Girls night, a good night! 6 Course Prix Fixe is so worth it!
Dieci, 228 East 10th Street, East Village, NYC
I eat. I cook. I travel. And I blog about it.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a crispy sesame cracker and a side of shoyu (aka soy sauce). A little weird, a little interesting. We started out with a drop of shoyu, but you couldn’t taste it so we dumped the whole thing into the ice cream. Sweet and salty. Very innovative!
Work has been so crazy busy and stressful the past couple weeks I’ve never been so mentally and physically drained in my life. At work we get “Summer Friday” hours which means we get to leave work at 1:30PM as long as we have our work done, but I haven’t been able to take advantage of these special hours for the past couple weeks.
Last Friday, I just couldn’t stay in the office any longer so Jen and I decided to finally leave at 2:30 to grab a late lunch at Hasaki. We made it just in time to order their Afternoon Plate lunch special which includes sushi or sashim, tempura, and grilled fish. It also came with a bowl of red miso soup, garden salad, and fresh cut fruit for dessert. The food was good and plentiful and at a great price.
It was a much needed treat and time out to de-stress! But I feel so bad as I was literally falling asleep at the table. And it wasn’t the first time that week that I was falling asleep during my meal. Maybe it was was mix of a over worked brain and major food coma…Oh boy, I can’t wait for August to be over with!
Hasaki, 210 East 9th Street (btw 2nd & 3rd Ave.) East Village, NYC
Cha-An has the best desserts ever!
We started out with their jasmine tea ice cream with a toasty sesame cracker, a mango mousse, a strawberry tart, a green tea shortbread cookie, and a chocolate brownie. This all comes as a dessert set for $17. Back then, it also came with a pot of tea, but now it’s an extra $5 if you want tea with your dessert. We washed everything down with a pot of Honey Phoenix Oolong tea which was just perfect!
The mango mousse and strawberry tart were heavenly! I love Cha-An’s desserts because they are not overly sweet and a set menu gives you a chance to try a little of everything.
Cha-An, 230 East 9th Street 2nd Floor, New York, NY
Photos courtesy of Tim.
Ootoya, my new favorite place in NYC.
Their lunch menu is huge with 50+ items to choose from. I decided to go with their pressed salmon sushi set which comes with 6 huge pieces of rectangle shaped sushi, a small side of cold soba noodles, and miso soup. Jen had the pork katsu set which includes a side of salad, rice, miso soup, and egg custard. The portions are huge and everything tasted so good.
I can’t wait to come back and try their other dishes.
Ootoya, 8 West 18th Street (btw 5th and 6th Aves)
Cheap, fast, good portion, and tasty…that was exactly what I was looking for the other night when I had to work way too late on a Friday evening! Tuna rice bowl was a little bland until you douse it with some wasabi soy sauce. The udon was nice and chewy and I loved the flavor of the broth with a lot of green onions.
Udon West is a tiny hole in the wall with one table in the back that seats 4 and a long narrow bar table that can seat around 10 people max. Jen and I sat at the end of the bar near the doors. Not exactly the ideal spot as that’s where everyone hovers around to wait for the next available spot.
Udon West, 11 St. Marks Pl (between 3rd Ave & Astor Pl) East Vilage, NYC
We had perfect 80 degree weather in NYC this past weekend which made for a perfect little walk across the Williamsburg Bridge. Dinner was at a Japanese restaurant called Samurai Mama known for their porkbelly udon noodles soup. The porkbelly was melt in your mouth delicious. The other appetizers were tummy, but there wasn’t anything spetacular about their sushi except they have what they call “taco” sushi which is just an open handroll.
Note: this place takes cash only! So visit an ATM before dining.
Samurai Mama, 205 Grand Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Zen Japanese Restaurant is one of my favorite sushi restaurants ever. Their special sushi rolls are huge and delicious! Each roll is creative and colorful. I can’t remember the names of the rolls we ate last night. My favorite was the one with mango in it.
Zen Japanese Restaurant, 277 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston, NJ
Earl Grey Flan and Mango Pudding from Cha-An. So good! Wash it down with a cup of Honey Phoenix Oolong tea…absolutely perfect!
Cha-An Japanese Tea House, 230 E 9th Street, East Village, NYC
Photo courtesy of Matt taken on his Droid X.
Birthday Celebration #3
When I was asked where I wanted to go have my birthday dinner, I only had one place in mind. However, I’m not suppose to tell anyone about this place because my cousin loves it so much, she doesn’t want everyone coming here and making it crowded. So, I won’t mention the name of the place here because I kinda feel the same way (haha) But, I believe I’ve blogged about it before already…Oops! And I think I’ve already told a few friends…Oops again! Oh well.
This place is first and foremost a sake bar (hint); however, they serve really phenomenal and amazing food. We ordered a lot of small dishes and shared everything. I knew I definitely wanted to try their soba noodle again. I loved it so much the first time, I tried re-creating it at home. Of course it was epic fail. On the looks of it, it seemed simple to re-make: cold buckwheat noodles with a little bit of soy sauce and scallions and a dash of wasabi. Nope, I later learned that I was missing the “bonito infused soy sauce” and I just couldn’t recreate the texture of the noodles. Anyway, it blew my mind away the second time as well. So happy! The next dish that I absolutely love is their chilled roasted duck wrapped around a few slivers of scallion with a touch of basil sauce. The flavors are so subtle yet so so good.
For dessert we shared a warm chocolate souffle and a black sesame creme brulee. The waiters came out with a candle on the creme brulee and sang me “Happy Birthday”. Then he took a group picture and printed it out for us to keep. How very nice of him.