Posts Tagged ‘cucumber’
Listed alphabetically by state, Joe’s Shanghai (鹿鳴春) was in the New York section of CNN’s ‘50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States‘. In the same block as Momofuku Má Pêche and Momofuku Milk Bar in Midtown, Joe’s Shanghai is a double storey ‘centre of exotic specialties’.
I signalled a table for one and was ushered upstairs. Bronze deer and potted bamboos decorated the bay window. A tiered sparkling gold and crystal chandelier was suspended above the vestibule.
A curious specials menu included New Zealand mussels, T-bone steak and rack of lamb.
A mound of cold egg noodles was drizzled with sesame dressing, topped with julienned cucumber and served in a scallop shell shaped dish. I slurped the cold sesame noodles (芝麻冷麵), a simple but appetizing celebration of Chinese carbs.
The traditional trio of ginger slivers, soy sauce and vinegar were stirred in a bowl for dipping.
Joe’s Shanghai is famous for their soup dumplings. Six crab and pork xiao long bao (蟹粉小籠包) were on a bed of shredded Napa cabbage (黃芽白) in a steaming bamboo basket. The delicate morsels were juicy and meaty, although the skin was a little doughy.
Noodles and dumplings were requisite sustenance for shopping in Manhattan!
I check the Tom Douglas website regularly for new events. They’re only advertised online and sometimes tweeted. I noticed the chaats from Bombay pop up dinner by Devarshi Patel listed a couple of days after I returned from Australia. I made a purchase immediately as the first one, Thrilla in Manila pop up dinner by Herschell Taghap, was popular.
In a moment of jet lag induced silliness, I panicked when the event sold out in less than a day and I thought I would be having dinner by myself. Thankfully I realised I had sensibly paid for two tickets and invited Shirley to join me in the frivolity.
I love that Seattle is lit by twinkling fairy lights twisted around the branches of deciduous trees during the festive season. I paused to appreciate this multi-coloured beauty in the Terry Avenue Building courtyard.
Chaats are traditional Indian street food and the specialties of Chef Dev’s pop up dinner were from Bombay (Mumbai).
An artfully blurred photo of Chef Dev, courtesy of the dimly lit dining room at Ting Momo. A genial and humble man, Chef Dev explained the composition of each of the dishes and spoke with the diners.
We were welcomed with a glass of masala chai, a soothing blend of herbs and spices brewed with tea.
Masala papad, pappadums topped with red onions, cucumber and cilantro, were shared appetisers. Thin and crispy, the sturdy pappadums were broken into shards to scoop up the tangy diced mix.
Curiously plain in appearance, the panni puri were three puffed crackers with a quenelle of masala potato. Gently tap the puffed crackers with your fingers or the back of a spoon to deflate, fill with a glob of masala potato and a squirt of tamarind water or herb water. These were fun to eat by hand!
Chaas, a savoury version of lassi, was our second beverage. The iced cumin and green chilli yoghurt drink had a peculiar aroma and tasted like a diluted tzatziki.
In a floral rimmed bowl was dahi wada. A ground daal fritter was seasoned with yoghurt, paprika, toasted cumin and chutney.
All the courses thus far have been eaten with a spoon. Next was wada paav, a potato sandwich flavoured with chutneys and wrapped in a page from a magazine.
Chef Dev detailed how he tried several times to learn how to make the bun at a bakery in India. The Dahlia Bakery staff assisted with the recipe and the bun was fresh and soft. A combination of three chutneys were spread on the potato patty. The spicy sandwich was the highlight of the meal.
Next was ragda patties. A mound of chickpeas and white beans, and a dollop of chutney hid a potato cake.
The last savoury item was misol paav. A square of toast soaked in the legume sprout stew.
And finally, dessert was gaja ka halva. A distinctly orange mass of shredded carrot and cardamom pudding was fragrant and mildly sweet.
Sincere thanks to Chef Dev for introducing us to chaats! A meat version of the chaats pop up dinner was mentioned for spring.
I have a clear memory of my first spider. No, not an arachnid! The Australian slang term for ice cream float or ice cream soda is spider. I was about six or seven and at a hotel lobby café. My aunt ordered the drink for me and I slurped the sugary, fizzy concoction with delight.
After some errands, I visited the DRY Soda tasting truck to sample some of their flavours. The website has a profile on each of the flavours detailing characteristics, pairing ideas, mixology and nutrition facts, and there are also food and cocktail recipes.
I had a shot each of juniper berry, lemongrass and rhubarb. Unfortunately they were out of blood orange that day. The other flavours are vanilla bean, cucumber and lavender. The carbonated drinks are light and thirst quenching, with the flavours gently infused.
Used in Asian cuisines, lemongrass is common in curries and soups. Bold citrus tones made the lemongrass DRY Soda a highlight.
I returned later for a free ice cream float, a joint event with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. On a dull day, the cherry Lambic sorbet and vanilla bean DRY Soda float was happiness distilled in a cup. A tangy, effervescent mix, it was sweet and tart, and fragrant with vanilla and mint. A refreshing treat, it was the essence of summer!
Jeni Britton Bauer is on a tour to promote her cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I spoke with her briefly and she was charming! We share a love for the now defunct Australian Vogue Entertaining + Travel magazine. I sadly had to recycle my collection when we moved countries but Jeni still has hers.
Jeni kindly signed my purchased copy of her cookbook. I don’t have an ice cream machine (yet!) but I’m enjoying reading Jeni’s ice cream stories, flavour descriptions, and learning about the ingredients and techniques. The recipes are divided into spring, summer, autumn and winter – produce is seasonal, ice cream is not!