BuildingMyBento's Profile

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What is your perfect breakfast?

Hard to say, though something that would come close to ideal likely combines <insert random Ankara hotel here> + the Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur.

Or, to simplify things, Tsukiji.


What do you keep stocked at home?

Where there's milk, there's cereal and peanut butter.

Where there's tea, there's me.

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Oh, (Tunisian) lablabi

Jul 29, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

During the late 60's, early 70's I patronized a French restaurant in Manhattan. It is now closed. All I can recall as you entered the restaurant there was a lobby that had seating around white columns, and the walls were a purple color.

Although I didn't exist at that point, I'll offer up the name Laurent as a guess.

Jul 22, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Manado-style squid kebabs...but I haven't made them in a looong time.

Jul 22, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Dim sum

Thanks for your replies, Buckethead and lepidoptery!

Had no idea the Manhattan original had an outpost in Philly...a friend has said the NY version is decent though.

Since you both seem quite familiar with the scene, I'll add that items including shrimp are a priority.

Jul 22, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Philadelphia

Dim sum

I'm curious if anyone has recommendations for dim sum in the Philly area (that is, limited by SEPTA access). The type with the carts is preferable.


Jul 21, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Philadelphia

Do ‘Food Deserts’ Cause Unhealthy Eating?

Parts of highways should be considered food deserts. How often can one find even a modest selection of fruits and vegetables at a rest stop/petrol station?

(This is mainly directed towards the US, though I can't recall too many healthy options in China or Thailand either.)

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - July 2015 [Old]

Won't buy Greek-style feta dressing again. Talk about a waste of glass...there's hardly any flavor either.

Come to think of it, all of the salads I had in Greece used that infinitely more desirable dressing, olive oil.

Jul 20, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Chains

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

May have had it twice...Rainforest Crunch Bar. Still my favorite trail mix/granola snack, by far.

Cardamom milk was nice too, but can't recall where I tried it (possibly Manama). Have searched all over the NYC-area for it.

Mocu-Mocu - New Hell's Kitchen Japanese Specializing in.. ok, I dont really know

That soup looks more Eastern Europe than Japan...

Jul 17, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Chowdown at Uyghur Taamliri [San Francisco]

Do you know if they had a dish with sesame-studded hollowed-out bread pockets into which minced lamb and vegetables are stuffed?

I have fond memories of a place in Causeway Bay (Hong Kong) that served this dish, pumpkin dumplings and black beer served in a wooden bowl. Believe it was called Pasha.

In any event, I'll be in the Bay Area in early September, and this place may be on the list...


Do you drink tea?

Everyday. Never sweetened.

Coffee...never, unless it's in a dessert.

weird food combinations

Anything + cigarettes

Best fish for Fish n'Chips??

I sampled red snapper 'n' chips last night. Not bad in the least.

Oda House - Georgian food in Manhattan

I noticed a branch of Toné Cafe (from Brighton Beach) on 17th. btwn. Irving Place and 3rd. Has anyone been?

Jul 11, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Profiling the Adventurous Eater | Food and Brand Lab

WRT Western eaters or those around the world too?

The link above doesn't specify.

Great desserts in Hong Kong?

Locals often tried dragging me to steamed milk pudding places. A couple of times I bit. (IIRC, one of the shops was by Sogo in Causeway Bay, and another was by the Novotel on Nathan Rd.)

I'd like to recommend ginger milk pudding, but perhaps only to share. It was quite rich.

Uyghur Taamliri -- Xinjiang/Kazakh Food comes to the Sunset. [San Francisco]

If they had qiegao for "dessert," that would be swell.

A Dish From Every Mexican State


The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

Do & Co. has all of those beat.

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

"Each line has to be drawn in a certain order."

...unless you don't draw them in front of other people!

Deciphering menus was one of the main reasons I tried to focus on studying the characters.

The Etiquette of Bringing Your Own Meal on a Plane

I load up on trader joe's snacks no matter where I'm going.

Since it has often been US East Coast to SE Asia, I generally try to fly a Japanese airline to take advantage of the (edible) mid-flight snacks and ramen, though I should try a Korean carrier next time. Basically, Narita Airport would do well to have a store devoted just to snacks.

Chinese carriers are as bad as US ones in terms of just about everything, save for slightly nicer FAs.


Spain had a HUGE impact on its colonies' cuisine. Why didn't France?

Last week, I was just noticing the surfeit of chocolate sprinkles throughout convenience stores and supermarkets in Jakarta. They never really caught my attention on previous visits, then again, the one dessert I had with them last time - grilled bananas with "cheese" and sprinkles - was not one to fondly remember.

However, on my next visit to California, I must take a picture of that Indonesian section of 99Ranch.


Americans Try Exotic Japanese Kit Kats

I dig the sakura matcha ones. I was also disappointed by the boutique in Ikebukuro...the shop in Tokyo station had significantly more varieties.

The best chocolate bar I've had for under a buck...

somehow was the Aeon-branded milk chocolate sold by the register in Japan. Have to give them credit, though it's not exactly difficult to find a decent and relatively cheap Western-style dessert in Japan either. (Of course, the price is dependent upon the exchange rate.)

What would you choice be?


Seeking advice: Week long foodie trip from Japan to somewhere else.

Jakarta is damn good for food too...particularly because Indonesian cuisine(s) is not as common abroad as many of the other choices listed. Still, Jakarta for week is a long time...maybe the OP can combine with somewhere else?

Also, among the other places mentioned thus far, my vote would go to the RoK. Awesome food everywhere. Jagalchi market in Busan too.


I am in your town. I have 100 USD and an afternoon off. Food crawl. Where do I go??

Nothing's decent in Ironbound (or are you not including that in "downtown?")?

Do any cultures eat owl?

I had armadillo in Jakarta. Fox though, that's intriguing...

Cheesecake factory

I don't mind their food. Don't really know about the cheesecakes, but my lunch there was always the meatloaf. Then again, I've only been about ten times.

May 15, 2015
BuildingMyBento in Chains