Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weekday Lunch & Bubble Tea: Infinitea Cafe

Infinitea Cafe
150 Lawrence Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

A bubble tea shop finally opened near my office! This bubble tea shop is new, very spacious, and clean.

There's a variety of bubble tea, drinks, and toppings for you to choose from. There's also cooked food to order and I have tried two of their food items and drinks. So far I have had the following:

Red Bean Ice
This was the first bubble tea/drink I've had from Infinitea Cafe. I wasn't too thrilled with the red bean ice because the beans were crushed and it tasted powder-like, but also like real red bean flavor too. I probably won't order this again since it didn't appeal to me.

Classic Banh Mi Sandwich 
I decided to try their Banh Mi sandwiches and it was very filling, but the ingredients that was used is a little different from the typical ingredients used in Banh Mi's.The Banh mi didn't have the grounded pork. There wasn't enough meat in the sandwich. I wasn't very pleased with the quality of the sandwich.

Jasmine Green Milk Tea with Herb Jelly
I've had this in Philadelphia once and fell deeply in love with it except I had it with tapioca. The jasmine green milk tea with herb jelly was great! It really tasted like jasmine and loved the herb jelly, but I wish they gave me more of it.

Grilled Chicken over Rice
I've had the grilled chicken over rice during my second visit and wasn't too pleased with it. The grilled chicken was seasoned just right, but felt so dry and there was no moisture or sauce either. Everything else was good. I was a little disappointed with this.

I haven't been back to Infinitea for two weeks or so. I don't think I'll be ordering their food items again. I am excited to try their other bubble tea/drinks.

Note: Cash only!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sweet Eats: Yat Yat Sweet

Yat Yat Sweet
1926 Bath Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11214

After eating dinner with Will and friends at Dinosaur BBQ, we were craving for some Asian desserts so we decided to go to Yat Yat Sweet.

Yat Yat Sweet is different from other dessert locations, because they serve desserts that are unlike other dessert shops. It's also  nice, fun, and cozy hang out spot with a few tables where you could sit and enjoy your desserts.

Mixed Jelly Sago Sago
I wanted the Herb Grass Jelly with coconut milk, but they were out of stock. So, I ordered the Mixed Jelly Sago Sago ($4.00) instead. I like that Yat Yat Sweet serves their desserts (hot or cold) in Styrofoam containers because you can enjoy it in the cold weather outside without worrying about your hands freezing.

I really enjoyed my dessert. I love the softness of the jelly and sago. The dessert was flavored with coconut milk. i don't like desserts that are overly sweet and I am happy to say that the dessert I had wasn't too sweet. The amount of coconut milk was just right, you can still taste the sweetness and flavors from the mixed fruit jelly.

Tapi Coco Sago Sago
Will initially wanted a different dessert, but they didn't have it in stock either. So, he ordered the Tapi Coco Sago Sago ($3.50). It's similar to mine in flavor and texture except for the Tapi Coco which is similar to aloe.

There have been a lot of Asian/Hong Kong style dessert shops popping up in my neighborhood, but I must say Yat Yat Sweet has recently became one of my favorites especially since I have been twice here this month. I haven't tried their tong sui yet, but I am dying to try it - maybe when it's a lot cooler outside.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sunday Lunch at Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House

Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House
7201 18th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11204

Will and I have passed by this restaurant day in and day out since he lives around the neighborhood, but we never tried it out. After a session at the gym, we decided to try out the Hand Pull Noodle and Dumpling House.

It's not the fanciest nor the prettiest or biggest restaurant. There's not a lot of seating and the seating isn't in the best condition, but you can still sit down and grab a quick bite. The pricing here is cheap and affordable. They don't require tips even though they do bring your food to you if you eat there.The kitchen is small and if you want to use the restroom, you have to walk through the kitchen.
House Special Soup
Will ordered the House Special Soup ($6.75). It was a humongous bowl of noodles and there were pieces of beef, beef tripe, beef tendon, pork chop, and egg). I tried some of the house special soup and wasn't a fan of it. It had an odd taste to it.

