Epic Pre-Exam Lunch

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Nothing like a good plate of whopping unagi kabayaki to fill your brain up with essential fatty acids before a big exam! I got this pre-grilled eel from H-Mart eons ago and stashed it in my freezer for emergency starvation periods. Well, I am not under starvation but I figured since I finally got my hands on some rice the other day, I’ll have some unagi donburi! I paired this with some yuchoy Chinese vegetables and Korean kimchi. Bam! A beautifully plated Japanese-Chinese-Korean trifecta. All I need now is some Thai iced tea or Vietnamese coffee to wash it down. Sadly I have limited access to these lovely things at the moment…

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Bingsoo Before Summer’s Over~

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Technically summer is over, and has been over for me since last month (alas, the sad fate of the medical student). Yet, I like to believe that this is not the case. Call me in denial, but I’d much rather think summer is on vacation and that there will be plenty of opportunities for me to join her, such as this lovely Saturday afternoon. Spent enjoying some delicious green tea 팥빙수 at Paris Baguette. Because crisp shaved ice bathed in matcha ice cream, red bean with islands of mochi makes a lovely summer getaway any time of the year~

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Recent Desserts

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Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake, Spot Dessert Bar‘s #1 best seller. I can sure see why. Although this photo makes my dessert look like an awkward turtle (green tea ice cream head, chocolate cake shell, cookie serves as a horn? chocolate balls = turtle dung? haha)… it tasted sinfully delicious! The chocolate cake was so rich, so much that I don’t think I could handle it anymore (in a good way). Inside was molten chocolate and matcha sauce; both very strong the way I like it! The matcha ice cream was also very strong, authentic—love it!

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Aimee’s Smoked Coconut Cheesecake. Had a bite which was light, creamy, coconutty!

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Julee’s Crazy Coco? Chocolate Crazy? I forgot the name, but it’s pretty crazy. The black liquid in cup is coffee while the white stuff in the glass is panna cotta. It would have been nice if they gave more coffee for my friend ;)

20130730_204839_Richtone(HDR)A slice of good old-fashioned chocolate cake from Martha’s Country Bakery. This bakery has been a big hit since it opened a few years ago in my neighborhood, and it even recently expanded. A very popular late-night visit for friends! And as I was sipping on some decaf with Chwissy, we shared this delicious piece of cake! Layers of moist, fluffy chocolate cake & light chocolate mousse with a ceiling of ganache. Strangely enough, it wasn’t too overwhelming with the chocolate. It was simple, comforting, yet exquisite in its own way.

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Restaurant Week 2- T Bar Steak & Lounge

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Appetizer: Salmon Ceviche. Basically chopped up sashimi drenched in lime/tequila dressing. Very delicious with crispy fresh salad on the bottom! The chips kind of tasted like fritos, VERY SALTY! But it went well with the fish I daresay.

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Main: Filet Mignon, medium. This picture does the dish no justice, as the steak was pretty well cooked and seasoned. I don’t have much else to say about this except I LOVE MASHED POTATOES! Bearnaise sauce (yellow-ish stuff on right) tasted too creamy and mac n’cheesey. Since the meat and potatoes stood well on their own, I didn’t bother with the fancy sauce.

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Dessert 1: Strawberry Sundae. Very refreshing; unfortunately, the only thing memorable about it was how sour the strawberries were. But hey, ice cream always tastes better in sundae glassware!

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Dessert 2: Banana Parfait Mille Feuilles. More like creme brulée than any mille feuilles I’ve ever eaten, this was a delicious top-off! Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a crunchy coconut cookie base and a caramelized cookie-banana roof. This dessert has a mind of its own, swirling around as I attacked at it with my fork. The ice cream melts quickly, washing off banana-caramel sauce with it. My only problem is that this was a bit overly sweet, which could be remedied easily by adding more vanilla ice cream to contrast the caramelization. Nonetheless, this was one of the best desserts I’ve had at a restaurant so far.

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Restaurant Week 1 – A Comeback

For those of you who actually did read my blog posts before, I apologize for going off the radar for the past year or so. To be honest, I’ve been too lazy to leave long commentary about everything I eat (which partially explains my blog hiatus), so I’ll just keep these short and sweet.

First RW visit with 오빠 – Boulud Sud

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Appetizer 1: Hummus & Babaghanoush platter with falafel and pita chips. Both spreads were made really well and left a fresh, stimulated feeling on the palate. Falafel balls and chips were also impressive, but lacking in quantity…

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Appetizer 2: Stone-Baked Flatbread. Did not enjoy this very much as the bottom crust was quite burnt. It tasted somewhat like a pesto pizza, and I love pesto but this didn’t get points anywhere else.

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Main 1: Day Boat Albacore Tuna w/crispy polenta. Loved the polenta, but who doesn’t love creamy cornmeal packed into french fry form? The tuna was alright, not a big fan of the rawness inside. I mean if you like tuna sashimi, this might be your thing, but I’m more of a salmon kind of girl. Veggies were alright… Mysterious green sauce…? Probably more for decoration.

