swannee's Profile

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New York - Best Michelin 3 Star

So interesting: I have been a few times to Daniel and have found the service to be as good as any in NYC. I am French-speaking, maybe that helps (it's unforgiveable if it does: I expect speaking Chinese at a hole in the wall to make a big difference--and it does: but it should make zero difference at a restaurant of this level and price.) My problem with Daniel is simply that the cuisine is neither unique or interesting enough to merit 3 Stars in my book. Perfect, delicious: yes. But that, to me, is 2 Star.
I do, however, vastly prefer the traditional course meal format. I am simply not into the menu degustation with 20 tiny plates.

Jun 28, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Northern Vietnamese lunch at Tuấn & Tú, Pasteur

PS What is the sauce just above the fish. Is it shrimp sauce ("ham ha" in Cantonese)?

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Northern Vietnamese lunch at Tuấn & Tú, Pasteur

Very fascinating. Were those peanuts on top of the fish?

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Imperial Hue lunch at Quán Ruốc

I grew up in Texas and spent summer every year in Alabama without a/c, but I would die now in Singapore (or Vietnam in summer) without it. I agree Lau about the water: I have eaten everywhere street food without ever having a problem. The one time I did get sick was when I cautiously had a shave ice in a third world setting.

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Fried Radish Cake from Bột Chiên Đạt Thành

To me, that looks worthy of a trip to Vietnam!


Went to Tivoli last year and it was still excellent. I agree the Baita Fraina is a very good tratoria and has delicious fritelle for afternoon tea in August (only). Pontejel is another good trattoria. Da Aurelio is worth the arduous trip, but only if you don't get carsick and have a designated non-drinking driver (or stay there). Meloncino is not bad, but very limited, and rather pretentious. The setting is lovely, however (not hard in Cortina!).

Jun 23, 2015
swannee in Italy

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Imperial Hue lunch at Quán Ruốc

This looks awesome! for a real belachan maniac like me, it sounds fabulous. And I have never seen a single one of those dishes.

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Lunch at the Courtyard, Hotel Continental Saigon

Any idea where the fondness for sweet tastes comes from? Can it be the French?

Olympic Peninsula

Any recommendations for the Olympic Peninsula, especially Port Angeles?

Jun 22, 2015
swannee in Pacific Northwest

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] "Bánh mì Op La" from Hòa Mã

Will be expecting more reports from Saigon!!!

Best fried rice

If I want marrow with rice, I prefer risotto alla Milanese (though the best I know is at Al Matarel in Milan).

Jun 22, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Best fried rice

It's not strictly speaking fried rice (although it is listed as such) but the shrimp paste rice at Sripraphai with the accompaniments (omelet, chicken in a sweet sauce, cucumbers, dried shrimp, etc.) is terrific. Also the fried rice with salt fish and chicken at NY Noodeltown. I vastly prefer fried rice without soy sauce.

Jun 22, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Whitefish Salad

Zabar's. It's delicious.

Jun 15, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

[Singapore] Best Fried "Sotong Bee Hoon" in Town

I used to alternate between them and Ren Ren on Bayard for incredible cheap food. Both gone. Sigh....

[Singapore] Best Fried "Sotong Bee Hoon" in Town

It was called mei shi wu in Chinese, I can't remember the English name, there were on Doyers St. They had mediocre hainan ji fan, ironically, because nearly everyone got it. They had excellent curried noodles, good oyster omelet, good fish head curry, excellent veggies with blachan (including my first chou dou in NY) and by far the best rojak I have had outside of Singapore. I was invariably the only non-Asian there. But they disappeared in the post 2001 Chinatown depression.

[Singapore] Best Fried "Sotong Bee Hoon" in Town

Amazingly enough there used to be a place in NY that had both the behoon and congee with dried cuttlefish and fresh squid. It was Sinomalaysian, they were from Ipoh, but at the time my Chinese was too rudimentary to learn which dialect they were speaking (only that it wasn't Cantonese).

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

Flor de Mayo on Columbus at 84 is consistently much better than the Bway locale, although further way from Columbia.
For Chinese, Fujian, Dongbei, and Western Chinese are are excellent in NY; most of the best are in Flushing, but good Fujian and Henan in Chinatown. Shanghai isn't really a destination cuisine, but there are several good ones in Ctown if you order carefully. And Sichuan is quite good in Manhattan--the best source of reliable info on NY's Chinese scene is Lau.

Jun 13, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

[Singapore] "Lontong" from Kampung Glam Cafe

Is hard boiled egg ever added?

Thai Dipping Sauce for Spring or Egg Rolls

The most famous Thai dipping sauce is probably nam prik sauce: but I doubt that this is what you are describing. It has dried shrimp, shrimp paste (kapi in Thai), fish sauce, garlic, birdseye chilis, palm sugar, thai basil or mint, cilantro, and water. What you describe is more likely to be fish sauce, sugar, garlic and water, perhaps with a little Siracha or other chili sauce for the color, and water.

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

Pity you never had the roast mountain goose at NY Noodletown. They pushed it--in Chinese only--for some years, and I always got it. But it disappeared about 10 years ago.

Jun 11, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

[Singapore] Best Fried "Sotong Bee Hoon" in Town

Is it possible that I had this in Malaysia made with both dried and fresh squid? Or is my memory playing tricks?

Great Indian Restaurant in Manhattan?

Anjappar and Chola.

Jun 05, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

We are just back from Lisbon and Sintra and I had fabulous bacalhau 4 days in a row--the best a Braz with scrambled eggs and onions and a bacahlua assado with garlic, olives, capers.

May 31, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Seeking Cantonese restaurant in NYC for banquet for 100

Please report on what you get and how it is.

May 29, 2015
swannee in Outer Boroughs

Kuala Lumpur - Superb KL-style Fried Hokkien Noodles @ Kim Lian Kee (金莲记)

Me, too! I will finally be back in October.

Spring 2015: New in Chinatown

Unfortunately that is very normal. May I ask where you went instead?

May 21, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

Different cuisines and on other side of the Bowery, but the newly re-opened Yogee on Christie for Cantonese and Spicy Village on Forsythe for Henan.

May 20, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Singapore - Trad-Hakka Delicacies at Plum Village (梅村酒家)

Thanks! There are few places in NY with decent Hakka dishes, although many Fukien and Cantonese places have their versions of Hakka specialities (e.g. mei cai kou rou).

Best South Indian Restaurant in KL - Green Banana Leaf @ Cyberjaya

Interestingly enough I recently had it in New York--very tasty but awfully filling (probably the idea)--at Vatan, a vegetarian Thali place.

Pete Wells on Javelina.

I thought it was too nice.

May 20, 2015
swannee in Manhattan