Shredded Beef with Pan-Fried Hand Pull Noodles
I decided to get the Shredded Beef with Pan-Fried Hand Pull Noodles. I liked my dish and they sure gave a lot of noodles. I didn't like that the scallions were cut so big and surely, there was a lot of MSG in it because I was seriously thirsty afterwards.

Fried Dumplings
I read on Yelp that these fried dumplings were juicy and delicious so we gave a it a shot. They were definitely juicy and delicious and very meaty inside. The dumplings were slightly crispy and crunchy. This was pretty good for $4.50.

Meaty Goodness
Scallion Pancake with Beef
The Scallion Pancake with Beef was another food I saw on Yelp reviews that sounded and looked great so without any doubts, we gave this a shot too. It was only $2.95, very cheap. There are six pieces together, but Will accidentally took one before I took a photo. How nice.

Any way, the Scallion Pancake with Beef was different, but in a good way. It had a little sweetness in the pancake and it tasted a lot like Hoisin sauce. I liked this appetizer, but it didn't wow me too much.

This little hand pull noodle and dumpling restaurant is a great spot to stop by for a cheap and quick lunch. I think next time Will and I come here, we probably will do take-out instead of eating in the restaurant. I am awaiting to try one of the more famous hand pull noodle shops known as: Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles restaurant in Chinatown.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will's Birthday Dinner at Ngam

99 3rd Avenue New York, NY 10003

Last weekend was Will's birthday weekend celebration and we sure had a lot of fun. I made reservations for Saturday night at Ngam located in the East Village.

Why Ngam? Because, Will and I saw the chef known as Chef Hong on an episode of Iron Chef America going against Iron Chef Bobby Flay. This isn't the full video of the episode, but you can find a two minute clip  by clicking here. Although, Bobby Flay won the battle, Chef Hong was still a star to us and after looking at the restaurant menu at Ngam, I thought it would be great to have Will's dinner here.

We got here at 8PM for our reservation. The restaurant was filled with customers and loud, so lucky we made reservations. The restaurant wasn't very big. Since there was 14-16 of us, we shared a long communal table in the center of the restaurant. It wasn't comfortable at all since we all sat on stools and I felt waiters/guests bumping into my back and my friend's backs.

Moving along to the food...

Honey Lychee Martini
Our friend Jack, Will, and I ordered the same cocktail - Honey Lychee Martini. *Note - If you check-in on Yelp at Ngam, you get a free drink with your entree, but it must be under $10, I believe*. The honey lychee martini was good and sweet, but I really liked the cocktail my friend ordered instead.

Pomegranate Mojito
My friend Diane ordered this and while she took a few sips, she told me she didn't really like it to much. I tried it and I fell in love with it so I just happened to take her cocktail too. I absolutely adore any drinks that involve lime or mint, or both. It's just so tasty and refreshing. Love it!

"Peek Gai Tod" Brother Chai's Chicken Wings
We began with appetizers. We ordered the chicken wings which was seasoned with Ngam's house marinade, tamarind chili sauce, and sliced apples. I love how it's served on a wooden platter (very different). I didn't try the wings since I am allergic to spicy foods.

Chiang Mai Fries
The next appetizer was the Chiang Mai Fries. They sure looked different from the fries we're used to seeing.  The fries were accompanied with a homemade red curry mayo and sweet & sour peanut relish. I liked the fries which were made of Pumpkin and Sweet Potato, but they certainly weren't the best fries I've had.

Pra Muk Yang Grilled Calamari
The grilled calamari was served in a different style and way then I imagined. They were skewered and a little sweet. It was accompanied with a Thai spicy lime chili dip. I wasn't a huge fan of this.

