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Singapore (36 hours) from NYC - Please help!

Thanks for the advice!

We actually stumbled upon C'est la Vie (which I believe is the old Ku De Ta) when trying to sneak a peak at the pool at Marina Bay Sands. Reminded of how expensive cocktails can be here!

Had a fantastic meal at Candlenut last night - really enjoyed the different flavor combinations we certainly don't have in NY; and while, outside of the swimmer crab curry, nothing was incredibly spicy or too pungent, I thought it was a great introduction to the cuisine. My wife especially loved the chicken dish, which had crunchy, dried shrimp and sambal - I loved the swimmer crab curry and the prawn dish, but overall a great choice.

Thanks for the advice!

about 23 hours ago
gwh912 in China & Southeast Asia
1

Singapore (36 hours) from NYC - Please help!

Thanks kleyoh, I'm considering Candelnut and True Blue if we do a dinner of Nyonya food - do you have a favorite? As mentioned below I'm thinking of sticking to the markets for Nyonya cuisine, but weighing the options.

Are there any really stellar Indian food restaurants? I know I had seen an Indian style seafood spot, that seemed to heavily recommended, and a cuisine we have limited accessibility to in nyc

Aug 26, 2015
gwh912 in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore (36 hours) from NYC - Please help!

Okay, so I think Imperial Treasure sounds great - is the Peking Duck available during dim sum (say, Sunday morning) or should I book this as a dinner spot?

Thanks!

Aug 26, 2015
gwh912 in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore (36 hours) from NYC - Please help!

Thanks for recommendation - we have not tried Nyonyan food (part of the reason it is of significant interest) but considering one night is her birthday; and the other, right before a 26 hour plane trip; I'm thinking we may stick to trying some of that food in the markets....

I have No Signboard marked down for Chili Crab. Thinking of doing lunch!

Aug 26, 2015
gwh912 in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore (36 hours) from NYC - Please help!

Okay, so I've been researching the board, and have narrowed down cuisine types but need some assistance on actual restaurants.

Coming from NYC, we are (reluctantly) going to pass on Andre as with such limited time in the city, we really want to see, stylistically, cuisine we don't have at home.

Our tentative plan

We should land Saturday and be in Singapore by 9:30am. We are staying at the Fairmont downtown, and fully intend to stuff ourselves all day.

Our initial thoughts were to hit the hawker markets in between actual sit down meals. Outside of that ----

Breakfast - Little India & hawker markets

Lunch (cuisine type) - Chili Crab or Dim Sum (the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck?)

Dinner - my wife's birthday. While I am inclined to do something like Nyonyan cuisine (Candlenut?), I'm concerned about the ambience. While in our late 20s, our focus surely isn't the "scene"; but since we will be celebrating, we want to be able to enjoy some nice wine, and linger over dinner.

Are there any standout places that would offer Nyoynan type cuisine, in a slightly refined (doesn't have to be fancy) setting.....Or, are there other types of cuisine you'd recommend instead to get something we can't find back home.

(As a side note, my wife's a sucker for Chinese food (I guess, technically Cantonese style, though we fancy some Szechuan spots back home) - and would love dim sum as an alternative to Chili Crab, if don't do something similar for dinner)

We will return to Singapore the following Friday for the evening before a long international flight home but leave at 2:30 am so we would like to kill some time over a nice long meal (without the risk of upsetting stomachs) If we opt to not do Nyoyan cuisine for my wife's birthday, thinking of doing it this night.

Any recommendations - to recap, two dinners and one lunch. Thanks in advance!

Aug 24, 2015
gwh912 in China & Southeast Asia

Jersey City for a couple of nights-Near Hyatt

I think your best bet for a lot of your cuisine requests is to take PATH into West Village where your options easily expand for a lll of these items. It is really simple and will probably take around same amount of time as walking to the restaurant hub on Newark Avenue.

That said....

No good bagel shops really in Jersey City - there is an acceptable Wonder Bagels on Jersey Ave (and another on Sip though that is far from Hyatt) but that isn't saying much.

For Thai, I'd head into NYC. The only option is Sawadee on Newark - which is fine but nothing spectacular. Same with Szechuan - when we are too tired to go into city, we will order from Seamless (I think Shanghai Best and Grand Sichuan are only two options that come to mind)

For pizza (although not Jersey Style) - highly recommend Razza on Grove Street (www.razzanj.com) - get there early, on a weeknight preferably, and have your choice of pie (all delicious - though I am partial to the Santo and Panna) as well as their delicious bread. Enjoy with some Italian microbrews, and you have likely the best pizza spot in jersey City.

