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Pookipichu's Profile

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New York Michelin

+1 I'm surprised by the loss of star at Annisa, I personally have never experienced consistency issues with either the food or service there and the food is easily better than or as good as any of the 1 stars on the list.

about 1 hour ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

New York Michelin

At least Zabb Elee is good.... Casa Enrique is the real head scratcher. I've tried the ceviche with "market" fish, FISHY, not fresh, could not/did not finish it and I never waste food unless I feel I'm being poisoned. Small entrees, dishes light on protein, overcooked chicken, heavy on filler starches, seasoning one-dimensional..... it's like the reviewers never had Mexican food before outside of Chipotle and Moe's. It's not good, period. It's not even close to top 10 restaurants in LIC, let alone Queens. What about LIC Market, Tournesol?? Instead some random yuppified, "Mexican" restaurant with pleasing modern decor and bad food? I could not in good conscious recommend Casa Enrique restaurant to someone, at least Zabb Elee would be a good meal.

Just so people get the full understanding of this Michelin star, if I plated items from Chipotle with some care on nice serving ware, the food would be better than what you get at Casa Enrique.

about 3 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Sick from Undercooked Crockpot Pork

Depends on your crockpot! The low setting on my two (modern crockpots) do not simmer, they boil! Boil pork for 4 hours, it's dead, everything in the pot is dead, nothing is going is going to survive that. I'm actually annoyed by how high the "low" setting is.

about 4 hours ago
Pookipichu in General Topics

Won't be returning to Per Se

No I did get it! :) I commented that it's pretty tasty, but yes it's very sweet for me.

I got it after ASKING for it, and the server hesitated, said he needed to "check" and then grudgingly brought me one like "how did I know about the granola?" It honestly didn't bother me TOO much because I've written positive reviews of EMP but like I said, it makes it much more easy to view their food and service clinically. Treats tend to give people rose colored lenses and I'm more likely to come back/forgive a gaffe, failing, etc. when there are little touches like that.

I totally did not know about the chocolates though. Guess that will be my request next visit lol. It also would have been nice if EACH person at my table got the granola like some people have. But the restaurant is so popular, they really don't need repeat customers in a city like NYC, nor do they need to treat everyone special. It's fine, I still have a good time, but EMP is not a place I yearn to go, not just because of "Granola-gate". I'm just not as impressed with EMP/Nomad/Nomad Bar as others, in varying degrees from most to least favorite, with regard to food, desserts and value.

about 7 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

Aaaand imagine how it makes people feel if they don't get that type of treatment :) I'm not a cold person, pretty normal, there's nothing wrong with me even though I didn't get graced with treats lol.

about 7 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Chinese specialty and gourmet stores?

You're going to make me cry hearing about your stores in SF, N.Y.is woefully underserved when it comes to artisanal Chinese purveyors. Hopefully someone else can chime in with shops that I don't know about. I don't think the artisan/hipsters on the east coast focus at all on Chinese culture.

about 19 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Celebratory date night recs

Congratulations! +1 to Annisa, it's not stuffy at all and the food is excellent.

about 19 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

New York Michelin

Just curious, have you eaten at Babbo recently or is your opinion based on visits from years prior? I'm open to returning to Babbo but I tried the pasta tasting and for me, it really had issues.

I haven't been to Lincoln yet but I'm very curious.

about 21 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Just as a side note for those who might not know, ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of la mian (pulled noodles). While Japan certainly has developed a thriving and diverse ramen culture, the dish originated in China and Japanese made it their own with the myriad varieties they have today.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in General Topics

Won't be returning to Per Se

Another treat I didn't receive lol?

Won't be returning to Per Se

I'm not postulating why, I can only share what I've experienced. I honestly have no idea, because like I've said, I've dined at EMP multiple times, gone with the family for the white truffle menu and have spent a lot of money there.

Frankly I don't really care why, because I don't need to be treated special, it's just irksome but not an absolute deterrent. I do however, look at EMP with a more clinical and less rosy eye than perhaps some do.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

+1 I don't understand Marea at 2 stars, I think it's overrated/hyped when you really taste the food.

Won't be returning to Per Se

Well I only was given one jar while they were playing Santa Claus with other tables, but it was tasty enough. :) It's very rich and coco-nutty

It never feels good to have someone begrudgingly be nice to you as if there's a popularity contest going on. In my visits to EMP, I've had some excellent service, But I've also had moments where I certainly did not feel I was in a three Michelin star restaurant. I've only celebrated my birthday there once and I'm in no rush to do so again, it didn't feel different than a regular meal there, unlike at Annisa, Del Posto, Hakkasan, WD-50, Lutece etc... where they made it special in small ways that were different from a typical meal with some small treats, complimentary desserts, kitchen tour, personalized note, etc. all given to a nobody (me!).

