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Late night dining near Columbia

Vareli, of course.

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Vareli
2869 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Jul 03, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

lai wah heen - what to order?

i'll be going for both (on separate days)

lai wah heen - what to order?

what are their best dishes? and what to avoid?

best sushi near metropolitan hotel?

hi fellow hounds, i'm coming from new york and staying near the metropolitan hotel (chestnut x dundas). would anyone be able to recommend what's the best sushi place or izakaya within walking distance?

and i suppose that for high-end cantonese, lai wah heen is my best bet?

any other recommendations for something very special in the area? (i'm into authentic / upscale asian food in particular)

many thanks!

Yasuda Sushi Bar with Wife (she no gusta sushi...)

congrats congrats! yes the guy can be very charming and friendly if he decides that he likes you! and for the rice, i'm yet to find any other place in the whole of north america that matches.

Jun 16, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

east village steak recommendations?

2nd buenos aires. to me the skirt & short ribs are v good

May 24, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Best Raw Bars

aquagrill

May 24, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Sushi of Gari?

i suppose many other people complained about being rushed at his station too. but if your experience is otherwise, thanks for sharing.

my own japanese is rudimentary, though i don't quite see how it's so relevant to the discussion here. rushing, overcharging, and kicking people out aren't things that seem to depend on the language very much.

but anyway. to each their own. i wasn't saying i don't like the place. but liking it shouldn't stop me from telling people what i've seen / feel at the place i guess.

May 22, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Inventive Cocktails in (lower) Manahattan

asian can be hip! ok jk. i don't really care. maybe i was biased by a single experience, when i was surrounded by bunch of suits and ties on a friday night. the drinks there were good of coz, but somehow it lacked the kind excitement factor for me. maybe the place is also bigger, thus it feels less cozy than the other bars.

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Inventive Cocktails in (lower) Manahattan

yeah they make their own. positive. delicious stuff. i think they cure their own foie gras w/ cognac too, though this one i'm less sure

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

List of Ultimate Chinese food dishes in NYC

interesting thread.

best Cantonese BBQ (Roast Duck, Char Siu, Roast Pork, etc): Yee Li. i still don't understand why people pay so little attention to this place. i grew up on canto bqq so I think i have some idea what i'm talking about!

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Yee Li
1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Inventive Cocktails in (lower) Manahattan

yeah kathryn you're right, BL bartenders always freepoured my drinks. of course they count, but it can't be as precise as jiggers i suppose. somehow i'm partial to their old-fashioned and manhattan though; maybe it's the brandied cherries.... the flights are excellent. great rye selection too.

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

minetta tavern "supper" -- crowded on sat night? ++

life is short. get both and do a review. you don't have to finish the fries. the burger alone certainly isn't enough to feed 2 for dinner

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Sushi of Gari?

sure personality / likability is rather subjective. but rushing the meal (you easily get over 20 pieces within the first 40 minutes if you do omakase), "accidental" overcharging, talking down to customers, and, significantly - kicking people out - seem a bit too far. these aren't things i've ever come across in japan. as i said, for the quality of the sushi i'd still go back, and recommend it to people. i do find the guy quite likable sometimes too. but i also understand why some people are justifiably pissed off about him.

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Sushi of Gari?

i agree that it's overrated. very questionable service for a place of that caliber: yasuda the guy himself can be rude if he doesn't like you or if he disagrees with you (seen him kick people out). he rushes you. i've seen multiple times that they overcharged customers by "mistake". the sushi is "traditional"-style, but not really that traditional. one can even say the shape of the sushi is unconventional, rather round than long, though i like it personally. the fish is good but not out of the world given what you pay for.....

but there's one thing. the rice. that to me is actually super top rate. and the soy sauce. the seaweed. he does make sure these important basics are done well, and these basics are really important. for these alone, i'd still recommend it.

May 21, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Inventive Cocktails in (lower) Manahattan

i second B Flat. good vibe. causal. close to chinatown. interesting, not really high quality drinks though. juice from the box, etc. but interesting.

PDT to me is as good as ever. i guess in general, cocktail is partly about novelty. the place is no longer as secret and special, so people start to complain. the phone booth trick doesn't impress anymore. blah blah. but they still have a number of drinks that really work for me. benton's old fashioned. paddington. black flip. (on autopiloting: i never see jim meeghan the man there these days, but david who works there on weekend is very good)

i would skip pegu club, actually. to me it truly has got boring. place rather stuffy.

if you can stand feeling bit underdressed or whatever, i'd go to brandy library instead of pegu. there they do the classics really well. excellent steak tartare too.

between death and co and little branch, i'll do the latter, if you can't get into milk & honey. the ice alone is worth the trip. just as nobody thought that rice can be (is) more important than the fish in sushi, who would have thought the ice can make such a difference?

