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Weekend Flew By, Once Again…

February 17, 2008

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Not food related, but I saw this somewhere today, and couldn’t help from taking a photo :)

…much too quickly. But each moment, (work included!) was indeed one to savour. Should be getting to sleep soon…those who get Monday off, enjoy it for me, won’t cha? ;)…here’s flash by recap of the weekend!

Friday night, Robyn invited Olivia and I to join her for a dinner organized by Lauren. Lauren’s family owns the Korean-Chinese restaurant out in Flushing, Sam Won Gahk…oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be raised in a restaurant family, heheh ^_^. We covered a vast range of dishes over a short time span, but there were two major dishes which caught my attention (along with my chopsticks!)…

First, a massive dish of jjajangmyun that arrived at the very end of meal. The noodles were served separately from the sauce, and mixed in right before we ate. Its been a while (more than two years!) since I’ve had my last bowl of jjajangmyun and for a minute, if I closed my eyes, it was almost like I was back home in Hawaii, at Eastern Paradise on King Street, chowing down on the black bean sauce coated noodles, tangled with bits of pork and just enough raw onions for a sharp crunch. Almost like I was home…sooo close.

The second highlight? Well let’s just say I gave a little gasp when a glistening dish of Ba Simade it’s way to the table. ZOMG. My brain was running a million baszzzzillion miles an hour. I’ve only had ba sifrom ONE restaurant before in my life, and I had it many, many, many times there. That one restaurant was located in a strip mall in Rowland Heights, CA. And it’s now closed. So. I’m sure there are many other places in LA that churn out wonderful renditions of ba si, but that one restaurant was my first and only. Until now. Half the fun in eating this dish is what you must do before the actual consumption. First, use a fork and pull off a chunk of the candied sweet potato. Then, quickly, dunk it in the bowl of ice water. The cold water will ‘freeze’ up the hot sweet potato, turning the sticky candied concoction into a shell of sorts. When you bite it you get this crazy contrast between the sharp, crackly shell and inside, soft steaming potatoes. It’s heavy on the belly, but you’re best off banishing that thought. Eat it up quick, because once they cool down, they’re no good anymore! ;)

We were quite stuffed after the meal, but most happily so – thank to you Lauren for inviting for dinner! A ride on the 7 train took us back into the city where all eight of us parted ways to our respective homes.

Saturday and Sunday consisted mainly of work, work, and more work, with brief opportunities to steal time that ought to be stolen. A meal with Don at the relatively new Noodle Village on the south end of Mott Street was particularly nice on a cold evening.

Don went with the Teo Chew mein with fish balls and fish cake. Must note that these fish balls were of the extremely bouncy nature, most of the ones you find in this city are solid boring creatures, muddled and muted in flavour (all you in SoCal – don’t take all those delicious noodle soups you have in SGV for granted!!)

My oxtail and potato curry, while enjoyable, doesn’t live up to the chicken and potato curry at Bo Kyjust a bit further up the block on Bayard Street. The menu would lead one to believe that noodles would be served with the curry, but alas, such is not the case, and it turns out that you must ask for it.

The noodles are then served in a separate bowl with its’ own broth, which makes it feel like you’ve ordered two servings. Needless to say, the steaming bowl of luxuriously slippery ho funn in a rich sweet broth more than redeemed any confusion. The broth was so delicious that I’m tempted to stop in on another day and just order a massive cup of broth to drink, hehe.

Don made breakfast this Sunday. And when he said the words “breakfast”, I was thinking BREAKFAST. But then I always forget how much I underestimate him…remember that time he said we were having a “simple” dinner and somehow we ended up making gnocchi over a feast of cheeses (including my favourite, burrata!), and cocktails? ;)

And so I should not have been surprise when he set a glass of almond milk in front of me. We have a strange history of almond milk discussions which include a combination of arguing/attempting to find fresh almond milk. The other night, we stopped in at a few places to look for almond milk, but strangely enough, everywhere was sold out! I kid you not. So I went to sleep that night, craving almond milk, but alas, what could I do?

Almond pulp!

Well Don took the matter into his own hands and actually went to MAKE almond milk. HE MADE ALMOND MILK. He assures me it was quite simple, but still…how many people do you know who MAKE almond milk! But I cannot say I was anything less than delighted as I downed my glass at a remarkably fast pace. Made from nothing but water and almonds, Don left the milk unsweetened, which is exactly how I like it. Almond milk purchase from the markets often have a bunch of sugar added to it, and while that satisfies my sweet tooth…the simple, untampered flavour of pure almonds is nothing short of bliss.

He said we were having crepes, per my request for breakfast. And yes, Don made crepes. But he neglected to tell me he was also ROASTING AN ENTIRE CHICKEN. An entire delicious, mouthwatering, drooling all over myself on a Sunday morning kind of chicken. My goodness, it was fantastic! :) He bought it from the Union Square Greenmarket just the day before, and roasted it along with onions, artichokes and garlic. Swoon? Yes.

We did a sort of assemble your own version of sweet and savoury crepes.

I was finally able to satisfy my incessant craving for fresh ricotta during our breakfast feast. I’ve been craving ricotta since forever (no joke ;), so I have Don to thank for being so thoughtful! Mounds of ricotta, lemon zest, raspberries and cherries. Just a sprinkle of demera sugar, and whether you want to call it dessert or breakfast…well, who cares? Such a creation is bound to put a smile on your face.

For the savoury crepes, we tore apart the roasted chicken (it was sooo good, I swear I can still taste it now =), and piled it on with whole pearl onions and garlic. Aged parmesan, black pepper and a dash of Maldon salt and sheeessssehhh, we were good to go! We switched it around for some of the crepes (I ate four in total ^_^) and replaced the parmesan with cubes of feta in olive oil.

All this before noon!
Trust me, my mornings are not usually so eventful!

I took the afternoon for myself, doing the things I like to do and the things I need to do. Such is Sunday – the best day of the week. Later on in the day, I met up with the best apartment-mate ever, Shann, up at Zabars where we purchased baguettes and whitefish salad for dinner.

And to close off Sunday? We took the train back downtown and stopped off in the West Village. No nicer way to end the day than with a stop to L’Arte del Gelato.

Pistachio, Chocolate-Banana, Strawberry

My visits here as of late have been infrequent at best – I used to come around twice a week…before tax season started! Trips to L’Arte are magical, for every time I slip a spoonful of the pistachio gelato right between my lips, and let it melt at just the right pace, tasting that creamy nuttiness which manages to all at once be subtle and rich, I cannot help but sit back and think, man, life is good :)

And that’s the kind of magic we should be after!

Sam Won Gahk
25128 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11362
(718) 747-2800

Noodle Village
13 Mott Street
NY, NY 10013
(212) 233-0788

L’Arte del Gelato
75 7th Avenue
NY, NY 10014
(212) 924-0803



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