Dishes that Delight at NoMad

We try to always have a special meal whilst in New York. My sister asked if we wanted to go back to Eleven Madison Park since they have changed their format to an extravagant 18-course meal but I wanted to try something a bit different. Along the same line with the same chef, Daniel Humm is the much talked about NoMad restaurant located in the NoMad hotel.

NoMad Hotel

The restaurant is dark, and even my very fast lens had difficulty without stabilising it on a glass in the dark. Comfy red velour cushions dot the benches, and dark wood panelling finish off the decorations.

After doing some preparatory reading, we knew what to have for our main and desserts, but unsure about the start. We make our choices and then order. Very good bread (i.e. focaccia) arrives soon after.


We start with some roasted cauliflower and mushrooms served with a poached egg. Both at extremely high prices considering the base cost of the ingredients, but I guess it’s consistent with the rest of the other dishes. Next time I would skip it and go straight for the main course as these cold dishes didn’t do anything particularly spectacular.

Cauliflower and Mushrooms

We order the “famous” roast chicken for two that comes with heft price tag. It is rather decadent with a foie-gras, brioche and truffle spread under the skin of a whole chicken for two. Slow cooked and basted with butter, the chicken is then presented at the table-side before being returned to the kitchen to be finished prepared in two ways. If you want to know about how they prepare this, read this article as I cannot do it any more justice.

The Famous Nomad Roast Chicken

The chicken being presented.

Roast Chicken in Tray

The brown meat.

Brown Meat

And the beautiful chicken itself. Although the meat amount looks small compared to the rest of the dish, it is one of the most delicious chicken preparations I have ever had. The skin is crispy and full of flavour. The white meat super juicy and best eaten in combination. The dark meat, rich with full of umami and just so, so delicious.

The meal didn’t stop there as we headed into dessert. Fingers crossed they still offered the dish I had read about before joining. Yes!

Dessert Menu

The lemon tart is so well executed, beautifully presented and unlike and like those you have had before. From this post:

On first glance, the tart appears to be surrounded by a thin, shiny layer of caramel or mousse. In fact, the covering is made of shortbread. Welker explains that they start with a classic French-style tarte citron that’s baked in a half sheet pan before the lemony discs are punched out and frozen. Then a traditional almond flour-based shortbread is pureed in a blender until the heat melts the butter, creating a molten mixture. The discs are then dropped in liquid nitrogen and then dipped into the shortbread batter. The shortbread coating solidifies as soon as it comes into contact with the cold lemon discs.

Lemon Tart


Lemon Tart

Name: NoMad
Found at: 1170 Broadway, New York, USA

The Single Item Restaurant Challenge

When my sister and I travel, I normally sort out places to eat, and she organises the activities. Since we had done all of the activities there are to do in New York, she suggested doing a walking tour of Manhattan but eating our way through the restaurants that focus on a single item. I did the research (there are a lot of them) and we ended up tried spending a whole day eating our way through Manhattan (and definitely adding to our waistline).

Although I suggested we have some guidelines, at the end of the day, we tried the ones that we felt like trying and felt it qualified. We struck places off the list that weren’t particularly unique such as all the cupcake, macaroon or ramen stores. We also tried to strike out those places that served too many other main dishes such as Tommy Lasagne that serves much more than just Lasagne. We struck off food trucks (too many of them) and tried to avoid chains. Here’s where we ended up on a single day.

Treat House (452 Amsterdam Ave –

A place that only sells Rice Crispy treats, we tried a small selection. They aren’t particularly cheap but we figured that we were going to try a small selection and they were beautifully decorated. I think the ones we tried were sugar cookie (blue but nothing particularly special), salted caramel, candy cane (a nice seasonal twist) and gingerbread (which I enjoyed eating the head of the gingerbread man). A sugar rush for the morning that goes well with a black coffee!

