New York City Asian Food Tour (from 1 year ago!)

Every other month or so, Nick and I make the trip to NYC for good food / drinks and to catch up with old friends. We had a wonderful time there this weekend (pics to come), but first I wanted to share this long-lost entry from one year ago…I drafted it on November 14, 2010 and just found it again today!

“I apologize that this post (a continuation of NYC visit part I) contains nothing but Asian eats. I don’t have very broad or sophisticated likes when it comes to food. I constantly crave simple dishes full of flavors I remember eating as a child. Noodle soup, rice dishes, dumplings, hot pot … bless my non-Chinese boyfriend’s heart for putting up with my narrow palate. I treat him once in a while to tacos.

Comfy “exploring” outfit: Gap cardigan, H&M; shorts and booties, F21 tights (all old)

Hells Kitchen: Totto Ramen. While previously working in NYC, I visited the famous Ipuddo several times, but was not a fan of the 1-2 hour wait and $14+ per bowl price tags. I was hoping to find a more humble alternative, and was surprised by the hoard of people waiting outside this little place at 3pm on a Friday! 

Ramen here was around $10/bowl. I felt it was comparable to, if not better than Ipuddo, and worlds better than any option here in Boston. I enjoyed the eggy noodles and rich miso broth – but as always with any kind of ramen, I felt overwhelmed by the sodium when finished.

Later that night, I had dinner again in Hells Kitchen at Pure Thai Cookhouse with Janice of Coastalpolitan (right) and Jess of SeeJessicaGo (left). I initially started talking to Jess when she kindly gave me a long list of food rec’s. They are both such smart and driven young women whom I admire very much.

Pure Thai has inexpensive, simple yet wonderfully-textured noodle dishes. I had the dry noodles with crabmeat roast pork (photo borrowed from Jess). Nothing fancy, but the springy texture of the fresh noodles – must be handmade, says my taste buds – still lingers in my memory.

Chinatown: Prosperity Dumpling. We went to some average dim sum places and slurped soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai (which unfortunately do not come close to Din Tai Fung in CA/Taiwan), but I thought this little hole in the wall was special.
nyc20102Where in NYC can you have a warm, hearty, and authentic breakfast for $1.50? Prosperity Dumpling, of course. We each got 5 chive & pork potstickers ($1.00) and hot soy milk ($.50). There’s pretty much nowhere to sit, but we saw lots of customers come in and buy frozen dumplings by the bag. Prices may rise occasionally, as noted on this scratch board.
On Canal Street: Typical example of Nick “taking my photo” but instead stealthily documenting something else. I had no idea Longchamp totes were cool enough to be counterfeited.

Koreatown: BCD Tofu House. Nick and I were wandering hungrily and popped into here per Jess’ rec. We’re not huge Korean food fans, but I do like a warm meat & seafood stew once in a while. We also have fun with the little banchan side dishes. This place gives you your very own mini fried fish!”

Flushing: Lamb Noodle Soup. The above concludes my 2010 post, but while on the topic of Asian eats, I wanted to add this to the list. Nick and I are closet fans of Anthony Bourdain. After we watched his NY Outer Boroughs episode featuring this hole-in-the-wall, hand-pulled noodle place, we wiped away drool and knew we had to go.

Earlier this year we made our way out to Flushing, where I thought I was back in Asia again! If you don’t speak Chinese, you’ll just have to survive by pointing to food. We would’ve never found this place if not for our wonderful tour guide Elle. The competition for “lamb noodle soup” holes is intense, but we finally arrived at Anthony’s spot. To say the place was “grungy” would be an understatement – but hey, I come for the food and not for ambiance.
Fresh noodles are cut and hand-pulled before your eyes, boiled, and then dropped into a bowl of milky white broth. The resulting dish is simple, but very hearty and flavorful. Our meal would’ve been perfect if the owner didn’t make fun of my accent : ) If you are a fan of hot noodle soup, or lamb, or going on a treasure hunt within Flushing – give this place a try!

Readers – Please share some of your fave NYC eats for my next trip!
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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    i seriously want that FAKE chanel…I cannot afford the real deal….

    Posted 2.5.12 Reply
  2. Oh my goodness! Thank you everyone SO much for these new recommendations. I've bookmarked this and we're already looking forward to the next visit.

    @Katherine I speak Mandarin, but not good enough to not be poked fun at while in Flushing!

    @mirigoround @Krizia @Christy @Minnie Amazing lists, thank you!

