The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Tristan Week: Day 3 (Amazing 66 Doth Amazes)

Amazing 66

If you're bold enough to name a place Amazing 66, you better be able to deliver the goods. At Olia's suggestion, we gathered up a group of 10 to test the level of amazement their food would bless us with.

What were the results? Well. We ate pretty much everything, if that's any indication. Before you read my descriptions, you should check out Kathy's entry first. It's much, much better than mine, which probably has something to do with her having ordered everything (she speaks Cantonese, yes!) and that she didn't wait weeks to jot her thoughts down. But if you want food porn, follow me...

chinese broccoli with oyster sauce
Yeah, fiber!

How can a simple dish of Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce excel at deliciousness? When it's cooked to just the right point so that it's...well, not raw. They still tasted fresh and crisp and glowed with vibrant green chlorophyll (you know how I love my chlorophyll), but the cellulose has been broken down to an easily chewable degree. In other words, THIS IS GOOD STUFF.

watercress with bean cake sauce
More vegetables!

I don't know what bean cake sauce is, but that's what this watercress was dressed with. I guess. To me it mostly tasted like...watercress. "Green substance with good health-giving properties." Like the Chinese broccoli, it was cooked to that "just right" degree. Another thumbs up.


I can't resist eggplant when it comes in the form of tender, creamy nuggets that soak in whatever flavors they're dunked in. Like oil. And...stuff. By this point I don't remember if this was spicy, but it may have been. Each bite of eggplant was like chomping into the succulent finger of a fat angel. There, I said it.

prawn fruit salad

The prawn fruit salad was the most, "WTF?" inducing dish of the night. If I had known the name beforehand maybe it would've been less confusing, but without the name I was just staring confusedly at a pile of fried prawns, candied walnuts, fried wonton (or something else) skins, baby tomatoes. and honeydew chunks dressed in a thick and sweet Cheez Whiz-orange mayonnaise based sauce. What kind of salad is this? A salad on hallucinogens. Kids, don't do drugs.

I don't mean to say that it tasted bad. The fried prawns were awesome—huge, juicy, bursting with the crustacean-laden freshness—but I didn't care much for the rest. The fried skins were too brittle to hold up anything else, or maybe I picked a weak one. Gimme a big plate of those fried prawns and I'd be a happy camper.

sauteed flounder and vegetables

The sautéed flounder and vegetables was gone in two seconds. Or more. Another simple dish that was cooked to perfection. Although it was sauced with something that gave it a glistening sheen, I can't remember what the flavors were. Fish? Fish. That's all I remember.

roast chicken

I was blown away (in the non-literal sense) by the roast chicken with preserved vegetables. How often does roast chicken come out with a crackly crispy skin? In my experience, never. The meat was a sponge of chicken juices wrapped in a cracker of chicken fat. Do not resist the chicken juice sponge.

pumpkin with shortribs

Next was the star of the night: pumpkin with short ribs, aka the dish that Olia had been drooling over for ages and would give up her unborn child to try. It had the most elaborate presentation out of all of our dishes involving a silver pedestal, a precise cutting by the waiter, and maybe an accompanying trumpet fanfare to properly introduce the pumpkin and meat into our bellies.

it has a heart..of beef

After the waiter cut around the pumpkin (of the kabocha variety), the slices rolled back in a pool of curry sauce to reveal a heart of BEEF. Not just any beef but fork-tender meat oozing with ...meat. Meat ooze. Yeah. Oozing with meat ooze. And it wasn't just the beef that fill our mouths with win, but the pumpkin too. God knows what magical power had kept it upright considering how puddingly-soft the flesh was. It could've been used as baby food; almost no effort was required to break it down.

red bean soup stuff

Kathy managed to score us free dessert. Because she has magical powers of persuasion...and knowledge of Cantonese. Our reward was hong dao sah, a hot red bean and tapioca pearls-based soup. While I've eaten this dessert before (it's a common Chinese dessert), I'm just taking Kathy's word for it when she says that this soup was of the perfect consistency. It was somewhat thick, definitely not thinned down. While most of us appeared to enjoy it, Jeremiah's bowl was noticeably full. What was his objection to the dish?

"It has hot beans!"

He said more than that, but that's all I remember. And after hearing those two words together I couldn't stop repeating, "hot beans." Yet more evidence that I'm missing a chunk of my brain.

oranges, nom nom
Vitamin C

We also received a plate of sliced oranges. That piled on top of a stomach full of vegetables, rice, meat, and other various bits of matter sounds like some kind of digestive catastrophe (not that that stopped me from eating some oranges), but hey, I'm not dead yet. Maybe the orange just trickles down between all the other goo. I don't know much about physiology.


If you want proof that this meal was consumed by more than three people, here's Tristan, Carol, Kathy and Alice. I'll protect the identities of the others. :P (My photos of the other 50% of the table didn't come out so hot.)

