Sunday, December 21, 2014


First I picked paper plates with the little girl's favorite Frozen - the movie.
The night before, I made chicken sandwiches cut in quarters to form triangles; and cucumber sandwiches cut up in 6. 

I rolled the cheese and ham in the soft thin slices bread and twines it. Then I brushed it with melted butter and baked it at 359 degrees till golden Brian and turned it on the other side. Each side about 4 minutes. ( baked this on the day)

Deviled eggs were made as well and on the day, I rolled smoked in cream cheese.  For some reason, this was the favorite of the 2-4 year olds!

I served mini desserts with red colors and green and a small basket of stemmed strawberries.

Drink:  blood orange juice and peas soup in little cups.

Then they opened their presents!

And the 4-year old said: "Best Christmas ever!"
Children were happy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014


A rainy cold night in Greenwich Village looking for somewhere to dine is not easy. But we lucked out and the place looked crowded which is a sign of a successful tasty restaurant.  The only accommodation was at the bar - but as long as we can order our dinner and eat at the bar, we really don't mind.

Above is the bar area we sat down to order.
About 30 minutes later, my order arrived. This is the shrimp kabob which comes with a salad a a choice of your side order.
My side order was the vegetable rice below.
This is plenty of food. But you can take it back home. I'm having mine for lunch or make some lamb chops with my rice and left over vegetable. I can't wait!
  1. Village Taverna
    $$ • Greek Restaurant • 1.9 mi
  2. 81 University Pl, New York, NY 10003
  3. Open today · 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Friday, December 5, 2014

PIZZA ROLLIO #pizzarollio

This is a new restaurant at The Plaza Hotel's Food Court in the Plaza Hotel's basement by Centrak Park in Nee York City.

This is not your ordinary pizza.  It's like a cracker that has crisp edge and soft by the center. They serve their pizza sliced diagonally to make rectangles about an inch wide so you can roll them when you eat it. Hence Pizza Rollio.

Their most popular order is the Big Bang Supreme which has pancetta, ham, pepperoni, onion, mushroom and mozzarella.  This order comes with a little bit of arugula and greens you assemble on top of each slice then roll to eat. It reminds me of a fresh Philippine egg roll using a thin dough similar to an Italian Piadina - a very thin Italian bread that you heat in very hot oven or toaster oven  to put cold cuts on and eat.

Since I can already visualize the flavor, I opted for Imeldific - their pizza version with mentaiko (spicy cod roe) which is not really that spicy. It just has a little spike. This pizza Rollio has some dab of secret cream they first bake in their hot oven and then some mentaiko spread here and there which creates the flavor.  It also has some peeled slices of cucumbers, and sparingly sprinkled with minced or chopped chives.  You roll each slice to eat it but it doesn't come with greens.  To me this was more like an appetizer portion but it tasted very good.

They added a new salad in the me in this afternoon which is arugula with  some slices of smoked salmon served with a mustard dressing which reminded me of the Scandinavian gravlax sauce , only less thick.

The place is innovative using existing ingredients modified to create a new look and it works!  Perhaps, I could rate this with 1 more star if not for the hefty price considering the fact that I am not being waited on. 

At least if you are staying away from carbs, this may be your answer to the usual pizza.  But to me this is more of a cracker than a thin pizza with a softer center. It's a melting pot or fusion of fresh Asian roll, Italian pizza and other ideas from other nations like the gravlax dressing instead of a sauce on one's salad mixed into one dish.

THE PLAZA FOOD COURT #theplazafoodhall
One East 59th Street, New York, NY 10019
Market Hours:
Sun 11AM-6PM

Monday, November 24, 2014


I decided to see how much I would use from 1 one-inch diameter of white truffle to make a homemade pasta truffle.

I went to buy the white truffle which is in season.

Next, I bought a serving of fresh thin style linguine from the same Italian grocery store.

Prepare the sauce while cooking the pasta.

Fresh pasta is done al dente by dropping it in a big pot of salted boiling water with about 2TB of oil so they don't stick together - no more than 3 minutes and drain well fast reserving about 1/2 cup of the water.

Return to the old pot where you cooked the pasta adding about 3-4 TB of the reserved water and 1-2 TB butter. 
Stir and add the sauce you just made immediately till it thickens lightly.  You may put it in very little fire for just a fee seconds or you don't have to, if the sauce is already thickening.

