Food, Italian, New York, Travel

Cooking risotto is a hefty job. The ingredients aren’t difficult to find but the stirring process to cook the rice takes a long time and it requires a lot of practice. Risotto is also hard to perfect so I’ve always been on a hunt for the right al dente risotto.

After spending the afternoon on the Highline, we grabbed an early dinner at The Risotteria. The restaurant was so crammed and busy that in order for Tiffany to sit down on the other side of the table, we had to pull the table out for her to slide in. Whenever she needed to get up, I needed to get up and pull the table out for her.

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Mozzarella, Roasted Portobelllo Mushroom and Truffle Oil Risotto

Leaning for a classic side of risotto, I wanted something that was mildly creamy with a savoury and aromatic taste.

The rich fragrant and flavours from the butter and truffle oil was just about right giving the dish an all around fullness to it.

The risotto was slightly undercooked but it wasn’t hard to the point that the rice would stick to your teeth.

The roasted portobello mushrooms had so much flavour from the truffle oil and each piece was a pretty large chunk.

Topped with black pepper and mozzarella cheese, this dish was a high-flavoured and an enticing risotto dish on their menu.

Risotteria on Urbanspoon

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Dessert, Food, New York, Travel

Does this brand look familiar to you? I’ve always seen “milk” on Tumblr and ever since then, I’ve always wanted to try “milk”. Momofuku started in New York City by Chef David Chang and has now expanded to Toronto and Sydney in all forms of Momofuku – Noodle Bar, Shoto, Daisho, Milk bar, Ssam Bar, Seiobo and etc. Sadly, there isn’t one in Vancouver but I’m praying that Milk Bar would at least, open here.

Tiffany took me to Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City and to put it quite frank, the store looked like I was going to buy illegal ice cream but with a super chic and high end design to it. The bar was small with no sunlight shining in and only pink neon lights from the ceiling and the walls. We got in and started lining up. As I got closer to the counter, I saw David Chang’s books, baking mixes, cookies and other baking ingredients. I was quite tempted to buy one of his books, but it was too inconvenient to carry around it with me in NYC.

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See what I mean? It looks a bit sketchy at first but it definitely isn’t. Behind Milk Bar is Ma Peche serving dim sum inspired passed plates.

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Cereal Milk Soft Serve

A really milky, creamy and cold vanilla soft serve with a crunchy cereal ring. David Chang has got the milk magic going on.

The soft serve instantly started to melt once we stepped out of Momofuku Milk Bar. We tried to start from the top but the cereal bits started to fall off so we had to lick around the cereal rim to prevent it from dripping. The soft serve also had a slight grainy texture when it melted in my mouth.

The cereal bits were salty and crunchy so it complimented the sweet vanilla soft serve. In fact, it would seem like something was missing if it was only the soft serve.

I wish they topped the entire soft serve with cereal because the saltiness from the cereal was just spot on.

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#milkbarlife! I’m definitely back for more, whether I’m in NYC or Toronto.

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Food, Japanese, Vancouver

The long anticipated Gyoza Bar + Ramen has finally opened its doors to Vancouver. I am a huge fan of Miku and I was very excited to hear that Aburi Restaurants Canada would be opening something aside from Miku and Minami. I had the experience to attend their grand opening party to try most of their signature dishes on their menu. Now you might think “Oh it’s just ramen and gyozas”, but I would like to say that these are quite innovative and interesting gyozas and ramen with a unique twist yet keeping an authentic Japanese tradition to it’s taste and service. However, it’s definitely not one of those you slurp and your forehead starts getting all sweaty ramen experiences.

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With an open kitchen concept, you could choose to sit at the front of the restaurant near the windows, the far darker end of the restaurant or at the bar where you could see how the staff at Gyoza Bar + Ramen create the dishes.

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Overall, Gyoza Bar + Ramen incorporates wooden tones you would see at a ramen bar in Japan along with some Western modern chic to it.

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All of Gyoza Bar + Ramen’s bowls were made by local ceramic artist, Hide Ebina. Some of them were deeper than normal ramen bowls!

