Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dessert Time: OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
75 East 4th Street New York, NY 10003

I found out about this little ice cream shop through Yelp, but didn't realize there was another location in Williamsburg too (I'll have to check that one out too).

After eating dinner in the Lower East Side at Cocoron, Will, my friends, and I decided to go to Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. for ice cream. It was smaller than I expected and there are no seats, except for the two benches outside the shop.

There were probably 10-12 ice cream flavors to choose from. I did research and knew that I definitely wanted to sample/try out - maple bacon pecan, passion fruit basil sorbet, and strawberry lavender sorbet. However, none of those flavors were available at the East Village - OddFellows.

I sampled the burnt marshmallow and Thai iced tea flavors. I really liked the Thai iced tea and Will sampled the Tahitian vanilla.

Thai Iced tea and Tahitian Vanilla
I really enjoyed the Thai Iced tea ice cream because it tasted like authentic Thai iced tea. It was amazing and possibly one of the best ice cream I've had so far. I wasn't too crazy about the Tahitian vanilla ice cream. It didn't feel too special or exciting.

i love ice cream as much as I love mushrooms on pizza or in pasta. I liked Oddfellows, but was a little disappointed that there were a limited amount of flavors to choose from. Most ice cream shops I've been to have had variety of ice cream flavors to choose from. Maybe if they had more flavors, I'll consider on returning to try them out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Second Chance for Hong Kong Tea & Sushi

Hong Kong Tea & Sushi
2033 86th Street Brooklyn, NY 11214

Last Summer, Will and I ate at Hong Kong Tea & Sushi with friends and I wasn't too happy during our last visit because of the poor service, but this time Will and I gave it a second chance and the service was quick and the food was up to par.

We came on a Saturday evening and it was packed. We waited 10-15 minutes for a table and while we were waiting, we already knew exactly what we wanted to order.

Grass Jelly & Soy Milk
I sure do love a grass jelly and soy milk once in a while! The grass jelly and soy milk was refreshing and had a little bit of a coconut taste to it which I enjoyed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cocoron - A Tiny Noodle Shop Nestled in LES

61 Delancey Street New York, NY 10002

Earlier this month, Will and I met with our friends Alex and Samantha for a double date at Cocoron, a tiny soba noodle shop located in the Lower East Side in New York City.

The restaurant is small and can only sit about 8-12 people at max. We were seated at the bar when we had a view of the open kitchen.

We ordered four appetizers. Three of the appetizers had fish in it - (1) Shuto (Tuna liver) , (2) Salmon with minced daikon (don't remember the exact name of this) (3) Takowasabi (Octopus), and the last one was a grilled duck with blueberry jam.

I wasn't interested in the fish appetizers since the fish was raw and has that slimey texture. The grilled duck was amazing! It caught my eye and I knew instantly we had to order it. It was moist and went well with the blueberry jam.

Soba Tea
Our friends requested soba tea as our beverages. I've never had soba tea before so this was new and different experience for me. Surprisingly, I actually liked the tea . It had nice, soothing scent and taste to it.

Warm Japanese Style Curry Soba 
 This is Will's order. So, Will and I actually ended up getting the same order with two exceptions.

Warm Japanese Style Curry Soba
This was my bowl of curry soba, but with seaweed and a poached egg. I really enjoyed this bowl of hot, warm, and comforting curry and noodle goodness! I've never had soba in a soup before, but it was delightful. I was afraid it would be too spicy for me, but it turned out to be okay.

And... for dessert, we had

Annin Tofu & Coconut Milk with Frozen Berries

Our friends Alex & Sam got the Annin Tofu which is really just almond tofu. They shared a bit of it with us. It was smooth, silky, and not too sweet. I don't remember the exact price of this dessert, but it was somewhere around $5.00-$6.95 and quite frankly, I don't think the portion of this dessert was worth that price. It should at least be a decent portion.

Will and I ordered the Coconut milk with frozen berries and around the same price as the Annin tofu. The coconut milk with frozen berries was fantastic, but was super cold to eat. There was also some tapioca in it too. We had one or two brain freezes from the dessert. I love how simple this dessert was and how light and delicious it was.

