I finally made it to this amazing restaurant. This amazing Thai restaurant gets really crowded and they do not take reservations on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, reservation are taken only for more than 6 people. Therefore, I highly recommend that if there is a group make sure that everyone shows up on time or else you will have to wait a long time. Wait time can go over two hours. It’s a great place to have dinner with a group of friends.
Food was amazing and service was on point for a very busy restaurant. While I waiting for my friends, I had the mango sunrise mocktail, which was very refreshing and held me over until everyone showed up. Once all my friends showed up, we were finally seated.
Once we were seated, we decided to go family style after observing other diners’ main order entrees. To start we ordered the:
Pak Mor Puk ($9): Vegetable crepe dumplings made up of chives, cabbage, jicama, black mushrooms and bamboo shoots and served with roasted bell pepper-peanut vinaigrette dipping sauce. These dumplings are served in few Thai restaurants and is dish that is served to Thai royal families. The dumplings are to die for. I wish there would be more than four dumplings per order, but watching how these dumplings are assembled and made, it’s no easy task, hence the price of the appetizer.
Por Pia Tod ($9): Crispy vegetable spring rolls made up of glass noodles, taro root, shiitake mushrooms and served with plum sauce. These spring rolls were standard and solid. They come 6 rolls per order.
Sa Koo Sai Moo ($11): Tapioca dumplings stuffed with minced pork, peanuts and sweet turnips and served with green leaf lettuce. Another dish that takes a lot of time to make let alone master. There are five dumplings per order. These dumplings are the best finger food/bite I have had and there are only a few restaurants that do it correctly, this is one of them. Definitely worth the $11.
Spicy Chicken Wings ($14): Deep fried marinated tom yum flavor wings with Thai herbs garnished. These wings are a bit messy but tasty. Unsure if it’s worth $14 for 5 wings.
Chicken Satay ($11): Grilled marinated chicken on skewers, served with peanut sauce, cucumber relish, and grilled brioche. The dish was standard, glad that the dish included the grilled brioche to make is more complete. The peanut sauce is really good made the overall dish well balanced.
For the entrees we shared the following:
Chicken with Cashew Nut ($17): Spicy chicken with pineapple, jicama, cashew nut, roasted bell pepper, scallions and chili jam. Served with jasmine rice. The dish was very good and authentically spicy enough for the Thai American crowd that could handle spice.
Kaeng Neur Lamyai Bai Chapoo ($27): Braised jarret beef, betel leaves, curry paste, coconut milk and longan meat, served with Jasmine rice. This dish is not served in many Thai restaurants, but it was definitely worth the price. The dish had well balanced flavors and the right amount of spice kick which complemented well with the rice.
We also ordered a side of Steamed Assorted Vegetables ($5), which was a good amount for the price and it complemented the spicy entrees.
Finally, the dish I have been wanting to try and waited over 10 years is Royal Pad Thai ($24) which is pad thai encapsulated in a crepe. In this case, this dish is made of prawns, shallots, bean sprouts, chive leaves, peanut bean curd and dried shrimp wrapped in net. The dish is beautifully presented and definitely worth the price because it could feed more than one person. A one of a kind.
Hello everyone, it’s been a long time since I last posted, I don’t even remember when I wrote something here (that is really bad). I hope this post makes up for not posting since my review of this year’s NYC Winter Restaurant Week.
Over six weeks ago, I have had the privilege to attend my first Healthy Food Expo/International Restaurant and Foodservice Expo and CoffeeFest at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. This was a three day event and it was the best three days I have had in a long long time. I was honored to meet and learn from empowering chefs and health care professionals. It was so much connecting and reconnecting with people who share the same passion in food and healthy eating. There were food tasting and presentations. I went to 6 presentations that day and they were all amazing and inspiring. For the Healthy Expo I attended the presentation(s) entitled:
The Power Of Spices and Their Health Benefits by Dr. Kanchan Koya, Health Coach and founder of Spice Spice Baby which addresses evidence based science behind the health benefits of spices such as curcumin an active ingredient from in tumeric. Her presentation of spices and its health benefits are informative and resourceful. Check out her blog and follow her Instagram page: Chefspicemama and Twitter page: Kkoya.
