Tag Archives: rice

Pure Thai Cookhouse

Pure Thai Cookhouse is probably the best Thai restaurant in what I like to refer to as “Thai Town;” the stretch of Thai restaurants from the 40s through the 50s in Hell’s Kitchen.

The place is always jam packed with waits for tables at lunch and dinner time, and we even had to wait 10 minutes to get seated at the odd 2pm time frame (they don’t take reservations). That said, if you decide to come here, be prepared to wait. Also be prepared to sit at a small table, likely on a small stool, and way too close to other diners, as if you were actually eating street food in Thailand. Usually a seating situation like that pisses me off, but I didn’t mind so much at this place.

We started with these crab and chicken dumplings that were on special for $10. They were really nice.

Next up was the Ratchaburi crab and pork dry noodles.

This dish was excellent. The pork itself was so tender and juicy. We were both expecting something dry and tough. The crab was a good portion of quality meat, and the sauce was a delicate balance of sweet and spicy.

I ordered the turmeric beef as my main dish. This came with rice, and it was very tender and flavorful. It looks mega spicy, but it was more like a medium.

My wife ordered the jungle curry, which didn’t seem like a curry dish at all. Our expectation was a saucy dish with a bowl of rice on the side. This came out more like a fried rice dish. Not saucy, but it had really great flavors. We liked this better than the beef.

I definitely recommend this place. Just be ready for a wait and some small seats!

PURE THAI COOKHOUSE
766 9th Ave #2
New York, NY 10019

Szechuan Strip Steak

A few months ago I had this wild idea that I would like a steak with an aggressively spicy Chinese flavor profile of chili oil, Szechuan peppercorns, cumin and garlic. Then suddenly I saw a menu item pop up at the Lobster Club with a strikingly similar list of ingredients, and the steakhouse Blu on Park is closing, making way for an Asian steakhouse which, perhaps, will feature something similar. Without wanting to wait for the new restaurant, and without having to drop bank and fight for a table at Lobster Club, I struck out to make my own, to turn my dream into reality.

I started out with one of my Piedmontese strip steaks because (1) they’re not dry aged, so I’m not competing with any other flavors, and (2) they’re cheap enough so that if I fucked it up, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it.

So what the fuck did I do?

Marinate the shit with chili oil, garlic oil, minced garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, Szechuan pepper oil, cumin, Chinese five spice and sesame oil.

After a few hours (or a few days if you want the flavors to really penetrate the meat), and after allowing your meat to get up to room temperature, dry off your steak with paper towels and season it all over with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, a touch of Chinese five spice and cumin (those last two ingredient are potent, so a little goes a long way). If you have fresh chilies, cut up a few and toss those in as well.

Pour the marinate into a pan and start bringing the fucking heat. Once the pan is screaming hot (but not smoking up the joint), toss that steak in. Now throw in some duck fat (or butter if you don’t have duck fat, but tracking down some duck fat is 100% worth it to bring home all the flavors).

Once the steak sticks to the bottom of the pan, tip the pan and spoon the liquids over the top of the steak as the bottom side cooks up to a nice brown crust. After three minutes of this, flip and repeat. Once finished, remove the steak and let it rest before slicing. Here’s a video of the process:

Now throw a pint of leftover rice from your Chinese take out into the pan. You know – the box of shit that’s been in the back of your fridge all week. Mix all the oil and duck fat into the rice, and spread the rice out across the pan. LEAVE IT. Let it get crispy as fuck on the bottom without burning.

Once that’s done, plate the rice, slice up your steak, and top your rice with the steak. I did a fancy slicing technique for presentation, but you don’t have to get all crazy with it.

That’s about it. Enjoy, assholes! Oh and pro-tip: you can remove the peppercorns before frying up the rice. I didn’t do this because I like the numbing quality to them.

Bann

I picked up a Groupon deal for about $12 that gave me $40 to spend here at Bann. Pretty solid bargain. My wife and I started with a pair of apps; steamed buns and wings.

The buns contained marinated thinly sliced beef rib eye and spicy daikon. There were pretty good, and I liked the sauce, which was based on spicy bean paste, only a little thinner.

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I liked the wings a lot, though I wish the honey chili glaze made them a little spicier. In any case they were hot, crispy, tender and tasty. And that’s ultimately all that fucking matters.

