Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vittles for the Week: Naked Peeps, Grilled Cheese and $12K


Eco-friendly and a Supreme Space-Saving Grocery Bag: Let's save the world!
Via: NYTimes
Slimy looking soup that makes you thin.

Super-lame Copy Cat: This is What Makes You Thin--I much prefer looking at pics that are bad for you.
Via: Twitter

Yummy looking sandwich that makes you fat.
Yummy: Mind Blowing Grilled Cheese--Delish.
Via: Food 2

$12K Doughnut
: Dunkin' Donuts hosts a contest to create their next donut
Via: Dunkin Donuts and Food2

Naked Peeps: Odd Picture, no?

Via: Buzzfeed
Chicago Tribune

Why I Must Move to Paris for a Month: New York versus Parisian Dining
Via: NyTimes.com

The Best Cuts: Ribs Revealed --Wish there were pics for each cut.
Via: Saveur.com

Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Comment Card: Dirt Candy


Stone Grits with Tempura Egg at Dirt Candy

I am an unabashed carnivore, but I'm not so much of a blood-thirsty meat fiend that I'll ever try my hand at the Bacon Explosion. Veggies definitely have their place in my diet. However, if I'm dining out, I will rarely order the vegetarian dish. Usually, when I hear the word "vegetarian" from the server, my brain registers "snoozefeast". I must have been inspired by Morrissey's recent meat decree, because I had an inexplicable pull to try the new vegetarian hotspot, Dirt Candy.

Dirt Candy is a small, cheery restaurant in the East Village. The chef aims to elevate the vegetable as the centerpiece ingredient of each dish and seems to shun the typical approach of vegetarian cuisine as "health food", substantiated by the fact that the first dish listed on the menu is Hush Puppies.

I went with my friend Sabina, arriving hungry and ready to eat. I ordered the following:

Starter: Jalapeno hush puppies with maple butter
Main: Stone Grits with corn and a tempura poached egg
Dessert: Ricotta Fritters with green tomato marmalade, lemon olive oil ice cream

I grew up in Alabama and have had my fair share of Hush Puppies. These didn't disappoint. The puppies had a wonderfully fried crunch on the outside and the jalapeno gave it a nice kick. The maple butter added a dollop of sweetness to every bite. The grits were flavorful and had the perfect consistency, but it was the richness of the tempura egg, served on top of the grits, that made this dish so satisfying. In my opinion, the best thing that I had that night was the dessert--so light and delicious. The olive oil ice cream eaten with the ricotta was heaven in my mouth. The dessert was served with a dehydrated tomato slice, which was slightly too sour, but I could see what they were going for as a flavor counterpoint to the sweetness of the dessert.

Wrap-up:
Food: Tasty and satisfying vegetarian food for the non-vegetarian
Service: Slightly slow, but really friendly
Ambiance: Bright, cheerful. A bit too much heat from the kitchen--dress in layers.
Price: Not too bad ($35-40/person includes 20 tip )
Verdict: Reasonably priced, wonderfully prepared ingredients--definitely worth checking out.

Dirt Candy

430 e. 9th st
NY, NY 10009
212.228.7732

Friday, March 27, 2009

Paper Tasting




A company called U.S. Inc. has developed Taste-It-Notes, a new whizzbang product which allows consumers to sample food products by tasting strips of paper. Tests have shown it can sell product, but how can paper accurately replicate the flavors, textures, and aromas of actual food? The concept still is pretty nifty IMHO.

The inspiration behind the strips came from this memorable scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:



The concept in the film is precious, but wouldn't lickable wallpaper gross you out after thinking about how many wet tongues have been on it? In my home, you would see the Fruit Cocktail Scratch and Sniff wallpaper collection by Flavor Paper. The wallpaper comes in Cherry, Tutti-Frutti, and Banana. Yum... Snozberry not yet available.




Via: PSFK

Migraine Food Triggers


The culprit. Booooooo.


I had the worst sweet tooth, when I got home last Tuesday. I had finished the last of my Mochi red bean ice-cream cakes over the weekend and was desperate for sugar. I found a package of Godiva chocolates sitting on my kitchen cupboard. Dark-chocolate Godiva Truffles. As a girl who is not afraid to tempt fate, I had ONE and was knocked out for 3 days. Never again.

