Miss Needle's Profile

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Hakkasan

The pipa duck is served with pickled ginger.

Jul 03, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Upscale Chinese in Chinatown??

I really enjoyed Fung Tu a lot. Room is tasteful and the food was very delicious. Some favorites were the egg roll and the dumpling knots. The greens had a lot of wok hay. Service was very gracious. Will return.

Jun 17, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan
1

Favorite dessert by nationality?

American -- strawberry shortcake (the cake kind) or chocolate cake
French -- pot de creme
Italian -- ricotta cheesecake
Romanian -- papanasi
Portuguese -- pastel de nata
Lebanese/Egyptian/Turkish/Palestinian, and others -- kanafeh
English -- sticky toffy date pudding
Korean/Chinese -- sool dduk
Indian -- ras malai
Austrian/Hungarian -- apple strudel
Filipino -- leche flan
Trinidadian/Jamaican -- black cake
Japanese -- castella
Indonesian/Malaysian -- pulut hitam

Jun 14, 2014
Miss Needle in General Topics

Soup dumplings at Lake Pavillion

As soup dumplings are Shanghainese and dim sum is Cantonese, it would be reasonable to think that soup dumplings wouldn't be very good at a dim sum place. With the exception of Yank Sing in San Francisco, I've never had good soup dumplings during dim sum. Once in a while I'll try it because I love a good soup dumpling. But I'm always disappointed.

May 21, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Ice Cream Truck - totally weird

Hmmm... Wonder if it's code that the trucks sell other goods aside from ice cream? There have been a lot of news stories in NYC about ice cream trucks being used as fronts for drugs.

I've also wondered about the bodegas in NYC that don't have many customers with these flashing Budweiser (or other alcohol company) signs. I've noticed that the pattern changes depending on the day. DH thinks I have a vivid imagination but I remember my friends getting their pot through a takeout Chinese joint back in the days.

May 14, 2014
Miss Needle in Not About Food

Change of plans -- need quick help with food walking tour

This serious eats piece about Times Square might be helpful. You can hit the street food and quick bites section.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

May 14, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Where can I find reasonably priced smoked whitefish?

Sorry I don't know of a reasonable place in Manhattan but have you considered going to a Russian market in Brooklyn or Queens? Also I believe Acme (in Greenpoint) sells it during their Fish Fridays in the AM.

May 12, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Alphonso mango sightings?

I was in Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights today. No alphonso mangoes. Also checked out some of the other stores around the area including Subzi Mandhi. Nope. So I think it's unlikely you'll find them in Manhattan. I also agree with Kathryn -- I purchased a really bad batch of alphonso mangoes from Spice Corner.

Purchased a crate of kesars instead at Patel. 12 for $36.

May 07, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Placentophagy: A New Food Trend?

It's been around for a really long time. Around the 90s or so, there was a documentary on HBO about it. But, yes, it hasn't seen the celebrity endorsement until recently.

I would definitely do it if I had a child -- though I'd probably wuss out and opt for the freeze-dried form. It's an herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. But I'd probably save a little bit to try it in its natural state. The smoothie form sounds nasty. My choice of cooking would be Sichuan style with lots of chiles and peppercorns.

May 01, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Moim @ 206 Garfield Pl

Yes, sometimes you just don't feel like traveling far for Korean food.

There were no BBQ dishes on the lunch menu but they are available for dinner. Please note that the bulgogi in the tacos were too sweet for my taste that I had to put some kimchi in it to temper it.

Apr 28, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Moim @ 206 Garfield Pl

I had lunch there recently. I think if you are to eat here you need to adjust your expectations from traditional Korean restaurants. You're not going to get the superfluous complimentary banchan (last week in Flushing, I received about 13 including a couple of casseroles). The portions will be smaller and the food probably not as spicy. You will pay more here than in K-town or Flushing.

That said, I thought their kimchi pork mandoos were awesome. Really generously filled and well-seasoned, they didn't need the dipping sauce. I actually thought it was better than what I have received at traditional restaurants -- perhaps I like the larger meat to dough ratio.

