Saturday, April 10, 2010
This is Wein. Its a modern Shanghainese place with a Taiwanese influence that Mr. Wu took us to for lunch. Usually, I don't go to the upscale places, but this was dope! Its a good example of what I talked about in previous posts concerning restaurants that evolve but stay on the same flavor track. Its not fusion, its a progression...
Mei Tsai Coh Roh - one of my all time favorite dishes. A sweet and funky preserved cabbage with sliced pork belly. This was probably the best version of it I've ever had. Sorry mom. haha
Egg roll in a new shape with a different approach to the skin. It was very thin but fried extra hard and filled with cheese and shrimp. I liked the skin, I didn't like the filling. Felt like some funky japanese fusion where they are just excited to use mayo, cheese, or cream of corn.
That's one thing you'll notice a lot in Taiwan. There is a lot of cultural exchange with Japan and most tourists are from Japan. They like Taiwanese food and Taiwanese people like to borrow things from Japan as well. Very interesting to see in practice. Of course, those jerks occupied Taiwan for a while, but we won't talk about it here LOL.
This was the most creative dish. I am playing with taro a lot on our new menu at Crackhaus so I like to see it done here. Taro is really underappreciated. One of the things we'll be doing is trying to introduce and use certain ingredients that have not been utilized much in American Taiwanese (or Chinese) cooking. In short, class is in mother fucking session lol. This dish was inspired by a old half-n-half "love story" called Oha Nanji (my Taiwanese spelling is horrible, I will get the correct by end of day) about Taiwanese-Chinese connect. The old heads really liked this use of an old name for a new dish as well.
The dish combined sauteed chicken with a light marinade then tossed in taro gravy paired with a crisp Purple Yam. This was some serious shit. Deeper than money, taro, and hos.
My new goal in life is to be a BOSS like Mr. Wu.... I met Mr. Wu who owns 9 Suns Bakery, which specializes in Sun Cake. The Big Homie is such a boss he pulled the whip INTO the foyer of the store and parked. I can't wait to get a whip and pull it up onto the curb in front of our crazy neighbor the Psychotic Bag Lady.
Mom was in the house. This photo was taken B.B.B. (Before the Bitching Began). She was being nice here and then started going off on all sorts of things like: when are you going back to being an attorney, can you convince Evan to become an architect, why are you so fat? All fobtastic questions mom. But I have no fobtastic answers for you.
This is the remixed savory version with dried pork sung and sugar.
This was my favorite. Coal flavored! Coal is real popular in Taiwan for its versatility and "healing" properties. They have Coal face wash, coal to put around the house for good "universe vibes", and now sun cake. This tasted just like their original flavor sun cake with a hint of sesame. Coal doesn't have a flavor, but you feel like its slimming cause its black. Like when Mac had the black graphite mac. Nothing real different functionally, it just looks cool.
This is the front of the store.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Flight stopped over in Alaska for gas. I thought I wouldn't need to eat since I brought 1lb of gummy bears with me on the flight, but my colorful friends didn't hold me down. Here in Alaska they are offering Udon Noodles w/ Reindeer, Reindeer Dogs, and Halibut & Chips. Any other time, I would get the halibut and chips, but this place was grimey. I wasn't trying to get diarrhea before I even got to Taiwan. So I got Udon with Reindeer Sausage.
I'm not even gonna front it tastes like Winter Ale Sausage LOL. For real, its like a kielbasa that they hit with a variety of apple pie seasonings. Not bad, but definitely not good.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Got a call from Rebecca Marx today to do a Q&A for Village Voice. I liked it a lot.
check it out
. I like when the press wants the whole story raw from the source so it was nice to clear the air after Grubstreet's hit job the other day.
By the way! I'm off. Going to Taiwan for 3 weeks. I will bring back some dope bootleg dvds, defective condoms, and new recipes. BONG.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Great article today in The New York Times about induction cooking! Really glad people are paying attention. We call it Guerilla Cooking. Just like DJs (Kool Herc) who started the hip hop scene back in the day plugging speakers/turntables into street light power lines in the Bronx, you could set up a kitchen on the street the same way! (if you're interested in the history, read Nelson George's Hip Hop America. He is doing a event at Greenlight Bookstore in Ft. Greene too!)
We went with induction because its what we're used to and cause of low entry costs! In Taiwan, people set up affordable space saving kitchens by using induction stoves. When I went through the laws for opening a restaurant in NYC, I noticed that I simply couldn't afford it. Hood vents are required in restaurants and they cost between 15k and 30k. BUT, there's a loop hole! If you use electric cooking methods i.e. "heat up" cooking, you don't need a hood! You just saved 15k! The bad part is your customers smell like pig booty after they leave which is what happened at Baohaus the first 3 months. Once we got the bread, we bought a hood and now you all can have enjoyable sex after baohaus without feeling like grimey animals.
I like things like induction stoves because it allows more people to play "the game" i.e. open restaurants. Take advantage yall! I even use cheap ass ikea pots and chopsticks for everything! Long chop sticks for frying/sauteeing/and stirring big pots of stew haha. You too can win Best of NY: Buns with $18 pots LOL, I feel like Gusteau from Ratatouille...
You don't need to be a foodie buying over priced le creuset cookware in Soho. Instead of focusing on expensive equipment, tools, etc. practice your craft with what you have around you! A lot of the best stuff I've made was out of necessity because I had to create a new technique or use a different ingredient cause I didn't have the money for the norm. I have shitty knife skills, but I practice and I work with what I have. There was a nice No Reservations episode about Techniques that I really liked so check that out too. I think some of the foodie culture is ass backwards because people put the cart before the horse doing advanced things or using end-game tools. Stick to the basics and you'll be fine...
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Finally.... For the first time, this fool didn't get caught twisted at work. He could have won it any other month, but usually by the third week, homie was caught with a six pack on the late shift and disqualified haha.
Real talk, no one is more committed to the squad than Asa. He comes in when other bums don't show up, he loves calling the cops when drunk heads act a fool, and he kept me from shanking someone last night. Always a plus. AND, his mom Perri Star sends the best emails this side of the Yangtze River. Congrats Asa, you are the employee of the month. It should get you a lot of extra business DJ'ing Bar Mitzvahs LOL.