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I cannot believe that I turned 24 this past weekend. Where did all these years ago?

John took me out to eat at Mantra, an Indian restaurant located in Paramus, New Jersey. Food was great!! We started off with the shrimp appetizer and samosas (fried pastry shell which consists of various fillings such as potatoes, onions, peas, meat, etc). John ordered the spicy lamb (the most spicy dish on the menu) while I ordered the tandoori mixed grill (chicken, lamb, sausage, and shrimp). Tandoori is definitely a taste that I am not used to. Very exotic to me!

Then John surprised me with a small cake with assorted fruits, from Tous Les Jours, a Korean bakery. They tasted exactly the same as Chinese birthday cakes- very spongy with soft frosting. What’s great about these cakes is that the frosting is not as sweet as American cakes. It’s very fluffy like whipped cream. Thanks John! 🙂

The next day, my parents wanted to take me out to eat for my birthday. So we decided to go to Dai Wah Yummy City, located in Brooklyn. We ordered: mixed vegetables with chicken, lobster, sizzling chicken, bok choy, and fried fish with string beans. This is also a great Chinese restaurant. And their lobster wasn’t scrawny at all.

Got to eat lots and felt extremely gluttonous over the weekend. 🙂

 

Mantra Restaurant
275 New Jersey 4
Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 342-8868

Dai Wah Yummy City
7218 18th Avenue NY
11204-5632
(718) 837-8818

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It’s that time of the year again for people of Chinese descent (and others in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam to name a few) to celebrate what is known as one of the most important festivities of their time; Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Moon Festival). This holiday falls on the 15th of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar; when the moon is at its fullest and most brightest. According to the Western calendar, Moon Festival falls this year on September 22, 2010. It’s a special time for friends and family to spend time with each other (equivalent to Thanksgiving).
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My parents went to Chiu Hong Bakery, Inc. and brought two boxes of mooncakes (made by the people who work there). If you aren’t familiar with these pastries, they are a delicacy and usually costs around $20 a box with four little cakes. I asked them why they are so expensive and they told me that it’s labor intensive to make these goodies. There are a variety of fillings but I usually stick to the original which consists of lotus seed paste (2nd photo above). It usually comes with an egg yolk but I like them without it. My parents usually buy the five kernel mooncake for themselves (3rd photo above), which consists of various nuts and seeds including: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, etc. If you enjoy coconut, then this flavor is for you.
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If you don’t celebrate the holiday, you can always purchase them for yourself at any Chinese bakery nearby. They are most fresh this time of the year and usually you can’t get them anytime you wish. If you decide to grab a box, you should do so before the holiday comes to avoid the line! 🙂
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161 Mott St.
New York, NY 10013
(212) 966-7664

Forgot to take my lunch today to work so my boss took me to Crystal Palace which was 5 minutes away (walking distance). When we entered the place, it was pretty empty which was disheartening, because it was lunch time. To make things even worse, my boss told me that this place is not that great… except for the jjamppong.

So that is what I ordered. The dish comes in two varieties, which is regular and seafood. i ordered the seafood because I am a big fan of scallops, shrimp, and squid. Jjamppong is a Korean-Chinese fusion dish. It is a spicy noodle soup flavored with onions, chili, and garlic. The noodles were a bit overcooked but the broth was pretty good.

150 Sylvan Ave
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
201-816-8999

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