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Main 2: Marrakesh Spiced Flank Steak. Had a bite of this steak and was quite impressed. I’m not a steak connoisseur so I can’t say much about this. However, my boyfriend who has probably eaten more steak this past year than I had my entire life, was surprised at how well this was cooked. Apparently flank meat is usually quite tough, but the chef showed that with the proper technique, anything is possible.

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Dessert 1: Lemon-Blueberry Gateau. Beautiful presentation but BEWARE!! The mousse is made with goat cheese and thus has a strong goaty-flavor. For those of you who enjoy this taste, this dessert would be exquisite. Those who don’t (like myself), stay away!!

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Dessert 2: Chocolate Sabayon. I enjoyed this one for the smooth coffee/chocolate mixture. The cake was rich and blended with the coffee ganache. My favorite though was the little coffee nibbles upon which the mound of ice cream sits. These nibbles were like ground coffee but sweet and chocolatey– what a joy to eat!

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Stuff We Ate at Jeujeubee’s Birthday

Ok, so this post is about 1 month delayed, but nonetheless here goes nothing!

Hirata Pork Buns from Ippudo

The girls each ordered their own fair shares of ramen from Ippudo, but I insisted on the Hirata Pork Buns–always a must!!

Green Tea Creme Brulee

Also at Ippudo, we got Jeujeubee a Green Tea Creme Brulee, brought out by all the waiters singing happy birthday. It was an epic sight: all these random men clad in black ramen bar fabric aligned in chorus formation singing in unison. It was pretty hilarious actually!

TAKOYAKI!!

And no NYC trip could be complete without a visit to Otafuku for takoyaki!! Especially not for Jeujeubee, a fellow takoyaki-phile! She loved the large octopus ball portions and the amalgam of sauces piled over. Hehe, win!

Kyoto-fu's Omakase

Kyoto-fu’s omakase included poached pears, ginger creme brulee, and chocolate miso brownie. As usual, the miso brownie outshined the other two, although the ginger-flavored brulee was quite an interesting concept.

Green Tea Chocolates & Hazelnut Cookies

The omakase also came with green tea chocolates and hazelnut cookies. I didn’t care too much for the cookies, but I adore Kyoto-fu’s green tea chocolates. Typically $3 apiece, these babies are worth every cent. They are so dense, creamy, and matcha-y; resembling more a sort of matcha fudge chocolate consistency… The matcha chocolates really are something else.

Warm Sweet Potato Cake

We also ordered a Warm Sweet Potato Cake on the side, which I also really enjoyed. This had a subtle sweet potato flavor, dabbled in some warn cinnamon and caramel. It was the perfect autumn/winter dessert– heartwarming and heartful~

Warm Chocolate Miso Cake

Jan-Jan and I also decided to get the Warm Chocolate Miso Cake, which was basically a chocolate miso brownie except slightly less dense, and having a more cake-like consistency. However, most of the flavors were consistent but does the combination get to me every time! I love everything about this: the presentation, the cake, the salty rich caramel… everything!!! I think this may be the only chocolate cake I would consider eating over Brooklyn Blackouts, and that is saying something!!

Green Tea Cupcake

Kyoto-fu’s people were really nice and gave Jeujuebee a green tea cupcake on the house for her birthday! It was really sweet of them, and the presentation was great too! The green tea cake was a little dry in my opinion, but I liked the matcha flavor in the cake.

In general, Jeujeubee’s birthday weekend was quite a success. For her 21st, I successfully took her to a ramen bar (Ippudo) and a dessert bar (Kyoto-fu), but never a legitimate drinking bar… Kinda funny if you think about it, but kinda perfect at the same time considering the love of food Jeujeubee shares with me!

 

 

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Pizza Rustica Interior, pretty cute atmosphere

Usually when you hear the word “salad”, you probably first think of a pile of greens that is probably healthy but tasteless. This is a common misconception, further falsified by my experience at Pizza Rustica with their Antipasto Salad. The bed of greens were crisp and aromatic, drizzled in a delicious oil-based vinaigrette. There were also savory Italian cured meats of pepperoni and salami wrapped in provolone. I absolutely adore the intense flavors of Italian meats, a great way to dress up a salad to delicious unhealthiness! The artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers were also quite delectable. However, I found the anchovies way too salty and the tuna merely mediocre. The capers added a nice touch of flavor to the salad though, which I always find a welcome addition!

Antipasto Salad

We also ordered a Greek calzone with roasted red peppers, prosciutto, and ricotta filling. It was extremely filling but un-photogenic so no picture is included here. I must say I liked the salad better. The calzone dough was a bit bland, and I wish there were more prosciutto involved… However, it was pretty satisfying since I was starving by dinnertime. I just wouldn’t order it again. Next time, I would like to try a panini or one of their main courses, but the salad was definitely a win!

 

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