From the monthly archives:

August 2009

Hot Dogs in Chinatown?!

by Peng Li on August 30, 2009

Jumbo Hot Dogs
149 Canal St
New York, NY 10002

Sorry for the lack of updates everyone, went away for the past week with some friends before Fall Semester begins. Expect consistent updates as usual from now on.

This place is great for $1.25 (used to be $1.00) you can have a really big and juicy hot dog. Yeah that didn’t sound right… Its right by the cheap Chinatown Buses to Boston, Philly and what have you. Toppings are 25 cents extra each but it still a great deal because of the size of these bad boys. The owner lady is very friendly and the franks are always fresh because of high turnover rates.

The skin has a nice crunch to it which I love and the potato bread is nice and soft. Can’t write too much about hot dogs because it is what it is; still a staple of NY food.

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#1 Ice Cream Place in NYC

by ray on August 19, 2009

Ferrara Bakery was not the best experience you can get when it comes to frozen desserts in Chinatown. I will share a place which sells the best ice cream in Chinatown and can fulfill one’s craving for tasty sweets.
The place is called “Chinatown Ice Cream Factory” located on Bayard St. It is a small storefront with big flavors, they have been around since 1978; far before my time. ABC7, Fox News, and New York Post featured them and they also won several awards such as “Winner of Best Ice Cream” by City Search and “Nominee Best Ice Cream” by TimeOut NY.

I was there in a very hot and humid Saturday afternoon and couldn’t stop thinking about this place. The store was packed with ice cream craving people including lots of tourists. The store mascot is a very cute and happy dragon who enjoys its ice cream. The mascot also appears on the t-shirt which the staff wore.

I tried the green tea ice cream, which is my all time favorite (I am a tea drinker). One scoop of ice cream cost me $3.75, it is kind expensive, but compared to Haagen Daz the taste is worth it. The ice cream is very rich and thick, it literally sticks to the spoon. Since mine is green tea, it is a little bitter and refreshing but just the right amount of sweetness for me. With the place packed with people and line moving very fast, I just got a peek at their flavors, there are so many flavors ranging from Coconut to Lychee. Some unusual flavors such as Ginger, Wasabi and Zen Butter are also on the menu for people who likes to try exotic tastes. But not all flavors are available all year around, some of them are seasonal. I can’t wait to try Wasabi and Black Sesame flavor next time.

This place offers more than just ice cream. Since it is well known, you can find promotional t-shirts, books and tote bags alongside ice cream in its store and online (http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com/). Their website is very interesting and interactive. You can find great recipes like “Green Tea Angel Food Cake” and “Red Bean Ice Cream”. The site also posts testimonials from customers who appreciate the great taste and atmosphere.

It is not just ice cream, it is the culture and passion that drives this place and its owners Christina Seid and Katherine Seid to bring the best ice cream to the community.

Positives: variety of exotic flavors you can’t find anywhere else, best tasting ice cream ever Negatives: little bit pricey, some flavor not available all the time
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Urbanspoon

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Bo Ky Restaurant

by Peng Li on August 17, 2009

Bo Ky Restaurant
80 Bayard St
New York, NY 10013

212-406-2292

Located by Mott and Bayard, this restaurant has been around since the 80′s. They specialize in Chaozhou dishes which is a variation of Cantonese cuisine. They’re very famous for the Chaozhou style duck 潮州鹵水鴨 so I had duck and noodles. This type of duck is very flavorful because it is cooked in herbs and spices. Because it is soaked in flavor, the skin was not crispy, that’s why I prefer regular roast duck more. I did not have enough noodles in my soup and instead they filled the bottom with bean sprouts, it was kind of bizarre.

Cambodian rice noodle was also mediocre, the noodles were smooth and had a good level of springyness however the meat was rough. With just one shrimp, they classify the dish as seafood.

The best dish by far was the spring rolls. They had just the right amount of crunch and the ingredients inside were very fresh and flavorful.

