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10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

I like Golden Unicorn as well but I thought the OP was looking for the best dim sum in NYC which would be brunch time at Hakkasan. GU, Jing Fong and Nom Wah blend together for me. If I had to choose, I'd give the edge to GU as well, but I've been eating Nom Wah every few weeks because they deliver to my office. For the price, it's ok but the shrimp they use is merely serviceable and sometimes has off-flavors.

HK has a few dishes that are clunkers but after several family dinners, I've pretty much navigated through most of the menu and the stuff they do well is really head and shoulders above any other Chinese restaurant in the city. Most of my relatives want to eat Chinese when they visit NY and the places in Chinatown just don't cut it so I'm truly and probably annoyingly thankful that we have an HK in NYC. I haven't set foot in the Shun Lees, Mr. K's since, and Chinatown Brasserie is closed and most of RedFarm's menu sucks.

That being said, Fung Tu is great and I'm looking forward to Mission Chinese re-opening and checking out Tuome and Bao. The Chinese food scene seems to be getting better and better.

about 7 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Gotham/Gramercy Tavern/Annisa/Union Square cafe - which one this time?

Annisa is my favorite of the group, GT, Gotham, USC. I think it has the best food, and I don't find the service formal, the waitstaff has been very friendly in my experience.

The portions are not huge but I've never left there feeling swindled like I do at Marea.

about 16 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Old Roma was our go to place too, funny we've probably been there are the same time. I begged them not to close and I put our name on their contact list.

It was a family run Greek diner on a corner near Scobees on the other side of Northern Blvd. They used to have soulvaki and amazing 1 pound burgers, totally delicious and perfectly cooked.

I love Southern Spice but unfortunately I don't drive and getting to New Hyde Park is a crazy schlep by mass transit.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

GCOB is very sloppy with their oysters and pretty much the best food at GCOB are their oysters. That being said, the architecture and location are what make GCOB a place I eat every so often.

I recommend Upstate for wonderful fresh oysters, they have great specials, not a large place and it gets really packed.

If you want a more upscale environment Aquagrill is an oyster specialist, although I would highly recommend against going there for lunch. I had a very terrible experience with their service during lunch time with staff and management basically not caring.

Blue Smoke (both locations) is more comfortable than Mighty Quinn but the barbecue is better at Mighty Quinn.

Neither Jing Fong or Golden Unicorn are near the best dim sum in NYC. Dim sum brunch at Hakkasan is head and shoulders above. Also their desserts are Michelin quality and offer takes on Chinese classics like tong yuan.

For creative dim sum, Decoy has dim sum for dinner (and Peking duck)

China Blue is a Shanghainese food specialist. Service and kitchen have been inconsistent but when the kitchen is "on", they do Shanghainese classics like Dong Po rou fantastically.

If you want alternative Chinese, Fung Tu is turning out refined food that's subtle and delicious. Dumplings knots and duck are great.

Les Halles is serviceable but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. It's a casual, office lunch level restaurant.

Tori Shin over Totto, I find the food to be more consistent at Tori Shin and sometimes the chicken is overcooked at Yakitori Totto. Their chicken skewer with raw quail egg is delicious.

WD-50 is closing, so if you've been interested, I would recommend you try it. It's worth a visit, Dufresne is almost always in the kitchen and he's very active in keeping the creativity and quality high.

Chikalicious for dessert tasting, very consistent, great flavors.

I'd also recommend Annisa for a restaurant that's different than what you might have in Germany and Ireland. New American cuisine with global references, very delicious, interesting flavors.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

10 day trip to NYC, input requested!

Where in Europe are you coming from?

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Old Roma in Flushing, my favorite Italian restaurant in queens. Miss the bread, parm and old Roma cake.

Goody's in Rego Park, wonderful soup dumplings, better than Joe's Shanghai and they were 2.99(?) for 6.

Sapori D'Ischia in Woodside, truffles! And great pastas and specials.

Southern Spice in Flushing, the best biryani I've had in NYC hands down.

I forgot the name of it but there was an amazing Greek dinner in Little Neck that used to serve 1 pound burgers.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

I'm a Professional, But Not a Chef. How About You?

