Beyond 5 Boroughs Travel, New York City Eats

Hot! Hot! Hot!

AUG 3, 2010: Last Tuesday I met up with four of my friends including myself were 5 for 5 Knapkin Burger.  Ever since walking by this corner restaurant on 9th avenue Hell’s Kitchen early summer I couldn’t stopped thinking about it, it was love at first sight.  5 Knapkin Burger, Hell’s Kitchen is one of three locations in New York City, with the other two on the Upper West Side and Astoria, Queens.  It was packed on a Tuesday night and being packed is a positive sign that it had to be good.  Since college I had stopped consuming beef, for religious and for health reasons and quite frankly I never crave for beef or beef burger.  It has become part of my diet but occasionally I do crave for a burger and 5 Knapkin burger stands apart from Shake Shack, Good Burger, BRGR, BLT, etc with the creative alternative options they serve.  These alternative options are rather innovative and mighty delicious!  I ordered the Ahi Tuna Burger with a fried tempura onion, wasabi mayo on a sesame egg roll bun.  Rarely do I see Tuna burgers on the menu so I was very curious to try one.  The waiter asked me how I liked my tuna steak so I had requested for a medium rare and holy cow it was cooked to perfection.  I cut the burger in half then into a quarter to trade for Cynthia’s exotic Lamb Kofta burger and it reminded me of delicious Chinese pork dumplings and the other quarter I traded for Anita’s Turkey burger and I think it was by far the best Turkey burger I have had in I don’t recall when.  The Turkey burger was outstanding, the meat tasted clean, fresh, healthy and herbal white turkey meat unlike places that I had claims to be turkey but makes you wonder…really?  Michelle had the original 10oz beef burger and Jane had the inside out burger which anti-carb friendly and for vegetarians out there, 5 Knapkin Burgers did not single out on  with their version.  5 stars for 5 Knapkin Burgers!

AUG 7, 2010: Later in the week, my sister has been itching to go out of the city since our trip back from Maine.  So we made a visit to our neighboring state, New Jersey for a county fair and a hot air balloon festival.  Summer is nearly ending with the scorching heat wave but the best thing I have eaten this summer is Cajun Corn cob at the fair for only $2!  It is no surprise how fresh and sweet the corn is since the abundant acres of cornfields on our drive to the festival.  Eating locally certainly tastes different and supporting a local farmer feels good too.  The corn was prepared by washing off the husk then it was thrown into an outdoor roaster and finally brushed with melted butter and seasoned with cajun spice…mmm.  We later enjoyed the 30 hot air balloon all simultaneously inflate and departed one by one dancing into the sunset.


5 Knapkin Burger/// 630 9th Avenue 45th Street New York NY 10036

New York City Eats

Jean-Georges Spice Market Nothing too Fancy About

Nonya Seafood Laksa Gulf Shrimp and Scallop

Jean-Georges Spice Market located in the revamped, hip and chique Meatpacking District is a French owner/ chef’s interpretation on Asian street food inspired through his Asia culinary travels.  The concept is ingenious.  Street food is filled with bold flavors, exotic finds, fast and convenient and best of all cheap!  Not so much at Spice Market.  It’s my first dining experience at any of Jean-Georges restaurants and recommended by my fellow diners Sin Yee, Samantha and my sister, Linda.  The decor certainly had a blockbuster movie set wow effect but the food unfortunately was a lackluster. On the menu, Spice Market covers a varied Asian street food,  from Malaysian chicken satay skewers to Indian spiced chicken samosas.  It is written on the menu all dishes are family style and is repeated by our waitress as an introduction, though I find the portions of the food to be a one person entree with tongs in each entree to pass around on the table.

For appetizers we ordered the Lobster Summer Roll, Citrus-Dill Gelee Galangal Emulsion and the Mussels Steamed with Lemongrass Thai Basil, Dried Chilli and Coconut Juice.  The Lobster Summer Roll is a delicate version of the Vietnamese summer roll.  Each is thinly rolled then sliced into a sushi single bite sized.  A light refreshing starter.  The mussels was a simple boiled mussels in a Thai inspired broth which was delicious.  The appetizers are better in comparison to the entrees which probably explains the men and women in business attire for a social networking corporate party that seems pretty common at the Spice Market.

On to the entrees the menu is categorized into Seafood, Meats and Vegetables, Noodles and Rice.  We ordered the Halibut Cha Ca La Vong Herb Salad which was a boneless Halibut topped with dill salad in a broth with rice noodles submerged below. The halibut tasted slightly overcooked. Along with the halibut, we shared the Onion and Chili Crusted Short Ribs Egg Noodles and Pea Shoots and it tasted very ordinary or perhaps a better bowl of Short Ribs Egg Noodles can be found in Chinatown for a cheaper price.  We ordered a Chili Garlic Egg Noodles Seared Shrimp and Star Anise which essentially was a stir-fried egg noodle dish with mini shrimps.  The final dish we ordered the Nonya Seafood Laksa Gulf Shrimp and Scallop.  A very creamy with foam infused dish.  Foam is uncommon in Asian cuisine, presentation was artistic with airy and delicate drops of spice onto the surface of the foam broth.  Each of the entrees surprisingly came with noodles and disappointingly the texture of the noodles missed the mark.


Spice Market///403 West 13th Street New York NY 10014