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Posts posted by hshiau

  1. Anyone see this take on moon cakes?

    Keeping up with the modern mooncake

    Here's an excerpt:

    Modernizing the moon cake to bridge the palate between East and West, several hotels and restaurants offer moon cakes with Western characteristics: The J.C. Mandarin is known for its ice-cold moon cake, Haagen-Dazs serves up ice-cream moon cakes, and Starbucks offers a box of six coffee flavored cakes for Y128.

  2. Then that restaurant went out of its way to purchase the crappiest peppermills money can buy....  If you ever want to check, look on the bottom of the peppermill to see the manufacturer -- if it's Peugot you've got the best!!!  I have one that's more than 25 years old and still grinds like champ!

    I didn't mean to make it seem like the restaurant bought cheap grinders. They may have but I don't know that. The "duh" referred to me. It seems I've always like the pepper at whatever setting they were at so I never realized that you can adjust it.

  3. I love fresh ground pepper on many dishes. It doesn't matter much to me if it's on the table or if the server brings it. But they need to have to have it SOMEWHERE.

    Funny thing when I went to Metrazur for lunch the other day. They had pepper mills on the table but the pepper was coming out as pretty large chunks. Totally destroyed my salad.

  4. I'm with Tommy on the hour thing.  I've always considered one of the requirements for the diner be that it's open 24-7.

    So diners are 24x7 and coffee shops are diners that aren't 24x7? I define diners by the food I can get there at any hour....omelet, donut, salad, triple decker sandwich, souvlaki, soup, spaghetti, etc. I don't begrudge the fact that many diners do not have enough traffic to stay open all night.

    I kinda feel that coffee shops are diners with less variety. They serve more of the breakfast/lunch items but do not serve the souvlaki or spaghetti types of food.

  5. there are diners all over manhattan...some are 24x7, some not. i used to frequent Starlite Diner on 69th & 1st (closes around 1am). there's also City Diner on 90th & Broadway (24x7). of course you may consider these coffee shops but they do have a full kitchen and serve a wide variety of food.

  6. Just FYI - I think the restaurant must be getting slammed these days - because I put my phone on speed dial for a couple of hours this afternoon and never did get through.  Just busy signals.  I think that I'll wait until next year - or perhaps hope to find that one of my cousins did a root canal for the chef.

    Just curious - has anyone here had luck with reservations through a concierge?  Robyn

    I have a friend that has made 2 reservations through American Express.

  7. I'm Chinese and my wife is Puerto Rican (from Buffalo). Her whole experience with Chinese food had been bad take-out. While she has gotten used to eating many dishes, her preferences still lean towards the Chinese-American dishes. She does surprise me every now and then by liking something I would never have thought she'd eat. On the other hand, mostly she doesn't. However, she's a picky eater in general so I shoudn't be surprised. It's the same with French, Italian, seafood, etc.

  8. I don't know why this works but it does for me.  This is a tip from a good friend of mine.  When chopping onions, hold a small chunk of bread in your mouth.  Not a whole slice, just a small piece that will fit into your closed mouth.

    Try it, let me know if it works for you.


    Wow! No one has responded to this. Sounds ridiculous and would probably make a great photo opportunity but I'd love to know if someone tries this and it works!

  9. Things have been moving kinda slowly. Not getting callbacks from contractors and also trying to enjoy the last bits of summer.

    Interesting thing I just saw about Home Depot.


    Go buy your hammers there if you must. But don't say we didn't warn

    you if you decide to use any of their services.

    - The company has an unsatisfactory rating from the Better Business Bureau.

    - From a reader about the Long Island City HD: "The design they did

    for our co-op is entirely wrong. Measured wrong. Cabinets ordered

    wrong. Flooring wrong. Get my point? We later learned our neighbors

    have been waiting four months for their cabinets and the contractor

    said 'it's not unusual for Home Depot.'"

