Food Reviews

Dinner at Le Coucou (NYC)

[Translate] When you think of recent restaurant openings for the past few years (decade, really), it feels like elegant fine dining is dying. There are a select few restaurants that really drum up the food press of fine dining are places like the revamp of the legendary Four Seasons hotel’s restaurants led by the Major Food Group — and where I chose to celebrate my mother’s birthday at Le Coucou that opened about a year ago. Once you enter the doors of Le Coucou, it feels grand and sophisticated with the large circular chandeliers, plush leather stuffed banquettes but with..

The Spaniard (NYC)

[Translate] The Spaniard is a lovely gastropub in West Village that is popular with mostly the young professional crowd. The vaulted ceilings and landmark designation, put the owners in mind of iconic New York taverns like Old Town and P.J. Clarke’s, which served as inspiration. The bar is stocked with 100 whiskeys, half of them Scotch, and the cocktail list calls out whiskey drinks like the Penicillin and a rosemary Manhattan. (more…)

Brunch at Street Taco (NYC)

[Translate] Street Taco is a colorful, cavernous, low-key Mexican spot in Gramercy. It’s an attractive restaurant decorated in white-glazed brick archways dividing the space, cobalt-blue booths and bright yellow chairs, murals by a Manhattan tattoo artist, and a lone golden disco ball. There are plenty of places to post up with a date or a group of friends for happy hour, but the booth by the front near the windows is a prime spot. Throw all fears of imminent headaches or hangovers to the wind and go for a Tsunami, which is a frozen margarita swirled with frozen sangria or..

Benares Tribeca (NYC)

[Translate] While I usually don’t stick with Tribeca for dinner but I was in the neighborhood to show a few out of town friends for sightseeing (e.g. 9/11 Memorial, Oculus, etc.). A good option for something flavorful and reasonably priced, you may head to Benares Tribeca. The colorful puffed rice chips with a trio of dips (tamarind, parsley-mint, and ginger orange oil) are to start with. You must order the satisfyingly cold and sweet mango lassi to go with the spicy foods (if you’re not looking for alcohol). (more…)

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..