Hey everyone, surprise the endless rain officially ends on Sunday and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than checking out a dozen or more of your favorite food trucks?!!!
From 11am – 5pm, Food trucks that serve coffee, ice cream, slushies, dumplings, lobster, falafel, and more will be available at Grand Army Plaza.
Here’s the line up so far:
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Eddie’s Pizza Truck
The Frying Dutchmen
The Treats Truck
Vanleeuwen Ice Cream
This Food Truck party is being organized by the Prospect Park Alliance with the NYC Food Truck Association.
See you there!]]>
New York NY Restaurant Week Summer 2008
NY Restaurant Week ( Summer Edition ) all starts one week from Monday and at the special 3 course prix fixe meals of $24 for lunch / $35 for dinner, you’d better book your reservations ASAP!!
Some notables for this summer’s NY Restaurant Week:
Which restaurants will you be checking out? Place your comment below]]>
Phone: 8580 0568
Westside of Soho Town (next to Annie’s) Dawang Rd
When I lived in Beijing back in 2002, the only really good authentic non-Chinese restaurants were all near the embassies. Now a days you can get great non-Chinese food all over the city (but mostly in the ChaoYang district). Why would you want to eat non-Chinese in China? I’m not really sure but I guess sometimes you just want a variety or in most cases you have visiting friends who are picky eaters. For me, I was just really curious about checking out the new restaurants in the Beijing scene. So, my friend El-mar and I checked out newly opened Tuk, a Thai restaurant located near the SOHO Town towers in ChaoYang. They had a lunch special that included a salad, main course and drink for just 48RMB (a little less than $7 USD). I know that’s a bit pricey considering you can get about 2 or 3 main dishes at a run of the mill Chinese restaurant. Anyhow we sampled several dishes and they were all pretty well done. I particularly liked the green cury chicken and one of their salads that was made with fresh grapefruit with a spicy garlic sauce. Besides the Thai we also checked out a new Sushi Japanese Restaurant where you can get all you can eat for 80RMB ($11). It was ok, actually no it was not really good at all. I guess getting fresh fish in Beijing still isn’t that easy. The sashimi was obviously previously frozen and as a result quite tasteless. The only thing I liked on their menu was the California rolls where they used a lot of the Japanese Kewpie Mayo – YUM! So yes, my heart still burns for the local cuisine first and foremost. You know I wouldn’t go to Paris to have Mexican food right? Why go to China to have Italian? Fusion may be the answer. You figure some Wai Guo Ren come into Beijing with their own ethnic foods mix it up with the local dishes and BAM (as Emerald would say), the rest is history. Asian fusion restaurants are now coming onto the scene now so I am looking forward to trying out these type of restaurants soon.]]>
527 108th Ave NE
425 637 9499
Out in Bellevue, WA last week and noticed there were a lot of Thai restaurants. Who knew? I chose Nibbana cause it kind of stuck out for me. Here they use the winning Thai Restaurant + Design = Lounge-y Thai Restaurant formula I seriously felt like I was back in NY. Yep, they got the endless downtempo beat tracks playing on the sound system. No DJ booth or reflecting pool though, but hey this ain’t Williamsburg. They do have the low voltage light spots and a clean minimalist interior design that would even make Mies van der Rohe happy. As for the food, I think Mies would also be pretty cheery. I ordered a Penang Chicken and it was served in an enourmous terrine with large chucks of grilled chicken breast. The curry was little on the sweet side (I ordered a medium spicy level) but the basil and the coconut milk were not overpowering. I was too full to enjoy any of the desserts such as Fried Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce, or the Mango Sticky Rice. Anyhow the next time you are let down by the waitresses at Joey’s in Bellevue, you can still relax in style at Nibbana and enjoy some good Thai food. LOL]]>
Yep, I splurged. Well, it was actually for Sing’s birthday last month and it was a fun and worthwhile. Sorry, no photos though cause well, I’d like to say that I didn’t want to feel like a tool / tourist and be caught with a camera at a ‘jean georges’ restaurant. (See Frank Bruni’s NYT Article about photos) Haha. Actually I don’t give a shit and I had my camera but it was so dark in there that none of my photos came out – I’ll try to photoshop them and add them later.
Before the food, lets talk about the restaurant decor. If you’re a hard core POTD (Plate of the day) reader, you’ll recall my writeup about Hutong in Hong Kong. Hutong is also a pan asian restaurant decorated with vintage Chinese and Thai decorative motifs – antique lanterns, cabinets, and of course you have to throw in a few buddha statues. Both restaurants are Asian street food inspired. But I have to say, from here we see the difference. Spice Market is what Hutong should be – interesting decor + great service + innovative / great food. The waiters at Spice Market were top notch – abundant like Hutong but not in the way and very attentive.
For food we tried the Red Curry Duck which was cooked in a huge claypot with ample portions. The meat, however was a little on the tough side for me. We also tried the Strip Bass steamed on a bed of napa cabbage with water chestnuts and cucumber. Also gigantic portions to be shared with at least 2 people. This was a great dish, the fish was tender and delicious. For dessert we tried a strange home made candy bar that if you had to describe was like a Snickers, 5th Ave bar, and 3 Musketeers. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George has the candy bar line up. LOL]]>
Singha Thai Restaurant
340 N Clark (Cross Street: Kinzie Street)
Been traveling to Chicago quite frequently this year and I usually end up staying at the Westin River North on N Clark. Not like I have anything against the food at the Westin, but it’s hard to resist great Thai food at great prices just across the street. I got a chicken pad thai to go lunch special that was only $7.00 and I honestly could not power through the ridiculously large portions that they dole out. The food is not very spicy which may be because of the locale (it’s in the center of a corporate Chicago neighborhood) but they do provide the firepower in sauces that they hand out on the side for you to adjust accordingly. I think this is smart because sometimes I go to these Thai restaurants in NY and the curry is just unbelievably spicy (I can usually take a pretty good amount too) and where do you go from there? I can only order so many Thai Iced Teas or Singha beers. Anyways, I don’t know Chicago too well outside of this area (Please send me your suggestions!!) but I would recommend going here. They also have these funky cushion seats where you hang your legs into a pit below the raised table – it gives you the illusion that your kneeling down on the tables. Enjoy! ( I just went to a great Thai Restaurant in Queens over the weekend so I’ll be posting about this soon)]]>
450 Amsterdam Avenue (82nd Street)
New York (Upper West Side)
Checked out Land Thai restaurant yesterday over on the Upper West Side for lunch. It’s another sleek modern one-word named Thai establishment like SEA Thai restaurant in Williamsburg, or Song Thai in Park Slope. It’s actually ironic that the name of this restaurant is Land since the entire restarant is just a tiny sliced space that has room for about 8-10 tables. With what real estate they had in this space, I like what they did – framing the exposed brick with a series of wooden pillars that support half beams from which a set of modern wooden chandeliers suspend over the tables. A large red and gold floral like tapestry hangs in the backdrop that serves as a great focal point that helps stretch out the narrow space into the recesses of the restaurant. Finally, it wouldn’t be a complete modern NY Thai restaurant, if you didn’t have the requisite minimalist electronic beats and blips looping on the sound system. So how was the food? Well, we took advantage of the Fixed Price lunch menu where you can enjoy an appetizer and a main dish for only $8. Sing tried out the Papaya Salad for start and the Green Curry Chicken for main – I had a Chicken Galangal Soup and Chicken Pad Thai for main. The Papaya salad had a spicy kick and so did the green curry. I wasn’t so much impressed by the Pad Thai – it was a little on the light side and I had to add a few spoonfuls of hot sauce. But overall you can’t beat great Thai food like this for this price. By the way, check out the bathroom when you go – ( I realy should start another blog on over the top bathrooms ). They have a large plastic clear cylinder installed horizontally over a bed of rocks. When you turn on the water, it flows through the tube, through some holes from which you can wash your hands, then down into the rocks. Check it – it’s good.]]>
This is a really simple dessert recipe that we learned in our Thai Cooking Class. We slightly modified it to include slices of Taro instead of Coconut but it’s basically the same.
Ingredients (makes 6+ servings):
1 cup of tapioca pearls (small size)
1 cup of diced Taro root
1/2 can of coconut milk
1/3 cup of rock sugar
4 cups of water
Learn About Classic Asian Cakes and Desserts
Bring water to a bowl, then add tapioca pearls and stir constantly till they are clear. (About 20 minutes) Then add diced Taro root, and stir for another 10-15 minutes until Taro gets soft. Add coconut milk and rock sugar and stir for an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
We had an excellent time last night at the Thai Cooking class. If you live in the NY area and enjoy cooking, I would highly recommend checking out the Institute of Culinary Education ( ICE ) for cooking classes. We took the Thai cooking class and learned how to make the following:
Thai Hot and Sour Soup w/ Shrimp (Tom Yam Soup)
Green Papaya Salad
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Shrimp with Coriander and Chillies
Thai Green Chicken Coconut Curry
Steamed Whole Fish with Tamarind Sauce
Tapioca Pudding with Young Coconut
Mango Sticky Rice
Learn Authentic Thai Cooking – Quick and Easy
The best part of it is that you get to have a great gourmet dinner with wine and beer right after the dishes have been prepared. The class started off with the Chef giving us an introduction of the various ingredients for the recipies and then we were set free to cook. Our small class of 16 was split into 3 teams and were given a variety of recipies to prepare. In the beginning I was a little aprehensive about what I was doing, afterall I was responsible for cooking my dish for the entire group. There was also some flashbacks to the chaos from my organic chemistry class in college – at one point someone burnt some of the chili paste and everyone was coughing for a few minutes. At the same time, as I was rushing around grabbing ingredients, I couldn’t help feel as if I was on the Iron Chef show trying to score a win for my team. In the end, The energy and excitement in the kitchen together with the fragrant aromas of Thai food made for a very enjoyable experience. The chef walked around and carefully answered our questions and gave demos on steaming fish, rolling summer rolls, grilling the satays, making peanut sauce, etc. Within a few hours we had prepared a very large banquet of classic Thai food plates.
For the photos, check out the flickr set here.]]>
121 University Pl (@14th)
393 3rd Ave (@28th)
Went to Lannam on Friday. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant however the pho is only so-so. Most people come for the gigantic super sized plates such as the pad Thai shrimp that we ordered. It’s almost enough for 2 people but I ordered a plate of pork chow fun with black bean sauce. The pad Thai was OK – not too sweet but the noodles were a little soggy and it wasn’t even served with lime or too many bean sprouts as you normally see in Thai restaurants. The black bean sauce pork chow fun was very well prepared with a plethora of fresh green vegetables and mushrooms. The sauce was thick but not too salty and I loved the heft of this dish as you slather the sauce over the thick chow fun noodles. This would have been pretty good over the other various noodles they offer : rice vermicelli, rice noodle, siagon noodles, cellophanes, and egg noodles. The service was good but there was one derelict waiter that kept coming over to our table for no reason which was a little unnerving. Needless to say you will definitely be satisfied with the large portions they serve here. Enjoy.]]>