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Which Japanese restaurant serves osechi ryori?

I always want to sample the osechi ryori but don't want to buy a big box of it and the idea of it being previously frozen is not appetizing to me. Does anyone know any Japanese restaurant serve this around New Year? I preferred to sample something that's made in house instead of something flown in frozen from Japan but then again what I don't know won't hurt me..... Mochi and zoni soup would be nice too.

Dec 29, 2008
eatingpal in Manhattan

Commercial Hummus without Cumin

Thanks, everyone! I think I will try missfunkysoul's suggestion and try to find Bobbi's first. I live in the NYC area so it should not be too hard to find it. Thanks again.

Dec 29, 2008
eatingpal in General Topics

Hummus anyone?

Does anyone know of places that serve hummus without cumin in it? Thanks.

Dec 24, 2008
eatingpal in Manhattan

Commercial Hummus without Cumin

I like hummus but really dislike cumin. Checking ingredients hasn't helped since cumin is usually not listed separately as an individual ingredient but rather just lumped under the term "spices." So far I haven't encountered any commercial hummus without a pinch of cumin added to it and as soon as I open the container and smell the cumin I chuck it because I know no one in the house will eat it. Even though it's easy to make hummus at home the commercial hummus is so readily available and so cheap I would like to use it as an alternative when I don't have the time to make it and spending a few dollars to save me the pain of cleaning the food processor from time to time is well worth it. Anyone knows of any commercial brands that make basic or any hummus without cumin? Please help me end the search and throw the money down in the garbage.

Dec 24, 2008
eatingpal in General Topics

King Edward Hotel - Afternoon Tea + photos

Greetings! Bok Choi,

A very nice lady from the hotel called me back the next day and explained the menu to me which was just how you described it. I asked her if they serve a sweet only tea and the answer was no. She suggested that we ordered two king's tea and two extra pots of tea for $6 each. This sounded good to me since DH doesn't eat sweet so it would actually work out for us. Everytime we had tea at Windsor Arms DH left the sweet almost untouched while ate more than his share of savory. We always ended up leaving a lot of food at WA so sharing makes sense. I also asked the lady about the restaurant being closed for the summer and she assured me it's due to the slow summer season and not a strike. I am weary of hotel strikes because it seems to happen to me in whenever I am staying or visiting in Toronto.

We don't go to afternoon tea expecting great food. This is one of the reasons why DH always resists going to afternoon tea. He doesn't think it's a good value for the quality of food we get for afternoon tea but to please the two important women in his life he compromises once or twice a year. However, he does enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and the usual attentive but un-intrusive services. I love taking girlfriends to afternoon tea. It's such a perfect setting for friends catching up and food isn't as important as atmosphere for gathering like this where topic of conversation is juicier than the food. I'm not comparing food quality of afternoon tea to food quality for a regular meal in a restaurant but I do want to know if it's a true representative of the afternoon tea they serve at King Eddie and not a level down due to the summer restaurant closing or short staffing, esp. I only get to try it once a year or so.

We arrived after 3:30pm on a Saturday and saw most of the sittings in the lobby taken. The lobby was quite noisy with a lot of people standing around so we opted for the restaurant when the nice hostess offered the choice. The setting inside the restaurant was tranquil and more suitable for taking tea. We're glad we're sitted inside instead of lobby. As soon as we sit down we noticed the pretty Wedgewood china on the table. Not knowing if the parents-in-law would like or could eat the food I took them to dim sum/congee for lunch first so they wouldn't go hungry if the food doesn't please their palates. The waiter suggested we order more later if we didn't feel it's enough so we started with two king's tea and two extra pots of tea just as the lady on the phone suggested since the in-laws were still stuffed from lunch. It turned out to be plenty of food for us with some sweet left on the plate.

