Tim Ho Wan

My sisters brought me to Tim Ho Wan-BGC during my visit to Manila last Summer. This is a Michelin star dim sum restaurant from Hong Kong which has numerous locations across Asia, Australia and now have their first New York City location which opened December 2016.

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I haven’t tried their restaurant in East Village since I have heard waiting times there is horrendous and the food does not really compare to the ones they serve in Asia.

My experience in their BGC location in Manila was great however. Their menu is written on the paper mat on the table with photos and description of the food. Price range from P120 – P160 which is about 3 – 4 US dollars pretty cheap for a Michelin star restuarant. It is best to eat with a group so you get to sample as much of their dim sum offerings.

These are what we had for our early lunch.

We tried their famous Baked Bun with BBQ Pork P145

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Prawn Dumpling P160

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Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling P140

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Beef Ball with Beancurd Skin P120

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Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp P120

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Fresh Greens with Oyster Sauce P180

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Stir Fried Chow Mein P130

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Congee P140

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Everything we had was good, my favorite was the baked bun and the wasabi salad prawn dumpling since this is something I don’t usually see in other dim sum places. We got two orders of each item above except for the congee and chow mein. Serving was more than enough for our party of 5 girls. I had jasmine tea with my meal which is standard drink in any dim sum place. What I like about the food here is that is tastes fresh and not like something that has been sitting in a cart for awhile and it comes to your table piping hot.

I would come and eat here again, not sure if I will at their NYC location though.

Green Tea Almond Milk Spread and Green Tea Milk Spread

I wasn’t aware when I saw bottles of these spreads at H-Mart last Spring how popular and sought after they were. I contemplated getting the Green Tea Almond Milk Spread then but quickly changed my mind thinking it might taste overpowering.

Fast forward to Fall, after reading a review online and seeing tons of images in social media. I immediately went to H-Mart and was able to purchase the last remaining bottle of the Feliz Green Tea Almond Spread. The Osulloc brand was harder to find when even a trip to Koreatown in NYC proved unsuccessful. I was eventually able to purchase it from amazon. These are quite pricey given the size of the bottle. The Osulloc was $13.22 for a 200g bottle and the Feliz goes for less than $10.00 for 250 g.

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I opened the Green Tea Almond Spread first and placed a generous amount on toasted Korean Milk Bread. As expected it has ground almonds in it similar to crunchy peanut butter but less course in texture. It wasn’t overly sweet and the first impression I got was it tasted like melted green tea chocolate, very much like Royce Nama Chocolate Maccha. It was really good and you can literally eat it off from a spoon.

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The Osulloc brand was a lot sweeter but you can definitely taste the green tea flavor. I was expecting a much smoother and thicker mouthfeel like nutella, but it appears to have a grainy texture. I added it on top of waffle as a dessert. This will go well with ice cream, pancakes and toast as well. Between the two brands I prefer the Feliz because it’s less sweeter and and has better texture.

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Breakfast Bowl

I have made several blog post on Rice bowls on this blog, usually Asian or Filipino inspired. Decided to make something different this time using quinoa. I have been substituting quinoa for rice for a healthier option and it’s nutritional value.

This is a meatless breakfast bowl inspired by the dish I had at Cookshop in Chelsea. Simply cook your quinoa according to package directions and place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa on a wide bowl. Then place a fried egg on top seasoned with pepper and some red pepper flakes. You can then arrange avocado slices around it, some kumato tomatoes tossed in a bit of olive oil and ground pepper, and greens such as baby spinach and some watercress. There are lots of things you can add to you breakfast bowl, some ideas are baby kale, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, cucumber, sliced radish and even meat if you wish.

This is just so quick and simple to prepare and can eat it too for lunch and dinner.

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Seafood Doria

This dish is best described as a rice casserole topped with b├ęchamel sauce and cheese then browned under a broiler. Story goes that this dish was invented by an Italian living in France. But wherever it originated it became widely popular in Japan. It is considered Yashoku or what you call modern Japanese cuisine or western influenced Japanese cooking.

I used this recipe to make this dish, the only difference I made is using frozen seafood mix instead of just plain shrimps.

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You can bake it in individual serving dishes or a casserole pan.

Ikinari Steak – East Village, NYC

I just learned about this restaurant while searching for places to eat in East Village. This is a franchise based in Japan and is known as a “standing restaurant”, meaning they don’t have chairs and customers stand while having their meal. It makes for a unique dining experience as you get to interact more with other patrons and gives you a more communal vibe. However, they now offer limited seating for those who prefer to dine that way.

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There is a system in eating at this restaurant, First you go up the counter and chose your cut of meat and how much you want. They weigh and cut it right in front of you. They recommend ordering your steak rare to fully taste and appreciate the flavor of the meat. You have a choice of prime rib, sirloin, filet and assorted steak. It comes with a side of corn but you can choose from other side vegetables such as broccoli, beans, potato and onion. Your steak will be brought to your table and you can choose to add any of the several sauces available in front of you.

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We chose prime rib and sirloin and just got 10 oz each which is more than enough for us. I had the side of beans while husband chose corn.

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The meat was really tender and flavorful and was I able to polish off my plate.

There are also other side other sides and drinks available for you to order. We got a cup of clear beef broth soup since it was a rainy day and garlic pepper rice which I highly recommend. It comes in a sizzling platter surrounded by steak pieces and topped by corn. You are to mix everything together once it arrives at your table. We loved the rice and you can eat it alone since it is like a very flavorful and filling fried rice. This reminded me of pepper lunch, the difference is that this is meant as a side and not a meal itself

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This is probably one of the best steaks we have ever have and will surely come back.

Papaya with Milk for Breakfast

Papaya is a regular item seen on our breakfast table. This was when I was a child living in the Philippines. Being in the tropics this is almost always available throughout the year.

Nowadays, even if you are no where near the tropics it is relatively easy to find ripe papaya. Asian or Ethnic groceries usually carry these in their produce section.

My dad has his own way of eating papaya, it’s always with a squeeze of calamansi and a sprinkling of sugar. As a child I didn’t really appreciate his method. I prefer mine scooped onto a bowl with milk and sugar added.

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Now that I am an adult, I can now fully appreciate the taste of the sweetness of papaya combined with the tartness of calamansi or lemon. It brightens the taste of the fruit immensely. Simply cut the papaya and scoop out the seeds. Liberally squeeze lemon juice on your papaya and sprinkle with some sugar. Likewise, you can add the lemon and sugar directly on the papaya wedge. I love to eat my papaya chilled so I let this sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting and serving.

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