Category Archives: Social Life

My Good Eats Review: Dekalb Market Hall, Brooklyn, NY

Dekalb Market Hall– Brooklyn, NY

July 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3.5

First Impression: “unfinished”; “incomplete”; “some vendors need to get their sh*t together”…

Overall impression: some vendor(s) is amazing and some fell flat (on their faces! Cuz I will not be a returning customer… smh) and one could easily over-splurged and NOT know what you had for lunch… LOL (Total Spent – $46+!! What?!?!!)

The “Good” – definitely will return for more!
-Daigo Hand Roll Bar (loveeee! Got the Spicy Tuna/Seared Jap Beef/Snow crab w avocado) $18-20… exceptional & amazing! Would gladly spend all my $$$ here!

-Cuzins Duzins – mini donuts! Fresh made on the spot! This was so delicious, mini little drops of wonders! I got the powder sugar – I’m in love! Get it!!

The “Bad” – these vendors need to get their sh*t together!
-Taco Delicatessen & Churros Place – GO FOR THE Churros – SKIP the tacos! It was not good.  We grabbed the taco box (basically they just give you a box.. there’s no saving – all the same 2/$7, 3/$11, 4/$14… or a la carte.)  The carne asada was horrible, no flavor whatsoever, tortilla was rubbery! Very chewy.  The roast crab was fishy! Nasty! Ewww….   My Cali fam would laugh their a$$ off at this joint.   Go to Chelsea Market/ Los Tacos #1, muuuuuch better!!!

-The Churros (same operation as the Tacos place) were good, not blown away… but better than expected because it’s the same operational team w the Taco place… ugh.  (Although the so-called “churro unicorn” looked nothing like advertised… we were suckers!)

Honorable mentions:
-Wiki Wiki Pokebowl – funny story, my sister wanted Poke Bowl, went there for Wiki Wiki.
Sister: “hi, I’d like a poke bowl”…
Wiki: “sorry, we don’t have any bowls, we are waiting for delivery… not taking orders”…
Sister: “….  it’s lunch time… wow”…
Wiki: … walks away…

-Viet place – I was majorly craving a Viet Ice Coffee
Me: “Hi, I’d like a Viet Ice Coffee please…”
Viet place: ” oh yea… sorry, we ran out…”
Me: looks at time, 11:45am… “but you just opened…?”
Viet place: “yea… we don’t have the delivery yet”
Me: “wow… ok”…
Viet place: “we had a bunch yesterday!”
Me: …. well some of us were celebrating July 4th by stuffing our faces with BBQ meats! *smh*

-Nobletree – got a cold brew, the guy came through & went to the basement to bring up the giant container!! Thank you!!! So sweet! $4.50 + $1 tip, $5.50 – and I dropped that damn thing because I tripped over someone’s cart on the damn train! FML

Give it a few weeks for it to smooth out their kinks!

#Willtravelforfood

My Good Eats Review: KOI Restaurant, NYC

KOI Restaurant – NYC

June 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

While I didn’t enjoy their KOI cousin at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas… this location is outstanding!

From the moment of getting “lost” at the entrance… to stuffing our faces with exceptional desserts; we had a wonderful dining & social experience.  Located inside the beautiful Bryant Park hotel, upon entering make a sharp right & look UP! (To avoid bothering the very nice gentleman manning the hotel elevator entrance or the concierge to your left! Although both parties will gladly point you to KOI).

They have a waiting/open area by the bar for you to grab a drink while your tardy parties arrive.  Check in with hostess and we were all set!  Although we would have preferred a “booth” seating but I guess a table will do.

KOI is very loud, trendy, dim lighting but not too dark, a mix of all ages and crowd (tourists & business peeps looking to dent their expense account! lol).  Service was attentive for the most part, although our server suffered a bit of short term memory loss… as in, forgotten who ordered what – required a bit of shuffling dishes… it just reflects poorly on an establishment – who should pride itself in knowing their patrons for the night.

KOI offers up quite a menu, starters – shared plates – signature sushi rolls – hot entrees and stand alone hand rolls.  We shared everything!

