Tag Archives: calamari

Celebrating at Ruby Foo’s & Monarch Rooftop Lounge

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This past weekend I dined at Ruby Foo’s Times Square with some of my best friends to celebrate my (belated) birthday in New York City. Ruby Foo’s is a gourmet Asian Fusion restaurant with Thai and Japanese influences. The interior was lovely and spacious, with Buddha statue in the back.

My friends and I shared two of the appetizers: Pork Bao Buns and Calamari. The pork buns were tasty, and had a bit of a twist: It came with bacon and soy marmalade. I enjoyed the extra crunch the bacon gave and the pork was tender and flavorful. The fried calamari was also delicious and extremely crispy, which is the way I like it. It came with a delightful sweet and sour sauce.

rubyfoo_calamari

For the entree, I ordered char siu pork lo mein. Char siu pork is the wonderful tasting special pork that is red in color. The dish also came with mustard greens and was seasoned with black garlic. It tasted pretty good, but I thought the portion was a little small and I was actually more satisfied with my two appetizers than the main course.

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The dessert of chocolate molten cake with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and caramelized banana, more than made up for the mediocre pork lo mein. The waitress brought the dessert over with a candle in the cake, as my friends sang Happy Birthday to me! I then proceeded to enjoy the molten chocolate cake. It was simply delectable with rich chocolate-y flavor and tons of warm gooey melty sweet chocolate inside the cake. This was probably one of the best chocolate molten cakes that I have ever had. The ice cream was also good with an intense coffee flavor.

rubyfoo_me dessert

The meal ended with mochi with dulce de leche ice cream filling which were decent but a bit too sweet, even for me and fortune cookies. We had such a great time at Ruby Foo’s! (Group Photo Below) I loved how spacious the place was and I would definitely come back to try other menu items.

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After dinner, some of us headed to the after party at Monarch Rooftop Lounge, right by the Empire State Building. Monarch is located on the 18th Floor Penthouse of the building and has a beautiful interior. “The Scandinavian-chic d├ęcor, features an indoor lounge that radiates glamour and allures with seductive appeal, seamlessly connecting to the exterior oasis patio with sliding floor to ceiling glass doors. The modern, yet unimposing deep seated upholstered sofas invite guests to relax and bask in the views of Midtown Manhattan, while floor to ceiling silk curtains frame the picturesque view of the iconic Empire State Building.” I truly enjoyed the space: From the gorgeous up close view of the Empire State Building, the colorful sparkling lights, the awesome (and easy to dance to) music and the friendly and accommodating staff.

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We had our own area with reserved seating, which was really nice and different friends came out throughout the night. It was great to see everyone from close friends to friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. We all had a blast, enjoying the music, atmosphere, conversation and company.

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The whole night was a beautiful experience and I really enjoyed my night out celebrating my birthday in NYC at Ruby Foo’s Times Square and Monarch Rooftop Lounge.

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Ruby Foo’s
1626 Broadway
New York, NY

Monarch Rooftop Lounge
71 W 35 St
New York, NY

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Obao Hell’s Kitchen

I normally don’t write about Asian cuisine but this place impressed me enough that I went two times in one week, which is unheard of for me because I always prefer trying new restaurants vs. going back to restaurants I’ve already been to… OBAO Noodles & BBQ is a chic & trendy Vietnamese/Thai Fusion restaurant with several locations in NYC. The first time I went, my friend and I were seated upstairs underneath a ceiling of pretty sparkly gold material, making a very pretty atmosphere.

obao upstairs

I ordered the Sambai Spiced Calamari, which had an Asian twist, and was the best I’ve had ever! The calamari is mixed with scallion, onion, and served with cucumber relish sauce (sweet, and slightly sour). The calamari deep fried in butter spiced sauce, served warm and extremely crispy, savory and delightful, while still being tender on the inside. So good that I would go back and have it again… Not something I usually do.

obao calamari

The service the first evening was quite slow, but I went back with another friend, we were seated downstairs and service was excellent. The interior had cool orange-y lights, wooden walls and a trio of Buddha statues.

obao downstairs

This time, I tried the Thai Ice Tea which was deliciously sweet, cold and refreshing.

obao drink

My friend and I shared the appetizer of fresh shrimp rolls, which consisted of poached shrimp, vermicelli, bean sprouts, mint, and hoisin peanut dipping sauce. The shrimp rolls came upon a nice display on a long wooden plate and was pretty good. I would’ve liked a bit more flavor and definitely more sauce!

My main course was the Southeast Asian Fried Rice, which had a ton of ingredients (always a good thing for me): Shrimp, thai chorizo, thai pork sausage, cashew nut, pineapple, tomatoes, onion, scallion. Everything came together beautifully and I enjoyed the dish, though could not taste the thai chorizo. Overall, though, it was quite tasty and all the flavors and ingredients were fresh and delicious.

obao rice

My friend ordered the crispy duck with broad noodles and that was wonderful. Incredible savory flavors mingling together! The portions were very generous; we both had to take home at least half the meal.

Next time, I would like to try the crispy Vietnamese Spring Rolls with pork, shrimp, taro & mushroom, as well as the crispy (whole) sea bass.

obao me

 

Obao
647 9th Avenue
New York, NY

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Summer Supper at Recette

recette

I enjoyed the opportunity to dine at Recette, located on a street corner in the West Village. The interior is beautifully elegant, yet cozy and comfortable at the same time. This summer, Recette is serving special Summer Supper which consists of 1 snack (appetizer), 2 plates and 1 dessert for the great price of $40.

I chose salt cod fritters for my snack, which came came with lamb sausage ragu at the bottom and curry aioli. The cod fritters were balls of deliciousness- Crispy, flavorful, with the wonderful taste of cod. The accompanying lamb ragu was also extremely tasty and had perfectly seasoned.

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My next dish was crispy calamari in a salad of snap pea, radish, grape, cashew, and ranch. The calamari was decent, a little salty but I enjoyed the crunchiness and would’ve liked more on my plate. The bed of salad underneath was just okay. There was too much ranch dressing and I couldn’t taste the snap peas or cashews.

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After that came duck breast, which included confit leg, beluga lentils and maitakes (a type of mushroom). I was unimpressed. The duck breast itself didn’t taste much like duck; it was quite meaty and was reminiscent of a lean beef. I wasn’t able to discern the taste of confit leg and I wasn’t a huge fan of the black lentils. The maitakes were good though- Juicy and fresh. I was able to try the Berkshire Pork Belly, which was mouthwatering delicious and what I should’ve gotten.

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Last course was dessert and I was trying to choose between S’Mores and Chocolate Custard. The S’Mores dessert won, and consisted of graham cracker ice cream, toasted marshmallow, and ‘hot’ chocolate ganache. It was a truly delectable delight, bringing into memory the campfire treat. The ice cream melded and complemented the chocolate (with a hint of chili spice) and marshmallow perfectly, to combine sweetness, heat, roasted smoothness…

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The service was spot on and the waiter knew the menu well and answered any questions with expertise, as well as explained the dishes beautifully.

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Location: 328 W 12th St

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