27 February 2014

NYC wrap up

Now that the attack of the midterms is over for a brief amount of time, here's to wrap up the New York trip.

Food Highlight
Along with Wild Edibles and the super awesome food truck food on the first day, Sushi Zen was an amazing experience. We went with the omasake menu at the sushi counter (always sit at the counter), which was 12 pieces of sushi along with a roll (6 pieces). Those were glorious.

Sorry no pics cause I was too busy eating, also felt awkward taking pics in front of the chefs.
Black throat was my favourite fish, also happened to be the most expensive. Our chef showed us one fillet of the fish, which they fly in from Japan since it can only be caught there, and said it's roughly $100. Comparatively, sea urchin was like $60 a box? Other favourite fishes were marinated tuna (which I liked more than toro) and swordfish. Overall I prefer creamy to chewy fish, though sea urchin is way too liquid-y.

Also the banana pudding from Magnolia is so good. It's descendant enough without making you feel guilty haha.

Not much of that happened. It was nice walking along the promenade in Brooklyn and seeing the Manhattan skyline from the other side. Would definitely do more of sightseeing in the summer, disappointed that I couldn't visit the High Line park due to the crappy weather. Times Square was also underwhelming, Dundas Square is similar enough haha.

Surprisingly not too much of this either. Bought some basics at UniQlo, and rest was all spent in Brooklyn.
Uniqlo heattech is pretty good considering how thin it is. I think it performs on par with thicker knit leggings, but still not a competition for fleece-lined ones. It also doesn't block the wind, which is the actual problem in Toronto. Would be good pajamas though.
Fifth Avenue was alright, super happy that I found Burberry's lip velvet in Peony Rose at Saks! Also tried on a bunch of unaffordable shoes there. Other shops can all be pretty much found in Canada, and with unfavourable currency exchange rate, mostly just window shopped.

Haul from Brooklyn (&lipstick, love the colour so much):
Baggu pouch & shopping bag / Mast Brothers Chocolate
What's sad is that we went to Williamsburg (the belly of the hype beast as the staff at 3B called it) on President's Day, which is a holiday when some shops are closed. Some shops just happen to include both Baggu and Mast Brother Chocolates. Had to come back on the morning of departure just to buy these.
The chocolates are delicious though. Bought 2 single origin bars as they had samples of them out and each chocolate actually taste distinctive different. One is quite floral-y and the other citrus-y. Same with the fish at Sushi Zen, each piece of fish taste distinctively different, unlike most sushi chains where everything is a single texture and taste.

All in all, this was a rather reasonable trip in terms of spendings. Now when to go back...

26 February 2014


Some final fantasy music to get through the forth midterm of the week.

24 February 2014

five grains

Made bread.
Bread makes me happy.

Recipe via BudgetBytes, so true that this is the easiest thing ever. Was somewhat of a pain to work with really sticky dough, but this is amazing for 15 mins of active prep time.

20 February 2014


Quick roundup of trip before I dive head first into midterm prep.

3B Bed&Breakfast is awesome. Highly recommended to stay there, will definitely go back.

How the common area looks.
3B is great because it is:
  • cheap
  • conveniently located (plently of subway options to get into Manhattan)
  • staff is friendly & helpful
  • decor is whimsy, has warm blankets, and the main bathroom is really nice
  • best breakfast ever, just to reiterate:

Overall the trip was great. Was it a good time to go during reading week? tis okay, you trade cheaper prices & less crowds for crappier weather and a whole bunch of midterms waiting when you get back. Couple of observations about the City as a whole:
  • Traffic signals are a mere suggestion to pedestrians, for the entire 5 days, I've never seen a single occasion when everyone obeyed the signal.
  • Doesn't look too different from Toronto, doesn't feel too different either. Better shops though (y)
  • The subway system is completely manageable, then again I've never found any to be confusing, they all have perfectly clear signage. Though some trains (especially the F) took forever to come.
  • Every man wears a peacoat. 
  • People were generally pretty friendly, especially when you are staring intensely at the subway map. The only non-friendly people were some sales assistants (most were really nice & helpful) and other tourists. 
  • Numeric street names that ascend in order makes it really easy to navigate.
and a random subway stop:

It was actually nice to not bring an actual camera as I spent less time taking photos and more time actually looking at sights & interacting.

