Posts tagged ‘new york’
8 Stuyvesant Street
New York, NY 10003
I just wanted to post these photos. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried everything in those cases.
This morning I went to Panya, a Japanese bakery in the East Village for breakfast. They used to be tiny bakery but had recently expanded with a new kitchen and seating area. They make a variety of breads and desserts along with Japanese convenience store foods like rice balls(they are great, about $1.29-$1.79) and bento lunch boxes. The Japanese breakfast set($8.50) includes rice, broiled salmon, salad, miso soup, natto(fermented soy beans) with a raw quail egg, a small package of nori(seaweed), and some small sides, here they are hijiki(seaweed) and radish with bonito(smoked dry skipjack tuna). The quail egg takes the edge off of natto which can be rather funky(mix it together vigorously), you also mixed it with mustard. The salmon was made perfectly and went well with the rice. Overall everything was a bit on the salty side but still good. I also got a piece of mont blanc cake($3.50) and a green tea custard bun($2.75), but my camera battery died before I could snap a shot. Their cakes are always good and they have a very nice selection of teas and coffee. I liked the barley tea ($1.75) and the yuzu(Japanese citrus) tea($1.75). The yuzu tea was interesting, just hot water and yuzu marmalade but it was good, and chunky at the end.
Panya Bakery, 8 Stuyvesant St (between 11th St & 12th St) New York, NY 10003
I think the hours are like 8am-10pm (varies during the week), I can’t find it listed on the internet.
Japanese curry is another recent trend around town. I don’t have any strong feelings for or against Japanese curry. I’ve only really tried it once or twice at Jas-mart (haven’t tried Go Go Curry) but I’m reading the manga ‘Addicted to Curry’ (they have recipes too). Guess I just like Indian curries more.
I knew it was going to be tiny place with only a counter and the kitchen right behind it, but it was really a squeeze. Be careful, you don’t want to sit right in front of the burners, you’ll be cooking too (maybe in winter it might not be an issue).
The menu has 9 curries, 6 salads, and 3 extra toppings (I just noticed the play on 3s). The lunch special is a great deal. But after 4pm we went with curry ‘nice set’ that gives you the same things for $6 more; the ‘chef’s daily assortment’ three small dishes plus choice of dessert or (non alcoholic) drink. The desserts are the better value, we chose the lychee lassi (really good) which was listed as a dessert but is also a drink (of yogurt, sugar, lemon, lychee and ice from what I saw). The grapefruit jelly also looked good but we were surprisingly too stuffed for dessert.
Grilled seafood curry
To rewind; we started off with the 3 small dishes of squash, cabbage slaw, and seaweed salad (very tasty, I just inhaled it and forgot about photos). I got the grilled seafood curry, and the hubby had the seasonal vegetable curry. Though I don’t think my seafood qualifies as ‘grilled’, it was perfectly cooked despite my fears about how long it was cooking. It was partially cooked in the oven then simmered in mini pot of curry sauce. I didn’t specify hot or mild, but it had a nice small kick to it. It came with toppings of dehydrated onions flakes, pickled turnip, pickled shallots, and raisins. I put the onions on mine and ate the pickles but I wasn’t really interested in the raisins. The hubby wasn’t impressed with the vegetable curry, but did express interest in getting it plain with two orders of natto.
The pots of curry didn’t look that large and the mounds of rice didn’t seem overwhelming (but I knew it to be equivalent to two bowls). Afterwards we were really really full, maybe the lassi also pushed us a bit over our limit. I think we’d eat there again eventually, when we are in the area and really hungry.
Seasonal vegetable curry
We saw all the Japanese customers there eating curry with spoons only, while the non-Japanese customers used forks. For meat eaters, the New York Times recommends the Berkshire pork cutlet curry.
Half eaten before I remembered the camera.
16 Handles (153 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10079) is different from the crop of fro-yo joints popping up all over. They have 16 flavors of yogurt (2 of which is non dairy sorbet) and a huge toppings bar. It is self serve; you pay by weight $0.46/oz (mine was $4.30, everyone else I saw filled up far more than me). I didn’t get to all the flavors this time, only the mango and raspberry sorbet, the green tea, plain and euro ‘tart’ yogurt. I found the sorbets a bit too sweet, the green tea was good and so were the plain ones. I skipped all the toppings (diced fresh fruits, candies/cereals, and they also had mini mochi which I always like). I can’t really tell the difference between the two yogurts (euro and plain), but I liked them as much or more than Pinkberry’s. They try to use eco-friendly materials; I love the wood spoons but I saw others with plastic ones too. I think it’s a bonus that you can control your serving size, unless you are not big on self control.
To deal with heat wave recently, I’ve been ordering out a bit more. My new favorite place for take-out; 86 Turkish Mediterranean Food Court 2180 86th St. Brooklyn, NY 11214.
