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to eat & drink

Momofuku Milk Bar is dear to my heart. They recently added birthday cake soft serve to the menu, replacing the crack pie soft serve which was tasty considering I don’t like crack pie. It’s amazing how Tosi got the flavoring of a boxed birthday cake mix so right. I love the birthday cake soft serve with the crunch topping (the complimentary sprinkles were too hard), which they also hide at the bottom of the cup.

And then Milk Bar collaborated with Glossier* on a birthday cake scented lip balm. I had to get it! The balm is sparkly and the smell is fantastic. It does not taste like birthday cake.

 

 

*Referral link: 20% off first purchase.

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I don’t intend to support Starbucks over small, indie coffee shops, but there is only one on my way to work, has a long line, and is cash only. Enter Starbucks mobile ordering. I order my joe before I get on the subway, making my in-store experience easily <1 minute. I’m back on Team Starbucks and love all those extra stars/promotions.

Currently, when you send a $10 e-giftcard to someone else, Starbucks sweetens the deal and they get $15. All you have to add a $10 eGC to your cart (to another email address), log into your Starbucks account and pay with a Visa. The deal will die eventually (check here or here). My guess is some time today.

(1) Bagel from Tompkins Square Bagels (Can’t get a good bagel in NJ!)
(2) Roasted broccoli is a fave (olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, 425F for 25 min)
(3) Bar Primi fiore di carfiosi pasta (pretty but so-so). They take reservations now, but I probably won’t go back!
(4) Fresh California uni at Chelsea Market‘s the Lobster Place.
(5) Chelsea Market Mokbar bulgogi ramen. Share and get a side of extra noodles. The ho cake and tteokboki was less exciting.
(6) Cauliflower steak. Same process as (2). Cut it less than 1 inch thick.
(7) Roasted chicken using Trader Joe’s brined chicken and used some of this recipe. I need a meat thermometer. Love my Falcon enamelware. So easy to clean!
(8) Hu Kitchen “Benny” eggs benedict with chicken sausage, kale, and jordy cakes.
(9) Shake Shack’s new Shackmeister burger with crispy beer marinated shallots. I still prefer the Shack burger… 

(1) The only Beard Papa’s Cream puff left in NYC also sells Mud coffee. The Paris brest cream puff wasn’t as fresh and cream filled as my memory.
(2), (3) Red Farm is Asian fusion and was a surprisingly good brunch – their shrimp & snow pea leaf dumplings and curry crab dumplings were delicious. The skin was thin.
(4) Harbs is a new Japanese cake boutique. Beautiful cafe, much pricier than Lady M (think $10+ on average for a slice). Their cakes are less sleek and more ambitious than Lady M and tends to tumble over. This slice had tons of berries, chocolate chiffon cake, and some rum.
(5) Simit and Smith — Turkish “bagel” is called a simit. Slim and chewy.
(6) This is a relative of the pomelo — it’s so much more fun to eat when it’s all peeled and segmented.
(7) The Harbs’ spin on the millecrepe has tons of fruit. I didn’t care for the banana.
(8) Seasonal red velvet cake from Lady M did not impress.
(9) Shiny Tea in Flushing Panda milk tea = mini white pearls + normal pearls. The mini white pearls fascinate me. They have the same texture!

French-influenced Japanese cake boutique, Lady M, recently opened on the south side of Bryant Park. Close enough to hop to on a work day.

Simply put, I adore cake. Especially the light, fluffy, not super sweet kind. I’m partial to the elegant Gâteau aux Marrons (with almond cake and chestnut cream) but will pretty much eat anything from Lady M.

Bryant Park Boutique
36 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
+1 212-452-2222
Monday to Friday: 8am-7pm, Saturday: 11am-7pm, Sunday: 11am-6pm

If you like creamy chocolate, check out Japanese Hokkaido brand, Royce, which is a few steps east of Lady M. It’s no surprise they are neighbors – they share an owner, Ken Romaniszyn.

Updated below…

You remember how I was super excited to finally get the West Elm rose gold flatware? Well, to my extreme disappointment, it tarnishes. It was supposed to be sturdy enough for every day with its plated stainless steel. I’ve been trying to return it but West Elm won’t send return labels and only does UPS pickups. I’m at work during the day, and you know. Note: the rose gold flatware is currently not sold online, but they do have another gold set that has a matte finish.