Treat House

Baconery (911 Columbus Avenue –

Our next stop wasn’t also technically restaurant but located in the same neighbourhood as the previous. This shop/cafe sold all products that incorporated. They sell everything from chocolate covered bacon, bacon cookies and bacon salt. Basically, you name it they bacon-it. They also had a lot of bacon based merchandise such as this pillow:

Eating Bacon Pillow

We split a bacon “blondie” or basically a white brownie. The sweetness tempered by the salty bacon went quite well.

Bacon Blondie

OatMeals (20 W 3rd St-

You can find most of the other single item restaurants located in the east and west village – I guess it’s a testament to the tastes and the area’s reception to new things. OatMeals focus on being an oatmeal bar. You can go simple with oatmeals and construct one of your choice, or one of the “approved combinations”. I went for the Canadian “cheese, bacon and maple syrup” whilst my sister went for the “Gorgonzola and fig”. I tasted both but preferred the Canadian but even that was a bit hard to stomach. Next time, I’ll just stick to simple berries or honey on mine, I’m not sure I’m ready for oatmeal to have savoury flavours.

Meals at Oatmeals

Peanut Butter and Co NYC Sandwich Shop (240 Sullivan Street –

Another stop in the village was a quick peanut butter sandwich. This place basically does a whole heap of dishes with peanut butter and lots of variations of peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanut Butter and Co

I continued on the bacon theme with the “Mighty Maple” (maple, crispy bacon and peanut butter) which I have to say was definitely a winning combination but I can see why that might have put Elvis in the grave. My sister opted for a daring “The Heat is On” or chilli peanut butter served with chicken and pineapple jam. This ended up being a bit like a chicken satay in a sandwich combo and actually worked pretty well.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Finished

S’Mac (345 east 12th Street –

Our last visit on our day (many of the others were closed for the period and we were just a bit full from eating) was Sarita’s Mac and Cheese (or S’Mac) for short.

Mac and Cheese Pan

Wanting something with a bit more spice, I opted for the CajunParisienne (Creamy Brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary) was a bit too much on the sweet side for me but she managed to finish as well.

Easy to do, too much to eat

We didn’t get around to some of the other places we wanted to (mind belly much bigger than actual belly) but out of interest, here are some of the other places we would have liked to have tried:

  • Melt Shop – A place that just does melted cheese sandwiches. Another one called “Little Muenster” is an alternative
  • The Meatball Shop – ‘Nuff said
  • The Nugget Spot – Nuggets made of different meats
  • Pommes Frites – Belgian Fries with a hundred or so different toppings
  • Porchetta – Italian pork! Yummo
  • Empire Biscuit – A 24 hour new place that sells different types of biscuits + gravy
  • The Protein Bakery – A bakery selling baked goods with high levels of protein

Two Completely Different Restaurants in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is the Dalston of New York, an area having developed after costs in Manhattan push younger people out to more affordable areas. Although they still have some dodgy neighbourhoods, a lot of areas have redeveloped, new, cool bars and restaurants have flourished.

Do or Dine is one such place. Popular on the weekends for its alternative breakfast, the whole place is designed to give you a different experience. Despite being on a relatively main street, it is disguised from view with its restaurant banner actually displaying an alternative name (see pictures below)

Do or Dine Canopy

Do or Dine Door

A small bar sits in the back, alongside a bathroom-tiled small kitchen where they mix up the most interesting drinks and foods. A disco ball spins, sending light to other distracting corners of the room.

Disco ball

They decorate the walls with some strange elements, and find the most unusual things such as a can of “Unicorn meat” (not for consumption).

Unicorn meat

All of this, naturally points to interesting combinations and new designs of some classic dishes. We start our brunch by sharing some appetisers including a foie gras doughnut (good but not really my favourite as the foie gras is too overpowering), some “fawntons” (or wontons filled with venison) and some “e666s” (or some battered devilled eggs)

All of the food was beautifully presented, and pretty good although I think I liked the fawntons the best – the wontons filled with a meat that reminded me of tender pulled pork and matched with a mustard sauce that held some punch. For our mains, we tried “A chicken and woffals” and “Fish and some chips”. The chicken arrived as a “jerk chicken” that was super tender, moist although the coating reminded me more of a sweet thai chilli sauce than any strong jerk coating.

