Jan 13 2018

Briciola, a wine bar

370 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019

Probably won’t return: food is so so and I need to lose weight and I don’t know how. This is how a country hicky goes to town -:) Very tight space on stools – the space won’t allow chairs. I was told, it was not a busy night – the kitchen staff have time with their phones.

Delicious wines: Super Tuscan and Pinot Nero, Chianti is lesser of the three but passable.

Decor: quite nice, exposed brick walls, woods, but the two white tile counters are hard on the eyes. And the surface isn’t completely flat which worries me the entire time that my glass is going to slip and fall. Nice stems, tho.

Now, food. Sardine in Saor – sardine on top of Polenta – I don’t the mesh – anchovy maybe. It reminds me the story way back during President Bush the kid time – the Hainan Island Incident: an US spy plane after collided with a one of Chinese planes. The Chinese pilot died (it didn’t have a parachute!) The Americans followed the other Chinese plane and forced to land in China. Make the story short, the local delicacy is fish head. And the army treated the self invited spies the fish head. I couldn’t remember which news outlet reported this but the didihead didn’t bother to do a little research and wrote that the spies were treated pretty badly, with only some fish heads. Hello… Oh well. For a person who loves fish and fish head, I didn’t like this one. Kind of yucky.

One bathroom – which can take time to get in.

Sep 22 2017

Kaia Wine Bar

1614 3rd Ave
New York

Love the duca and 98 years old Glenstove cook top and food warmer. Will return to this South African bar.
The elk meat is tender. The house wine are good esp the white. The only complain I’ve is the bread is too sweet. Good service. The bar looks bit thin. One hour street parking free after 7pm.


Aug 11 2017


Central Park on a wonderful the summer evening.  IMG_9663IMG_9637IMG_9645


Jul 18 2017


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


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.


May 30 2017

A breeze @ JFK’s T4

Terminal 4 @ JFK; the beautiful sunset.

A frequent business travel friend complained on WeChat an hour ago: “看来还是要停止抵制美联航。今天飞多伦多,试了一下porter airline。比原定时间推迟俩小时,据说雷阵雨不能按时起飞。更不方便的是脱鞋、解腰带、搜身都来了,看来美联航的Pre换了航空公司就不管用了,呵呵。” but the start of my trip is a breeze. At T4, there is no line. No taking out phone/laptop; empty your pockets. Open your purse. Take off shoes and strip search. Non of the above. Omg. It’s like pre 9/11.

With so much time on hand I shopped. For a pair of very similar sun glasses ray ban sells $160 while Prada $330. Oh well, the power of shopping.

Frankfurt airport has non working escalator like last time, which strikes me a bit unusual. It’s pretty warm too. Again no one wastes energy the way USA does.



May 20 2017

Brahms violin concerto @ Lincoln Center

Jupiter the beautiful: thanks to the armature astrologer society of New York (?) who provides telescopes on weekends all summer long.

My season’s last NY Phil concert @ David Geffen Hall. Brahma’s violin concerto is wonder but the soloist Leonidas Kavakos is so so – no wrong notes but the performance isn’t clean. He reminds me of the three brothers in

The second half program is pretty terrible: New York Premieres of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s magical Wing on Wing and Kravis Emerging Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Aeriality – I can’t take these modern composers. Having the players as well as the sopranos joining the audiences is simply no good.


May 20 2017

The 9th Avenue International Food Festival

9th Avenue, between 42-57 streets

A street fair on the west side, 2-day event.

A wonderful day out.

We did’t go too deep in to the fair, instead we stopped at Kilo, a wine bar, have really good time there.


May 20 2017


857 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

The joke goes that you need eat to have energy, in order to be able to go on diet. Ehhhh … pardon me my chinglish but you get it.
As I’m closing their handsome but heavy bathroom door, I thought of this joke. You’ll need that little extra strength to deal with the bathroom door. All good and pretty clean bathroom.

High ceiling. Small. Exposed brick walls. Delicious food. Good wines, served in great wine glasses – theirs ranks near the top of my good wine glass list – thin stem and fat bulb, feels really good both in hand and on the lips.

We went on a Saturday evening before the Brahms violin concert @ Lincoln Center. We usually go north for dinner bec the south is just bit dingier. The host asked us if we’ve reservation – so remember to make one – nevertheless, he sat us immediately.

They hang a candle holder as decor. A nice wooden bowl for the shells. A cool tattooed wine connoisseur. Everything feels just fine. The south of Lincoln Center is just as lovable.


May 11 2017

Cats the musical

Neil Simon Theatre
250 W 52nd Street
on Broadway in New York


The last time I saw Cats, must have been ten some years ago. This current production feels refreshing, from the costumes to make up to the physical fitness of the actors, are all really enjoyable. During the intermission, the audience are invited to get on to the stage. The cat was there to entertain.

The middle section of the seats at mezzanine overhang  (row A) are not available, period. I checked many performances. Perhaps is purchased by tour company? The seats are fully occupied, by young Asians. This musical is suitable for non English speakers.

After writing Memory, Webber asked his composer dad how’s it, his dad said, “sounds like million dollars …” I feel the only complain I have, other then the middle section of row A is, Memory isn’t sung enough … ha ha ha. I youtubed the follow, and have to say that I like Streisand and Brightman better than Paige’s:

最后一次看百老汇音乐剧🐱大概是十年前了. 重温旧梦,耳目一新. 服装 化妆 都无懈可击 [强]. 🐱娃🐱蛙的身材曲线好!可惜 Memory 唱的不够多 [偷笑] 当年Webber 韦伯 写完后 问他也是作曲的老爸 “怎么样?” 爸爸说 “百万..” 岂止百万 [强]. (Whitney Houston 好像没有录过这首歌 – 可惜… Carey 也没有)二楼第一排 两边的位子有 中间的没有-场场如此. 觉得大概是旅行社包了吧?[发呆] [发怒]