The dol sot bi bim bap was well done. It was served sizzling hot and stayed really hot. It's really hard to screw up that dish unless you use really old fixins. The kimchi (that came with my bi bim bap) was actually spicier than what you would find at most Korean restaurants. There was a good level of fermentation as well.

Unfortunately the tacos and minced pork in steamed buns were a bit too sweet for my taste. But I think you can eat well if you order carefully.

Apr 28, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Communal tables at restaurants - your opinion please?

Generally I'm not a huge fan of them. The only exceptions I can think of are dim sum parlors (where you're expected not to make conversation) or in instances where the restaurant has a set menu with 1 or 2 set seatings a night. I find it much easier to converse with others when everybody is on the same page in terms of food. It's kind of awkward to talk when one party has food the and others don't -- well, at least for me -- as conversation kind of slows down when people are in the process of eating and disrupts the rhythm.

Apr 28, 2014
Miss Needle in Not About Food

What to do with jar of fig jam?

Similar to the pizza, I've used fig jam as a spread for a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Home Cooking

Any suggestions for Japanese near Film Forum

I do -- for their sushi. I love that they cut the toro in the way so there are no sinews. Not all sushi restaurants do that as there's more waste. But I think eating a piece of toro with sinews running through it defeats the purpose.

But just glancing at their menu, there aren't too many things your gf can eat except for salad, eggplant, tempura, veggie rolls. If she's happy with that I guess it would be a good choice for you too.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Atera - Really??

You're just the minority on this thread. Believe me, before this thread I had no idea that somebody disliked Atera. I thought it was a board darling.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Any suggestions for Japanese near Film Forum

If "feels" like a chain to you means that the waiter will come up and say, "Hello, I'm Matt and I'll be your server today," -- no. It's a beautiful space and the food is good. Your gf will probably like the freshly made tofu.

There are other Japanese restaurants near the Film Forum that I like such as Soto or Ushiwakamaru. But there aren't as many items your girlfriend can eat.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Any suggestions for Japanese near Film Forum

EN Japanese Brasserie has lots of vegetarian options for your girlfriend.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Atera - Really??

My visit to Atera was about six months ago. I think it just comes down to preference. Everything was executed well. Presentation was beautiful. Service was great and I feel kind of bad writing this because they were all so nice. I just found some of the courses were more innovative than they were delicious. For me, delicious always triumphs over being cerebral, novel, unconventional, etc. I remember wishing I'd rather being eating a slice of pizza during some of Atera's courses.

I find this thread helpful as there are others who didn't like Atera as well (I also was starting to think I was the only one -- didn't catch your review from years ago). I'm making a mental note of this as we may share the same tastes with other restaurants.

Apr 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Atera - Really??

Make that two. Although I appreciated what they were trying to do, I didn't think the food tasted all that great. But I'm realizing I have this issue with a lot of restaurants that incorporate modern techniques. But I will have to say two of my favorite meals were at those types of restaurants -- Alinea and Pierre Gagnaire. I just think it takes a lot more skill to pull off the food.

Apr 21, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Glad you enjoyed Papabubble! It's not really talked too much on Chowhound but I think it's a fun excursion. All the tourists I've known who have been there loved it.

Thanks for such a detailed trip report. It sounds like you had quite a food-packed vacation!

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

2 Lunches and 2 Dinners in DC

Thanks for clarifying the spice levels. Guess the dishes I ordered weren't meant to be super spicy. I'm usually good with spice but can only handle a spice level of 4 out of 5 at a couple of Issan restaurants in NYC when ordering the papaya salad or larb. If prompted at Bangkok Golden, I probably would have ordered Thai spicy vs. Laotian spicy -- I don't think I would have been able to handle it!

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where can I find churros in Brooklyn around Park Slope or anywhere

Bogota Latin Bistro has churros on the menu.

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Sri Lankan Supper Club Saturday April 19 in Baltimore

I was just surfing the net and came across this. I think this may interest some of you. Looks fantastic!

http://riceandcurry.wordpress.com/201...

http://slsupperclub.ticketleap.com/th...

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

SanRasa in Staten Island is gone

Yes, they have indeed moved to a new location. We were driving through Staten Island and it was dinner time. I've always wanted to check out the Sri Lankan scene and thought this was the perfect opportunity.

I've only had Sri Lankan food once at Sigiri in the East Village. Had no clue what to order so I brought up this serious eats piece on my phone.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

We ended up ordering the lamprie with shrimp and the roti kotthu with lamb. The very sweet waiter asked us if we wanted it spicy -- and we said yes! It was quite a while before we received our food; we were the only people at the restaurant -- they must have been making most of the food from scratch.

We unwrapped the banana leaf of the lamprie to find the most delicious assortment of rice, shrimp, cashews, eggplant and plantains. I thought it tasted better when everything was mixed together as you got a bit of sweet and savory in every bite. The kotthu (turned out it was chicken, not lamb -- oh well...) was fantastic! Loved the hearty spicy stick-to-your-ribs concoction of chicken, chopped up roti, veggies and egg. Even though I've heard Sri Lankan food to be very spicy, I didn't think it was super spicy -- perhaps a 1 on the Zabb Elee scale?

Too bad Staten Island is a pain in the butt to get to because I would love to make my way through their menu.

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

2 Lunches and 2 Dinners in DC

Thank you to all for your input. I had a wonderful weekend in DC. Here's my trip report.

BANGKOK GOLDEN
Due to the crazy traffic, I had to make some last minute changes to the itinerary. We would not have made it in time for our Zaytinya lunch reservation on Friday. We went to Bangkok Golden instead. We ordered the seafood orm, nam khao and mieng muang luang. The seafood in the orm was perfectly cooked. The shrimp was crisp and the squid was tender. The taste was very interesting -- I just wished I had something bland (like plain rice) to eat it with as it was a bit salty by itself. I loved the nam khao -- never had anything like it. I'm a huge fan of the crispy rice bits in dol sot bi bim bap so this dish really resonated with my taste buds. The mieng muang luang was interesting with the interplay of the soft rice with all of the crispy bitter, sour, sweet, salty elements. Service couldn't have been any nicer. They were so gracious. Too bad we weren't able to try any more items as we both didn't have the biggest appetites due to being under the weather. They didn't ask us about spiciness. I know Lao food is supposed to be very spicy. Our food was on the mild side -- so I think they toned it down for us (unless the dishes we ordered are supposed to be mild). Next time I'll be sure to ask them to crank it up a bit.

ZAYTINYA
As we had tickets for Monuments by Moonlight, we had an early dinner at Zaytinya, eating outside in the glorious weather. I was surprised how busy the restaurant was at an off hour! We ordered a bunch of different mezze -- seasonal mushrooms with dates and almonds, cumin dusted sweetbreads, taramosolata, octopus santorini, kibbeh naya and lamb tongue souvlaki. I enjoyed all dishes, though the octopus had a bit more capers than I would prefer and the sweetbreads had a bit too much cumin for my taste. The lamb tongue was extremely tender and flavorful. DH said that the kibbeh naya could probably convert non raw meat eaters. The mushrooms were very meaty and juicy. We followed it by the mezze portions of the famed yogurt and apricots and galatopita. They were both good. I think I may have been expecting more from all the raves I've been reading about the yogurt. But it was still very tasty. Would love to try more dishes here.

DAIKAYA (Brunch)
We didn't have a reservation for Sunday brunch. Ordered from the brunch side (even though they had some izakaya offerings). I am normally not a standard brunch type of person but there were some very interesting sounding dishes on the menu. We had the chicken and waffles, broken egg with croissant and uni butter, hapa loco moco and finished it off with the french toast. Their version of chicken and waffles was chicken karaage and taiyaki served with wasabi butter. I will have to say that this was a new one for me. I enjoyed it very much. The hapa loco moco was basically a half sized portion of the Hawaiian loco moco -- meatloaf patty with gravy over rice topped with a sunnyside egg. It was good though I would have liked a bit of hot sauce to perk it up. The croissant with broken egg and uni butter was very good. The uni wasn't super strong in flavor -- probably would be a plus in the eyes of some people. I'm not sure I "got" that dish but I still enjoyed it. I really liked the crackling crust of the french toast, kind of like the top of a creme brulee. It was a bit to sweet for my taste but I enjoyed it compared to most french toast out there.