For diners, not much - but locals (possibly out of convenience) tend to go to City Diner, which should help satisfy that craving.

For Italian, I've heard good things about Renatos in the heights for old school red sauce joints (haven't been myself, and way too far) - but would check out GPs in Hamilton Square (take cab or prepare for a nice walk to Hamilton Square - also bears note I haven't been since chef change) or for some Italian inspired dishes - at Jersey City's current best restaurant, check out Thirty Acres (also on Jersey Avenue

)

While Thirty Acres is tasting menu only format (and less "Italian" and more "Italian/Asian/Modern American esque", there are some good pastas and meats/cheeses served at bar.

If you don't get in at Razza, and still want Pizza within walking distance from there, you can hit Porta . I'm not a huge fan of their pizza, but some people love it, and they have a great pasta ("bootzin") available to order...

Jersey City as a whole is a pretty casual town so dress code won't be an issue. If I were you, I'd focus on some different options Jersey City does better, then the cuisines you mentioned.

Good luck!

Aug 12, 2015
gwh912 in New Jersey

Empellon Cocina Kitchen Table

We just went the other night - one of the most enjoyable meals we have had in some time. Could only grab the 6pm which was the shorter menu but fully intend on returning for the longer one.
Interesting and aggressive flavor profiles ; incredibly gracious service , and the opportunity to talk with Alex one on one about the concept, dishes, his experiences in Mexico, etc. for the better part of two hours made the experience unique and well worth it for us.

Aug 11, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa (counter) vs. Ko 2.0 vs. EMP next week?

I think I would do, in this order:

ko 2.0
sushi nakazawa
emp

I have not been as enthralled with more recent meals at Eleven Madison Park. updated Ko is operating on all cylinders and Sushi Nakazawa a solid sushi spot - although not my favorite of the high end sushi

Jul 24, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Anything I should DROP?

I enjoy Keen's but think its likely not best steak in city (although, in Manhattan, maybe for the "traditional steakhouse" category. Maybe Bowery Meat Company if you order carefully....or the cote de beauf @ Minetta.....

Wouldn't do Le Bernardin, but that has been argued ad nauseum. At the high end, I loved Atera, but now under new chef change, I would consider the newest iteration of Ko....or even Juni....not as luxurious but pQr is still great (for the latter)

Wine is awesome at Pearl and Ash - especially for their wine dinners - thats about it. Food, to me, is less than memorable

I like Txikito, but wouldn't be first choice if I came from out of town. In the tapas space, probably would throw Tertulia or Casa Mono ahead quality wise...but again, not thats our strong point

Apr 28, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Noreetuh - East Village New "Hawaiian" Restaurant

Will post a full review over next few days, but have to suggest everyone check out the new "Noreetuh" in East Village on 1st Avenue.

Somehow stumbled in during their soft opening and was treated to a sophisticated take on contemporary Hawaiian inspired cuisine. With some of the best hosts in the city (with veterans from Jungsik, Kaijitsu, and newcomers eager to ensure an amazing dining experience), this is the perfect example of a casual dining experience with top of the line service. While today's opening flew under the radar, the restaurant deserves to be, and will be, packed in the months to follow once the word gets out.

Wine list is well-sourced and extremely well priced - with most selections between $50 and $120, including a number of extremely well priced wines with some age. I enjoyed a nice '94 Savennieres (from cry "roche aux moines") for about $65 dollars at the bar.

Food was delicious, with highlights of crispy mushrooms with sweet miso, a spam tortellini, and a pineapple braised pork belly. I had a tuna poke that was inspired but for me, had too much of sesame oil in flavor profile for my preference but was still fresh and could be a hit. Mushrooms were delicious but the pork belly was absolutely revelatory in a city full of takes on the trendy cut.

Other notables on the menu including misubi, kahlua pork fritters, and even some vegetarian inspired dishes.

Very difficult to choose across the menu as most of the dishes look, sound and from my experience, taste, awesome- but for anyone who is nostalgic for their past trip to Hawaii - I'd argue the food at Noreetuh is better than any traditional Hawaiian restaurant I had in my past two trips to the islands. Now all they need is some Mai Tais (only beer/wine for now) to round out the experience...