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Gyoza Bar Mule

When I decided to try the Gyoza Bar Mule, the server told me all the ingredients and I literally stopped when I heard “oyster infused vodka”. I’m not sure how it works but I wish I could actually taste a hint of the oyster in the drink.

A dash and a splash of ginger beer, pine-nut syrup, mango bitters and line juice, this drink was a tangy and chill buzz. You could really taste the cooling effect from the ginger after a few sips.

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Kale Gomae on Gyoza Chip

The kale was very flavourful in a sweet and salty flavour. It was also shredded so the texture was delightfully chewy.

I couldn’t tell that it was a gyoza chip but because the kale already had so much flavour, the gyoza chip was more simple and it gave the bite the extra crunch from the chewy kale.

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Tomato and Chorizo

I’m not a fan of cherry tomatoes but I did end up trying this.

Eating the chorizo alone would be too salty, so a splash and a bite from the tomato neutralized the saltiness and it gave a sweeter and fruitier taste.

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Kaisen Tomato Saffron Seafood Broth

What’s in it: prawns, mussels, chicken char siu, scallops, fresh herbs and ramen.

Using the earthy tones from saffron, fresh tomatoes and Ocean Wise seafood, Aburi Corporate Chef Kazuya Matsuoka creates Gyoza Bar + Ramen’s signature tomato saffron seafood broth with a rich and savoury broth from extended simmering before serving.

All of their noodles are house-made by their Japanese noodle maker at the back of the restaurant where you can see how they make their ramen and gyozas. The flour for their ramen is custom blended and there is no MSG in their dishes.

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This was my favourite ramen given its flavour and uniqueness. The flavour of the soup was rich and very smooth in its tomato flavours that I ended up drinking the soup. I was lost in a delicious masterpiece.

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Harissa Tofu Gyoza (V)

What’s in it: Harissa tofu, kabocha, yuzu coconut sauce and pineapple salsa.

This was my first gyoza at the event, and it turned out to be wonderful. I was never a fan of vegetarian dumplings or gyozas but I couldn’t tell that the filling was tofu so it tasted like a meat filled gyoza.

The taste was sweet from the pineapple salsa and the skin was crisp and thick.

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 Umami Shoyu

Cooked in a free range chicken broth, the umami shoyu was a clear and simple ramen.

With a high-toned kale looking vegetable, there were more vegetable options in this ramen compared to the other ones.

I honestly wish I got to try more of their free range chicken because it wasn’t hot, but a delectable and juicy lukewarm thin piece of chicken. Something about it was very refreshing.

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Mediterranean Salt – Shio Ramen

Deceptively simple, the Mediterranean Salt was indeed saltier than the other ramens. Cooked in a Tonkotsu broth, the saltiness was not a MSG type of salty, but more of an earthy and meaty taste to it. It also happened to be more garlicky than the other ramens as well.

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 Hummus (V)

What’s in it: Edamame, artichoke, relish

When the hummus was presented to me, it looked completely harmless. After taking a bite, I swear I could taste wasabi in the hummus but it could be the relish. I ate the entire piece at once and it stung. I thought I was going to cry but luckily, the flat bread toned down the flavours.

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This did not taste like ordinary hummus and even when it did sting at first, I enjoyed the spiciness and the mini adrenaline from it.

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Fraser Valley Pork Teppan Gyoza

To my disappointment, I actually did not get to try their famous Teppan Gyoza. Every single time it came out, my friends and I either missed it or didn’t know where it went in the crowd.

From what I heard, it was a bit difficult to separate the gyozas without tearing the skin but the meat was very juicy and flavourful. Time to work on those chopstick skills!

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Hainan Chicken Gyoza

What’s in it: Ginger scallion rayu, petit carrot, bok choy and chicken dashi.

Compared to the vegetarian gyoza, the skin for this gyoza was thinner, easier to tear and more moist.

The chicken was actually spicy when I bit into it but it eventually grew on me. I’m not sure what they added into the chicken but it tasted like white pepper.
Gyoza Bar + Ramen on Urbanspoon

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