Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A week away... a culinairy overdose

I am back from my 6 days to the US. Oh my, what a trip!!
First that ugly flight from Johannesburg-Dakar-New York City. A flight of 25 hours without leaving the plane, only to fuel up and clean up the plane for the next stretch. At least I had good seats, but still... painfully long!

I arrived at JFK early morning, rented my car, had some troubles because my voucher was only valid for SA driver's licence... I had a US one! Called my travel agency and she arranged another deal. So finally on the road to Connecticut to my friend Marion and her family. So good to see them again.

We chatted for hours, did some shopping together, we are both infamous for our shopping... ask our husbands :-) I went overload on Zara's this time. Had to get an extra bag to put all the clothes in I bought for the girls, but they will look hip and trendy in SA. Nobody has Zara!!
Briefly I met my other great friend from my life in Ridgefield; Suzy. It was fun to catch up with her, although only half an hour, but great anyway. I will see her more this summer when I am back in CT for the summer vacation.

Then I was off to do my biometrics again, since the last one was done 15 months ago, and they needed an update. This was the whole purpose of my trip, to do the finger printing for my citizenship. It took me 1 hour and I was out of there, 6 days on the road, just for 1 hour of fingerprinting.... crazy huh?

After that 2 days planned with my friends Espen and Evelyn who live on Spring street in Soho. The heart of everything, food, wine and shopping. So I didn't need to walk too much, although any walking in the City is too much for me, since I don't do sneakers and was wearing my high heels boots.... yeah I sound crazy and I am honestly thinking for my next trip I NEED sneakers!! Or some other funky comfortable flat shoes FOR SURE!!

Well, these 2 days were a culinary overdose. Espen doesn't do much entertaining at home, so we went out for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks in between out. So let me guide you through my festive eating and drinking fun...

I arrived at Thursday afternoon, had lunch with Evelyn at Nyonya in Grand Street in Little Italy/China town.

The BEST Malaysian food you can ask for in the City. There aren't much Malaysian restaurants, and this is a good one!! We had steamed whole fish with their Nyonya specialty sauce and fried watercress in oyster sauce. YUMMY!! A good start to my weekend in the City!!

After that some shopping and then the 2 of us met Espen at a wine bar in Nolita, the Monday Room. Just to sample some wines and get an appetite going. Very chic and posh.... and NO South African wines on the menu.... wow, what a disappointment. LOL

After this little wine tasting we went to 24 Prince, and where the chef will be the chef at the TV show Top Chef, so the restaurant is pretty full these days. Their food is comfort food in chic surroundings, like Macaroni & Cheese, simple but fresh and yummy pasta dishes, hearty soups, nice nothing pretentious and real fresh ingredients, just what I needed! Not too fancy, since I was starting to feel the jet lag creeping up on me and wasn't in the mood for fancy smancy dinners.

Friday, since Espen and Evelyn had the day off we could do whatever we wanted to do. A whole day dedicated to food, wine, tea, people watching while sipping a cup of Joe. Nice, nice, nice!!

Starting the day with Dim Sum at Jing Fong restaurant in China town. A huge restaurant filled to the brim with Chinese people and some others. I wanted to go for Dim Sum for so long, so this was a real treat!! Some jasmine flower tea, and all the goodies you can imagine. We had it all from steamed pork buns to shrimp dumplings to custard tarts and of course a soup; broth with spring onions and dumplings. Delicious!!

To get all this food digested we did some last shopping I had on my list, some missing items at Zara's, we bought some goodies and looked for inspiration at Anthropologie. If you don't know this shop, check it out it has the funkiest fashion and home ware! Evelyn wanted to show me some furniture she had ordered at Room & Board and all this is in Soho, so after we took back a cab from Zara's we were in our local neighborhood again and just browsed through the streets of Soho. It was the first real spring day and it was 65F, just unbelievable gorgeous!! So nice to be in the City with this weather!!
Time for some tea, so we went to a tea house in the Village, they only serve teas. We first smelled all the different kinds before making up our mind, nice and relaxing have a cuppa tea. But we started to get hungry so we headed out to this French bistro called Felix, Espen was talking about all morning. Supposedly the hip crowd comes there to watch people, while sitting and having Sunday brunch there. We wanted a place where we could sit outside, or at least where it felt like sitting outside and Felix is the perfect place for that.

Located on West Broadway between Canal and Grand in Soho, the perfect location for Soho shoppers to prepare for—or recover from—a long day in lower Manhattan’s premiere open-air mall. Just like us! We were almost ready when this couple next to us ordered a pitcher of Mojito's... that sparked my thirst, and our next goal was to get some Mojito's!! Evelyn was off to do some more shopping, while Espen and me headed out to this local joint where they served us some delish mojito's... I was a happy camper!! But guess what after a few mojito's you get hungry again and now we went off to Tailor at Broome Street. Tailor is certainly an ambitious restaurant, and an interesting one. It has the courage to showcase the kind of experimental cooking — eccentric, provocative flavor combinations; unusual textures like foams and powders that sounds like molecular-gastronomy. Funky, weird and never heard of dishes are served and it really was a very special evening out.

With dishes like mole churros with caramelized cream, a symphony of sweet and savory and deep-fried goodness, along with several Japanese-influenced fish dishes, including escabeche of Spanish mackerel with lychee tapenade and daikon, and a fluke with “pine needle ponzu” and pineapple or a veal torchon with Parmesan crumble and marrow “beads”. If this tickles your taste buds, go and book your table at Tailor's you won't get disappointed! Check out the menu here.

So if you look back at this day, the only thing it was about was good food, great wines, fresh drinks and some delicious teas and on top of that some shopping here and there, while the sun was shining, not bad for a girl from the burbs of South Africa!!

And one more thing to go to, is after a good night sleep we went out for an Israeli breakfast on McDougal called 12 Chairs before heading off to the airport to do this dreading flight of 25 hours back to Joburg!!

But what a week I had! Thanks to my friends Marion, Suzy, Espen and Evelyn... I will not forget this week soon! You entertained and fed me more than I could wish for... now I am planning to start my diet 21 lbs in 21 days, but first my dad comes and visits me for the next 3 weeks.... my life is full!!

How was your week??

Love, Mireille


Ellie said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time with your friends! Thanks for sharing! Have a great time with your dad!

Jen and Jeff said...

okay, thanks cause now I am seriously hungry! LOL! Looks like you had a great time! I am going up to the city in a few weeks. Maybe I will try that Malaysian restaurant...sounds good! Thanks for the idea!

I LOVE ANTHROPOLOGY! There is a lot of good inspiration in there and cool, funky, vintagey stuff I like. Zara, too. Had to laugh about the high heeled boots. Sounds like me! I brought only cute high heeled sandals to Italy a few years ago. Somewhere around half way through the trip on a rainy, chily day trecking around the cobblestone streets of SanGiamano, I broke down and bought a pair of black Gotex sneakers. Paid an arm and a leg for them and gave them away as soon as I got home! Now I own cute, but fashionable flats for such an occasion! :-)


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