May 19th, 2011.  Spot Dessert Bar 

spot dessert bar

spot dessert bar

 

  After some bar hopping I definitely needed some dessert.  Luckily, D knew just the right spot: Spot Dessert Bar!  Seriously, the Japanese know how to do it up.  Tiny little almost-basement space, again with the wooden tables and benches.  With ice cream toppings like fresh fruit, cookies, foam, and other interesting choices, it’s too difficult to decide!!  Of course I’ve also learned that too much is not always good, so I try to stick to only 2 (maybe 3) toppings.

spot dessert bar

spot dessert bar

 

  Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Pearl Toppings!!  Accompanied with one Black Coffee and one Thai Milk Coffee.  The delicious milky sweet ice cream with creamy texture was so perfect with the caramel popcorn!  And really..I should have known better than to get chocolate pearls with cold ice cream…takes forever to melt, which is annoying….But it was still lovely!  I would totally come back for more~~!

  What a lovely evening!  Ate a lot of wonderful, delicious food and made a really cool friend ;D  Thanks for the fun night, D!

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May 19th, 2011.  Momofuku Noodle Bar

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  Meeting DLee for the first time for an evening of fun in the East Village!  We had discussed a few different options for dinner, but in the end came to a consensus to make first impressions over Japanese ramen.  I know.  2 in a row.  But hey, how can you not love Japanese comfort food?

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  The restaurant is tucked away in a niche on 1st Avenue.  The full windowed front shows the never-ending crowd of people inside slurping away on their noodles.  It’s one of my favorite kinds of interior styles with the warm, slightly ruggedness with the brick and wood but with a clean, modern silhouettes.  Love it!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

  D had the Full Sail Session Lager from Hood River, Oregon and I had the Lychee Soju Slushie.  The slushie was pretty yummy!  As soju can be it kind of flies under the radar.  Paired with the sweetness of lychee, this could be deadly!!  Luckily, I knew what I was getting into 😉

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  Baos again!  I have a thing for them   These are the Pork/Shiitake Buns with hoisen sauce, cucumber and scallions.  Juicy pork with the earthiness of the shiitake mushrooms, sweetness of the hoisen, cool freshness of cucumber and the mild tang of scallions.  Great precursor

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

  I usually don’t over-order.  I know I have a smaller stomache so I try to stick with just enough instead of too much.  But with D’s staple “eff it”, we ended up with a second appetizer, the Kimchi Pork Tamale

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I found that it was slightly underseasoned and still prefer the bun, but it was still fun to eat!

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  We both had the Momofuku Ramen: pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg.  It’s totally different from my ramen experience at Ippudo.  The broth is clearer, but the deep richness comes from the fatty pork belly and shoulder, which were fall-apart-melt-in-your-mouth tender! 

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

 

 

 

 

  Add the creaminess of egg yolk and you’ve got a heavy bowl of soup.  I liked the lightness the asian cabbage lent to the soup.  Unfortunately, we over-estimated our stomaches..and couldn’t finish our meal….which was, by the way, AMAZING! 

momofuku noodle bar

momofuku noodle bar

  

 

 

 

  Momofuku lived up to expectations and I only hope that I’ll be able to visit all the other Momofuku establishments sometime in my lifetime

Ippudo NY

December 3, 2011

May 12th, 2011.  Ippudo NY

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

 

  My next great eating adventure, Ippudo NY!  Just as much as the Japanese Ramen culture is booming in Vancouver, the Japanese Ramen culture had already taken root in NYC and Ippudo has been one of them that’s paved the way.  Located in the little Japanese district of East Village, this place is always jam packed!

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

   

 

 

 

 

 

  A refreshing glass of iced Oolong Tea.

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

 

 

 

 

  There’s nothing more soothing than hot broth with perfectly al dente noodles and tons of savory flavors.  I was all ready for what Ippudo would dish out for my first experience.  I’d read some reviews on Yelp beforehand and knew that I couldn’t miss out on their pork belly bao either   I was so glad to be sitting at the bar so I could have the perfect vantage point of the flurry of bao action going on!

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

 

 

 

  The famous Hirata Buns.  Soft steamed buns stuffed with lettuce, mayo, and deliciously juicy, tender pork belly with their original spicy bun sauce.  Oh, yes, I was licking my fingers.  I love bao!!

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

 

 

  After contemplating and asking the really friendly waiter’s opinion I finally decided on the Akamura Modernwith the additional egg.  Come on, ramen is not complete without egg!  The original “Tonkotsu” noodle soup topped with Ippudo’s secret “Umami Dama” paste (the red blob on top), pork chashu, cabbage, kikurage, scallions and fragrant garlic oil (the black stain in the soup).

ippudo ny

ippudo ny

  

 

 

  This was unlike any ramen I’d ever had before.  Heavy, rich, savory flavors, delicious combinations, and so SO comforting!  There was nothing not to love!  Ahh~~  my happy little tummy!