The tea arrived first and we waited for the staff to pour at least the first cup but no one did. We're a bit disappointed. This is the first time no one poured the first cup for us in a upscale setting like this. I do not expect a white glove service and tea being poured for every cup but everywhere we went like Lady Mendl's, St. Regis in NYC and even Windsor Arms would at least pour the first cup. The waiter at King Eddie simply set down the tea pots and left us. He didn't tell us if the tea was ready for pouring or offered to pour. Taking tea is different than dining in a restaurant IMHO it's more like being invited in someone's house and guests and hosts should act accordingly, at least not so business like. A gracious host would always pour tea for his guests. Has pouring the first cup fallen out of fashion?

The food was pretty much presented the same way with no explanation of what sandwiches and sweets were being offered. I had to ask the waiter if scones presented were of the same flavor and his answer was yes even two were dusted with powder sugar and others weren't. We noticed one particular staff abrupt and rougher than other waiters but he did what was required of him and no more.

I will not go into details about food since Bok Choi had described it and she did it rather well. The only thing I would add was the sandwiches were enjoyable with one exception. I got one piece that was rather dry. Other sandwiches tasted fresh but this particular piece stood out so much because the bread was so dry it was probably a leftover from the day before. I could even tell this by looking at the bread since the corners sort curled up and the color of bread a bit lighter than others. That was the only bad piece and everything else was fine. The kitchen staff probably got this old piece mixed in by mistake but it was disappointing that this could happen in a hotel like this. The scones were not remakable but ok. I like flakier version but that's just a personal preference. Sweets were as what Bok Choi described and I found the cookies tough and not really fresh. The food overall was not on par with other afternoon tea I had but passable except for that dry piece of sandwich.

We tried 4 different teas: Jasmin, Lemon Verbena, Lady Grey and Dajeerling. Lady Grey was a let down. It wasn't that fragnant. The gentlemen made no remarks on their Jasmin or Dajeerling tea so I guess they were fine. However, mother-in-law loved her Lemon Verbena tea and could not stop talking about it. Perhaps we're more critical on tea since we drink a lot of it.

Overall the food was passable and the service good. The wait staff did come over from time to time to add more hot water in the pots without us asking or being instrusive which we like. Except for not pouring us the first cup of tea the service was fine. We really enjoyed our time there. The setting was nice and relaxing. If we return it will be for the elegant yet relaxing atmosphere, not for the food. For afternoon tea the setting plays a more critical role for us and good food is just icing on the cake. Perhaps the food did suffer from the closing of the restaurant during summer but we will not find out. I think I will go back to Windsor Arms next time and I hope it will be as enjoyable as the pre-renovation time. Comparing my previous experiences at Windsor Arms to Hotel King Eddie I prefer Windsor Arms. The food quality and services at Windsor Arms exceeded Hotel King Eddie and the setting was more intimate and a little bit better at least pre-renovation when I was there in summers of 2004, 2005 and 2006. With this said I would not hesitate to try King Eddie again. The setting was pleasant and it was time well spent in a lovely summer afternoon at King Eddie. Bok Choi, thanks very much for your assistance. It took a lot of guess work out of this one for me.

Aug 23, 2008
eatingpal in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

King Edward Hotel - Afternoon Tea + photos

I've been reading some of your posts since I'm looking for a place in downtown to have afternoon tea and lots of authentic Chinese food in Markham/Richmond Hill area. Your posts are not only enjoyable but also really helpful esp. to someone like me who only gets to come to Toronto once a year or once every two years and is not familiar with the current food scene in GTA.

This year we're bringing DH's parents with us from New York again. Last time in 2006 I took my mother-in-law to Windsor Arms for afternoon tea and she loved it thanks to many helpful hounds here. It was her first English afternoon tea and she really enjoyed it so I want to take her to another English afternoon tea this year. I was going to repeat the experience at Windsor Arms but I heard they had made changes to their tea room in decor and food receipes for the worse, unfortunately.

