🚢🌅👙Chao~ A tout à l'heure ❤️😘🐯
Food Festivals will become the end of me OTL. I can't believe we went to try out restaurants the very next day. We're all gonna become fattttt dwejies...
MEH YOLO lolz So the first restaurant we tried was A-Wah in Chinatown. We found an article about it in the Taste Asia magazine the day before and the Clay Pot Rice looked absolutely un-resistible. So being adventurous as we are, we all meet up in Chinatown to give it a try. While I was waiting for my friends, I bought a drink and waited outside. Then the creepiest thing happened... This random Chinese lady came up to me and started to talk to me. She kept asking me to tutor her sister.... who asks a complete stranger to do that?!?!? O_O I have a problem saying no when I'm in a stressful situation so I ended up giving her my WeChat. Thank God Tina came right after and rescued me. As we left though, the lady kept turning to us and telling me she'll text me in 2 weeks.... I was thoroughly freaked out at that point so we just sped walked to the restaurant (and I deleted and blocked her).
As we waited for the other Tina to come, we decided to order the food first. The waitress was super friendly and nice. I feel bad for all the foreigners who come here though because it is definitely not the same experience if you can't talk with the waiters in Chinese. So from top left clockwise we ordered (1) Beef Brisket Stew in a Clay Pot (2) House Special Chinese Sausage & Minced Pork in a Clay Pot and (3) Fried Mantou (steamed buns).
The beef brisket was so good and when it came to us, it was literally still boiling hot. The sauce was extremely flavorful but wasn't overwhelming and the beef was super soft and tender. The turnip was a little funky though. I have never tasted sour turnips in a casserole before and honestly I don't know if I liked it haha. OMGAWD so I finally got to try fried mantous. Ironically even though I am Chinese, it never occurred to me to try this lmao. They were so good >_< The outside was crunchy and the inside was soft and sweet. It was heavenly after being dipped in the condensed milk nomnomonomnom. Tina tried stabbing one with a chopstick and it ended up flying at me....which gave me quite a fright -smh- lolz.
And finally we got to what we came for, the clay pot rice. We ordered the House Special cause the waitress told us it was a must try and it was. =D The waitress brought it to us piping hot right off the fire and it smelled so wholesome as we opened the lid. We poured in a bit of soy sauce and just mixed all the meat into the rice. The rice was amazing. All the juices from the 4 different types of meat covered the grains of rice for some pretty savory flavors. The only mistake we made was to leave the rice in the clay pot for a little too long. The rice left in the pot became way too charred and crispy.
Overall the food was really good. Finding the place was a bit hard though because the entrance was located inside this shady little secret alley haha. I'm glad we found it though mehehe instead of walking into some random place which we almost did.
Ermagawddddd It's ASIAN FOOD in Times Square! Like a lot of Asian Food :D mehehhee It was so exciting. The different stands all tried super hard to entice us to buy their food and it worked. Something about food cooking in a grill right in front of you is extremely enticing. There was tons of Korean food, from kimchi to bulgogi and even dduk. The thai stand was equally as cool. There was a lady dressed in traditional Thai garbs taking pictures with people passing by. She was sooo pretty. I wish I had gotten a picture with her. There was Japanese oden and Chinese street food like dumplings and skewers. What I didn't get was why there was a Spanish stand selling Paella lolz. It's an Asian food fest and last time I checked, Spanish wasn't Asian. It was scary though how crowded it was there. The moment you get in, you practically move at a snail's pace with the crowd. If you didn't move, you'd get pushed along (or crushed). If you wanted to move faster, well too bad you can't lolz. An awesome thing that happened though was we got a lot of free ice-cream each. (YAY for being cute Asian hipsters mehehe)
The food stands were there on June 25th and 26th. On the 25th, there were cultural shows from different Asian countries. I only stayed for part of the Japanese tea ceremony cause it was wayyyy too hot outside (and for some reason I was wearing black jeans >_<). I thought it was really nice though, that there is such a festival to educate the public about food from different cultures. It's tiring to hear over and over again the same responses from ignorant people. Chinese food is more than just fried rice and sweet and sour pork (and no, fortune cookies aren't really Chinese =_=). Korean food is more than just kimchi. Japanese food is more than just ramen. There is so much good food out there. It's about time people try it out.
