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Archive for the ‘family foodings’ Category

Upon some good reviews from common friends, a few of my friends and I decided to eat at Le Miu one of the few Friday nights I was actually back in New York.  They have this whole contemporary Japanese fusion vibe going on.  I thought that the presentation was very notable and creative.  There was a pretentious air to the food that was a bit wasted on me.  Gold flakes are interesting on food and exudes an air of poshness, but I thought it was unnecessary and tasteless.  

To me, the appetizers are where it’s at and the sauces lacked the punch that it needed to be a really great sauce for both the chirashi and the cod.  The preesentation is great, but I probably won’t be back for a while.

tuna-sampler.jpg
sampler of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail tartare

scallop sampler
scallop sampler

 I ordered the salad because it had truffle oil.  Good lord, I’m a sucker.  But it was a good mix green salad with grapefruit, mushrooms, and avocado. 

salad
le miu green salad

sushi rolls
various rolls – spicy rolls were of particular goodness

Nothing really stands out from the selection of raw stuffs they included, but there was the sea urchin.  You don’t see that in chirashi much.   

chirashi
chirashi with noodles

Although miso black cod is one of my favoritest dishes EVER, I wasn’t completely satisfied with Le Miu’s version.  I admit that wrapping the fish in the pylo dough is very innovative, I was disappointed by its overly sweet sauce. 

miso cod

Saikyo Miso Marinated Black Cod

One of my friends decided to try out one of the omakase meus, and this is one of the courses that he received. 

scary prawn
deconstructed prawn

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I went to a sort of hole-in-the-wall family owned and run Thai place in the East Village called Kai Kai Thai.   There’s a Kai Kai on the west side too, but I don’t think they’re related.  You should all check out the website because I’ve recently discovered that their menu portion comes equipped with pictures of each dish!  I always thought all menus should do this, especially for tourists and people who don’t know the language or don’t know the cuisine, they can point and order. 

kai kai thai
looking in from the outside

So the layout of Kai Kai reminds me of the arepas, Caracas place I went to a while back.  The restaurant is split into two sections, the “to go” area and the “dine in” section where you go through the “to go” area to get to.  The tables and chairs definitely need updating, my friend almost broke his chair because it was wobbling so much.  Our table had the words “kai kai” tattooed on it, which was nicer than all the other furniture put together.  The wall is lined with shelves of specialty Thai foods.  I love the whole “stuff on the wall” concept, which is one of the reasons why I’m always willing to go to Applebees even though I’m not a chain restaurant person- also, I love their mashed potatoes.   

 kai kai wall table

Since Kai Kai is BYOB, I brought the bottle of Cabernet Savignon that I took from an open house I went to the previous day to share.  In the picture, you can also see the thai iced tea I ordered.  I think the novelty of serving drinks in jar like cups has run off on me.   I’m by no means a sommelier, but I can say I really enjoy this one.  It was pretty full bodied with a hint of a sweet fruity taste so the aftertaste wasn’t harsh and it wasn’t corky at all.  I hate corky wines.  I’d say the Sea Star would be a good way to go if you’re looking for a good cheap red.  On the same hand, the thai iced tea was strong and flavorful- just like any Asian tea should be.  There was also a lot of it so that made me happy.  Of course, I’m not sure how well wine and tea mixes, but I did it anyways.

thai iced tea

 All items on the menu are under $10 so we decided to go a little nuts and just order random dishes.  We got two appetizers, the chicken satay and the spicy chicken summer roll.  I knew that lower prices would mean smaller portions but we had three people, they could’ve given us three chicken satays!  The chicken was on the dry and bland side but the sauce made up for the meat.  The peanut sauce was a bit watery but it had a good if mild but still peanut-y taste.  The summer roll skimped on the chicken and it wasn’t very spicy.  The few pieces of chicken had a little bit of chili pepper on them but the roll had mostly filler, ie. rice noodles, carrots, and bean sprouts.  Since I don’t get to eat summer rolls very often due to my seafood allergies [summer rolls usually come with shrimp], the amount of chicken didn’t bother me as much as it did my fellow eating mates.  The sauce given for the summer roll is the Chinese hoisin sauce with a few peanut pieces sprinkled on top.  I prefer the peanut sauce myself so I just dipped the summer roll into that.

chicken satay chicken summer roll

I ordered the chicken pad si ew noodles for my entree.  On days I’m not craving curry, I always have difficulty deciding between drunk man’s noodles, pad thai, and the pad si ew.  The pad si ew consists of flat broad noodles in a sweet brown sauce with Chinese broccoli and chicken.  I always like when places use Chinese broccoli instead of Western broccoli, because 1. I like the taste, and 2. I think it just goes better with Asian dishes.  Some of the broccoli were kind of old [that’s how we describe in Chinese; think: overly ripe and past its prime] so the broccoli didn’t really break down as well as it should’ve when I chewed it.  Although not all the broccoli was like this, just a few pieces.  The veggies that weren’t too … old were good by itself.  Moving on… so the chicken was a little better than the chicken of the chicken satay, but the flavor was still absent.  The sauce was really good though and the way it seeped into the noodles was fabulous.  The best way to eat this dish is to wrap the chicken in the noodles so you get a bit of meat with each big mouthful of noodles.   

