Sugar Rush’ed…

…for the week at Serious Eats New York. Plus ‘Lunch for One’ at 15 East and Osteria Morini. Have a good weekend!

Lunch for One: Sake Miso Cod at 15 East…
…fresh house-made tofu and sushi is also included in this $29 lunch prix-fixe.

Sugar Rush: Crema Catalana con Buñuelos at Casa Mono…
…bite to reveal the bay leaf…ahhh the scent!!

Sugar Rush: Madeleines at Bar Pleiades

Lunch for One: Cappelletti at Osteria Morini

Sugar Rush: O Cafe’s Pao de Mel
…they also make great Brazilian Cheese Puffs (aka Pao de Queso).

Sugar Rush: Bicerin at Eataly

Sugar Rush: Praline Cake at Black Hound

NYC: Snow, Fried Avocado, and Macarons

Today: no work and all play. Just look at the snow!

I took the day off to take care of errands/life admin. And it’s the perfect day to do so because the streets are quiet…everyone must be drinking hot chocolate and whiskey at home, heheh. It’s gorgeous out, but make sure to AVOID awnings and tree branches unless you want ice shards falling on your head. ouchie.

Pull on those heavy duty rain boots, warm gloves, a winter cloche, and you’ll be alright.

Store owners along 9th street in the East Village shoveling the storefronts. Cars literally buried in snow. I wish could have teleported mom and dad over from Hawai’i just to see this!

Lunch called for a big, fat Texas Hand Roll from Hill Country Chicken. The wrap is stuffed with with your pick of Fried Chicken or Fried Avocado. But it’s nuts to pick just one right? So I got both chicken and avocado! The avocado wasn’t quite ripe, but battered, deep-fried and tucked in with a fried chicken breast, and I didn’t have much complaining to do. Wash down with Strawberry-Lemonade. For dessert, they offer a variety of mini pies, but I prefer stopping at Eataly for bicerin or Stumptown for chocolate bread pudding.

And by the way, Mitzy is in town! She moved to Indonesia last year, but on her frequent trips to NYC she sells Macarons via nationwide shipping and hand delivery in Manhattan. We had lunch together the other weekend, and she gave me a set of the current flavors…tea and liquor inspired. The Chestnut-Green Tea is my all time favourite, so happy to taste it once more. She’s doesn’t know how long she plans to stay in NYC, but said, “a few months at least!” Information for ordering here.

Chestnut Green Tea
Grand Marnier

Hope everyone stays warm! ^_^

Hill Country Chicken
1123 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
(212) 257-6446

NYC: All in a Day’s Work

Today. 9am. Out the door for appointments. Greenwich Village. Look at the snow outside our parking garage!! A quick coffee to-go from ‘wichcraft. The best thing about my job is that it literally takes me across the city each day. New locations, new people. Always learning more about the city I call home.

Tuesday, 9am to midnight, a snippet of the week.

11am. Tribeca. Doughnut from Locanda Verde. Breakfast. Make tea in the office kitchen. Agent meeting. Presentations. Computer work. Coop board packages!

2pm. Out with client/friend who wants more square footage for the dollar. Hello, Long Island City? Explored six different new development properties.

My favourites: L Haus and The Foundry. Lunch at M. Wells. Car is essential to getting around here. I could not imagine showing all these Long Island City properties on foot. Many predict LIC will be the next DUMBO…I’m not so sure about that, but it’s a solid option for those looking for middle ground between Manhattan and the suburbs.

6pm. Back in Manhattan. Drop off board packages in the Flatiron. Stop at home. A quick change, and then down a few blocks. Shoe shopping on Bond Street. (If I could live anywhere in Manhattan, it would be Bond Street between Bowery and Lafayette). Dinner with Smo and Shann in Soho.

10pm. Walking up Broadway. Home. Shoes off, hot shower, pajamas on. One glass of port. Billy Joel. An extra scarf, who turned the heaters off??

Midnight. Time for bed. See you tomorrow!