    - And check out the voluminous list of complaints on the net.

    Complaints range from delivery problems, inept design and

    installations, and terrible customer service: consumeraffairs.com,

    planetfeedback.com, thecomplaintstation.com.

    - A contractor you get through Home Depot is almost certainly going to

    be cheaper than an independent. But spend some time with the complaint

    boards before you sign one up – penny wise, pound foolish and all

    that. We'll run an article about reliable contractors in the next few

    weeks, so if you have anyone you'd like to add to our list, please

    email us.

  10. Quick question, when we arrive it will be about 10pm, we are staying at the Omni. Is there any place within walking distance with a reasonably priced late night menu?

    A great late night place near the Omni is Globe on Pacific. You might want to make a reservation. It gets busy.

  11. Asiate has been full since it opened — one-star review or not. All of the Republican Convention's main events take place in the evening, so if you had dinner there and the place was full, it wasn't because of the convention.

    Near us, there were 3 tables of convention attendees. Maybe they were blowing off the main events? :biggrin:

  12. One thing that has been really bugging me lately is the lack of nice chopsticks at these places.  All these places hand out these broke ass wooden chopsticks.  They took the time to get the german flatware, they have thirty dam forks on the table, three spoons, gorgeous little wooden boxes to keep all the food, million dollar bathrooms for christ sake,, and then they hand you these take out splintering pathetic chopsticks.  Dont get it.

    My wife and I went there tonight for dinner. Everything started really well. The service was very professional and knowledgeable.

    My wife had the 3 course with the seared foie gras, the wagyu beef, and a mango souffle. The foie was just ok. The texture was a bit coarse and not what I expect from a good seared foie gras. It was topped with eel, which ended up better than the foie. The wagyu beef was the big disappointment...a bit dry and tough. Totally not what I expected. The souffle however was magnificent, although my wife thought it was a bit too sweet.

    I had the tasting menu. Started with a cold amuse in an egg, then the ceasar salad soup, which was very nice. Then came a bento box with the same throwaway wooden chopsticks. A couple of the items were very good (don't remember everything) but the rest was just ok. In fact, while most of the meal was good, there were no wow's for me.

    The real disappointment was the service later on. Things got a little busier and the server stopped paying any attention to us. We sat for a long period of time before ordering dessert. He never asked about coffee. After we were done and were sitting around for awhile with empty glasses of water, he finally asked if we needed anything else...maybe some coffee. After the coffee, it then took about 20 minutes before we got the check. No petite fours, nothing.

    I don't know if the wait staff are more stressed out with the convention in town (the restaurant was full) but I thought the service in the last hour and a half was inexcusable.

  13. when I mentioned some of the negative reports on Sub-Zero refrigerators, she said that they were fine and we shouldn't listen to consumers; rather we should speak to appliance distributors.


    yeah...my thoughts exactly.

  14. We went to Poggenpohl and Home Depot Expo this past weekend.

    We had a good conversation with the person at Poggenpohl. We gave her our floor plan and she said she would review it, come up with some suggestions, and sit down with us again to give us an initial estimate. Even on the low end, Poggenpohl will be well beyond our planned budget. She also said that installation does cost extra. However, it would be interesting to see what they think. One item of note: we talked about appliances and when I mentioned some of the negative reports on Sub-Zero refrigerators, she said that they were fine and we shouldn't listen to consumers; rather we should speak to appliance distributors.

    We spent 2 hrs walking around Home Depot Expo but unfortunately, it was near closing so we didn't get a chance to sit down with the designers there. We're going again soon.

  15. One other thing about urban and suburban, which I think is common no matter how you slice "hipness" -- in the urb, you are much less likely to be catering to families. I see it time and time again; even those who love their renovated townhouse or funky loft in the heart of the city will leave, sooner or later, once the first offspring come along, if they have the resources.

    It still isn't practical or pleasant to raise children in the city. Schools are worse, there are safety issues, yada yada.

