Eating my way around NYC (part 2)

A few weeks in NYC and I feel like I understand how a food business can be successful. Just get on the social media bandwagon and become overhyped. Some places deserve the attention, but others….not so much.

Clinton Street Bakery:

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2014-09-14 10.33.40When you ask a new yorker where to go for brunch, Clinton St will be on top of that list. The over hype means that queues start forming before 8:30am on the weekend before they open their doors at 9am. We arrived at 8:45am and still had to wait an hour for the second seating. The Fried Chicken and Waffles, which came with maple butter was bland – not well seasoned or flavoured, but very crispy, and the waffles were the best I’ve had in NYC – fluffy and oh-so-satisfying with the maple butter. The Huevos Rancheros consisted of simple ingredients but did not combine to be anything spectacular. The Southern Breakfast: sugar-cured bacon with cheese grits, fried tomatoes and poached eggs. I never understood the concept of sweet and savoury with bacon before, but now I do. Crispy, sweet, just delicious. Each component of the dish was cooked perfectly but again, it did not come together well.  Overall, over hyped but I might need to come back to try their famous pancakes before I finalise my judgement.

Totto ramen:

2014-09-15 19.26.23Busy, even on a Monday evening, this place had to be good! And I was not disappointed. The broth! Thick, flavourful, delicious! I had the Paitan ramen with pork($9.75), which had a small amount of pork and char siu, which comes with most bowls, topped with LOTS of spring onions and a piece of nori. Surprisingly, the noodles came al dente, which I didn’t particularly like, but is the way the dish is supposed to be. The ramen in the other dishes are served soft.

Murray’s Cheese Bar:

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2014-09-17 19.20.59Burrata, with pesto, grilled artichoke and toast ($14). The burrata was served chilled, was firm and incredibly creamy inside. For me, they overdid the olive oil drizzling – I would have liked to have done my own drizzling. But overall, simple ingredients, good dinner. I also had a bite of my friend’s mac and cheese with fried onions. It was delish but simple. Not particularly unique or memorable.

Smorgasburg on a Saturday:

2014-09-27 15.26.10The Hibiscus doughnut ($2.75) from Dough was so soft, the icing had a nice tanginess to it, and the dried hibiscus was interesting – sweet and slightly chewy. However, if the dough was flavoured too, it would have been 5 stars. I have high expectations, I know. There are other intriguing icing flavours on offer including Tropical Chilli, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Toasted Coconut etc.

2014-09-27 15.40.08Mighty Quinn’s BBQ Lil Brisket ($5). The outer edges of the brisket had a good smokiness to it, but the majority of the meat did not have this flavour. For me, it was slightly dry, but the worcestershire-type sauce was delicious – slightly sweet and tangy. Just a piece of advice: the Lil brisket is so much more worth it than the big brisket, which had a similar amount of brisket in just a larger bun for $10.

Woorijip (12 W 32nd St):

2014-09-07 Woorijip Korean RestaurantQuick stop Korean food. There’s a buffet priced by weight with a hot and cold section, and already boxed dishes behind heated cabinets. We tried the kimchi fried rice, which did not have much kimchi but was nicely spiced. We also had fishballs with rice cakes. This was very filling – too many rice cakes for my liking, but the sweet spicy sauce was delicious. We also had the spicy chicken, which was lightly battered and not too hot. These 3 dishes was plenty for 2 people at ~$14.

Apologies for my lack of posts! I’ve started training for my new job and been in New York for 5 weeks. It’s time for a food update! 😀  This city is food heaven! There’s so much choice here – it is so concentrated! There have been good and disappointing experiences.

Smorgasburg market on a Sunday:

2014-08-31 Smorgasburg Beef cucumber roti canai

Outer Borough ($8) for two beef wraps. The pastry was sooo good: flaky and soft, similar to roti canai. The beef was tender, and was garnished with a sweet hoisin-type sauce, and cilantro (note: not coriander here!).

2014-08-31 SmorgasburgMimi & Coco shrimp takoyaki 6 balls for $10. This was the first time I tried a takoyaki, so not sure how it’s supposed to taste. Personally, I found the batter too raw/soft. It was liberally doused in mayo (not very authentic), bonito flakes and takoyaki sauce.

Chinatown:

2014-08-30 Sheng Wang-Wonton peel noodlesChinatown is the place to be for homecooked CHEAP eats! Where else can you get a filling bowl of noodles for only $5?! And they don’t add tax or expect a tip! However, you have to know what to order, otherwise it can be pretty disappointing. Like my Fuijanese wonton soup peel noodles from Sheng Wang. They had some good reviews for good noodles, but the peel noodles were undercooked and slightly hard, and there were only about 6 TINY wontons. They were literally marble sized, and who knows what kind of meat were in them…But I do want to go back to try their handpulled noodles.

Madison Square Eats:

2014-09-09 Asiadog, Red Hook Lobster Pound Maine lobster rollAt Madison Square Park, they have a food market on until October called Madison Square Eats, with around 10-15 vendors. We had a late night venture there after work. I love markets for their variety of offerings but the portions are pretty small. We tried two hotdogs from Asia Dog, which offer asian-fied hotdogs. We had one with mango pickle, peanuts and a chilidog (2 hotdogs for $9). The sausages were so thin, so it wasn’t very satisfying, and the mango pickle was a strange combination with the savoury sausage.

We also had a Red Hook Lobster Pound Maine lobster roll ($16), which was so good! Lobster is always expensive, but there was a generous amount of lobster in the roll. Again, one roll was not satisfying enough though! Maybe that’s just me and my big stomach…

Great Burrito (…not that great):

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2014-09-05 Best BurritoAfter a long day of training, nothing is more appealing than hearty Mexican food. We ordered a beef burrito ($10) and a mixed beef and pork enchilada ($11). I thought this was expensive for a tiny, basic shop on 23rd street, especially since the food was nothing to rave about. The burrito was packed with yellow rice, beef and beans, and covered in white sauce (which I still don’t understand…is it mayo?). The beef was dry, but the rice was cooked well and the chilli sauce was tasty. The enchilada was hearty, but again, the meat was dry and the taste was covered by the white sauce and beans. All in all, there are better and cheaper places for good Mexican food in NYC.