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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fay Da and Taipan Bakeries

Recently Serious Eats posted an article on Manhattan Chinatown's best bakeries, and both Taipan and Fay Da topped the list.

Although I generally frequent Taipan more often than Fay Da, today I was inspired to pick up some of my favorite snacks from both:

We'll start off with Fay Da:

Japanese cheesecake: not at all like the cheesecake we're used to. It's light and spongy - with cheese mixed into the flour, rather than a dense slice of sugar-infused cream cheese (which is what most of us normally visualize when we think of cheesecake)

Sponge cake:

Hot dog bun: this isn't something I normally buy, but it was recommended by the writers of Serious Eats, so I decided to give it a try. It was fine, however I prefer the BBQ pork buns from Taipan (see below)

Next are the purchased from Taipan:

Portuguese-style egg tarts: these are my favorite egg tarts in all of Chinatown. They taste like creme brulee in an egg tart crust. Delicious :D

Almond cream cake: I like to re-bake these when I get home so that the outside is nice and crispy before eating

BBQ pork buns: they're best when warm - I find myself craving these at least once a month if I haven't had them sooner

Sooooo much food for one person to eat, but... challenge accepted!

Fay Da:
83 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

194 Canal St
New York, NY 10013

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cha-An Japanese Tea House

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with a yummy matcha laté?

Iced for Daniella:

Hot for me:

Let's not forget about the food!

Cha-An offers a different Donburi rice bowl every day of the week. Saturdays and Sundays is the Chicken Soboro: ground chicken over rice. Cha-An uses a healthy 7-grain rice rather than the typical white

This came with some pickled cucumbers and ginger on the side:

Daniella ordered the tea-smoked salmon toast:

It's the thickest slice of toast I've ever seen... why are carbohydrates so delicious?!

She also tried the pork and taro appetizer:

It's impossible to skip dessert at Cha-An. The selection is too tempting. One of my favorites is the black sesame creme brulee:

And based on the recommendations of our waitress, we also got the green tea parfait:

Yummy as it was, I was too full to finish, and some mochi balls were sacrificed...

But we'll be back :D

Overall rating: 7.5/10

230 E 9th St
New York, NY 10003

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


 A few weekends ago, some friends and I decided to check out a cute new-ish place in the Lower East Side called Hi-Collar: a Japanese cafe that serves yummy breakfast/brunch and lunch foods, but then turns into a bar at night:

Seating is at the bar only - no tables (there's no space)

We ordered the siphon coffee which is prepared in a way that looks more like a science project:

I chose the Tokyo blend, which was light and delicious

Plenty of cream and sugar please :)

As for the delicious menu:

We started off with the Japanese Hot Cakes: the Japanese version of pancakes - each of which was almost an inch thick. So soft and fluffy!

Pork Katsu Sandwich:

Omurice (omelet with tomato sauce over pork/bacon fried rice)

Daily pasta:

As for the dessert, we had two versions of the sponge cake:


and Matcha (green tea):

as well as a chocolate banana cake:

Sooooo yummy that we need to go back and try the rest of the menu!

Overall rating: 8.5/10

214 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003