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Beijing dumplings in London?

Try Mama Lan. I've been to their original location in Brixton market. They also have a location in Clapham. They have four varieties of handmade dumplings. Priced at 5 for 5£, it should definitely fulfill your cheap requirement. I've tried most of the dumplings in Chinatown and have been disappointed every time. Maybe I'm too picky, but I lived in Beijing for 6 months and practically survived on dumplings. The ones from Mama Lan are the closest that I've found to the ones that I ate in Beijing.

Aug 10, 2014
kawainekko in U.K./Ireland

Trip to Turkey two weeks in May

Hi! Hopefully this post will reach you before you go on your trip. Each time, that we have been to Istanbul, we have done a tour with Istanbul Eats. Their guides are very knowledgeable about the various cuisines in Turkey and take you to places that you would be unable to discover on your own. They are constantly changing their tours as they discover new places and old ones change. We have done 4 of their tours and would suggest either their Cosmopolitan Beyogulu tour or Old City tour. They go to approximately 8 different places where you try very different things. They do stops for coffee or tea and desserts between the stops with food so that you don't feel too full and so that you will be able to continue eating. They also let you eat as much as you want and will stop to buy something if you are curious about any food that you see along the way. All the food you consume on the tour is paid for by them. If you don't want to do a tour with them, I would suggest purchasing their guide book, Istanbul Eats. Our favourite place in Istanbul is Surt Seref Buryan Salonu. They serve traditional pit roasted lamb from the Kurdish region of Turkey. Go for lunch and order the lamb ribs or have your hotel reserve a portion of the ribs for you if you want to go for dinner. Also order the perde pilaf which is another regional specialty. It's a spiced chicken rice wrapped in pastry. We traveling right now or else I would have other info for you but I don't have access to my computer.

We were very disappointed with the food in Cappadocia. Our guide explained to us that there isn't much of a dining out culture in Cappadocia so all the restaurants are aimed at tourists. We did a cooking class with Cappadocia Home Cooking. It was a wonderful experience though not a real cooking class. You go to a family's home and watch them cook. You do get to help out with a few things here and there like filling manti. It was great visiting someone's home and getting an idea what life is like. Plus you will get a home cooked meal. The wife and mother do all the cooking while Tolga does the translating. We wanted to try the testi kebap while we were in Cappadocia which is their regional specialty but we were told that most places just cook the stew on the stovetop and the dish it into the clay pots for presentation. We did find a place that said that they slow cook it in the oven all day but I can't remember the name of the restaurant which was recommended by our hotel. It looked like a tourist trap and had nothing Turkish on the menu but our hotel had called ahead and our concierge assured us they had good testi kebap. We ordered the testi kebap and manti off menu and they gave it to us.

We stayed in Cesme in Izmir and have food suggestions there. Where will you be staying?

Please give me feedback on some suggestions for restaurants for 1 week in NY!

Here are a couple of my favorites in NYC.

L'Artusi- They have the best pasta. We love their crudo, appetizers (especially the mushrooms topped with ricotta salata and a fried egg), and all of their pastas. It's in the Village and there is definitely a young crowd. I prefer this restaurant to Babbo though Babbo has a much bigger menu.

Sushi Yasaka- This is the best kept sushi secret in NYC. They have very fresh fish that they buy themselves from the fish market (in the Bronx) rather than relying restaurant suppliers. It's $40 for a 12 piece omakase that is as good as anything you would find in a M starred sushi restaurant. They put innovative toppings on their sushi and it's different every time. Their cooked food is delicious as well.

Salumeria Rossi- Italian tapas. They make their own salami. Just order a few that look interesting or get some suggestions from the waiters who are very helpful. Then go crazy on the right side of the menu which is filled with small plates. The pork belly, anchovy salad, tripe, farrotto (must order), and meatballs (if you are there on a Friday night) are our favorites.

None of these restaurants are very expensive if you don't order too much alcohol.

Have fun!

Aug 14, 2012
kawainekko in Manhattan

Three Ramen Places, London

Thanks for the review. I totally agree with your assessment as to Ittenbari and Tonkotsu though I think I disliked Tonkotsu much more than you. I love the shio broth at Ittenbari. It's pleasantly salty and had a great depth of flavor. I loved the pork and best of all, you get two generous slices when you order the DX size!

I was very disappointed with Tonkotsu. I had gone to their preopening ramen events so I have tried a number of their ramens. I was expecting a much porkier, richer and milkier broth. Tonkotsu ramen is my favorite type of ramen but I would much rather have the ramen at Ittenbari than tonkotsu. Bottom line, if you are going to name your restaurant after a particular food, it had better be good and the ramen at Tonkotsu is not.

What is most disappointing is that Tonkotsu has been very busy and popular while Ittenbari has been pretty dead comparatively. It's sad that a place with such inferior food but great marketing do so much better than a restaurant with great food. At least I can get my ramen fix without queueing.

Jul 17, 2012
kawainekko in U.K./Ireland

5 Day NYC Trip - Fine Tuning Itinerary - Suggestions please!

Instead of Sushi of Gari, you might want to consider trying Sushi Yasaka. They are on 72 Street between Broadway and West End. Their fish is the same quality of Gari but half the price. For $40 you can get the 12 piece omakase which as good as the one at Gari. If you have your heart set on Gari, I think the tuna of Gari is worth it to try once though I prefer salmon of Gari (same concept, different fish).

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Sushi Yasaka
251 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

Jan 21, 2012
kawainekko in Manhattan

Babbo substitute for 50th birthday

Have you been to L'artusi? They do small events there all the time, though it would probably be more economical to order a la carte. I enjoy their pasta even more so than the pasta at Babbo. They have delicious crudo, vedura, and pasta. We normally fill up on the first half of the menu and don't get a chance to order the pesce or carne section. We have not been disappointed when we ventured to the second half of the menu. The beef carpaccio, roasted mushrooms, and spaghetti are a must.

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L'Artusi
228 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014

Jan 21, 2012
kawainekko in Manhattan