Food Reviews

Dinner at Char Sue (NYC)

[Translate] I’ve recently had a dinner with an old college friend of mine Char Sue since we haven’t seen each other for several months. Char Sue is the kind of place where you would want to hang out with a few friends and have a casual dinner. The Asian inspired food menu tends to be on the heavier side since it’s catering to the Lower East Side neighborhood where you’re primarily surrounded by bars and you would want to pad your stomach with something carby, fatty and preferably, delicious before you start imbibing. While we aren’t going for a night..

Solid Tapas Brunch at Lamano

[Translate] Over this weekend, a friend of mine and I made the treacherous trek out in the Arctic frozen city for brunch at Lamano. What I like about Lamano that it is tapas and you can eat small plates and since we both traveled to Barcelona a few years back, it brought moments of nostalgia. While the tapas served for brunch are classics, they were done very well. We started off with brunch focused cocktails of a Sherry Mary and a peach Bellini. Lamano’s unique take on the Bloody Mary was interesting. It replaced the tomato juice with beet juice..

Good Food and Cocktails at Villanelle (NYC)

[Translate] Villanelle refers to a 16th-century Neapolitan style of melodic poetry consisting of 19 lines. The space has a subdued, earthy look with pine beams running along the bar area, and white brick walls and gray banquettes in the dining room. We stopped by one frigid evening to have dinner and started off with cocktails that run the spectrum from creative takes on classics like the Paul Revere – a nod to the period and it’s a fantastic, smoked version of the Old Fashioned. The Merciless Beauty, as we were informed by the wait staff, a take on the martini...

Three Pillars Bar Lounge – Cozy, Upscale and Great Drinks and Japanese Food (NYC)

[Translate] There’s lots of bars in New York City and its nightlife give you a wide range to choose from the bustling, hole-in-the-wall to the really nice, upscale lounges that may reside in hotels. A relative newcomer from the Suzuki Hospitality Group (the group that owns the 1* Michelin sushi and seasonal kaiseki restaurant called Suzuki and a sushi bar counter seating restaurant, Satsuki) has Three Pillars Bar. This upscale yet cozy lounge is found across the hall from Suzuki restaurant. When you enter through the doorway, you’d see the short foyer filled with crystals dropping from the ceiling making..

Solid, Upscale Szechuan Cuisine at Hwa Yuan (NYC)

[Translate] Hwa Yuan is a new upscale Szechuan restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This restaurant started by the son of one of New York’s legendary Chinese restaurants. Hwa Yuan (the original opened in the 1980s) closed years ago and seminal Chinese restaurateur Shorty Tang died, his son Chen Lieh Tang reopened this current restaurant in hope to revitalize this part of Chinatown. The restaurant is spacious having three floors, taking up the space of what was Bank of China. The basement is the kitchen and private dining room that was the safety deposit room of the bank. The main floor and..

Recent Recipes

Pork Dai Bao (“Big Bun” 大包)

[Translate] I had the rare cravings for dai bao or what’s literally translated as “big bun” (大包) from Cantonese but originated from Guangdong. These huge steamed buns that’s about the size of a medium grapefruit is densely stuffed with a mixture of pork, a hard boiled egg, Chinese sausage, and mushrooms. The bread itself is more of a sweeter, cake-y, fluffy kind of texture. The issue is the old school Chinese bakeries in NYC’s Chinatown sadly doesn’t make it as good as it used to be and not many places make it either. Since I know how to make dumplings..

Gluten-Free Pistachio Lemon Cake from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

[Translate] Wilderness Poets’ raw nuts and nut butters; President’s Imported Cultured Butters and Cheeses; My copy of Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook; Homemade pistachio lemon cake, Momofuku Milk Bar’s recipe This weekend was my birthday and for those of you who read this site often enough, my annual tradition is to bake my own birthday cake. Ever since this summer, I’ve been browsing through Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and wanting to bake from her book. One of the recipes in there was one of my favorite cakes from the Milk Bar, the pistachio lemon. I love pistachio. It’s my..

OXO & Plated Very Vegetarian Recipe Challenge – Apple Fennel Carrot Salad

[Translate] OXO Good Grips Vegetarian tools and some of the tools used for salad OXO and Plated chose me as one of the few bloggers for this “very vegetarian recipe challenge.” I honestly thought it’s great time for me to go on a relative vegetable cleanse for my diet since I attended and ate at many food events (just look back a few posts or my Twitter and you’ll see what I mean). Since autumn is here, believe it or not, that means apples are at its peak and root vegetables like fennel and carrots are becoming abundant, those were..