Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Soho Christmas Brunch at Public

I had the loveliest post-Christmas brunch with the nicest family friends. My aunt is also a food lover, and we got so excited talking about restaurants, what to order, and just food in general! My aunt suggested eating at Public in Soho so I could have something new to blog about. So thoughtful!

The restaurant is so pretty inside! Exposed brick walls, really high ceilings, and skylights!

The bar area.

Garage door. Love these. Quite a few restaurants have them and it lets in so much sunlight.

Found this room at the back of the restaurant next to the bathrooms. So cozy.

The baked goods table! We tried the chocolate lamington. It had a layer of strawberry jam in the middle. Delicious! I used to really love the Hong Kong Starbucks' lamington before it turned extra large and went from HK$3 to 8.

The menu is attached to a clipboard. Not a lot of choices on the brunch menu, but the essentials are there and each dish has a cool twist to it.

Homemade apricot scones! These were given to us as soon as we sat down. So fresh. There were pretty large chunks of apricot inside.

My aunt's bourbon, rooibos & apricot iced tea. You could order a set price brunch-- any brunch entree with a cocktail and coffee/tea for $22.

My sister's fig & vanilla bellini. I couldn't really taste the vanilla, but the fig flavor was nice and strong.

Tea-smoked salmon, spinach and poached eggs on toasted sourdough with yuzu hollandaise. SO wonderful. I liked that it was on sourdough and that the salmon was smoked.

Fry-up-- two eggs on sourdough toast with slow roast tomatoes and buttered mushrooms and bacon.

Ginger spiced lychee French toast with lemongrass dark palm caramel and pomegranate mascarpone. Best French toast I've ever had-- full of flavor in every bite, and yet it didn't feel too heavy at all. This French toast is now on my list of favorite brunch dishes, right up there with the waffles at Balthazar.

Coconut pancakes with fresh ricotta, mango salad and ginger-lime syrup. This was the "dessert" we ordered to share. The pancakes were nice and fluffy, and the coconut was a nice touch, but I wasn't crazy about the ginger & lime flavors.

Most of the brunch items range from $8.50 to $14, so the fixed price brunch for $22 is quite a good deal if you want a cocktail and coffee/tea as well.
Side note: the bathroom was really pretty and there were rows of nice smelling soap bars for your taking! I took two.

210 Elizabeth Street (between Spring St & Prince St)
New York, NY 10012
Phone number: (212)343-7011


Here is a bigger map.

Public on Urbanspoon

Pop Rock Chocolate

My co-worker just came back from a trip to Israel and brought back the best souvenirs for the office-- chocolate! Serious party in the mouth with these chocolates. They have pop rocks in them that crackle on your tongue. So much fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The very pretty Christmas tree my sister put up.

Hope everyone is having a happy, food-filled holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Asian Food Fix, Nha Trang One

Chinese/Indian/Vietnamese/Taiwanese food, oh how I miss you. On Friday night I decided to tackle the Chinese/Vietnamese craving with the roomie at Nha Trang One in Chinatown. We got there at around 7:00pm and had to wait 5 minutes for a table-- not bad at all! The funny part came after we sat down and were given menus. Within 5 minutes, we were approached 3 times by different servers asking us if we were ready to order. We figured they just really wanted us to give back the table asap.

Sweet garlic calamari for $10.50. I really liked the taste of this, but the texture was a little strange. It wasn't really freshly fried... it seemed slightly stale or something.

Pho with medium cooked beef for $5.25! Very decent and perfect for the negative temperatures! There was a generous helping of beef, and it was tender and tasty. I would definitely go back for this.

Beef & vegetable noodles, $6.50. Are Asian restaurants the only restaurants where main dishes exist for under $10? I got really excited about the prices here. This dish was also decent. Nothing spectacular, but I still enjoyed it, as I'd been craving Chinese food for a very long time.

After we finished eating, the server asked us if we liked the food and then cleared away our plates. We proceeded to sit and talk for 20 minutes or so, and not one server rushed us to get the bill. So I suppose they were just eager to feed us when we first sat down?

Conclusion: this meal made me miss Hong Kong and all its food glory.

87 Baxter Street (between Walker Street & White Street)
New York, NY 10013
Phone number: (212)233-5948

No website.

Here is a bigger map.

Nha Trang One on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Korean Home Cooking...

I was looking through my food albums this morning to see just how behind I am with blogging, and came across photos from a trip to Korea last summer. I absolutely loved the food that I had every day of that week-long trip, but I think my favorite was the meals that my wonderful friend/hostess's mom made for us.