Hawai’i: Sunday Night Dinners

“Stinky Noodles”

Sunday dinners in Hawai’i means family gathered around grandma’s table. Her long oval table seats eight, enough overflow for four more with chairs from the patio table. The number of people at each dinner varies, but you can always count on my presence.

Fish Stomach and Fish Ball Soup

Grandma goes to the temple in the mornings and comes back early afternoon to start prepping dinner. The meals come from a repertoire of about thirty dishes she cooks on a regular basis. It’s an impressive number, and what’s even more impressive is that even in her 80s, she still does everything herself. Shopping, cooking and cleaning. Offer to help and she’ll immediately turn you down.

Grandma is famous among relatives for her Shark Fin Soup, which she makes twice a year: Christmas Eve and Chinese New Years. Here she separates big cuts of pork out of the broth. All the flavors of the pork is now in the soup and there is no point to keeping the meat. This is very good news for Buddy the dog who loves nothing more than these “pork scraps!”

This is the Sharks Fin…

…and the complete soup ladled into individual bowl. A splash of red vinegar, white pepper and cilantro, and this is how we celebrate the holidays. It’s considered a “lucky” soup meant to bring health and prosperity.

The soup is followed by a parade of dishes. This may include a hot plate of Fishcake Stuffed Peppers. She makes the fishcake paste from scratch, stuffs it into halved green peppers and and pan-fries till well browned on each side. Most of the peppers are sweet, but every once in awhile you’ll bite into a crazy hot pepper that stings you for all of dinner. The fishcake paste is seasoned with nuoc nam, salt, and plenty of pepper.

You won’t want to miss dinner if Spring Rolls are on the agenda. Shaved taro, shrimp, pork, vermicelli and wood ear mushrooms all make their way into each roll.

Frying time. Grandpa built an outdoor stove/grill in the backyard so anything that needs to be grilled or deep-fried can be done outdoors. The ventilation in her kitchen isn’t the best, so this is really a lifesaver.

Ready for the dinner table!

Everyone gets their own bowl of nuoc nam. The nuoc nam is mom’s recipe and she makes it by the gallon every other week.

Tuck the spring roll, noodles, and sliced cucumbers in lettuce, roll up and dip in nuoc nam….I can easily eat a dozen in a sitting.

Sometimes we have noodle soups as the main course – my favourite of these dishes is chou boun, which translates to Stinky Noodles. Shrimp paste is blended into the broth making for a very pungent meal. Served with sliced pork and shrimp.

For dessert, we’ve come to count on mochi balls in a sweet ginger soup. Young ginger, skinned and sliced, boiled in water, with palm sugar to sweeten. Grandma brings it to the table in one large pot and we ladle it out. Sometimes she prepares black sesame dumplings in ginger soup. Or pairs the plain mochi balls in an azuki bean soup.

At the end of the night, everyone is sent home with a little something for breakfast the next day. More often than not, it is this noodle dish that translates to Mouse Tail Soup. A clear pork-based broth, with chubby pork meatballs. The dish is so named for the short and round noodles which are tapered at the end and resemble mouse tails. What a very fine way to start Monday morning.

Sugar Rush’ed…

…for the week at Serious Eats New York.

Plus my new ‘Afternoon Tea’ column which will run bi-monthly. We’re starting off with the very charming Podunk in the East Village. ‘Lunch for One’ at Bo Ky and Olio Pizza e Più this week. Happy Friday!

Lunch for One: Shrimp Rolls and Satay at Bo Ky…

…Satay, after a mix!

Sugar Rush: Kam Hing Coffee Shop’s Sponge Cake

Sugar Rush: Marshmallows from Butter Baked Goods

Lunch for One: Mezzaluna at Olio Pizza e Più

Afternoon Tea: Podunk

Sugar Rush: Loaf Cakes at Peels

Sugar Rush: Cacao Prieto

TGI Fry-Day: Bacon and Mozzarella Fries at Stand

Sugar Rush: Peach Jam at Blue Hill Cafe