Sunday, November 30, 2014

Two Hearty Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving came and went by quick. This year I had three Thanksgiving celebrations - one with my company, one with my family, and one with Will's family.

On Thursday, my family and I had lunch at my house and boy did we eat lots of food.

Thanksgiving Lunch
This was the Thanksgiving lunch at my house. We had a mix of Chinese food and some traditional Thanksgiving foods. My sister and brother in-law brought roasted vegetables with pine nuts, cranberry sauce, and sliced turkey with gravy sauce.

Mom cooked most of the dishes and it was delicious! I really enjoyed the turkey and the cranberry sauce that my brother in-law made. It complemented really well. 

Strudel 
My brother in-law brought one of my favorites - strudel from Zabar's. He brought a blueberry and cheese strudel and apple strudel. I actually liked the blueberry and cheese strudel more because it added a nice creaminess to the strudel. It was really, really good.

Thanksgiving Dinner
This is the Thanksgiving dinner with Will's family. We had some Western and Eastern foods. The ham was baked in the oven and it was tender, moist, and delicious! Will's sister made sauteed apples which complemented really well with the ham. Everything was really yummy!

Desserts - Cakes
For dessert we had two cakes from Paris Baguette. There was a mini sponge cake and the cappuccino cake. I like the cappuccino cake the best because it wasn't too sweet and there was a hint of coffee in it.

All in all, it was a pretty fun Thanksgiving and food was excellent! Next year, I hope to make time to make roasted butternut squash or even mashed sweet potatoes. 

How was your Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Food Review: BBQ Pulled Pork Wafel

Wafel & Dinges (Food Truck)
(Downtown Brooklyn, Lawrence Street)

So now that you know there are food trucks every Thursday in Downtown Brooklyn, here's another food truck that's part of Food Truck Thursdays - Wafels & Dinges.

I've always had their sweet wafels, but not their savory ones so I decided to pick one up for lunch recently.

BBQ Pulled Pork Wafel
This is the wafel I ordered. The wafel had a slight crunchiness to it and the barbecue sauce was sweet and tangy which I liked. The pulled pork was really moist and velvety. It was really delicious!

Cole Slaw
My lunch also came with a side of cole slaw which was tasty.

I didn't expect a savory wafel to taste so good. I'm glad I gave it a shot. The chicken and gravy wafel sounds really tempting. I may have to give that one a shot at some point.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Food Review - Papaya King

Papaya King - Food Truck
(Downtown Brooklyn, Bridge Street)

So every Thursday is Food Truck Thursdays in Downtown Brooklyn, where I work. I was strolling by the MetroTech area one Thursday when I stumbled upon the Papaya King truck and glanced at their menu quickly and knew instantly what I wanted.

Hot Dog & Tater Tots
Yup I got a  hot dog and tater tots. A very simple, but yummy lunch. I also haven't had a hot dog in so long and it was great. Next time, I must add toppings on the hot dog for sure.

Tater Tots
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he had tater tots as part of his dinner one night and I was blown away by it. It's been so long since I had tater tots and it was a childhood favorite, so I also had some tater tots. So full. So fattening. So yummy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ramen Quest: Revisting Bassanova Ramen

Bassanova Ramen
76 Mott Street New York, NY 10013
212.334.2100

It's been about a year or so since Will and I have last been to Bassanova Ramen. We typically don't revisit ramen restaurants that we've previously been to unless their menu expanded/changed or we were unclear of how we felt the first time so we revisit it and see how we feel or we revisit because the ramen is just that damn good.

This time we came back because their menu expanded and because our dear friend Jimmy was craving for ramen so we took him to Bassanova Ramen.

Their new menu includes: soupless ramen, 4-7 additional ramen, and appetizers.

Sizzling Hot Iron-Pan Stick Dumplings
Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies
Berkshire Pork Buns
So we began with the Sizzling Hot Iron-Pan stick dumplings and the presentation of it actually surprised us because we've never seen dumplings shaped or cooked like this.The dumplings were filled with berkshire pork, chives, Chinese cabbage, garlic, and scallion. I really liked the dumplings, but I wished the the crust was crunchier.

The Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Anchovies and Berkshire Pork Buns were two additional appetizers we ordered after our ramen because we weren't full. The sauteed brussel sprouts with anchovies weren't exactly what I had hoped for. I mean the brussel sprouts had a nice shade of green on it and they were crunchy, but our mouths were on fire! It was hot and spicy.

The Berkshire pork buns were a let down. I've had pork buns before and usually it's hot, juicy, and meaty not cold and hot. I wasn't quite enthusiastic about seeing sliced tomatoes in the pork bun, the buns were slightly broken when presented to us, and it was just not what we had expected it to be.

Savory Crab Sauce Mix Soupless Ramen
Jimmy ordered the Savory Crab Sauce Mix Soupless Ramen. If your a pescatarians, this is perfect for you. This soupless ramen consisted of crab meat, red cabbage, mixed greens, pesto, tomato kikurage (tree ear), mushroom, memma bamboo shoot, fried ginger, and scallion. It's a combination of different textures and taste, definitely interesting pick from the Jimster.

Lemon & Black Pepper Tonkadu Ramen
Will ordered the Lemon & Black Pepper Tonkadu Ramen. This is one of their newest ramen on the menu. The lemon & black pepper tonkadu ramen consisted of berkshire pork tonkotsu soup with lemon & black pepper topped with chashu, tree ear, mushroom, fried ginger, onion, crushed sesame, nori and scallions. That's a lot of toppings.

I liked that the broth was heavy, thick, and has a lemon-like flavor to it. It wasn't salty to the point I needed to drown my throat and it wasn't spicy either. However, there's something about his ramen that wasn't fitting to me even though it was thick and savory. I think it's the lemon that throws me off and it tastes similar to our Chicken Francese. 

Tondaku Truffle Oil Wadashi Ramen
I ordered the Tondaku Truffle Oil Wadashi Ramen. The broth/soup is berkshire pork tonkotsu & wadashi bouillon soup and topped off with pork loin chashu, memma bamboo shoot, gyofun, nori, fried ginger, and scallions. 

I really enjoyed my ramen even though there's a kick of spicyness in it. Although I don't like and can't really eat spicy foods, I liked the kick that this ramen had. It was the right intensity for me. 

The broth wasn't as thick as the Lemon & Black pepper ramen, but it was rich and savory. I liked the texture of the noodles. They were thin and straight like angel hair pasta. 

So I must admit I am happy to see that the menu has expanded at Bassanova Ramen, but their portions are small and I am normally full and content after a bowl of ramen at most ramen restaurants ,but even the ramen at Bassanova seemed small so that's why we ordered two additional appetizers.

Furthermore, their pricing for ramen is a little steep compared to other places Will and I been to. The price is definitely a factor we will take in account to as to if we'll be visiting again or not.

Service:4/5
Atmosphere: 5/5
Taste: 5/5
Likelihood to Return: 75%

Monday, November 17, 2014

Food Review: Cereal Milk with Corn Flakes (Soft Serve)

Momofuku Milk Bar 
15 West 56th Street New York, NY 10019
347.577.9504 ext. 5

After having dinner with our friend Draven at Ise Menkui-tei, he took us to Momofuku Milk Bar which I have been to before.

There were a lot of treats and snacks to choose from, but I took Draven's advice and got the cereal milk bar with corn flakes

Cereal Milk with Corn Flakes (Soft Serve)
Who would ever think corn flakes would complement ice cream so well? I mean really, it was amazing! I didn't eat the whole soft serve because I do have a slight allergic reaction to milk unless it's mixed in with coffee, or tea. Yeah it's weird. Milk makes me want to throw up at times, but luckily with the cereal milk soft serve I didn't really feel the reaction.

I seriously think they should have corn flakes as a topping at every ice cream shop or dessert shop. It's sweet and crunchy goodness.

Next time I return to Momofuku Milk Bar, I will probably try a different dessert or one of their special cookies.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dinner at the Coach House Diner

Coach House Diner
921 Kennedy Boulevard North Bergen, NJ 07047
201.864.8600

It's been a very long time since Will and I have been to a diner. One Saturday night while we were in New Jersey, we decided to return to Coach House Diner (previous review can be found here).

It was packed with diners at Coach House the evening we went, but no matter how busy or crazy it got, our server made us extremely welcomed and happy. She had a positive attitude and was very warm to us.

Salad
I didn't order a soup so I went with the salad bar which has an array of salad toppings, pasta salads, and etc.

Bread Basket

Seafood Medley
I ordered the Seafood Medley which consisted of shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, and clams sauteed in a light clam sauce.and two sides. The seafood were moist, plump, and delicious! The light clam sauce was light and had a slight wine taste to it.

Sides
There's a variety of sides to choose from, but the ones I chose was the crusty Parmesan potatoes and cauliflower au gratin. The crusty Parmesan potatoes had a nice crust on top and seasoned just right. I really enjoyed the cauliflower au gratin because it had just the right amount of seasoning and cheese in it.

Steak Cremosa
Will wanted steak and also wanted to try something new so he ordered the steak creamosa. It's a NY Sirloin steak served in a creamy brandy sauce with black pepper, onions, mushrooms, and roasted peppers. At first his steak wasn't cooked to the way he wanted so he sent it back to be cooked to medium-well. 

When the steak returned, we both tried it. I really liked the sauce because it was rich, thick, and you can taste the brandy. The steak was moist and cooked just right.

Corn Chowder
Our server asked Will if he wanted anything else while he was waiting for his steak. So she gave him a corn chowder and didn't charge it for us either.

French Fries & Corn Niblets
Will ordered French fries and corn niblets for his sides. I really liked the French fries because there's a crispiness to it and has a little salt tossed in it. 

All in all, we had a pleasant experience at Coach House, but this time it was a lot more welcoming and warm. Our server did an excellent job at serving us and just being upbeat and positive! I hope next time we return to Coach House, she will be our server again.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

MeKong Vientamese Restaurant - better off not returning for a while

MeKong Vietnamese Restaurant
263 Kings Highway Brooklyn, NY 11223
718.942.5468

Hi everyone! It feels good to be back on the blogging and Yelp grind. Life has been utterly busy on the offline end. Just finished my midterm and I am confident I did well, but I'll just have to wait to next week to see the results. I've studied and been loading up on coffee with an extra shot of espressos this week. I paused from blogging and yelp reviews for about two weeks and it was hard, but here I am back in action at least for now.

So here's a long overdue review, a month overdue for you. There aren't many Vietnamese restaurants in my neighborhood. There's one across the street from where I live and it's been in business for years, but there's another one that just opened up maybe two years ago called MeKong Vietnamese restaurant.

The decor and ambiance is typical Vietnamese restaurant. I was quite surprised at how spacious the restaurant was. I came on a Saturday night with friends and my cousin and surprisingly it wasn't too crowded.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Large)
We ordered three appetizers and this was one of them. The Vietnamese spring rolls were fried to perfection and was tasty.

Summer Rolls
This was our second appetizer - summer rolls. It's a simple Vietnamese appetizer, nothing too special.

Vietnamese Pancake
This is Mekong's version of the Banh Xeo. I've had Banh Xeo at another Vietnamese restaurant before (review coming soon!) and it was fantastic! Mekong's Banh Xeo was a true downgrade from what I had experienced before. 

First of all, the plating/presentation was sloppy and the Banh Xeo was not made to it's best because it was literally falling apart compared to the one I had before. This was just poorly made.

Bun Bo Lui
My friend Jimmy ordered the Bun Bo Lui (Grilled beef with sesame seasoning and lettuce on rice vermicelli. This looked really good! I typically order this when I have Bun, but this time I chose something slightly different.

Grilled Shrimp over Rice Vermicelli
I decided to try the grilled shrimp over rice vermicelli. This wasn't any different from the other rice vermicelli dishes, The only difference is that there is grilled shrimp in this one. The shrimp were a little overcooked and weren't plump like they should be. However, this did taste pretty good.

I think the likelihood of me returning to MeKong is 50% because the food wasn't superb or extraordinary. I've definitely had better Vietnamese food in Brooklyn. The service wasn't the best, a little slow in my opinion.