Jul 28, 2013

nyc: 50/50 at shake shack

i've read so many reviews on shake shack. so of course i gotta try it!

the drink was easy to decide on, i didn't want to get a shake even though its name is shake shack. i wanted to try something a little different though and read a recommendation about the fifty fifty which is iced tea and lemonade so i got that. it was actually good, in retrospect isn't it just iced lemon tea? but it was perfectly balanced no distinct tea nor lemon taste and just the right amount of sweetness.

i just wanted to get the shack burger which is just cheeseburger with the shack sauce but the lure of the shroomburger is hard to resist. ok, shack stack it is. it's a combination of the shack burger with the "shroom pattie". but since i wanted to savor the shack burger on its own i removed the shroom pattie. the verdict? again, the bun was good just like gray's, it was soft and nice but it all ends there. i cannot even taste the beefiness of the burger and the shack sauce had nothing as well, zilch nil nada! so i bite into the portobello mushroom that was stuffed with muenster and cheddar cheese breaded and deep fried. nothing there as well.

i was disappointed with the burger. earlier on while perusing the yelp reviews, i thought that it's because of the palate. that some people just have a more distinct palate that's why they appreciate food much more. i consider myself one of those people. but in this case there wasn't really anything special about the burger. unless the one i ate was a bad batch??? the shroomburger was dry i can compare it with a similar burger/pita at the borough  and that one was good. honestly, i wouldn't line up again to get this burger. i've tried another burger chain, famous in the DC area and i think it fared much better than shake shack, watch out for my post on it :).

shake shack
681 8th ave.
new york, new york

nyc: nobu in nyc

i was torn on whether i should treat myself to a nice aka expensive meal, i was trying to spend less during this trip but i told myself this is the best chance to eat at nobu. i remember my friends dining at the melbourne location and they said it was so good. however, they had the omakase (chef's tasting menu). i, on the other hand only opted for a lunch bento. it wasn't really about the price it was more of a logistics issue since the omakase menu is only served during dinner. 

the bento was served into two "boxes", one for the cold and and one for the hot dishes.

the bento is actually a selection of nobu's signature dishes. i am not sure about the cold ones but definitely the rock shrimp tempura and the black cod miso are two of the resto's famous dishes.

rock shrimp tempura - nothing special,  kinda oily as if the tempura wasn't properly drained or fried at the correct temperature before being tossed with the dressing which wasn't spicy at all. the shrimp was so plump most likely preserved with lye.

black cod miso - ok this was good...but not mind blowing. i don't prefer cod because it's too rich for me but somehow this was just right i guess the miso was able to cut the richness of the fish.

vegetables spicy garlic - again not spicy at all...i guess all the seasonings were catered to the american palate which has low tolerance for spices.

the sashimi salad and sushi were not special at all. oh boy i was really disappointed. i was sitting at the bar in front of the scary sushi chef who scolded the waiter for putting my bento box upside down/wrong order i really expected a lot from the cold dishes. but they weren't special at all. i think it's the quality of the seafood, they were not as fresh as they're supposed to be. and this is coming from someone who eats sushi every week! sad to say i'd rather have sushi here in kl. 

to sum it up, i wasn't impressed with nobu. i would have eaten the same things at a third of the price. the service was top notch though, i mean for a world class chain it's got to be right? the bento costs 45 USD, i forgot how much was the green tea and of course top it off with an additional 20% tip which is customary in the us. though my manzo meal was a bit pricier than this, it was money well spent.

nobu fifty seven
40 west 57th
new york, new york

Jul 20, 2013

nyc: manzo in eataly

it was a day of must eats, i had gray's papaya which i was quite disappointed with. for a mid afternoon snack i had my much sought after cannoli and it was another disappointment. so i was getting frustrated and told myself i need a very nice meal. so eataly came to mind, it was a backup in case i find myself in the area or find time to eat there.

eataly is actually an italian food hall/market chain brought by mario batali and joe bastianich (masterchef us judge) to the us. it has several restaurants inside and i've already perused their menus prior to the trip and manzo piqued my interest. i was only supposed to get an entree but curiosity got the best of me and i ordered an appetizer as well.

i am so glad i ordered this!

it's veal sweetbreads with sea scallop, fava beans puree, and pancetta. sweetbread apparently is part of the throat or somewhere near the throat of the cow. it's soft and milky, what can i say i enjoy offal and the sweetbread is no exception. it was lightly battered giving a nice crunch. the scallop was so tender with a charred smoky flavor, the pancetta - thin and crispy and the fava bean puree is something that it can do without =). loved this one.

arcadian pastures pork belly with spring onions and rhubarb mostarda. this was good as well but perusing back at the menu i wondered why i ordered this, or maybe the other choices weren't in the menu that day. anyway, the pork belly was so tender and the fat was melt in your mouth (i eventually removed all the fat because it was just too rich!!!) it has an herb crust/dry rub of some sort, the rhubarb mostarda gave enough tartness to counteract the cloying effect of the rich fatty pork belly. it was heaven.

and to top it off, thanks to foursquare i had a free prosecco =).

manzo @ eataly
5th avenue
new york, new york

Jul 3, 2013

nyc: rocco's pasticceria

i have done my research. rocco's has one of the best cannolis in manhattan. they are filled by order so you are guaranteed freshness.

i was so excited that finally, i will get myself a good cannoli. after all, outside italy probably it is most ubiquitous in nyc. i got myself a regular cannoli, not a mini but the regular size, because i was anticipating a mind blowing experience.

the shell was thin and crisp it was perfect. the filling, bleh! maybe it's me, maybe i've made up this ideal construct on what a perfect filling for a cannoli should be and unfortunately the authentic/real one does not meet my criteria. why did this fail me? the filling was so sweet and i couldn't find any creamy/tangy flavor from the cheese. all i can taste is the powdered sugar, i was so disappointed. in restrospect i liked the filling from tintoretto more, if only it didn't have the candied fruits! the mini fruit tart looked gorgeous and it was nothing to rave about as well. maybe their other pastries are better since this is a famous place in the west village.

rocco's pasticceria
243 bleecker st.
new york, new york