16 February 2014


Day 2 instalment of eating in New York.

Breakfast provides by bed&breakfast, sure lives up to the hype. I ate way too much of that ricotta, mushroom and thyme muffin.

Since I are too much for breakfast, lunch was a few pastries at Bouchon Bakery. T'was good (denser macaroon, flakey croissant).

But dinner was fantastic. Fresh seafood galore at Wild Edibles!

Oyster (alpine bay) / fish taco / chocolate panna cotta with pistachio brittle and candied orange peel.
Now I wish (more that) Toronto is blessed with fresh seafood. 

15 February 2014


Photolog of day 1. Too cold to take pics & vsco grid isn't uploading, so just look at food for now.

"Best" wonton soup, over rated. Was alright, probably would've enjoyed more if I didn't have the below:

"Best" steamed buns, deserved. The dough is like a cloud, the filling the perfect level of flavour & there's so many different choices :)

Magnolia cupcake, vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Pretty good, texture and taste wise.

11 February 2014


Winterlicious @ momofuku daisho today, a rare good thing in this rather terrible week.

(full menu here)
Curry cauliflower with lime yogurt / duck confit and cod buns / grilled mackerel with herb salad and coconut cream

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the dessert, which was a requeson with custard and blood orange. That was one of the best dessert I've had, and topped just a touch by the delicious duck and cod buns. Time to go hunt for that cheese in Kensington's cheese shops

09 February 2014


Engineered paper is cool stuff. Leice has such cool limited edition stuff *u*

07 February 2014

metal king

It seems that every year in February, I feel an intense need to play games. Last year I had to wait until the summer for Ni no Kuni, this year I'm just played Brave Frontier. Willing the sacrifice the quality of the game for mobile convenience, it's basically the same gameplay anyways. Metal units are like tokos harhar.

Anyone care to join me?

05 February 2014


Rank 1. yay.
Except I wish that this happened this semester.

04 February 2014


First attempt at curry, turned out more like a pasta sauce because I didn't check that the can of tomatoes was not the specified size.

Just like how I didn't think to check that my reactions were what's messing up my moment. Really sucks to make a mistake on the first step that is pretty much used in every subsequent calculations. Not a good way to start midterm season.

02 February 2014


Once again I must state how wonderful potatoes, actually many vegetables such as lotus root and cabbage, taste with a shot of vinegar at the end of stir frying. Now that it's out of the way, here's some food pics that's been stockpiling on my desktop.

Flat bread and roast meat. Danny kept saying how good this particular dinner was, if this is not an accomplishment I don't know what is.

Beet juice is relentless invader, staining everything red in it's way. In the last photo you see that the other veggies are different colour, but they were all bright red at lunch time after the container's been tossing in my bag. Beware I say.

 Tried a new way of making mapo tofu. Instead of braising it, very shallowly fried it with the aromatics and spices. T'was good, but probably because the combinations of mapo tofu taste good regardless.


This was one of the moments when I look at a particular scene and the first thought was how wonderful the colour palette looks. Another time was when I was reading in my bed at home, and the combination of the beige page, dark brown cover, and baby blue blanket looked so nice.
Also Loblaws has the sweetest mango (y).

01 February 2014


Toronto Tea Festival is great (y).

GuQin playing prior to the Chinese tea ceremony, Korean tea ceremony, and a close up of the Korean tea ware.

Though I mostly went for the vendors hall. Learned a lot about Chinese tea and found several tea stores to visit in the future! Crimson tea (for pu er), Bonsai Hill (for Chinese greens and oolongs), and Majesteas (for a breakfast blend to make milk tea with). Maybe also Taos for a refill on Wuyi rock tea since I got a coupon hehe. I miss my oolongs so badly. And of course went home with some bounty (plus another green tea with rose petals):

I should take a photo of my stash, it's growing at a rate far greater than my consumption.