & Cones – great homemade ice cream with lots of Asian flavors