One thing we love equally as much as eating out is cooking at home. For our very first recipe post, we’re sharing a quick and easy way to whip up a heartwarming noodle dish for the cold months.
Soba noodles hold a very special place in our hearts. When we were growing up, every Sunday when our grandpa would visit our home, we would order from a noodle place that delivered delicious soba and udon noodles, hot or cold. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, but when I make soba noodles, it brings instant comfort and happiness to any dull day.
Of course, it’s up to you what you prefer in your noodles, but nailing the broth and perfectly cooked noodles are key. Most days I don’t feel like making my broth from scratch, but lucky for you and me, a lot of grocery stores nowadays carry soba or udon noodle concentrates. My personal favorite is the Kikkoman brand hondashi, a mixture of bonito and kelp broth with soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. If you have a hard time finding these ingredients at your local grocery store, there’s always Amazon. I’ve added links of products I recommend for some of the harder-to-find ingredients below.
When friends or coworkers ask for restaurant recommendations, they expect good tasting food, but are also looking for restaurants with the right atmosphere that fit the occasion. Whether that be date night or a girls (or boys) night out, atmosphere plays a huge role in making a satisfying restaurant experience. We recently took a trip to the Upper East Side (a rare occurence for us Brooklyn kids) for some delicious Anglo-Indian food at Drunken Munkey. This eatery brings a refined dining setting with a whimsical colonial Indian backdrop perfect for those nights you’re feeling a little grown-up.
The Drunken Munkey is easily identified with its hazy red lights and the monkey statue that welcomes you at the door. The darkly lit den is adorned with vintage artwork and monkey chandeliers and candle holders. Unfortunately, all tables were reserved that night, but we were able to grab two seats at the bar. Naomi ordered a refreshing glass of Elderflower Champagne Cocktail ($13) that consisted of Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace, fresh squeezed lemon juice, rosemary infused St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and club soda (recommended if you’re in the mood for something classy). I ordered the Dark N’ Stormy ($13), which included Gosling’s Black Seal rum, ginger beer, fresh squeezed lime, sugarcane. The black seal rum creates this beautiful dark and cloudy layer at the top of your drink, and the best part is this drink comes in a beautiful vintage cocktail glass.
For food, I ordered the Drunken Munkey Lamb Biryani ($19, pictured) and Naomi ordered the Butter Chicken Tikka Masala ($18). During the two centuries of colonial rule, British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese recreated variations of their own dishes with Indian ingredients resulting in the new genre of dishes called Anglo-Indian cuisine. Drunken Munkey pays tribute to these historical flavors with their dishes. The Tikka Masala was a delicious bowl of creaminess with well-seasoned chicken and a few pieces of perfectly chewy naan bread. But we have to say, the lamb biryani was our favorite. It came in something that looked like a pot pie with naan bread baked over the metal bowl. The generous portions of lamb really tied this dish together, pairing well with the spice-filled rice.
Look out for more delicious dishes from the Upper East side. Don’t be surprised, there’s some good eats up there!
One of the things we love about Ippudo is their constant ability to get experimental with their dishes. This Monday, August 8th was Hakkaisan Day—Hakkaisan (translated: Eight Peaks) is a famous sake brewery known for their top quality sake—and to celebrate, Ippudo’s Ramen Master Fumihiro Kanegae (aka Foo) created a dish called Hakkaisan Ramen. This special bowl of noodles claimed to be the world’s first clear miso ramen, where the broth consists of Hakkaisan and kombu, dark roasted rice that was aged for two years, red and white miso, and kagura nanban pepper radish for some added spiciness. And of course, it wouldn’t be an Ippudo specialty if each ingredient didn’t represent something: the aonori (fragrant Japanese seaweed flakes) infused noodles and soup represent the Land, the Duck Chashu is Mount Hakkai, and the grated daikon radish infused with wasabi is the snow. Eaten all together, the broth had a delightfully sweet, light flavor and the noodles hinted at an earthy aonori seaweed flavor. All this was accompanied with Hakkaisan’s Tokubetsu Junmai—a crisp, smooth sake with the a hint of sweetness—that came in Snow Peak’s special Double Wall Titanium Sake cup that kept our beverage chilled. We wish you could have tried this, but to make things a little better, we got word from Ippudo that they will be reinventing their entire menu this coming fall!
Ippudo 65 4th Avenue New York, NY 10003 (212) 388-0088
Ippudo Westside 321 W 51st Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 974-2500
With its dark wood interior and brick walls covered in vintage Thai artwork, Uncle Boons is a darkly lit den that’s both charming and inviting located right in the heart of Nolita. We were immediately seated right under a window with hanging plants dangling from the ceiling, a fresh contrast to the restaurant’s dark interior.
To start out our meal, we both ordered a glass of summery cocktails—Naomi got the Watermelon and Campari (watermelon, campari, and Cremant de Loire) and I got the Guava Sour (guava, botanist gin, lime, basil, and St. Germain), which was our favorite. For an appetizer, we got the Pork and Rice Sour Sausage ($8), a delightfully fragrant dish with hints of jasmine rice and other Thai spices that lay atop a bed of spicy cabbage salad. Finally, for our main dishes, we got the Kao Pat Puu ($26 – pictured), a traditional crab fried rice with egg, cilantro, and lime. This dish came with large chunks of real crab (not imitation crab!) and a spicy and tangy side sauce that matched perfectly with the savory fluffy rice. We also got the Massaman Neuh ($25), which came with boneless beef ribs that melted in your mouth—we can imagine had been simmering in a pot for a long time—along with Massaman curry, mini potatoes, red onion, peanuts and green peppercorn. Portions were quite generous, leaving us filled to the brim by the end of our meal.
For the more adventurous, Uncle Boons offers garlic and soy sauce marinated frog legs over glass noodles and another dish with green curry snails – maybe next time!
You may or may not have heard by now, but Pintrill has teamed up with Shake Shack to bring some super cute pins to their already extensive roster. To commemorate this exciting collaboration, a release party was held at on May 24th at the Shake Shack on 1 Old Fulton Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. There was of course the burger joint’s amazing menu items, (Naomi got the Shack Burger and I got the Shack Stack) but there was also a special dessert that we all were looking forward to. In honor of Pintrill, Shake Shack created a custom Concrete consisting of their chocolate custard ice cream, gooey caramel, and bits of honeycomb all swirled together to form a deliciously sweet and crunchy treat. If you didn’t know, Pintrill’s colors are black and gold, hence the chocolate ice cream with the golden honeycomb. Close enough!
Check out Pintrill’s Shake Shack pins here and make sure to stop by any of the Shake Shack location for some amazing burgers.