Veniero's Pasticcceria & Caffe


342 East 11th Street, New York

Phone: 212-674-7070

Veniero's is the italian pastry place where we keep going back for more tiramisus, strawberry cheesecakes, cannolis, strawberry shortcakes, apple pies, etc. Gan and I usually buy the pastries to go, but we also like to sit down and enjoy some pastries with coffee at the cafe from time to time. The pies here are insanely popular. On the day before Thanksgiving and on Christmas eve, there will be a long line to get in the store for the pies, but it's definitely worth the wait.

Displays of different Italian pastries

pumpkin pies, apple pies, coconut pies, etc

we got some cakes and an apple pie to go! :)

Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffe' on Urbanspoon
*pictures taken using iphone camera

Ramen Setagaya

Address: 141 First Ave, New York

Phone: 212-529-2740

The shio ramen at Ramen Setagaya is not bad, but I wouldn't call it the best ramen in New York City. I like my ramen noodles softer and springy and Setagaya's ramen noodles tasted more like the instant ones you find at the Japanese supermarket. The broth is really nice though, it's made with pork bones, chicken, chicken bones, dried scallops, dried anchovies, seaweed, dried mushrooms, garlic, ginger, cabbage and red pepper. In my opinion, Santoka ramen is still the best ramen in NYC metro area.

Shio (salt) Ramen

Oyako Don (chicken, eggs and rice dish)

Gyoza here is really nice

Ramen Setagaya on Urbanspoon

Dim Sum go go


5 E Broadway, New York

Phone: 212-732-0797

It was the first time we went to Dim Sum go go today and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dim sums there. I thought the food was pretty good, really like the duck dumplings and mini egg tarts. We'll definitely go back to Dim Sum go go for dim sums again next time.

Mini Egg Custard Tarts

Char Siu Pastry

Assorted dim sums stacked high up!

As usual, we ordered alot, but we still managed to finish everything

Dim Sum Go Go on Urbanspoon

Kee's Chocolates

Address: 80 Thompson Street, New York

Phone: 212-334-3284

A lot of people have recommended Kee's Chocolates. But we just never checked it out until today. Kee's has a nice selection of chocolate flavors and we bought the cognac, raspberry, earl grey, kaffir lime, orange confit, coconut and green tea. It's $2.50 a piece, which is about the same price as the gourmet chocolates at Vosges and Marie Belle. I just tasted the cognac and green tea chocolates, they were really nice - not too sweet and the fillings are smooth and subtle. I can see why it's named New York's Best Chocolate by Zagat again this year.

A very "empty" Kee's Chocolates store

*pictures taken using iphone camera

Hiroko's Place

Address: 75 Thompson St, New York

Phone: 212-625-1303

Japanese style western food restaurant such as Basta Pasta and Pasta Wafu is getting more popular in the city. So when we read about Hiroko's Place, we decided to check it out. The interior of the restaurant has a cafe/home kitchen feel to it. They have some sofas, a comic books library and a bar, which makes it feel like you are eating at someone's home. Quite unusual in NYC.

In addition to that, the menu reminds us of Tokyo as they have quite a selection of hard-to-find (in NY) but simple Japanese style western food such Omu rice, Hamburg steak and pastas. I also like the drinks menu, they have my favorite drink - ice green tea with milk/soy milk. Overall, we like this place. Don't expect amazing food, but it's definitely something different.

tempura style fried calamari

Mushrooms spaghetti - the dish has a nice flavor but we thought the spaghetti was a bit dry

Omu rice -Japanese style fried rice wrapped in an omelette

*pictures taken with iphone camera

Hiroko's Place on Urbanspoon

Sun Ma Malaysian Restaurant

Address: 5918 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Phone: 718-492-3518

Gan has been bugging me to go back to Sun Ky for sometime now. He's in love with their Marmite spare ribs. I've checked with some Malaysian restaurants in the city to see if they serve Marmite spare ribs, but apparently only Sun Ky has it. So on thanksgiving eve, we drove to Brooklyn Chinatown to have some yummy spare ribs, and Wa Tan Hor (Flat Noodles with Seafood) and Assam Stingray and Oyster Omelette.... (We would have ordered alot more if we have a cow's stomach). This is definitely the place to go for real Malaysian food in NYC metro area.

Wa Tan Hor - Sun Ky makes the best Wa Tan Hor in NYC

Oyster Omelette -this is nothing close to what we have in Malacca, but I'll take whatever they have.