For the International Restaurant and Foodservice Expo I attended four cooking demos by Chef Marcus Samuelson who made a pasta dish and a very tasty scallop dish while sharing his empowering and inspiring journey to pursuing his passion in the culinary arts. Now I am interested in reading his memoir titled “Yes, Chef: A Memoir” and hopefully one day this summer I can make a pit stop Red Rooster and try his famous fried chicken. Check out his website on his impressive accomplishments and follow him on Instagram and Twitter: marcuscooks.
The next day, I was ecstatic to attend cooking demos by thriving women chefs Anita Lo and Amanda Cohen. In addition, I learned how to make pasta in a food processor by Fabio Viviani and watched a Meatless Monday cooking competition. I enjoyed hearing Anita Lo talk and cook her awesome cauliflower chaat with almonds. Her story was inspiring because she is also a first generation Asian American who is living her passion. Unfortunately I did not make it to one of her initial restaurants Annisa, I was lucky to even win her new cookbook “Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One” and replicate some of the recipes. Check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter: AnitaLoNYC.
Next I stayed to listened to Amanda Cohen’s story behind the ups and downs of starting a vegetarian restaurant and maintaining it. Her persistence, creativity and passion for cooking vegetables is remarkable and I have learned so many ways to utilize a simple vegetable such as a carrot. I have yet to eat at Dirt Candy but all my peers and friends that have eaten there raved about it and told me to eat there. Yes, Dirt Candy is on my bucket list as one of the restaurants to go to this year (God willing). I was impressed how Amanda created her famous and popular dish Carrot Risotto and Carrot Dumplings. She utilizes a lot of science and technique to make this dish high end while utilizing ingredients on a budget. I have tasted this dish and it was amazing. Unfortunately, I failed to get a good clear photo of this beautiful dish. Luckily I won her cookbook “Dirt Candy: A Cookbook” which contains this recipe and I sense a calling to replicate this dish. Check her restaurant’s website and follow the restaurant’s Instagram: dirtcandynyc and Twitter: dirtcandy.
Chef Cohen’s cooking demo was followed by Chef Fabio Viviani’s cooking demo on making fresh fettuccine with roasted pine nuts and basil pesto. He made fresh pasta using a food processor, his method was 4 tablespoons of flour per 1 large egg. His demo made it look so easy as it took about two minutes to create the dough on the food processor. After the dough is made, if the dough is too sticky and wet add more flour and if the dough is too grainy and starchy add a little water. I was so excited of how simple and quick to make fresh pasta that I tried it at home. Luckily I won his cookbook “Fabio’s 30 minute Italian” which contained the recipe of replicating the fresh pasta. I have attempted to make the fresh pasta, but more on that later. I felt that the demo was rushed and quick due to time constraints. In addition, he was also the judge for the next food demo – The Rapid Fire Challenge, among three chefs themed Meatless Monday. The winner wins $1000.
On to the Rapid Fire Challenge the three way battle of the best Meatless Monday dish. The challenge was judged by: Maria Loi, Cookbook Author, Greek Food Ambassador, and Healthy Lifestyle Expert; Peggy Neu, President of The Monday Campaigns ; Gennaro Pecchia, Co-Host of Rolands Food Court at Sirius XM and Chef Fabio Viviani who is also a restaurateur. The challenge started with Chef Patricia Washuta from Orlando, FL who presented the following dish: Impossible Meatless Kefta, which was creative, tasty, healthy, low carb and budget friendly. Check out her audition video of the dish on YouTube.
The second dish was presented by Chef Heidi Liv Tompkins from Heidi’s Health Kitchen in New York, NY who presented her dish: Mock Tuna Recipe. The dish is gluten free, plant based, organic, paleo and therefore, healthy.
The final dish was presented by Chef Lisa Sereda from Wine Time based in Chico, CA who presented her Walnut “Meat” Stuffed Anaheim Pepper, which was my personal favorite because of its presentation and taste.
After tough judging from Maria Loi and debates about the origin of food among the judges, the winning dish of the Rapid Fire Challenge was the Mock Tuna by Chef Heidi Liv Tompkins. Congratulations Chef Heidi!
