so yummy! (at Ootoya)
Saba Sushi set w/ Cold Soba (at Ootoya)
I eat. I cook. I travel. And I blog about it.
Ahh, another year has passed! A little older, and a little wiser (ehh, maybe).
Birthday celebrations started with a bunch of my greatest friends from college. It was a joint birthday dinner celebrating for both me our friend Stephen, as we share February birthdays.
Dinner was at Pio Pio in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. For starters we shared the cebiche and the causa (whipped potato) stuffed with crabmeat. The cebiche looked like a tuna tartar more than the traditional Peruvian cebiches. It tasted a little sweet, but was good and fresh. In addition, the causas were very flavorful and there was quite a bit of crabmeat.
Pio Pio is known for their Peruvian style roasted chicken. Their Matador Combo could serve 3-4 people. It comes with a whole chicken served with a plate of rice & beans, avocado salad, tostones (crispy fried plantains), and a huge plate of salchipapa (sausage & french fries). The chicken was nicely marinated with Peruvian spices and the meat was tender and juicy. We also shared a huge plate of seafood rice.
Dessert was a little disappointing, so just skip that if you come here.
Birthday celebrations continued and this time it was dinner at Fukurou, a small Japanese style izakaya in Greenwich Village, NYC. Supposedly, they have a very nice selection of Japanese sake and beers along with tasty tapas style Japanese dishes.
Fukurou is known for Zuru Teba, their amazingly delicious, fall of the bone, grilled chicken wings. One order comes with 3 pieces.
We ordered a bunch of other small dishes and shared everything. Food here is good. If you come here strictly for dinner, I recommend you order a rice dish or the omu yakisoba (egg omelet wrapped around stir fried noodles) to fill you up. Here are the other dishes:
Seared Fatty Salmon with Roe
Grilled Black Pork Rib
Fried Baby Mackerels
Kobashira Tempura Roll
Deep Fried Tofu Simmered Beef
Grilled Black Pork marinated with Miso
Finally, Mango Pudding Cheesecake
Thank you everyone for all your birthday wishes. It’s been a tasty birthday!!
Pio Pio 8, 604 10th Ave (btw 43rd & 44th Street) Hell’s Kitchen, NYC
Fukurou, 87 McDougal Street (btw Bleeker & W Houston St) Greenwich Village, NYC
Early dinner prix fixe at Soba Koh. We watched the guy hand make the soba noodles. Steamed egg with crabmeat and ginko so good! (Taken with Instagram)
Soba Koh, 309 East 5th Street, East Village, NYC
Sumie Japanese Cuisine at San Want Hotel
On one of my nights in Taipei, I treated myself to an 8 course chef’s tasting menu at Sumie Japanese Restaurant located on the 4th floor of my hotel at San Want Hotel.
That night, my ankles were killing me from all the walking I did. After taking the train back from Danshui, I went straight to my room to soak my poor ankles. I skipped visiting Shilin Night Market where I had originally planned to have dinner. Luckily, San Want Hotel houses three great restaurants and I didn’t have to go too far for excellent food.
1st Course: Vegetable Aspic- Vegetables set in a gelatin made from consomme. It was so good and so refreshing.
2nd Course: Sashimi. The presentation of this sashimi platter was absolutely beautiful, I did not want to eat it. It came with 4 pieces of fresh melt in your mouth fish and a small bowl of uni (sea urchin) sprinkled with lavender. So luxurious!
3rd Course: Fried Chestnut Dough with Shrimp and Veggie Broth. This was my least favorite dish as I didn’t like the fried dough filled with chestnuts and sesame. However, the shrimp broth was really tasty.
4th Course: Salad. They had yellow kiwis, dragon fruit, and raisins in this salad along with lettuce and tomato; however, everything worked surprisingly well together with the light citrus dressing.
5th Course: Grilled Steak. The steak was tender and juicy and tasted great with the sesame salt and fried garlic chips. It was perfectly portioned as well because we had a few more courses still coming.
6th Course: 3 Piece Sushi. It came with a piece of shrimp tempura sushi, masago covered California roll, and a mini-chirashi sushi. At this point, I was so full. I had lost count of how many dishes I had ate.
7th Course: Miso Clam and Fish Broth. Absolutely perfect, but getting really full.
8th Course: Dessert- Tiramisu Mochi with a slice of honey dew melon. By this point, I left the dessert sitting on the table for a good 10 minutes before I was able to tackle it. The mochi was so good.
The wait staff was very attentive and always had the next course ready when I was finished with the other one. It cost about $60.00 USD and was pretty comparable to a set menu in NYC. I needed a break from all street food and this was just perfect.
Sumie Japanese Restaurant at San Want Hotel, No. 172, Zhong Xiao East Road, Sec 4 (4th Floor)
Digging up old photos. This picture probably dates back 4 years ago when my friends and I dined at U-Yee Sushi located on Route 1 in Iselin, NJ for one of our reunion dinners. U-Yee was a frequented spot during our college years because of their famous half price sushi specials. I should have taken the aftermath; we wiped the boat clean. I currently have a huge craving for sushi!
U-Yee Sushi & Steak House, 675 US Highway 1 S, Iselin, NJ 08830
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.