Thursday, May 15, 2014

Madison Square Park Food Fair

    Last weekend, I took a little trip to the famous Madison Square Eats to see what they could offer to the picky New Yorkers. Though the weather showed no sign of support, foodies still lined up in the rain to get their favorite food.  In the middle, the Pig &Khao stand sold Thai curry wings($10), papaya noodles salad ($8) and pork adobo ($8).
    The food festival is a great mixture of the international cuisines. You can get a green chili nacho ($7) from the Mexican food stand for appetizer, some fresh oysters ($12 for 6) from the sea to get some refreshments, a Maine-style or Louisiana-style lobster roll ($16) for entree and finish the feast with some Italian cannoli. Most of the stands also offer three to four  different kinds of wines and cocktails (no ID required). The lime margarita ($6)is quite refreshing but still kicks in strongly. You can even create your own cocktails by selecting the available ingredients at the stands.
    However, the food are a little bit overpriced and are usually 20%-30% higher than the food in Farmers Market.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Harlem Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen

    My first-ever volunteering experience in the soup kitchen took place in West Harlem, New York. It was shocking to see the amount of people relying on food stamps and community support. But unlike the freezing weather outside, the soup kitchen were cozy and warming, while volunteers prepared the free lunches for the visitors. Assigned as the assistant of system chef, Akanni Damazio, I helped the other volunteers to unwrap the food, season the fish and prepare the lunch boxes. The job of cooking meals may sound easy, but the amount of dedication and commitment needed for it have made the experience of working here very special.    

   “I never thought I would be doing what I do, but I would not change it,” said Damazio, the system chef in the West Harlem community kitchen who had worked there for six years, “To volunteers, thank you for making a difference. Thank you for giving yourself to others. Without you, it would be very hard to do what we do everyday. God Bless!” 
    See more surveys about the hunger in New York City from

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On A Mission To Find The Best Burger In New York City

(Three Reasons to try the truffle burger)   

    The war is on. New York City's patty battle shows no signs of letting up. While West Coast chains are storming the city, chefs add fine-dining, locavore tweaks to their gourmet burgers. But with so many contenders in the city, it can be tough to keep track New York's must-try burgers. Don't worry, you can never go wrong with the delicious truffle burger from Umami.    

1) A Sexy Bite On The Plate      

    As a meat fanatic for years, I've tried lots of burgers from all over the world. The classic greasy angus beef burgers from Texas, the mouth-watering foie-gras bacon burger from Toronto and the mini whopper with apple slices and hollandaise sauce. Among these, the truffle burger still leaves a lasting and tasty memory in my heart. A flavor bomb of house truffle cheese, roasted garlic aioli and a truffle glaze, this burger is just dangerously sexy, So fragrant with so much butter and fat.     Opened last summer in Greenwich Village, Umami Burger is one of the local favorites burger chains from L.A.. With a three-hour opening-week waits, this gourmet burger place made a strong statement upon its first arrival and it didn't cease to impress. The owner, Adam Fleischman is the biggest fan of the umami, the elusive fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  It is also a savory flavor sensation connected with beef, soy sauce and Parmesan cheese. 

2) Cheap Choice For The Truffle Craze

    Missed the white truffle season in the city? No problem. Umami burger offers one of the richest truffle-flavored burgers in New York, also with less bucks. While most of the gourmet truffle burgers cost more than $50 per serving, Umami Burger provides a much more economic alternative for New Yorkers, priced only at $12.50. This time, the truffle season is no longer the season of decadence.     The world of truffle has always been mysterious. The nature of truffles has captivated people for over a thousand years. These black pearls of the Earth has the dazzling, irresistible aroma that continues to draw generation after generation to the delicacy. This subterranean mushroom is found within the roots of oak, hazel and beech trees. Dated back to as early as ancient Egypt, people held truffle in high esteem and ate them coated in goose fat. The Greeks and Romans used truffles for therapeutic purposes, believing they gave eternal health to the body and soul. Seen as having exotic qualities in aroma and flavor, truffles were quite popular among the noble classes.      

3) Try It Without The Bun

    Is the burger without a bun still a burger? For me, it's still the same indulgence. Instead of brioche buns, the gluten-free Loco Moco beef burger is sandwiched between two rice patties, topped with a fried egg and drizzled with a chicken demi-glaze. Even more, the meat patty can be replace by portobello mushroom.  Want something different? The Five Spice Burger ($15) is a restaurant special with a patty made from whole fresh duck, layered  with sauteed parsnip, Chinese Five Spice, Madagascar Pepper, Peach Chutney and Garlic Aioli. It has a nice fruity essence, plus the peppery kick and great duck flavor.       

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NYC Easter Parade Report

Fifth Avenue is having a party! It is one of the best festivals celebrated in New York.
Check out the Sunday Easter Parade reported by Katherine Shi.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fancy Restaurant Tour in Florence

      Don't forget to try Cestello Ristoclub when you visit Florence! Opened only for dinner from 7 P.M. to 3 P.M., this seafood restaurant offers varieties of fresh catch fish, shellfishes and crustaceans. Because of that, the daily special depends on what's in the basket. You can taste the sweetness and tenderness of the raw shrimps (always have been a huge fan for the raw food). Definitely the star of the night! However, the oysters are bit too pricey ( 10 euros for one) and not worth the money. The cocktail sauce is okay and the oysters are not as fresh as the ones in Venice.

Besides the seafood, Cestello Ristoclub also has one of the best lobster risottos I've had in Italy. Creamy but not too sticky, this dish never fails to impress. The lobster brings out the fragrance of the risotto and a little bit of saffron, parmesan on top elevate the whole dish.
    The restaurant doesn't have a really long wine list. We choose the rose champagne (75 euros) as the guest of the night and it goes really well with the food. Even my friend who's always been a hater for alcoholic drink fell in love with the champagne and drank half of the bottle.
    If I would visit Florence again, no doubt I'm coming back :) A good night in Florence, an amazing time to remember.

(P.S  Make sure to make a reservation for dinners in weekends, or you might need to wait in the bar for 45 minutes)

Get Some Freshness In The City

    Even living in the concrete jungle of New York, you can still enjoy the freshest organic fruit and vegetables coming straight from the gardens.  Yes, it is not a dream. Take a little trip to the Green Market in Union Square, and indulge yourself in the refreshments like apple ciders and the delicious homemade nibbles such as duck salami and maple cream.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ain't No Party Like A Spring Break Party

A night with "Pitbull", "Michael Jackson", "Jennifer Lopez" and even Spiderman is the night you won't be able to forget. Coco Bongo, puts Vegas nightlife to shame.