Tag Archives: thai

Ichi Umi: 6 East 32nd st. New York, NY

Standard

If you’re ‘friends’ with me on yelp.com, you’ll know that my username is “Miss. I can eat my weight in sushi”. Ichi Umi is the perfect place for me to prove that fact, and reaffirm that I truly deserve the nickname. Gabriel and I had overheard some people talking about all-you-can-eat crab legs last weekend at brunch, and we craned over to ask them the where/when and how. When they told us about the $31.95 AYCE spread at Ichi Umi, we were totally sold and VERY psyched to check it out. We invited 3 other couples to join us and made reservations for the following weekend.

When we arrived to a crowded little waiting area, we were told that we’d have to wait until our whole party arrived to be seated. We weren’t thrilled about that, but it turned out that once 5 of us were there they ended up leading us to our table. It’s pretty darn noisy in there, and we quickly learned that a table of 8 was not going to have the easiest time conversing. Just a few moments later, when we began our feast, we realized that having perpetually full mouths also didn’t lend themselves to much chatting, so it was all okay.

My first step was to simply survey the block-long buffet to see what I definitely wanted to try, and what I should probably skip. Three different rice choices? Nah. Not worth the stomach space. Beer or sake? Also not worth the precious space as far as I was concerned. Plates and plates of oysters, sushi, sashimi, and crab legs? BINGO. I headed down into sushi/sashimi land to start…as you will see from the one plate pictured. That was my first plate of 5 or so, and the only one that I actually remembered to photograph.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of fish. It was really quite good, beautifully prepared and very fresh. Especially the salmon and the scallops which were the big standouts to me. Some of the best scallops I’ve had actually- which is saying a lot since they are one of my  favorites.

The restaurant is VERY crowded and so the chefs are constantly turning platters out with newly sliced delicacies on them. The chefs are a real treat to watch, there must be about 30 of them behind the buffet, efficient and precise, and ready to tsk tsk at you if you (shudder) don’t put the tongs back where they belong. (Yes, that happened to me. For shame!) The display of the whole buffet  is impressively clean and organized, with neat labels telling you exactly what everything is.

Knowing that I had an 8 mile run ahead of me the following day (I’m currently in training for the NYC half marathon) I was treating this dinner as a total free-for-all. I indulged every culinary curiosity on that buffet, having small tastes of just about everything, and going back for 2nds of my favorites. Aside from the raw salmon and scallops, those 2nds included the crab legs, the blue point oysters, the various seaweed salads, the Japanese fried chicken, the bok choy and mushrooms dish, and the green tea ice cream. The various gyoza choices were also really tasty and fresh, but since I missed their presence my first time around, I only ended up with enough belly room to have one of each type.

The desserts are only so-so, aside from the mango, green tea and red bean ice creams, so I would recommend skipping them and filling up on seafood instead. Not a hard thing to do. And hey, there’s always room for one more oyster.

Enjoy!

Chez Carey! Thai shrimp lemongrass soba soup

Standard

                                                                                                                                                                                                           After a chilly evening run, I decided to experiment with a belly-warming soup for dinner. One of my favorites is the Tom Yum soup that most Thai restaurants serve. Not being someone who likes to follow recipes, I attempted to recreate something similar that could satisfy my craving. I also wanted to feel full, so I decided that adding buckwheat soba noodles to it would make it a more complete meal than the soup which is normally just broth and shrimp and a few veggies. As always, this recipe is really just a concept and can be played with as you see fit. I’ll give you a list of ingredients I used and a basic idea- and you can run with it from there. This turned out wonderful but (note to self) next time I will only add the noodles to the portion I plan to eat because the following day, the remaining noodles had pretty much sucked all of the soup up and I had to add some water to reconstitute it.

Add to 8 cups of chicken stock the following:

grated fresh ginger

sliced garlic

slivered scallions

chopped chiles or jalapenos.

a couple of teaspoons of oyster sauce

long pieces of lemongrass (so that you can easily remove them later)

a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce

a couple of tablespoons of almond butter (whisk this in once the soup has simmered for 10 minutes or so)

Let that all simmer for 20 minutes or so and them drop in a pound of cleaned shrimp. Continue to simmer until the shrimp turn pink and curl up.

Cook your soba (or vermicelli, or udon etc) noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. (this is the part I didn’t do…I made the mistake of adding the noodles to the soup along with the raw shrimp. I won’t do that next time)

Put a cup of raw baby spinach in a big bowl. Add a scoop of noodles on top of that. Fill the rest of the bowl with the soup and finish with a little hot sauce. Voila. Yum. Well, Tom Yum. Sort of.

P.S. I think next time I will also add some baby corn and straw mushrooms to this.

Song: 295 Fifth Ave. Brooklyn (Park Slope), NY

Standard

I was in Park Slope for a rehearsal today and some band mates and I decided to go have lunch afterwards. We were pointed to this restaurant by the one person in the band who lives in the area, and since we all love Thai food we gave it a try. At 3pm on a Friday, it was relatively empty with only one or two other tables full. We were seated right away in the sleek, minimalistic atmosphere, and I noticed the great patio in the back with very cute ,colorful, printed pillows. It was a little too hot to sit out there, but on a cooler day it looked pretty awesome.

The menu was fairly typical Thai fair. The lunch entrees were all under $10, incredibly fair for a meal that was really above average.

The service was casual, friendly and fast. The kitchen is open, allowing for a view of the chefs and the flames as they made our meals.

We got a calamari appetizer for the table, which was lightly tempura battered and fried. Not at all greasy, and with a sweet and sour mango dipping sauce that went over very well. So well, in fact, that after we polished off the calamari and made it down to the bed of romaine that it sat on, we continued using the lettuce to dip until the sauce bowl was clean.

I had a Tom Yum Koong soup and a small salad with tofu and peanut sauce and everything was excellent. The soup had the perfect combo of tangy and spicy, and the shrimp and cilantro were fresh and flavorful. The salad was crisp and cold, with a few strips of fried tofu on top. The peanut sauce was an especially good one and I kind of wished I had ordered a bigger salad so I could keep using it.

If I’m in the area again craving Thai, I will definitely go back. Check it out!

>Land: Northeast Thai 1565 2nd Avenue New York, NY

Standard

>
I am a runner. My motto is, “I run so I can eat.” For anyone else who is a runner, you probably understand that on tough miles you sometimes have to silently chant mantras over and over to keep going. One of my mantras is, “sticky rice. sticky rice. sticky rice”. It motivates me to keep running, to finish whatever challenge I’ve set out on and look forward to getting home to order in from Land Northeast Thai. My favorites from them are: the land salad with beets and delicious peanut sauce, the massman curry chicken (with, of course, a side of sticky rice), the satay appetizer with 3 different skewers of deliciousness, and the mixed appetizers- which gives you a nice sampling of puffy things and dumpling things with 3 different sauces. I often make a meal out of 2 apps, or 1 entree, or I order in an app and an entree and can get 2 full dinners out of it. Whatever you do though, make SURE to save room for the mango sticky rice dessert. As a crazy chocoholic, it’s rare that I stray dessert-wise, but this one? Wow. This one is good enough that the thought of it alone can get me through a 10 mile run.