All posts tagged: NY

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 …

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: Tim Ho Wan – NYC Location

Tim Ho Wan (“THW”) is a Hong Kong dim sum destination that was awarded a Michelin star in 2010 for its Mongkok (HK) location and aptly named the “cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world”. Earlier this year, THW opened its first US location in Manhattan East Village to a lot of buzz and corresponding crazy lines. One Sunday, my group of six ventured to this NY location to see what the hype was all about. My first impression of dim sum at THW was that it was a tamer and more Americanized experience. The restaurant has only 60 seats in a small space so dim sum carts are not a viable option. For me, the fun part is seeing dim sum carts whizzed around a banquet room tempting  diners to flag them down. At THW, the menu has been stripped down to essential dishes. Getting a table at the restaurant was an experience in itself. We arrived late around 12:00pm assuming that the wait would be 1 to 1.5 hours. The wait turned out …

Must Do’s: Holidays in NYC

The holiday season is a popular time to visit NYC and it is not hard to see why. The festive holiday spirit is in full force and there are many activities suitable for everyone. Whether you are a visitor or a local, the holiday season in the city is something everyone is excited about. We compiled a list of must do’s holiday activities for New York City. Bryant Park Winter Village –(41 W 40th St between Sixth and Fifth Avenues) The Bank of America Winter Village opens on October 29 and stays open through March 5, 2017. During the holiday, the skating rink is surrounded by a winter village filled with food and gift vendors. The 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is also free to the public and you can bring your own or rent the skates. Weekends are particularly popular and the line can go around the block. Come early if you plan on ice skating at this rink. There is also a big Christmas tree overlooking the rink and makes for some wonderful photo opportunity. Radio …

Must Do’s: 7 Days in NYC with Children

I was asked to put together a 7 days itinerary for a friend visiting NYC from France for the first time with her husband and two boys (elementary school age). This was a challenge as they also did not speak fluent English. I am used to taking friends and family around NYC but I have never taken children around, especially at night. The feedback from my itinerary have been very positive so I am sharing it for visitors to NYC on this site. The visiting family was able to pick and choose the activities each day depending on their timing. Day 1 (Saturday):  Explore Midtown West Start at 2pm after checking into the hotel. Start the day at 53rd Street and 7th Avenue, the beginning of Times Square area. Area of interest are: Broadway District and Time Square Rockefeller Center and  Radio City Music Hall Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Afterward, walk toward Bryant Park and get a drink/coffee at the following options: Southwest Porch and Bryant Park Café There are activities in the park such as ping pong, mini …

Metropolitan Museum of Art: China Through the Looking Glass

Every year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Costume Insitute put on a costume exhibition.  The theme this year is China Through the Looking Glass.  It is a fascinating and vibrant look at China culture and its influence on cinema, fashion, art, and the western world.  The exhibit also has videos of historical and current fashion trends.  It is a spectacle for the senses and a feast for the eyes. The video below from the Metropolitan Museum of Art posted by the World Fashion YouTube channel is a 7 minute overview of the exhibition with fascinating insight. On a sunny Friday morning, I visited the exhibition.  Aside from the stylish clothes, the way in which the fashion is exhibited on a fake lake, in a mock up of a house, and against video tunnels is spectacular.  The exhibition has extended until September 7, 2015.  I highly advise going on a weekday or very early on a weekend as it gets crowded quickly. The exhibition description from the Met: This exhibition explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics …

Bugs: A Hidden Sushi Gem In Its Last Week

New York is transient by nature with people coming and going at all times.  Some people and moments can leave an impact and a lasting impression.  Bugs, a Japanese sushi restaurant that can seat 15 people located in the East Village, is one of those lasting impressions.  I first met Osaka-born Chef Sho Boo in 2013 when she opened her tiny restaurant that can often be described as a hole in the wall.  This is another connotation for a hidden gem and accurately describes this chef and her restaurant. Coming to Bugs feels like you are coming to Chef Sho Boo’s kitchen where she labors away with an assistant in a makeshift kitchen that comprises of two electric burners, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a rice cooker.  Chef Boo, her assistant, and a waitress work together to put on a meal worthy of any noted sushi restaurant in NYC.  Unfortunately, Chef Boo did some soul searching after the death of her mother this year and decided to travel the world volunteering and learning new …