    Which I think may be the root cause of what a lot of you are pointing out as the difference in menu. If you're likely to be feeding families with kids, you've got to provide the "safe" stuff for children who refuse to try anything new or weird or funny-coloured.

    I hate to go off-topic here but I'm raising a family in the city. I find it very pleasant to live here and our school (private) is excellent. I've got a large park (Central Park) a block from me, Lincoln Center a block from me, and endless museums. I must say that, with kids, I'd rather stay in the city....if I have the resources.

    As for safe foods..yes my daughter prefers pasta to anything else, but I don't believe in letting her dictate all her food choices. She needs to try new things. If we let her have her way when she was younger, she'd be eating nothing but plain pasta with butter, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and french fries every day.

  16. I recall seeing a NYT article a while back about a small kitchen remodel in NYC - and I think the absolute bottom of the line was more than $25,000 - and that was using Ikea cabinets. Robyn

    maybe we're just fooling ourselves. need to re-evaluate.

  17. I suggest as a trial run, take a floor plan (to scale) with your current layout and get a price on the new cabinets & counter for a general idea of what you're heading towards. Take a sedative with you to deal with the sticker shock.

    And if he does that floor plan - he can post it here too. Robyn

    i did a quickie in visio. Not sure if this is how a floor plan should look but...


  18. Moving anything is expensive - unless you talking about an inch or so and can connect to existing plumbing/electrical. If you move a refrigerator that has an ice maker - you'll also have to deal with additional plumbing for the water line. By the way - I assume you live in a condo or a coop. You should check what the rules are for renovations (design approvals, deposit requirements, restrictions on work hours, etc.). Robyn

    I'm not concerned about the plumbing since the refrigerator does not have an ice maker...an I'd be moving the refrigerator to the side of the kitchen with the plumbing. But given our space limitation on that side, we may end up leaving the sink and dishwasher where they are (new ones of course), and move the fridge next to the sink. Only problem is that there's not that much room on that side and we were looking at a 36". We'll have to see.

  19. I've got a question about hoods. I'd like to get one so that we don't get grease all over the kitchen every time we cook. However, since we don't have anywhere to vent, I understand that we need to use one that recirculates the air through charcoal filters.

    Someone told me that this isn't worthwhile. Is this the case? Also, it seems like you can get recirculating kits for some hoods. How much extra does it typically cost for this?

  20. In terms of design...I've never liked the stove across the room from the sink.  Maybe you could put the stove on the other side of the room, perhaps where the "L" shape of the counter is, because you never know when you have to throw something flaming/filthy into the sink!

    Actually, what I was thinking of doing is moving the sink and dishwasher to the right so I get a corner sink, and then moving the refrigerator to where the dishwasher is now. I'd prefer not moving the range since that would mean moving the gas hookup. With the range by itself, I could center it and have good counter space on both sides.

  21. I just thought of another one. Skinless-boneless chicken breast. Why am I embarassed to hate it? Because that's what EVERYONE in Southwestern Ontario likes to make for dinner! Boneless-skinless chicken breast is so awful and tasteless. Why not at least leave the bone in and the skin on? Then I can at least look forward to some crispy chicken skin. But there are so many more flavourful cuts of meat, and even more flavourful cuts of chicken, that I don't understand why people always opt for boneless/skinless chicken breast.

    That's interesting. I think this is a result of the health-conscious eating here. Skinless breast meat has a whole lot less fat that dark meat with the skin. Funny thing is that in Asian societies, the dark meat is preferred because it has more fat.

  22. You have just embarked on the single most stressful thing you will ever do. Take it from me I'm a contractor. Please think this out first. We hate and charge for changes. Moving something 6 inches may not be a big deal to you but when the sub has left the job it could be MUCHO DOLLARS. Your forewarned. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

    My wife's a doctor. She'll prescribe something to keep us nice and sedate for the next couple of months.

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