Bunna Cafe

One of the very few vegan Ethiopian restaurants to lay roots in New York City, Bunna Cafe began as a pop-up restaurant in Bushwick as well as participating at Smorgasburg. Today, they’ve settled into a more permanent residence in Bushwick, just walking distance from the Morgan stop off the L train.

We ordered the Feast for Two ($28), which also comes in varying proportions for one, three, or four people. Inspired by the cuisine served during the fasting months according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the menu focuses on dishes you can share with people. For the Feast, scoops of purple, yellow, green, and orange are placed on top of a soft spongy sourdough flatbread called injera (gluten-free version also available). Each bite created a delicious symphony of spice, salt, and sweetness complemented by the slight sourness of the injera. 

To accompany our main dish, we ordered one Espris ($6) to try as well. The Espris is a delightful creamy beverage of layered mango, avocado, and papaya puree with a dollop of Vimto syrup and a lime wedge to tie it together.

All in all, this ranked high in our book and we highly recommend for those who want to try Ethiopian food or just want a vibrant, healthy and filling meal.

Bunna Cafe
1084 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
(347) 295-2227
bunnaethiopia.net

rice ball

Hanamizuki

With the ever-increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine, we’re seeing a surge of ramen shops and comfort food restaurants popping up around town. In the midst of this food craze, we’ve found the perfect little Japanese café that serves both conventional and unconventional take on the rice ball (in Japanese also known as onigiri), along with quirky side dishes.

Café Hanamizuki is a Japanese eatery that aims to provide wholesome, delicious food in a relaxed environment. Located on 29th street between 6th and 7th Avenue, this tasteful abode is the perfect space to get away from the chaotic streets of New York City. Upon entering, we were struck by the beautiful swooping calligraphy against a white background and vibrant green plants that lined the walls in the back. The counter displayed a variety of triangular rice balls, which one can either order to go or to stay. We both ordered the rice ball combo ($13) that comes with two rice balls, one miso soup, one side dish, and a small plate of Japanese pickles. Between the two of us, we shared the Kinoko (mushroom), Wakame (seaweed), Ume (plum), and Prime Okaka (bonito flakes with soy sauce), all equally well seasoned and fresh. Unfortunately for us, they had run out of the Hawaiian (spam rice ball), which we were originally quite excited to try. We also enjoyed a warm mushroom miso soup, a very interesting  B.L.T. miso soup, cellophane noodle salad, and crunchy pickles. All side dishes harmonized nicely with the rice balls, perfect for a light lunch or a dinner.

Hanamizuki Cafe
143 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001
www.hanamizukiny.com

by CHLOE.

We teamed up with food app, Wine ‘N Dine to bring a series of food illustrations featuring a curated selection of dishes from their favorite restaurants and cafes around New York City. Find us on the Wine ‘N Dine app at @We8that!


While some of us do like the bitter taste of a fresh-pressed green juice, the vast majority would rather stick to their burger and fries than suffer through a wheat grass shot. What if we said there was a way to make healthy fun? Well, sit tight and continue reading!

By CHLOE. is a popular little vegan restaurant located on the corner of Bleecker and Macdougal in Greenwich Village. When we say popular, we mean popular. We headed over on a Thursday night only to find a surge of women, and some men, feasting on veggie burgers, air baked fries, and a variety of delicious looking salads. We were able to order fairly quickly, and secured a seat to wait until our buzzer notified our meal was ready. Although we felt the beady hawk eyes of hungry customers scavenging for seats upon us, we were able to enjoy a quick meal of Quinoa Taco salad, The Classic Burger, Mac n’ Cheese, and their special Oh So Fancy Fries (pictured), which is a special hidden menu item. Our personal favorites were the Quinoa Taco salad and needless to say, the Oh So Fancy Fries. When it comes to vegan food, we believe that seasoning is key, and these two dishes were seasoned to perfection. The mock taco “meat” in the salad, which consists of spicy seitan chorizo, was bursting with flavor, and their tangy agave-lime dressing mixed with fresh romaine leaves was just delectable. The fries came with the same mock taco meat, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and a drizzle of chipotle mayo, which of course is void of dairy. All this makes us want to go back for more, despite the long lines and chaotic seating arrangements. But, great news, by CHLOE. is opening two brand new locations in Flatiron and Soho. We also recommend stopping by in the warmer months and ordering to-go so you can skip the musical chairs and enjoy a yummy lunch in the park.