    @mydarlingsally Oh yes…we tried to go there right after the lamb noodle soup, but had already eaten dim sum and dessert right before, and there is such a thing as too much food : / Next time!

    @Anonymous Hi Sim – I'm Chinese

    @myhanh Hi Myhanh! Hmm..I've never thought about that. I know foundation definitely makes your face look smoother in photos, and I hope that it looks smooth and not cakey in person. If you have good, smooth skin and don't need foundation, then there's no need to start for no reason! Some coverup/concealer should do.

    @aimeehx3 @Lesley The halal cart is a must-stop every single time we're there…usually after midnight : )

    Posted 11.16.11 Reply
  3. Kiwi wrote:

    Everyone else has such long things to say… but I just wanted to say: I really love your mustard cardigan lol

    Posted 11.16.11 Reply
  4. aimeehx3 wrote:

    As a NYC local I recommend you try out cha chan tang in Chinatown for their milkteas and baked rice dishes. Also check out Kenka and pomme frites in St.Marks. There's also a great thai place called "Tiny Thai" on the upper east side.

    Don't forget to try out the halal stand on 53rd and 6ave!

    Posted 11.15.11 Reply
  5. Beartea wrote:

    you went to all my favorite places in my neighborhood! Totto and Pure Thai! Try Kyotofu also – they have really good desserts, notably their tofu dessert. do you like hot pot? if you go back to Flushing, go to Little Fat Lamb for some really good hot pot broth.

    Posted 11.15.11 Reply
  6. love the food pr0n! 🙂

    All in the Lower East Side:
    David Chang's Momofuko and ssam bar!
    Sobaya, a Japanese noodle shop that my native Japanese friend always hits up whenever she's in town.
    Paella, a great Spanish spot. You will be stuffed!!!
    For dessert, you can go to Cha-An Tea House. Such a lovely Japanese place.

    Oh and any Alice's Teacup (upper east side, upper west side, midtown), although it's more of a girlfriend type of place.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  7. Kandice wrote:

    Hi Jean, Here's a link on Best of New York places to eat.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  8. Such a great post.
    i´ll be back soon. Take some time and check out muy blog.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  9. Krizia wrote:

    Hi Jean 🙂

    What a teeny tiny world! I'm well acquainted with Jess and Janice through mutual friends. Janice and I also went to Berkeley together and were at dinner together a month ago. Imagine my surprise when I spotted their faces in this post.

    I second and third many of Minnie's (above) recs below:
    1. Hide-chan
    2. Kyotofu – Their homemade soft tofu is unforgettable.
    3. Boka – Their korean fried chicken is my favorite!
    4. Chickalicious has unique desserts and Chika is a darling woman!
    5. Angel's Share – Amazing cocktails indeed! If you haven't been, PDT also had fantastic cocktails.
    6. I also recommend having a tea set at Cha-An. You won't regret it.
    7. Laduree macarons (not Asian) but they're flown in daily from Paris! The boutique opened recently. Might as well get your fix while you're in town 😉
    8. Try to have lunch at Morimoto or the homemade tofu at EN Japanese Brasserie!

    I have lived here for nearly 4 years now and am a self-proclaimed foodie so I hope you find some of these recommendations fairly helpful. Have fun on your trip to NYC!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  10. Lela wrote:

    No apologies needed for just Asian food! *salivating* Haha

    Enter my blog competition to win Jeffrey Campbell Litas!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  11. oh man, really not a good idea to watch photos of chinese noodles when there are none to be found in my little corner of England. My jaw just dropped seeing the ridiculous cheap prices of dumplings. $1!!!!!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  12. Lesley wrote:

    We went to NYC for a visit in July. My hubby and I ate at about 26 different places in 6 days! LOL. My hubby liked the famous "Halal Cart" (there's a "real" one, and then there are the rest. Yelp has good reviews on these guys and how to tell which one is the "real" cart)– he insisted on eating there twice. I liked Totto Ramen a lot (so I ate there twice). We also liked the Meatball Shop, Taipan Bakery, Chinatown Ice-cream Factory and pizza from Artichoke Basille's. We hope to return to NYC someday to continue our eating adventures!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  13. OMG too funny that you found this now! Wow everything looks so yummy! I've sadly never been to NYC and even sadder that my husband isn't really an adventurous eater 🙁 Everyone had me drooling (except the fried fish…I can't eat fish if it still has the head LOL!)