Here is a list of Food Migraine Triggers:
  • alcoholic beverages
  • sodium-nitrite-laden meat (hot dogs, deli meats, etc.)
  • MSG
  • aspartame
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruit
  • tyramine (chemical found in aged cheese)
  • caffeine (chemical found in coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, etc.)
  • nuts
  • onions
  • beans
  • pickled herring
  • dried smoked fish
  • dairy products
  • sour cream
  • yogurt (yeast extracts)
  • fatty foods
I eat ALL of these foods on a weekly basis, except for pickled herring and dried smoked fish.
Kill me now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Recs for a Snack and a Drink


Pretzel Hotdog and Drinksies at The Rusty Knot. Photo Credit: Time Out


Dinner can be a commitment. There are places to go, people to see--and no time or patience to squander sitting at a table. Some days I much prefer, snacking and cocktailing at the bar. No muss or fuss and perfect for these scenarios:
  • After-work bitch-session with colleagues
  • Post-movie date analysis
  • Respite from retail therapy
  • Light bite before krazzee all-nighter
Forgo the routine slice and check out my list of my recent faves around town (well, downtown):
  • The Rusty Knot: Pretzel Hotdog and a pitcher of PBR
  • Cafe Katja: Liverwurst Spread and Red-Onion Jam, with an assortment of pickled vegetables and Toast and a glass of wine
  • Wilfie and Nell: Scotch Egg and Beer
  • Smith's (NOT to be confused with that terrible place in the East Village, formerly a Pizzeria Uno, called The Smith): Deviled Eggs with Caviar/Grilled Cheese and some sort of fancy cocktail
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar: Steamed Pork Buns and Sake
Let me hear YOUR suggestions....

Photo Credit: Time Out






Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Comment Card: Matsuri, Apps and Drinks


Dinner Crowd at Matsuri

Met my friend, Serena, last night to catch-up on a whole range of topics over drinks. Around 9 PM, we were up for one more drink and some light-bites to finish our gab session before we trekked back to our apartments. Due to proximity, we went to Matsuri, the sushi joint in the Maritime hotel. The undersized dinner crowd, doted on by the under-worked waitstaff, accentuated what there was plenty of--empty tables and wide, open space.
We ordered:

Edamame
House Salad, made of watercress, hijiki, scallops, and soy dressing
Toro Tartare
2 Cups of Green Teas

Total: $30

Nothing much to elaborate on. All was pretty standard and edible. No standouts. Dinner may be a different story, but the last time I ate there was at least 2-3 years ago!

Matsuri


369 W 16th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-6400

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Pig News


The butcher featured in this video gave me a helpful and entertaining Pig Primer at The Brooklyn Kitchen about a month ago. I would recommend the class if you are seeking a crash course in cuts of pork, offal, and other piggy bits.

Via: Eat Me Daily

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vittles for the Week: Big Food, Food Fights, and Whole Foods

The McSurf 'n Turf: This should be the universal sign for blood-curdling indigestion. Findings like this fast-food monstrosity have secured a book deal for the bloggers of the site, This is Why You're Fat.
Via: This is Why You're Fat
The Harper Studio

Food: The Enemy of the People? A new report explores the comparisons between Big Tobacco and Big Food.
Via: The Atlantic

Food Fight!
The people versus mass-produced food.
Via: The New York Times

Why Whole Foods Sorta Sucks: A man gets canned for "stealing" a tuna fish sandwich.
Via: Gothamist

PEACE!!!!! A man writes out his resignation on a huge-ass sheet cake. Better to read than eat. Blergh!
Via: Telegraph.co.uk
Enjoy!

Comment Card: Porchetta - Lunch Review


2009 did not usher in an era of mirth and prosperity for most people. Let's all face it. We are in an economic recession and mental depression! As everything started to head south: expense accounts, office headcount, 401Ks, salaries, personal net-worth--so, too, followed the collective American psyche, spiraling down into the proverbial dumps. But, misery is a pill, so the nation responds by taking pills, consuming scotch, seeing the latest Judd Apatow in droves, and more than ever, by seeking consolation through comfort food. The richness and satisfaction of a heaping platter of macaroni and cheese can compensate for the deficits that we experience financially and psychologically. The sweetness and warmth of a chocolately, fudge brownie have the power to lift the soul. Comfort food has the tranformative ability to placate the mind and engage the senses, which is why I went to Porchetta with a friend on one doozy of a Friday, hoping to get my spirits up and elevate a very rotten mood.