-Creamy Sea Bass Tempura! Holy sh*t! This was so good!! Comes tossed in a mild spicy sauce – the sea bass was indeed creamy, moist but the skin stayed crispy.. how?!?!

-Northernlight roll – this was good, but didn’t blow me away, however my friends loved it!

-Dragon roll – OK – I know what you’re thinking BUT don’t even! This Dragon roll was amazing! Deconstructed – topped with tons of flakey seasoned panko – mind blown!

-Skirt Steak – nothing special – it was a pre-cut steak… total skip (I wanted to try the miso cod – but our server recommended the steak).

-Braised Short Ribs – this was very tender and well seasoned – friends liked it very much.
-Sautéed Shrimps – this was OK.  Again, not blown away just good.

So based on the above it should be 3 stars, right? Well the dessert was sinfully epic! Seriously – my Do-Over would be “shared plates/rolls/desserts”!
Get the KOI Sundae!! Amazingly good!

#Willtravelforfood

My Good Eats Review: Xin Dau Ji, Hong Kong

Xin Dau Ji Hong Kong, China

April 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

 

My fellow Meat Eaters – Please bookmark this place & get your A$$ a reservation for their epic Suckling Pig!!!!  Like seriously – amazingly good.

So grateful that I have local friends who knows about these yummy eateries because a visitor like me, relies on Yelp or Google to find restaurant recommendations… Yelp is unfortunately NOT big in HK! (They use something call Open Rice – so MAKE SURE YOU DOWNLOAD that app for your Asia travel).  It’s quite hard to navigate beyond the touristy eats to find those local “gems” & delicious “hole in the wall”!

We had what I called a “pie in the sky” dinner here – everything was beyond delicious, none were disappointing – down to a simple hot clay pot sautéed spinach! Apparently the hot “clay pot” is one of their specialty besides their infamous “Suckling Pig”!  Lots of goodies cooked in a burning hot clay pot.

-Suckling Pig – freaking amazing, meat/fat/crispy skin ratio – perfection!
-Duck innards sautéed in sweet & soy concoction – NOT for the squeamish BUT great for foodie! Comes out looking like stir-fry noodles! 😉
-Clay pot Oysters – excellent sauce!
-Clay pot eggplant w/ fermented salted fish & chicken – So good – you will finish your whole bowl of rice!
-Clay pot baby lettuce – this was refreshing bc the baby lettuce heart is kind of bitter but sweet at the same time.
-Salt & Pepper squid – small plate – great snack paired w beer drinking or just eating!
-Fried fish filet with sweet corn sauce (this was really for the kids!)
-Egg white, Kai-Lah, dried scallop fried rice – Great texture, taste and balance to all the clay pot (which is heavy in sauce).

I feel like I’m missing a dish or 2!!! We were beyond full, satisfied and was in total food coma… for a party of 8, total bill $232 USD – not bad at all! (Considering the suckling pigs usually runs about $150 here in NYC).

The service was good, attentive, always changing our plates and never empty pots of Chinese tea!

Make this your next stop in HK for dinner! #HAPPYFOODHUNTING

My Good Eats Review: Chiu Fook Steam Stone Pot, Mong Kong, Hong Kong

Chiu Fook Steam Stone Pot Hong Kong, China

April 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 4
My first time having Steamed Hot Pot and it was amazing!!!


You can pick the seafood yourself or pick from a set menu.

I heard this is a new trend… while savoring all the sweetness of the seafood, the steam causes the seafood to sweat & dripped to the bottom of the casserole to make one EPIC pot of “jook” aka congee!!  Each seafood is set to a 3-4 min timer so it won’t be over cooked – your server will attend to each dish and serves it to you.

The seafood were all fresh, delicious and very yummy!  My favorite has to be the abalone and scallop – once cooked, dip it in a ginger zest & garlic soy seasoning. I added my own spin with hot chili oil, cilantro and hot pepper!  IT IS ABSOLUTELY DELISH! Mmm…

– Big Flower Crab (2)
– Razor clams (a dozen)
– Flower clams (a dozen)
– Little neck clams (a dozen)
– Scallops on shell (8)
– Tiger Prawns (8)
– Abalone (8)
– Chinese broccoli
– Seasoned Free Range Chicken (comes last)
– Abalone & Chicken innards for the jook (at the end!)