Michelin New York 2015 results

I tried to like it, I went in wanting to like it, I don't want to travel to the middle of Corona for Mexican food. I really don't. I'm willing to pay for it too. But Casa Enrique was just not good in my experiences and I felt cheated after eating there from all the positive reviews online, yelp, etc.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

Actually, no. I replied to a post of Cpalms in a previous thread and his post was deleted as well as the sub-posts under it. In my post I related how not everyone gets special treatment and I learned of the wonderful things that EMP does for some guests, on Chowhound.

It wasn't until I read that EMP was giving "everyone" granola, that I had to request it, and they hesitated, saying they needed to ask. I've had service gaffes at EMP, some of the desserts have been lousy, some of the food has been fantastic, mixed with some that don't work or weren't well executed. Never been offered a kitchen tour or given a book, etc. and my family has dropped some serious money at EMP during white truffle season. (PS - generous with the truffle one visit, not so much the next, shave shave shave tap tap, vs. shave shave shave shave shave shave shave)

I won't ding them for not offering granola or tours or books in my reviews because good food is good food (likewise bad is bad), but it's annoying to see a few CH'rs suggesting the fantastic wonderful service they get is par for the course. The service I've experienced at EMP is very good, but not above that I've received at JG or Le Bernadin, etc.

So basically I agreed with Cpalms to the extent that if someone is getting comped or discounts as a friend/relative of the restaurant/management he/she should disclose that in their glowing review. I do however feel that Cpalm's tone in expressing that idea has been a wee bit strident.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan
1

Michelin New York 2015 results

Casa Enrique receiving a star is absurd, over Salt and Fat which is a Bibb? Or Tournesol or LIC Market or Tortilleria Nixtamal which are neither? There is no way that Casa Enrique should be Michelin starred.

Casa Enrique has served me some of the WORST Mexican food I've had in NYC over multiple visits.

Zabb Elee is a surprise . Zabb Elee is good, but Michelin starred? Over Ayada and Sripraphai?

Marea 2 star over Del Posto? Meh.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

Perplexed by the demotion of Annisa. Never had an issue with consistency.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Bao - XLB specialist on St. Marks

:) It's a very convenient location so I'm glad to have a good xlb place there. With regard to puncturing, it's not puncturing that's the issue, it's rupturing, i.e. the skin is too thin and it's already burst of it's own accord or it tears when you pick up the bao.

I've grown up with chopsticks so there is no issue, and my mom (Shanghainese) taught me when I was young, what I believe is the best way to eat XLB. To gently pick up the xlb by the more durable nubbin at the top, place it on my spoon, bite off the nubbin and gently cool the xlb with the mouth through the hole, pour on some vinegar and place some ginger and pop the whole thing in. When done properly, not a drop of juice is spilled. This is different from the instructional in the NYTimes which has become a popular meme, where people are taught to sip the soup before eating the bao. I don't know where it started from but I was taught that is NOT the correct way to eat xlb and defeats the whole purpose of having bao and juice in one package.

I usually don't use tongs but I can use tongs easily as well with gentle pressure. The issue is when the skin is too thin, or has an uneven thinness or is not pliable enough. What differentiates a place like Din Tai Fung is the consistency and skill of their bao makers. The goal is for thin skin but then you have ruptures if the bao maker's skill level is not high enough or they take the easy road and make the skin thick but the experience is coarse and lacks refinement.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

New York Michelin

Don't get me wrong, I love Italian bread and I've had better Italian bread at Del Posto, Al Di La, Parkside, the semolinas at DiPalo's, a range of different price points. I don't know why Babbo gets such mediocre bread, there's no pride in it.

Regarding the pastas, I still have to try Lincoln, but I had an amazing gnocchi at Modern that really eclipsed any pasta I had a Babbo. Frankly, many of the dumplings at Dumpling Galaxy are skillfully prepared and are more delicious than the pasta I had at Babbo, seriously.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

New York Michelin

I wasn't impressed with Babbo, I found the food competent, but not rising much above. The pastas became repetitive, the chianti stained pasta was inedible, truly foul with a chemical taste, bread was forgettable, the best thing about the lamb dish was the quantity, I thought there would be more flavor in the love letters, etc.

If Babbo had been more expensive, it would have been a huge disappointment. As is, I think it's a fine neighborhood place for the money, but not a destination.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Just posted a quick review of the dishes I've tried at Bao.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/990682

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Bao - XLB specialist on St. Marks

Bao opened this summer and is an xlb specialist serving Shanghainese specialties as well as food from other regions.

I've eaten at Bao several times now and have tried the following:

crab xlb - thin skinned, plump with juice and the flavor of the crab and pork are both very clean but the crab flavor is too subtle, almost as if they are not starting with a crab shell stock and the flavor is solely coming from the meat.

pork xlb - also thin skinned, clean pork flavor, the juice lacks the pork-iness of places like Nan Xiang or even China Blue, but compared to China Blue, there is more juice and the skin is thinner, more pliable at Bao.