On the 26th, there were cooking competitions in addition to the food stands. There were a total of 5 cooking competitions each for a different province in China. The food smelled amazinggg and I actually learned quite a lot about Chinese cuisine. So Chinese cuisine is cooked to heal the body and spirit. There isn't much plating in traditional Chinese cooking because it is believed that if food was cooked with the nutrients still intact, it would automatically look delicious. Different types of food are also believed to be either yin or yang. If a person's health is more yang, then they are supposed to eat yin food to balance it out. Unlike other cuisines, Chinese food is made with only 1 type of knife. Everything from, slicing and dicing to tenderizing meat, is done with a cleaver. That's why a Chinese chef has to be extremely skilled in order to master all the knife techniques. Even though I'm Chinese, there was so much I learned from this event.
One thing I learned about myself though is that crowds are too overwhelming for me. I'm naturally a detail-orientated person. With everything happening at once, my brain was on overload and I just got so tired afterwards. I was emotionally, physically, and mentally drained. @_@ In the end, we opted for our usual chill place to just relax. Tis was a good 2 days though =D Good food and it was a great learning experience.
Volleyball is hands-down my favorite sport. Anyone can technically join but not only that, it gives you the opportunity to meet amazing people. I've met some of my closest friends through playing volleyball (albeit the reason I learned wasn't so innocent) hehe =D There's a special feeling that comes with playing: the rush, the adrenaline, the feeling of success when you know you played your best, and the bonding between players over a shared passion. MEEEPS I love it all <3 hehe
I'm glad I met you my chingus <3 One final meetup before you leave us T^T Have fun in Miami (the other) Shirley!!! =D See you soon~
OKAY so yes selfies are OD at this point but hey, what's a better way to remember who you were with than SELFIESSS kekeke
After playing volleyball at Central Park, we decided to go to Dylan's Candy Bar. I'm ashamed to admit it but we went mostly cause they were surprised I'd never been there before lolz. I don't like candy all that much cause that's just way too much sweetness but this place is seriously amazing. It's like Willy Wonka's Candy Factory but without all creepiness. It was bright and cheerful and full of cuteness. Candy lined every wall and there were even cute cupcake beanies!! -meeeps- What better way to finish off the day than by taking cute selfies at their photo booth. #noshame #weproud :P keke
Another Laterpost~ teeheeeee Ktown or 32nd St in Herald Square is definitely one of my favorite places to be in the city. All that yummy food packed in one short block, and you don't even have to walk that far for it. This might be ironic but I love Korean food yet I can't handle the spiciness... I get so much smack from my friends for it -smh-
Anywayysss first restaurant is New Wonjo. I love this place because the servings are soooo big. Yes I might feel like a dwaeji afterwards but I'd be a happy dwaeji at least hehehe :D The combos are the best because you get a little taste of everything. Whenever I come here, I always order the gopdol bibim bop 곱돌비빔밥 & sundubu 순두부. Bibimbop is the best especially cause I can't eat spicy food. Imagine all that ground beef, spinach, beansprout, carrots, pickled turnip, cucumber, mushroom, and egg on top of a burning hot stone pot filled with rice.... -drools- okay I am a dwaeji lolz It is seriously amazing though especially if you pour in a lot of their special sauce and mix everything together NOMS
I don't know why I like sundubu but I do. Even when I order the mild spicy, I die. BUT I still like it. It's just worth the pain hehe....Soft tofu with anything is amazing but spicy soft tofu in a seafood stew is a must have. It's a shame that I can never finish all the food though.
My favorite restaurant in NYC has got to be Kunjip though. The food tastes authentically Korean (coming from one of my Korean friends). It's one of the few restaurants in NYC that serve black rice. See that bowl next to the galbi tang? Yeah that's black rice. It looks purple but the color comes from grains of black rice they cook with the more commonly seen white rice. As it cooks, the white rice is stained purple becoming what it is in that little bowl. I didn't know black rice even existed till I visited kunjip but it tastes so good especially with the stews. Again, since I can't eat spicy, I usually order a galbi tang here. It's a bit bland so you have to add spices into it yourself but the slices of beef are cooked till they're soft and tender. The soup looks milky because of the beef but it isn't creamy. It has a delicate flavor which is why its a favorite among hung-over college students here lololz. One of my favorite side dishes is the steamed egg with scallion on the side. When it arrives, it's soft and fluffy but you have to eat it quickly or it'll deflate like a souffle. The sundubu here is a lot spicier than the ones in other restaurants. I legit cannot eat the stew in its original spiciness and even mild is pushing it for me. The taste of Kunjip however is a must-try. It is hands down the best Korean restaurant in NYC.
