July 25, 2014

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

This will be one of the several posts dedicated to my yearly visit back east.
Thank you for joining me as I reflect back on my trip and food adventures.  Enjoy~

65 Bayard Street, New York, NY 10013 212 608 4170

After having dinner at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe, we walked over to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for dessert. We had made sure to save some room!

Even with a Häagen-Dazs store right down the street, the line for Chinatown Ice Cream Factory was out the door! We impatiently waited our turn before trying a few samples. My favorites were (in alphabetical order) the black sesame, don tot (egg custard tart), lychee, and mango. Yum!

What I love about this family run business is that the normal flavors are all the Asian inspired flavors, while the exotic flavors are the "normal" flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. ^_^

Above, you'll see my brother's Lychee Sherbet on the left along with my half Black Sesame ice cream hidden by the top layer of half Don Tot (egg custard tart). Even though the Black Sesame wasn't the best I've ever had, it was the only time I've ever had Don Tot flavored ice cream. What was so amazing was that this tasted exactly like an egg custard tart! I have no idea how they made it happen, but I am so glad they did!

My brother immediately inhaled his portion without incurring brain freeze, but I nursed my portion during the walk back to the subway station heading back to K-town for karaoke. The ice cream was the perfect end to our meal. ^_^

I will happily return to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for their range of Asian inspired flavors even if this is a cash only establishment! If you haven't been there before, it's a must visit whether you're a local or a first time visitor to NYC!

July 23, 2014

Shanghai Cafe Deluxe

This will be one of the several posts dedicated to my yearly visit back east.
Thank you for joining me as I reflect back on my trip and food adventures.  Enjoy~

100 Mott St, New York, NY 10013 212 966 3988

After spending all morning and most of the afternoon with my mom and my brother, my brother and I hopped the train into the city. We met up with my brother's girlfriend and a mutual friend of ours to spend a fun evening in my favorite city in the world!

We had wanted to visit The Milk Gallary to view the Magnum Photos: Magnum Contact Sheets exhibit, but it wasn't opened! Our numerous calls to try and confirm if the gallery was opened on a Saturday always went straight to their voice mail, which was frustrating. After viewing the exhibit through locked glass walls, we walked through The High Line and Chelsea Market trying to find ourselves some dinner. I'm not sure how, but our conversation lead to the Shanghai soup dumplings of Shanghai Cafe Deluxe so we headed straight over to Chinatown.

Even though the restaurant was bustling, we were seated almost immediately. After browsing through the menu, the four of us decided on two orders of Scallion Pancakes ($2.25 for four pieces an order), two orders of Steamed Tiny Buns with Pork ($4.25 for eight dumplings an order), and two orders of Steamed Tiny Buns with Crab Meat and Pork ($6.25 for eight dumplings an order), with the option to order more if we were still hungry.

The Scallion Pancakes were extra crispy and were a great start to the meal. However, these Scallion Pancakes were missing the chewy center I was looking forward to. Eating these made me want to make some of my own!

Our Shanghai soup dumplings arrived soon after fresh from the kitchen. I managed to snap a few pictures of the Steamed Tiny Buns with Crab Meat and Pork before everyone started digging in.

Each of these dumplings had a thin skin wrapper enveloping juicy meat and piping hot soup. My brother's girlfriend and I only managed about five dumplings each, leaving the rest for the boys. The boys wavered over an extra order of dumplings, but decided against since we were heading over to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for dessert. All of us agree the pork only version was better than the crab and pork version!

I totally recommend visiting Shanghai Cafe Deluxe for their soup dumplings. The next time I visit, I will try a few other dishes and will definitely order the Steamed Tiny Buns with Pork. The service was typical of a busy Chinese restaurant, the prices were more than acceptable, and the food was delicious. Of course, our walking around for a few hours prior might have had increased the deliciousness of our meal, but I'm sure the quality of food at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe isn't bad either.

Side note: Shanghai Cafe Deluxe is a cash only establishment!

July 16, 2014

Sunny Palace - Dim Sum

This will be one of the several posts dedicated to my yearly visit back east.
Thank you for joining me as I reflect back on my trip and food adventures.  Enjoy~

Sunny Palace 
1069 New Jersey 18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 732 651 8668 

This summer, I wasn't able to visit the east coast for long due to the many things happening here in Utah along with lack of coordination with work. What little time I did spend there was well worth the trip . ^_^  

I left for the airport straight after Independence Day fireworks. (Mr. Munchimunch and I like to tease Lucas by telling him it's the day Will Smith saved the world from aliens, haha... Does anyone else remember the movie?!) The first leg of my flight wasn't too bad and I managed to catch 2 1/2 to 3 hours of sleep. The second leg of my flight was miserable. I was stuck in a middle seat due to the full flight with a big guy to my left snoring like a chainsaw and a fake crying child two rows behind me. Yes, I can tell a fake cry from a real cry and this child was totally fake crying. Sigh...