The other option I didn't get to try last time I was in town was the King Edward and after reading your post here it got me really interested. However, couple issues concern me and I hope you or the hound here can help me. First, mother-in-law had teeth implants done couple weeks ago and can not wear dentures for a little while and really can't chew food. She would have problem eating sandwiches. At Windsor Arms they have a cream tea option where only sweet are served and she can handle that. Does King Edward have such an option? The second concern is about the restaurant being closing for lunch and dinner until 9-2-08 but they're still serving breakfast and afternoon tea. I found this out from their recording when I called around noon on a weekday. There was no live person to answer the phone and people who want to make reservation for afternoon have to leave name and phone number. Did anyone had gone thru this? I wonder if they are having a staffing issue and that might affect the quality of the food/services. Are they having a strike? This would be the only non-authentic Chinese meal I can take my parents-in-law to and unfortunately for my mother-in-law she will be eating mostly soup, tofu, congee and fish for the rest of the trip so I want to make sure her only non-Chinese meal is an enjoyable one. Thanks in advance, Bok Choi and hounds.

Aug 12, 2008
eatingpal in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Traditional Japanese new year meal

I know I can get Japanese new year meal boxes from some Japanese restaurants or supermarkets but I am looking for restaurants that actually serve this in their dining rooms. Anyone has any idea where I can try this? Thanks in advance.

Dec 31, 2007
eatingpal in Manhattan

Looking for good eats around Hauppauge in LI

Thanks guys. I will definately try one of these suggestions. I don't mind traveling a bit, like 20-30 minutes, to get to good eats or a good non-Starbuck cafe. It's worth the distance to avoid the awful fast food. If anyone has more suggestions, esp. for a non-Starbuck cafe please post it. If it's not in time for today's visit I will try them in the next visits. Please don't let me suffer another 13 years! Help!

Oct 27, 2007
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Looking for good eats around Hauppauge in LI

I will be visiting my father and sister this coming Sat. again and will probably end up eating both lunch and dinner around Hauppauge area. One thing I dread about visiting them in Hauppauge over the past 13 years is the limited restaurant choices they know. In the recent years we seem to always end up at either Kotobuki or Takara and I'm tired of them, esp. the ridiculous long wait at Kotobuki. Their other suggestions are Olive Garden and Burger King, which I refuse to set my foot in but I don't feel like driving into Queens to get decent eats. I can't believe there aren't better restaurant choices in the area. I need help! Also, I'm looking for a good cafe that serves good coffee with a relaxing atmosphere that we can linger a while, not a Starbuck please. Please help me end this dining misery once for all. Thanks.

Oct 24, 2007
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Am I near good eats and don't know it?

Including the hotel address might be helpful. DoubleTree Plaza Hotel Montreal is at 505 Sherbrooke St. East near the Sherbrooke metro station. I am hoping not having to use the metro or drive much to get to good eats.

May 20, 2007
eatingpal in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Am I near good eats and don't know it?

I have the misfortune of staying at DoubleTree (formerly Crown Plaza) for my upcoming visit next week. This is an area I am not familiar with. I hope to make some new discovery so I won't miss the quick lunch/breakfast spots like Vasco da Gamma or MB Co. that I've grown to like during the previous visits when I stayed at the other side of downtown. I am looking for good breakfast, lunch options and perhaps a good place for a drink and a few tapas before turning in around the area, hopefully within easy walking distance. I hope there are good food options around DoubleTree to make up for the not so favorable hotel stay. Please help me save my trip! Thanks!

May 19, 2007
eatingpal in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Inexpensive dinner in Chinatown

Many of my Shanghainese friends proclaim there is no good Shanghainese restaurant in New York. They do find some restaurants doing a dish or two right occasionally but most of time they are not happy with the food being served. One friend always comments that the Shanghainese food served here is way too sweet than what he had in Shanghai. If anyone finds a restaurant serving all around good Shanghainese food please do tell.

Nov 19, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

next 2 weeks: hudson valley restaurant week.

Thanks for the reply. It sounds they are worth a try. I might go for lunch. Anyone had their restaurant week prix fixe lunch?

Nov 08, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

next 2 weeks: hudson valley restaurant week.

