New York Eats

It’s been a fair few weeks since I was back home, but I still find myself thinking about the food over there! I know a few friends are over there at the moment, and I’m getting food envy just THINKING about it!

So I thought I’d compile a list of the places I absolutely have to go to whenever I’m back home. Most of these are based in Queens, as that’s where my family are now based – but there are a couple of Manhattan based places on here too.

Taqueria Coatzingo, Queens, New YorkTaqueria Coatzingo, Jackson Heights

While I was in New York, I wanted Mexican food. My family in California are adamant that they don’t do Mexican food well in New York, but they haven’t tried anything in London – it simply doesn’t compare. Taqueria Coatzingo is authentic, delicious, and cheap. If you want fine dining, then this isn’t it – during our meal we had people coming up to us asking for spare change, or trying to sell us DVDs – but it somehow just adds to the friendly, local community atmosphere and vibe. Try the lengua al vapor tacos – beef tongue served with guacamole, onions, coriander and lemon. Trust me on this one.

Taqueria Coatzingo, Queens, New YorkTaqueria Coatzingo, Queens, New York
Taquería Coatzingo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Uni Sushi, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkTakesushi, Sunnyside

My mother has a flair for the dramatic. “The Manhattan sushi scene is dead”, is one of the first food-related conversations we had when I was back – and as a lady that knows her sushi, I was surprised to hear this from her.

Sushi, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkSushi, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkBut then she took me to Takesushi, and it all made a lot more sense. Takesushi is really convenient to get to from the 7 train, and offers beautiful, authentic and high quality sushi at an affordable price. When we went, the place was rammed with other Japanese patrons (a good sign, in a sushi bar), and the quality was really top-notch. It’s definitely a hidden gem – I’d recommend it to anyone for an authentic sushi experience in New York.

Monk Fish Liver Ankimo, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkMonk Fish Liver Ankimo, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkOne dish that I’ve found difficult to get in the UK has been ankimo, or monkfish liver – at Takesushi, they served it on a bed of grated radish with a light ponzu sauce. Monkfish liver has the consistency of pate, but a really subtle flavour – its not overly fishy at all. Everyone should try it at least once!

Monk Fish Liver Ankimo, Takesushi, Queens, New YorkSushi, Takesushi, Queens, New York
Takesushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
JG Melon, Steak Tartare, New YorkJ.G. Melon, Upper East Side

Steak Tartare is one of my favourite dishes in the entire world. J.G. Melon has two locations – one in Greenwich Village, and one on the Upper East Side – and they do a great one. It is absolutely huge – we split one portion, and still had to leave some, so make sure you go hungry – or find someone to share it with you!

We had an order of french fries and a light vinaigrette salad. The decor is very old school, but slightly quirky – there are pictures of melons EVERYWHERE. It’s pretty cute.

JG Melon, Steak Tartare, New York800JG Melon, Steak Tartare, New York
J.G. Melon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Joes Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Bayside, Queens, New YorkJoe’s Shanghai, Flushing

My quest for delicious xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, in London still continues. Soup dumplings are my favourite Chinese dish by far – there’s something about the warm broth inside the juicy, succulent pork or crab dumplings that’s so satisfying and moreish.

Joes Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Bayside, Queens, New YorkIn New York, Joe’s Shanghai are the undisputed kings of soup dumplings. My favourite location is the one in Flushing – same delicious product, with rarely any need to queue.

Joes Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Bayside, Queens, New YorkJoes Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Bayside, Queens, New YorkWhen I was back I tried having them twice, but the uptown Manhattan branch had such awful service (we waited 45 minutes, and when we asked were they were the utterly useless waiter had forgotten about our order). I’d definitely go to the one in Chinatown or this one, but not even shoddy service will keep me away from these soup dumplings – I am thoroughly addicted.

Joe's Shanghai Resturant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
New York SkylineWhat are some of your favourite New York eateries? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram!

Jukai, NYC

A little over a month ago, I headed home for a week long, unbelievably overdue trip to my hometown of New York. It was such a fleeting visit that I spent most of my time meeting up with friends for drinks at old haunts, spending time with my family and stocking up on essentials in Sephora – nothing particularly blog-worthy in my opinion, with the exception of the tasting menu at Jukai, located in basement-level in midtown Manhattan.

