Tag Archives: restaurant

Carol’s birthday night out

11 Apr

Last night, the girls + 1 boyfriend got together and celebrated Carol’s birthday. It was not a good night for the Bento Challenge I’ve been participating in.. buuuut it was a great night in terms of having a good time with friends. There’s not a lot of pictures because it was dark everywhere we went and my camera sucks without lighting.

Cute water mugs.

It was a long night but it felt so short! We started at Kampuchea Restaurant in the lower east side which was super cute and cozy. I would say it’s romantic but there are mostly communal tables. I’m not actually sure what type of cuisine it was but I ordered one of the Cambodian sandwiches. The Catfish sandwich ($11) was similar to a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich in that it had pickled carrots and cilantro with the catfish cooked in a honey, soy, black pepper bbq sauce. It was sweet and spicy which I liked a lot. The sandwich came with fried sweet potato chips (like thick ruffle chips) and a slightly pickled cucumber. My friends who ordered the oxtail sandwich ($13), shrimp sandwich ($12), and pork ribs ($16) liked their dishes. My friends who ordered the braised beef brisket ($19) had mixed reviews because it came out more like a beef stew with daikon radish than a brisket. My friend who got the Cambodian vegetable soup ($16) said it was too salty.

Cambodian Catfish Sandwich with Sweet Potato Chips

I recommend the sangria ($40) which featured apple cider among other things and each glass is topped with a piece of young coconut. Delicious!! The appetizers were a joke. I guess they’re meant for individuals but still.. the eggplant terrine ($9) was about the size of half a deck of cards and the green mango salad ($8) was very sour and not tasty. Important to note, there are few things for vegetarians here since most dishes have little bits of meat or fish in them. Overall the bill came out to $36 each for 6 people with the birthday girl not having to pay.

The young coconut was delish.

Later we walked over to Spring St. near the edge of Chinatown and got dessert. Some of us went to Rice to Riches while the rest went to Pinkberry. I split a “solo” size almond rice pudding  ($6.75) with Wendy. It was delicious and super rich. I would totally go back for more except that it’s fattening (they advertise all over the store that it’s fattening and sinfully legal) and expensive. I could probably make like a gallon of rice pudding for that price. If it’s crowded, I recommend walking across the street and sitting in the park. Lots of benches and chess tables which were filled with people eating dessert and pizza from nearby Lombardi’s. Rice to Riches serves the pudding in reusable plastic containers which are great because I can and will reuse it (I know it’s reusable because they sell the spoons). But it’s terribly wasteful to only serve it in those containers because most people throw them out when they’re done. They should make an option to have it in a paper dish rather than plastic. I can’t find any information on the containers so let me know if you find anything.

Photo credit Diana MacKenzie

We decided the night shouldn’t end yet because it was so nice out so we went to La Caverna for drinks. Funky looking underground bar with a cave theme. It was pretty nice. They also serve fancy looking food but it seems like a weird place to eat. I recommend the Altarima ($9) which is passion fruit, Champange and peach. Their gin and tonic ($7) where not bad either. The music is good but it got really crowded and it was so loud that I lost my voice.

We recovered at McDonalds. Ending up at McDonalds meant that we were not thinking straight and I abandoned all inklings of eating healthy. Chicken McNuggets and super-sized fries anyone? I finally got to try the sweet chili sauce.. too spicy for my liking. After stuffing our faces with grease, half of us hailed a cab back to Brooklyn while the rest (more sane of the group) took the train. A cab back to Brooklyn was $30.

I listed all the prices because I need to remember not to spend any more money on anything not needed. And I listed all the food to remember not to eat unhealthy food. Besides an already planned brunch, let’s hope the rest of April doesn’t lead to more gluttony.

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Girl’s night out + bday gift!

24 Jan

My girl cousins in NYC decided to gather and do dinner together so we headed out into the city Friday night after work/classes. We were aiming for Inoteca for some Italian panini sandwiches but the wait was 1 hour so we went over to Essex instead since they had tables. I think our waitress must have hated us because we sat there for what seemed like hours just chatting and talking about our love lives without ordering a ton of appetizers and drinks buuuut it was a great night out. They wouldn’t let me pay because my birthday was coming up. I had the lamb chops with ricotta gnocchi and spinach which was cooked very well and tasted delish. Other dishes at the table included seafood pasta, mussels belgian style (their sweet potato fries were mushy), blackened fish, and duck breast (I love duck). Dessert menu was very unoriginal so we skipped on that.

girls night out lamb

I kept forgetting to take pictures all night so this is after I ate some already.

Afterwards, we migrated to Ferrara in Little Italy for desserts. We went to the smaller (less famous?) one because we knew they had seats. The carrot cake and tiramisu cake were really good. Other people got canoli and cheesecake but I didn’t taste. Almond cappuccino was also good but was not sweet after eating cake so don’t order them together. Each item was ~$5.. including the cappuccino!

girls night out carrot

Carrot cake.

girls night out tiramisu

Tiramisu cake.

girls night out coffee

Almond Cappuccino.

My sister and brother got me the laptop lunchbox!!! Version 2!! I’ve been pining for one for ages but couldn’t bring myself to spend $30 on a lunchbox. It’s bigger than I imaged but I’m so excited to start packing meals in it. =D Thanks Cindy and Jason! I wonder if people will find me weird if I bring that to school.

laptop lunchbox

Laptop lunchbox!!

No bento on Saturday because I went home late, slept late and had work very early. Plus, I usually have lunch with a friend and dinner at home on Saturdays. Maybe I should pack a healthy snack box instead of sucking on a bubble tea all day. Not bringing food usually means unhealthy food as demonstrated by today: hawaiian fried rice (halal style so kinda greasy) and mango bubble tea.

Aloe Restaurant Review

5 Mar

Aloe stands for A Little Of Everything. I went only because it sounded good and I got a $25 gift certificate for only $2 from restaurant.com with the only restriction of minimum $35 and 18% gratuity. So I went with my sister when she was canvasing the lower east side for her internship. That day was sooo cold so it was nice to sit down to a yummy meal.

The restaurant was empty except for two other ladies when we entered and there was only ONE guy we saw working the restaurant, heck he could have been the chef as well. Ambiance was nice, dim and cozy with a rustic brick wall and wine racks. Don’t sit upstairs, there are only three tables, all visible from the outside and is very dead. Downstairs looks much better.

I ordered the crispy duck with gingerbread waffles and it was delicious. I only wish it didn’t cool down so fast, wasn’t as satisfying at room temperature. I blame the plate, it was not hot enough! The duck was cooked perfectly, medium as per my request and the waffles paired very well with the duck. My dish also came with what I thought were baby potatoes but it turned out to be parsnips (I think they were parsnips).

Sorry the pics suck! It was very dark.
aloe duck

My sister ordered the roast brisket which also cooled down very quickly. It came with mushrooms and what we decided were sweet potatoes. They could have been carrots, for some reason we could not tell. =/ how sad. But they were delicious, slightly sweet and very savory in the sauce.

aloe beef brisket

The portions were very decent and we were glad we didn’t order an appetizer even though I really wanted to try the sweet and spicy calamari everyone was raving about on yelp. The service was excellent. The prices would have been unaffordable for me without the discount. However, restaurant.com offers the 80% sale quite often so grab some certificates when you see it.