Por Pia Shitake Mushroom Spring Rolls
Another appetizer we ordered was the spring rolls. I really liked these because the ingredients were seasoned perfectly and the spring roll had a nice crunch to it.

Thai Taco
Some of our friends wanted to try out the Thai taco. It didn't look too special to me, in my opinion. The Thai taco consisted of crispy pork belly, Thai basial sauce, and Thai basil chips. I heard it was spicy, so glad I didn't try it out. 

"Yum Nua Yang" Grilled Skirt Steak Salad
Two of our friends had the Grilled Steak Salad for dinner. I know this salad consists of steak, but I also can't believe this salad cost $14.00, yet it was so small. I forgot if our waiter asked our friends about how they wanted their steak, but they should have especially if they don't eat rare steak.

Papaya Pad Thai with Chicken
Will had the Papaya Pad Thai with Chicken and I ended up ordering the same dish, with a slight difference.

Papaya Pad Thai with Beef
I had the Papaya Pad Thai with beef. At first, my Pad Thai was way too spicy for me to handle and I could feel that if I ate any more, I would have a real allergic reaction so I had to send it back to the kitchen to get remade and they did. I had the new dish and it was a tad sweet and tasty. I didn't finish the whole dish since I didn't feel hungry.

I wasn't a big fan of this dish mainly because of the texture. It wasn't real rice noodles, instead they used Papaya as a substitute for noodles.

After dinner, we had the strawberry cheesecake I had ordered from Eileen's Special Cheesecake:

I really liked the cheesecake. It turned out better than I expected. Every bite of was creamy, sweet, delicious and the strawberry was excellent! Everyone was happy with the cheesecake for the most part and we finished it all. I may want my next birthday cake to be a cheesecake too. 

After eating our cake, Chef Hong came around to check on the customers and when she stopped by our table, she shooked hands with Will. OMG, what a star moment! Too bad, we forgot to take a picture with Chef Hong - that would have been a good picture to capture. Maybe next time.

Finally, I would like to personally thank you all of our friends for making Will's birthday dinner a success and memorable one for him. He had a lot of fun this past weekend and there was a lot of good laughs, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and loads of fun. This dinner would not have been possible without their help and time. Thank you. Love you all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekday Lunches at Golden Fried Dumpling

Golden Fried Dumpling
192 Duffield Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Golden Fried Dumpling is a true gem in Downtown Brooklyn. I always come here when I'm craving for dumplings whether it be boiled or fried.

They didn't have a lot of menu items when I first started coming here. They recently expanded their menu with vegetable, shrimp dumplings, and other items.

What's so great about this place? The cheap dumplings and many of their foods on the menu are cheap and it's close to my office.

Boiled Chicken, Mushroom, and Cabbage Dumplings 
I recently had the Boiled Chicken, Mushroom, and Cabbage dumplings for lunch at work. They are 10 for $4.00. Not bad. It's cheap in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the Boiled Pork & Chives dumpling.

I find the boiled chicken, mushroom, and cabbage dumplings are a lot tastier than the rest of the dumplings I've had from here. It's wrapped to perfection. It's seasoned perfectly and packed with flavor!

I have also tried their Fried Vegetable Dumplings. I don't remember the exact price for the vegetable dumplings, but they are inexpensive as well. I like the fried vegetable dumplings, but I am not crazy about it.

The fried dumplings don't have that crust on the bottom or crunchy texture. I prefer the crunchy bottom texture. The vegetables that are used in the fried vegetable dumplings are cabbage, carrot, and mushroom.

I'm not a fan of other menu items from Golden Fried Dumplings. I just come here for their cheap,but delicious dumplings. If you work/live or just happen to be in Downtown Brooklyn and need a dumpling fix, check out this spot and grab a bite.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October 9th is National Dessert Day!

Happy National Dessert Day to our fellow foodies and everyone else! 

Will and I have a special post for tonight. Tonight, I am going to reveal to you the top five desserts that I love. I lowered it to top five because there's just a lot of desserts I like and I could go on and on.

