Friday, January 29, 2010

Food Couture

Shall we call these "designer cupcakes"? ♥

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Kong Dong Restaurant

So Kong Dong Restaurant
130 Main St
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(201) 242-0026

Korean Food 101:
"Sundubu jjigae is a hot and spicy jjigae (Korean stew) made with uncurdled dubu (tofu), seafood (oysters, clams and shrimp are common ingredients), vegetables, mushrooms, onion, scallions, and gochujang or gochu garu (chili powder) in Korean cuisine. A raw egg is put in the jjigae while it is still boiling. This dish is eaten with a bowl of cooked white rice and several banchan (side dishes)." ~Wiki

I've been going to this place ever since my family moved to NJ, and it is definitely one of the better Korean restaurants in Fort Lee. Unfortunately, their prices has gone up significantly in the last few years, but nevertheless, their business still remains as robust as ever.
Oyster Sundubu jjigae
The simplicity of their menu (a total of 10 items) makes ordering quick and easy. The only item on the menu that is not a tofu dish is the Korean BBQ ribs, a great dish to share as an appetizer (or for the carnivores: as an entrée). I always get their oyster tofu (medium hot) - the savory taste of the oysters and spicy tofu is like Korean comfort food - both hearty and gratifying.

Their side dishes are decent - just the general kimchi (spicy cabbage), bean sprouts, and other veggies to munch on. I particulary like their spicy cucumbers (hint: you can always ask for seconds).

Overall: 3/5

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Kitchenette Uptown
1272 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027
(212) 531-7600
Kitchenette definitely did their marketing homework because I was completely charmed by the decor of this place. This adorable little establishment, located near Columbia University, is everything a girl would love: cookies in a jar, pastries, cakes, pink, and polka-dots...aww!!

The food was mediocre. I would say I enjoyed my drink (peppermint hot chocolate) much more than my Smoked Mozzarella Omelet. The omelet, filled with artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper pesto, was decent but lacked flavor. I enjoyed their biscuit and strawberry butter - but again, it's nothing to write home about. Their blackberry cherry pancakes were good but the cake was a little bit on the dry side. ANDDDD..what's the whole hype about their cheese grits?!? They tasted very bland and reminded me of chinese congee...totally overrated!
Onto the service....While I understand it can get very crazy on a Sunday afternoon, the service was inconsistent and flaky - first, they forgot my friend's drink (peppermint macchiato - very yum, btw) and then messed up my side-order (but I was compensated so I'm not going to complain more lol)

Overall, a decent meal with HUGE portions (extra credit). I think I will be back again to try their desserts!

Overall: 3/5

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Gluttonous Morning

Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263

YES, CSBC is a GREAT place to be for breakfast lovers. Due to its popularity, I don't think it is necessary for me to rave about this place..BUT I do want to say that their blueberry pancakes are to DIE for. The fluffy and soft pancakes topped with blueberry jam and maple butter is simply divine! For the main course, I ordered the Southern Breakfast (comes with: scrambled eggs, sugar-cured bacon, cheese grits, fried green tomatoes) while my foodie partner got her Country Breakfast (comes with: scrambled eggs, ham steak, potatoes, and buttermilk biscuit). Both dishes were cooked perfectly, the sugar cured bacon was crispy and flavorful; and the cheese grits was soooo delicious! Their buttermilk biscuit paired with fresh strawberry jam was also a treat. I would go back here for their french toast w/ caramelized bananas...ooooohhh the indulgence : )

The service was average. Our waitress wasn't too friendly..she didn't even show a hint of enthusiasm when we asked her to take a photo of us. Oh well, I could care less about the service when their food is THIS delicious!

Note: February is Pancake Month, which means they feature a different special pancake flavor every Monday thru Friday...woohoo!!

Overall: 4/5

Friday, January 15, 2010

Waffles Galore!

Received a waffle maker from my cousin this you can see, I've been putting it into good use :)


A handful of...
- fresh strawberries
- blueberries
- 1 whole banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream

For delectable taste, drizzle maple syrup and chocolate syrup over waffle..enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dim Sum

Empire Garden Restaurant
690-698 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
(614) 482-8898

According to Wikipedia:
"Dim sum is the name for a southern Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. Yum cha (literally "drinking tea") is the term used to describe the entire dining experience, especially in contemporary Cantonese.It is usually served in the mornings until noon time at Chinese restaurants and at specialty dim sum eateries where typical dishes are available throughout the day."

Dim sum consists of a variety of mouth watering savory and sweet dishes such as fried and steamed dumplings, shrimp balls, fried noodles, and Chinese pastries. Dim sum dishes come in small portions; which allow greedy eaters (like me!) to try a variety of dishes without feeling like a complete pig :P

I wouldn't label Empire Garden as the BEST dim sum restaurant in Boston, but their dim sum selection is pretty comprehensive and not to mention, inexpensive! In general, I know I can always count on their pork buns, chicken feet, and steamed dumplings. Located in an old opera house, the place is filled with people, people, and more people(Think Chinese Idiom: "People Mountain, People Sea"), but I never had to wait in line for more than 5 the table turnover is pretty quick. The key: get a friend who knows cantonese to reserve a seat.

