Events, New York, Travel

Go big or go home – my way of living when I was in New York City. Tiffany and I decided to go to the Smorgasburg Food Festival on Saturday, August 2nd to eat and enjoy the local street foods of the Big Apple. I was surprised that it wasn’t as crammed as the Richmond Night Market or the Vancouver Food Cart Festival so I was extremely lucky to try most of the popular booths. It was eye opening to eat some local flavours instead of what all tourists would eat, cough, Shake Shack. The weather was pretty gross and hot with clouds covering the sun, but I still managed to get a sun burn. Who cares, let’s feast on! wpid-wp-1408569161361.jpeg

Eating to a view like this was definitely a highlight for the event. No big deal right?

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First stop, Noodle Lane by Lane Li. To me, Noodle Lane served spicy Sichuan noodles with a blend of Western taste buds into it. There were three types of noodles available at the food festival – Dan Dan Noodles, Cheong Fun Noodles and Cold Peanut Noodles. wpid-wp-1408568780332.jpeg

Cold Peanut Noodles

What’s in it: Egg noodles with cucumber, scallions, chili oil.

I really should have been more brave and went with the medium spicy because mild was definitely amateur spice. I even overheard the guy say that mild spicy was nothing and most people go for the medium spice – I chickened out.

The chili oil and peanut sauce blended very well together and the cold cucumber gave the dish a refreshing and summery kick. Near the bottom of the noodles, the peanut sauce does get a bit too heavy and overwhelming. I also should not have started with noodles because noodles have a lot of flour and I was feeling my stomach get a bit full afterwards.wpid-wp-1408568814888.jpeg

Arnold Palmer and Cold Peanut Noodles

What’s in it: 1/2 tea, 1/2 citrus slush and white peach mix-in.

You seriously cannot miss the Arnold Palmer from Kelvin Natural Slush. The slush was not too watered down and I could taste the incredibly peachy flavours from the mix. On the other hand, the peach was so strong that I couldn’t taste the tea.

Kelvin Natural Slush on Urbanspoon

 

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Charred Corn

What’s in it: Charred corn, turnip, chili and mint.

Sweet corn grilled with a smoky flavour could never taste any better.Everything about this golden salad was sweet and herbed.

I usually don’t like the taste of turnip but the flavours from the mint and chili made the turnip a delicious and crisp addition to the salad. It was fun to chew on something extra crunchy once in a spoonful.

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Next stop was the famous ramen burger. We lined up for about 45 minutes under the sun for this trendy burger thinking it was around $5 per burger just like the other vendors – turns out it was $9 when we got closer to the booth and saw their menu.

As you can see in the picture above, the person flipping burgers purposely set up the grill in a slanted position so that all the oil would drip into the floor bucket instead of anywhere else.

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Finally! We ended up sharing one ramen burger since it was a bit pricey and we wanted to try other foods before getting too full. We took things slow and small so we could try more –  this is called eating smart.

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Ramen Burger

For a 45 minute line up, I hate to say it, but the ramen burger was bit of a disappointment.

The patty was very dry and even when they added sauce into the burger, I could barely taste anything. I would not line up 45 minutes for this again.

wpid-wp-1408568837829.jpegBrisket Burger

That barbeque sauce smothered all over the brisket though. I’ve never had such perfect barbeque sauce in my life!

When the lady was cutting the brisket, smoke would creep out from the sides. Placed on a properly toasted bun, the brisket was moist, tender and very hot.

It wasn’t possible for us to eat this with our hands without making a mess so we ate the burger with forks. I think if we did eat the burger with our hands, I would be able to experience the full BBQ flavour exploding in my mouth with cole saw and brisket.

Mighty Quinn's Barbeque on Urbanspoon

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Enough salty foods for now. There were several dessert options – ice cream sandwiches, shaved ice, or popsicles. I felt like popsicles were roughly all the same anywhere and I wasn’t a fan of shaved ice so we ended up sharing a blackcurrant soda from Brooklyn Soda Works and an ice cream sandwich from The Good Batch.

wpid-wp-1408568848096.jpegThe Goodwich

What’s in it: Oat chocolate chunk cookie, sea salt, chocolate fudge, and vanilla ice cream.

Normally ice cream sandwiches would have a soft chocolate with vanilla ice cream in between, but I really enjoyed the hints of saltiness in the Goodwich.