Jukai, NYCJukai NYC - Oysters

For the quality of the fare, the tasting menu at Jukai is an absolute bargain at $55 per head. As expected, the menu varies depending on season, as well as the catch of the day, but the oysters – served with ponzu, spring onion, and lime – as well as the homemade tofu (in the assorted starters), the Chef’s choice sashimi (which included an amazingly fresh yellowtail and maguro tuna) were outstanding, and seem to be a semi-regular fixture on the menu. In terms of the quality of the sushi, I haven’t found anywhere in London that compares to the quality of the fish found in New York – it’s definitely worth keeping in mind for your next visit.

Jukai NYC - OystersJukai NYC tasting menu

The fillet steak was perfectly cooked to my liking (the rarer side of medium rare) – although the only drawback from the meal was the bland and unmemorable broiled fish, which escapes notice almost entirely.

Jukai NYC - SteakJukai NYC Tasting Menu - uni and ikura

As a rule, I tend to be all about the starters and the mains – I don’t have a sweet tooth, and could quite happily do without. But I’m so glad I went against my usual nature at Jukai – the white sesame blancmange and black tea pannacotta have easily become one of my favourite desserts of all time, although the white sesame blancmange has the edge over the latter, as it has the nuttiness of sesame but with all the creaminess and texture of a traditional blancmange – a true culinary feat.

Jukai NYC, SashimiJukai NYC, Sashimi

With the meal, we had a sparkling rosé from Long Island. I’m ashamed to admit that when it was recommended to me by my waiter, I grimaced – I am not the biggest rosé fan, and I know absolutely nothing about Long Island wines. It was, in fact, really pleasant, and a great accompaniment to the meal – I stand corrected! It’s worth keeping an open mind at Jukai – the gambles certainly paid off for me.

It’s worth booking a table in advance, especially for the tasting menu, as this cosy little basement venue gets quite packed – but in terms of ambience (very modern Japanese), quality of food and value for money you would be hard placed to find better.

Jukai, NYC

Jukai is located on 53rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, Manhattan, New York.

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Poker Night Buffalo Wings

Last weekend I hosted a poker night at my house. I say hosted, as I didn’t end up participating – I don’t know how to play poker (at 22? how embarrassing, I know). This was somewhat of a surprise to my friend Nancy and her boyfriend, who felt that I had lured them there under somewhat false pretenses. So my Saturday night consisted of a group of neuroscientists, an engineer and a former paleontologist around my dining table, several pizzas and countless gin and tonics. It was a great success, something I’d partially like to attribute to my excellent buffalo wings.

The history of the buffalo wing is a bit unclear, but most people agree that it originates from Buffalo, New York. There was another American in attendance that evening, and I knew he’d appreciate a buffalo wing to go with all the San Miguels we’d bought for the night ahead. Buffalo wings are a great accompaniment for beer, and are easy to make in batches, making them the perfect bar food.

What You'll Need: 200g plain flour (or rice flour for gf) 1 tsp cajun spice 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp cayenne pepper pepper salt 150ml hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot) 50g salted butter plastic bag

What You’ll Need:
200g plain flour (or rice flour for gf)
1 tsp cajun spice
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
150ml hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
50g salted butter
plastic bag
16 chicken wings

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, and grease a baking tray, then set to one side. In a saucepan, start melting the butter on a low heat. In a bowl, combine the flour, cajun spice, chilli powder and cayenne pepper, and pour into a plastic bag. Put the chicken wings inside the plastic bag, seal the top and shake until each wing is coated in the flour mixture. Some folks like to put the floured chicken into the fridge to marinade for half an hour or so, but I skipped this step as tensions surrounding the game were already high – no need for extra stress!

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Once the butter has melted in the pan, stir in the hot sauce and let simmer before taking it off the heat.

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Once the sauce has cooled slightly, dip each wing in the pan until it is covered in the liquid, then place on the baking tray. Once completed, pop the wings in the oven for 45 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, turn each wing over so each side crisps up evenly.

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And there you have it! Serve with a cold beer while watching your favourite team win at the Olympics (or, more realistically, whilst looking perplexed at all the sports you didn’t even know existed).