Archive | March 2012

Marea

Michael White is definitely a pasta extraordinaire. Of course there are definitely other pasta geniuses out there, like the ones at Da Romano in Venice. But White is a formidable force in his own right, what with the likes of Convivio (now closed), Osteria Morini, Ai Fiori and Marea in New York.

Marea is the seafood themed pasta restaurant in nondescript ground floor outfit of an apartment building in Columbus Circle. My favorite dishes: The bone marrow and octopus fusilli (which I don’t have a picture of). The squid ink and shrimp gramigna. But of course, if you’re a fan of uni, The crab and uni spaghetti.


Michael White never disappoints with his pasta.

Marea
240 Central Park S,
New York 10019
(212) 582-5100

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Samurai Mama

Third japanese noodle category of the day: Udon.

Manhattan is definitely spilling over into Williamsburg. But who am I to complain if they would open a place like this. Ever heard of cold dipping udon? I haven’t. But it’s delightful. (Apologies for the grainy picture. Dark, tavern-like places don’t allow for successful picture taking with a lowly iPhone)

What would you think of curry udon? Pedestrian? Think again.

 

Other things to order here:
– Uni tacos
– Perfectly battered vegetable tempura

Samurai Mama
205 Grand St
(between Bedford Ave & Driggs Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 599-6161

Cocoron Soba

To continue on this Japanese food streak (god I love Japanese food), comes the next category of Japanese noodles: Soba.

A relative new comer to the competitive food market of NYC (though at the time of writing they’ve been around for more than a year), is Cocoron Soba. Their mission is to serve heartwarming soba to the people of New York. And personally, whatever warms my belly definitely warms my heart. If you think of soggy buckwheat noodles in warm soy-sauce-like broths when you think of soba, you have to give Cocoron a chance to change that image.

Try the Stamina Dip Soba. Piping hot soba sauce cooked with chicken, scallions and celery on top of a little burner, with a hearty portion of perfectly al dente soba. And you can add soba broth to your sauce to make it drinkable later. I suggest ordering a large so you have more soba to eat with the broth.

If you prefer warm soba, try the Pork Kimchee Soba. With a poached egg on the side.

Sigh.

Thanks to Sarah who finally convinced me to go.

Cocoron Soba
61 Delancey St
(between Eldridge St and Allen St)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 925-5220

 

Santouka Ramen

NYC and its neighboring areas must be the haven for authentic Japanese food in the U.S. At least I think so anyway.

Santouka is located in a Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa. Yes, that’s right, in a Japanese supermarket. In Edgewater, NJ. There is a bus that takes you specifically to Mitsuwa directly from Manhattan’s Port Authority. Yes, that’s right, a special bus to a supermarket. Mock as you may, but hoards of people board the earliest bus on Saturday mornings just so they can eat at places like Santouka and shop at Mitsuwa.

Santouka opens at 11am, but the line begins to form at 10.30am. If you’re driving from the city, it’s been proven that if you arrive by 10.20-10.30am you will still be part of the first wave of ramen servings.

Let me show you why people do crazy things like this.

The star of the meal is the pork. It’s so buttery and melt-in-your-mouth that they have to serve it cold instead of in the ramen, lest it completely disintegrates before you can get to it. The noodles and broth come in 3 sizes, small, medium, large. I’d say stay away from the large, else the richness of the broth and expansion of noodles in your tummy will impede your breathing ability and prevent you from eating other things that Mitsuwa has to offer. Like the black sesame soft serve.

 

Santouka Ramen
Mitsuwa Market Place
595 River Rd
Edgewater, NJ 07020
(201) 941-1004

Hours:
Mon-Sat: 11am – 8.30pm
Sun: 11am – 8pm