I didn't get a chance to ask Will what was his, but I could tell you from what I know already, but that would also be a long list. So, here it goes:

Matcha Ice Cream with white rice balls, red beans, and wafer

You may have saw a review or picture of this in a previous post: Food Event: Japanese Gourmet Fair. This has so far been the best matcha ice cream I've had so far. I've had green tea/matcha ice cream in other restaurants and none compare to as great as the one I've had at Mitsuwa. Sometimes I dream about it too.

Dao Fu Fa
This has truly been an all time favorite of mine! I can only get a hold of it when I'm at dim sum with my family or friends, but it's only available at selective Chinese restaurants. There's only two restaurants I know so far that has it and one of them happens to be a restaurant my family and I like to go dim sum at in Chinatown.  

First off, I love tofu and having it hot in a sweet broth is amazing! It's absolute comfort food! I really enjoy eating this. It can actually be eaten cold or hot, but it just tastes better when it's hot/warm. 

Taro, Sweet Potato and Sago with Coconut Milk
I absolutely love this dessert. It's a sweet soup actually and it can be drank hot or cold and I love both. I love the way my mom makes it because it's not overly sweet and this is the real stuff! A lot of Asian/Chinese dessert shops started making this dessert soup too, but it's just not as tasty as the one from home. It doesn't have that homey feeling.

Ice Cream/Gelato
I used to not eat ice cream as much and only ate it whenever I was depressed, but now I just eat it whenever I crave for it especially during the Summer. I love ice cream and gelato, but I probably love gelato more. My favorite flavors so far are: coconut, earl grey, strawberry, and tiramisu. I'm really looking forward to trying more flavors.

Red Bean Soup
Image Credit: Google

Last, but not least - red bean soup is my ultimate favorite dessert! Every time I'm out with family or friends for Chinese food at a dinner -- I always, always look forward to red bean soup. I can eat bowls of these and be so happy. It's hot, warm, comforting, tasty, and just really good! I mean, you're going to have to try it to know what I'm trying to convey to you. I like red bean soup with a dash of coconut milk and sago.

Now that I've shared with you my favorite desserts, what are yours?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday Brunch at Vegas Diner

Vegas Diner
1619 86th St BrooklynNY 11214
(718) 331-2221

Will and I went out for breakfast one Sunday morning at the diner where we had our first official date. 

Vegas Diner has typical diner decor and is very spacious. We were greeted by our waitress and started off with ice coffees and there was a complimentary fruit cup too.

It didn't take long for our dishes to arrive.

Lumberjack Griddle Cakes
Will ordered the Lumberjack Griddle Cakes ($11.95) which came with pancakes, ham, bacon, sausage, and one egg. Will had his egg scrambled, but it sure didn't look scrambled nor appealing. The pancakes were fluffy and delicious.

Mushroom Omelette with White Toast
I love omelettes - so simple and truly filling! I had the Mushroom Omelette ($8.45) with American cheese inside, home fries, and white toast on the side. I really liked the mushroom omelette, but unfortunately I couldn't finish all of it because it was very filling. The home fries were cooked perfectly, slightly crispy and seasoned well. 

I enjoyed our brunch here. Will and I don't go out for breakfast much, but maybe we should. The service here is fair and even though Vegas Diner may not be my favorite or the best diner I've been to, it holds a special spot in my heart

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lady M's Green Tea Mille Crepes

Lady M Cake Boutique
41 E 78th St New YorkNY 10021
(212) 452-2222
Green Tea Milles Crepe 
Last week, my sister went to Lady M's and brought home a few slices of cake from Lady M's. She saved me a slice. I have been waiting a long time to visit their shop and try their cake

 I tried the Green Tea Milles Crepe slice and it was amazing! Each layer is filled with green tea deliciousness You can really feel the crepes in each bite. The top layer of the cake had green tea powder and had a little bitterness to it. 