Mar 17, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Ramen Lab in Nolita

We went, waiting about an hour or so in the cold, and were 100% disappointed with the hype. Totally acceptable (except for the spicy miso, which was one-note and difficult to finish a full bowl of) - perhaps even good - but certainly not worth a long wait, cramped space and rushed atmosphere for.

Mar 16, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

What to Eat, Where to get good virgin drinks plus other questions for my visit next weekend

Franklin and Mortgage will make great virgin drinks (with their homemade ginger ale, IIRC). Not too far from Vernick. I'd go early to avoid line

Mar 02, 2015
gwh912 in Philadelphia
1

The Monk Room, Newark

Wasn't a fan of Monk's Room at all. Season ticket holder for the devils so I've been 5-6 times...pizza is not the same as Porta (though I'm still not a raving Porta fan) and most of the time has a soggier crust texture. I chalk it up to the small space and likely limited ovens

We live in Jersey City and used to live in Red Bank - so we went to the original iteration of Porta in AP many times - and now, the newly opened spot in JC. For some reason, Monk's room falls short

Feb 24, 2015
gwh912 in New Jersey

1 year anniversary - small, seasonal and intimate.

Gonna throw another curve ball

Thirty Acres in Jersey City. Small, intimate, not pretentious, and their new $75 menu includes five courses with canap├ęs AND has a dry aged steak as the main entree

Plus, its really a quick 10 minute PATH ride

Feb 24, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan
1

Vernick

chicken is my favorite dish there. Simple, but really great

Feb 19, 2015
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

Honestly my last meal at Atera was the best meal I've had in NYC since Eleven Madison Park's original menu. Over the four meals I've had since Atera has opened, they've only gotten (drastically) better and I think it is currently the best top end dining spot in NY

All said, I'll be interested in seeing new menu and see changes though somewhat surprised they kept pricing identical with a new concept

Feb 17, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

I would do Aquavit. Tasting menu is inspired, and last time we were there, there were more hits than misses, and a nice change of pace flavor wise from some of the other fine dining bastions

I'm not in the group of Betony lovers. Both dinners there were less than stellar, and service was beyond strange last time I went. It should be noted I'm in the minority.

Not a huge fan of Lincoln either. I would probably do Aquavit --- then Betony (just to see if I'm still missing something) and then Lincoln

Feb 12, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

40th birthday location

Wouldn't recommend either - although Blue Hill is definitely the preferable of the two

Feb 08, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Anything new in Telluride??

We just went - nothing really new although I believe Smuggler's changed ownership (next to Bottleworks, if I recall) and seemed to be an improvement. Still bar food, but more of a fun place to check out now.

Jan 12, 2015
gwh912 in Mountain States

a. kitchen

Agreed. We had the large format steak here a month or so back and it was quite literally one of, if not, the best steak I've ever had

Jan 03, 2015
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Red Meat Alert! The Bowery Steak

Burger there is exceptional as well. We weren't as crazy about the duck lasagna or oysters (both fine but to us not rave worthy), but shared a 40 day dry aged T-bone if I recall that was delicious (although very expensive at $147 as a special)

Jan 01, 2015
gwh912 in Manhattan

Pete Wells's Top 10 New Restaurants -- thoughts?

I've been to all but three of this list (The Simone, Delaware and Hudson, and Russ & Daughters Cafe - though have been to original R&D location)

Think Batard deserves all the praise. Was one of my favorite openings this year - with each dish better than the next and a well procured wine list. While I typically gravitate towards more experimental cuisine - it is refreshing to see such a perfectly conceived and executed menu

Dirty French, Cherche Midi have their highlights and are good to great in their spaces depending on how you order.

Gato was good, considering expectations of another Bobby Flay dud - but wouldn't rush back despite the relatively good meal (and considering the hour + wait despite reservation)

Don't get Contra (or this whole natural wine phenomenon)

Dec 31, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

maietta in Englishtown?

Terrible

Dec 11, 2014
gwh912 in New Jersey

Have New York fine dining restaurants been declining in quality?

I'm surprised re: Atera at the dishes you didn't care for. I though the trout liver dish was brilliant - and thoroughly enjoyed the pigs blood tart (if I recall, it was served with tomato jam)

My meal there last Tuesday was outstanding. I think they have gotten much better than when they first opened and continue to evolve. Though, my one complaint all three visits was the final savory course but, after ~ 25 courses, its hard to complain

Dec 06, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Have New York fine dining restaurants been declining in quality?