For parties of 2-6, the bill usually averages between $8-$15 per person. I've never had dinner here so I can't comment on the food however, I've heard some pretty nasty stuff about it (greasy and high in MSG)...I think that's why most people stick to the dim sum instead : )

Overall: 3/5

Hello Kitty does not make a good chef

Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe
Sec. 1, Da-an Rd. 90
Taipei, Taiwan
(02) 2711-1132

If you're not a fan of the color pink, be prepared to wear sunglasses upon arrival because the shades of pink used in this restaurant will definitely blind you in an instant. The place reminded me of a real-life 'Sanrio Wonderland'.

My friends and I were seated in a HOT PINK (woo-lala) booth and to be honest, it was kind of like Halloween all over again because to my surprise, all of the waitresses were dressed as CATS. Yes, I know Hello Kitty is a cat, but seriously...? Yes, it was pretty funny.

After we ordered, my friends and I began to examine the ghettoness of the hello kitty chandelier - which looked more like strangled kitties trapped between plastic diamonds - when we heard a scream from the table next to us, "Don't put your boogers on that seat!!!".......................

Onto the food: I got the Chicken Pesto Pasta while my two other friends got the Bacon and Cheese Pasta and The Hello Kitty Hamburger (cutest thing ever). Sure, everything was cute, but the FOOD itself did not taste the same way, everything was watered-down and GREASY. Out of all three dishes, the Hello Kitty Burger was probably the best-- a burger that was comparable to a McDonald's cheeseburger. A total disappointment.

Hello Kitty Burger
The price? Expensive!! I can't believe I paid almost 600NT (~$18) for this meal. I guess there's a reason why it's called Hello Kitty "Sweets" Cafe. I haven't tried their cakes yet, but I don't plan on trying it anytime soon.

Overall: 1.5/5 (terrible food)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The day I ate out of a Toilet!

The Modern Toilet Restaurant
2F., No.7, Lane 50, Sining S. Rd.,
Wanhua District, Taipei City
(02) 2311-8822

Want to scare your foreign friends? Gross them out by bringing them to The Modern Toilet Restaurant located right in Taipei City! A restaurant that uses bathtubs as tables and toilet seats as chairs. From decor to food - EVERYTHING is bathroom themed; and to think this all began with the simple creation of chocolate ice cream swirls on paper squat toilets...? The owner is a genius!

Obviously, I wasn't too grossed out by the whole toilet idea..because I definitely chose the most disgusting (but also most awesome) dish on the menu - curry in a toilet! The food is not the best, but most diners are only there for the experience. Want to test your 'fear factor'? Don't worry, the food is inexpensive..just be happy that the 'smell' is not part of the theme :)

Overall: 3/5 (extra points for theme)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Maison Boulud - A Beijing Episode

Maison Boulud
Ch'iennmen 23|23
Qianmen Dongdajie
Beijing, China 100006
(86-10) 6559-9200

When I first stepped into the restaurant, I was almost 99% convinced that the bf had brought my most beloved fairytale (Beauty and the Beast) to life. The staircase looked exactly like the one in the Disney movie..except this one was real! :) So after being overly excited for a good minute or two, I finally snapped back to reality and realized it was actually Daniel Boulud's Beijing! (Even better!!)
Though I had a fever that day, I still managed to finish all of my food - kudos to me! I can't recall the food being exceptionally good though (probably because I was sick and jet-lagged)...but the service was excellent and the atmosphere was even more admirable - with huge paintings hung on the wall, chandeliers, dimmed was "muy romantico"! The food was definitely presented nicely, and the waiters and waitresses all spoke perfect English - a scarce talent in BJ.

Overall: 3/5

The pictures can speak for themselves!:)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brunch is the new Black!

Elephant & Castle
68 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-1400

Classes resume tomorrow - what does this mean? Treat myself to a nice meal, of course! This cute little Irish restaurant (with its sister restaurant located in Dublin, Ireland) is now one of my new favorite places! Although PACKED on a Sunday (despite below freezing weather), I loved the ambiance of the restaurant..which felt extremely relaxed and homey. You can find all kinds of people and groups at E&C: ranging from families and college students to businessman and young professionals. Despite a line, we were lucky enough to be seated almost immediately after we arrived (a short ten minute wait).

The one reason why I love Elephant and Castle is because they make THE most unique eggs benedict..ever! Anyone who knows me, KNOWS that I love my eggs benedict (aka cholesterol on a plate). I ordered the "Eggs and Apples Benedict on French Toast with Maple Syrup", while my friend got the same thing (but with additional bacon sandwiched in between). The salty and sweet combination may seem like a whacky combo, but after tasting it today, I would like to commend E&C for being so adventurous w/ their creativity.

Their orange juice was okay - a little bit too "pulpy" for my taste (at least you know it's fresh), but my friend's caffe latte was..may I add, a size of a soup bowl! Therefore, a "cup" of coffee really means a "bowl" of coffee at E&C (talk about a DOUBLE bang for your buck..KA-CHING $$!)

Overall, their menu has a lot to offer (even for vegetarians) and the place is cute and cozy (yes, I'm repeating myself)...I highly recommend Elephant & Castle! Next time: HOT CIDER is on the list!

Overall: 4/5

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