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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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Don’t let the name fool you. This is a Korean Chinese Fusion restaurant. They use a lot of Chinese base ingredients and mix it up with Korean spices to fit the taste buds of native Koreans. Eating at places like this brings up a lot of childhood memories. Although I did eat jjajjangmyun (noodles in black bean sauce), I did not take a picture.

The main dish I had was the jumbo shrimp ggangpoongi. The jumbo shrimp is fried and breaded with numerous amount of spices which I cannot name. It was extremely tasty and also had a soft but crunchy texture. I know I am contradicting myself but you would have to taste it to really know what I am saying.

270 Broad Ave
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
201-592-8993

My family and I decided to eat dinner at a Chinese restaurant called 86 Fu Kee Restaurant in Brooklyn. We arrived a little late- around 7pm and it was still crowded. It seems like a pretty popular place but we waited for only a couple of minutes before we were seated. There are also butchers in front of the restaurant chopping up roast pork, chicken, and other meats for customers.

It was a bit awkward having people who were waiting to be seated, stare at you while you eat. The restaurant was cramped but the food was good. The dishes were also authentic. My favorite dish would have to be the luscious bok choy. It was a very hearty and healthy dish. I also enjoyed the bean curd dish with the jumbo shrimp and scallops.

One dish I wasn’t too keen on was the fried chicken with the weird sweet and sour sauce (consisted of pineapples and assorted vegetables). It was dry and the sweet and sour sauce tasted like medicine. The portions were very generous. The lobster on the other hand, didn’t have as much meat as I expected. We ordered a lot of food and I was surprised on how quickly it came out.

Overall, I was very pleased with this restaurant. 🙂

2211 86th St
(between Bay Pky & Bay 31st St)
Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 232-6083

My first meal at Reading Terminal Market and what a treat it was. It was our first time there and we were bombarded with vendors everywhere. I seriously had a headache not knowing where to go and what to eat. We decided on  Beck’s Cajun Cafe and it was a nice introduction to Reading Terminal Market.

We ordered the jambalaya and the bread pudding. The jambalaya was delicious. The rice was perfectly cooked and so was the chicken, shrimp, and sausages that were in the mixture. the sauce was a thick tomato based sauce that melded everything together very well.

The bread pudding was also very good. The outside crust had a harder bread shell and the inside was gooey and wonderfully sweet.

Although not many people talk about Beck’s Cajun Cafe when talking about the Reading Terminal Market, I highly recommend it.

12th & Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-592-0505

For dinner today, I dined on Chinese leek with egg and shrimp. If you’ve never had Chinese leek before (also known as Chinese chives), it is very aromatic and bursting with flavor. The chives in this dish are cut up into pieces and meshed together with eggs and shrimp. This vegetable also goes very well with meat dumplings!

My mother made crab and shrimp today. She also made some sort of garlic mixed with oil sauce to dip it in. It was absolutely divine.  I think I am an expert in cracking crab legs!

Chinese kale, also known as Chinese broccoli, is enriched in vitamins A, C, K and other nutrients. I had this for dinner tonight and it is my favorite Chinese vegetable. If you’ve never eaten this before, it tastes like broccoli but somewhat bitter. The leaves are sweet if you put just the right amount of sauce. This dish was stirfried with shrimp and various sauces and seasonings.

This fruit, called the bitter melon, is too bitter for my taste. I definitely think it is an acquired taste. Tastes mushy and bitter! This dish was cooked with spareribs and black eyed peas. It can also be cooked in soups.


John and I had our first dim sum experience together yesterday morning at jing fong restaurant, located on 20 Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, New York. The escalator ride transported us to a huge banquet hall, also known as dim sum heaven. This was the first time that I went without my family and unfortunately I do not speak a word of Chinese (being the typical american born Chinese I am), so John and I ended up pointing to the carts of dim sum and ordered whatever that looked good to us. Yes, the service may not be up to par but we didn’t care. John got up from his seat and chased after some of the carts. We were still satisfied and full towards the end of our meal.

We ended up with 6 small dishes of: short ribs, vegetable dumplings (there is one missing in the photo because John was impatient), shrimp wrapped in soft noodle sheets and soy sauce, pork buns, shrimp dumplings, and egg tarts (not pictured above). Each dish was as authentic as it could get and very delicious! There are lots more dishes to try out but unfortunately our tummies was packed with capacity. If you are ever in the area and are feening for dim sum, I suggest you check it out. 🙂

20 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10013-4802
(212) 964-5256

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