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B Flat
277 Church St, New York, NY 10013

May 20, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

upper west side dimsum?

shun lee cafe: maybe they went down. i was there about a year ago.

May 20, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Chic or Luxurious restaurant that open till late

but for a place that opens till 4am, that may be the most high-end though. they have fruit de mer, bone marrow, escargot,etc after all. around that time, the other places i'll be thinking of would be in korean town...

May 19, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

upper west side dimsum?

kathryn, of coz i was joking when i said i would take offence. but about Shun Lee, they are really such a disgrace though. i don't agree "it's ok, but expensive for the quality". actually, even if it were one-third the price, i wouldn't eat there. my experience was limited to dim sum at the shun lee cafe. imagine the analogy of walking into an italian restaurant, run by italians, and the menu has "pasta with pork", "pasta with beef", "pasta with fish", "pasta with chicken". and when you taste it, it tastes exactly like pasta from the can heated with frozen meat. and then they charge you twice the price of restaurants nearby. i mean, it's basically a scam. my microwave reheated dim sum from the freezer, which i bought from chinatown a month ago, taste much better than what they serve. how can they achieve that? i really detected no sign that they care at all. or maybe it was an intended insult? then again i'm only talking about the dim sum at the cafe.

yebo, other people have suggested some decent restaurants in the UWS that serve some dim sum dish. but these aren't really dim sum places. if it's just for a few dumplings to ease your craving, my suggestion is stay in your neighborhood (Morningside Height?). East Dumpling House has decent dumplings. these are northern style dumpling (thick skinned), but done well and fresh. Columbia Cottage has has acceptable soup dumplings (by UWS standard, which isn't saying much). if you bother to travel at all, go to chinatown.

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Columbia Cottage
1034 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

East Dumpling House
248 W 106th St, New York, NY 10025

May 19, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

upper west side dimsum?

no. you won't find it in the whole of UWS. it doesn't exist. i've tried.

if anyone is gonna mention shun lee cafe, please, please don't. it would offend me and my culture very deeply.

May 18, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

online asia grocery store that does delivery

... for manhattan. any recommendations? i'm particularly looking for one that would deliver frozen food / ready meals. does it exist?

May 12, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Chinatown for a nice but not overly upscale dinner?

i second amazing 66. it is also highly recommended in various chinese discussion/review boards. the famous dish is the twin rice w/ lobster or crab. the steamed rice absorbs the shell fish flavor. pretty good stuff.

my personal favorite is Yee Li at corner of bayard and elizabeth. i think it's an under-rated place, probably because it's good at certain dishes but not others. recommended: garlic fried chicken, steamed lobsters with garlic with "ho fun" noodles underneath, steamed fresh fish (you can pick from their tank). but above all, the reason i go there is for the cantonese bbq: roast duck, suckling pig (more like suckling pig style pork, actually), char siu etc. there are only a couple of places in ctown that does this properly (i.e. as good as the average stuff in hong kong).

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Yee Li
1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

May 09, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Need Help with Dim Sum

while dim sum is more like a weekend brunch thing, cheung fun and a cup of tea can be a quick breakfast / mid-day snack. it's unfortunate that when people think cheung fun, often the default filling is shrimp. it's a popular choice in hong hong too. with really good cheung fun dough, thin and chewy, and fresh shrimp inside, it's good stuff. but in manhattan you'll never find it. to me char siu cheung fun is harder to mess up. you just put loads of sweet soy on and it always taste good~

May 07, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Need Help with Dim Sum

hello, i'm the other guy that is not the lau guy who posts great stuff about chinese food regularly. but i'm from hong kong so i know a thing or two about dim sum too

if money is irrelevant, chinatown brasserie's cheung fun is good, from what i recall. it's a nice place (unlike anywhere in chinatown), and dim sum is consistently good.

a cheaper alternative is a place called "canton people" in chinese at 102-104 Mott Street. i think the name in english is something weird like "the dinning room management group". it's not a dim sum place. more like a small eatery. but they pull their own cheung fun in the morning and it's fairly well known amongst the chinese people in chinatown. strictly speaking, the cheung fun is too thick, but some people aren't picky about that. and at $2-3 bucks, it's a great snack. it's fresh, and comes with many interesting fillings too - like duck or bitter melon & beef, etc. (good old char siu is also my favorite, by the way). unfortunatley they only serve cheung fun for lunch / breakfast. they do a good dish that is wok fried lotus root in fermented bean paste too.

most other places in manhattan chinatown will give you inconsistent cheung fun, because of the carts. cheung fun doesn't sit well there. if you go at exactly the time the dim sum comes out (noon?), they should be good. but that seems a little tricky.

red egg is the other place that let you order off the menu rather the carts but they don't have cheung fun apparently. the only other place, dim sum go go, closed recently...