I arrived Saturday morning ravishingly hungry so my mom, my brother and I stopped for some dim sum at Sunny Palace, a Chinese restaurant close to the house. It sure hit the spot! 

Clockwise, starting from bottom left: Spare Ribs - my favorite!, Shrimp Dumplings which were acceptable, Beef Tripe - my brother's favorite, and Beef Tendon which chewy and tender at the same time and were my favorite out of these four. 

Left to right, Spring Rolls which were the perfect amount of crisp and Beef Stomach and Lung with Chinese Radish/Turnip which was better than the Beef Tripe. 

Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll which was surprisingly good. I love the soy sauce based sauce used for these noodle rolls! 

Turnip Cake which were a bit too soft for my liking. 

And for dessert, Dou Fu Fa, or silky tofu. This was not served out of the traditional wooden bucket and seemed like it was made from regular tofu. 

I don't recall the last time I had dim sum at Sunny Palace. Some dishes, like the Beef Tendon and the Spring Rolls, stood out from the rest. We arrived a bit early so we didn't have to wait too long and everything we ordered was freshly made from the kitchen. If you haven't been to Sunny Palace for dim sum, you should give them a try. It wasn't too bad. Of course, it could just be my starving stomach talking to me. ^_^ 

July 2, 2014

Spitz - Downtown

35 E Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 801 364 0286

The other day, Mr. Munchimunch and I joined some friends for a quick birthday dinner celebration at Spitz.  It was our first time eating at Spitz and it was Mr. Munchimunch's first time ever trying this cuisine.

Mr. Munchimunch ordered a local beer, which I regrettably did not note the name.  The single sip I tried had the horrible hoppy beer taste I hate in the beginning, but eventually smoothed out into a light and sweet aftertaste.  One sip was taste enough for me though!

While I've tried doner kebabs and falafel several times before, off street carts in New York and some restaurants in New Brunswick, New Jersey, I could never partake in this cuisine due to the spiciness.  I made sure to request no chilis or pepperoncinis or anything at all spicy to me.

Even though my Street Cart Donor came without chilis and pepperoncinis, they forgot to remove the chili sauce!  I tried hard to eat the sandwich as is, but eventually gave up and picked through what I could.  The meat was juicy, flavorful, and wonderfully spiced!  I also ordered a small side of Fried Pita Strips served with a side of hummus and wished for a larger size.  Mr. Munchimunch had a good first experience as well with his Zesty Feta Donor.

After everyone was done with their meals, we embarrassed our friend with a loud group singing of Happy Birthday and encouraged the rest of the restaurant to join in.  Right after our song, the other table in the restaurant started singing Happy Birthday for their birthday friend!  haha  Perfect timing!

Overall, the food was fresh, tasty, and reasonably priced.  I will definitely return for more donor kebabs and Fried Pita Strips and suggest you give Spitz a visit too if you haven't already!

Side note: I loved the background music (at one point, a version of Star Wars Cantina Theme was playing!) and will ask for outside seating next time.

June 25, 2014

Tokyo Sushi

9414 South Union Square, Sandy, UT 84070 801 999 4321

It seems like this is the month for sushi!  I started off with Kyoto Japanese Restaurant, then Sushi Monster, and am now ending up with Tokyo Sushi.  What can I say..  Mr. Munchimunch and I sure love our sushi!

We happened upon Tokyo Sushi while trying to kill time before catching a movie at the nearby dollar theater.

We decided to forgo our typical agedashi tofu and opted for Vegetable Tempura instead.  Several pieces of tempera carrots, onions, cucumbers, a mushroom and a cauliflower were served with some dipping sauce.  My favorite pieces of vegetable tempura is either kabocha or sweet potato.  If I could, I'd order a whole plate full of both!

Sadly, I cannot seem to remember what Mr. Munchimunch ordered, but he did finish both of his rolls.  As for me, I ordered the Alaskan roll (top in first picture) and a Unagi roll (bottom in first picture) and both were satisfactory.

All in all, it wasn't a bad way to spend thirty minutes or so.  When our server heard we had a time limit, our food arrived quickly and she made sure we received our check as soon as our meal was over.  Like Sushi Monster, Tokyo Sushi is a "You get what you paid for." type of deal.  I recommend Tokyo Sushi just because of our pleasant meal there.

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