Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Brunch at Cafe Orlin

Diana is right!  Man alive time flies!!  Yes, I am still alive and now loving the end of wintry days, the emergence of summer warmth and ****BRUNCHHHHH*****!!!

Cafe Orlin is a popular spot in East Village with outdoor seating (a brunch must-have for New Yorkers) and more indoor seating than you would imagine in this sunken bunker.  So it seemed a good fit to meet up with Jamie again while she was in town for a wedding.

Our party of two was seated in a matter of minutes.  Love. Small. Brunch. Parties!

I ordered the Tunisian eggs, a pair of medium cooked eggs over sauteed peppers and tomatoes, soft pita bread to sop up the spicy sauce, and a nice pile of home fries.  It was light, flavorful and fun to eat.  I managed to spill the sauce on myself at least two times and really have no excuse for it.  (Let's factor that as part of the fun!)

Jamie and I shared the pumpkin pancakes that come fully dredged in a cinnamon yogurt topping.

The pumpkin pancakes are one of their most popular dishes.  It's pretty good, but a lot denser than I imagined.  I will say that the cinnamon yogurt is absolutely delicious though and worth just running your whole tongue over in complete abandon of any social etiquette.

Jamie ordered the feta cheese and spinach omelette that was adorably topped with three nicoise olives. It seemed healthy and light when she needed something healthy and light.  It was not nearly as messy as my Tunisian eggs, so she generously shared her napkin with me at times of need (such a good friend!).

Han's Nonsensical Rating: Cafe Orlin is cute!  It's not my favorite brunch spot, but it's comfortable, friendly and offers decent bang for your brunch buck!

Cafe Orlin
41 St Marks Place
New York, NY
Cafe Orlin on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kaju Tofu House and Kung Fu Tea

Wow, with a blink of an eye, too much time has gone by since our last update! Han and I have both been working like crazy-people, and we've been busy planning a wedding. That's right, I'm getting hitched in a few short months, and Han is going to be my beautiful maid of honor! In fact, we'll soon embark on a food-trippin'-donut-tastin'-wedding-research weekend, and I'm sure we'll share details from that as well.

In the meantime, I wanted to proclaim my love for Kaju Tofu House and Kung Fu Tea. Korean food is hard to come by in Boston, so I cherish every moment of a Korean meal. Kaju Tofu House is known for their soondubu (tofu stew), and boy was it delicious. Steph and I ate ourselves into happy fools.

The banchan spread was super tasty...

The dried seaweed was my favorite, as it was a perfect crispy mix of salty-sweet in between spoonfuls of my soondubu. I also loved how the plate of kimchi was larger than all other plates. So smart.

We both got the seafood soondubu.

The best is trying to eat it right away, burning everything in your mouth because it's so hot, but keepin' on, because all you want to do is eat the darn delicious thing. The tofu was very tender, and spice-level was moderate. Very satisfying.

We also ordered kalbi. I never go anywhere without kalbi.

It came over a bed of onions, and the marinade was fantastic. The meat itself was a little tough to chew, however. 

As if one order of kalbi wasn't enough, we also ordered kalbi over rice (with carrots and cabbage) in a stone pot. Not quite bibimbap, but pretty close.

I mixed it all up as you would normal bibimbap. Again, the meat was a bit chewy/tough. I love anything with mixed rice in a stone pot - note the lovely browned/burnt pieces of rice! - so I was still a happy camper.

I love Steph's expression showing our spread. 

I need to go back soon.

For dessert, one should always get boba, and Kung Fu Tea is the place to go, as it's best boba I've had in Boston.

This particular location (off Huntington and Mass Ave) is the newest one, and I love all the space and the look. They also use and sell Yakult (for Chinese/Taiwanese readers: our famous Yang Le Duo!) and macarons in case you're hungry. Anyway, the teas and smoothies are great, and the boba texture itself is phenomenal. Perfect bounce, never stale, and always with sufficient brown-sugar-sweetness. One of my favorite things is that they let you choose different levels of sugar in your drink (70%, 50%, etc) - JUST like in Taiwan. *swoon* With this being only 2 min from my apt, I'm going to have trouble fitting into my wedding dress. Wish me luck!

Kaju Tofu House (multiple locations)
58 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Kaju Tofu on Urbanspoon

Kung Fu Tea (multiple locations)
334 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Kung Fu Tea on Urbanspoon