Out of several steamers, not a single xlb tore or ruptured even though the skins are very thin. Well done in that regard. On a side note, instead of Chinese cabbage, the xlb rest on a cloth fabric.

dou miao with garlic - one visit was too salty and had stringy bits, another visit, it was seasoned well and good, though not great.

radish bing - Chinese radish cut finely and stuffed in a flaky pastry then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Very skimpy on the radish, I've yet to have a version I like in Manhattan. The pastry is not greasy and overall the dish is fine.

wontons in red oil - many of the wontons were broken, it was the only dish that seemed a bit sloppy, the flavor of the pork was of good quality but the sauce lacked spiciness and was more colorful than fragrant with chili.

salt and pepper shrimp - first order, tender, flavorful without being salty, zippy with sichuan peppercorns. The second time I ordered the dish, it was a bit tougher and not as fragrant with sichuan peppercorns.

sesame chicken - very lightly breaded, crisp, juicy white meat, much better than your typical takeout. The sesame flavor is not quite as strong as I'd like, I wish they would use more toasted sesame oil

orange chicken - similar to the sesame chicken, well executed, very light coating, mostly meat. Flavor again is on the mild side, not enough citrus peel.

When I order dishes with sauces that are sweet, I request that the kitchen reduce the sugar so I do not know what the regular taste is but both sesame chicken and orange chicken were sauced sparingly and sugar was not an issue as it sometimes is at other restaurants. The kitchen was very accommodating. My request for less sauce and sugar may have made my dishes taste more mild.

The space holds a large communal table and several small tables and banquettes. The style is modern, stone and wood, and fairly clean with friendly service.

Definitely a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Looking for a amazing sunday dinner in Manhattan! Suggestions?

+1 Regarding Momofuku Noodle Bar, eaten there several times and the most recent was the worst. Went with family because Ippudo was mobbed, and ordered ramen and pork buns. The buns were stale-ish, meat too salty, oversauced and the ramen was mediocre. Not a good value and terribly overhyped.

Sep 29, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Yes Bao on St. Marks. I think they're being too subtle with their broths, it wouldn't hurt for them to cook it down more until it's more pork-y.

Sep 29, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Modern - White Truffle Season

I think the sweetness and the sear on the gnocchi really augment the flavor of the truffles. I've tried white truffles on a number of different dishes and while the tagliatelle pasta would serve as a clean vehicle for the truffle, there's something to be said for a good complement.

Sep 29, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Revelatory new Sichuan restaurant--Legend on 7th Avenue at 15th

Janet, the closest Chinese restaurant to the High Line that I'd recommend is Buddakan.

The dim sum, crispy calamari salad, Peking duck salad are very good, as are the rock shrimp, spare ribs, dungeness crab sticky rice. There are quite a few delicious healthy options, for instance the steamed sole and the vegetable dishes. I do not recommend the Peking duck there.

As for the top Chinese food in NYC... in my opinion the top Chinese restaurant (and a great restaurant in general regardless of cuisine) in NYC is Hakkasan, and as mentioned by another poster, you can read scathing professional reviews of the restaurant as well as negative Yelp reviews and negative comments from other Chowhounders. I've written a detailed report on the restaurant talking about the good and the bad and you can see why I reach my conclusion. I compare it to highly reviewed board favorites and critical darlings that have flaws overlooked and worse food. The best thing to do is to take my review and the review of others with a grain of salt and try it for yourself (or not), because there is a lot of noise on this board, some with good intentions, some without.

I hope others respond to your question and offer their opinions on the best Chinese restaurant in NYC, that way you could get a greater sampling of opinions and restaurants.

Sep 28, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Revelatory new Sichuan restaurant--Legend on 7th Avenue at 15th

I've been to Legend several times and ordered different items, Sichuanese and non-Sichauanese.

I have not had good luck at Legend, I've had some passable dishes and really terrible ones, I found the experience very inconsistent and I've given it chances due to the positive reviews on the board. As much as I love Chinese food, I think there are better options. I also find the restaurant slightly unsanitary.
I would not recommend Legend but perhaps you might have a better experience. I don't discount that others have had enjoyable meals there.

Are you looking primarily at Sichuanese restaurants? Do you have a budget and desired area?

Sep 27, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

My family's Shanghainese not Cantonese, the dish my grandma used to make is different from Cantonese sweet and sour pork. It was pork chops, she would use dark black vinegar. Shanghainese cuisine has quite a few sweet and sour dishes.

Sep 27, 2014
Pookipichu in General Topics

Jean George vs. Eleven Madison?

I've had the exact opposite experience, with perfect service at Jean-Georges and service gaffes at EMP. But I agree with you that the OP would have excellent food (and experience) at both.

Sep 27, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

I know my grandma had a family recipe for sweet and sour pork that predates the 1900s at least, from my experience I wouldn't say sweet and sour pork is inauthentic considering they had never set foot outside of China.

Sep 27, 2014
Pookipichu in General Topics