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For our entrees we went with a noodle dish and a rice dish. First, the rice dish: steak tartare bibimbap with a raw egg yolk.

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This was pretty great, served cold, of course, with a side of spicy bean paste. The greens there are spinach, and there are some other shredded veggies and mushrooms in the bowl as well.

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Our noodle dish was very similar to a pork belly lo mein.

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It was pretty good, but had I known it would be similar to Chinese food, we probably would have selected something else.

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LIFT!

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BANN
350 W 50th St
New York, NY 10019

Halal Guys

This review is for take-out from The Halal Guys’ new brick and mortar location, down near 14th Street and 2nd Avenue.

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I ordered the chicken and rice on the advice of my expert friend. He was going to tell me to get the mixed (lamb and chicken), but told me to keep it real on this first visit. His suggestion was great. The smell was amazing in the cab ride home, and with a midnight buzz going, I was salivating and eager to dive into this bitch.

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The chicken was flavorful and spicy, the lettuce was cool and crisp, and the rice was supple and textured. The sauces were both great, though I wasn’t a fan of the hot sauce as much as the white sauce. Perfect late night grub. I’ll definitely brave the lines in midtown during work, now that I know this place serves up some legit food.

HALAL GUYS
307 E. 14th St.
Manhattan, NY 10019

Menchanko-Tei

After having a few good bowls at Menkui-Tei, I figured I would try this other hyphenated place in midtown closer to my wife’s office. She had been here before and said it was good, but this day we both had sub-par bowls. The broth was a little bland and watery. I also saw one of the servers pull something out of a bowl with his fingers (carefully, mind you) before putting the bowl in front of a patron. Yuck. I hope those hands were clean!

Anyway, the neat thing about this place is you can get a lunch meal with a side bowl of rice and pork. A bit too much food though, as the ramen portions are large.

I had the regular pork ramen:

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My wife had the Kurobuta pork, a better quality meat for an up charge, yet my slices tasted better than hers. Go figure.

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MENCHANKO-TEI
131 E 45th St
New York, NY 10017

The General

My wife purchased a steak for two deal at this Latino steakhouse down on 14th street, but soon after the joint closed down. WTF! Anyway, the restaurant group honored the deal at one of their other joints called The General. We had heard some good things about it, so we were happy to take the deal to that location. Instead of steak, though, we went with their Peking duck. It was fucking amazing.

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So the deal went like this: any two apps, then the Peking duck, a side, and any dessert to share.

Drinks were not included but we had some good ones. I had a blueberry compote and vodka drink called “The General’s Elixir.” Garnished with a sprig of rosemary for aroma. it was nice. My wife had a traditional sake box.

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We started with the seared toro – normally a $30 menu item. It was really nice, delicate, and packed with flavor and just a little bit of heat from the jalapenos.

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Then there was the Kate roll, which involved Alaskan king crab, salmon, and a cucumber wrap. Really fresh and delicious. We were sort of wishing that we tried the artichoke and hamachi app instead, but this roll was really good. If the Peking duck wasn’t to filling, we would have tried that as a third app.

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Then the shit hit the fucking fan, and this bitch came out to the party:

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Here’s the actual presentation after slicing, with the steamed buns and everything. This was one of the best Peking ducks we’ve ever had. The skin was crispy, yet juicy. The meat was tender and moist, packed with deliciousness. It came with sliced scallions, cucumbers, and pineapple. And that’s a little sauce pan of watery hoisin sauce to drizzle on your buns. Fuck yeah!

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The only down side: those beautiful red chili peppers were NOT sliced and presented with the duck. Sad.

The rice we ordered as a side was a bit greasy for our liking, but it was really tasty, with shrimp, Chinese sausage, a whole bunch of other yummy tid-bits, and topped with a fried egg. My wife makes a much better fried rice, but this was fine for me as a side.

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For dessert we shared an assortment of frozen treats and pops called “The General’s Freezer.” It was like they took inspiration from a little bit of everything you’d find on an ice cream truck (toasted almond, strawberry shortcake, ice cream sandwich, etc), elevated them to gourmet, miniaturized them, and served them in pairs so we could each try one. This was fun!

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Some decor:

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THE GENERAL IS CLOSED