I agree that the old guard (Daniel and specifically Jean Georges) just don't excite me anymore. That said, with spots like Ko and Atera, Operating at such a high level (I am actually en route from Saison in San Francisco which I'd out on same quality level as my most recent meal at Atera)...lots of great options at high end still if you expand from the traditional french dining scene

Dec 04, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Anyone want Saison 9:00 pm Reservation Today for 1 (Thursday December 4th)

I thought my hotel was closer to the restaurant but I'm in Redwood City and may not have enough time to get there after day of meetings

If anyone is interested in the reservation, let me know (9pm, for 1)

Thanks

Dec 04, 2014
gwh912 in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner for One @ Atera Tonight - Reservation Available 9:30

Anyone interested in taking a reservation for 9:30 tonight @ Atera? I'm not sure I'm able to make it in time

Dec 02, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

Try Carbone for an elevated riff on "red sauce" Italian

Long weekend Dec 12-16. Reserved.

Batard is great - we really enjoyed Piora as well. Not familiar with the other two as much.

Nov 15, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Kitchen at Grove Station (Jersey City)

So after a dinner Monday @ Thirty Acres ; and a wine dinner last night at Betony - I thought I'd take it easy today and order delivery. But after hearing a new restaurant opened up nearby at Grove Station, I opted to keep the streak going. Space is quite nice - and while the waiters are obviously new and still learning - the staff has good intentions and seems extremely interested in ensuring all diners walk away having a great experience. I believe one of the owners sat at a table behind me - and just listening to their description of the dishes - I could immediately tell there was a distinct focus on quality.

The head chef worked at Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick, and most recently at Battello. IMHO, and having dined at the all three examples, this new restaurant (I believe after speaking with the chef, this is the first time he had primary control over food and menu) is the best of the three (and lightyears better than Batello)

Chef came by multiple times throughout the meal and was really interested in diner feedback

Sweet and Sour Lentil Salad | cauliflower|apricot|jalapeno|shallot|honey|yogurt

Not one to usually order order a salad - regardless of where I am - this came highly recommended from my waiter and for good reason. Well balanced, great acidity - great color - this was a great, well balanced (and light!) starter, with no superfluous ingredients. The jalepeno provided a subtle bit of heat on the back palate - a trend seen and well executed throughout the meal

Tuna Carpaccio|Black Sesame Puree|Daikon|Asian Pear|Pickled Radish|Cilantro|Ginger|Fresno Chile

Usually disappointed with tuna crude/carpaccio dishes outside of NYC - I ordered this to see how the kitchen could turn out a raw fish dish. Sourced from Pacific Seafood daily, the tuna was extremely fresh, and paired great with the pickled components which provided the acidity to cut through the fish - with the deep, earthy characteristics of the black sesame puree. Again, the de-seeded fresno chile provided a backdrop of heat - overall, a well balanced, well-executed dish. I found out that every night - whatever daily allocation of sashimi grade tuna that doesn't get ordered/served during service - ends up in the Nicoise salad in the breakfast/lunch hours

Garlic and Paprika Shrimp| Housemade Cucumber Kimchi|fried unripe tomato|lemon

I think I slightly struggled with this dish primarily due to the diversion from the trends of the first two plates. This dish, which seemingly combines Spanish and Korean influences, felt somewhat out of place in terms of menu design. Those totally insignificant issues aside - the dish still was very tasty - with the shrimp taking the forefront with an aggressive garlic/paprika dusting - and the slightly spicy kimchi backdrop. While the flavors here are strong and have a lot of promise - I thought the dish was missing a sauce to tie the ingredients together and while the cucumbers were fine - I think calling them "kimchi" set unfair expectations. Still, it tasted fine - and I think with a few minor tweaks, this could be a really successful dish, especially considering the restaurant is only a few days old

Hudson Valley Duck|Apple Saffron Emulsion|Braised Red Cabbage

A strong, high quality duck dish - I would have preferred a slightly crispier skin and a little more seasoning - but I'm likely splitting hairs. This is a high quality piece of duck - perfectly rendered down - for an extremely reasonable price.

They were offering 10% off for the first week so my total bill was only $57.00 (unbelievable considering portion sizes and quality) This is going to be a great addition to JC and to me - is a place I'll likely go a few times a month since I live 5 minutes away. Best of luck to the chefs and owners!

Nov 12, 2014
gwh912 in New Jersey