As we all know – seafood is expensive no matter which country you’re in, however in Hong Kong – it is still cheaper than the states!  I can’t even afford having abalone for dinner in NYC – let alone having it 3 nights in a row!  Party of 8, total bill about $275 USD – not bad considering all the delicious seafood we had!

The only reason why I gave it 4 stars – the service was just OK – we had a really good waiter but he had to take care of like 4 tables… not manageable when he has to meet a timer & run to each table. We had a 2nd waiter mid-meal and he wasn’t very nice – spills & splashes… ugh.  Pretty much ignored us and let us to serve ourselves at the end.  No worries – there’s no tipping in HK (it’s already included in your meal) – so no anxiety about giving them an undeserving 20% gratuity!

My Good Eats Review: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Central, Hong Kong

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Le Jardin) Hong Kong, China

April 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

I am a huge fan of this man… had the luxury of gorging at his namesake restaurant at the MGM in Las Vegas, Joel Robuchon.  I am usually skeptical of tasting menus… because I feel like it’s not innovative, more like what their “hits” were at their high point and now just a norm on their menu.  However at MGM – it was definitely a MUST for the tasting menu.

Here at L’atelier de Robuchon  – we did the “a la carte”… because our friends highly recommended a few must haves and felt it was a much better choice to splurge on a 3 course meal than the tasting menu; total bill $7722 HKD, roughly about $950 USD? Not bad for a party of 4.

We had excellent starters, the amazing King Crab salad and the Lobster salad, the beautifully sashimi Langoustines with Uni and finally the Foie Gras terrains – it was gorgeously presented and the balance of each texture was stimulating to ones palate. We shared the starters and it was a good choice.

The entrees – we went for the Guinea Fowl that comes with a giant piece of Foie Gras & baby fingerling potatoes… it serves 2 (technically it really serves 3! You have the whole chicken and it was served 2 sets, Chicken breast (white meat) and then the Thighs/Legs (dark meat).  It was so rich, robust with flavors and amazingly good – I wish I had an extra stomach!  Good thing we shared with our dining partners!  We also have the Uni Spaghetti w/ egg white foam; which was too rich for one sitting (said friend) and the delicious fried sweetbreads & seasonal veggies.

Desserts – we chose the HK “Dai Pa Dong” Milk Tea – it’s said to take over 20 mins to brew! We also got the cappuccinos, which came with a lovely coffee art of their name (cheeky!) and the deconstructed banana cream pie which came in a dome! Fantastic!  And of course their delicious signature soufflés (chocolate & vanilla)!

It was an epic meal! Cannot wait to return, hopefully in a year.  Highly recommend to anyone traveling to HK and looking to enjoy some fine dining! #splurgeworthy

PS: the Guinea Fowl is like a free range chicken (less fatty) – takes a long time to cook so be prepared for the wait.  Also I would swap out the Foie Gras Terrains – not as good as other Michelin competitors like Eleven Madison Park.

Happy travels!  #HappyFoodHunting!

My Good Eats Review: Crab Catcher, La Jolla

Crab Catcher – La Jolla, San Diego

July 2015

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3

While vacationing in La Jolla, we had a girl’s night out and wanted to grab dinner before hitting a bar.  Not familiar with this area, we relied on Yelp! And found this spot right by the ocean.  It’s fairly big but to be safe, we did Open Table.  Hey, we are tourist in this town!

TIP: If you’re on a date, make sure you get the tables with a view! It’s a beautiful view of the La Jolla coastline!

IMG_catcher1

We had: 2 dozen oysters (really fresh pacific coast oysters) to start and crab cakes, and dived into the entrees.  We ordered to share 2.5 lb lobsters, 2 different kinds of Alaskan King Crab legs (one was orange and one was red)… I found the red one was much sweeter!  And it came with a nice corn salsa.  Ask them to double crack it, easier to eat. There was also a risotto with scallops special – wasn’t memorable.  Definitely go for their seafood, it’s their namesake!

We had drinks as well, think they were generous with their alcohol – my friends had fun being tipsy! I’m was the non-drinker that night so I had many funny moments laughing at their silliness.

