Author: La Vie Partagée

Review: The “Beginner’s Omakase” – Sushi by Bou at Sanctuary Hotel (NYC)

The concept of affordable omakase that is meant to be eaten within 30 minutes is relatively new to New York City. Sushi on Jones by Chef David Bouhadana launched this trend in 2016 with its first outdoor sushi stall. Fast forward a year and Chef Bouhadana has moved on to open Sushi by Bou at the Gansevoort Market with the same concept, $50 omakase comprising of 12 pieces of nigiri. By July 2017, Chef Bouhadana opened a second Sushi by Bou location at the Sanctuary Hotel. I was intrigued by this speed eating concept so I reserved dinner for two one Monday evening. How did this omakase compare to the typical sushi experience? First, we needed to find the entrance. The restaurant is in the basement level to the left of the Sanctuary Hotel’s main entrance. A bright neon sign and a lot of graffiti indicated that we were at the general vicinity where we could search for a semi-hidden door. Once we passed through the grungy looking entrance, we were greeted with a trendy …

Vietnamese Grilled Chili Bread / Bánh Mì Nướng Muối Ớt

Vietnamese street food has been gaining popularity over the past few years. The combination of influences from western foodie culture and flavors from its Asian neighbors created an interesting variety of new offerings. Vietnamese grilled chili bread or bánh mì nướng muối ớt is a fusion dish that is made for gatherings. This snack is highly customizable and elevates a few inexpensive ingredients to the next level. This is our version of this popular street snack. Ingredients: 2 loaves of bread such as Portuguese roll or similar type of bread that has a  nice crust with a light and soft inside. 1 tablespoon of chili paste such as Sambal Oelek Chili Paste 1 tablespoon of Sriracha (and more to garnish at the end) 1 tablespoon of regular mayonnaise or Kewpie mayonnaise 1 tablespoon of butter 2 stalks of scallion 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon of sugar 1 tablespoon of garlic (approximately 3 cloves) Handful of fried shallots Sprinkle of ground black pepper Meat Toppings: 1/4 pound of Chinese BBQ pork or any other meat toppings like …

Weekend Unexplored: Escape from Manhattan with Getaway (Catskills, New York)

Like many overworked and overstimulated New Yorkers, I was searching for a place to escape from the concrete jungle for a weekend. I stumbled onto Getaway, a glamping company, as I was researching tiny homes for the blog. Getaway was started by graduate students, John Staff and Pete Davis, in conjunction with Harvard Innovation Lab in 2015 with a mission to help millennials disconnect from city life. The company rents tiny stylish mobile homes, approximately 160 to 200 sqf., that are equipped with a comfortable queen bed, two-burner kitchen stove, mini-fridge, full size sink, hot running shower and an electric toilet for approximate $129-$149 a night. There are 12 tiny houses spread across a 20-acre site nestled in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Renters are notified of the location of their cabin within a week and the cabin name and door code within 24 hours of their arrival. This concept prevents renters from stressing out about the trip. The cabins are located within a two-hour drive from Boston or New York. So, how …

Review: The new “affordable” omakase at Sushi Ishikawa (NYC)

The Upper east side of Manhattan is going through a culinary resurgence with millennials moving into the neighborhood and the opening of the Q subway extension that now connects the area to the rest of Manhattan. Part of this change is the opening of Sushi Ishikawa, a 23-seat restaurant helmed by executive chef, Don Pham.  Chef Pham’s sushi pedigree includes positions as the former executive sushi chef at O Ya, executive chef at Geisha, sushi chef at Morimoto and head chef at Kitaro. Sushi Ishikawa offers two omakase menu priced at $85 for 12 courses and $125 for 15 courses. The restaurant has a lot of buzz as the hot new “affordable” omakase in Manhattan. Did the restaurant live up to the hype? I made a reservation for two through Resy, their online reservation system. A credit card was required to confirm the booking as the restaurant has a very strict cancellation policy. You have until two days prior to the reservation to cancel without incurring a $85 per person fee. Upon entering a simply …

Review: Geranium (3 Michelin Stars) in Copenhagen, Denmark

As soon as I booked my flight to Copenhagen, I was ready to splurge on a gastronomic experience. At the top of my list was Noma and, unfortunately, it was closed during my visit. A good friend recommended Geranium, the only three Michelin star restaurant in Denmark. It was one of the best meals that she had eaten and that was good enough for me. I managed to book a reservation for our group of six for lunch and eagerly anticipated the feast. The cuisine at Geranium is modern Nordic with international influences. Lunch and dinner set menu at Geranium costs 2,000 DKK per person (approximately $320) and requires a deposit of 750 DKK per person (approximately $120). I also selected the juice pairing, which was something I had not seen before. With tip and tax, the meal came out to approximately $400 per person. It was a very expensive meal…but the inventiveness of the cuisine and the experience were worth every penny. Upon entering Geranium, the interiors projected a cool Nordic vibe with its …

Hến Xúc Bánh Tráng / Baby Clams with Rice Crackers

Hến xúc bánh tráng or sauteed baby clams served with rice crackers is a classic beer accompaniment dish in Vietnam. It is an easy appetizer to make for snacking anytime of the day. The combination of soft baby clams with crunchy rice cracker is addicting. The medley of clams with various herbs provide for a burst of flavor in your mouth. Enjoy this classic dish today. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients 1 package of sesame rice paper 2 and 1/2 cups of baby clams (frozen or from a can) 1/2 teaspoon Knorr chicken bouillon seasoning 1 tablespoon of julienne ginger 1/2 cup of rau ram (Vietnamese Coriander) or use Thai basil if coriander is not available 1 Jalapeno pepper 1/4 red bell pepper 1 yellow onion 3 stalks of scallions 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass 4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil 1 and 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon of water or clam …

Healthy Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken lo mein has become an ubiquitous American fast food item like hamburger, as every small town USA seems to have a Chinese takeout restaurant. Along with General Tsao Chicken, the American version of chicken lo mein is not something you will find in China. The US version of this inexpensive meal is not healthy to eat…but it is delicious. My mom came up with this healthier version of the dish loaded with fresh white meat chicken and vegetables. This is chicken lo mein that you will not feel guilty about devouring. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts 1/2 package of thick egg noodles 2 Portobello mushroom caps 1 tablespoon of minced garlic 1 yellow onion (2 tablespoons of diced onion and 1/2 of an onion in thick slices) 1 tablespoon of minced ginger 5 stalks of scallions cut into 2 inch segments 1 red bell pepper (1 tablespoon of diced red bell pepper and 1/4 of red bell pepper in julienne slices) 4 bok choi pieces 1 …