So I'm glad we tried the original location first. I would love to try the second location as well which is not too far from this location. I really liked the food here. It's simple and truly Japanese comfort food. It was perfect.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yemen Cafe - Something new and Something Different

Yemen Cafe
176 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11201

On the very last day of my Dining Room class, we went to eat at a little, Middle Eastern restaurant located in the heart of Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn.

I've never really had Middle Eastern cuisine before so this was very new and different to me. There was 14-16 of us, so we had a family style for appetizers and salad and we ordered our own entrees.

Lamb Soup
At first, I thought this was a sauce for the pita bread we received, but it was actually a complimentary lamb soup. It had just the right amount of seasoning with a hint of spice and tasted similarly to curry.

Pita Bread
This is the pita bread that they gave to us. It's similar to Roti Canai (Indian pancake). It has a bit of a crunch to it and tastes really well when dipped in the lamb soup.

Hummus and Baba ghanoush
The waiters also gave us a plate of hummus and Baba ghanoush which I absolutely loved because there's eggplant in it. It complements well with the pita bread.

Lamb Haneeth
This is one of the most popular dishes at Yemen Cafe and many of my classmates ordered it. The lamb is slow roasted and served with mixed vegetables and basmati rice.

I was really excited in trying this dish since it's one of the popular dishes. Everything was up to par and seasoned just perfectly! They gave a large serving of basmati rice.

I've never had lamb that was as moist as the one I had at Yemen Cafe. The meat had a nice shade of pinkness to it, really light and moist, and the best part was it fell right off the bone. This entree was really filling!

The experience of having Middle Eastern cuisine was definitely different, but I liked it. I would definitely would want to try Middle Eastern food at some point in the future. Because I tried Middle Eastern food, it makes me wonder how Australian or even Portuguese food would taste like.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

XO Taste - Not As I Expected It to Be

XO Taste
41 Elizabeth Street New York, NY 10013

Will and I have been to XO Taste before and quite frankly, we weren't too happy with the quality of food here. However, we decided to give it another shot since one night we happened to be in Chinatown and it was dinner time, I was craving for a baked rice or spaghetti dish.

The restaurant is very spacious and the layout is different from the other XO on Hester Street. Service was pretty quick for a Friday night.

Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings
This is the typical appetizer we order when we eat at XO Taste/XO Cafe. These dumplings had a nice shade of golden brown-ness and were slightly crunchy and filled with lots of meat and chives.

The sauce that was drizzled on the dumplings had a bit of sweetness to it and complemented really with the dumplings. The dumplings at XO Taste/XO Cafe never disappoint.

Baked Chicken over Cream Sauce
I loved baked chicken or baked anything dishes over rice or spaghetti at Hong Kong Style restaurants. I ordered the Baked Chicken over Cream Sauce with rice  and it looked great and covered with lots and lots of  cheese!

It tasted fine and well seasoned until I kept continuing, because the sauce tasted familiar like I couldn't quite put my finger on it and it also became more saltier. I realized what sauce this was and  it tasted just like or if not the Campbell's creamy chicken sauce. I wasn't too happy with this nor with the amount of salt that was used.

Baked Seafood with Cheese
Will ordered the Baked Seafood with Cheese over rice. The sauce here didn't taste like the creamy chicken from Campbell's. However, it was really salty and we weren't very happy with it. In addition, they used mushrooms, but it was canned mushroom. What a bummer!

I thought by giving a second chance to XO Taste that maybe our opinions would change, but it still hasn't. The food is still as salty as ever and not worth returning for.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Morning Brunch at Green Eggs Cafe

Green Eggs Cafe
212 South 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107

So before Will and I departed from Philadelphia, we made a stop at Green Eggs Cafe for brunch. We arrived around 10-10:30AM and there was about a 15 minute wait.

Green Eggs Cafe has been one of the brunch restaurants in Philadelphia that I've wanted to visit and that's how we ended up here. I really liked this restaurant and not just for the food, but because of the decor - very modern, clean, and simple.

