Few weeks ago, I was invited to an interesting event. The Tastemaker dinner, hosted by Chopped’s Ted Allen, took place at Pok Pok NY in Brooklyn. When I got the invite, I wasn’t too sure what it was about especially when the event was from Pepcid (yes the heartburn medicine) and Eater. Thai food doesn’t make me think heartburn and was Andy Ricker suppose to cook the whole dinner from a mystery basket?
I’ve never been to Pok Pok NY and have heard so many great things about it, I decided to check out this event. The night started off with cocktails, signing waiver forms and getting your table number. The bar, the tables and even the restrooms had bottles of Pepcid lying around. Finally, Ted Allen gave a quick speech and afterwards we all sat down at our tables. Dinner was served family style and we all enjoyed yam samun phrai (a herbal salad), Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings, sai ua samun phrai (Thai sausage with chicharron and curry), phak buung fai daeng (stir fried bok choy with chillies), plaa neung bui (whole steamed striped bass with preserved plums), kai yaang tua (whole roasted chicken), and sangkhaya fak thong (sticky rice with pumpkin and palm sugar custard).
Thank you to Eater, Pepcid, Ted Allen and the Pok Pok NY crew for a great night and good food. Everyone was super nice and always great to meet other food people. I can’t say that the meal was amazing like how other people had talked about it but it was definitely good. While everyone was crazy over the chicken wings (I thought they were too salty), I was all over the stir fried bok choy and the salad. Crunchy, light, refreshing, and went so well with the sticky rice. The other dishes were pretty good. I mean, I’m pretty familiar with the flavors so the dishes were good but nothing truly jumped out at me as WOW. I did surprised myself by eating the dessert. If you don’t know, I hate Asian desserts but I didn’t want to offend anyone so I gave it a try and….it wasn’t too bad. The custard was darn tasty.
Thank you to Hunter Public Relations for the invite. I’ve always wanted to try Pok Pok NY and I finally did. Definitely good to have them in the neighborhood.
Pok Pok NY 117 Columbia St, Brooklyn
One of my favorite food events I attended last year was Village Voice’s Choice Streets. Obviously one of the thing I liked about it was the location. It was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It was also one of the most causal food events I’ve been to. So of course this year I had to go back. While the format was the same, there were few things that were different from last year that, in a way, made this year a little less fun (just a little) but overall I still had a good time.
For some unknown reasons, few of the trucks didn’t show up and they may had sold more tickets than last year because the lines! There were few times where I just stood in a line for half an hour. And by 8:30p some of the trucks had ran out of food already which then added extra pressure on other trucks to continue.
Here are some bites I managed to get….
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Our 2012 Eat More in Queens mission started with a group dinner with my friends at SriPraPhai. It seemed like I was the last in the whole wide world to eat at SriPraPhai and I’m glad I did even if that meant riding the 7 train during rush hour.
There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be trekking out more to Queens, heck I (with Howard) even took a road trip up to New Haven for a day just to eat pizza (well Mo drove). The dinner was great and I’m looking forward to my next meal there. Though funny thing, I wanted to order a Pad Thai but no one would let me! It’s THE dish that I use to help me rate a Thai restaurant. Okay fine in the case of Joya, their Pad Thai is alright but their chicken green curry is where it’s at.
Check out what we ate after the jump
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I should really eat more fish but mussels are so much easier to cook, not to mention way cheaper. This time I made it even simpler. My usual way of cooking is oil, garlic, onion, add mussels and hit it with chicken stock. Last month I had made a jar of green curry sauce by combining green curry paste, soy sauce and palm sugar. I love making ready-to-use sauces, great for cooking and marinating.
Get a pan hot, add oil and add mussels. Stir. Pour about 3/4 cup of the green curry sauce and about the same amount of liquid (I used water). Stir. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Check mussels after 3 minutes, cover back up and cook longer if there are any that aren’t open. Scoop the mussels out and leave the broth in the pan. On high flames, add a big tablespoon or 2 of creme fraiche and some chopped scallions. Stir to melt the creme fraiche. Taste it. Add more curry sauce if it’s too weak. Let the sauce reduce a bit. When done, pour sauce over mussels and sprinkle some chopped scallions. Serve with toasty bread.
A few weeks ago I was making plans for a late dinner with my friends Jeff & Eva, and they asked em the dreaded question: where did I want to meet? I say “dreaded” because sometimes, as a food blogger, that question makes me freeze up. I can rattle off recommendations of places that I’ve enjoyed, but I often rely on suggestions from others when looking for new places (hint, hint). Then it occurred to me, I’ve been meaning to try Kin Shop. Opened by Top Chef Season One’s winner Harold Dieterle, who also opened Perilla. Despite the fact that he’s a white guy opening up an expensive, upscale Thai restaurant, the reactions to Kin Shop seemed overwhelmingly positive.
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Regular readers may recall my love of longans, a fruit which I first tasted during my trip to Vietnam. On a recent summer night Donny and I sought out Sky Ice, a Thai ice cream shop here in Park Slope. Donny sampled several varieties (including durian) before settling on Thai Iced Tea ice cream, but I zeroed in on the longan sorbet almost immediately. Although the texture was a little crumbly, there was no mistaking the pure and delicious flavor of fresh longans, albeit in sorbet form. Next time I’m gonna go for the mangosteen.
Sky Ice — 63 5th Ave, Brooklyn
Ok, for the longest ass time I had no idea that there was a Thai Town. Then when I knew there was a Thai Town, I had no idea where it was. But finally I can say, I have visited and eaten in Thai Town. I feel I’m one step closer to being a local?
Though I have to give thanks to Mr.Midtownlunch, Zach Brooks, for helping me checking “eat in Thai Town” off my list. We were set to have a Thai Town lunch crawl and started off at Spicy BBQ on Santa Monica Blvd. along with his friend, who was writing an article about Thai Town. Once I got to Spicy BBQ, I found Zach and his friend, Kaite, outside checking their phones. Apparently Spicy BBQ wasn’t opened so we needed plan b. Plan b was Siam Sunset. It was mentioned on LA Weekly that it was the “Thai-est Thai restaurant in Thai Town”. I have never been to Thailand so I can’t say if this statement is true so I guess I’ll just have to take Mr.Gold’s words for it.
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