The fudge was rich and very chocolately that went so well with the extremely creamy vanilla ice cream. The cookie’s texture was similar to a granola bar with salty bits that complimented the ice cream and fudge.

I can’t describe how perfectly brilliant the salt complimented the dessert.

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New York, Travel

As many of you know, I recently took a short trip to the Big Apple after my internship ended to kickback and enjoy the last month of my summer. I was suffering from extreme wanderlust and I wanted to breath in the glamorous lights and the busy streets of a sleepless city. What better option in North America than NYC? I packed my Herschel novel duffle and flew to NYC with a mid stop at Dallas Airport. I arrived at the concrete jungle at 10pm on a Thursday night and I was so hungry.

Before heading back to the place where I was staying, my host and high school friend, Tiffany, brought me to my first meal in NYC. Shall we dive into #SFinNY in the upcoming posts?

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Curry Set (USD8.95)
The curry was so tasty and flavourful. I have never had minced meat in curry and this curry was richer in flavour but less spicy than usual.

The rice was actually Japanese rice so the texture complimented the curry sauce. The curry overall wasn’t too overwhelming to the point that you couldn’t eat your udon.

You come here for the udon like a round peg into a round hole. The soup was not very salty with a soothing and simple taste to it. The udon’s texture was delectable and it tasted like handmade udon with the special chewiness to it.

Udon West on Urbanspoon

Exile Bistro is located near the rainbow crosswalk in Vancouver and it has only been opened for about five months. When my friend, Stephanie, mentioned this cool little restaurant that serves both vegetarian and game meat options, I was sold. I walked in without any expectation because the menu was very interesting. You’ll find a lot of game meat in their selections and since I occasionally do not get to eat interesting meats, we ordered their best choices. Shall we dig in?

I apologize for the grainy photos. I was experimenting with Photoshop’s camera on my tablet and they didn’t turn out as well as I hoped.

PSX_20140729_225422Cherry Blossom Lemonade

To quench the summer thirst, we both ordered a cool glass of cherry blossom lemonade. The drink was quite girly and pretty with the little dosage of pink swirls on the side from the cherry.

The taste was just like a normal lemonade with a bit of floral sprinkle added in.

PSX_20140729_224101Kohralbi Scallops with Walnut Butter and Cherry

I was a bit excited when I saw the words ‘scallops’ so I instantly thought they were seafood scallops – so we ordered it. When we bit into it, we had a puzzled look because the texture was nothing like scallops. We took a look at the menu, and we said “Ohhhh….”

Kohralbi is a type of German turnip with a lighter feel to its taste than normal white turnip. The texture is crisp and it melts in your mouth.

The walnut butter was very rich and it had an earthy tone to it that complemented the sweetness in the cherry.

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House-Made Pasta

What’s in it: Lobster mushroom, cauliflower cream and elephant garlic chips

Yes, this is a vegetarian dish and a delicious one too. The house made pasta was very fluffy and cooked al dente. The down side was that you couldn’t really taste how fresh it was with everything on top of it.

The cauliflower cream had a purée texture to it and the taste was exquisite and very creamy. The enormous garlic chips gave the dish an extra flavour “oomph” to it.

PSX18732_1837 Game Fondue

What’s in it: Elk, wild boar, turnips, beets, radish, zucchini, assorted squash, assorted sauces, mushroom bone broth, buckwheat noodles.

This meal took Steph and I two and a half hours to finish. We started off by eating the vegetables one by one and eventually ended up throwing them all in at one go because it took too long to prepare and eat. The ladle that they provided us was also really small with only bite size portions per spoonful so we had to quicken the pace a bit.

The broth was tasty and rich. You could taste the meaty flavours in the soup and it wasn’t too salty – we ended up drinking the soup too.

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If the elk or wild boar isn’t thoroughly cooked, it would taste extremely gamey in an unpleasant way. If cooked well, the meat is delicious with a hint of gamey flavours similar to lamb but with a beef like texture.

Since they gave us a small ladle, we should have broken the soba noodles in half for eating convenience.

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The display for their vegetables was absolutely beautiful! Colours were everywhere and we tried to eat in a manner that would keep the display in order. Eventually we dumped everything in.

We loved the beets and the squash but the turnip wasn’t so good.

 
Exile Bistro on Urbanspoon

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