chicken pad siew
i always hated how asian food photographed worse than it tastes

Daniel got the duck pad ki mow; broad noodles with duck, onions, eggs, veggies, eggs, and tomatoes in a spicy sauce.  I liked how hearty his dish was – there were so many more things here than my dish [not that I really minded for myself].  I don’t know where the tomatoes came from, but I didn’t think it belonged in the dish.  The spiciness of the sauce didn’t overpower the ingredients of the dish.  However, there was mostly duck skin and not enough duck meat in this dish.  Duck skin generally has a huge layer of fat between it and the meat, so there was generally a lot of skin, a lot of fat, and a tiny bit of meat.  Typical fatty Daniel loved it that way, but not me.  I fished for a meat only piece. 

duck pad see mao

Caled eyed the chicken and shrimp with glass noodles wrapped with egg and decided on that as an entree.  Basically all the ingredients were put into a ginormous egg omelet just waiting to be dissected.  In China, there are several types of glass noodles and no matter how often I order glass noodles in the U.S. and know what to expect, I always secretly hope for the ones I had in China.  Anyways, that’s not the point- I’ll go into my freaky knowledge about rice and noods another day.  Caled enjoyed opening his dish up like he had a scalpel in his hand and he said the insides didn’t disappoint.  I love eggs in Asian noodle dishes- it just gives it an extra something.  Also, the plate was cleaned and he gave it a thumbs up. 

clear noods egg wrap inside egg wrap
looks like omu-noods from the outside // piping out goodness inside

If you choose one of the “pads” [pad thai, pad si ew, pad ki mow], you can choose from an array of meats or veggie items.  I like that this place offers duck, which isn’t usually a choice.  For a total of about $40, we got a lot of food and were quite full in the end.  This is definitely not a place someone comes for the ambiance, because what is there is considered a bare minimum [aside from my beloved “stuff on the wall”].  Come to this place if you’re on a budget and not looking to deal with the crowds.  I would definitely come back here for its cheap eats. 

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Les Enfants Terribles serves up French-African cuisine, but I’m usually there just for the brunch since it’s situated between my neck of the City and Chinatown.  I’ve been here countless times since it’s opened and have never been disappointed with their brunch food.  Though, I have to say, I only recommend this place for brunch.  I’ve had dinner here once and it wasn’t enjoyable.  I ordered the duck confit, and it had a really jelly like consistency [too much fat I’m assuming].  Also, at night, they dim the lights down so low that I couldn’t even see my food. 

The original plan was to go to an all-you-can-drink brunch in Greenwich, but decided that if we were going to be hitting up wine tastings all day, we probably shouldn’t start the day off by getting completely smashed- since most of us drank a ton of wine just the night before.

While the space inside Les Enfants Terribles is small, the restaurant managed to fit a bar, which is where most of the action takes place every night.  Since the space is small, the seating is cramped, which would normally be very bothersome, but there’s generally no fights for space during brunch hours.  There are also a few tables outdoors.  It seems that they’ve taken a few tables that belonged to the school a few blocks away and incorporated them into their outside decor.  There’s even a little chalkboard indicating the day’s specials.  Thus, the outside decor gives off a very banishing kids from the classroom to sit in the halls to figure out what they’ve done wrong vibe, which fits with the restaurant’s name. 

les enfants terribles, outside
the floor to ceiling windows behind the school desk-chairs open up during nice weather

While they don’t offer any spectacular dishes, they have a good variety of choices for brunch.  One can perhaps find better versions of everything they serve here at other restaurants around Manhattan, but that’s just too much trouble.  I like it here for the cozy neighborhoody setting and consistently good food, which is what always draws me back.  Speaking of which, I’m offically back to my eggs benedict and salmon thing.  I got the eggs benedict norwegian, which comes with  ::drum roll:: salmon!  The salmon I believe was cured; it had a good flavor- nothing special or unsalmony about it.  I noticed they’ve changed their hollandaise sauce- it’s orange, not yellow like it used to be- or maybe there’s just too much cayenne [if they even used that – I didn’t taste it].  Anyways, the eggs benedict came with a side of fries and mesclun salad, with a light olive oil based dressing.  Another reason why I love coming here is because their fries are always soo crunchy.. except for today!  Mine were half crunchy, half soggy, but Phil’s were really crisp, so I just stole his.     

eggs benedict eggs benedict

The quiche special of the day was duck and that is what Rich ordered.  I enjoyed the flakiness of the crust and the cheesiness of the quiche, but the duck itself was a bit too hard for me.  I think it baked too long and the meat started to shrivel up into Chinese sausage like consistency, so I wasn’t too pleased with it.   

quiche

Phil got the equivalent to a philly cheese steak.  Under the mountain of gooey cheesiness, there were strips of steak and caramelized onions.  Can you see from the picture how wonderfully golden and crunchy his fries look??  Since he sat right accross from me, I had easy access to his fries.  Phil didn’t like the onions too much though, so Rich and I fought for them.  They were so sweet [maybe just a touch too sweet] and juicy, which is the only way I like my onions.  I didn’t get to try the meat so I cannot comment on that but Rich and Phil both gave it their thumbs up.  In fact, Caled ordered it two weeks later for himself.

steak

 Caled got the duck leg confit, which came with fries and bacon salad.  The duck leg was braised in herbs, which I haven’t seen before.  I was surprised that this dish would have a more spruced up salad than the others.  I don’t know why they would choose to put bacon in this salad, but I certainly wouldn’t complain becuase I love bacon.  Rich ordered this two weeks later and they both gave it their approval. 

duck leg

While Les Enfants Terribles may not serve the best of everything, they have a unique selection for brunch and can satisfy almost any palate.  There are veggie options and regular eggs and bacon! 

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