Here and there

June 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Scotch eggs and steak tartare with Christine at Dead Rabbit, where she first told me she was going back to California šŸ˜¦

A relaxing night in with Spunto

My first time at i Sodi with ArtemisĀ – an enormous steak with arugula and rabbit prepared porchetta-style with spinach

Enjoying a beautiful plateau and more oysters at John Dory with Christine and Laura

Trying a new dish of scallop and ham crudo at Momofuku Ssam Bar to celebrate Laura’s decision to attend Yale’s architecture grad program

An old reliable while dining solo – steak tartare and red wine at Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen

El Luchador – a new lunch option near the office with outdoor seating

Hot pot during a brief trip back to Edison, NJ

More solo dining while on staycation – the omakase meal at Blue Ribbon Sushi and lunch at the Lupa bar

Shots from the beautiful China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (GO)

Pork belly appetizer from Han Dynasty

Christine’s good-bye, hosted by Artemis and one of my favorite wines of the night

Excited about the next few posts coming up…whenever I manage to get to them.


Momofuku Bo Ssam

April 8, 2014 § 1 Comment

Had a pork-tastic dinner this past weekend consisting of Momofuku Ssam Bar’s pork belly buns and bo ssam. Totally worth the meat sweats and food coma afterwards, although it’ll be a while before I can eat any pork again.

Branching out at Ssam Bar

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Photos from Esther and my summer meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar, which is still one of my favorite places to eat in the East Village.

A seasonal cocktail and the Penicillin – scotch, lemon, honey and ginger…all my favorite ingredients in one beverage with a giant ice cube.

The famous steamed pork belly buns with hoisin, cucumber, and scallions. Still so good that I could make a full meal out of these babies.

A new addition to the menu since my last visit – bbq buns with crispy pork belly, coleslaw, and smoked mayo. Maybe it was the novelty of the dish, but I think I actually preferred this version to the original, and Esther and I seriously contemplated ordering more.

A classic – spicy pork sausage and Ā rice cakes. I always tell myself that I won’t order these again, but something about the crispy starch mixed with the crunchy Chinese broccoli and spicy meatiness of the sausage just keeps calling me back.

Silky Santa Barbara uni with some melon ice and a strange but tasty gelee (I vaguely remember a porky, ham flavor) with summer tomatoes.

Beef, two ways, with bulgur, fava beans and soubise. I think this may have been the first time I’d had bulgur actually and it was totally great – nutty flavor and a toothsome texture. The meat, as you can see, was also perfectly cooked. Just goes to show that while it may be easy to fall into the same great dishes again and again, it’s definitely worth your while to try new dishes at places where you’ve eaten many times in the past.

Ssam bar and a stop at the Bergdorf windows

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Few things are lovelier and richer than a pork belly bun from Momofuku. I don’t care if they’ve been hyped to death, they’re still a well-executed morsel of fat and savoriness and that’s what Laura and I wanted last night. I could probably just have two orders of these and go home a ridiculously happy person.

Pork belly buns

We also love the spicy pork sausage and fried rice cake dish, with lots of sliced and stir-fried chinese broccoli. Spicy, chewy, meaty, and crunchy, the dish has so many different textures and tastes that a couple bites will satisfy. I especially love the little hit of Sichuan peppercorn.

Spicy pork sausage and crispy rice cakes

This time, we also tried a new dish of poached chicken, sticky rice, maitake mushrooms, and spring onion. It was a richer version of my mother’s chicken noodle soup, with a very milky and flavorful broth and sweet, almost creamy rice enveloping a tender piece of chicken. Comforting, but not too heavy either.

Poached chicken

Even though it was a bit rainy, we spent the rest of the evening oohing and aahing at the beautiful windows at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tiffany, and the weather actually worked in our favor since there were less people congesting the sidewalks. Our family used to visit the window displays every year, but for whatever reason, stopped the tradition in recent years, and it felt great to spend time in the city with my sister again before the holidays.

Gowns galore

Golden birdcages

Aquatic fantasy

Black and white luxury

Polar party

A tiny pop-up book style window

Gorgeous ring display at Tiffany

Dress courtesy of Olivier Theyskens

Quans #1 and #3 at Rockefeller


Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Post-LSAT visit to Momofuku Ssam and Milk Bar

September 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’m not getting test result for another three weeks, and even though I’m still pretty nervous, thank goodness the LSAT is finally over (for September anyway).

Sunday, our entire family went to New York City since Laura had to take pictures with the Wall Street Bull and some other historic NYC sites for her US History course. The weather was pretty awful, a drizzle that came at us sideways, but when we got out of the car to take a photo with the bull, there was a film crew surrounding it! Turns out Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell were in town filming a new comedy called The Other Guys.

Even with our intrusion onto a film set, the highlight of our day definitely had to be a visit to Momofuku Ssam and Milk Bars near Union Square. The last time I had visited was two summers again and I missed those pork buns like no other. Plus, I was dying to try the awe-inspiring desserts (with names like “Crack Pie”) at the new bakery.