We went to eat there once and it’s pretty bare bones looking, but the food was amazing. To get you hands on the pitas while hot, alone is worth a trip. When they are fresh, it’s ridiculously good. Perfectly crispy and crusty with sesame seeds outside, the mostly hollow inside is light and chewy. Even something mundane as fried calamari was excellent when we were there, delivery can’t preserve the freshness but is still very good. They have a huge menu, we don’t eat meat but the kebobs and gyros looked really great. We stick to the cold appetizers, we love the ‘shepherd’s salad’ (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions with sumac), the ‘eggplant salad’ beats the ‘babaghonush’ in flavor, and the ‘hummus’ is decent. ‘Piyaz’ was a nice surprise, it’s a salad of white and red beans that’s much better than the description implies. ‘Stuffed grape leaves’ are elevated by the addition of pine nuts and currants.
I tried the yogurt drink ‘ayran’ once. The bottle states it’s Kosher, made with hormone free milk and salt. I don’t hate it, I like strong tangy yogurt flavors and salty things (and it was quite salty), but combined I wasn’t sure how it went with the food. I would’ve finished it but it’s also really high in fat.
edit 7-28-08: I recommend the ‘lebne’, thick yogurt mixed with herbs and walnuts. But the shepherd’s salad (this time) wasn’t as good with the addition of olives and the lack of acidity. I’ll try it again later, hopefully they go back to the old recipe. I also had the mushroom salad, found it too heavy and greasy. The spicy salad wasn’t too exciting but I’m willing to eat the leftovers later. Surprisingly the hummus has gotten better.
I would describe Sri Lankan food as spicy and pungent (which may scare off people more than the spice part). These were from a visit earlier this month but I was sidetracked by other stuff, so finally here are the pictures from the Nirvana Café 218 3rd Ave New York, NY 10010. (Menu)
We missed the lunch buffet but there is the dinner special. Get one entrée and the second one is half off.
Passion fruit cordial and Faluda (mixture of milk, rose syrup, and jelly). The sweet drinks really helped to curb the spice load.
We had the Appetizer Assortment (platter of three cutlets, spring rolls and vadais/lentil cake). The cutlet is like a knish with tuna, I really liked it. The spring rolls were good with the spicy dipping sauces. The lentil cakes were hard and I didn’t really care for them.
We really filled up too much on the appetizers. So the Eggplant Moju side was really unnecessary. It’s a deeply caramelized dish of onions and eggplant, its okay, would’ve been better paired with plain rice.
For entrées; I had the String Hopper Kottu: shredded, steamed rice noodles sautéed with vegetables and egg served with fish curry sauce (had to contend with some small bones, not too many). Evan had the Lamprai: dutch-style savory rice accompanied with a curry, sweet-spicy onion relish (seeni sambol) fish cutlet, ash plantain and shrimp blachan (malay shrimp paste) wrapped altogether in a banana leaf. The shrimp paste gave it a really strong smell but the taste wasn’t as strong. It was a lot of food, we end up taking home half our plates and most of the eggplant. I had the Curd and Treacle (forgot to take pic) for dessert, it’s a tart yogurt drizzled with honey (good for digestion). Next time I want to try more desserts and maybe cut back on the appetizers.
In the city there are plenty of places to pay top dollar for chocolate but I refuse to drop the big bucks for anything other than La Maison du Chocolat. They have two stores in Manhattan and more in France, London, and Tokyo. When I went to Paris a few years ago, I didn’t go looking for them; instead I was totally infatuated with Fauchon, which had wonderful pastries but their chocolate wasn’t quite up to par.
The first time I had tasted their chocolates I was in college. My wise and most tasteful friend Tamaki bought and shared a Coffret Maison box and some cake from La Maison (I say cake but it was mostly ganache) with me and some classmates. At first my taste buds were out of tune from copious amounts of the much sweeter Lindt truffles earlier that day (it was college, chocolate was often a meal replacement). I was in a bit of a taste shock, unable to take in the flavors at first, but the texture was undeniable. It was the smoothest airy creamy chocolate I’ve ever had, and I was soon an addict for life before the day was over. The chocolate flavors were so rich but not bitter and did not have the cloying sweetness that I was accustomed to. I couldn’t go back to the way things were, every chocolate confection I taste would be compared to them.
My personal favorites are their macarons, fruit infused ganaches like the Salvador (raspberry) and Valencia (orange), and their truffles are the gold standard for me. After one Christmas when I treated myself to a large coffret and gaining 8lbs, I learned to enjoy in moderation more (and only a few times a year). So I stay away from boxes, except for the boxes of mini macarons (which are a bargain compared to the chocolates). The shells are perfectly delicate, crisp and chewy, and are filled with their amazing ganache. Flavors include dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, caramel and coffee; a flavor I normally dislike but they made it great.
I don’t klnow what it’s called. It’s a 2 inch wide ball, with a hazelnut filling, rolled in hazelnuts and praline and coated in dark (milk?) chocolate.