Jul 18 2017

Buddakan


75 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

By far the better Chinese food among the high end/Asian fusion restaurants in the big apple – New York. The interior decor is wonderful – more photos on their web site.

The molten chocolate cake maybe slightly less desirable to Tao‘s (and there is a Tao across the street) but other dishes are hands down better. Oh you can have a heart to heart talk with your soul mate here too.

I enjoyed all the dishes we ordered. Except perhaps the broccoli. The oxtail dumplings are awesome – very oxtail = meaty. Black cod is so good we ordered the second helping – I know … can’t take Irene anywhere.

    

The bathroom has no maiden. Great.

Their service is super. Attentive and no bothering/pestering at all. The only complain perhaps is the Jade dumplings’ sauce spilling over the small plate. Their Argentina’s Malbec is pretty delicious. The Molten chocolate cake is good but not as good as Tao’s.

What did Buddakan do to earn such … double jeopardy? I’m a little late and don’t want to use my little brain. So as soon as the cab dropped me off at entrance to the Chelsea Market, I asked for direction (showed how long ago I went!) – Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina is immediately next door and they share the same address, and the waiter replied: “I don’t know.” Oh well. Next, the cops. I’ve always love the cops except when they issued me a parking tickets wrongly – like no parking on Wednesdays and yet I got a ticket on a Wednesday. So there came out two cops from the Chelsea Market, one was white and one African American. The white cop replied, “Buddakan? Oh it’s just around corner” and pointed me to the opposite direction. Actually as I am waking I feel it isn’t right. Anyway it is totally wrong. Not cool dude. Shame on you whoever you’re on the Sunday 7.16 at 6:35pm at Chelsea market.

Ok, to be sure and precise: it’s the black exterior corner building at the corner of 9th and 16th. If you see the Chelsea market entrance on 9th you’ve passed it.

  

 


Jul 15 2017

Tao


42 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022

Recent years there are slew high end Asian fusion restaurants in NY opened (and closed) but I still like this original one better. The big Buddha is unmatched so far. The cocktail girls are prettier. The food is rather authentic (not as delicious and unique as Buddakan). The Buddha chicken is terribly dry tho. The noise level is high. A fun night out yes. A heart to heart talk probably not.

When they first opened in late 1990s we went in, attracted by their door, not knowing what it was -:). One of friends that night later said, her husband was asked to invest as the 4th partner but he declined, thinking it’s too risky. During one of the dinners there with her, the managing partner was there and treated us desserts.

Reportedly, it was first, a 19th century stable for the Vanderbilt family and then a movie theater. The focal point of the restaurant is the 16′ Buddha in the back, on a pool staffed with Japanese carp. It has 300 seats. The “sky box”/private room on the third floor used to be the projectionist’s booth. The visible difference is, we didn’t wait even after a couple of changes to our reservation on a Friday night.

I always feel it’s a little regret that Chinese restaurants, in general don’t serve decent desserts. I think it’s ok to have a few popular items even they’re not Chinese, especially in Sichuan cuisine … oh I’m off the chart here – got carried away. Tao’s desserts are delicious (fusion gives them a big leeway!) compare to other Asian restaurants. I particularly like their molten chocolate cake.

The bathroom maiden or guardian or watcher … not many restaurants employee them (Irene goes to cheap eat – go figure) but so far I find them to be unnecessary and burdensome, except the lady at 21 Club who reminds me of old world grace and charm, a bonus to the restaurant. The bathroom at Tao is not big and have someone station there constantly is just an obstacle.

      


Jul 13 2017

Vincent’s Clam Bar


179 Old Country Rd
Carle Place, NY 11514
Phone number (516) 742-4577

Love it!

Old ambiance (over 100 years old), great food, mates and service. And love the mouthwash in the bathroom. Bit too loud tho…
(Hey dinners, pls remember throw your used little cups away – not leaving them on the counter.)

It’s a packed Thursday night. 2 hrs dinner turns into 3. Above average food, large portion which reminds me of Carmine’s in the city. Delicious warm bread – oh heaven. The meatballs are very light. Soffocare il sacerdote …. hmmmm …. strangle priest is delicious.

Ok the desserts – I don’t really like sweet but love their creme brûlée so much I clean the plate – I know can’t take me anywhere. Tiramisu is yummy too. The super sized desserts are so carmine’s – or Carmine’s learned from them. Well they can settle that score themselves.