Every dish on this table was to die for. The spicy chicken drumsticks were sweet, spicy and crunchy. I was tempted to lick my fingers, which is saying a lot, as I get quite grossed out by finger-licking.

The vegetable seafood pancake was so so so amazing. A pancake without the carbs! How 'bout that!

My friend's family made the kimchi (shown in the top right corner) months before. I asked if I could bring a little jar of it home for my family to taste, and on the last day of the trip, my friend's mom presented me with the largest tupperware container I'd ever seen and had split the kimchi into large ziplock bags and even placed ice packs into the container! I should've taken a picture of it. Anyway, it miraculously made it back to Hong Kong in one piece. My family rationed it to make it last as long as possible.

I really need to go back to Seoul/get the chicken drumstick recipe. My mouth is watering thinking about all the food I ate on this trip. Christine, I hope you're reading this!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Favorite Pizza Ever, Lucali

The other week it took quite some convincing for me to agree to make the trek into Brooklyn for a Friday night dinner. After I was told to Yelp it and saw that Lucali earned 4.5/5 stars based on 275 reviews, I was sold. The wait is usually at least 45 minutes. We put in our names and then waited at Zombie Hut, a nearby bar.
The night was off to a good start. This blue margarita was strong and only $5. FIVE DOLLARS! For a cocktail! I love you, Brooklyn!

Lucali! There are around 10 tables that seat 2 to 4 people.

The pizza chef! This is the whole kitchen. The restaurant only serves pizzas and calzones.

Cheese, pepperoni, basil. The pepperoni was spicy and the cheese was fantastic. This pizza made me seriously re-think my #1 favorite pizza spot Bleecker Street Pizza.

Scallions, garlic, bell peppers, basil. This was good but not stinky enough! I love the heavy tastes of garlic and onions, but these just weren't as intense as I like. Still a very decent pizza, though!

The pizzas are $24 per pie (only one size) and additional charges for extra toppings. Lucali has BYOB, and only charges a corkage fee of $2 per bottle of wine! The total price of this meal for 3 of us was $63 with tax.

575 Henry Street (between Caroll St. & Summit St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone number: (718)858-4086

No website.

Here is a bigger map.

Lucali on Urbanspoon

For Zombie Hut:

273 Smith Street (between Degraw St. & Sackett St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11231

No website.

Here is a bigger map.

Zombie Hut on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Japanese Lunch/Afternoon Tea at Cha-An

I had a cozy lunch with one of my favorite Hong Kong friends in New York last month. She suggested meeting at Cha-An in the East Village, and when we got there at 12:30, we were the only patrons in the restaurant. The waitress was so nice and hospitable, and was extremely patient as my friend and I debated whether to get two entrees and dessert or one entree and a dessert set. This restaurant is known for their desserts, and we finally decided to share an entree and dessert set. Great decision, as I left the restaurant satisfied but not overly stuffed like I usually wind up.

The "don" set of the day-- eel rice set for $10. The eel was tasty, and served with 15 grain rice. I felt so healthy eating this, although It would've been great if there had been a few more pieces of eel!

The dessert page of the menu that we stared at for a while. We chose the three course set with tea. This set changes often. I definitely want to visit again and try the black sesame creme brulee that my friend raved about but unfortunately was not included in the set that day.

I don't remember exactly what kind of ice cream this was, but my friend remembers it tasting like some sort of flower... rose, perhaps? There were 2 blackberries in it and a sweet black sesame biscuit.

Macaron and brownie. I passed on my half of this bite-sized brownie because I was getting really full at this point. The macaron had different flavors inside but to be honest, I can't quite remember what...

Earl grey pudding. Amaaaaazing. The flavor was nice and strong, and great when combined with the pudding texture. This was my favorite of the meal. To the right is a flaky pastry sandwiching honey ice cream.

My friend's a tea lover so I let her choose the teas. Each set came with one pot. This one was the young green tea leaves.

My friend and I have been chatting online the whole time I've been writing this entry because I've been having trouble remembering parts of the meal, what was what, and the prices. We ate this food only a month ago! Lesson learned, keep up with my blogging. Or I can just start using this handy little notebook the roomies got me for part of my Christmas present! :)

All in all, a great experience here. Such a nice place to stop by for tea. The bathroom was really cool, too! They have a Japanese toilet with more buttons and things than you know what to do with. There was a motion sensor for the seat to come down, too!
Okay, enough about the bathroom...

230 East 9th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10079
Phone number: (212)228-8030


Here is a bigger map.

Cha-An on Urbanspoon

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