The Momofukus did not disappoint. For savory, we got the famous pork buns, spicy rice cakes with chinese broccoli and sausage, and braised beef brisket pho. The pork belly oozed of fatty delicious and I loved how the cucumbers and Sriracha cut the richness just enough. The rice cakes were Korean ddukbokgi on steroids, fried so they had a crispy outer crust and gnocchi-soft on the inside. Plus, they were spicy as hell, mixed with a good amount of greens and…of course, more pork. And what is more comforting than a good bowl of pho? ‘Course, the $16 bowl was more expensive than an even larger portion at Pho 99, but after walking in the rain for so long, I thought it was well worth it.

Ssam Bar is the place for savory Asian food with a twist, but Milk bar just reminded me of my childhood. There aren’t any seats, just tables where you stand and eat your food. Laura and I tried the horchata soft-serve with the cinnamon sugar and tortilla toppings, a blueberry cream cookie, and the biggest slice of strawberry cake I have ever seen.

Everything tasted wonderful. The ice cream was rich and the toppings were inventive and delightful, the blueberry cream cookie (85 cents since they were actually from yesterday’s batch) was heavenly and still soft – Laura and I later regretted that we didn’t snag more – and the cake…with strawberry jam and sweet corn crumble fillings (which definitely reminded me of Cap’n Crunch cereal) was so large but so delicious that we felt obligated to finish it all regardless of the calories. Laura now demands that she gets such a cake for her birthday. We’ll see what happens.

Our visit to New York concluded with a visit to the Met, where we had hoped to see the roof garden exhibit, but it was closed due to the weather. However, the new Egyptian wings and American wing were more than interesting enough to keep us occupied until we had to head home. What started out as a rainy, gloomy day ended up being quite memorable.

Trix, Lucky Peach, and The Financier

June 3, 2008 § 5 Comments

Finally,Ā FINALLY, I got to try the food atĀ Momofuku Ssam Bar today. Ever since it opened, I’ve wanted to sink my teeth into all theĀ pork and offal goodies, but with school, work, etc, there just wasn’t enough time for me to trek to the East Village. But the past is behind me now, and the future ahead looks very bright and Momofuku-filled.

Outside Momofuku

I brought along a friend; for anonymity’s sake and because he absolutely insisted on the nickname, let’s call himĀ Trix. Trix isn’t a schemer or skateboarding champ but rather, the guy who always falls for the ill-conceived prank or reveals confuzzlement when plums are marinated in interesting herbs (ginger?! what!?) He is, however, a good eating companion, and being of Korean descent, I thought he’d appreciate the special twist on Asian food that David Chang’s restaurant applies.

When we got to 2nd Ave and 13th, we didn’t see the restaurant at first. It just had a simple black awning with the tell-tale peach on the door.Ā Momofuku means “lucky peach.” After a quick review over the menu and recommendations, Trix and I ordered the pork buns, the asparagus, banh mi, and pig’s head torchon.

Let me just say straight out that though everything was superb, my favorite by far were the buns. Fatty pork, full of flavor, with refreshing cucumber, hoisin sauce, and a bit of extra kick. Homey, but also, incredibly indulgent, especially when the grease started running down my hands. My only regret was that we didn’t order more.

The asparagus encircled a poached egg, wonderfully runny, and perched on top of a smooth and sweet miso butter which I absolutely LOVED. We could’ve just spread it on fresh, toasty bread and I would’ve been happy since I didn’t care much for the asparagus. It really wasn’t anything special and not as crispy as I usually like mine served.

Roasted asparagus with poached egg on miso butter

The banh mi was excellent simply because it was my first time trying anything like it. I believe the waiter said there was a top shelf ham with chicken liver pate and veal head terrine along with familiar pickled Asian vegetables. And the crackle of the ciabatta that enveloped all this goodness was a wonder in itself. Ah…if you can’t already tell, I love this restaurant.

Banh mi sandwich

Our last dish was the Pig’s head torchon which the waiter insisted we try. My god, has there ever been that much fat in so little a space? AndĀ FRIED for crying out loud! I especially liked how the horseradish-y dressing cut the richness of the torchon, and the way the gingered plums balanced with the saltiness. Needless to say, we left Momofuku feeling very satisfied. Thanks to the waiter who gave us such good recommendations!

Pig's head torchon

Since we still had some time afterwards, we headed back downtown where I took Trix to Financier. Well, I wasn’t just going to forget theĀ macaron immediately after I fell in love with it right? And this time, there were BIG ONES! I’m a sucker for pistachio (my sister, Laura, isn’t though. When I brought the 8 pack home, I accidentally stuffed it in her mouth in my eagerness to share the love when I suddenly remembered afterwards that she’s allergic to nuts. She didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Most likely because she was lying in bed having difficulty breathing.Ā LOVE YOU LAURA!). Trix helped himself to a pear tartelette which earned his approval. All in all, though, after a hectic day at work, it was a wonderful ending to the day.

Pear tartelette

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

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