In addition to the amazing talks and demos I have had the privilege to experience, I get to sample various food products from new businesses who are seeking to sell their products in US markets. There were so many amazing new products out there are creative and healthy. It was a honor to be a participant in tasting these products before they go out to the distributor(s).
My favorite savory tastings from the expo were the:
Aliments Mello Inc – Smoked Meat Brisket Sandwich – the meat melts like butter in your mouth
Synear Shrimp Supreme Dumpling promoted by Walong Marketing – Dumpling is really good; the filling was amazing; this brand does not skimp on the shrimp.
Mama’s in the Kitchen Breaded Shrimp was the perfect balance of shrimp with breading. The breading can be purchased online. They also have breading for chicken and fish.
Chef Fun Foods seasoned fries using the shake bags: these fries shakened with various flavors. My favorites were BBQ, garlic parmesan and sour cream and onion.
BeItalian Meatballs and pecorino in cooked wine – these meatballs were freshly cooked and very authentic. The dish was a collaborative effort organized by Lombardia Fiere.
VegeWorld Vegetarian meats from Malaysia and I was impressed by the taste of the products. My favorites were the Vegetarian Lamb, Vege Roasted Chicken and Vege Hawaiian Chicken.
Gianni’s Chicken Burgers were awesome chicken burgers made locally in Long Island. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture, but I can testify that I will be ordering these burgers online. In addition, their burgers are sold at local supermarkets in White Plains and Huntington. My personal favorites were Jalapeno Popper Chicken Burgers and Original Chicken Spinach Burger.
My top 5 sweet tastings from the expo were the:
Mochidoki Green Tea and Passion Fruit Mochi Ice Cream – great healthy dessert; a perfect end to my savory food tastings. Mochidoki has 12 flavors and some of their products are sold at Turnstyle Underground Market and you can place an order online that includes all 12 flavors.
Carubies Decadent Carob Truffles from Heidi’s Health Kitchen is a healthy and tasty truffle. Who knew that these truffle chocolates are plant-based and gluten free? This means that the products are soy free, dairy free, and caffeine free. These truffles can be purchased online on their website. Personally the best buy is their original flavor for $20 which has 20 pieces.
Everyday Gourmet Bakery Cookies were so good. Did you know that they are vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and made with whole grains? In addition, they are nutritious with a good amount of protein and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese. These cookies can be purchased online and the best buy is the 2 box pack only for $5.
Wateke Foods is new company based in Florida who produces various products especially guacamole, acai, frozen fruits and beverages. I only tried the acai which was fresh and good. I have yet to try the guacamole, but based on their high tech technology, the product still looks fresh and I can’t wait to eat with my chips.
Pure Crumb is another local product developed by a NYC Fitness Trainer containing less calories and a perfect snack to satisfy a sweet craving. Plus, it’s gluten free and only 150 calories. They come in two flavors: banana bread and chocolate brownie. My favorite was the chocolate brownie. The products are sold online and are currently on sale for $24 for 8 pack and $44 for 16 pack.
Earth Effect Frozen Greek Yogurt is a local sustainable product that is healthy. They are a new company in search for partners and manufacturers to support their mission. The frozen yogurt comes in five flavors: tart with dates and pistachios, chocolate with coconut brittle and sliced almonds, Taihitian vanillia with strawberry jam and chocolate, maple and maple pecans and coffee with hazelnut butter and chocolate. I have had tried all five flavors and my favorites were: Taihitian vanillia with strawberry jam and chocolate, coffee with hazelnut butter and chocolate and chocolate with coconut brittle and sliced almonds.
After eating and sampling all the foods at the event, I have had to stay hydrated with drink samples from various companies both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Below were my favorites:
Figspresso is a plant-based, gluten-free beverage based in Long Island made from dried and roasted figs. This beverage is deceivingly healthy and it would serve as a great alternative for coffee and tea.
Dandy Lion Tea is an organic tea made from dandylions and fruit. They come in two flavors: cherry and peach. It is kosher and organic. Did you know that dandelion is good for digestion and detox? I’ve tasted both flavors and my personal favorite was cherry.