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  14. myhanh wrote:

    Hey Jean!
    I've turned my sister into a fan of your blog. 🙂
    Anyway, I noticed a difference between pictures of you from a year ago compared to present-day. I think perhaps it is the foundation you mentioned in a previous post. Have you also seen a noticeable difference in using foundation in real life and for photo purposes? I'm contemplating starting.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    didn't know you don't like korean food! does that include korean bbq? After our last meet up + I skipped out happily to H&M; a few names came to me but I thought you three would probably find something good to eat in K-Town anyway since Jen likely reads Korean/can sense a bad korean place from a mile away.

    You were in the area again last weekend? It was freezing on Saturday, I hope you came prepared! I had planned to spend all day in the city but the cold defeated me (and probably gave me the headache that I currently suffer from right now). Stay warm!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  16. Minnie wrote:

    I am a New York local and foodie, and I'm so excited you picked my favorite places! I went to school in Boston for several years so I definitely know some places you can get here that you can't get there.

    Other Asian recs to try:

    1.Hide-chan (Second the poster above who mentioned Hide-chan. I like their ramen over 2. Ramen Totto, but I do prefer pork over chicken.)
    3. Kyotofu (cuuutest dessert place ever, their green tea souffle cupcakes are so good)
    4. Yakitori Totto (part of the Totto clan)
    Cha-an (adorable tea, sandwiches, and desserts spot)
    5. Momofuku Ma Peche
    6. Dessert Chickalicious
    7. Angel's Share (amazing cocktails)
    8. Xian (awesome spicy Chinese food that will numb your taste buds)

    I could go on and on…

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  17. I want me some nooodles now.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Looks yummy! What nationality are you ? I thought you were Korean but you say that you don't really like Korean food in this post…

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  19. It's been a while since I been to New York. Miss it so much. I always wanted to be living in New York since I was a teen. But never got the chance. I guess I will always be a southern girl.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  20. Hi Jean! Great post, I'm also a fellow foodie and love to hear about new places to eat in NYC. When I saw your lamb noodle photo, I couldn't help but think of Xi'an Famous Foods- have you heard of them? They have a really famous (and delicious!) spicy lamb cumin noodle soup, as well as lamb cumin burgers all for under $10, as well as a variety of other asian noodles and small eats. They have several venues now, but all of them quite small and are usually packed to the brim!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  21. marialinh wrote:

    the fiance and and I went to NYC to celebrate our engagement (my first time out there)… and we too enjoyed Prosperity Dumplings =) Trekked all the way out there, bought some to-go, and ate them at a nearby park. Deliciously inexpensive!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  22. Kira wrote:

    And please visit this hole in a wall called Otafuku. They have very good OKONOMIYAKI/TAKOYAKI.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  23. rolala wrote:

    My husband and I tend to love the Asian food we grew up with as well. Totto Ramen is so good. You should also try out their sister restaurant Hide-Chan which is also excellent. The Hakata Kuro Ramen is my fave. It is great if you like garlic. In Flushing, I love Happy Prince Beef Noodles which serves authentic Taiwanese style beef noodles and other Taiwanese fare.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  24. Kira wrote:

    Next time you are in NY you have to visit Mandoo Bar. You mentioned you are not a huge fan of korean food, but you have to try these pork dumplings!!!!!


    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  25. MissA* wrote:

    This post makes me so hungry. I'm missing good Asian food, especially dumplings and noodle soup.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  26. Your trekking outfit looks so comfy! Such a master at wearing mustards in your outfits.
    Thankfully, both my husband and daughter are as open to new and varied foods as I am. We tend to seek out hold-in-the-wall places too and will have to remember to take your recommendations when we go to NYC. Thank you!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  27. Mimi wrote:

    ohmygosh, delicious!!! i definitely want everything, haha! 🙂

    <3, Mimi

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  28. Iyah wrote:

    awesome pictures! u look great! love the outfit!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  29. Lauren wrote:

    Lovee this!

    If you're looking for more eats, I'd rec'ed this:
    Kuma Inn – Filipino food, tapas-style in the lower east side, serious hole-in-the-wall.

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  30. great pictures!

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  31. Michelle wrote:

    Aw! I love your exploring outfit!! 🙂

    I don't know that I am bold enough to try mini fried fish!!

    Ack! All those fake purses makes me so angry! :/

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  32. Nelah wrote:

    I should just have skipped this post until after I eat because my stomach is growling like crazy. Yum yum. That yellow cardigan is so bright and lovely.