Amazing 66 lived up to its name. Besides the food, the service was also up to par. First off, all the dishes came out surprisingly quickly (which was great because we were hongry), but in an order that made sense: vegetables first, then meat dishes, then meatier dishes, thus slowly easing us into a food coma. On top to that we scored the free dessert. Hell yeah.

taro and lychee sorbet

Why did we torture our engorged bellies with more food at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory? No good reason, really. It's just hard to resist CICF when in Chinatown—even after eating a meal that included dessert—because they have flavors you can't easily find elsewhere.

I was disappointed by the taro ice cream, but the lychee sorbet tasted great—clean, fruity flavor without too much sweetness. I much prefer the taro at Sundaes and Cones, which has a strong starchy taro-y flavor and a thicker texture, presumably from the amount of taro it contains. CICF's seemed to just have taro specks, which didn't lend themselves to a very flavorful ice cream. However, Carol, who is from Taiwan and has probably eaten loads more taro ice cream than I have, said that CICF's taro ice cream tasted authentic. I don't know what to think. I just don't know.

Now, for a very important poll. Which Robyn expression do you prefer?

we rock 200%
John is trying to eat my face

Bug-eyed surprise?

hell yeah
We twinz?

Whatever the hell this is?

Apologies in advance if my face gives you nightmares.


Amazing 66
66 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard St
New York, NY 10013


Jennifer / January 28, 2008 2:29 AM

The last time I was in San Francisco, my dad got a dish similar to that prawn fruit salad, although his was served warm. The waiter told us the mayonnaise sauce was a west coast thing. I know there's nothing like it around where I live in Kansas anyway.

Ace / January 28, 2008 2:40 AM

I love any restaurant with the balls to name itself "Amazing" and a random number. The food looks delicious and the writing is charming and eloquent as usual, but I must say that I am jealous of the free dessert. The last time I went to a Chinese restaurant, the staff was a bit shorthanded so the waiter promised us a free dessert. What did we get? Apples! Not even sliced. I hadn't been that disappointed since I found out that the skinny Vietnamese guy from the Asian Garden Mall wasn't really Santa.

BTW, the last picture looks like it's either you guys rocking out or pretending to be Spiderman shooting a web. Perhaps it is Spiderman rocking out? Either way, completely badass as we have come to expect from Robyn.

bassbiz / January 28, 2008 3:10 AM

My sister in law speaks Cantonese so whenever we go out for Chinese, we also get hooked up with the beans, sad though, cos I'd rather have the oranges, LOL. Pretty creative use with the Kabocha, so just pumpkin, beef and curry---seems a little heavy???? Wonder if it would taste the same with the good old S & B brand, hmmmmm, mmmm.....

Julie / January 28, 2008 11:57 AM

Bug-eyed surprise FTW!!! And Chinese eggplant FTW! Also, that prawny stuff--I was introduced to that, or a reasonable facsimile, last summer: honey walnut prawns, candied walnut prawns, etc. Candied walnuts are key. Then you batter the prawns in egg whites and fry them up. The batter is so light, some people deny that there's batter at all. There is! The sauces I've seen are basically mayo with honey. It's usually served on cabbage, and it seems like most people don't eat the cabbage. I made it and put it on baby spinach, and it rawked.

"Bean cake sauce" made me go "huh?," too!

Danny / January 28, 2008 1:21 PM

Your description of the eggplant was great.

"succulent finger of a fat angel"

But that's a boneless angel right?

roboppy / January 28, 2008 4:24 PM

Carrot: HOLY CRAP he is scary. I haven't seen LOTR in ages. -__-

Jennifer: I hadn't seen the mayo sauce before, but I guess it's...uh...cross country phenomenon? Woohoo?

Ace: Apples? Like...whole apples? That is so lame. Boo Chinese! UR DESSERTS R LAME.

Yes, I am the definition of "bad ass." You have discovered the real me.

bassbiz: The curry wasn't thick but had about the same flavor as the regular thick Japanese curry? It was awesome. Somehow didn't taste heavy!

Sera: Don't forget the beef!

Julie: The batter on the prawns I ate wasn't super-light, but lighter than...regular batter? I really liked it, whatever it was. Not soggy but not some impenetrable shell either.

Arrgh I want more.

Clare: HAHA! ...Yeah, kinda. I don't talk about the meals I eat at home though, which tend to be vegetarian and not put me in a food coma. Maybe I should just so everyone knows that I get fiber in my diet..


Lamune / January 28, 2008 8:10 PM

What camera do you use to make such perfect photos? My camera's flash just sucks.

I love your posts and this one was so hillarious! I wish we had such Chinese restaurants in Spain.

girlie / January 28, 2008 8:14 PM

That meal looks deleeeeshus. The prawn fruit salad is decidedly odd, though... can't say it looks great, but I'm sure it tasted good!