For dessert (if you still have room that is), the obvious choice is the Bingsu at Tous les Jours. It comes in 4 flavors: green tea, mango, blueberry and mochi. My favorite is the green tea bingsu. Soft fluffy shaved ice is topped with green tea flavoring, red bean and green tea ice-cream. The side toppings change from time to time but they're usually fruits like mango, grapes, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and mochi. The shaved ice is not too sweet and goes perfectly with the red bean and green tea icecream. Warning though, DO NOT order this if you don't have 3 or more people cause you will not finish this lolz It would've been perfect but for some reason they decided to put 2 eyes on my icecream making it looking like a creepy little frog >_<
New Goal for the summer: Try to eat a healthier diet.
I've hated oatmeal ever since I was small and you can't exactly blame me.. that stuff tastes like cardboard. It always tasted too "healthy" to me. I would like to believe I'm a healthy person. I get my day's worth of cardio by jogging or biking and I try to walk everywhere if I can. Recently though, I noticed I have a pretty bad snacking habit... If I see snacks in front of me, I unconsciously start nom-ing. That was when I remembered Sarah telling me that being healthy starts with eating healthier. It's pointless to workout like crazy if I don't take care of my diet as well.
Thereforeeeee I'm going to eat healthier this summer. I gave oatmeal a try again this morning and it actually wasn't as bad as I remembered ^^ Well, that was after I added condensed milk, honey, blueberries and almonds. Eating healthier just might be fun :D
Welcome to the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade!!! -throws confetti everywhere-
Okay so honestly speaking, I have legit never heard of this for the 20 years of my life that I have been living in NYC. This was my first time going and it was quite an experience. Before I even get there, I see crowds of people dressed up as mermaids riding on the subway. There was a hunourmous crowd when I did get there and I saw mermaids EVERYWHERE >_< Even the dogs were dressed as mermaids with their adorable pink tutus LOLZ
It took me a while to find my friends and our one goal for the day was: don't get crushed by the crowd. Sounds easy but during the first 10 mins on the parade line, we were nearly smushed to death trying to cross the street. The police need to do a better job directing traffic -smh- The parade itself was insane, with "mermaids" from all 5 boroughs representing, even some out of state-ers. There is no better example of NYC's creativity than this parade. There were traditional representations of mermaids, zombie mermaids mutated from the meltdown in Japan, schools of fish (yeah.. so someone was dressed as a school of clown fish), hoards of white jellyfish, hula dancers (???), and even alien mutants. Some of the costumes were extremely extravagant with layers of colorful frills while others were minimalist in style (too little cloth in my opinion). There were even marching bands! It's no wonder Coney Island's mermaid parade attracts so many people each year.
After all the excitement from the parade, we were hungry and thirsty. Standing next to black hot pavement on a scorching summer afternoon does that to you. So like any sensible person, we headed to where the food was, the boardwalk. The lines were no joke and it took us quite a while just to order this over-priced funnel cake and drinks. Before this, I didn't even know what a funnel cake was but seeing a couple eat one, we decided to give it a try too. It was heavenly. The dough was soft and syrupy sweet after being deep fried. Then it was topped with heaps of powered sugar for a perfect finish. My calorie quota was probably through the roof but then again, it's not like I eat this everyday. As we sat there next to the sand, sipping away at our drinks and just chatting about our lives, I realized just how lucky we were to grow up in NYC. This truly is a place where cultures converge and new experiences are made.
