Bibble & Sip
253 W 53rd St (8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
J.S., my super trendy fashionista friend (check out her blog!) who also loves to eat and drink coffee, introduced me to Bibble & Sip. She had me at “alpaca.”
Bibble & Sip is a cute coffee shop in Hell’s Kitchen (I know, cute+coffee shop+Hell’s Kitchen almost never go together) that serves up lots of unique, delicious things like earl grey banana bread, pistachio cake, earl grey panna cotta, matcha latte, lavender lattes, etc. The theme seems to be tea-infused things…. yumz. It is also RANDOMLY alpaca themed.
I spy with my little eye… an alpaca.
I made R.Y. come check it out with me recently and we got these pretty cups of matcha latte and lavender latte. Continue reading
78 E 1st St
New York, NY 10009
On a Friday night, R.S., A.C., and I grabbed dinner at Cafe Himalaya, a tiny, cheap, and incredibly busy restaurant on 1st and 1st. The food is Himalayan/Nepalese and is very vegetarian friendly. We sat down at about 7:00pm and watched the line of people grow. It was cold outside so they all waited inside, squished between tables while staring at our food as we ate. It was as if they were counting down for their turn on the swing. Not ideal for a mini high school reunion catch up dinner. Probably a better venue for a quick dinner before a night out across Houston in Lower East Side. We all started with a cup of homemade darjeeling tea with milk and sugar ($1.50). It tasted like Hong Kong milk tea with condensed milk. It was a little creamy for my taste but R.S. and A.C. both got second rounds. They also have butter tea… which I had my share of in Tibet. If you haven’t had it, it’s worth trying. It’s tea with salt, butter, and milk… very much an acquired taste.
R.S. ordered the Tsel Khowa ($7.50), a mixed vegetable curry cooked “Nepali style” with basmati rice. I didn’t get to try it but like Serious Eats said, it looked like there was too much broth. I prefer heartier curries, not watered down soups. On the other hand, vegetables did look fresh. Continue reading
25 Bond St
(between Livingston St & Fulton St)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
ANOTHER ramen place I needed to try. I needed to try it so badly I was willing to trek all the way into Brooklyn for it, and not Williamsburg I tell you, DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN. So far, I have tried Totto, Ippudo, Minca, Kambi, Hide Chan, Rai Rai Ken, and Yuji, all hyped up ramen places that battle every year to be the best (let me add that Totto doesn’t get as much love as I think it deserves). Ganso is now added to that list. It is rated 4 stars on Yelp with 84 reviews, most of which rave about the “perfectly al dente noodles” and “solid ramen” bowls. One even described the the ramen as “transcendent.” Go figure.
I came with V.P. and J.W. for a Sunday lunch. We shared the Buta Kimchi Buns ($9), which came with two buns stuffed with 9 braised pork belly, jalapeño kimichi, and spicy mayo. It only cost $4 for an extra bun (I was expecting $5). I wasn’t expecting too much from this almost conventional “pan-asian” bun filled with korean kimchi, chinese pork belly, and mexican jalapeños. Given the whole mexican korean food truck craze and the general korean-chinese mix, the concept (A.W.) of the bun seemed ordinary. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised. The pork belly had a perfect 2:3 fat to non-fat ratio. It was thickly sliced and mouth-wateringly succulent. Flavors were just right; a little sweetness and saltiness from the pork with no extra sauce (aka. actually flavored meat) and a little acidity and spice from the jalapeño kimchi. The mayo wrapped everything up in a nice creamy explosion of flavors. I really enjoyed this.
We also shared Rio’s Wings ($9), which included 6 Bonchon-esque wings. Legit tasted like Bonchon. Continue reading
Alice’s Tea Cup (Chapter II)
156 E 64th St
(between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10021
H.K., K.C, and I, aka. the Ladies, decided to have afternoon tea together at Alice’s Tea Cup one Saturday afternoon. The wait was an hour and a half. We watched countless daughters and their mothers get seated before we finally snagged a spot.
The walls are decorated with Alice in the Wonderland themed paintings. The mugs and teapots are mismatched and tooney. If you ask, the kind lady at the register will even sprinkle fairy dust (glitter) on you as you walk out.
I ordered the Small Pot of Tea and Two Scones ($12). Their tea list is ginormous. There are pages and pages and pages of teas that you could easily get lost in without a little direction. Continue reading
230 E 9th St, 2nd Fl
(between Stuyvesant St & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
I love green tea and matcha and all related desserts. This is the second time I have been to Cha An and was equally satisfied as the first. The tea house is very small and is decorated with simple wooden furniture. We ordered my favorite matcha latte and black sesame creme brûlée. Since we usually choose to splurge on dinner, and thus rarely decide to go somewhere just for dessert, I decided to splurge this time and also got this green tea roll. Continue reading