Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Made this last night. All beef hot dog, fried tofu skin, mustard green, dry pork sung, and sweet chili sauce. I liked it, but I was also bonged out of my gourd. Ning was indifferent, Raf was scared of the dry pork sung. I think asian fusion just doesn't work that well on hot dogs because the flavor of the bun clashes. If this were on a steamed bun would be better. I'm gonna try at the restaurant in a ball of sticky rice!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Confirmed! Baohaus has a home, 137 Rivington St, NY, NY 10002. The google image says 138, but it is 137, the former cafe with the green awning next door to Schiller's. We signed the term sheet and made our deposit today, will be signing lease tomorrow. Great landlord, Allen Luke, really happy to be in the spot. We're shooting for a late December/Early January opening and will keep you updated. Hours of operation will be Sunday to Wednesday 12pm to 1am, Thursday to Saturday 12pm to 3am. Hope to see you there!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Everything's been going real well. Re-organized the partnership and its just my cousin and I now. For those counting, this is the 3rd time I've had to re-group haha. But, its final now. We put in an application on a location. I'll disclose location hopefully by Wednesday if we can close (fingers crossed).
This blog has become more about recipe/menu development than anything, but this post, I'd like to share some insights from the last few months trying to get the shop open. Obviously, having a partner that has a similar vision and different skill set is key. The first two go-rounds, I had tried to partner with really talented people, but they were cooks as well. My cousin is a cook, but a full-time lawyer and willing to do more business aspects. The key is to find a balanced partnership where people bring different skills. For instance, the Cleveland Cavaliers are idiots. You have Lebron, you need people to spread the floor, get a shooter, not a giant person to clog the lane like Shaq. Ditto for baseball, you don't want a bullpen with no lefties.
Second, landlords are assholes. We dealt with one that bold faced lied about the offer he originally made us even though we had the printed offer in front of him. Long story short, he asked for a certain amount of cash in our biz account, we got it in the account, and he asked for more denying the original number. Initially, we were very responsive to his requests and the things he wanted in a deal, but once he started back tracking and altering the offer, we realized he was going to continue pushing the envelope. I find that in this situation, playing a hard line with the property managers works. He tried to talk us down as low as possible so he could play good cop/bad cop with the actual landlord who calls the shots. In my opinion, let the property manager eat shit. He's the landlord's battering ram and the less you pay attention to his bush league tactics, the better off you'll be. Make an offer, stick to it and force the landlord to make a decision. Its hard to walk away from a good offer so wait for him to blink. At least that's what I think works.
The business posts will begin to pick up. We got a location and we're going to start getting into permits, etc so should be interesting! Stay tuned.
Thanks to everyone who came to the Baohaus©2009 Tasting! We didn't get photos of everyone, but my cousin and biz partner Phil was in the house, Prince of BK (Raf), George (photographer), Simon "Fook" Tung, Courtney Brown (our #1 blog commenter haha), Ning and her Yumi Kim crew. Was a lot of fun and we got dope feedback.
So, we started off with the Taiwanese Saturday Gravy with braised soy sauce egg and pickled mustard green on rice. This is one of my top 5 favorite dishes all time. My mom used to make one big pot Saturday morning so she wouldn't have to cook anything else that day. My brothers and I would eat it watching cartoons, for lunch, dinner, and even the next morning. That's why I call it Saturday Gravy. Its what we ate instead of spaghetti I guess. It consists of ground pork butt, spices, and a soy sauce based braise. I cook it for 2 hours, then let it sit a few hours before eating. This dish was the lowest rated of the night (averaged a 6.5 out of 10) though because I ran off to pick up a friend at the train and left it on the stove. Reduced it a little much, but easy fix in the future. Most comments said it would have gotten a 7.5 to 8 if it had not been over reduced.
The second course was my Chairman Bao, a hunan style red cooked pork belly. I learned how to red cook pork this way from my grandma and oldest Aunt on my dad's side. Shanghai red cooked pork is sweeter, more tender, and wetter. The Hunan style is more of a dry, cured, red cooked pork, almost bacon like if you were to make bacon by soy braising. We get it almost black from a thick soy sauce and chili pepper braise. I didn't use chili peppers cause some people don't like it, but everything else was by the Hunan book. My dad's side of the family is from Hunan and so is Mao, thus the name. I came up with my own process. I first flash fry the pork, then braise it in the dark soy braise, then I steam it to reintroduce some moisture into the pork before serving on gua bao with cilantro, peanut powder, pickled mustard green (with my own tweaks!) and Taiwanese sugar. This and the next course were the favorites of the night. The scores ranged from 8 to 10 for this dish averaging 9.25.
The 3rd course was my Haus Bao. It is my original recipe! Ever since I was a kid, I always asked older Chinese/Taiwanese people, why the hell don't we red cook beef? I like pork, but I'm probably more of a beef fan. SO, over the years, I've been working on red cooked beef recipes. I've been doing it a long time and this is the culmination. Our Haus Bao, which no one else does. Its my personal favorite. Courtney and I liked this dish best, others rated the pork belly slightly higher. The beef averaged 9.
My mom's Famous Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup aka Junkie Noodle Soup! I have tried beef noodle soup all over the world. I've had Sichuan, Fuzhou, Fujian, Cantonese, you name it, I've tried it and nothing tops my mom's recipe. I mess with the proportions here and there, but this is true to her recipe through and through. Prince of Brooklyn says, "You are going to have beef broth fiends twitching outside the spot at night asking for a syringe of this soup." Well said Prince.... thus Junkie Noodle Soup was born. The scores for this dish averaged 8.8, no one rating it lower than 8.
Lastly, the Fook brought some sake and I always keep ginger beer in the fridge so I made Sake/Ginger Beer cocktails. OFF THE CHAIN. Hopefully we get a beer/wine license so we can make this at the spot. If not, we'll have the ginger beer, you bring the sake, BYOB all day.
Thanks again to everyone who came through, always appreciate the support!