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What: Brunch
Where: Cafe Habana
17 Prince St., New York, NY 10012

For my last meal on Earth, I would have to include the chili corn from Cafe Habana.  It is the single best corn that has ever graced my lips.  As I am writing this, I’m trying not to drool on my keyboard, and it’s almost too hard to control.  The recipe is so simple yet so jam packed of flavor molecules, that it just blows my mind.  We’re talking serious food-gasm here, people.

I’m usually not a Spanish food person early in the morning, so Spanish style breakfast foods are usually lost on me. 

cafe habana
non-descript outside but there’s always an ungodly long wait

Corn- Ingredients: chili powder, lime, and cheese
result: It’s always a bit difficult for me to eat a whole cob of corn, and the chili burns the sides of the lips, but damn it, it’s worth it!  The saltiness of the cheese, plus the mild spice of the chili, and the extra kick of lime juice is all one needs to survive.

corn
Grilled Corn Mexican Style 

corn
more corn!

yin yang
Huevos Divorciados aka Mexican style yin yang eggs

The two salsas, thankfully, were not that spicy, or I think I might have killed myself since my whole plate was drenched in the liquid.  I think I would also appreciate this if the salsa were a bit thicker.  Instead, I had the liquid juices of the two salsas and the liquid yolks – that’s a lot of liquid-y stuff, people!

ranchos
Huevos Con Chorizo

A friend who’s obsessed with huevos rancheros for brunch ordered this scrambled egg with chorizo [Mexican style] with accompanying black beans. 

Le Miu

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

Japanese BBQ.  This reminds me of the korean BBQ, only the flavors are different, but I still get just as excited.

 Are there any Japanese BBQ buffets in New York like there are Korean BBQ buffets?  If anyone out there has any knowledge about this, let me know! 

Two of my friends and I went to Gyu-Kaku one day for an early birthday dinner.  The thing I like about this place is that they offer happy hour bbq meats that change everyday.  We went on a Monday so we got to try the marinated kalbi short rib for 50% off.  I think drinks were also 50% off.  They really marinate their meats well making each piece super mouth wateringly flavorful, but the portions are just too small!

gyu kaku

inside gyu kaku

marinated stuffs
marinated kalbi

steak
more bbq-able meats

bibimbap.jpg
main course: bibimbap: rice cooked in a stone pot mixed with assorted veggies and sometimes an egg with your choice of meat.  I usually go for the bugolgi [beef].  It’s a Korean specialty, but they served it here.

dessert
dessert: aka most wonderful pancakes EVER

dessert

Ever since I was a young girl watching everyone propose/get proposed to at the Rainbow Room, I always wondered what magic powers the place has that causes so many people to announce that they want to spend the rest of their lives with someone there.  However, in the last couple of years, I really haven’t heard much about them.  The restaurant is part of the Cipriani group, who name exudes money and top notch American cuisine.

I finally got to experience the Rainbow Room for myself due to a corporate luncheon held there one day. 

rainbow room sign

view-from-rainbow-room.jpg
view from the bar area

bellini
bellini! my favorite peachy brunch drink

bar
isn’t it a bit too early to drink at 10-11am?

The h’orderves: zuchini chips, cheese pumped onto pieces of napa cabbage, and proscuitto on a stick

zuchini-chips.jpg cheesy cabbage
proscuitto

My favorite part was standing around eating all the h’orderves and drinking my bellinis.  The actual lunch was a bit disappointing.  I guess it also attributes to preparing, cooking, and serving 100 plus people 2-3 choices at one time.  The quality would suffer a bit.  None of the food stood out to us in particular and the portions were tiny. 

asparagus
sad asparagus appetizer

steak
the steak option

fishfish
grilled fish

dessert crepe
mediocre crepe, but the idea’s good

sweets
sweet treats

And.. we can’t forget the infamous chandelier!  I love the orange accents around it.

chandelier

chandelierchandelier

Are there sweeter words in the English language other than “room service”?  Of course, “free room service.”