I like making lasagna and do it well enough that I like my lasagna more than many restaurants. I've worked as a cook preparing casual American fare (steaks, burgers, pasta), definitely would not consider myself a chef by any stretch.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in General Topics

N.Y.C. visit

The quality of ingredients at SG is definitely higher than GNN in my opinion, as for Prosperity, it's dirt cheap and quick and tasty. I'm not sure of the quality of the ground meat in Prosperity dumplings but grinding meat is an equalizer when it comes to taste and texture :)

At GNN I've had some sketchy gristly meat, hence my post that I personally would avoid GNN and noted that my opinion is a dissenting opinion (there are mixed opinions).

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

N.Y.C. visit

I didn't say Prosperity Dumplings is "nicer" than Great NY Noodletown... your reply falls in the CH category of meaninglessly and unnecessarily frustrating. When a poster doesn't want or try to understand the point of another poster and interjects a sarcastic commentary. At least your reply isn't as mean-spirited as one or two grade "A" CHers that glee in being rude, so thank you, sort of :)....

In any event, if you like Great NY Noodletown, recommend it or disagree with me, but there's no reason to make my post something it's not. For cheap eats, I'd sooner get dumplings at Prosperity Dumplings (I think it's a better value than GNN) or lunch specials at Szechuan Gourmet.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Sweet 16 in NYC?

I'd suggest you go with your first pick Buddakan, the atmosphere is lively and the food is mostly very good.

The chocolate at Max Brenner makes me shudder, not in a good way. Unless there's something you like about the ambiance there, personally I wouldn't go there for anything I'm putting in my mouth.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Il Falco

Il Falco is an Italian restaurant that just opened in Queens headed by to former chefs from the Il Mulino empire. Il Falco is still in soft-opening phase so take my review with a grain of salt.

They opened in the erstwhile Da Gianni space (a rather sad Italian restaurant that served middling food).

I love Italian food and was looking forward to a new "upscale" Italian restaurant opening in Queens.

The decor is frescos and fake tile like you'd see at a nicer Italian restaurant in Long Island. The lighting is very dim and romantic since whoever you're eating with is slightly obscured, and there are nice touches like a fresh rose at every table.

The service is the highlight, very professional, all the servers are crisply well-dressed, very helpful, attentive and provide some of the best service in Queens.

The meal started with bruschetta that had a very nice balance of flavors, lively olive oil but the tomatoes were ice cold, just shy of 0 degrees celsius.

The bread basket provided is weak with white and grain loaves and toast points, all of them hard and dry in varying degrees. I asked for the bread to be heated and the service was very gracious in doing so. It greatly improved the quality of the bread to a level that was edible.

I asked for appetizer recommendations and burrata was highly recommended. I asked the waiter if the cheese was served cold and he said yes. I asked if the tomatoes that come with it are cold and he said yes. I'm glad I asked. After the tooth numbing tomatoes of the bruschetta, I did not want freezer cold mozzarella. I was beginning to wonder if I really was in an Italian restaurant.

I started with calamari fritti, which at 16.95 is one of the poorest values in Queens. If the rendition was exceptional, then I wouldn't be complaining. While the presentation (in a folded napkin) and the thoughtfulness of the lemon stretch wraps were all pleasant, and some of the pieces were perfectly cooked, the breading had a cheese flavor that was unnecessary and distracting and most of the breading was not crisp enough as if they were afraid of over cooking the calamari or the oil was not hot enough. Most of it was mushy, with that slight cheese flavor and the portion was the size of small fist. The marinara sauce was served on the side and was piping hot and pleasantly spicy (though mild) but had burned notes in it.

Chicken Il Falco is mixed chicken pieces off the bone with sausage and tomato sauce. It's pleasantly spicy but a little sweet, the flavors read more like an Indian restaurant's take on General Tso's chicken than an Italian dish and the smothered, over-sauced presentation is not doing it favors. All in all, I wouldn't dissuade from ordering the dish, but it's not quite what I expected and too sweet.

Gnocchi pesto was my pasta side and the pesto was piping hot, had none of the bright lovely basil flavor I was expecting and the gnocchi was under-sauced. I have no idea why the pesto was so hot, it tasted cooked. If the pesto was cooked, that would explain the lack of flavor and as to why they would cook pesto, I'm baffled. The gnocchi itself was gummy and leaden.

Hoping to redeem my meal with dessert I ordered the Italian cheesecake, assured it was made with ricotta cheese. The presentation of the cheesecake was so peculiar, it was like they took half a slice of cheesecake that another restaurant would serve, then sliced that half in halves. Two thin slices of cheesecake were stacked staggered on top of each other next to zabaione, whipped cream, sliced kiwi, black berries and raspberries and dusted with powdered sugar. At this point, all the Italian in-laws in my extended family would need to be bleeped and censored if they had eaten there. The cheesecake was wet, not moist, wet and it was overpowered with the taste of vanilla extract. If you've ever tasted vanilla extract straight from a spoon, you know what I'm talking about. At 10.50, it was easily the worst and most expensive 1/2 slice of Italian(?) cheesecake I've ever eaten.

