New York City Eats

India Fever

Earlier in the year I went to see Slumdog Millionaire alone at the movie theatre.  I was curious why people, well, by people I’ve noticed mostly men goes to the movies alone.  I wanted to experience what it is like to sit in a cushion seat in a pitch black room with strangers. At the end of the film, I realized how rather pathetic it was.  I loved the film and by far Slumdog Millionaire is one of the best films I have seen in a while that fulfills the whole going to the movie experience and I wanted to rave  or have afterthoughts conversations on the film with someone which is probably why I will not go to the movies alone ever again.   Without having any expectations and knowledge of the plot of the movie, if I had known it was a love story I would have gone with someone I love, so I brought the two people I love most my sister and my mom a night out in the town…India style! 

The film Slumdog Millionaire taken place in Mumbai, India with an UK/Indian cast was just as thrilling as the first time I had saw it.  My mom who is a fan of the now daytime Meredith Vieira version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire found the film gripping though she needed some translations throughout the film — a sign she was intrigued in the film unlike the time I brought her to X-Men 3 The Last Stand where she snoozed through the high-definition surround sound effect.  

Afterwards, in observant of my vegetarian month only seven days left , we headed to 28th and Lexington Ave for Tiffin Wallah — thanks to Harry I’m addicted to this place.  Indian vegetarian cuisine have the best flavors without the use of gluten, soy mock meats like the Chinese vegetarian restaurant usually uses.  

We arrived to Tiffin Wallah five minutes before 10pm and the host told us  the kitchen closes at 10pm which I thought it is strange a New York City restaurant to close so early on a Friday night, so I just quickly selected few dishes I was familiar with.  Service was in high speed, for appetizers we ordered a Behl Puri, a nostalgic dish with the use of rice crispies, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and tamarind and we ordered a Pakora, a mashed vegetable fritter unlike the vegetable tempura-like I’ve had at the Punjab deli near work. The Pakora came with two dipping sauce, one was red and one was in green color.  The red dipping sauce, I’m guessing it is tamarind tasted sweet and the green dipping sauce reminded me of a habanero pepper salsa except not as extreme. Disappointingly, the rice crispies in the Behl Puri was not as crunchy as I would have liked it but the combination of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro with tamarind is nice. Finally for the entrees, I love my puree spinach and potatoes, Alu Palak and my sister like her okras, Bindhi Masala, both came with basmati rice though I think they served us a different rice since it was not as loose and individually grained as I like instead it was more of a fluffy sticky texture.  

Behl Puri -- rice crispies, tomatoes, onions, cilantro with tamarind                                                                                 Hello Behl Puri!

My mom who is normally prejudice of Indian cuisine found Tiffin Wallah appetizing!  — That’s a good sign since my mom is a pretty difficult person to please when it comes to dining out.  It’s only my third time since I’ve been to Tiffin Wallah and I am certain I will revisit it, maybe during lunch or after 4pm when lunch and dinner is not at a high demand, so I can be served without feeling rushed.  I can understand that it is Friday night and  service hours were long but  in the food service line of work, long working hours is ultimately the sacrifice every owners, chefs, hosts have to make.  

Nonetheless, I will return to Tiffin Wallah perhaps on a weekend for the weekend menu…mmm


Tiffin Wallah /// 127 East 28th Street (Between Lexington and Park Avenue)


Julie Launches Food Blog: iLuvPotato!

In 2007,  I thought I had an original idea that no one has done before and that was to start an online writing column on food.  Silly me, the idea of  “Food Blog” the blogger community refers as existed already long before.  

Two years later I still contemplate on launching a food blog of my own.  Now in a recession with a tight budget and with a desire to follow my male ancestral to become a chef and with all the spare time with random thoughts, I figure why not put the excess time into eating, cooking, and writing.  Let the eating begin!

iLuvPotato was my very first online journal non-related to food domain in my high school days.  Whether baked, boiled, fried, mashed, the versatile vegetable is the love of my life.  Potato chips is a universal snack.  Carnivores, vegetarians, children, elderly, and whatever your nationality is the common snack we all admit we do surreptitiously crawl our hands into a bag of joy alike.  

This leads to Lay’s potato chips recent campaign.  I absolutely adore the 30 seconds t.v commercial: 

Lay’s campaign emphasizes the organic trend of eating habits without labeling “organic” on their packaging in a fun way.  The small noticeable touches such as the bowl over a grown man’s head as it rains potato chips or the little boy with one hand eating the potato chips and the other with his bowl collecting more potato chips hits the core of the heart moment.  The commercial nails the purpose of Lay’s focus on fresh grown crops to ingredients to makes it chips but more importantly in how a bowl or a bag of Lay’s potato chips can bring a community together for a potato firework event gathering.  It entices your appetite in wanting to eat potato chips, so please excuse me while I get myself a bag of  Long Island Kettled potato chips I bought last week.

Watch Anthony Bourdain No Reservation Philippines Tonight @ 10pm on the Travel Channel.  (Featuring my sister’s friend’s husband the followup winner in the contest of why Anthony Bourdain should eat in your country)