Check it out:

room service

I really think that room service should not be so expensive.  And dude, if you’re poor like me on a normal basis, don’t EVER stay in this hotel.  Everything was uber expensive.  It made me want to kill myself.  It’s one of those places where they use [or say they use] bottled water to make tea just so they could charge you for water.  This entire breakfast cost about 20 euros or so. 

The restaurant downstairs [Vue Maximilian] serves an awesome breakfast buffet, but I never made it there more than once.  I had to get my ass to work [hence the room service]!!

 Kiwi juice is aweeesome.  It’s at the top of my list for favorite juices.  The juice is soo much better than the fruit, in my opinion.  All that hairyness on the outside is just annoying and it’s so not ergonamically friendly to hold the damn thing.

Of course, in Germany, the pretzels are to die for!  Plus, these were still warm. 

The only annoying thing is that they always wake me up and I look like crap when I open the door at 7am.

Another breakfast:

breakfast in bed

I wanted fruit and yogurt so they dug up bowls of fresh strawberries and blueberries and supplied a jar of plain yogurt.  I also ordered more pretzels because of the awesomeness from the day before.  And.. of course, there’s more tea to help me start my day.

kempinski jams
hotel label condiments

yogurt
yogurt from the alps

More of the Munich foodings.

Dinner at my hotel’srestaurant: Restaurant Vue Maximilian.
5 courses for approximately 50-70 euros.

salt & pep kissing
kissing salt & pepper shakers

cheese cart
cheese cart & chocolate cart

bread
the bread plate:
3 kinds of bread with pesto, butter, and olive oil accompaniments

amuse bouche
amuse bouche

foie gras

foie gras
foie gras tasting, including foie gras creme brulee style

venison

venison
venison w/ cabbage and cooked cherries which I’m not a fan of

not creme brulee
not creme brulee

dessert
trio of desserts =P

bon bons
parting gifts: tarlet & rocher like candy

Munich Foodings

I’ve been traveling back and forth between New York and Munich and I still haven’t written anything about food in Munich! Well, a big part of it is because I tend to go out to eat with my co-workers and it’s really obnoxious of me to whip out my camera and take pictures of everything before I eat it. It’s also not the politest thing to do in front of my Seniors- and over there, everyone is my Senior.

waffle cookies
These are like waffle cones, but rolled up into… rolls! Genius! It’s super crunchy and makes for a great snack. Who doesn’t love a good waffle cone? They only cost .99 euros so it’s super cheap. The only problem is that my mother discovered them the first time I came back to the States and devolvered them. Now, everytime I go, I have to bring her back like 5 bags and she eats them while she watches her Chinese dramas.

GELATO! Unfortunately, I seemed to have forgotten or misplaced the picture with the name of the place, but this is near Odeonsplatz. The gelato was very reasonably priced at 1 euro per scoop. It certainly wasn’t the best gelato I’ve had, but it did help satisfy the craving. I believe I ended up with the tiramisu. Cake in gelato form = heaven in a cup or cone.

Gelato bar

gelato selection

Supermarket browsing

They’ve got the Airwaves gum that everyone in China seems to love.

airwaves

and these are their chips. they’ve got the onion rings and to the left edge, you see something with Asia flavored? Don’t ask me what that means because it sure beats the hell outta me. I think I’ve tried the onion rings and one of the bbq ones. The flavors tend to be lighter than what’s available here, but the bbq chips were damn good. I steal them from my hotel lounge every night. =X

german-chips.jpg

The Germans also have a love for the carbonated drinks. Here’s a selection of carbonated apple juice [think apple juice with fizz, not apple cider], orange juice, and water.

drinks

Not only Germans, but in other parts of Europe, I’ve noticed people liking the bitter melon.  It’s not so much bitter as it is just not as lemony as you’d expect a lemon drink to taste.   There is a slight bitter twang at the end though. 

bitter melon

..more to come..