I'm cringing while writing this review, because the service is exceptional, the staff is fantastic. But the glowing yelp reviews are completely out of whack with my experience. The food preparation (cold tomatoes, cold cheese, hot pesto), cooking and pricing have some major kinks.

The peach pie at M. Wells Steakhouse is 11.00 and is a big slab of gorgeous ripe peaches in perfect pie crust with duck fat, and is truly phenomenal. At 10.50, I should be getting a slice of good cheesecake, not slivers of wet, gloopy ricotta laced with vanilla extract.

The restaurant has potential as a romantic neighborhood restaurant, but the cooking and food are hurting the restaurant and the great service.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

dining with picky eaters...

+1 to all the recommendations except for Rosa Mexicano, I've been dragged there multiple times and have tried shrimp dishes, beef, chicken dishes, their table-side guacamole.... everything is mediocre and expensive for the quality. It's a total rip-off. Their tortillas are horrible.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner in Tribeca

abs22, I ordered all three dishes that you mentioned and I still wouldn't recommend Nobu. Those are Nobu at it's best and I still consider it a tourist trap. The rest of the menu is about what you'd get at a suburban restaurant in a 3rd tier market.

Aug 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Hanaka: Fresh Mochi at the Ft. Greene Brooklyn Flea (Saturdays only)

Oh my gosh that looks amazing, thanks for the tip.

Aug 17, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

N.Y.C. visit

Avoid Little Italy for Italian food. Canned sauces, commercial pastas, you might as well cook at home. There are much better places for Italian for in NYC.

Try Barbuto for Italian food at reasonable price or Del Posto for more upscale experience.

Avoid Shun Lee (East and West) - the quality of the cooking is very inconsistent and mediocre, I wouldn't chance it.

Try Hakkasan instead of Shun Lee.

Avoid the Nobu's, coasting on name recognition and the food is a step above Olive Garden. You have much better options for any type of Japanese food.

Try Sugiyama or Tori Shin for Japanese.

I would avoid Morimoto - the sushi and sashimi I've had there has been mediocre in preparation and taste. There are some dissenting opinions.

Try Sushi Nakazawa which is on your list. I haven't been but the reviews on CH have been mostly very positive.

I would avoid Great NY Noodletown, there are mixed opinions on CH. It's not awful and the prices are fair, but the quality of the ingredients is mediocre and the the place is very greasy spoon.

Try Szechuan Gourmet instead or Prosperity Dumpling.

Aug 17, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan
1

Quickly Bubble Tea

I used to only go to Quickly or Ten Ren. I don't know why Quickly's been watering down their green tea to save a few cents, when now they've lost a customer and probably more.

Aug 17, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

I think there are also environmental factors at play that have led to the increase in obesity and autism, chemicals/toxins in our food, water supply etc.

For example Bisphenol A (BPA) was only introduced into the food supply in past few decades. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor that affects how the body processes lipids and glucose to promote obesity. Infants and developing children are especially vulnerable to BPA.

BPA is one chemical of thousands released into the environment that are toxic or of questionable safety.

Dim Sum in Chinatown

Foodiegirl76, I've been to Kam fung and Crystal Chinois, I'd say NYC dim sum is better and unfortunately I don't think of Montreal as a destination for Chinese food.

Other than the required family meals at a Chinese restaurant, I wouldn't eat Chinese food in Montreal coming from NY. I'd focus more on the wealth of French/French-Canadian restaurants and bakeries.

If you were in Toronto or Vancouver it'd be a different story.

NY Times Review of Giada's Las Vegas restaurant. Ouch

I have nothing against Giada personally and know very little about her. I don't know how her restaurant is either, but after watching a few of her TV shows many years ago, I remember thinking that she was displaying very poor culinary technique and didn't seem to know how to cook. I stopped watching, because she doesn't offer me any useful knowledge regarding food or cooking. I don't care how pretty her hair is, perfect manicures or how deep her cleavage is, which are what I assume others are watching for.

I think calling her a chef, although it may be correct, is generous.

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

Interesting article and positive mention of Khao Kang.

http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/inde...