That's a great review. Thanks for all the details. I was thinking of dinning there next week. How crowded was it that night and what time did you arrive? Do you think the rush was because of the crowd? I hate restaurants giving discriminatory treatments to diners who order the restaurant week menu. Afterall isn't the purpose of the restaurant week to advertise and introduce a restaurant to new patrons and therefore the restaurant should really present themselves in the best light possible foodwise and servicewise to attract diners back for their normal menus? I don't understand why some restaurants bother to participate in restaurant weeks but only to show their worst side and drive away their potential customers. It's like a company making a commercial advertising how terrible their products are.

Nov 07, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Good reasonable eats and afternoon tea in Hamptons

We're visiting the Hamptons for the first time but we have no clue where to eat. We probably will be in the East Hampton around meal time. What is the good and reasonable eats over there? We are also looking for a good spot to have a coffee break (no Starbucks please)or better yet afternoon tea if there's any in the Hamptons. Thanks in advance.

Oct 21, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Les Halles - wish I'd listened to the reviews...

The first time we went to the Park Ave location for brunch the food was not so memoralbe. The only thing that stuck in my mind was the weak French press coffee and the cartilage in hubby's lamb sausage. The service was so so too. Even before we got our entrees a server came over to ask if we wanted any desert. Obviously the service was badly coordinated and no one seemed to know what others were doing. During our meal we saw the servers mixed up someone's checks which happened to us later then again to the table next to us. There are some really mindless servers working there.

Why went the second time? Because we're very hungary and the other places all had long waits. Les Halles was really close and it was half empty during the prime of Sunday brunch hour so we got a table right away. We knew not to expect much from food or service. The service was again poor. One bus person tried to take half eaten soup from hubby and our waiter only showed his face to take our order and then again to give us the check with a big smile this time. No one ever came over to see how our meal was the whole time even though the restaurant was half empty. Foodwise my potato hash that came with the duck confit was crispy and flavorful though greasy. The duck confit was ok but I wouldn't order it again. Forgot what hubby had because nothing stood out. Nothing was offensively bad or good. I will return if I am in the neighborhood and in the similar situations but it will never be my first choice.

Oct 07, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

Where to find Japanese home cooking offering in Westchester besides Tsuru

The restaurant calls it mini kaiseki but the offering includes pork with potato stew, grilled salmon, chicken teriyaki, sukiyaki etc. Most of the dishes offered are Japanese home cooking. I guess that is why the price is low. I don't know for sure but maybe the restaurant uses the term loosely to describe a multi course meal?

Oct 03, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Where to find Japanese home cooking offering in Westchester besides Tsuru

Love the often homey kaiseki offering at Tsuru but we are ready for others. Are there any other Japanese restaurants offering Japanese home cooking food?

Oct 02, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Cappucino/latte with nice pour

My father loves those artsy designs on the foamy milk atopped cappucino/latte. Where can I take him for a cup?

Oct 02, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

Japanese restaurants other than Tsuru in Westchester offering Japanese home cooking

Love the often homey kaiseiki offering at Tsuru but we are ready to try others if there are such offering at other Japanese restaurants in Westchester. Thanks in advance.

Oct 02, 2006
eatingpal in General Tristate Archive

Good olive bread with Whole olives

Not the ones with chopped up olives but whole pitted olives. Where can I find some? TIA

Oct 02, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

ISO best bubble tea in Flushing

I hesitantly went into Taco Bell yesterday and found the bubble tea stand on the right hand side. Only saw a young man tending the stand but no sight of the former Ten Ren lady employee. I ordered a star fruit flvored green tea with bubbles. I specifically requested the tea made not too bitter or too sweet. That was the problem I had with Ten Ren's tea which was usually made so strong extra syrup had to be added to mask the bitterness of the tea making the tea overly sweetened. The young man obliged and the tea was almost just right. Wish the tea had a little more star fruit flavor but it was better than Ten Ren's. As far as the bubbles go it was pretty much the same quality as Ten Ren's. Overall it's an enjoyable bubble tea and I will be back to try more flavors. The price is also reasonable--$3.50 for large and $2.50 for samll. They also have Taiwanese shaved ice which we will try in the near future.

