Officially, I was in New York this summer to work.
Unofficially, I was there to eat all of the delicious food that the city has to offer. So here are my reviews of some of the highlights!
麻辣香鍋 (mala dry pot) at Zhang Liang
I absolutely love spicy food, and my favourite thing about this dry pot restaurant is that you can choose exactly which ingredients you want in your dry pot (or soup, however you prefer it). You just grab a metal bowl and a pair of tongs by the entrance and choose the ingredients you want, then pay by weight and wait for the cooked dish to be brought to your seat. I’ve been to a couple of similar restaurants before, but I like the fact that the protein (beef/lamb slices) is a part of the buffet and not an addition that you pay for at the register like it usually is. Some of my favourite things to put into it are fish tofu, cuttlefish balls, bean sprouts, bok choy, quail eggs, and beef of course:) Each dish comes with a bowl of rice and is relatively inexpensive— I went with two of my friends and we paid around $16 each, which wasn’t too bad (in new york at least…).
Everything at 南翔小籠包 (nan xiang xiao long bao)
I visited the location in Flushing and everything that we ordered was so delicious— we visited on a Saturday so the wait was pretty long but well worth it! We had 生煎包 (pan fried buns), 蔥油餅 (scallion pancakes), and 小籠包 (xiao long bao). (As a random side note, I still don’t quite know how I feel about the crab roe xiao long bao— depending on the restaurant I sometimes don’t really taste a difference between them and the regular pork ones?) They also had 豆漿 (soy bean milk) which I loved and accompanied the meal perfectly.
Shrimp pasta at Ruby’s Cafe
This shrimp pasta was so good that I went back to eat it again:’) Even though it’s a cream sauce pasta it’s somehow so light, and I really liked the crushed red peppers (for the kick) and the breadcrumbs (for some crunchiness). The decor is also super nice which makes for a nice ambiance catching up with friends (or hang out with your mom:)
Black sesame lava toast at Kong Sik Tong
Kong Sik Tong is a Hong Kong-style eatery in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and while this dish definitely isn’t something that I’d see on the menu of a 茶餐廳 (diner) in Hong Kong, I am… addicted to black sesame, so as soon as I saw this on the menu I knew that I had to order it. And it just as thick and moist and buttery and nutty as I hoped it would be!! I also ordered a iced lemon tea with it which was so refreshing on a hot day in July.
Oreo Cream Cheese Bagel at Liberty Bagel
Okay. I know that this might sound like an atrocity, but as someone who loves bagels and oreos and cream cheese, as soon as I learned that this was a thing I knew that I had to try it. And oh my goodness this bagel was absolutely delicious. I had part of it on the train on my way to the office and I was convinced that this was the most life-changing bagel that I’ve ever had. (Not that the average bagel is really life changing at all, but. You know what I mean.)
I’ve tried a pretty large variety of different bagels in the last couple of months, and I’ve learned that you are apparently NOT supposed to toast a fresh bagel, which is completely contrary to what I’ve been doing my entire life. To be fair, I mostly grew up eating stale supermarket bagels, so maybe some toasting was needed on those things.
Seafood ramen at Kin Ramen
This was such a cute little ramen shop in Midtown and it had one of the best bowls of seafood ramen that I’ve ever had! Their cocktail menu was styled as a manga and the drink that I tried had jelly in it, which might sound weird but it was so delicious.
Chocolate sourdough twist at Amy’s Bread
Amy’s Bread is in Chelsesa Market, which was right across the street from my office, and getting a chocolate sourdough twist on my way in was something that would always help start my morning off on the right foot! Something about how the tartness of the bread balanced the subtle sweetness of the dark chocolate chunks made me keep wanting to go back, and at $2.40 a twist it was a lot cheaper than one of my other favourite bakeries, Fabrique, which sells a mean cinnamon bun for more than five dollars a pop.
The Butcher’s Feast at Cote*
It was kind of tough to get a reservation at a reasonable time at this restaurant, so we ended up visiting at 10:30pm… but everything we had there was so amazing that it was worth it! The Butcher’s Feast came with a selection of four different cuts of meat, in addition to 김치찌개 (kimchi stew), 된장찌개 (bean paste stew), and 계란찜 (steamed egg). I am definitely not a steak connoisseur but the steak did taste amazing to me, and the stews and side dishes were a lot more authentic than I was expecting which was a nice surprise! The soy sauce caramel ice cream that they served as dessert was… an interesting choice, but I would definitely visit again if I had the chance.
*The Korean name of this restaurant is 꽃, which means flower, and is usually romanized as kkot, so it wasn’t until I saw the gigantic neon sign with the restaurant’s Korean name inside of the entrance that I realised that its name was supposed to be flower.
Too many restaurants, not enough time… maybe I’ll get to revisit some of these places and add new ones to my list someday! Let me know if you know of anywhere that I should go and check out.
Until next time!