Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ramen Quest: Ramen-Ya in Greenwich Village

133 West 3rd Street New York, NY 10012

Before I dive into my review for Ramen-Ya, Will and I would like to wish everyone good health and lots of yummy eats this Lunar New Year!

So, I think it's pretty clear to you that I love ramen. It's warm, hearty, savory, and delicious and it's the perfect solution and feel good food to have during these freezing and frightful temperatures we've been suffering these past two months.

Will and I recently tried Ramen-Ya located in Greenwich Village, NYC. They have two locations both of which we have visited. Please click here if you would like to read our review of the original location in the West Village.

Okra Pork Gyozas
For appetizer, we tried the Okra Pork Gyozas. These were quite tasty and different in terms of texture from what we usually order. These gyozas are pan-fried and stuffed with minced pork, okra, and shiso with ponzu sauce. The okra gave a slime-like texture to the gyoza.

shiso - an aromatic green, jagged-edged leaf from the perilla plant, which is part of the mint and basil family

ponzu - a Japanese sauce made with lemon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sake, seaweed, and dried bonito flakes. This is a dipping sauce served with dishes like sashimi.

Shio Black (Tonkotsu)
Will ordered the Shio Black (Tonkotsu) ramen. The noodles were straight and bathed in the original berkshire pork broth which was full of flavor and deliciousness, with a hint of black garlic oil. It was topped with cha-shu pork,  tree mushrooms, seasoned egg, and scallions. The ramen was alright, but the taste of the black garlic oil was slightly overpowering.

Mini Curry Rice
Will also ordered a mini curry rice on the side. It was yummy especially that curry sauce!

Shoyu Tonkotsu (Ramen)
I ordered the Shoyu (Tonkotsu) ramen and man was it amazing! This bowl of ramen was filled with a unique set of flavors! It's similar to the Shio Black ramen minus the black garlic oil. The broth was absolutely heaven!

I really liked their noodles.The noodles were cooked al dente and the berkshire pork was really moist and juicy.

So we really liked this ramen joint. It's different from the ones we've been to so far. It's more spacious and the kitchen is closed. The food was up to par! I can definitely see a second trip to Ramen-Ya in the near future.

Service: 4/5
Atmosphere: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Likelihood to Return: 90%

Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Lovely Brunch at Cafe Luluc

Cafe Luluc
214 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Will and I had a double date with our friends a few weeks ago at Cafe Luluc. Yup, we couldn't help but coming back for round two but with friends this time.

We came on a Sunday afternoon that was rainy actually and was hoping the wait wouldn't be long, Unfortunately, there was a wait and we waited about 15-20 minutes for a table. I guess the rain didn't stop customers from enjoying their brunch and time at Cafe Luluc.

We sat down and the servers poured our glasses with water. The server passed the menus to us and afterwards we placed our orders.

Iced Coffee
Will and I ordered our usual iced coffee. I was quite surprised that they served the iced coffee in a wine glass. It definitely wasn't enough iced coffee for me (quantity wise) and the iced coffee didn't taste up to par.

Mesclun Salad
Our friend's girlfriend ordered the Mesclun Salad accompanied with a balsamic roasted garlic salad. Great healthy choice for brunch! 

Mixed Berry Pancakes with Sunny Side-Up Eggs and Sausages
Our friend ordered the Mixed Berry Pancakes with Sunny Side-Up Eggs and Sausages. Will ordered this the first time we visited Cafe Luluc and was very full and stuffed to the point, he couldn't see himself order this again.

Brioche French Toast with Apple Compote 
Will ordered the Brioche French Toast with Apple Compote, Scrambled Eggs, and Sausages. Everything looked really yummy, bright, and amazing! I tried a piece of the brioche French toast and it was fluffy, smooth, and just really great!

Eggs Florentine
Every time I order brunch, I always end up with either grits or Eggs Benedict. Since I already tried Eggs Benedict at Cafe Luluc, I decided to order something different. This was my first time trying Eggs Florentine and it was surprisingly scrumptious! 

I'm not a big fan of spinach, but this was really yummy. This is a good alternative if your considering to go meatless for brunch. I really enjoyed the field green salad as I have before when I had the Eggs Florentine and the French fries are as always bomb! 

As you can tell from my previous blog post about Cafe Luluc, I really enjoy the food here. It's rustic and full of deliciousness. I haven't been to too many brunch places in Brooklyn, but I've got to say that Cafe Luluc is one of my favorites so far.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


204 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Every now and then I would have a sudden craving for Thai food, I don;t know what it is, but I really enjoy eating Thai food and I was even on a Thai binge at one point of my life.

Last month and on a Saturday evening, Will and I had dinner at HOPHAP in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. I really and truly enjoyed the decor and ambiance at this restaurant because it's dark, dim, intimate and very relaxing. I like that it 's spacious here and lots of seating too. The staff and waitresses are pleasant and friendly.

Thai Ice Tea
Thai Ice Tea is a must-have at any Thai restaurant. I really enjoyed the Thai Ice Tea. It was light and just refreshing!

Crispy Calamari with Sweet Chili Sauce
For appetizer, we had the crispy calamari with sweet chili sauce. The portion size for this was quite big especially for us two. The calamari was fried to perfection, but tasted really bland. It could have used some seasoning.

Squid Pad Thai
I ordered the Squid Pad Thai which wasn't expensive at all. It was only $9.95 and it's a hefty portion too. I really liked the squid Pad Thai  because it's everything you would expect from a Pad Thai and the squid wasn't overcooked. I actually had a hard time finishing the squid Pad Thai because of the size so I brought some home.

Seafood Tom Yum Pad Thai
Will had the Seafood Tom Yum Pad Thai. The difference between this Pad Thai and a regular one is that this one has a dash of spiceyness from the hot and sour lemongrass. I tried this Pad Thai and it actually wasn't bad at all, couldn't taste much spice in it.

Will can't handle overly spicy foods like myself, so I thought it was very nice that the waitress would check once or twice if he was okay.

I wish I had room to try their desserts because they did sound really tempting and delicious, but maybe next time. I really liked HOPHAP. The service and food was up to par! I am looking forward soon to try more of their delicious foods.