Sunday, July 25, 2010


Trump World Tower
845 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
(212) 964-7777

Located inside The Trump World Tower, Megu's innovative Japanese cuisine was one of my top choices for this summer's NYC Restaurant Week. We came here on a weekday, so the place wasn't crowded at all. The place is also very contemporary and fashionable - good for all types of occasions (dates/family/business meals). Service was also magnificent - I didn't expect the service to be superb on restaurant week, but Megu's staff proved me wrong!

Appetizer: Crispy "Kanzuri" Shrimp. Not too impressed. It tasted too similar to fried chicken for me. Probably shouldn't have chosen this as an appetizer.

Appetizer: Yellowtail Carpaccio. Yum! Nicely sliced and tasty...a nice touch with the jalapeños. The yellowtail tasted very fresh. Served cold.

Entrée: Chef's Omakase Sushi. I prefer the sashimi over the sushi rolls, which had way too much rice. Every entree came with miso soup.

Dessert: Matcha Green Tea Crepe (my favorite), Tiramisu w/ Crunchy Almonds, Chocolate Cake, and New York Cheesecake. A female? Well you're in luck! All ladies have the option to choose two desserts from the menu (with no extra costs). Score!

Overall: 3/5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Japanese Bento

Remember the days when you had to bring lunch to school? I vividly remember my 'lunchbox days'...carrying my Ninja Turtle lunchbox to preschool was the coolest thing ever (Oh yes, I was obsessed with the red one).

In Japan, "bento" or "lunch boxes" can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or "character bento". Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon characters (anime), characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters.

Below are some awesome Japanese Bento that I've collected from the web..and here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Navarin D'agneau (Lamb stew with vegetables)

Allow about 2.5 - 3 hours
Preheat oven to 450 F -- will later be lowered to 350F

4 tbsp cooking oil
3 pounds boned lamb, cut into 2" cubes for stew (shoulder, leg, shank, neck, butt)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp flour
2-3 cups brown beef stock
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf

6-12 boiling potatoes
6-10 peeled carrots
12-18 white pearl onions PEELED
6 peeled turnips
1 cup shelled green peas
1 cup green beans or Haricot Verts (cut in 1/2)
3 quartz boiling water
1.5 tbsp salt

Steps for making the Navarin
  1. Cut the lamb into 2-inch cubes and dry with paper towels. The meal will not brown if it is damp. Brown a few pieces at a time in hot fat or oil in the skillet
  2. As they are browned, place them in the casserole
  3. Sprinkle the lamb (now all in the casserole) with sugar and toss over moderately high heat for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has caramelized. This will give a fine amber color to the sauce
  4. Toss the meat with salt and pepper, then with the flour. Set the casserole uncovered in middle level of preheated oven for 4-5 minutes. Toss the meat and return it to the oven for 4-5 minutes more. This browns the flour evenly and coats the lamb with a light crust. Remove casserole and turn oven down to 350 degrees
  5. Pour out the fat and add 2 cups of stock to the saute skillet (the one where you browned the meat). Bring to the boil and scrap up any coagulated saute juices. Then pour the liquid into the casserole (where the meat is now). Simmer for a few seconds shaking then stirring to mix liquid and flour. Add the tomato paste and the other ingredients. Bring to the simmer for 1 minute, then add more stock if necessary; meat should almost be covered by liquid
  6. Put the lid on the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven; regulate heat so casserole simmers slowly and regularly for 1 hour. Then pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve which is set over a bowl. Rinse out the casserole. Remove any loose bones and return the lamb to the casserole. Skim the fat off the sauce in the bowl, correct seasoning and pour this sauce back into casserole with the meat. Then add the vegetables which have been prepared as follows:
Prepare the Vegetables
  1. While the lamb is simmering, trim the potatoes into ovals 1.5 inches long, and cover with cold water until ready to use. Quarter the carrots and turnips, cut them into 1.5" lengths, and if you have the patience, tri the edges to round them slightly. Pierce a cross in the root ends of the onions so they will cook evenly
  2. Press the vegetables (EXCEPT THE PEAS AND GREEN BEANS) into the casserole around and between the pieces of lamb. Baste with the sauce. Bring to the simmer on top of the stove, cover and return to the oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers slowly and steadily for about ONE hour longer or until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, tilt casserole, and skim off fat. Taste sauce again, and correct seasoning.
  3. While the casserole is in the oven, drop the peas and beans into the boiling salted water and boil rapidly, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender. Drain in the colander and run ice cold water ocer them to stop the cooking and set the color. Put aside until ready to use.
  4. Shortly before serving, place the peas and beans in the casserole on top of the other ingredients and baste with the bubbling sauce. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until the green vegetables are tender. Serve the Navarin from its casserole or arrange it on a very hot platter.
**Couronne De Riz (rice molded in a ring) Preheat oven to 375F**

6-cup fireproof casserole about 8 inches in diameter with a tight-fitting cover
6-cup ring mold, smeared with 1/2 tbsp butter
waxed paper
a pan of boiling water to hold the mold
a lid to cover the mold
a round serving platter, heated and lightly buttered

1/4 cup finely minced onions
4 tbsp butter
1.5 cups clean, unwashed, raw rice
3 cups boiling liquid -- water or stock
salt and pepper
parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf

Steps to making the Rice Ring
  1. Cook the onions and butter slowly in the casseroled for baout 5 minutes until tender but not browned
  2. Blend the rice in to the onions and butter and stir over moderate heat for serveral minutes not letting the rice brown. The grains will at first become translucent, then will gradually turn a milky color.
  3. As soon as the rice looks milky, pour in the boiling liquid. Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the simmer, stir once, over the casserole, and set in lower third of preheated oven. As soon as the liquid maintains itself at a very slow boil, in 4-5 minutes, reduce heat to 350F the boil should be regulated so the liquid has been absorbed by the rice in 18-20 minutes. Do not touch the rice for a total of 18 minutes. Then uncover, tilt casserole and lift rice with a fork to see if all liquid at bottom of the casserole has evaporated. If not, return to oven for 2-3 minutes more. Then remove the casserole from the oven. Take out the herbs
  4. Turn the risotto into the buttered mold, patting down the rice lightly; it should fill the mold exactly. Lay the waxed paper over the risotto. Cover with the lid and set he mold in the pan of boiling water. Place in the lower third of preheated oven for 10 minutes
  5. Just before serving, turn platter upside down over mold and reverse the two, to unmold the rice ring onto the patter
  6. If the risotto is not to be served immediately, leave it in its mold covered and over barely simmering water
Taste: 4.5/5
Related Posts with Thumbnails