ROGUE 24
We received a phone call the day before where they asked us which menu option we would like. We opted for the 24 hour course. I've only encountered this in Japan but totally understood why they wanted to do this as to minimize waste. I think the meal is a great value for what they had to offer. Many of the dishes were certainly laborious to put together; they could have easily charged up to 50% more. Some of the items were very good such as the liver puree on kimchi puff (though I didn't taste the kimchi) ; some were misses like the asparagus with char (needed salt -- and I don't get the char). I'm starting to realize that I'm not the largest fan of these types of meals. It's funny because a couple of my favorite meals were at Alinea and Pierre Gagnaire, restaurants that employ modernist techniques. I think it just requires a huge amount of skill to pull off this type of food as I thought every single thing I ate there tasted fantastic -- as opposed to Rogue where there were quite a few courses that were interesting but not as tasty (to me). The pacing of the meal was quite uneven. I think what happened was that the restaurant wanted everybody in the restaurant to be on the same course -- which happened after Course 15 or so. So there were sometimes be very large gaps between courses or the courses would come out very quickly. If that's what the restaurant wanted, it probably would be better to just do two seatings. It was an interesting experience but I don't need to go back.

RASIKA
This was probably my favorite meal of the trip. It was also the best meal I've had at an Indian restaurant ever. We ordered the palak chat, sev batata puri, goat cheese kulcha, chicken biryani and tawa baingan. The palak chat was quite new to me but very interesting with all the different textures and flavors. I may try to replicate this at home. I also loved their version of the sev batata puri -- much more crunchy than others I've had in the past. In fact, I may have enjoyed this more than the palak chat that everybody talks about. The tawa baingan was a bit messy to eat but so tasty. One thing I appreciated about Rasika is they aren't shy with the spices. I feel that many Indian restaurants I go to use spices that are old so the flavors are muddled. The spices used here are fresh and permeated through the entire dish. The chicken biryani was the best biryani I've eaten (including my mom's). The dough top definitely kept the rice moist and I liked the use of the fresh green chiles that were in the dish. The goat cheese kulcha was hot, tangy and very satisfying. Service was really gracious and the room was very beautiful and inviting.

DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIES
I picked up a slice of the Baltimore Bomb to have back home. Usually I'm not a fan of super sweet items, but I enjoyed this gooey, fudgey pie for some reason.

CALIFORNIA TORTILLA
DH forgot to bring his antibiotics to the restaurant and needed to take them with food. It was after midnight and he just wanted to pick up something small. We ended up going to California Tortilla and picking up a couple of carnita tacos. Pretty bland and uneventful but the selection of hot sauce was quite impressive.

Apr 16, 2014
Miss Needle in Washington DC & Baltimore
3

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

To the OP: If your daughter likes candy and you're downtown for Katz, Doughnut Plant, you may want to stop by papabubble.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/papabubble-ne...

Apr 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Interesting that it was run down and dirty -- I've been there several times (because of tourists) and it has always been clean. Perhaps we went early during the day before the mobs hit it.

I've actually thought that Economy could look run down and dirty. The fluorescent lighting isn't that appealing and there was dust some of the candies. But Economy is where I'd always pick up something to buy. Dylan's was more about looking.

Apr 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Many years ago (when Jacques Torres had the one chocolate shop in Dumbo), I witnessed one of the Dumbo workers call Jacques on his phone saying there were some tourists in the shop who wanted to meet him. About 15 minutes later he showed up and Jacques was so nice and sweet to the couple. He really seems like a charming man!

In spite of what most people say, I think your 15 year old daughter would like Dylan's Candy. If you're on the LES, I also think Economy is worth a visit but Dylan's is bright and colorful. Just google images of both and decide -- you know your daughter better than we do.

Apr 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Passion Fruit Juice

I use either Goya (which I find in supermarkets in Latin neighborhoods) or Boiron.

http://www.bkfoods.com/store/product2...

Apr 09, 2014
Miss Needle in General Topics

Best Thai....Please tell me the very best....

So what did you order? What's good there?

Apr 08, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs