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kosmose7's Profile

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Won't be returning to Per Se

It' really interesting to see some people respond to my way of tipping. But then, I don't assume most of you dine out alone everyday (because you have a family) and may be you don't eat at Per Se or Daniel almost once or twice a month (I can do that because I dine alone. If I had a family of 3 or 4, people, perhaps I would reduce the frequency). So I have a rather unique life style. I am an old, single guy who dines out everyday and the budget is larger because it's for myself only. And I believe my servers shouldn't get penalized for serving me so frequently.

But why am I expalining all this to the people here? Well I am stopping it. It's my life and I honestly don't care what you think about it. Perhaps you should do the same.
Best regards everyone.

Jun 26, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan
1

Won't be returning to Per Se

Like I said, I only tip a lot at my regular restaurants. And that means the restaurants have something I value, be it good service or great food.

I understand the restaurant business and the servers' income greatly depend on alcohol sales, but I can not drink a lot and I normally consume a glass of champagne only. And I usually dine alone, which leads to at least half of the usual bill amounts for two top tables. I don't want to repeatedly penalize my servers because they are kind enough to accept me as a regular single diner who can not drink alcohol.

It is always mutual respect. If I tip generously and act nicely without demanding too much, why would they assume I am trying to buy them? I am surprised you say that.

Jun 25, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

I normally tip 25 ~ 50% (50% at my regulars) at fine dining restaurants. I sometimes tip even 100% when my regular restaurant gives me complimentary foods or provides extra care.

I usually tipped extra 30% at Per Se because I didn't think what it charged alone included enough gratuity compared to my regular tipping amounts. And despite mechanical services, Per Se 'was' my regular restaurant. I am not saying their service was bad. There was just no personal care. Nothing really bothered me greatly and their service was functional. I kept going back and tipped as usual because the food was good.

On the day Per Se forgot to serve me one of the dessert dishes (which I realized when I received the printed menu at the end of the meal), I didn't tip extra at all. Actually this was my last meal at Per Se because of the service error and really disappointing desserts in an extended course.

Since the savory dishes became boring after so many visits and its desserts became really dull, I stopped going back. That's all.

Jun 25, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

Oops, I missed your reply last year, lol so here is my response.

Oh, I am not saying they should hang around you while you dine and bother you with overkindness. lol
I have been dining at Per Se over 20 times since they opened. And while some of them remember me, most of them do not remember details about me like what I prefer or what I dislike. I tip extra 30% on top of what they automatically charge for their service, and I always behave myself, but they do not seem to have any personalized service for their frequent customers. Their service is usually very mechanical. They once even skipped a dessert dish that should have been served according to the menu they hand out at the end of the meal. This NEVER happens at EMP, or any of the European Michelin 3 starred restaurants where I usually dine

Jun 25, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan
1

ayu w/ tade-zu

They also have it at Sushiden and 15 East every summer.
However, 15 East sometimes served it with rhubarb sauce as opposed to tade-zu, hence brownish color (not green). lol

Jun 23, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Great desserts in Hong Kong?

Hello Charles!
Thank you so much for your kind invitation!
I moved 'back' to Seoul few months ago (again, lol), but I visit Hong Kong very often and I will be glad to join you if my schedule permits then.
Hope to meet you someday, be it in New York, Hong Kong, or Seoul! :)

New York - Best Michelin 3 Star

This list is for me as a New York resident, not a tourist.
Therefore, restaurants that actively change their menu tend to get more credit.

1. Eleven Madison Park
2. Daniel (for me, it's still a 3 star restaurant)
3. Jean Georges
4. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare
5. Le Bernardin
6. Per Se (I am a dessert person and Per Se has the most boring desserts in the 3 star group)
.
.
.
.
7. Masa (It's simply not worth it... I'd rather save that money and go to Tokyo)

Jun 21, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Great desserts in Hong Kong?

Yes, it's certainly far better than most shops in New York, if not the best in Hong Kong. When I moved back to Hong Kong two years ago after some 3 years residency in New York, where good French pastries are really rare (alas) I truly appreciated the place (although I still prefer Joel Robuchon).