Chick and waffles

The fish dish was probably one of the most impressive, an upright, wholly fried fish “mohawked” my some caviar that had been brightly marinated in fresh yuzu sauce. The chips were crunchy, and it was all accompanied with a vinegar-enriched sauce providing freshness to this fried dish. Super yum.

Fish and some chips

At the other end of the Brooklyn spectrum, we met some of my sister’s friends for a brunch at “Egg“, a stronghold place known as a good place to have brunch. I think it may have hit the Lonely Planet book as we saw this no-reservations place filled with people carrying a “New York” or “Brooklyn” edition. Naturally like most “no reservation” places, you have to queue. Here, at least, they get you to sign up on a board and they have a pretty quick turn around. Best suited for tables of two or four, we had a bit of an awkward seating for six.


Paper tops off the table and crayons in a container provide entertainment as you peruse the menu. Not that you have much time as our waitress checks back (a bit too frequently) about whether or not we were ready to oder. Despite being very nice, we definitely felt the pressure to order, pay the bill, and were “encouraged” to leave. Fair enough, but not really the dining experience I want.

Pancakes with bacon

This restaurant offers much more classical American fare such as oatmeal and pancakes. I opt for the pancakes with bacon which turns out to be a pretty good choice – three fluffy huge pancakes and a side of salty bacon. Yummo.


Others decide to get the “most ordered dish” on the menu, the “Eggs Rothko” which is basically a brioche French Toast topped off with cheese and slight deviation of a slightly undercooked egg that seeps from the middle of the toast. Others still order the hash, which whilst presented very plainly apparently was pretty tasty as well.


They are very straight up about what they do. And do not. They do not have espresso based coffees. They do not do eggs Benedict. Although a pretty decent place, I’d only line up for this if I was in the area rather than make a special trip out for it.

Aburiya Kinnosuke

My friend Mike always talked about this wonderful Japanese place whenever he visited New York. I had a picture of a very traditional Japanese restaurant with rice paper walls, and still have the memory of Mike’s wonderful tale where him and another mate accidentally tore through one, or was it two of those walls. Hehe. Anyway, when we were catching up with some other relatives who were in town just to visit us, I thought we should try it out. We booked in advance (telephone only) and for a 1:30pm booking, we turned up just before 1pm and were seated immediately.

I’m sure their lunch menu is different from their dinner menu, but even the lunch menu was an overwhelming choice of a large number of things. I went for the recommend aburiya lunch selection showcasing so many things off the menu including the BBQ washu beef, and the miso cod fish. It also comes with miso soup, salad and a small bite-sized dessert.

Love the chopsticks obviously made from bamboo in this picture. A small but delightful detail.

The massive set of sashmi, rice, soup. Note that the wasabi here was real wasabi (so rare!). You can tell because you can see the wasabi root fibers as it’s been grated up, instead of a papery reconstituted green mound most restaurants serve. It also has less of a uppercut to the nose on contact because it’s pure wasabi, instead of the fusion of horseradish and wasabi powder normally used.

The wushu beef was sitting atop a griddle alight with a small flame to keep it hot. All the elements were really fresh, and have to say I was really impressed by the cod – perfectly done with a light miso sauce, grilled to perfection. So tasty.

Upon the recommendation of the waitress, we upgraded our dessert to a larger size because apparently the one that came with the set was only a biteful. Green tea tiramisu.

Service was amazing. Ok, so it’s proper Japanese. Still our waitress was very attentive, spent a lot of time with us (in contrast to other Manhattan joints that are ready to run away to serve the next patron) and we even got a few small bonus dishes (like edamame). It’s definitely one me over and thanks to Mike for the recommendation.

Name: Aburiya Kinnosuke
Found at: 213 East 45th St New York, New York

Clinton Street Baking Company

With all of our big meals in New York, I only ever really ate twice a day. Rather than doing a lunch, we decided to go early to get a table at the Clinton Street Baking Company where I met a couple of friends for a weekend brunch last year. We didn’t have to worry about coming before they opened because it wasn’t the weekend this time, although we still hit it shortly after they opened and we didn’t have to wait. Good thing too because a line did shortly form about 5 minutes after we arrived.

