All posts filed under: USA

Somtum Der: Isan Thai in New York City

Isan Thai Food Nestled in NYC’s East Village From the Northeastern part of Thailand, Isan Thai food is distinctly different from its sweeter central-cuisine cousin (think Pad Thai). For one, it’s SPICY and fiercly so. Isan Thai also serves up copious amounts of sticky rice, Som Tam (papaya salad), and Nam Tok (grilled meat salad). I’ve enjoyed all the trendy Southasian restaurants in New York City recently but Som Tum Der has been the standout in terms of food. Big flavors, filling portions, and phenomenal grilled meats are some of the things I consistently find in my visits. Disclaimer: Som Tum Der received its first Michelin Star in 2016. As you can imagine, people are clamoring to try this place out now that it’s earned a coveted French star. Surprisingly, only one other Thai restaurant in the world has been awarded a Michelin Star (if you’re ever in Copenhagen, go visit Kiin Kiin Thai because I’ve heard raving reviews). So try to get a reservation if you’re going during peak hours–I never had trouble getting a table last summer but these …

A Lavish Lunch Affair at Per Se

New Yorkers are spoiled by amazing food, whether it’s a simple bagel sandwich from the fantastic Tompkins Square Bagels or the endless restaurants nestled in Hell’s Kitchen. But a dining experience at Thomas Keller’s iconic three-Michelin establishment, Per Se, really sets the bar high for all my future meals. Located on the 4th floor of the Time Warner Center by Columbus Circle, Per Se has a gorgeous view of Central Park. Considered the East coast counterpart of Keller’s French Laundry, it is one of the few New York restaurants that boasts an impressive three Michelin Stars. Oh but the best part of it all — Oysters and Pearls, French Laundry’s signature dish, opens the prix fixe menu at Per Se as well. Sabayon of tapioca, oysters, and sterling white sturgeon caviar… Just writing about this dish feels luxurious! As we visited for lunch, we opted for the five course menu which still left us feeling very satisfied (my vegetarian friends/vegetable lovers: apparently Per Se has an impressive vegetarian prix fixe menu that wows even more than the regular!). Dessert really takes the cake at …

Freshly Brewed Matcha at Ippodo Tea House 一保堂茶舗

A piece of Kyoto in New York City Ippodo (一保堂茶舗) is a venerable Kyoto tea house that has specialised in Japanese green tea for more than 300 years. In other words, Ippodo is heralded as the Japanese tea industry’s crème de la crème. From matcha to hojicha, Ippodo sells a variety of loose-leaf teas; although I haven’t tried all of them yet, I’ve been told each boasts strikingly distinct flavors. Anyways, when Ippodo finally decided to open a store outside of Japan, tea enthusiasts were ecstatic (check out another blogger Alexis’ post here!). Ippodo NY offers freshly brewed teas of your choice, alongside seasonal drinks such as Matcha Slushies and Green Tea Lattes. A short post because I haven’t done one in a while. Moving to NYC is a whirlwind of fun but it just keeps me so incredibly busy. Hope you get a warm cup of Japanese tea to-go because it’s getting cold now! love, eatprayjade x. Ippodo Address // 125 East 39th Street, New York, New York 10016 Website // http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/ Tel // (212) 370-0609

Japanese French Desserts at ChikaLicious Dessert Bar

Summers in Tokyo have spoiled me–afterall, Matcha Eclairs at Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki set the bar really high for Japanese-style French desserts. But in New York’s East Village, there is a sleek and gorgeous kitchen that rivals any Tokyo patisserie. Meet Chika, the elegant Japanese chef running Chikalicious Dessert Bar. With vibrant dessert pairings, Chikalicious’ menu is seasonal so every visit is full of different Japanese-influenced French desserts. Particularly, the Fromage Blanc “Cheesecake” and the Chocolate Tart with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream are fantastic must-haves. My French food connoisseur, Lauren, has told me that Chika’s cheesecake is the closest thing she’s had to an authentic French cheesecake–a serious compliment if you’ve ever met a Parisian. Whether or not you’ve indulged in a prix fixe dessert experience before, an afternoon in Chikalicious is a treat. And if you’re lucky enough to snag a counter seat, you’ll get to see Chika work her magic (hint: the satisfaction of watching powdered sugar fall onto buttery pecan cookies is one of the secret pleasures you’ll get to enjoy). An interactive three-course dessert experience is a fascinating one as is. But when the dessert-making happens in front of you curtesy of Chika’s …

New York to Tokyo: Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Hello New York City! A new city, a new food adventure. Having finally moved here a couple weeks ago, New York City is a blur of weekdays and weekends in which the ultimate question is not what to eat, but instead, which one of the million eateries to step into. For a while, I couldn’t decide where to start blogging. Moment of truth: the two questions I asked myself everyday were 1) what’s for lunch? 2) what should be my first blog post? But finally, I decided there is nothing more exciting (or indulgent) than a visit to New York City’s coveted patisserie, Dominique Ansel Kitchen. An airy cafe setting as opposed to its bakery counterpart, Dominique Ansel Kitchen is more than just a cronut-fad. From seasonal desserts like Fraises Des Bois to classic DKA’s, Dominique Ansel has created a dessert shop that is as trendy as it is delicious. Also, for my Tokyo readers, I heard the craze for the newly opened DAB means insane lines! Maybe when I go back to visit, I’ll muster up the patience to wait in line for it. P.S. …