Do-It-Yourself Vietnamese Iced Coffee
If you don't know already by now, I am an absolute iced coffee addict! Can't live without it. I found it to be very interesting that at an American restaurant/cafe, there's Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

I decided to give it a shot just to see if it tasted the same as authentic Vietnamese iced coffee or better.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee
This was the result of mixing the Vietnamese coffee mix into the ice. The iced coffee was indeed refreshing, but didn't quite taste like Vietnamese iced coffee. It didn't have that slight bitterness that it's suppose to have and that was the only disappointment, but other than that I didn't hate it.

Creme Brulee Latte
Will ordered the Creme Brulee latte. The waitresses recommended this particular latte to Will so he tried it. It wasn't too sweet which I liked and definitely interesting.

Red Velvet Pancakes & Smoked Ham
Will love red velvet cupcakes, red velvet cheesecake, and red velvet pancakes. Red Velvet pancakes seemed to be a popular menu item at Green Eggs Cafe so he ordered it as well as a piece of smoked ham as a side order.

Red Velvet Deliciousness
Here's a close-up of the red velvet pancakes Will ordered. The red velvet pancakes were topped off with chocolate morsels layered with strawberry mascarpone and topped off with fresh strawberries, maple syrup, and chantilly cream. This was truly delicious! So moist and tasted great and authentic.

Shrimp and Grits Benedict
So I am not a huge fan of waffles and pancakes especially for breakfast/brunch. I'm an egg kind of girls. There were many Eggs Benedict to choose from, but the one that stood out the most to me was the Shrimp and Grits Benedict!

My eyes had lit up with joy and knew instantly I had to order it because not only were there Eggs Benedict, but grits too! I love grits.

The shrimp and grits Benedict were accompanied with corn bread and for my side I had homefries. Their version of homefries was quite unique and delicious because it was seasoned with thyme and different herbs.

OMG! I fell head over heels for this dish. It was literally one of the best brunches I've ever, ever had! The eggs were plump, moist, soft, and perfectly poached! I love it when eggs are oozy. Shrimp was seasoned just right and delicious. The grits had a nice flavor to it from the juices of the shrimp.

I really enjoyed our brunch at Green Eggs Cafe! I'm really glad we tried it out especially the shrimp and grits Benedict was absolutely heaven. I'll never forget this amazing brunch I had.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dining at Penrose Diner - Not Exactly What We Expected

Penrose Diner
2016 Penrose Avenue Philadelphia, PA19145

Will and I revisited the Penrose Diner during our weekend trip to Philadelphia, because the first time we liked it so much that we decided to visit it again. However, it wasn't quite what I had anticipated it to be.

The diner is cozy and looks just like any typical diner. The diner is spacious and very comfortable to dine in.

We were greeted by the host and she brought us to our table. Our waitress wasn't friendly nor did she look particular happy. We ordered two entrees that both came with salad, soup, and a bread basket.

Bread Basket
Chicken Noodle Soup
Will had the chicken noodle soup. It didn't look too appealing or tasty at all.

Garden Salad
I didn't want a soup, so I got the garden salad instead and they really doubled up on the dressing. It was refreshing, light, and I enjoyed it.

Chicken Marsala
I ordered the Chicken Marsala over rice. It looked appealing at first, but as I was taking a couple of bites I wasn't pleased with this dish at all. The chicken and mushrooms were yummy and had a small hint of Marsala in it.

I wasn't pleased with this dish because it was just too much sauce and the sauce was overpowering and just way too salty. It became too much that I couldn't finish the entire dish. It literally tasted like I was eating a take out dish.

Chicken Francese
Will ordered the Chicken Francese and it sure looked a lot better than my dish. I actually liked his dish a lot more. It was just the right amount of everything. The chicken was moist and delicious. I was a little jealous that his dish actually tasted a lot better than mine.

I wasn't very happy with our experience at Penrose Diner at this time around. The food was a bit of a letdown. I don't think we'll be returning any time soon.