I remember the huge cups they serve their coffee in. And the local sourcing they do. Good stuff!

And rather than go for something with their famous buttermilk biscuits (they were really good!), I decided to go for their pancakes for which they are also very well known for. They come in three varieties (chocolate chunk, blueberry and banana walnut) but I went for the latter after a recommendation by our waitress. The huge stack of fluffy, American style pancakes came with accompanying maple butter (I didn’t really want to know how much went into them).

The pancakes were great. Super light, and went well with the side of bacon that we got (crispy american style). My only worry was really how big they were and I didn’t even try to finish it this time.

Name: Clinton Street Baking Company
Found at: 4 Clinton Street (btw. East Houston & Stanton), New York, NY 10002

Daisy May’s New York

There was a lot of press about the joint venture of Jamie Oliver and the “BBQ King of NY”, Adam Perry Lang when they first opened up Barbecoa. Unfortunately most of that press hasn’t been good and I hadn’t really expected to given that it’s a formula that caters for the banking crowd. I figured that we should go straight to the original source, to Lang’s original Daisy May’s BBQ on 11th Ave.

This particular place could not be further than from the modern monstrosity that is Barbecoa. Wooden panels line the walls, communal dining areas, and more of a canteen style serving area where you order first and then take a seat takes priority over atmosphere. Having said that, it seems appropriate when you’re talking about this sort of cuisine and fits in aptly with it all.

The most logical choice when arriving is to get one of the plate combos – something from the BBQ and two sides. I opt for the sweet and sticky pork ribs with coleslaw and baked beans with burnt ends.

To drink, a sarsaparilla made by Wild Bills.

Some signage showing you how it works.

And a beautifully large and patriotic sign.

Hilarious tip jar.

Most importantly the ribs were really good. Smoked as you could taste it, and the meat easily falling off the bone. I’m surprised that the portion size was quite big, but not big by classical American standards. I think the sticky sauce was great as well. I think without it, the ribs would have been much drier and definitely needed something saucy on it. It was a really cheap meal and some great sides that we couldn’t finish either. Be warned though, this is not really the place to bring vegetarian friends.

Name: Daisy May’s BBQ
Found at: 623 11th Ave, New York, New York

Sushi Samba

Craving some sushi rolls (the more westernised ones than the traditional ones), I decided that whilst in New York, we should head back to Sushi Samba, where latin america meets the east. I have to say that this visit wasn’t as great as the first time, but we some some nice things to eat.

My favourite dish of the night was the umami rich miso eggplant. Hearty chunks skewered and delicately roasted before being finished off with some miso sauce.

The rock shrimp tempura had a great kick, though failed to be as crisp as good tempura should be. Love rock shrimp though.

The corn fritter tempura definitely made up for that lack of crispiness and went well with the wasabi mayo they served it with. Could do with more kick.

Here’s the sushi bar.

And our yummy Samba 7 roll with lobster chunks.

And another roll that we had (can’t remember the name of this one)

I see on their website that they’ll be opening a London branch soon, so that will be interesting to watch the bloggersphere for how it’s taken. There’s a lot of brazilians in London so I hope they live up to the real thing.

Name: Sushi Samba 7
Found at: 87 7th Ave South, New York, New York.

Eleven Madison Park Round 2

Out of all the places that I ate at last year, I was most impressed by the experience of the then, two-starred michelin restaurant. Obviously others had been as well since it’s gained an additional star in the meantime. The lunch menu is definitely a great value if you manage to get a reservation, and we were lucky that we were able to (thanks Grace!)

It was an extremely cold day when we went for lunch, made even colder by the wind chill factor. I’ll say that revolving doors make a great way of making sure that gusts of cold air don’t make their way into the dining room. Stepping through these doors, you’re welcomed almost immediately by a member of staff, coats taken and then quickly escorted to the bright, airy dining room (below). Weirdly enough, we were seated at exactly the same table we were last time!

The menu format still hasn’t changed. A four course menu depicts a journey that you get to pick the main attraction, but all scenery provided by the kitchen. This allows the restaurant to change the elements of the menu with seasonal produce and also produce some vastly different experiences (all good, rest assured).

Whilst deciding, we get to pick on some cheesy Gougère, strong in flavour, light in composition.

Followed almost immediately by the wonderfully velvety chicken veloute and parsely oil served from a teapot into a tea cup for easy drinking. It’s a great way to warm up after walking around outside.

Different from the amuse bouches of our last visit, we then received a foie gras paste perched perfectly atop brioche with chives. Yummo.

And like last time, had a wonderfully rich american sturgeon custard served in perfectly cut egg shells. The custard was more like a foam (maybe I’m getting it wrong) with the sturgeon eggs providing a wonderful contrast in flavour and texture as your spoon dips in. A little bit more flavoured oil (not sure what) sits in the bottom adding another dimension to the dish.

Fortunately there was no pork fat served with the bread, with the lighter butter made from goat’s cheese and the creamy yellow a French style. This time the bread was more like buttery croissant pastry turned into small parcels and hand delivered warm and fresh in a little pouch.

My first dish, was a crab roulade with avacado, apple and lime. Soft creamy elements and carefully adorned with fresh herbs and green leafs along its length. I really enjoyed the beautiful presentation and the flavours of this dish.

Following a seafood theme, the lobster poached with autumn mushrooms and spinach arrived looking like a work of art, carefully arranged in a single line unevenly offset on the right side of a huge plate. The pieces were generous and that mushroom/lobster foam was so rich and velvety but was carefully not overpowering the sweetness of the lobster flesh.

My final course before the desert was the guinea fowl roasted with pear, salsify and foie gras. This dish was a superb ascent to the top with rich, deep flavours that built on the previous ones. I suspect the guinea fowl had been cooked sous vie before being finished off under a broiler – there’s no other way I could imagine it retaining so much of that succulent juices.

After the previous course, a small cart got wheeled up. We had anticipated this after watching a number of other tables being served the same, wondering what it was. It’s a beautiful show. Decanters of lime juice, and cocoa milk tipped into a small glass before orange oil being dabbed in from yet another bottle. The finishing touch was a spray of seltzer water fizzing up the entire drink. I was reminded of drinking a light, liquid version of a Terry’s orange only much cleaner on the palette and an experience to remember. Now where do I find cocoa milk!

We then had another pre-dessert cleanser, made up of a custard and some fresh berry sorbet. I can’t remember the other elements as I was still thinking about the wonderful glass that preceded it.

For my main dessert, I’d ordered the hazelnut meringue with sorbet, chestnuts and pistachio. I was surprised at how fruity this dish was, considering hazelnut is classically paired with chocolate but it worked out surprisingly well.

Last year, I missed not having a coffee, so thought we would try the entertaining tableside coffee.

The petite fours arrived as well just as the coffee was being prepared. A beautiful white truffle chocolate bonbon with a creamy explosive centre full of truffle-essence.

Followed by a cocoa black truffle ganache providing a complement to the white.

Ok, I’ll admit I still prefer espresso to siphon coffee but I like the spectacle of the way they prepare it here. This is a picture of the tableside siphon coffee being prepared. First they allow you to smell the coffee, explaining its origin and then all the details about the temperature and time that are needed for the perfect brew.

And voila, the final product.

Another wonderful dining experience at Eleven Madison Park, and very deserving of their three stars.

Name: Eleven Madison Park
Found at: 11 Madison Avenue New York, NY

The Little Owl

On one of my previous Foods of New York tour, they brought us to The Little Owl, a small non-de-script tenement building made famous by the Friends TV show, and also just highly recommended as a great place to eat.

As you can see from the picture below, there were heaps of people being shown the same famous building, though it didn’t really detract from our overall dining experience.