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  33. Dinges and Waffles truck!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  34. elleandish wrote:

    I'm the same with my taste in food… all I eat is asian (mostly chinese) food and despite Justin being 1/4 chinese he has to deal with me 😛 great post! I haven't been to NYC in years but I hope to go back soon 🙂

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  35. wrote:

    oh gosh I really need to go to NY for the eats!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  36. Jenn wrote:

    This is a prime example of the best part of living in NYC, the food!! I've seen that last noodle place on Anthony Bourdain's show too and have been meaning to try it but am too afraid to go in there. My Chinese is non-existent, but I know several co-workers who I need to coerce into going with me. I'm soooo hungry now!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    Omggg yummmm *____*

    Please do share pics from your current visit! I can't wait to explore other nyc eatery alternatives 🙂

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  38. Callandra wrote:

    I haven't ever the food in your pictures but it all looks so yummy! And what a perfect "exploring" outfit…..very chic and comfy!!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  39. maggie wrote:

    that looks soo good. especially all the chinese food! as someone who eats chinese food every day of her life, i wouldn't be able to survive without it!
    xx maggie

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  40. WOW, has it really been a year since that part 1 post?! Time sure flies, doesn't it?

    lol I didn't think Longchamp totes were "cool" enough to be counterfeited either. I saw soo many at an Asian mall here this year (famous for bootleg DVDs, fake LVs, etc.).

    I recognize those H&M; booties from this season! I think they changed it up a bit.

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  41. Christy wrote:

    i've been a lurker for a long time, but how can i not respond when you're asking for great places to eat in NYC? 🙂

    as a native of NYC, here's a quick list of some of my favorite places!

    cha chan tang – 45 mott street. their special milk tea is really good. and the presentation is very cute. it comes in a bottle in a bucket of ice. i can't say much about the food though.
    mei li wah – 64 bayard street. baked cha siu baos. 80 cents a piece for delicious cha siu!
    hill country bbq – 30 west 26th street. i think on thursdays – sundays, they have their special beef short ribs. those are really good. and their moist brisket is always yummy!
    maharlika – 111 1st ave. i'm not filipino so i'm not an expect, but i thought the modern take on filipino food here was very good 🙂
    westville – 210 west 10th street. lovely place for brunch or dinner. their smoked mac and cheese appetizer is delicious. and they have great veggies.
    white bear – 135-02 roosevelt ave (in flushing). this place is a hole in the wall, but they serve the best wontons. wonton soup, wontons in red oil, all really good.

    okay, i can go on forever and forever, but i hope those can get you started 🙂

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  42. Katherine wrote:

    Everything looks delicious! Do you speak Chinese?

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  43. Katherine wrote:

    I am crazy about noodle soup! It's my favorite food in the world and that lamb noodle soup looks amazing! DEFINITELY going there next time in NY – thanks Jean!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  44. aneetac wrote:

    Yesss to the all the good Asian eats. I, too, am most comforted and satisfied by good Asian food. I spent yesterday devouring plates and plates of delicious shabu shabu. I'll have to venture up to NYC soon to try some of these good eats!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  45. Vicky wrote:

    Now it's my turn to wipe off my drool, but with 2 kids in tow, I don't know when I'd be able to go back to NYC.
    I can never get tired of seeing this mustard sweater on you. Perfect color and slouchy fit. I need to bookmark this post somehow so that I can hit all these places next time I go. Such a great post, and somehow you let it sit for a whole year. tsk, tsk, tsk…

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  46. Babybubblz wrote:

    Beautiful sweater cardigan and thanks for all the delicious recommendations! Always better than a guidebook!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  47. Cher wrote:

    LOL @ all the Asian restaurants. I do not discriminate when it comes to food, I like all kinds (not unusual coming from one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, I guess), but oddly enough, I am very picky about my filipino food. I'm finally making my first trip to NYC next month, I'm not sure how much I'll get to see of the city and what I can eat, but I'm super excited!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  48. @Anonymous Haha…Nick says his other half is "white." But he's a San Diego native who loves good Mexican food : )

    @Anonymous Isn't it so cozy? I hunted it down a long time ago and even paid $6 shipping from a different store, but it was worth it.

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  49. Anonymous wrote:

    I have the same sweater from gap– at first I wasn't sure the color worked for me but now I love it! It really looks great on you!

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  50. Anonymous wrote:

    lol. great eats! what nationality is nick? i think i read in your post he is half pinoy.. is the other half mexican (your treating him to tacos comment) lol.

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply

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