Life Is Like A Dumpling

Happy Easter, Beautiful Bloggers, and New York City

Happy Easter! I hope everyone, whether you are religious or not, is having fun celebrating. As for myself, I will be hopping into a chocolate store later to get myself a chocolate bunny.

This will be my last post for a week or so, perhaps even for two weeks. This is only because I should have spent my spring break working on a.) my 5000 word essay due next Monday, and b.) my 2500 word essay due next, next Monday. While that would have been wise, I do not, for a single second, regret my decision to indulge in a whirlwind adventure beginning in Vienna and ending in New York City. Despite what seemed, to me, intensive and exhausting traveling in the past two weeks, the wonderful company of those I spent my break with and all the amazing food made it worth it. Before I share my New York City adventures with you, I would like to thank Live Blissful, who nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award! Her blog is lovely, and is full of delicious vegan recipes.  I would also like to thank you to everyone who follows my blog. I don’t have a particularly big following (at the moment? yet?), but it means a lot to me!

The rules:

• Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
• Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
• Tell us 7 things about yourself.
• Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.


So, 7 things about myself.
1.) 7 is my favourite number, because I was born on the 7th of September.
2.) I would really like to custom design my blog layout.
3.) My dream kitchen items: a set of Le Creuset pots and a KitchenAid mixer.
4.) Before I travel somewhere, I watch the Anthony Bourdain episode of wherever I’m going.
5.) When I travel, my itinerary usually revolves around where and when to eat.
6.) Sriracha may be one of the best ingredients ever.
7.) My favourite flowers are gerbera daisies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums.

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Beautiful Blogger Award:
Happy Belly
Lemongrass and Ginger
Tory Tells
Fiery Females
The Happsters
And… if I could nominate Bon Appétit, I would.

Now: NYC!

Having spent most of my life between the loud, bustling and densely populated city of Hong Kong and metropolitan Toronto, I had always considered myself a city girl. Living in the small university town of St. Andrews in Scotland, however, seems to have changed my mind; while I used to enjoy the intensity of cities, I now find it overwhelming and claustrophobic at times. Slow walkers and unmoving traffic are daily tests of patience, and the smell of trash and sewage are nauseating and unbearable. Cities have perks, though, and despite my change of heart, I can’t deny my love for the vibrant personality unique to each city and the wonderful pockets of culture and food that act as gateways to seemingly separate and faraway worlds that are only blocks away from each other. Within New York alone, there is a Little Italy, a Little India, Koreatown, and not one, but six Chinatowns! New York City is also home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, not to mention many African and Hispanic communities. During my short but sweet stay in New York, I managed to get my hands on Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Thai, Korean, and Chinese food. My stomach was caught between immense happiness from the diversity of food (in comparison to the regular food that the small town of St. Andrews provides), and dread that came from having to keep up with all the eating and digesting I was doing. I tried to snap as many food pictures as possible so I could share my experience with you via the interwebs, but, sadly, my impatience and hunger on multiple occasions has cost me in photos!

Our first dinner in New York was spent satisfying my cravings for Ethiopian food at Ghenet. I love that eating Ethiopian food is such an intimate experience- you really have to get in touch with the food (literally). You can also tell how comfortable someone is with not only the food, but also you, if you decide to go for Ethiopian food on a date or with a friend.


Breakfast the next morning was spent at two of my favourite eats in the city, located in Soho just around the corner from each other: the Birdbath City Bakery and Chobani’s yoghurt bar.


Baker’s muffin: cinnamon, apple, walnut


Greek yoghurt with smooth peanut butter, grape jam topped with peanuts and grapes

After watching Anthony Bourdain visit Pok Pok on his show No Reservations, we decided that we had to visit Pok Pok in Brooklyn for dinner on our second night. The restaurant is split into two sections, one on the inside by the bar, and the other outside in a tent. Despite being ‘outdoors’, they had heated lamps above each of the tables that kept us warm and toasty throughout our entire meal. The food was quick, and the service was great. Rarely do you find such friendly staff in a city like New York!


Cha Ca ‘La Vong’: Vietnamese Catfish marinated in turmeric and sour sticky rice, fried in turmeric oil with scallions and dill, served on rice vermicelli with peanuts, mint, cilantro and man nem.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cha Ca ‘La Vong’

Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings: chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and palm sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized phu Quoc fish sauce and garlic. Since I don’t eat meat, I let my boyfriend do the indulging. He said that these were probably one of the best wings he has ever had, and that they were very hearty.

Sweet sticky rice with durian mousse and coconut milk. I was really looking forward to mango sticky rice, but they only serve that during the summer. No worries for me, the durian sticky rice was just as delicious!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACoconut ice cream sandwich.

I didn’t have a full Italian meal, but I did go to Eataly for an olive oil croissant and a soy latte one morning- what a perfect breakfast. It is, hands down, one of my favourite food stores. You can really tell that their produce is fresh and top quality. Last time I visited Eataly I ate at Le Verdure, their vegetarian restaurant, and had one of their housemade gelatos. Everything was delicious. (No photos, because I really needed coffee and was so hungry I could not wait to take a photo of either the coffee or croissant.)

For lunch that day, we stopped at Hangawi, a vegetarian restaurant serving homestyle Korean food. Bonus points for all the gluten-free, vegan, and organic options on their menu. They also had the option of multigrain rice or organic brown rice- which I happily ordered to go with my tofu kimchi hotpot! IMG_1565

Steamed vegetarian dumplingsIMG_1563

Kimchi and pickled cabbageIMG_1562

Kimchi tofu hotpot.

Upon my friend Jen’s insistence, I also visited Graffiti, rated one of the best restaurants in New York and run by Jehangir Mehta, the runner up on the second season of The Iron Chef. Unfortunately, the darkness of the restaurant, in combination with the camera on my phone, have not produced the best pictures. It all tastes better than it looks, I promise!IMG_1566Chickpea crusted skate with a mint yoghurt sauce


Ginger scallopsIMG_1547

Green mango paneerIMG_1564

Coconut chicken noodles, if I remember correctly.IMG_1552

Duck portobello gratinée, mustard onion confit.IMG_1551

Chili pork dumplings.IMG_1545

Cumin eggplant buns with a thyme fennel relishIMG_1546Warm truffle almond strawberries, pepper ice cream

On my last day, I had my long awaited dim sum at the Golden Unicorn. Very, very Chinese- I was extremely pleased!


Spinach shrimp dumplings, and pork xiu maiIMG_1553

One of my favourite desserts: Chinese tofu pudding! It’s hard to describe the flavour, and most people think it’s weird until they try it.

And finally, the grand finale to my NYC trip… the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop!


The Gobbler: pumpkin butter and maple syrup on vanilla ice cream, with pie pieces and whipped cream.

And that is all for now! I’m off to write a 5000 word essay on the history of guerrilla warfare, which is definitely less fun than sharing food photos, recipes, and experiences with all of you.

This entry was published on March 31, 2013 at 8:57 am. It’s filed under Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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