1 egg
3 TB of clotted cream or Devonshire cream or Italian boxed cooking cream
3 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Seasoning salt and and pepper.
1-2TB butter
1TB truffle oil

Wisk the egg first and then add the rest of the ingredients incorporating it all well.

After you add the sauce to the freshly drained pasta with about 3 TB of the reserved water (to separate the drained noodles) - add the sauce mixture.

This serves 2 main course or 3 -4 first course meals.  Shave the white truffle for each serving on top and pass more Parmesan cheese if needed.
I found out that my inch diameter white truffle can expand well.  This means I just saved about 25% ordering a pasta dish from a restaurant.

In case you want to know - the truffle cost $52.  Restaurants charge 80-$120 each order of white truffled pasta.  I can make and serve it for two to three.

Here I had 2 meals out of it and even grated a little bit more of truffle on my omelette next morning.

Truffle is a mushroom and is very light.  Price per pound may be shocking but if you look at it this way, it shows a different light.

By the way, the fresh truffle has a very mild taste but strong smell when you smell it. This is the reason why I have to add a little truffle oil in the pasta mixture for truffle flavor!

Enjoy! I hope you can find where to buy the white truffle.  You can also use the black truffle.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I recently went to Mumbai, India and was glad to have stayed at the Taj Land's End Hotel in BANDRA with beautiful views if the Arabian Sea.

This large hotel had several restaurants.  I tried 3 of them. 

At this modern designed restaurant inside the Taj Land's End Hotel in Mumbai, one may not realize it but this restaurant has so much to offer. Both in flavor and quantity.

I decided to have a light lunch ordering the appetizer plate that is non-vegetarian.
The above assortment also came with delicious spiced potatoes in a small bowl. And some onions with pepper below:
I also had an assortment of crispy "chips"  and dip.  This reminds me partially of the potato chip family and the Asian kropek.
You may also choose vegetarian appetizer:
At the end of my lunch, they brought me homemade "end if meal" digestives to try. Below are dates in special mixture wrapped in leaves garnished with grated fresh coconut and saffron on some

When you open it, inside is a mixture of spices with a very distinct taste.
Above is inside the leaf garnished with coconut.  One has to eat everything including the leaf.
At the end of the meal, they also gave me 3 bowls of different sweets to munch to help your digestion.  The ones in the left and right are a little similar - candy coated fennel and other spices. In the center are dates that they have prepared a special way.
The ambience is sleek modern.
Above is their floral arrangement at the bar area where I ate so I could watch their chef cook as shown below:
Masala Bay is this hotel's Indian food restaurant. The others are Chinese, Italian and one other where they serve a variety of dishes and offer buffet-style dinner or ala-carte.

Masala Bay
Band Stand, Lobby Level, The Taj Lands End, Mumbai, 400050

Sunday, November 2, 2014

MAMAN - French Cafe

I had to come here as a Francophile! They did not disappoint me.  I now vote that MAMAN had the best most buttery, flackiest croissant and very light ever yet. Even better than most Parisian croissant.

I just could not stop with 1 croissant - since I could not, I had to buy 2 of the plain ones and a chocolate croissant to take home.

I saw the raspberry tarte as well. I wish I could eat bit as well.

I did have Maman's croque Monsieur with bechamel sauce.  It was very French as well. I was enjoying it that this all the piece I had left when I remembered to shoot a picture of it.

The squash soup was smooth. No photo in that as well but the chocolate chip cookies were large, chewy and crisp outside. 

 It just came out of the oven so the chocolate pieces ministered still swirling at every bite.

I wonder what it would be like to have dinner here?  Unfortunately it is a real cafe serving only light breakfast and lunch type meals. Dinner would be so wonderful!
Specials for the day are written on the mirror.

I need to tell you to order their latte. It's so good!


Maman, 239 Centre Street (between Grand & Broome),

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I' ve always loved Peking Duck.  Whether in China when we visited Beijing or Chinatown.

This time Peking duck is the featured dish at Decoy.  It is served first come first served if you don't have a reservation. You also don't have to order the prix-fixed menu which comes with 2 choices from a column and 1 on the right side for the menu as a side.  It is served with a duck consome and an amuse bouche if ordered prix-fixed.  If you don't want the prix-fixed menu with the duck, you can sit by the bar to order their fabulous decadent duck by itself IF you are early enough to get a seat before they runout of duck.

We opted for prix-fixed and below were what we ate:
1) the following amuse bouche above is pickled cucumbers on the left, mango with sauce, and a kimchee with a twist.
Above is crisp fish skin - so light crisp and delicate.
We chose the Kumamoto oysters above.
For uni lovers, this is a big bowl with giant uni inside on black noodles and chopped salad below.  Mixed together is so good!
Loaded with crabmeat and diver scallops, this Chinese crab fried rice was perfect!
The star of the show - our roasted Peking duck with light evenly cooked crisp skin!
The duck is served with home made wrappers scallions and cucumbers. The duck was not greasy at all. The skin was still moist.

529 1/2 Hudson Street 

Giant Shrimp for Dinner

This is an easy dinner but you have to have the right ingredients.

I started off with a giant shrimp a out .55 of a lb.

2 TB. Utter melted
1-1/2 TB of miso paste
Fleur de sel to season the shrimp with.

Cut the shrimp from head to tail in the back.  Split the body open and season the shrimp with fleur de sel. 

Generously  pour the butter miso mixture (make sure you incorporate the miso with butter well)  on too if the entire shrimp.  Broil in LI setting for about 6-7 minutes. Remove to cool off.
Don't overcooked the shrimp.

I served this with Padron peppers sautes in olive oil and seasoned with Fleur de Sel.

I happen to have left over crab fries rice, so here, you see it served with it.
Squeeze lemon and you have a wonderful dinner!

Friday, September 19, 2014

#FRENCH - Cherche de Midi

At the corner of Bowery and Houston Street is a restaurant owned by the same restauranteur of Balthazar in SoHo.  This area is called NoHo.

SoHo is supposed to be short for South of Houston Street and NoHo is North ofHouston  Street. But go figure why they consider this to be NoHo area.

Anyway, middle of the week lunch is the best time to get a table and just walk-in.
Above was my order of POT DE FROMAGE parmesan custard with anchovy butter toast. I love the toast and this cheese dish.

We also had ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST with baby leeks, black trumpets and gnocchi - actually I do 'to remember seeing the gnocchi. I saw arugula salad surrounding the grilled chicken.
Yup! I don't see the gnocchi in the picture.
The dessert was worth the calories. It wasn't very sweet:
Our dessert was:  
CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO POT DE CRÈME. Scrumptious! Worth the sugar count shared.


282 Bowery

New York City 10012

(212) 226-3055


Monday, September 15, 2014


This is an Asian fusion restaurant. It's a hit or miss.

I say that because when I ordered their cod po boy special sandwich for the day, one bite tasted like amonia.  When seafood taste like amonia, it means it's not good.  I returned it and ordered something else.  The waiter was surprised and seemed to be in disbelief.

Anyway, I am glad I ordered the Asian paella.  I wish I had as many clams as the  person that ordered next to me.
The rice part was delicious. There was a few shrimp in my dish.  The seafood paella had more chicken pieces in it.

I finished everything except for the rice which I ended up taking home.  Still good when I came back home.  It paired well with my home cooked pork cutlet.

This restaurant serves a variety of Asian dishes. Some are Thai, Japanese, Chinese and fusion.

Maybe I will go back to try something else in the future. 

  1. 406 E 64 St, Manhattan, NY 10065

Roasting My Squab

First you wash the squab and trim off feet if it has any.  You may trim off the head too.

Season well with salt and let it hang dry by a meat hook for at least 2-3 hours.

Season well with 5-spice and ground star-anise in cavity and outside.  Or buy a  Chinese roast duck seasoning from Asian Groceries to season the cavity and all over the duck.

Brush all over with oil and place either on a baking rack.  You may also use a  roasting stand if you're making only 1 like myself for today:
Put hot water in the bottom of the pan.

Place duck in pan in preheated 350F degrees oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I cut the squab right in the center from head to end. Squeeze some lemon and ate it with cut up cilantro and scallions.
My favorite!

Using a chicken roaster makes a better golden brown skin bake evenly.
Moist and juicy scrumptious squab!