So I wake up in the morning and all I hear is chopchopchopchopchopchopchop.....Not exactly the best sound to wake up to in the morning. I ended up falling back asleep but when I finally woke up and decided to drag my lazy ass out of bed, lo and behold, my mom had finished making the filling for dumplings. Personally I would have just thrown all the ingredients together into a food processor but nope, my mom decided to chop everything by hand because it tastes better (?!?!?!). It was a while since I last made dumplings but thank God I hadn't forgotten hehe. My brother thought it was easy watching me make them so I dared him to try. Let's just say what happened next wasn't pretty. All in all though, it was a good bonding experience. =D
THIS IS A LATERPOST :D nyehehe Totto was too good not to write a post about. Tina and I went to the original store on W52nd. As some of you know, a new one opened on W51st but the ambiance is not quite like the first store. Touting an open kitchen with high seating right next to it, Totto gives off a traditional Japanese ramen stand feel. The seating is tight so you probably won't want to come here if you're claustrophobic (or on a time crunch actually). If you're neither, I find that these elements add to Totto's charm. While you wait, you get to see the hustling and bustling in the kitchen and people slurping away at their bowls. It makes you anxious for your own taste. When we were finally seated, we got to ordering right away cause we were starving.
Tina ordered the TOTTO SPICY RAMEN 鳥人辛ラーメン and I ordered the TOTTO MISO RAMEN 鳥人味噌ラーメン. The spicy ramen came with their original paitan soup topped with charsiu pork, scallion, bean sprouts and a nori. The miso ramen was the same soup base but it was topped with a scoop of miso mixed pork, more charsiu pork (yay), a hardboiled egg, scallions and bean sprout. Let me tell you now, the soup base was amazing....It was extremely rich and flavorful. I was legit in food heaven. It is so true to say that quality of the ramen is based on the quality of their soup. The longer the soup has been boiling, the richer it tastes. Some traditional ramen places in Japan have boiled their soups for decades. Okay, this might sound a bit strange to you at first but what they do is, they add more ingredients to it constantly. This adds more flavor and depth to their soup that makes you wonder why you ever ate that bag ramen with their packets of MSG in the first place.
Okay that was quite a tangent haha but back to Totto. The ramen noodles were a perfect width and went well with the soup base. The charsiu pork was fried perfectly and really didn't need any seasoning at all. The whole bowl came together beautifully and our meal came to less than $30. That is an amazing price for the best ramen in NYC. No wonder people would willingly wait 2 hours for a bowl of this (thank God we went at an awkward time, 4:30, and only had to wait 15 minutes).
Maybe today wasn't the best day to go the beach. 2 hours after we got there, it started pouring hahah.... perfect day to cafe sit ^^ We decided on Audrey's Concerto (NYC) which is a small but adorable cafe in the Bay Ridge Area. The wooden tables, and the detailed hand drawn chalk menus give it a home-y vintage feel. It's a great place to just relax with a friend but the pastries were a different story. We ordered the green tea red bean mousse, as well as the green tea strawberry mousse. They were wayyyyyyy too heavy and sweet... The matcha flavor was overpowering. One bite and I literally went WOAH O_O. The chocolate chestnut cake was a classic sponge cake layered with chestnut paste and crushed chocolate. The texture worked well as you bit through the soft spongy cake and came to the smooth chestnut cream that was sprinkled with crunchy chocolate pieces. I love how the chestnut flavor really carried through but I wish they had also topped the cake with chestnut instead of cream.
The pastries weren't the best but it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, surrounded by good friends and listening to the patter of the rain. We flipped through HK fashion magazines and laughed at the questionable fashion. This page. Favorite outfit? Next page. Repeat. Time sure flies when you're having fun. ^^
"take me on a roadtrip so I can roll down the windows
let the heat of the shining sun caress my every pore
my every curve
my every bump
feel the crisp wind hug every strand of hair
let it whisper the secrets of the stars
to how they stay so damn beautiful
I want to let my eyes wander
the beauty of this planet
drive until the anchor of your soul has sank down and said
this is where we stay"
I finally got the acceptance letter to HKBU today. To be honest I was kind of getting worried and stressed out lolz but things worked out after all ~ AND I'M GOING TO HONG KONG in the fall!!! So excited I can't even XD It's really starting to feel real now. Till then 2 more months of summer with God knows what in-stored. =3 I can't wait~
Asia | Hong Kong
NYC to Boston to HK
Babson Class of 2016
Work Hard | Play Hard | Sleep Hard |
~ I love the beauty in details~