May 07, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Chelsea - far west side

spanish/basque food in excellent in your area. i love el quinto pino (tapas and drinks). many others rave about tia pol and txikito socarrat (paella bar), when good, is very good indeed. i think apart from tia pol they all don't take reservations. but if you walk around the area it's perfect. just hit them before 7pm

you may have to walk just a few steps beyond 8av though

May 07, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Oysters. Where to go tonight?

aqua grill has good and quite extensive selections. and to me almost anywhere is cozier than grand central oyster bar!

May 07, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Marea vs Esca Uni Pasta

i liked both dishes. marea's pasta itself is unbeatable. i liked esca's sauce better

but the best yet, is the sea urchin "carbonara" angel hair at torqueville

May 06, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Help for a midwestern CH

why restrict yourself to walkable distance? i see you won't have a car but jumping on a cab is easy in the city. from midtown you can get to pretty much anywhere in manhattan for under $20

i'd second yasuda. but you should get a reservation to be at the head chef's station at the sushi bar. for the full experience, you'll let the guy feed you whatever he wants until you say enough. it's true it can get expensive this way. but you could also just go for lunch and ask for say 10 pieces of the best stuff of the day.

20 blocks north is columbus circle where you'll find some of the best fine dinning restaurants in the city: jean georges, per se. if expense is really not a concern at all, you can go to masa too. lol

May 04, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

picholine (the bar)

i'm a big fan of going to fancy restaurants to eat at the bar. weekday, before 7. this way i almost never need a reservation. usually no waiting. and for most places, the food and service are almost just as good - just much less expensive.

saw some hound posts about their sea urchin panna cotta. being the uni fan thought i had to give this a try.

sadly, yesterday they sold out the item. they say it's very rare. bad luck

apart from that though, basically everything was good from start to finish. very bold and lots of flavor.

cocktails - they recommended the french martini, which was surprisingly well done. just the right amount of pineapple juice and chambord. very refreshing. algonquin and perfect manhattan were also done well.

amuse bouche - even at the bar they gave these to us for free. the blue cheese panna cotta was excellent. house cured salmon on beet was good but less memorable.

trio of tasting - a $20 sampler of 3 small things. with help from the guy at the bar we picked the cheese tempura, foie gras explosion, and chips with salt cod paste. the first was a very clever thing. melting manchego in tempura. with an interesting basil dipping sauce. foie exploision was like ravioli with liquid foie in it. very good but that's what you'd expect. salt cod was most memorable for me. usually they're too salty. this one was too but it has as much fish flavor.

farm egg with peekytoe crab meat. another excellent dish. someone squeamish and critical may complain about the raw-ish egg white. i have no problem with that at all. the crab meat has enough flavor from the sea. worked well with the interestingly prepared veg. overall excellent. very fresh and well balanced.

wild mushroom risotto - probably the weaker dish. risotto done well. lots of flavor. the cheese. the broth. but for me a little too salty. don't get me wrong. it's still good. just a tad dominated by the saltiness.

squarb - deboned and very pink piece of squarb meat. excellent flavor and texture. if you're afraid of eating raw-ish bird, forget about it. they said it's not underdone, i actually think it was. but i like it this way anyway.

foie gras in sweet and sour broth - this is one of the advantages of ordering small plates at the bar. if i'm sitting down for an ordinary full meal there's no way i'm ordering this. sweet and sour sounds too risky. but ok. a $15 smal plate. i'll give it a try. turns out this is so good. the broth was light, balanced, refreshing. works very well with the the foie.

we're full. at least satisfied because the food has lots of flavor overall. but we ordered the cheese course, coz this place is supposedly famous for it. i'm not so big on my cheese, so we let the cheese guy pick 3 for us. i specifically wanted their strongest blue cheese, which was excellent. the other 2 were good but not so memorable. (the cheese guy can really use some enthusiasm though. he talked like he just woke up....)

two classes of red (shiraz and zinfandel). both good. they gave us little extra splash towards the end to help us finish the cheeses too.

with the cheese course, we were more full than needed. then they gave us little sweets. some excellent chocolates and whatnot, even though we didn't order coffee or anything.

~$180 (before tip). not bad at all. have to go back to try the uni panna cotta soon.

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Picholine
35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

May 04, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan

Rub BBQ ?

so is this place in chelsea the real deal? how does it compare to fette sau in williamsburg?

May 02, 2010
another_lau in Manhattan