Perhaps due to my exposure to Southern BBQ during my formative years, or my grandmother's Filipino way in the kitchen, to me pork is synonymous with comfort food. Whether its Lechon (Suckling Pig), Pork Tenderloin, Crispy Pork Belly, Chicharones/Pork Rinds, Pulled Pork, BBQ Spareribs, I'm going to feel pretty good after a plate of that stuff.

I had taken a class at The Brooklyn Kitchen and my instructor was the butcher and chef at Porchetta, so I knew the ingredients would be fresh and local, and the menu well thought out. Everything on the menu has pig somehow integrated into the dish, even the vegetables.

This is what we ordered and shared:

The Porchetta Sandwich
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Crackling, Lemon, Thyme, and Honey
Roasted Potatoes with Burnt Ends
A $5 coke of some kind

Cost: Less than $30

The sides are huge, but the sandwiches are not. What we ordered was adequate for two people (and filling, due to the high fat content of the porchetta), but if you have an appetite, get another sandwich and one side to share. The Porchetta sandwich was simply made of sliced cuts of pork with heavenly hunks of brown crackling on a Ciabatta roll. The pork was succulent and deliciously fatty, and the bread/protein ratio was just about right, not overly starchy at all. My friend thought that the potatoes could have used more seasoning, but I really liked them. They had a nice crisp and the burnt ends of the crispy pork skin provided a savory, counter crunch that was fun. The roasted brussel sprouts were a great accompaniment to the Porchetta, but could have been punched up with a tad more acid. Nevertheless, I gobbled them all up. Overall, I enjoyed the meal, feeling fat, happy, and pleasantly distracted for a brief while .

Food: Porky Delight
Ambiance: Tiny, Clean and Cute
Service: Friendly. Helpful when asked for hot sauce.
Price: Sorta pricey for a take-out place
Verdict: Comforting. I'd go again on a Sunday afternoon.

110 7th Street between Avenue A and 1st Ave
East Village
212-777-2151



Porchetta on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Food Art: We the Peeps...


An Example of Peep Art: Peeps on a Plane! : A Miracle on the Hudson

I'm kinda in love with the plump, pastel confection, known as Peeps, the utterly adorable, sugar-covered marshmallow treat. As Easter approaches, Peep Art, usually in the form of dioramas, surfaces all over the country, rendering winsome surprise and entertainment value for the American masses. These artistic constructions have always held a certain fascination for me.
Perhaps, it's the reinvention of a mass-produced object into a work of originality, depicting playful scenarios beyond expected Easter associations. Or, maybe it's the strange collision of incongruent notions of innocence and corruption caused by adulterating a precious, childhood goody into something physically gruesome, as this...



A scene from Reservoir Dogs

...or as sexually provocative, as this...

Peep Bunnies makin' a living .

Undeniably, the cultural ubiquity and nostalgia around the seasonal marshmallow delight contribute elements of charm and whimsy to most Peep installations. Here are some of my favorite examples that I found surfing on the interweb:

KFPeeps

Peep Pop-Art



Peeps for President Obama


Peep Prison


Channeling Lloyd Dobler...

Downward-facing Peeps

Feel free to submit more Peeps sightings. Can't get enough of 'em...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Get Your Corndog On


Apparently, it's Corn Dog Day!

If you really have an insatiable hunger for meat on sticks, here is a link to a list of Corndog Parties in New York!

Happy Corndog Day! 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Food-Art: Breakfast of Champions

This art piece,  created by Hank Willis Thomas  and Ryan Alexiev, depicts an iconic image of  US president, Barack Obama, in a curiously alluring mosaic portrait made of what seems to be Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Chex and some other unidentifiable (at least to me) brands of cereal--one of the most heavily marketed consumer packaged goods in the US.   This ostensibly cheery (amazing effect that cereal has on our visual culture) piece of art raises many questions about consumerism, politics, marketing, and race. Food for thought this Saturday morning...







The Diddy Dilemma

IMHO, there's no contest...Popeye's!




Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cook it or Charge it?


For a large number of people in New York, St. Patrick's Day is not only a day of convivial carousing in a hideous green get-up, but also THE day to exercise excess- usually in the form of sloppy, binge drinking and consuming platters of tater skins. Even, little Filipino me got swept up in the infectious Irish spirit of revelry, spending a couple of hours at a pub clinking glasses of whiskey and beer with my friend, Jason, but around dinner-time, the little
under-employed me found it tough to to over-indulge on a day that applauds indulgence. It would have been so easy to order a couple of savory plates of corned beef and mash at the bar, but it was just as easy to cook at home, and less damage to the ole savings account.

