Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Pavilion

Yesterday the weather was too nice to stay cooped up inside, so we decided to cruise through the Farmer's Market in Union Square and ended up at The Pavilion for drinks and snacks.

The Pavilion is a recently-opened a restaurant that happens to be very aptly named: located on the north side of Union Square in the Union Square Pavilion, it is essentially open to the elements:

We started off with some drinks:  the Finger Lakes rosé wine and Tropical Sun (mix of fruit juices, fresh mint, and guava "foam"):

For my second round I went for a cocktail: the Metronome 13 (orange Vodka, vanilla, Vermouth Bianco, and Aztec chocolate bitters). This tasted like someone drowned a splash of Vodka with an entire Creamsicle - yummmmy!

For snacks we got the Tuscan fries: (these were thick-cut and filling)

as well as the Apple Tart Tatin: couldn't resist this one since it was accompanied by creme fraiche ice cream. Anything with creme fraiche is guaranteed to be delicious!

Definitely worth another visit

Overall rating:

20 Union Square W
New York, NY 10003

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Last Saturday a miracle occurred: my friend Jason and I managed to have the same day off. So what are fellow food-buddies to do but go eat?

We were in the mood to be courageous, so we opted for a cuisine outside our normal trajectory: Filipino food at a restaurant in the East Village called Maharlika

Maharlika has gotten some positive reviews online for their brunch offerings, including their chicken and waffles and their mango-stuffed French toast. Sounds delicious and hard to resist!

When we arrived, we were told of the daily specials, one of which was the Bibingka: a coconut "bread" made of rice flour cooked in a skillet over banana leaf with cheese and an egg on top. Sounded like a winner, so of course we ordered it:

The "bread" was very similar in texture to one of my favorite Chinese pastries, but the cheese topping was a bit unusual. Although the dish was yummy, I thought it could have done just fine without the cheese (Jason doesn't eat cheese, so I assume he concurs)

For an entree, I ordered the Pampangan Sigsig with garlic rice: this is essentially a Filipino version of pork hash made with chopped pork belly, pork cheek, pork snout, and pork ear, all combined with egg, chilis, and onions.

Not too different than any pork hash, but you get an appreciation for all the different textures from the different cuts of pork

I also chose a side of the sweet pork sausage, which was delicious:

especially when paired with banana ketchup. Yup! That's right - banana ketchup!

Jason couldn't resist the idea of mango-stuffed French toast:

Yum yum! Definitely a win. Unfortunately, we were both too full by then to make much of a dent... which means someone got some great leftovers to bring home :D

Overall rating 7/10

111 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003

Saturday, May 24, 2014


I have Sachiko from the Tabelog-NY team to thank for this yummy dinner from last Thursday night.

For those who don't know, Tabelog is Japan's most popular restaurant review website - similar in some sense to Yelp here in the U.S - but with the restaurant reviews produced by food bloggers rather than the general population. Tabelog has been making their way into the American food scene and will open to the public in June

As for All'onda, the restaurant is relatively new - having just opened in January of this year, and is popular enough that reservations are a must.

Decor is classy, service is attentive, but most important is the yummy food!

We started with two appetizers recommended by our server:

1. Tuna with preserved tomato, Kizami wasabi, and cerignola:

The quality of the tuna was definitely on par with any of the best sushi restaurants in the city.

2. Little neck clams with salsa verde and bacon

Also good, but a tiny bit on the salty side

For out pasta dish we had to get the Bucatini - since both Sachiko and I have a typical Asian love for uni

This dish did not disappoint. Creamy with just a hint of spice, it was almost perfect in every way

The protein that we selected for the night was the guinea hen with parsnip and foie gras sugo:

This dish was also excellent. Guinea hen has a flavor and texture that is almost in between that of chicken and duck. A hint of sweetness with a mildly leaner texture to the meat, but plenty of fats in the skin so that it crisps nicely

For dessert we really wanted the chocolate cake, however the kitchen was freshly depleted. Instead they treated us to:

1. Panna cotta with pickled fennel and mustard seeds

(Much more delicious than it sounds! It might seem odd to have mustard seeds in a dessert, but somehow it worked out well)

2. Chocolate gelato: (hard to mess up)

This restaurant was definitely a win. Thank you to Sachiko and the Tabelog team for an excellent choice :D

Overall rating: 8.5/10

22 E 13th St.
New York, NY 10003