APRIL 9, 2009
Rai Rai Ken /// shio ramen
A bowl of ramen and two hours long conversation with friends accompanied with ice cream is more than essential but therapeutic for a mediocre work week. Jane and I have been i-chatting up a drool fest. in the course of the past two weeks during our boredom at work. Since Ippudo have been introduced in New York City, this place have been jam-packed and I was curious what the hype is or if it is over hyped. At 6:30pm, the wait for a table for three: Cynthia, Jane and I, was already insanely going to be one hour. For Jane’s sake, since she only had a sponge cake for lunch fundamentally “air” -jane, we decided to skipped Ippudo and headed to Rai Rai Ken…another ramen joint. I was first introduced to Rai Rai Ken by my friend Jesse. I have never been to Japan but the size of the interior of Rai Rai Ken may be as close to a restaurant in Japan based on what I have seen on travel shows. The restaurant only seated about 14 people on barstool and over watching non-Japanese but Hispanics preparing your bowl of ramen. We ordered one of each ramen options available. Jane ordered the Shoyu Ramen, Cynthia ordered the Miso Ramen, and I ordered the Shio Ramen. Service was in full speed and in less than ten minutes we were slurping away. The proportion of the ramen is deceiving with only one sliced of roast pork, one fish cake, one sheet of dried seaweed and half of a boiled egg and a portion of spinach and bamboo shoots. It certainly is not overfilling but surely satisfying and enough room for an ice cream at Sundaes and Cones.
hazelnut not pictured =(
Sundaes and Cones was a really nice surprise. I have past by Sundaes and Cones several times before while in St. Marks but never really acknowledged it. With a wooden bench in the storefront it gives a sense of a very young family and friendly ice cream parlor on any ice cream weather permitted day…for me that is 366 days. The decor reflected the friendly and patient staff at Sundaes and Cones and majority Asian and hence the exotic selections of Asian flavors such as: wasabi, taro and honey & ginseng. I do not think I would have the patience in working anywhere with unlimited free sampling but I have to admit and I honestly do not do samplings often when allowed that it was great fun deciding which flavor to select for the ultimate one-scoop. Cynthia and I spent at least almost 10-15 minutes or longer sampling flavors. I sampled the taro and the semi-full bucket explains why it is still semi-full. Cynthia suggested we both tried honey & ginseng but I had misread and misheard it as honey & ginger so I was expecting a spice to hit, instead the flavor still hit but rather unpleasant…almost like a rubber rain boot? I end up having a full scoop of black sesame seed which is neither of the flavors I had sampled. I was pretty confident with how black sesame would taste though I have never had black sesame seed in ice cream form, it seems a very common Asian ice cream flavor in Asia but practically foreign here in the states. I wanted to be surprised and I was happily surprise. It had a very roasted and nutty taste with a very fine sesame creamy texture…I was in heaven. We each took a sample of each other’s final ice cream choice, Jane with the hazelnut which was nutty as well and rather nice since it tasted pure hazelnut without artificial sweetener and Cynthia’s very bold traditional choice of matcha green tea flavor would certainly be a great pair to a cup of green tea. Sundaes and Cones is a luxurious treat on a budget and I highly recommend everyone who loves ice cream to make a visit, even my grandma with dentures would love it, I guarantee it.
iLuvPotato & Friends ate at:
Rai Rai Ken /// 214 E. 10th St., New York, NY 10003
Sundaes and Cones /// 95 E. 10th St., New York, NY 10003
APRIL 11, 2009
I have been craving for curry throughout the week and I am tired of the instant Japanese bars of curry in a box and had picked up a bottle of curry powder from a small Thailand/ Indonesian grocery store on Bayard Street, owned by an adorable grandpa. Perfect day to make curry and of course eat it!