According to the last Consumer Expenditure Report issued in October, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person in the U.S. spent $2694 on food away from home (either fast-food or full-service dining). Personally, I spent $7507.08, in restaurants alone, according to my 2008 Amex Year-End Summary (didn't know that until I did my taxes)! This is a lot of cashola that I'm dishing out for dishes! It wouldn't hurt to curtail the dining-out habit a tad. But when I'm out cocktailing and hungry, I will most likely google-map a hot-spot downtown and forgo cooking. I do like to cook, but it requires some effort and a few hours of kitchen (and mental) prep time. Factor in sobriety levels, it can seem like a supreme hassle!

Luckily, my friend offered to cook. He shot-gunned his beer, and I nursed the last few sips of mine and went back to his kitchen. He sorted out the menu of Beer-Braised Bratwurst with Mixed Green Salad, and Mashed Potatoes, which turned out to be incredibly satisfying, delicious and super cheap chow to boot. He had everything in his kitchen, minus an onion, easily solved by a quick trip to the street-corner deli shop.

.

Ingredients and Cost-Breakdown

1 pacakge of 5 Bratwurst Sausages from Trader Joe's = $4
1 Onion < $1 Mixed Greens < $2-3
1 Red Bell Pepper < $1
2 large potatoes < $1
Some Butter, oil, red-wine vinegar and 1 cup of Milk < $2-4
1 six-pack of Beer = $8-12
Total < $20 for 2 people, includes drinks.

Mouth-watering plate and well-worth the effort!!

Pig Candy

This seems like an interesting treat, or at the very least a playful attempt in originality. There is a Filipino chocolate breakfast rice porridge called Champorado that is at times eaten with dilis--tiny, crispy anchovies. The salty/sweet taste combination seem similar to the choco-bacon. Sorta.

Roni-Sue's Chocolates

(212) 260-0421

120 Essex St, Essex Street Market # 24 (at Delancey)  New York, NY 10002


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fresh Direct Vending Machines Spotted at the Gym

I have absolutely ZERO focus at the gym. My eyes dart around the room, hoping that SOMETHING (a boxing class, a personal trainer at work, a bobbing ponytail) will divert my attention from the painfully slow ticking countdown of the treadmill screen clock. While mentally chasing distraction, I noticed a vending machine with refrigerated, packaged food. I got off the god-forsaken belt to get a closer look and saw that this was no ordinary vending machine, but one chockful of ready-made meals, prepared by Fresh Direct and other restaurants, such as Tabla and Rosa Mexicano.

To be honest, the meals, shielded behind the glass casing, looked a bit sad. And with the majority of choices being mostly vegetarian options, unappealing.  

But in the spirit of adventure, I decided to try one out for myself.  I slid my credit card through and out popped a plastic container of my dinner to be nuked in the funcooker for the night. I wanted to sample the Rosa Mexicano Beef Shortrib Enchiladas, but the guy ahead of me took the last meal. Instead,  I opted for the Portobello Mushroom Ravioli with the Three-Tomato Sauce for $7.95. 
 
For vending machine food, it was surprisingly edible, not at all the god-awful horrendous food that I was anticipating. The pasta was rubbery and pretty heavy, but the mushrooms and at least some of  tomatoes were seemingly fresh.


www.freshdirect.com

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!


Wylie Dusfresne loved this dish! 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vittles for the Week: Cake Pops, Pig Problems, Slow Food, and the Best Burger in NYC

Food related links from the interweb...

PRECIOUS! How to Make Cake Pops: What a charming idea for a dessert! Looks pretty easy to make too...
Via:
Apartment Therapy and Bakerella

A Pig Problem: 2 Commentary pieces (Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health, and Pathogens in our Pork) by Nicolas Kristof detailing the health risks that Americans may encounter because of the overuse of antibiotics on livestock. "
Seventy percent of all antibiotics in the United States go to healthy livestock, according to a careful study by the Union of Concerned Scientists — and that’s one reason we’re seeing the rise of pathogens that defy antibiotics."
Via: The New York Times

Alice Waters and Slow Food: She seems slightly affected, but her accomplishments are commendable.