Assam stingray - stingray cooked with Assam paste, chilis, okras and eggplants, served in a casserole

*pictures taken using iphone camera

Peking Duck House

Address: 236 E 53rd St, New York, NY (midtown location)
28 Mott St, New York, NY (chinatown location)

Phone: 212-759-8260 or 212-227-1810

Believe it or not, peking duck is one our favorite comfort food! We usually overdosed ourself with duck whenever we visit the midtown or the chinatown peking duck house restaurant. But we prefer the chinatown location, the food there is definitely better.

Picture of the chef carving our duck

I ate about 3-4 pieces of this during the dinner!!

Special duck soup with cabbage and tofu

We ordered a whole fish in addition of the whole duck and we managed to finish the fish...and almost all of the duck. Yaokui!!!

*pictures taken with iphone camera

Peking Duck House on Urbanspoon


Address: 199 East Third Street, New York, NY

Phone: 212-254-2411

Ethiopian restaurants are very popular in NYC, but for some reasons, Gan and I have never tasted Ethiopian food, until yesterday. A bunch of us went to a very tiny Ethiopian restaurant call Meskel in Alphabet city to have dinner with our friend Po Li, who will be leaving for Malaysia in a week. Some of us decided to share a vegetarian platter that comes with sauteed string beans and carrots, collard greens etc, a Meskel platter which has a sample of different braised meat such as lamb and beef and Doro Wat, a braised chicken legs dish. We were all ecstatic when the waitress brought out a gigantic platter with everything on it!

I knew before going to this restaurant that I would most likely have to eat with my hands but I didn't realized that it was going to be a challenge for me. I don't usually eat with my hands (except for ribs, fried chicken and fries....), therefore the task of scooping up some vegetables or meat using a piece of Injera (Ethiopian white bread)was not particularly fun for me. But it was worth the work as the food was quite delicious. Overall, Ethiopian food somewhat reminds of coconut milk based Malaysian Indian food. Not something I will eat very often since it's rather heavy.

Vegetarian platter + Meskel platter + Doro Wat

Bruce (third from the right) was holding a plate of Injera. They tasted somewhat like dosa/tosai/tosei to me.

We cleaned up the plate pretty nicely! hungry people!

Mitsuwa Supermarket Giant Blue Fin Tuna Cutting Performance


Giant Blue Fin Tuna Cutting Performance @ Mitsuwa Supermarket

Address: 595 River Rd # 1, Edgewater, NJ

Phone: 201-941-9113

Gan, Oi Yen, Nick and I went to Mitsuwa Supermarket at Edgewater NJ today to check out the Giant Blue Fin Tuna cutting performance. Even though I have been to Tsukiji market in Tokyo, I have never been able to wake up early enough to check out the auction in the morning (LAZY!). So this was really the first time I have seen an uncut Blue Fin Tuna, and boy it was gorgeous! The Tuna weighs around 700lbs and I believe it's about 4-5 days old. According to the announcer, Tuna taste better when it's aged for a couple of days.

The supplier of this Blue Fin Tuna also supplies to the top Japanese restaurants in NYC such as Masa and Sushi Yasuda. So it was great that we get to buy Toro for roughly $1.50 per slice, instead of the usual $12 per slice charged at the high end sushi restaurants. At the end of the performance, people were just snatching those tuna as though it was free (Gan was one of them, haha). We bought some Tuna blocks for dinner as well and it was amazing.

Gan: We bought a couple of ohtoro and chutoro tuna block as well as some nigiri sushi made from the fresh cut/butchered tuna. Can't get any fresher sushi than that in the city. As with beef, tuna taste best with its marbled fat. Ohtoro is the fattiest and chutoro is next. Just to echo one of the things that the announcer mentioned at the performance, it's a common misconception in America that the color (redness) of the tuna determines the quality of it. the best tasting tuna is usually the one with higher fat content and they are usually lighter in color, usually in pink.

I want all of those!!

It was funny to see the guy using a special hammer to cut the tuna
Gan: They don't waste anything. The fins are used. The head as well. Even the meat was scraped off the bone. We were wondering how much was the whole tuna's worth in a normal market. If it's about $40-$50 per pound (of course, not all are toro quality from the fish), that 700 pound fish is worth $28K-$35K!

Oi Yen imitating the look of the Blue Fin Tuna
Gan: Hmm... I see the resemblance. Glowing skin, shiny eyes, and decorated.

Amazing Toro Sushi, freshly cut from the belly