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some recent chinatown noodles

Spicy Village is sort of a miracle IMO because all the attention from Bittman and the NYT has not spoiled them. Still really charming family, stick to the hui mei noodles, the big plate of chicken, and dumplings with lots of hot sauce (good) and vinegar.

Jul 28, 2015
swannee in Manhattan
1

Wan Chai Seafood in Flushing (Chow-meet Recap)

It was an excellent meal in good company. For me the most special dishes were the rice--I never had such tiny rice and so perfectly cooked--and the bitter melon, both because I love bitter melon, and because I had never had it prepared this way at all (usually either stirfried, stuffed, or poached and served cold).

Jul 22, 2015
swannee in Outer Boroughs
1

Ocean Grill

AG does serve brunch on Saturday, but not the good deal it is on Sunday. I haven't been to OG for brunch on Saturday.

Jul 14, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Ocean Grill

Brunch is certainly the best meal. But I find the comparison with Atlantic Grill a bit strange: AG is both more expensive and much noisier. Brunch at AG is also a great deal, but on Sunday only.
Average bill at Marea is probably 4 or 5 times higher than Ocean Grill. For most of us, Marea is a once a year special splurge---and since I live half the time in Italy, I prefer to spend my $250 (if I don't indulge in the crudi) at Bernadin.

Jul 13, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

New Rules for Serving Raw Fish

I would think that this will make a difference only at the high-end places.

Jul 12, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

Hot Kitchen in Flushing

I love S&T's pressed tofu with celery, watercress, conch, spicy bamboo, as well as the tendon. But I need to try Hot Kitchen as well.

Jul 10, 2015
swannee in Outer Boroughs

Hot Kitchen in Flushing

I find that S & T has especially good cold dishes. how are they at Hot Kitchen?

Jul 09, 2015
swannee in Outer Boroughs

New food court in Flushing

There were about 25 places open the other day, including some very interesting ones, and about 200 eaters at 9 PM. The Sichuan cold dishes may well have come from S & T, they looked indentical. Two dry wok places looked good, plus the usual noodle soups, Taiwanese pancakes, lanzhou noodles, smoothies, etc.
Didn't eat this time because we had just been to OK Ryan nearby. I liked it and the Family Meal had many choices. Not great san bei ji however. Very friendly people.

Jul 09, 2015
swannee in Outer Boroughs

upscale Asian

What about Oriental Garden? Not fusion, not terribly creative, but excellent seafood and ingredients.

Jul 06, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

La Grenouille vs Bouley

They are utterly different kind of experiences. La Grenouille is drop-dead gorgeous with Proustian environs and service. The soufflés are the best in NY. The food is on a very high level, but neither unique nor creative. Bouley is much more about the food. It is a nice room and has OK service. Grenouille is probably a little more expensive. I personally would choose Grenouille for this kind of event, although there is better food to be had in NY (except for the soufflés).

Jul 04, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

new branch of Legend Sichuan on 3rd street near Sullivan

Just tried this new branch. It was fine, nothing particularly special or very spicy, but perfectly adequate--which is not my opinion of the Legend on W 72 which has gotten worse and worse, and even served pre-formed frozen "chicken meat" in a dry casserole on my last (literally) visit.
We had the tendon, the chicken dry casserole (to compare!), lamb with cumin, and string beans.

Jul 03, 2015
swannee in Manhattan

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!

Cortina?

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.