Me: Okee..w..well..plan out what we're eating..to make sure it's feasible without killing us
Jason: Hmm well ice cream, a baked good, yogurt
Oh, how lovely it is to have friends like Jason who don't mind doing a good NYC food crawl, even on a muggy Saturday afternoon. Jason came down from Vassar with two of his friends, who we'd meet up with later in Chinatown to behold the largest variety of dumplings I've ever eaten at one time.
First, we went to Japan Society as to not dip into the food-ness right away. It's a small but cool exhibition, if you like Japanese stuff that is. There's a room with gigantic plush costume things that scared me. It's my dream to see huge-ass Poofies though...or is that a nightmare? Hm.
Continuing the theme of Japanese stuff, we went to Bears Papa's by Astor Place. I'm not a big fan of cream puffs for some reason, but I do love me some VOLANIC CHOCOLATE CAKE!
The real name is "fondant chocolate" but I prefer to call it a splodgey liquidly chocolate cake-thing. It was slightly warm and while we cut into it with our forks, chocolate goo oozed out. DELICIOUS. ROBYN APPROVES! Even though one person could easily eat this, eating half was satisfying enough. Eating with friends means splitting the calories! WOO.
After checking out the Giant Robot store, we went to The Yoghurt Place II. I've been there a few times since it's right next to the Sullivan Street Bakery but I never tried anything. Somehow, I never noticed the cold case/counter of yogurt cups before; the first thing you see is the trays of pastries and the case full of yogurt tubs. If you don't want a tub of yogurt, you can get plain yogurt topped with fruit and nuts.
I've never had this kind of yogurt before but I think I like it more than ice cream. The texture is like cream cheese but not heavy, although it's not like a light cheesy cream filling either. It didn't have a strong sour yogurt taste (the kind regular plain yogurt tends to have) and with the fruit topping it was slightly sweet. I think I'll buy some from the supermarket and put honey on it. It's much better than regular yogurt in my opinion.
We started walking to Chinatown and I figured that since we were on the west side, we may as well stop by the Bouley Market. It was on the way! Yes. I was quite taken by this macaroon cake creation:
$28 doesn't seem so bad considering how much their big macaroons cost. Not that I'd buy it. But...whoa! That's big. I bought a slice of flan and a raspberry tart, although I didn't get to eat either of them since I got them for my mum.
We headed to Chinatown to eat at Shanghai Cafe, a place I've passed many times and noticed for looking un-Chinese but never remembered the name of. The decor was bright neon lights resulting in most of my photos having a blue tint. Jason picked it for their dim sum and said we should each get two dishes. This was before we realized each dish was probably enough for one person, as our table (meant to seat six people) gradually filled up with more and more plates.
There were four of us so we ended up with eight plates, six of which were dumplings. Stuff we ordered + commentary:
- Steamed Tiny Buns with Pork - Aka soup dumplings, aka xiao long bao (I think the most Chinese I know, which is barely anything, has to do with food), I burned my tongue on the first one I tried to carefully slurp up. Doh! Yummy, of course. I don't have a favorite place for these (I've also had them at Joe's Shanghai and New Green Bo) so I'd say these were as good as any others I've had.
- Fried Tiny Buns with Pork - In the picture above, are exactly what the name says. Tiny pork buns! Mm! Or like pork dumplings with very thick skins.
- Pork Fried Dumplings - I think we got too many pork dumplings, but anyhoo, these were like the tiny pork buns but in a different shape, unless I'm remembering incorrectly.
- Vegetable Steamed Dumplings - Stuffed with minced veggies and rice noodles. I love these kinds of dumplings. My favorite vegetable dumplings of all time were from the dumpling house that used to be on Pell Street, but these were good too.
- Scallion Pancake - I didn't eat this, but it looked good. It's hard to mess up scallion pancake unless its burnt or something.
- Fried Shanghai Wonton - Mmm, crispy! I don't like deep-fried dumplings but these were tasty with a thin crispy skin.
- Wonton Szechuan Style - This was one of my favorites due to the spicy sauce made of...I don't know. IT WAS GOOD! It's the front-most dish in the previous photo of the three plates of dumplings.
- Sticky Rice In Bamboo Trunk - OOH, STICKY RICE! m SO GOOD! I rarely eat sticky rice but I love it. I could've gone without eating this and stretching my stomach to its limit, but...eh! What can you do?
While the fooding should've ended there, it did't. One of Jason's friends wanted to check out something before going back to Vassar so the three of us left went to Ten Ren.
Those guys make stuff quickly. I could never work there in fear of spilling drinks all over the customers. Which would be bad. I like getting something different every time I go to a Chinatown tea shop so I got Black Sesame milk, which was SOOO GOOD. SOOO. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it because...
...we got ice cream at the new Nolita Ice Cream Factory (
same as the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory but in Nolita or not). I tried a sample of their black sesame but since I just had a black sesame drink, I figured it was best to try something else. Jason and I shared a scoop (kind of a large scoop) of the pumpkin pie ice cream. Oo, yummy! There were little bits of stuff (er, pumpkin I hope) and it was very creamy (as ice cream should be). I'd get this again but I want to try all the flavors first. My plan was to get avocado but they had already sold out. :(
So. That was a lot of food. AND THAT'S HOW I HAVE FUN! Awful, isn't it?