Cliffton Dry Wine Cider is a vegan, low calorie, low sugar, gluten free and low alcoholic beverage. It is a sparkling wine equivalent to prosecco but made with locally grown apples from the New York’s Finger Lakes Region. This beverage was really good and they’re accessible in some NYC restaurants and Whole Foods.
Senor Sangria is sangria mixed with natural ingredients with either merlot for the red sangria, sauvignon blanc for white sangria and syrah for their new flavor: apple raspberry. I tried all three flavors and they all tasted great, but apple raspberry was my favorite. What’s interesting about their new flavor is that there is no sugar in this sangria making it more healthy.
Brooklyn Crafted Herbal Teas and reTreat Juices are beverages manufactured by Brooklyn Food and Beverage, which is based in Bushwick community in Brooklyn. The herbal teas were pretty good; I have only tried the chrysanthemum and hibiscus herbal flavors. However, the reTreat juices were the standouts for me as the fruits came from places such Thailand. I was excited and enjoyed the mangosteen flavors of these juices. These teas and juices can be found in some local supermarkets.
Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer is manufactured by Brooklyn Food and Beverage, which is based in Bushwick community in Brooklyn. The ginger beers were legit meaning is that they are made with real natural ingredients and cane sugar and has the right amount of kick for each level of spice intensity. They can be found in some markets in Brooklyn and used in some restaurants in the city to make cocktails such as the mule.
Kelvin Slush Company is a local organic cocktail mix that is non-GMOs and has no high fructose corn syrup. It is also vegan, kosher and gluten free. So I had tasted some of the flavors, but my favorite was the aperol spritz and frose. The cocktail mix come in various flavors and they are all available on Amazon.
Asarasi is sparkling tree water that is plant-based. This naturally produced water comes in five flavors. My favorites were mango and cherry. All five flavors are available for purchase on their website.
Graft Cider is a company that makes gluten free ciders. These ciders are produced in New York by two siblings. I have had three flavors and my favorite was the Lost Tropic which is a hop mimosa cider. These ciders can be purchased at various restaurants and local markets.
There’s a lot more I have sampled, but unfortunately I did not have good pictures. Overall, it was a honor to connect with people who share the same passion of food, health and medicine. I hope that I will be able to see their products in the US markets and stores so people can enjoy them.
Happy Tuesday! As I was leaving the subway station I came across a Chinese restaurant in Queens that just opened up. The owner gave me the menu and after glancing the menu, the prices of the dishes appeared to be expensive. A few months after the opening, a family friend was raving about these black truffle soup dumplings ($12.75 for six), even, Eater loved them. Therefore, I have to try them.
So what are soup dumplings?
Soup dumplings were created as a street food in Nanking, China in 1875. The dish traveled to other provinces throughout China and Japan. These dumplings are usually steamed filled with gelatin based soup broth, pork and vegetables.
Are they healthy? Well, the soup broth is high is saturated fat and sodium. However, soup dumplings are usually dipped in a sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. This concoction can be viewed as healthy because vinegar aids in digestion and lowers blood sugar while the ginger holds many health benefits as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
After completing my weekend 4-6 mile walk, I decided to reward myself with soup dumplings. The Shanghainese restaurant Shanghai Zhen Gong Fu appeared to be a small Chinese takeout spot, but inside there were a bunch of tables. One of their popular dishes were the soup dumplings, so we ordered the crab and pork soup dumplings, pork soup dumplings and the infamous black truffle soup dumplings. Well, let’s just say the wrappers of these dumplings were perfectly thin and folded very well. The crab and pork soup dumplings and the black truffle dumplings were so good. The overall soup dumplings especially the crab and pork soup ones were even better than the ones I’ve had in the past. The black truffle soup dumpling were so tasty and they even have real black truffles on top of the dumplings. One can even taste the truffle oil in the soup broth.
So if you’re in Elmhurst, stop in Shanghai Zhen Gong Fu and try those black truffle dumplings. They are the best bang for your buck for an luxury street food.
This summer I was on a dumpling phase where I’ve eaten at various restaurants that serve various dumplings.