Via: CBS Videos Online

BLIND New York Hamburger Taste-test: Not sure if I agree with the results...
Via:
Always Hungry.com

Cheap Chow: Another restaurant guide for the budget conscious. Will be hitting some of these places soon.

Via: Three Buck Bites

Was there an actual General Tso?: A very speedy and articulate explanation of the origins and evolution of Chinese food in America. This came out a few months ago, but I stumbled across it this week, so fascinating I had to share...
Via:
Ted.com

Sunday, March 15, 2009

High Art and Grease



Via A Hamburger Today

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Comment Card: Allen and Delancey


My friends visiting from Italy accorded me carte blanche to set the agenda for their last night in New York. The pressure was on to select a reputable American restaurant that had some buzz around it, surpassing the caliber of food that they had encountered so far, and representative of the best of Manhattan's restaurant culture. Yikes.
Allen and Delancey seemed to be the right choice--favorable write-ups, farm-to-table approach to food, and zippy LES location. A new head chef, Kyle Bailey (formerly of Stone Barns and Cru), was running the kitchen and had created a new menu. I was eager to sample the menu and see what all the hullaballoo was all about surrounding Allen and Delancey. Apparently, so was PADMA LAKSHMI, the extraordinarily tall and beautiful hostess of Top Chef. I really do hate being such a Top Chef star fucker, because my friends never seem to share the same enthusiasm at the actual sighting.

Me: OH MY GOD, There's PADMA! She JUST walked past our table.
Friend: Uh, who?
Me: You know PADMA from TOP CHEF!! She's the hostess of the show, Indian, tall, enormous scar on her arm, wrote Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet...(Me droning on some more...)
Friend: Oh, yeah.
Me: You know, reality TV, cooking competition! They must air the show in Italy...
Friend: Yes, I think I've seen a few episodes.
Me: THERE SHE IS!!
Friend: Oh, yeah. I see her. Ho hum.

I've spotted Padma twice now (New Museum), Sam (Concert in Brooklyn), Mark (Season 4, Public), Ilan ( Casa Mono). But I digress, back to Allen and Delancey...

The restaurant space has a rustic charm, designed in the manner of an old Vermont barn house, festooned with antique relics, fresh cabbage roses, and oil portrait paintings. The mood was warm and inviting.

My friends, Federica and Daniele, ordered the polenta and foie gras for starters, and the Arctic char and veal for mains, respectively. The char is supposed to be one of the highlights of the menu, based on reviews I've read, however, Federica thought the fish was too dry.
This is what I ordered:

Hamachi Crudo, Grapefruit Beads, Pickled Fennel, Mint
Prosciutto Wrapped Veal Loin, Sweet Breads, Brussels Sprouts, Gratín
Sweet Cream French Toast, Maple Ice Cream, Bacon Caramel, Caramelized Banana

First, the bread is very good. One of the rolls had a savory, smokiness that was heavenly!

The Hamachi starter was luscious and well seasoned. The high oil content of the Hamachi (yellowtail) gave it a wonderfully, buttery texture, and the the acid and flavors of the grapefruit, fennel, and mint complimented the fattiness of the fish.

The veal was tender and cooked perfectly. There was a pumpkin or butternut squash puree and sauteed leaves of brussel sprouts that surrounded the plate, the sweetness of the puree and the saltiness of the brussel sprouts (not sure how they were prepared) brought out the flavors of the veal. Really delightful. The sweetbreads were also quite good, creamy and delicate.

I ordered the dessert because the bacon caramel caught my eye. Eaten alone, without garnish, the french toast was a bit hard. However, once fully soaked with the caramel sauce, or eaten with the ice cream and banana, the french toast softens to become a playful dessert that is really tasty and fun.

Wrap Up...

Food: Delish
Service: Pretty good
Ambiance: Rustic charm
Price: Beau coup bucks ($100/person) Includes 20% tip and a bottle of wine

115 Allen Street New York, NY 10002
212-253-5400





Allen & Delancey on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 13, 2009

Drinksies: Raines Law Room


Blustery winds and frigid, wintry temperatures on Thursday nights in New York are prime conditions for getting your drink on.  So, last night I met up with a friend, who suggested that we try Raines Law Room  in the Flat-Iron district, next to the Chelsea Hotel.  This new "speak-easy" is named after a law that prohibited all establishments, except hotels, from selling liquor on Sundays.  As a legal subterfuge to continue the sale of booze to patrons on the day of rest,  bar owners proceeded to construct make-shift rooms for vacancy around their saloons that obviously facilitated all sorts of illicit behavior. But there is nothing illicit or seedy about this high-end, dignified speak-easy. The tin ceiling panels, brocade patterned walls, brass mirrors and plush, tufted, velvet sofas give the room a stately, yet still intimate quality; and the service is quite good---unpretentious, approachable and friendly.

