Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New York City part III - Oiishi! A chocolate factory and all that jazz!

I have been obsessed with ramen ever since I tasted my first bowl of this Japanese-nified cuisine in Japan. (And no, I am not referring to the instant type.) So it was with a critical eye that I approached the ramen at Ramen Setagaya at the East Village. After days of sandwiches, hot soupy noodles sounded really appealing to KL and me.

ramen setagaya

As everyone knows, the true mark of good ramen lies in the broth. In this case, Ramen Setagaya did not disappoint.

shio ramen

I ordered the shio (salt) ramen. The broth was clear, yet tasty. The ramen was firm and springy, while the thin slices of pork, with their fatty rings, slide down my throat ever so smoothly. The egg was delicious too...firm but not hard and it had a gentle flavour, sometimes eggs have a weird taste to me, but definitely not this one! I still drool when I look at the ramen picture above.

KL and I also shared a side of veggie gyoza....oiishi!

veggie gyoza

Guess what we found while walking around after dinner - a stall serving Japanese streetside snacks like okonomiyaki (pancake-like dish with cabbage, eggs and other toppings) and my favourite, tako yaki! Tako yaki are octopus balls (pieces of octopus in balls of grilled batter) served with lots of mayonnaise, brown takoyaki sauce and bonito flakes. I could never locate them in Orange County so I definitely had to buy some to share with KL.

stall selling takoyakieating takoyaki

Left: the hole in the wall joint selling Japanese street snacks; right: me chowing down on tako yaki
Yummy...the hot tako yaki makes it the perfect snack for a cold NY night!

Just when we though we were done for the night, we came across this restaurant serving lots and lots of chocolate concoctions : Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man. The chocoholic in me was of course, helpless against the siren call of chocolate.

KL ordered chocolate chai. I think the presentation is pretty cool, just put the container over the drinking mug and tap to drain the hot chocolate out from the chai mixture.

max brenner - chocolate chai

I ordered the chocolate shot:

max brenner chocolate suckao

Yes that's right, shots of chocolate! I ordered dark chocolate, out of a trio of choices including milk chocolate and white chocolate. Just thinking about the chocolate rush makes my toes curl :D

The apparatus for preparing the chocolate shot, made me feel like I was conducting some kooky culinary experiment. I scooped some chocolate chips into the milk which was being warmed by the tealight, stir to melt and sip via the metal straw. Naturally I loaded lots of chocolate in for the ultimate rush!

preparing suckao

The melting heart chocolate cake, served with berries and ice-cream.

melting heart chocolate cake

And of course, what would a trip to NYC be without a visit to Broadway? We spent an hour or so waiting in the cold gusty winds to queue up for discounted tickets at the TKTS booth at Times Square. In the end, we settled on Chicago. I rather enjoyed the movie version starring Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the musical version was not too bad.

Finally the last outfit shot of me in NYC for this trip.

times quare

Wearing Rick Owens leather jacket, Zara top, Ksubi black jeans, Ann Demeulemeester boots, Phillip Lim scarf and Miu Miu black coffer.

So long (for now) New York!


Brigadeiro said...

OMGosh! LOVE tako yaki!!! Also love tako wasabi *yum*

PS. Am incredibly jealous you have the Ann D. boots, and the Miu Miu coffer is gorge ;)

Girl Interrupted said...

Good grief! I can feel my hips expanding just looking at all those glorious food shots!!! The Ramen broth looked totally dee-lish!

And the chocolate ... oh the chocolate ...


I now have to go and buy some chocolate, but I'll be back!

Ps: Great post, as ever :)

Dominica said...

The food looks amazing !
The chocolate gives me some ideas for this evening !
MMMMmmmmm, looking forward to it !
The veggie stuff seems really yummie too !
Thanks again for sharing these pics !

Legyviel said...

Oh dear. all thi chocolate and japanese food makes me hungry and i just had lunch! I'm not japanese food expert (LOL) but i <3 ramen. And sushi. And sashimi. UK should have more japanese food places instead of those manky kebab shops!
great post,

Eden said...

you are looking incredibly fantastic while traipsing around in new york! i sooo love the fact that you review the food-- goodness! i love takoyaki too, though i can't imagine having them not hot... would be totally gross i think...

much love


Hanh said...

The soup looks so healthy, chocolate one looks nauty and yumm....Love your outfit btw.

Sol said...

Oh wow, i can't wait to go to NYC and taste all that amazing food! Everything looks delicious, especially the chocolate shots (didn't know they even existed!) and the melting heart chocolate cake, it's one of my favorites deserts!
Loving the last picture too, and how all the colors kinda blend together.

The Divinitus said...

posting food should be prohibited; now I'm hungry again.:)

deep_in_vogue said...

Your jacket's a killer babe. Mmm I all the food you had looks delish, I love Japanese cuisine as well! Looks like you had an amazing, amazing trip!

Emz said...


Nina (femme rationale) said...

omg, your food porn is makin my mouth water. i'm a sucker for a good bowl of ramen. and tako yaki? yuuuum...wish we had street food vendors on the streets of LA.

have a great weekend! :)

chekka cuomova said...

woooww takoyakiiii.. yum yum!! not a big fan of japanese food but takoyaki is an exception. :D
you seem to have so much fun in NY! I envy you so much! as much as I envy your ann d boots and your fierce outfit!! :D you look daaaamn great!!

Belowen said...


ps: I want your miu miu pls.


Mark said...

ok i'm not gonna use that word again, although it is very appropriate here. These food pics made me so hungry! Thanks for teasing us all, haha.

- une mandarine

chekka cuomova said...

btw dear, I tagged you here :p

Anonymous said...

hi rebecca,
this is my first time viewing your blog...i got the link from hahn's site...and right off the bat, i love your style!! very envious of your ann d. score..i tried and did not wondering, what size r u in the rick owen's jacket? ive never seen one in real life, and im thinking to buy online, and we look about the same size...thanks for ur help, and enjoy your blog..ann

Shelly's Style Shop said...

The Ramen looks delicious! I love New York. Great outfit you have on...I am loving that purple scarf. Glad that you had an amazing time!

xoxo, Shelly

hongdou said...

in spite of your great reviews of the little food joints in my beloved city, all i could focus on really was your AMAZING RICK OWENS LEATHER JACKET! sigh...i have the yaya version as well and it's to tide me over until the someday when i can get 'the real deal'. is yours as dreamy as i imagine it to be?

love your blog. :)

Girl Interrupted said...

Hey! :) Hope all is good with you, just dropping by to say I've got an award waiting for you on my blog x

mo.stoneskin said...

Everyone knows?! I didn't, I hate being the exception...

That gyoza looks incredible. And that chocolate feast.

Should I really be craving chocolate at 6:30am?! Probably not. Hmm, maybe I'll have Coco Pops this morning.

Brook and Lyn said...

Ahh you hit all my favorite Japanese places in the city. Also try Sobaya and Hasaki which is in the east village right across from each other. They are my two favorite places to eat in the city. I'm in one of those places on most friday nights!

ct said...

the ramen looks fantastic.=)

visit me sometime:
bonbon’s vintage

PCDE said...

I always eat at that takoyaki store!! it's called otafuku or something like that.. loves it so much! it's cheap, good and so warming especially during winter! and thanks for commenting on our blog! yours is really really great, am going to link you!