Great desserts in Hong Kong?

1. For soft serve that is not matcha, I recommend the small stand at the basement of Sogo Dept. in Causeway Bay. Their soft serve is made with Hokkaido 5.0 milk and it's very good, full of milk flavor.

1a. Unusual ice cream shop: Ice Cream Gallery @ G16, Windsor House, Causeway Bay. Not that their ice cream is exceptionally good, but they do have unusual flavors such as foie gras, white truffle, lobster, wasabi, sake, or Hong Kong egg tart. Initial Ice Cream Store (TST) as Luther recommended, has some crazy flavor soft serve like 'leather' or 'tear'.

3. French or Japanese style bakeries: Generally speaking, they are better than in New York, but not mind-blowing either. I would say Salon de The de Joel Robuchon probably has one of the best pastries in HK, but then New York will also have a Robuchon cafe soon, along with the return of L'Atelier de JR.

Omakase in NYC (+/- $100 pp)

Guji (グジ) is amadai (アマダイ、甘鯛) fish.

May 03, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Special dinner in Chicago- Alinea, Grace or Moto?

I agree with Gonzo70. I much preferred Grace to Alinea. Alinea tended to emphasize more performance and fun than taste. I am not sayting its food was bad (it was good enough), but nothing really wowed me in terms of flavors.

Grace, on the other hand, blew me away with almost every dish. I will revisit Chicago only to dine at Grace any day. Another favorite of mine in Chicago is TRU.

Moto, Naha, Everest, Blackbird, Sixteen, etc. were all nice but not in the same league for me. So sad that L2O is now closed.

Mar 30, 2015
kosmose7 in Chicago Area

Japan Week – Great Japanese Cultural and Food Event at Grand Central

Thanks for your updated photos and review. I went there 2 years ago when I was living in NYC and loved it. I particularly liked (now-closed) Megu's ekkiben lunch box for U$15!

Mar 22, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Wells' EMP review

I agree. EMP always cheers me up in terms of both food and service. I love its entire staff as much as its great food.

Korean BBQ for a group?

+1 for Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong.

Mar 17, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

Oh, I see.

Kabayaki (蒲焼) is grilling a long fish (such as eel) with tare sauce made with soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, etc, whereas shirayaki (白焼き) is 'white grilling', where no tare is applied while grilling. Both are cooking methods.

Shiro anago (白アナゴ) is a kind of eel and there can be kabayaki of shiro anago (or any other kind of eel), or shirayaki of shiro anago (or any other kind of eel).

Mar 15, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Noresore (baby eel) at Kyo Ya!

Seoul has tons of Japanese restaurants and only about 10% of them are authentic.
Among them, sushi restaurants stand out, while kaiseki restaurants practically do not exist here (my biggest complaint, since I prefer kaiseki to sushi).
Sushi restaurants are flourishing since Koreans love sushi. Some high end sushi places hire skilled Japanese chefs dispatched directly from Tokyo's famed sushiyas (such as Ginza Kyubei). My latest favorite one is called "Sushi Tano", where you can have all of these for only U$60 inc. tax and tip (and the quality is excellent)!

Mar 15, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

May be it's because of the color, but your photo looks somewhere between kabayaki (with tare sauce) and shirayaki (white grilled, with salt), but since you mentioned it was white eel, I thought it was perhaps shirayaki (and tare applied afterwards since obviously there is some sauce too on the plate). Uh, well... :)

It seems the prices have not changed since the restaurant opened. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9124...

They were not terribly expensive, but I felt slightly pricey because there were no luxury ingredients like toro or abalone. However, the rather humble ingredients were all fresh and perfectly executed.

Mar 14, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Noresore (baby eel) at Kyo Ya!

I had tora fugu dishes at Restaurant Nippon (Sugiyama also has them in season), but they were not even close to what's available in Japan or Korea, while the prices were crazy expensive. Azusa showed better price to quality ratio.