Woodberry Kitchen: Farm to Fork

Woodberry Kitchen is a Charm City favorite that follows the recent farm-to-table trend. With many Universities’ graduation dates coming up, families have been scrambling to make a reservation for this wildly popular restaurant. But is it worth the hype? Without a doubt, yes. Head Chef Spike Gjerde and his team behind Woodberry Kitchen are fantastic. They work wonders with their locally-sourced ingredients. From coveted Chesapeake Oysters to ‘Meatless Monday’ favorites like Grilled Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Woodberry Kitchen boasts a delicious and seasonal menu. Sunday brunch is my favorite meal at Woodberry Kitchen (in general, it’s my favorite meal of the week anyways). Whoever came up with the Morning Flatbread, a tasty breakfast pizza finished with a cracked egg on top, is genius. And don’t even get me started on how brilliant those crispy potatoes on top of the caramelized onions are. Other interesting brunch choices include the Cast Iron Pancake garnished with sweet potato butter and nectarines. Yes, you read right. Pancake. Singular pancake! That’s because the cast iron skillet pancake is incredibly fluffy and dense (and filling). But for those that might not want a carbo-brunch …

Afternoon Tea in West Village: Bosie Tea Parlor & Patisserie Claude

Hello Spring! In the words of Taylor Swift, “nice to meet you, where you been?” Now that it’s finally warming up, spring days with beautiful sun hats, nice walks in the park, and afternoon tea dates don’t feel that far away. So, to celebrate the upcoming spring blooms, here are two cozy afternoon tea places in New York City’s West Village. After all, where better to await spring than tea parlors and patisseries? Bosie Tea Parlor Bosie Tea Parlor has been a New York staple of mine for a while–it’s low-key, has an artsy vibe, and serves great finger sandwiches. The traditional afternoon tea set isn’t over the top, and comes with a wide range of fresh macarons you can choose from. The table’s favorite was the salted caramel macaron, but the lavender macaron was also really lovely. Plus, Bosie’s Earl Grey Mille Crepe is just delicious! If you like subtly sweet desserts, you’ll definitely enjoy the fluffy layers of earl grey creme. And since Bosie is first and foremost a tea parlor after all, remember to pair your desserts with a cup of perfectly brewed tea before settling in for a relaxing afternoon. So next time …

Holiday Brunch at Clinton St. Baking Co.

Happy New Years! Top of my 2015 New Years Resolutions List was exploring more popular food spots so in the spirit of that, I squeezed in a holiday brunch with my family at Clinton St. Baking Company recently. This popular Lower East Side shop is known for its delicious blueberry pancakes, Belgian waffles, and brunch overall. I first heard about Clinton St. Baking Company in Tokyo this summer actually. But I also quickly learned that Tokyo’s pancake craze means delicious pancakes only if you can endure enormously long waits–after all, lines can go for hours at this popular brunch spot! But, what girl doesn’t love a delicious stack of pancakes? I seriously appreciate brunch with great pancakes, especially if they fit my golden rule: fluffy on the inside with slightly crispy sides. So this time, despite the hour wait (which was much shorter than the one in Tokyo I’m sure!), I persevered. A new year means renewed strength to wait for good brunch right?                             Hands down, Clinton St. Baking Company is delicious–the …

Alice’s Tea Cup: “it’s always tea-time”

Alice’s Tea Cup is not too far from the magical world Alice stepped into. With a wide selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and mixed teas, this cosy tearoom is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. My brief stop in New York–before visiting my family for Thanksgiving Break–consisted of a satisfying brunch at Friedman’s, a great spot for homemade comfort food, followed by high tea at Alice’s Tea Cup. I met up with one of my classmates from university who is in the process of finishing her dissertation. Now, when I say classmate, I mean more of an older sister I look up to. In the year and a half I was gone in London, she got married to a wonderful guy and gave birth to the most precious baby girl. I was ecstatic to meet her family so where better to have a reunion than over high tea? I loved all the Alice in Wonderland-themed tea sets at Alice’s Tea Cup. Between The Nibble “a lil bit hungry?”, The Mad Hatter “hungry?”, and The Jabberwocky “famished?”, we ended up getting …

Carma’s Cafe: sesame noodles, paninis, and more

Carma’s Cafe is a magical little hideout in Baltimore. The cafe’s menu is constantly updated with seasonal specials but nothing beats their staples: the best sesame noodles around, Pink Dalmatian cookies (cranberry white chocolate chip magicalness), and an array of freshly grilled paninis. On gloomy days, there’s nothing more comforting than an order of Carma’s grilled cheese with tomato soup. On days when all your stomach craves is savory carbs, Carma’s TCB (turkey cranberry brie panini) with a side order of sesame noodles is on point My friend Marc, whose palate matches his deeply fabulous style, recently introduced me to the Xander–a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with granny smith apples, light cream cheese, and honey drizzled over. I don’t know how I went so long without trying it! Carma’s Cafe is also famous for its Icelandic Yogurt (with berry compote!) and baked cookies. If you’re really lucky, you’ll manage to catch a fresh batch of Carma’s blueberry muffins in the morning! Plus, since it’s located right next to University campus, you’ll always find students grabbing coffees to go, or studying outside the cafe when the weather is nice–a perfect people watching spot. It’s crazy how Baltimore’s …