We were really lucky, turning up shortly after midday, and only being told a table wait would be about a half hour. I was a bit worried since it was a really popular restaurant with only 28 people and reservations generally recommended. They did mention they reserve some tables for walk-ins, and we were lucky enough to nab one. We walked around the area for a bit, before returning for a short five minute wait before being seated.

There’s not a lot of room for movement, and with my back turned to the rest of the restaurant found my chair constantly niggled, either by the patrons leaving and going, or the waitress coming and going as well. It’s your typical, NY tight style seating where people were almost sitting on top of each other.

The menu is pretty interesting, definitely inspired by the Mediterranean but brought up to American standards with items such as the burgers, and their famous gravy meatball slides that I had to order.

My sister order the bacon cheese burger (US$16) that came with a series of condiments.

As you can see, it was a pretty big burger, served with melting american, bright yellow cheese, and then the pickles and salad sitting on the plate.

I ordered two appetisers opting for the crunchy artichoke heart (US$15) and the gravy meatball sliders (US$12). The artichoke was served with a light, lemon black pepper parmesan broth and some tasty green rocket leaves. Superbly crunchy and a delicious combination.

The sliders, or mini-burgers were rightfully famous. Each was moist, juicy and packed full of flavour. The meat combo was a mince of beef, pork and veal and then topped with grated pecorino and then topped with a bit of sauce to keep it really moist.

We also shared a side of mushrooms served with truffled breadcrumbs (US$6), a delicious rich, but probably not needed accompaniment.

To finish off the meal, we split the beignets served with raspberry sauce and nutella (US$9) that were beautifully made super fresh. The raspberry sauce brought a good level of tartness to the dish and the nutella, an additional richness to the dish. I definitely enjoyed the food overall. Everything was very well made and service overall very good – water topped up all the time and we didn’t ever feel rushed to be moved off our table. Highly recommended! Total price with tax, tip (no alcoholic drinks) for two people was US$77.41.

Name: The Little Owl
Found at: 90 Bedford Street, New York, New York

Cart Fun Dim Sum at Jing Fong

London doesn’t tend to have so many places that do dim sum Hong Kong style with the carts, so it was nice to visit Jing Fong in New York’s chinatown and experience the real deal. Though we were told it would be about a half hour wait, in reality, it took us only 20 minutes to get a table.

This is the waiting area to which the guy checks numbers and is constantly calling out numbers. They have a constant stream of people going up and down, so it’s quite easy to wonder what the restaurant looks like

More of the waiting area.

As you can see though, the entire dining room was massive – my estimates were that it held at least 600 people and almost all the tables were constantly full. I’m glad they don’t do a lot to cram huge numbers of people at a table – we shared a single table with another couple though there were a few small places for lone diners to also share.

In true fashion, you’re given the dim sum ticket guide where the cart attendants would stamp small, medium, large or special depending on the dish you order.

The classic steamed pork buns were pretty good. I was pleased not to encounter unpleasant globs of fat although the bun was pretty small of itself.

We ordered a prawn rice noodle roll (cheung fun. Two giant prawns in each roll and the serving was extremely generous.

The har gau (prawn dumplings) were also a very generous serve made up of huge prawns. The only complaint was that the dumpling wrapper on these turned out to be a little thick and stuck to the paper rather than peel off a bit more delicately.

We ordered the taro croquette that I can image would have been tastier had it been hotter and to its left (in the picture below) a durian dumpling crossing our fingers it was going to be mooli (it wasn’t!) but also wasn’t as offensive a flavour of durian it could have been.

Tofu wrapped duplings were freshly made and delicious.

And although the portions of the turnip cake were massive I found the mixture too mushy and tasteless for my liking.

Here is a picture of the durian dumpling on the inside. As you can see, it’s like a sweet custard that lifts the strong durian flavour away.

I really enjoyed our experience at Jing Fong. The carts add a lot of drama to the entire experience, as does trying to hunt down your favourite dumpling on the carts, fresh before other people do as well. I was hugely impressed at the sheer size of this place and glad to see it doing well when I hear many of the places in Chinatown really struggling.

Name: Jing Fong
Found at: 20 Elizabeth Street, New York, New York