Tag Archives: Chinese

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

You might see posts about Shake Shack or Dos Toros even though they have become pretty recognizable chain restaurants. But they started in good old New York City and we still claim them as our own. Of course you will never see posts about McDonald’s or Chik-Fil-A on this blog. I don’t want to contribute to the chain-ifcation of New York. We have more and more of these businesses around the city and less and less of the local spots that make the city unique and diverse.

But I feel ok writing about places like Ikinari or Tim Ho Wan. They are chains that began in another country and their introduction to New York seems new and exciting. Until they start expanding to every neighborhood, I feel ok about it.

I knew Little Sheep was a restaurant that started with locations in China and one in Queens. What I didn’t know is that they have 39 locations in North America. Everywhere from Seattle to Chicago to Houston. Spreading the hot pot love. (more…)


I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

This year was another crazy ride. And while politics and breaking news stories often drifted into my anxious psyche, food still played an important role. And this year was full of surprising dishes that were nourishing, pleasurable, and a much-needed distraction. Here now are the top 10 dishes – the list includes an exciting mix of hearty classics like burgers and lasagna, along with some brilliant vegetable concoctions.

NUMBER 10: SPICY FISH STEW at HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU

When a dish comes out of the kitchen glowing red and spiked with peppercorns, I’m expecting some heat. The only thing that hinted at the spice level for this clear green fish soup was the name “spicy” and the two pepper symbols on the menu. This fish stew had a unique floral, numbing spice and was one of the most exciting dishes I’ve tasted at a Chinese restaurant – ever. Price: $25

HAO NOODLE AND TEA BY MADAM ZHU
401 Sixth Avenue (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)
Greenwich Village
(212) 633-8900
madamzhu.com

NUMBER 9: SURPRISE TRIP at THE UP & UP

I float toward cocktails that are unusual and surprising and the Surprise Trip is certainly that. It’s a gin based tipple with a syrup made from black trumpet mushrooms and a slew of “corns”. Szechuan peppercorn, pink peppercorn, black peppercorn, and unicorn (an herbal plum liqueur). It had a rich earthy flavor from the mushroom with a bracing spice throughout The gin was incredibly smooth as it played with all the other flavors (earthy, sweet, bracing, complex). It doesn’t get more (pleasantly) surprising. Price: $15

THE UP & UP
116 Macdougal Street (between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane),
Greenwich Village
(212) 260-3000
upandupnyc.com

NUMBER 8: THE EDITH at ORCHARD GROCER

It’s pretty ballsy to hawk a bagel with vegan cream cheese and carrot lox in the Lower East Side. Despite the changing demographics of the neighborhood, the breakfast sandwich is still associated with the historic Jewish immigrants that once lived here. Yet the familiar combination works beautifully even when no seafood or dairy is involved. A soft chewy bagel is the vessel for cream cheese made out of cashew and smoked salmon made out of thinly sliced, cured, and smoked carrots. The masterminds behind this vegan deli would have made bubbe and zayde proud.  Price: $8

ORCHARD GROCER
78 Orchard Street (between Broome and Grand Street)
Lower East Side
(646) 757-9910
orchardgrocer.com

NUMBER 7: MAITAKE MUSHROOMS at FIFTY

Mushrooms don’t need much and Chef Luis Jaramillo from the somewhat under-the-radar modern American restaurant Fifty seems to know that. The meaty earth candy was nestled under some watercress and above a rich aromatic celery root-truffle puree. The only other addition was sweet sliced grapes that acted as a foil to all the earthy richness on the plate. But it was the chef’s deft hand with the mushrooms themselves that left a lasting impression. Each bite was crisp and tender leaving a lasting woodsy buttery flavor on my lips. Price: $16

FIFTY
50 Commerce Street (between Barrow and Bedford Street),
West Village
(212) 524-4104
fiftyrestaurantnyc.com

NUMBER 6: BANANA & WALNUT BREAD at TWO HANDS

This Banana & Walnut Bread was a bit of a sensation when Two Hands first opened and I totally see why. The bread itself was both impossibly moist and nicely crisped around the edges. On its own, it would have been perfect. But they go even further by schmearing a frosted espresso-laced mascarpone, garnishing it with toasted bits of buckwheat, and drizzling honey on top. This went from being perfect to off the charts. Price $8

TWO HANDS RESTAURANT & BAR
251 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin Street),
Tribeca
twohandsnyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Xi’an Famous Foods has grown since I first visited their original location deep in the heart of Flushing, Queens. Since then the prices have grown and they’ve expanded to more than ten locations around the city. But I must admit the food flavor hasn’t diminished. Case in point were their famous cumin lamb hand-ripped noodles. I had tried this tingly meaty doughy plate of goodness but never with the addition of a complex lamb based soup. The soup was seasoned with bits of celery and a scattering of cilantro. It was spicy, warming, and thankfully just as good as I remembered. Price: $10.95

XI’AN FAMOUS FOODS
81 St. Marks Place (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 786-2068
xianfoods.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

This year many restaurants opened specializing in mixian noodle soups. These rice noodles  from the Yunnan region of China were not as common as say udon or ramen. But for some reason, this was the year of the mixian.

I am always intrigued by new noodles and I visited a few of the spots, including Yuan, a new location of Deng Ji, and Just for Fen. They were all good but none of them really stood out in my mind from other similar noodle soups I’ve slurped.

That is until I ate at Little Tong Noodle Soup. By far, this corner East Village spot got the most buzz and the most praise for bringing this specialty to the city.

It makes sense that Little Tong would be the one on everyone’s lips since the chef behind it is Simone Tong, a Chinese chef who worked for Wylie Dufresene at wd-50 and Alder. But never mind the buzz and the resumé, these noodles were great.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

There are so many ice cream trends in this city. Shaved snow, Thai rolled ice cream, ice cream cooked into a brioche. We have it all. Including the Hong Kong-style egg waffle which is more than just a pretty face. The cold ice cream (I got cookies and cream) makes total sense nestled into the hot-off-the-griddle soft egg waffle (I got the coffee flavor). Throw some extras like mochi, strawberries, and pocky on there and you have an Instagram sensation that happens to taste pretty darn good. Price: $9

WOWFULLS
3009 East Houston Street (between Clinton and Attorney Street),
Lower East Side
(646) 639-9988
wowfulls.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Perhaps I fell for the cute, Instagram-friendly shape of these custard buns, but they were really my favorite thing at the dim sum meal I had at Joy Luck Palace. They are stuffed with a not-too-sweet egg custard and the pig faces themselves melt away into a texture somewhere between mochi and white bread. They’re both adorable and delicious.

JOY LUCK PALACE
98 Mott Street (between Canal and Hester Street),
Chinatown
(212) 219-2828
joyluckpalaceny.com/newyork

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