Tora fugu stands out in flavor esp. when you prepare sashimi out of it. Since I prefer fugu karaage to sashimi though, blowfish karaage at Sushiden or Jukai was good enough for me.

Although I miss many things in New York, fugu is not one of them and now I enjoy better tora fugu karaage (with sudachi ponzu sauce) at much cheaper prices here in Seoul.

Mar 14, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

>The only other time I had White Eel
>( sorry I forgot japanese name, not Shiro anago) was at Yasuda
Perhaps it was "shirayaki (白焼き)"?, which means "white grilled", and is not a name of fish but a cooking method. Eel shirayaki (うなぎの白焼き) is my favorite too.

Btw, Hirohisa still looks good and thanks for the review. When I visited right after they first opened, everything was delicious except their prices were slightly on the expensive side.

Mar 14, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Dieci - Excellent Japanese Style Italian Food

I agree!

Feb 25, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Dieci - Excellent Japanese Style Italian Food

It was good but not really really great for me. Good place for a change though, I think.

Feb 25, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Met Museum Members Dining Room, been there?

Don't go there for food. Even the views are not that impressive.

Feb 15, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

Yes, Mitsuwa was my favorite place for Japanese food shopping. I also loved its periodic food fair.
It has a variety of standard Japanese packaged food, although it somewhat lacks premium brand products like top quality konbu seaweed, top quality brand inaniwa udon such as Kanbun Gonendo, fresh toro that has never been frozen, seasonal products such as sakura themed foods, Japanese top quality fruits like Hokkaido Densuke watermelon (U$160), Japanese muscat grapes (U$80 per small box), etc, which can easily be found at Hong Kong's premium Japanese supermarkets.

Feb 12, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

It took me a while to understand the distinctive flavor of Shanghai hairy crabs. I had lived in Hong Kong for ten years before, and I didn't think they tasted any different from other kinds of crabs. It was after I left Hong Kong when I began to realize they taste different. (So when I went back to live in Hong Kong for the second time two years ago, I devoured them)

And it doesn't seem to be only me. Chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto seems to think so too. lol

http://www.wsj.com/video/a-date-with-...

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

Yes, Shanghai hairy crabs have very little meat, as opposed to Hokkaido hairy crabs' succulent meat.
Since I cherish crab roe and brains, I much prefer Shanghai hairy crabs! Yummmmm~~~~~
I also love drunken crab (醉蟹 = crabs preserved in Shaoxing wine) made with Shanghai hairy crabs!

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

Yes and I MUCH PREFER Shanghai hairy crabs. They are far more flavorful in my opinion, especially when served with chopped ginger and Zhejiang black vinegar (浙醋), and has a lot more tasty brains! I think I ate about fifty Shanghai hairy crabs in Hong Kong last year. lol

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

As Monica mentioned, Hokkaido fair @ Mitsuwa is held in September. FYI, hairy crab prices vary depending upon a particular day's available sizes, and bigger ones sometimes go up to about $30 per piece.

Here are some postings about Mitsuwa's Hokkaido fair.
I apologize they are all in Korean, but at least you can see the photos... :)
http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/901240...
http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/901533...

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Hokkaido Hairy Crab

Mitsuwa in NJ has Hokkaido Fair every year, where pre-cooked and frozen hairy crabs are sold. Since I much prefer fresh hairy crabs, they were my second choice, but still better than nothing.

Back home in Korea, I have had some great hairy crab dishes such as: hairy crab meat + seaweed inside fruit based jelly, hairy crab meat and preserved uni, char-broiled hairy crab meat. Or hairy crab salad covered with hibiscus jelly, hairy crab brains and caviar. Capellini with hairy crab preserved in soy sauce and ginger is another delicacy!

More traditional dishes are hairy crab sashimi, grilled hairy crab, hairy crab tempura, or hairy crab sushi.

Feb 11, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan

Curry Ya – A Japanese Curry Specialist Worth Checking Out In The East Village

Fascinating! Looking forward to your Hong Kong postings.
I am now in Seoul, btw.

Feb 03, 2015
kosmose7 in Manhattan