I eventually bit the bullet and mailed the flatware back to West Elm. I’d only purchased two sets so they conveniently fit in USPS Priority Mail’s padded flat rate envelope (~$6). West Elm proceeded the refund. Finally! Based on comments left on this thread, tarnishing was not isolated to the rose gold set but also the matte gold set. 

Upon further research, I set my eyes on the Portuguese-made matte gold Almoco flatware that is sold at Design Within Reach. Each set is 25% more than West Elm’s, but I found it for a good price nearby (and enjoyed dragging my friends to pick it up with me on an exciting Saturday night). Each set is beautifully packaged in a display box. Each piece is also significant more substantial looking than West Elm. I will review the Almoco after some use…

Almoco Update 1: I’ve been using this set for a while with no complaints. I treat it like my former Ikea set – I’ve left it in the sink with dirty dishes, I’ve run it through the dishwasher (handles down and somewhat dispersed), and I also handwash and set to dry. It still looks like new! I’ve seen it go on sale at Design within Reach but the sales are extremely infrequent.

Almoco Update 2: I’ve been using Almoco for over 2 years. No problems. I hand wash, throw in the dishwasher, or leave them in the sink to soak. If you use the dishwasher, follow their instructions — handles down and disperse. Two thumbs up!

I’m finally graduating from my Ikea flatware. They lasted for 5 years until my summer sublet managed to chip them. I didn’t know that was possible!

Though I haven’t verbalized it here or through my credit card statements, I am really loving West Elm housewares and accessories. I usually take a while to ponder the non-essential apartment purchases and eventually bit the bullet and bought two sets of their rose gold flatware. It cleans well; isn’t high maintenance; has some weight, but not too much; is more gold than rose gold which is fine in my book; and most importantly, brightens my eating experience.

Along with other tableware and linens, the rose gold flatware is 20% off for a limited time and ships free (though much slower than other retailers). If you have American Express Membership Rewards points (that you don’t pay an annual fee for — because if that’s the case you want to save them for airline transfers), you can easily redeem points for a mobile gift card through your American Express iPhone app.

Image source (left only)

I haven’t posted any food in a while… not because I haven’t been eating.

A friend and I fetched lunch at Sakagura the other day. Sakagura is located in the basement of a non-descript office building. Lunch is a busy time so reservations are recommended – and easily made through OpenTable. They have limited bar seating, where I think all of those without reservations go and those seats fill up very quickly. They had a special uni noodle dish and though I LOVE uni, it looked a bit too rich. I love variety and Sakagura has a ton of sets and bentos. We opted for the $20 jewel oke bento which had sashimi, fried tidbits, mini rice balls, miso soup, broiled eel, egg, preserved vegetables, and a semi sweet gelatin mound. I was starving from a coffee breakfast so this really hit the spot. Yum!

And best yet, my friend brought me my Baukjen Maryna blazer, which I stupidly left in my hotel in Amsterdam. The hotel wanted 200 euros to ship it back to the US via FedEx!

I was doubtful of Canadian import, Joe Fresh, but I have fully jumped on the JF bandwagon. Its inaugural collection in NY was heavy on neoprene and did not impress. JF fully redeemed itself with Repetto-esque knockoffs in their Spring collection, which I never got around to blogging about. If you struggle to grasp the JF concept, think of a trendier version of Uniqlo. For my friends outside of NYC, do not fret. JF is collaborating with JCPenney’s nationwide!

I am loving their Fall 2012 outerwear. As much as I love real leather, I have nothing against faux because it is much easier to maintain (I don’t even let purse straps sit on most of my leather jackets! I hate the thought of friction). And how long have I been waiting for someone to make affordable Moncler-esque down jackets?

I do think it is crazy that they have so many stores in NYC. I’ve only been to the upper Fifth and lower Fifth Avenue locations. The gentlemen at the lower Fifth Avenue provide the best service.

As for rainbows, you have to try the rainbow paleta popsicle by La NewYorkina at the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. My favorite layer is the coconut.

Catching up what I ate in April and May. The Flickr upload speed is ridiculously slow so I’ve had to reduce the size of my pictures. Not that I post the full size here anyways! Starting with Brooklyn…

1) Whirlybird (254 S 2nd St, Brooklyn; S Williamsburg)

The #1 with chorizo was delicious! I tried the Waldorf at a later date and take it from me — stick to the #1. The Waldorf was too wet with salsa and the fried egg over easy did not help!

Cash only.

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