Aug 08, 2006
eatingpal in Outer Boroughs

Dim Sum on Linden Place, Flushing

The decor is tacky and material used is cheap. The dim sum is decent but nothing special. We go there for the convenience and there's never a wait. The garage on the ground level saves us time from looking for parking. The place is usually half empty probably because of the odd location and the so-so food. If you're in a pinch it's a good place to go. We were able to remain dry couple times using their garage while it's pouring outside.

Aug 07, 2006
eatingpal in Outer Boroughs

Afternoon tea alternative to Windsor Arms

Rosemarysage, Thanks very much for the detailed report. It sounds great. I will go to King Eddy if not this time definately on my next trip. I am debating between Windsor Arms and King Eddy because of the setting. I really want mom to have the opulent feel of afternoon tea but the food at King Eddy sounds so fabulous that I can't wait to try it. It's a hard decision!

Jul 25, 2006
eatingpal in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO best bubble tea in Flushing

I have tried Quickly couple times when they first opened but wasn't too impressed. The quality of bable and tea weren't too consistent. Perhaps they have improved. Will give it a try. Any particular flavor they do well?

Have no idea there's a bubble tea stand inside of Taco bell. Definately give it a try.

Thanks!

Jul 25, 2006
eatingpal in Outer Boroughs

ISO mochi donut

We went to Cafe Zaiya Friday morning but there's no sight of mochi donut. Inquired about it and it wouldn't be ready until 11:00~11:30am. We couldn't wait for it so left without trying one. Also asked about mochi donut without filling in it but no one knew where I could get one so the search goes on.

Returned Sunday afternoon and there they were sitting on a half empty tray on the counter. Got a mochi an donut which was room temperature. Took a bite and it was nice and fresh though it probably has been sitting out for a couple of hours but it's a lot fresher than what I got at Mitsuwa. The red bean filling was pretty sweet and too much of it for me. They didn't skimp on the red bean filling but there's not enough of the chewy mochi. This would be a nice treat for someone who likes sweet red bean. My quest for mochi donut continues. Thanks for everyone who has helped. I guess my next destination would be Korean bakeries. Anyone has any idea which one to try? Will travel to Queens or even NJ.

Jul 25, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

ISO best bubble tea in Flushing

Before Sago came along, Ten Ren had the best bubble tea in Flushing IMHO though the quality of their bubbles was inconsistent. Then I tried Sago and found their bubbles quite good, almost as good or sometimes even better than Ten Ren's at its best and Sago's bubbles were always fresh. The flavor and quality of tea at Sago was always better and Sago was pretty consistent. I was a convert ever since I tried Sago's bubble tea and didn't mind the higher price.

However, since Sago changed hands (which I assume because of the Korean couple at the register/take-out window) more than a year ago the size of bubbles had reduced to "regular". It's no longer the "boba", giant size bubbles that the tea was named after. The quality of the bubbles was still good but it lost some of that chewiness because of the smaller size bubbles. It definately took the fun out of it. It is just not as good and I lost interest in Sago's bubble tea and haven't had a bubble tea since. Looking for bubble tea of former Sago quality in Flushing. Any recommendation? Or do I have to resolve back to Ten Ren's bubble tea again? Thanks in advance.

Jul 16, 2006
eatingpal in Outer Boroughs

Fluffy Omelettes

I eat egg white omelettes for brunch quite often but none has come out fluffy and very often it's dry or very greasy. I will definately tried some of the places mentioned. Is there one that is not so greasy? Thanks!

Jul 16, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

ISO mochi donut

Nosher,

Thanks! I will be armed with my Japanese speaking father who definately will try prying an answer out of somebody there.

Jul 16, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan

Greasiness at Congee Village

Thanks for replying. I don't know if it was just our consistent bad luck to always have the same chef with heavy hand on oil or it was a phase (and a long one) that the restaurant was going thru. From what you are telling me I think it's time to check out the restaurant again. It's being about 3-4 years since I was there last. I can't wait to have their salted squid w. pepper and cashew again.

Jul 16, 2006
eatingpal in Manhattan