All the ingredients are fresh and the cocktail menu is quite special, invented by mixologist, Michael McIlroy (Milk & Honey). You can choose your drink from the menu or the specials the waitress outlines, but you are also free to request any cocktail of your choosing, or ask for a recommendation, provided that you give them some guidance to your preferences, i.e. liquor base, ingredients, etc...

Had I not consumed the number of cocktails I did, I would have remembered the actual names of the best ones. I asked for a gin-based cocktail that was refreshing. The waitress came back with some concoction that included cucumbers, salt, pepper and lime juice.  Simple, yet peppy delight.

Note:  We arrived around 8:30 and there was no wait. 

Raines Law Room 
48 West 17th Street 
Between 5th and 6th Aves. 
Ring Buzzer, Will not seat parties of 6 or more.  


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Comment Card: Spice Market


There are these specific restaurants in New York where the massive scale and exquisite design elements of the space, usually in the form of vaulted ceilings, immense crystal chandeliers, or an impossibly large Buddha in the middle of the floor, instantly affects your impression and you are meant to be catapulted into a far-away, fabled place that satisfies the senses and enhances the dining experience. In the case, of Spice Market, you end up at a, umm, spice market (the name has always been a bit too on the nose for me...), albeit an upmarket one in the ginormous continent of Asia somewhere. In real-life, the restaurant is located in the hellacious social mecca for the Vodka and Red Bull drinking, post-collegiate set, known as the Meatpacking Distict. The space is lush and quite special, replete with long lanterns, rustic wooden staircases, and a sultry lighting scheme. Despite the stunning atmospheric details, the food, an elevated take on pan-asian street food, isn't at all commensurate to the grandiosity of the space, but it's still pretty ok.

I went with 3 out-of-towners from Italy, who were quite taken by the surroundings...and food (They ordered 2 sashimi appetizers, 1 order of the spring rolls (I tried one, very tasty!), 2 lobster main courses, 1 cod main, and 2 crème brûlées.) Note for waist and wallet watchers: The waiter recommended family-style eating, but we ordered separate appetizers and mains. The portions are HULKING, especially the appetizers. If I eat there again, I would get 2-3 apps for a group of 4 and share a main.

What I ordered:

Crispy squid salad with cashews, green papaya and watermelon
Coconut milk, curried, laksa with fish, scallop and prawns
Ovaltine Kulfi with spiced chocolate sauce

The salad was considerably large and was drizzled with a spicy, orange mayonnaisey, French dressing. The watermelon would have been an interesting compliment to the kick of the spice, but my cubes were too soggy and ruined the textures. The fried squid was tender, although slightly over-battered. The papaya chunks (could have been swapped with jicama) gave it a nice, refreshing, cleansing crunch.

The laksa, rich and flavorful, gave off an incredible aroma. The prawns were plump, perfectly cooked, and served in a big bowl with the heads on, bobbing amid the deep yellow, steamy soup. The juice from the head is where all the flavors are stored. You can suck the glorious juices out if you aren't shy about such things. The fish and scallop were let-downs, overcooked and tough.

I'm never the person to order the Triple Chocolate Bombe, due to some mind-splitting migraines that the complex compound has wielded on me, but I shrugged it off and ordered the Chocolate Ovaltine Kulfi. It was too frozen and could have sat a longer (its density was similar to that of a stale Tootside roll), feeling too resistant to the bite. After wrestling with the dessert, I managed to tear away a small morsel of the kulfi and slowly let it melt in my mouth, the creamy malted flavor overtaking my palate, which was a pleasant way to end the meal.

Wrap-up...

Food: Tasty
Service: Fast and Friendly
Ambiance: Lush
Price: Expensive ($65-70/person) includes 20% tip and 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
Verdict: Take your visitors here

Spice Market
403 W. 13th Street New York, NY 10014 Tel: (212) 675-2322



Spice Market on Urbanspoon