by CHLOE.
185 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
bychefchloe.com

Marvel x Ippudo

Who ever thought super heroes and ramen could coexist in the same stratosphere of a collaborative event? Well, that just became a reality because we’re here to report on the latest Avengers Interactive Ramen pop-up event Ippudo is hosting for two days, from February 25th to the 26th limited to forty seats. Similar to previous events, this was held in their hidden second floor Ramen Bar in their Midtown West location.

Upon entering, we observed staff sporting what appeared to be superhero masks and current Marvel TV series’ posters covering the wall. We were seated and immediately served a delicious brew of Nanbu Bijin Ruten, a premium Ginjo Sake that comes from the northern part of Japan, along with a cute little “Pickled Alien” of baby octopus in sweet and sour brine. We were instructed to dunk the octopus in our sake, similar to how a string of olives would sit in a dirty martini. The combination was a surprisingly delicious bite of sweet and tangy chewy octopus.

Next came the star of the meal, the Avengers ramen. This came with a beautiful three-year aged Iberico pork soup, blended with an organic chicken stock. The aged pork was a representation of Marvel’s founding in 1939, and the chicken soup pointed to Marvel’s “soaring” success in the present day. Another quirky metaphorical dimension to this soup included the Iberico pork broth as “Ironman 1 soup,” and the combination of the pork and chicken soup created, “Ironman 2 soup.” In addition, all the ingredients in this dish stood for a superhero reference. The green noodles represented the “Hulk,” the one strand of red noodle the “Black Widow,” the poached egg the “Arc Reactor” from Ironman, star-shaped fishcakes were Captain America’s shield, the deep fried lamb chops marinated and coated in béchamel were Thor’s hammer, and last but not least, the baguette toast with seafood sauce and garlic sauce represented Ironman 3. With all these ingredients, we were able to enjoy this ramen dish in so many ways. The soup on it’s own was a delicate light broth, but when the poached egg was cracked and the seafood and garlic sauce from the baguette were mixed, it created a beautiful creamy soup that melded perfectly with the fresh green noodles.

We hope that you enjoyed this recap, and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting events to come!

Ippudo
321 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
(212) 974-2500

Karczma

It’s the middle of December, and what better way to kick off the holiday season with some hearty wintry dishes? Naomi and I wanted to try something warm and comforting, but a little bit different than our usual Asian cuisine routine. We decided to head over to Karczma (kar-cz-ma), a restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that serves some solid Polish cuisine.

When you first enter Karczma, you’ll note the interior is outlined with wood work–imagine a cabin in the woods with a fireplace glow. Locals and family alike were enjoying the warm atmosphere of this very cozy restaurant. We started with a White Borstch that came in a thick bread bowl along with a plate of mashed potatoes on the side, sprinkled with thick chunks of bacon. The soup itself had a warm smokey taste, giving it a depth and complexity that immediately warmed up our tastebuds.

Unlike Greenpoint, there wasn’t an abundance of Polish food where we grew up in Tokyo, so we were both very excited to try as many things as possible. We went with the Plate of Polish Specialties (pictured above), which constituted a lot of everything–stuffed cabbage, a fragrant hunter’s stew, crispy potato pancakes, Polish kielbasa (sausage), and finally, three perogis . A thing to note when ordering, these portions lean slightly on the large side. We ended up leaving with some leftovers for lunch!

Karczma
136 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
karczmabrooklyn.com