Tina / January 28, 2008 9:02 PM

I LOVE prawn fruit salad! My parents would order that whenever we eat out at Chinese restaurants (a rarity in itself). It's sweet yet savory from the mayo and fruits...yums.

But I never had pumpkin with beef before.

roboppy / January 28, 2008 11:39 PM

Lamune: I use a Canon 20D and lots of photoshop. ;) Flash usually makes everything suck; I don't even use it with my camera. Someday I figure I'll buy an external flash.

No Chinese food over there? Spanish-Chinese fusion? ;) I wonder what that's like..

girlie: It was surprisingly good! I LIKE FRIED THINGS!!

Tina: I'm definitely gonna get it again. Sweet and savory, yup! a weird way.

Pumpkin with beef RULES.

Kathy / January 29, 2008 12:21 AM

Pumpkin + Beef = Amazing
Dinner Company = Amazing
Price tag = Amazing
Olia's Expression @ Sight of Pumpkin = CRAZY Amazing

No wonder it was such a great dinner! ;)

Mikey / January 29, 2008 7:09 AM

And once again I click away from this page with a craving for something. This time around it's broccoli. And fried prawns. And chicken.

Aw, hell I want it all. Now!

Yes, i'm going to have nightmares.


Lamune / January 29, 2008 1:32 PM

Oh! So your secret is using Photoshop! ^^ I should have guessed, haha. Anyway, I'll check out that Canon, so see how it's like.

Chinese food in Spain is really weird. Most dishes are bathed in a misterious potato starch sauce like in this one (I couldn't find a better picture):
Most of the dishes have look like these :/
I have eaten real Chinese food and I prefer real one to "Spanished" one way more. Anyway, I still like fake "Spanished" Chinese food.

olia / January 29, 2008 3:46 PM

OOOOOH that pumpkin! droooool, i want moah!
i wonder if i go by myself and order it they'd call mental services? Or if I can order it to go and manage not to eat it from a bag on subway?
for me i think chicken and pumpkin tied for first place, with eggplant and fish close that prawn salad was hmm...interesting. I think it had a maraschino cherry on top -- 'nuff said.

Kathy / January 29, 2008 3:53 PM

HAHAH omg can you imagine Olia eating pumpkin + beef in a bag on the subway? hehehe, cannot stop lol-ing. Olia wins for best comment of the day :)

roboppy / January 29, 2008 10:08 PM

G: HAHAHA, awesome. I do speak like Homer on occasion. It's a simple pleasure.

Mikey: My craving for fried prawns gnaws away at my belleh..(sniff)

Nightmare of cute, like Happy Tree Friends?

Lamune: I think a lot of Chinese-American food is bathed in funky sauce too! -__- Uhoh. Haha. I like the "fake" American Chinese food too.

Olia: HAHAHA oh my god, I want to see you eat it out of a bag. Definitely a Kodak moment.

Kathy: Funny thing is that YES I CAN IMAGINE IT!

Chris: Ahh, I didn't know they had that! Honestly though, I like pistachio on it's own. ...Also, I've never had good pistachio (or whatever pistachio taste I'm used to) outside of a gelateria! Hm. Next time I go I'll taste it. :)

Chrissy / January 31, 2008 11:07 AM

Wow, I looove broccoli...and eggplant? YUM. My mouth is watering even though it's only 11 AM.

I miss decent Chinese food something horrible since I'm at University in butt-nowhere Pennsylvania. (You know, the kinda place that thinks chain pizza and pre-packed bagels are good.)

Wanna send me sme of that? :)

grace / January 31, 2008 11:27 PM


i love your blog.. it's so fun to read. i will definilty try some of the places you mention next i'm in NYC.

by the way if you're ever in LA you should try

there's one in arcadia , california(LA)

not sure if they have a branch on east coast.. but they're quite famous in asia and have many branches in a few major asian cities..

i actually live in north calif. but a friend took me there when i was down in LA. i couldn't shut up about it afterwards... in fact you're the 2nd person i mention to today...


^_^ grace

roboppy / January 31, 2008 11:38 PM

Alice: SUNDAY!!

Chrissy: Oh crap, I'm sorry you're in butt-nowhere Pennsylvania. :( I think I've been there too. ...Well, I was in a part of PA that smelled like cows. Yeah.

COME TO NYC weeee!

Grace: Oo, I've heard of that place!...but have yet to try it. :( There aren't any around here. Wah. Someday, someday.

Christina / February 2, 2008 5:51 PM

"What kind of salad is this? A salad on hallucinogens. Kids, don't do drugs."

LOL! Sage wisdom from Robyn! =P

Incredible food, especially the Chinese broccoli and stuff. I also like that they gave you oranges at the end (I've found that oranges "cleanse the palate", so perhaps that's why...?).

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