I am looking forward to try a few of other Lady M's items and visiting their shop. Someday... I will go.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Bite from L&B's Famous Pizza

L&B Spumoni Gardens
2725 86th Street Brooklyn, NY 11223

If you haven't tried the pizza from L&B, then get out and take a bite from their amazing, famous Sicilian pizza.

Will and I have dined in at L&B's once before, but we usually come here for their Sicilian pizza. After a spending a day in New Jersey, running errands, and picking up his mom from Chinatown - it was starting to get a little late to cook dinner and since I have been having the deepest craving for L&B's, Will and I placed an order and picked up a 1/2 tray of Sicilian slices.

I can't tell you how amazing the smell of the pizza is. I was holding it the whole time during the car ride home and I was so tempted to just devour the whole box, but of course I couldn't.

Can you say YUM? This 1/2 tray of deliciousness cost $20.00. Yes, a little expensive, but oh so worth it. This is by the far the BEST Sicilian pizza I've ever had, no joke. It's packed with flavor and truly authentic.

The second time Will and I brought home a 1/2 tray, we found our pizza not thoroughly cooked. When we took a few bites, we noticed part of the slice was still doughy. At first I thought I was going nuts, but this time when we ordered the 1/2 tray again, our slices weren't cooked thoroughly again so we just reheated the pizza in a toaster oven.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one that noticed the pizza wasn't thoroughly cooked cause my sister had experienced this at one point.

Despite the fact that our pizza wasn't fully cooked, we still enjoy their delicious pizza. There is really no other pizza in the world that tastes quite like this one.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ramen Quest: Ramen Misoya

Ramen Misoya
129 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003

A weekend to celebrate a change in my life.

On Saturday, Will and I revisited a ramen restaurant that we tried last year with our friends. We really enjoyed the food on our first visit and I've been meaning to revisit Ramen Misoya for some time now and we finally did.

We arrived around 8PM and had to wait about 10-15 minutes, because one the restaurant is filled, all incoming customers must write their name on the clipboard/paper that is hanging on the door and wait until their name was called. The restaurant is a little small, limited seating (wouldn't recommend coming here for a group dinner), and there's only one restroom.

The waitress that took our order didn't seem very knowledgeable about the menu. We placed an order for our food and checked in on Yelp. If you check in on Yelp, you receive a 1 Free Miso cha-shu on any ramen.
We started off with the gyoza ($4.50). The gyoza was moist and delicious. Filled with grounded pork and chives, with just enough flavor.

Miso Chicken Curry Ramen
Will ordered the Miso Chicken Curry Ramen and he got his free miso cha-siu too. I'm always fascinated that  the ramen bowl is extremely big and you really get what you pay for here. The colors of all the ingredients is just really vibrant and inviting. His ramen included - grounded pork, corn, bean sprouts, half-boiled egg, fried chicken pieces, free cha-siu, bamboo shoots, red ginger, and scallions.

I got to sample Will's ramen and I really enjoyed it! The broth was top notch and had that nice creamy curry flavor to it. The fried chicken pieces was delicious too. I really enjoyed the texture of the noodles because it had a nice wavy texture to it.

Kome Miso Regular
I had the Kome Miso Regular. Same ingredients as Will's Miso Chicken Curry Ramen, except mine has some potato chunks and no ginger. I had a lot of fatty cha-siu in my bowl which I wasn't quite fond about. I also got my free piece of cha-siu. It's different from the Chinese cuisine.The cha-siu in the ramen appeared to be slightly grilled, a little chewy, and definitely crunchy in the outter section of the meat. The broth was a little oversalted, but rich. I really enjoyed the wavy noodles.

All in all, I felt the ramen at Ramen Misoya was definitely above average. The quality of the ramen wasn't bad at all. I would definitely come back again.

Service: 4/5
Atmosphere: 3/5
Taste: 4/5
Likelihood to return: 80%


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