Historically dumplings were developed during the Han Dynasty in China by Zhang Zhongjing. Zhongjing was considered the “Medicine Saint” in his village.
One year, the people’s ears were frostbitten and he took a piece of dough skin and filled it with mutton, chili and medicinal herbs, wrapped it up and boiled it. This popular winter concoction helped promote blood flow to warm the body.
Today there are varieties of dumplings:
Korea – Mandoo
Italy – Ravioli
Poland – Pierogi
Spain, Portugal, South and Central America – Empanada
India – Samosa
Japan – Gyoza
Turkey – Manti
Tibet/Nepal – Momo
Below are images of the various dumplings I have had within the last two years. I definitely all kinds, but unfortunately no pictures were taken.
Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao $6.95
Loofah Xiao Long Bao $7.95
Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao Chocolate Dumplings
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Pork Buns $5.25
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Vegetable Dumplings $4.50
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Shanghai Shumai $2.95
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Crabmeat and Pork Buns $6.25
Shanghai Cafe Steamed Tiny Buns $4.95
Shanghai Cafe Steamed Tiny Buns with Crabmeat $6.95
Korean octopus dumplings and glutinous rice dumplings
Early this week, I was invited by the co-chairs of the American Cancer Society Taste of Hope to attend and support the first ever Taste of Hope Goes to Broadway. It was a chill low key event filled with Broadway stars who did not recognize, but what is important is that money was raised and tickets were only $50 and it could be paid at the door. Admission included the opportunity to tour the newly renovated $6 million condo plus wines, and bites from Tolache and Delicatessen. Executive Chef Michael Ferraro led a team to present the delicious dishes that covered all types of eaters. The food presented were lean and healthy.
Tacuba HK – Brisket Tacos
Delicatessen’s Duck dumplings and Tuna Tartare
It was great to reconnect with the management team and committee members who I’ve had the pleasure of working with during the planning of the 12th Annual Taste of Hope Committee.
Cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death. Funding and donations are critical to finding the cause and cure to the various cancers.
On behalf of Tablespoonsandteaspoons we want to wish all mothers are very happy Mother’s Day.
My mother was a main inspiration to creating tablespoonsandteaspoons. When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, we were on a mission to find the best foods that would help treat the disease. This mission led to my thesis in 2014 the assessed current research on health literacy on rheumatic arthritis patients.
This year as requested by my mother she wanted a home cooked meal. So to knock two birds with one stone I did research and found a get gift idea…
These homemade bouquet dumplings. The rose dumplings were made with pork and the leaves were made with vegetables.
The total cost to make this creative gift is under $20.
Did you know that China Grill was around for almost thirty years? Well after one of the best fusion lunches I have had in a while, I can definitely testify to that.
Earlier this week, I caught up with a friend for lunch and both of us were definitely excited to explore the options. So below are the two bento boxes we created. Both of us ordered the Peking duck salad and wasabi mashed potatoes. My friend ordered the dumplings and salmon teriyaki and I was on the noodle box and shrimp red curry. Our bento boxes were “to die for”, presentation was beautiful but more importantly the taste was on point. It was definitely worth the $19.87 spent on this meal.
Peking duck salad, shrimp red curry, noodle box and wasabi mashed potatoes
In addition to the bento box, we decided order the popular salted caramel soufflé ($20), which has to be ordered ahead of time and it is served only on the lunch menu.
Made to order dessert that serves two people available during lunch
After devouring the divine dessert, that was well balanced. The sponge cake, plus the cream and caramel definitely hit the spot.
Lychee and cucumber punch
Lotus root dumplings
It was after 4pm and happy hour begins. My other friend contacted me and informed me that I have to come here for happy hour. It turns out she was right. The menu offers a lot of options for drinks such as cocktails and bar bites from their appetizer menu. So I settled for the lychee and cucumber cocktail ($8) with the lotus root dumplings ($7). Both choices were delicious.
Overall service for lunch and happy hour were awesome. My friend and I were satisfied and I can’t wait to share this experience with my friends and peers. Cheers to China Grill and their continuing success. See you soon China Grill!