Aug 12, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

The great Bronx sfogliatelle showdown (with photos)

Has anyone done a comparison between Villabate, Fortunato Brothers and Monteleone? Are the Bronx bakeries worth making a trip over the Brooklyn ones?

Aug 08, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

In my experience, the crusty "crepe" bottom guotie is a northern Chinese style, it's very common in Beijing.

Aug 07, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

1. Yes the starches will form a crust as the water evaporates, just use water that has a little flour or cornstarch in it to develop a thicker crust.

2. They're guotie, and not jiaozi and there's no reason to call them gyoza, which is the Japanese spelling. I don't know why on Western websites, so many Chinese things are referred to by their Japanese name. It's like randomly calling something Italian like pasta, a French name like pâtes. :)

Aug 07, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

I don't know if the crusty "crepe" bottomed guo tie originated in Kaifeng but it's common in Beijing. In Flushing, many years ago, there used to be a food court that predated Flushing Mall and there was a food vendor that used to specialize in guo tie who would make concentric circles of them in a wok and cook them until they had a thin, crusty crepe like bottom then flip them out onto a plate.

Aug 06, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

It's my personal thought process, I'm not evaluating in a vacuum. Perhaps it seems strange or extraneous to you to mention Egg, but people travel from Manhattan and outside the borough to Egg because it is considered a "destination" restaurant so I use it as one of my references when I think of the overall quality of the experience regardless of the disparate cuisine.

When I'm evaluating Khao Kang and thinking about whether it is good enough to be worth a schlep from outside the neighborhood, my initial impression was "no", but after eating there more and in the context of other restaurants like Egg, Pok Pok and other restaurants that are considered destination restaurants, I think I am judging too conservatively. I would encourage people to try Khao Kang because the value and quality is of a similar level. That is my point.

Khao Kang offers a worthwhile and different experience from Sri and Ayada, Center Point, etc.

Aug 05, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

I initially did not consider Khao Kang "destination-worthy" but I felt I was doing it a disservice in afterthought because places in Brooklyn like Egg, Pok Pok, Talde, et al are loosely considered as such.

Aug 05, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

You guys have thoughts on this take on the GMO issue?

Perhaps you don't see the connection between food waste and feeding the world, but the premise I was controverting is that there is not enough food produced by current methods to feed the world, and I hope others understand my point. The tremendous food waste in 1st world nations, whether it be at weddings, conferences, cafeterias, supermarkets, homes, etc. could feed all of the world's poor.

Aug 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Food Media & News

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

The kitchen at Khao Kang changes up the dishes frequently, they've had chicken in the jungle curry. They switch up the proteins. I have however seen pork penang in every visit.

I haven't found the food any oilier than other well-regarded Thai places in the neighborhood and I actually found certain dishes have a lightness to them like the ginger chicken I had in my first visit, not as greasy as your typical Manhattan Thai stir-fry.

My level of enthusiasm increased from moderate to enthusiastic after the first few visits, I was better able to evaluate my overall experience. I am going to emphasize that my enthusiasm is in context and is large part tied to the value of the food. I've eaten at the Wondees, Pam, Jaiya, Rhong Thiam, Kin Shop., Zabb etc. nowhere in Manhattan can I get a generous plate of 3 distinctly and authentically spiced, Thai dishes, well-balanced in flavor, for $7.50. I've found the steam table food at Khao Kang better than food made to order at other places.

Aug 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

You guys have thoughts on this take on the GMO issue?

While GMOs may not be inherently dangerous, the current implementation shows that there is too much incentive for short term profit and gain over longterm sustainability and environmental impact.

Any tampering with the food supply should be studied extensively, and supported by impartial research.

Secondly, regarding new technology being needed to feed the world, GMOs are not the only solution, nor do I think they should be the first. Anyone living in a first world country sees how much food waste there is. Whether it be people overeating or people throwing away edible food, there is more than enough food produced to feed the world. Whether it be recent weddings I've attended or business conferences, I've seen tremendous amounts of edible, untouched, delicious food discarded. There is so much waste.

It reminds me of the petrochemical industry's arguments for more subsidies for exploration and production versus increasing energy efficiency and economy in our vehicles and gadgets, regardless of the impact drilling, fracking for and burning of hydrocarbons has on the environment.

Aug 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Food Media & News

Generous portions, cheap prices, good food--is it possible in NYC anymore?

Karczma has large portions, that are well-prepared and the pricing meets the budget requirements.

Aug 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs