A Birthday Lunch at Asiate and Dessert at Dumbo
The past Monday, my friend Dave wanted to celebrate his birthday early since he’s going down south to Florida during the actual time, so being a good friend I ate lunch with him at Asiate. Everything is so…pretty and elegant. The views of Central Park and midtown Manhattan is pretty awesome as well.
We perused the prix fixe side of the menu and eventually Dave decided to have the corn soup and the flank steak, while I have the smoked salmon risotto and the fish of the day, which turned out to be cod.
Dave’s corn soup with fried chickpeas, chanterelle mushrooms and wild rice cracker was quite delicious. The sweetness of the corn worked well with the earthy, savory beans and mushrooms. The wild rice cracker gave it some interesting crunch to all the chewy and smooth textures of the soup.
My salmon risotto with nori seaweed puree, soybeans, shiso, and raw salmon, was quite interesting. It’s not the typical risotto that I am accustomed to since the particular rice they used is not as starchy as risotto. The taste itself is smoky, almost bacon-y due to the use of smoked salmon and the seaweed puree imparted an earthy taste that I can’t really describe. It’s tasty but I wish I could describe it a bit more.
Then our main courses arrived. Dave’s flank steak with smoked potato puree, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and meat jus was good. The beef was tender and the smoked potato puree tasted more like truffle oil was added in there instead. Nothing extraordinary but it’s fine.
My fish of the day (cod) encrusted with dry shrimp, sautéed broccolini, and English peas was quite delectable. The fleshy fish contrasted with the crisp crust. The shrimp flavor wasn’t dominant to the cod but I don’t really see why it’s added.
We chose not to have dessert there but we took the subway downtown and walked across the Manhattan Bridge to Dumbo. Yep, I went to Brooklyn for sweets.
Where did we go to? Since Dave was craving for a cold drink and I wanted ice cream, the only place that I know that would be selling both would be either at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory or Jacques Torres. Since we were a bit pooped from walking over the bridge, we went for the closer destination, Jacques Torres.
Once we entered the shop, Dave ordered an iced mocha. I paced around the store twice to really make up my mind what do I really want…chocolate, chocolate chip cookie, or their ice cream sandwich? Since I was craving for something sweet, creamy, and cold, I went for their hazelnut ice cream sandwich ($5) and their frozen mocha hot chocolate ($4.50).
After I paid for my desserts, I asked one of the girls behind the counter if they have a knife or something that could cut the ice cream sandwich in half. What they did have was a butter knife and she started to cleave it away…
Thankfully, it was a success and I could share it since this sandwich is huge and I know I can’t finish this in one sitting after a two course meal.
Like I remembered having it (almost a year ago), the chocolate chip cookie still managed to be a bit crisp despite being in the freezer for more than a few hours, chocolatey, and the hazelnut ice cream was dense but creamy and it had a hint of roasted hazelnut flavor. This is a nostalgic dessert but nevertheless it feels decadent since it’s so big.
The mocha frozen hot chocolate was cold, there weren’t any large chunks of ice while I’m drinking it (which is a good thing), and it was quite chocolatey. The problem is that it was a bit too bitter and grainy from the cocoa they’ve used. But it’s not bad.
That’s pretty much my day out with Dave…so Happy Birthday Dave! (It’s technically this Monday, the 20th.)
80 Columbus Circle, 35th Floor
New York, NY 10023
66 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201