There was not much of a crowd at 8PM on a Friday night, but customers included a mix of old locals and young people. A note about the decor, although I’m not picky when it comes to Chinese restaurants but this place had flickering fluorescent lights. The effect when fluorescents are about the die out combined with ceiling fans could really induce a seizure. They really need to change out the lights. Service was a
middle aged Angry Asian Man (AAM) as first seen in Shanghai Cafe.

Positives: Price, spring rolls
Negatives: Decor, Service (AAM)
New Bo Ky Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Ferrara Bakery

by Peng Li on August 10, 2009

Ferrara Bakery located on Grand St has a lot of historical significance however I felt it was too much of a tourist attraction. While there I noticed that 90% were large tourist families. Normally I don’t care what type of customers a place gets, but this was overkill and it felt like I was on vacation.

Our group tried a whole array of desserts and drinks. I felt that only the gelato stood out. It wasn’t overly sweet but very soft. The others weren’t much to write home about and you can similar sweets at a cheaper price in other bakeries.

The setting was meant to be ‘cozy’ but I didn’t have that feeling because there was too much foot traffic and tourists standing around not knowing what to order. Everything on the menu was $7-8 a piece but the quality did not warrent so.

Positives: Famous place, can say that you’ve been there

Negatives: Price, atmosphere, food items not so special
Ferrara Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Lazy afternoon tea drinking ritual

by ray on August 7, 2009

I always wondered why Chinese elders like to drink tea after their meals, I decided to try the same habit to find out why. Just half a block down from BIG WONG RESTAURANT there is a tea house called TEARIFFIC.

With a combination of traditional hot teapot drink and cold tea beverages, this place defines tea drinking in a very creative way. Since I prefer the hot tea because it can warm the stomach and accelerate digestion, I tried Rose Tie Kwan Yin. Tie Kwan Yin is a type of Oolong Tea, mixed with dried rose follower gives you a refreshing taste and light fragrant smell. It was served in a very elegant teapot which made a big contrast with the beverage my friend ordered.

He ordered Kumquat Lime Juice which is the exotic fruit kumquat infused with a hint of lime juice. The lime juice gave it a nice tart taste while the kumquat kind of tasted like orange juice, but with more flavor. Since it was a rainy day, sitting in a dry place and watching people pass by outside through glass doors is kind of enjoyable and relaxing.

The decoration of Teariffic also consists of modern design with an ancient twist. With square rosewood stools and tables mixed with colorful lighting, you definitely don’t want to miss this place on a lazy afternoon.

Unfortunately, we went at a peak hour which was crowded and noisy. I will give it a five star if it is less disturbed. I could barely hear myself with all the people chatting loudly around me.

Besides drinks, the tea house also served meals and snacks. Because we went with a full stomach, we didn’t try any food. The menu is very elegant and well categorized which was easy to navigate.

Its price is reasonable, it cost us less than $10 (tips included) for 2 drinks. For over an hour of relaxation, it is priceless. I guess Starbucks is not the only choice when it comes to a decent drink.

Positives: Cozy, price, variety of drinks and snacks
Negatives: can get really crowed and noisy.
Teariffic on Urbanspoon

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Can’t Say You’ve Been to Chinatown if You Never Went Here

August 7, 2009

Big Wong Restaurant67 Mott St.New York, NY 10013212-964-0540 Big Wong’s on Mott St is the epitome of Cantonese cuisine in Chinatown. It has been there since the dawn of time, at least the dawn of Chinatown because it originated on Mott St before expanding tenfold. I feel that this is a great restaurant to go [...]

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Nyonya Malaysian Cuisine

August 3, 2009

Nyonya Malaysian Cuisine199 Grand St.New York, NY 10013212-334-3669 I went there for my birthday dinner from a good friend’s suggestion. The decor is typical of your Chinese-owned Malaysian cuisine around the city, wooden walls and ceilings cover the inside with a makeshift ‘bridge’ area that I did not notice until my friend mentioned it. Note: [...]

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