        


Jul 10 2017

Parlay Gastropub


210 Merrick Rd
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Airy, decent food and good service. The tables are bit too high. Meter parking on street and the lot cross the street. I tried 3 cocktails: Down East Cider, Caribbean Passion and Gin Blossom, they are fine. Calamari and Brussels sprouts are great. The shrimp cavatelli and cheese cake is delicious too. Over all they’ve better than average bar food … multiple tv screens on either side of the walls, IF it were closer to me or I grow taller, I’d return.

    


Jul 6 2017

Picnic Garden, Korean BBQ


15405 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11354

I don’t like buffet especially Asian buffet: Too much rush, like in a war – this may have changed – but just to prove how long ago my last Asian buffet has been.

The place is very pleasant with the spacious entrance. As soon as we sat down, the waiter lighted up the grill and informed me: grandma, it’s a self serving buffet. Ok I made up this one but he did inform me that it’s a buffet. I’m senile, for sure.


The seating: I like the wood but the distance to the table is not the most comfortable, bit too low too – this is coming from a midget.

The food: is so so. I like the raw beef and noodles but they both are too sweet for my taste. The other cooked foods, like wings and fish are aged, old, chewy and tasteless. Well, there are sauces.

 

During one of my trips to the food counter I saw a gentleman with an overflow raw beef on his plate, sauce dripping (I wanted to say to him: it’s plenty, no need to go crazy … but then again, Irene isn’t the prefect spice on earth … – see my typos and all … I meant species …) which got me thinking, since the raw meats section is next to salad/noodle section: are they safe from the raw foods next to them? My suggestion to the restaurant is, switch the raw meats with wings section which is separate. Let the raw meats stay by themselves.

In any case, I found them to have not wide enough food selections for me to return. Oh they don’t have desserts which is fine with me. There are two containers of watermelon and cantaloupes – both are empty which is, kind of ok with Irene too. Overall experience is fine, relaxing (on a Thursday afternoon) – not rushed. And the waiting staff don’t throw dishes – no noisy. For $19.99 (1.5 hr time frame – not sure how hard do they enforce it) I think I can have something else better.

   


Jun 29 2017

Masala Box


42-02 Bell Blvd
Bayside, NY 11361

Probably a 3.5 stars, fusion Indian restaurant. Airy, modern, comfortable. Compare to other establishments on Bell Blvd, with low ceiling, this one on the corner of 42nd St and Bell Blvd is pleasant and open. Good utensils, good service, clean bathroom. Street parking, free after 7pm.

The food is fine. I particularly liked the baked fish and yum (red). Fried spring rolls (chicken) are ok although the sauce is bit too sweet. Three entries, lamb, beef and fish, in a pool of thick red sauce is my least favorite.

  


Jun 25 2017

Bosphorus Cafe Grill


138 Shore Rd
Port Washington, NY 11050

3.5 stars. A good Mediterranean restaurant. The house Greek wine, both red and white are delicious. Comfortable, good service and food. I enjoyed the grilled branzino – undeboned -:). Gyro was good. Iskender kebab is yummy but bit of heavy.

Don’t miss the Love in the bathroom.

    


Jun 9 2017

Ask Italian


5 George St, City Centre
Oxford OX1 2AT, U.K.

An average Italian restaurant – a casual dining chain in U.K. – few locations in London. Maybe a 3.5 rating – for the cool wine glasses. We’ve Malbec which was inexpensive and delicious.

Pleasant decor, pretty delicious food with large portion – again, I’m wondering if they’ve been Americanized – colonized -:) ha ha ha very funny Irene. I have two small plates: pawns and stuffed mushrooms. I thought each can pass on as main course.

  


Jun 8 2017

Vault and Garden


University Church, 1 Radcliffe Sq,
Oxford OX1 4AH, UK

5 visits – meals and tea/coffee – at this lovely cafe during my 3-day research at Bodleian library – just enjoy it that much. Convenience plays a role too. It’s inside the Oxford Uni first congregation house dating back to 1320. Comfortable inside and outside; yummy food and drinks; cheerful staff. Delicious bread; beef stew is tender and flavorful. Salmon (Lox) is fresh. Decent utensils.

The only complain is, too large a portion – have they been Americanized? Ha ha ha.

Feeling sad to have to leave … wondering if I gaze longer at Radcliffe Camera, can I finish my books sooner?

     


Jun 5 2017

Grand Palace

Brussels, Brussels 1000, Belgium

It’s grand but also very crowded, to the point of overwhelming. It’s a public holiday in early June, can’t image what’s like in July and August. Tourist office is there; a little surprise that I didn’t find info booklets in Chinese. Godiva Chocolatier, founded in Belgium in 1926 has a presence. The grand palace is 600 meters away from the Cathedral.