Service was attentive at first but once we got our food, hardly anyone came by to do refills or ask if we needed anything else.  That was a bit disappointing because we really wanted dessert and coffee, however after waiting 20 mins for someone to casually come by to clear our table and then another 15 mins for another waiter to ask… our dining experience was done for the night.

Overall, worth a visit, I’ve had better king crab legs in City Island and would have liked a bigger seafood selection; still when in roam in La Jolla, grab a bite to eat here.

My Good Eats Adventure: Paris & Copenhagen!

One of my goal before turning the big 4-0 was to hit up at least 5 (or more if my bank account allows it!) different Michelin Star restaurants (minimum 2 stars).   So my good eats adventure actually started during my work trip to Las Vegas…  #1) Joel Rubuchon, MGM Grand Las Vegas – his namesake restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars  (rumor has it, it may have lost one star) #2) EMP – Eleven Madison Park, NYC.

That’s 2 off my list and knowing I’ll get the rest in Paris & Copenhagen… priceless (actually very pricey… LOL).

Paris, France – September 2015

#3) Le Cinq – 3M Stars (I think they recently lost one)

Tasting menu,  I will only share what’s memorable to me cuz that means it had an impact on my taste bud… good and bad.

  • 1 shot bites, consists of liquid gelatin with fruity taste, foie gras, & raspberry moose with chocolate – this was interesting as it requires you to eat each item in an order, in one bite without chewing (aka 1 shot!).  The fruity gelatin cleanses your palate, then the foie gras sets up the savory and ends it with a bittersweet aftermath… like a child eating for the first time, shocking your sweet & bitter sides of your tongue.
  • Langoustines!  Mmm… the texture is a hybrid between lobster and shrimp, but so much sweeter!  This was cooked to medium well, as we all know seafood is temperamental – under cooked leaves a fishy taste, over cooked leaves you chewing on a tough texture.  Our langoustines were broiled, seasoned with herb butter and a sweet creamy sauce (yes I know French food is heavy on the sauces but this one is creamy & light).
  • Desserts were amazing… like eating ice sculptures and snow fall all blended inside your mouth.
  • Side note: I cannot believe this is my first time having this wonderful, sweet, mouth-watering shellfish.  How is it possible that I’ve never had Langoustine in NYC, a major food scene until now?  Well, I quickly learned – it is actually extremely hard to harvest as it must stay fresh for a certain amount of hours and by the time it ships to NYC eateries, it must then be eaten very quickly.

 

Copenhagen, Denmark – September 2015

#4) A/O/C – 2M Stars

All I could remember were flowers… and those incredibly pretty clay plates.  Almost 40% of the food on the 18 course tasting menu were raw… and I really do prefer my food cooked.  So the only 2 food item that stood out, roasted sweetbread with edible flowers and clay-roasted baby potatoes, which requires you to hammer it out!

 

#5) Geranium – 3M Stars

I’d like to compare Geranium to a Hermes Birkin bag… every dish looks amazing to the eyes, it’s attractive, well presented, just beautiful to look at…  but it’s not an everyday meal, just as the Birkin is not your everyday bag.  It took a few weeks of observing the booking calendar to get a reservation.  NOMA was a no-go, but glad we had Geranium.

I enjoyed all 14 courses of our tasting menu and the oddly juice pairing – we only liked the apple mix – the rest were forgettable.   There were 3 standouts – 1) the Hake Fish with Caviar, loads of it! 2) Razor Clams with edible paper and 3) the mysterious soup where we took a tour of the kitchen.   With all its thought out service and timing, it was incredible to find that they actually “messed” up our courses.   Our servers placed a new plate setting after our amazing hake fish with caviar, which would mean another dish is coming out.  However after 10 minutes have passed, our servers simply came by to clear those ‘new’ plating away.  We didn’t think anything of it.  Turns out, our servers forgot the ‘bread’ course and there were no breads to serve as it was out of sequence by now.  Alas, it was a good feeling that such an impressive restaurant… is still human.

My girlfriends and I really enjoyed our trip, our crazy splurges on food and would highly recommend anyone looking for food excitement to hit up Copenhagen!