to eat & pamper / ode to momofuku milk bar birthday cake

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.

to eat & drink / {deal alert} starbucks $10 for $15 egc

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.

to eat / what i ate recently around nyc

(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!

to eat / lady m cake boutique | bryant park

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.

to eat / worst buy of the year – west elm rose gold flatware

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!