Wheeeeeeee!!!! I’m a very happy blogger today! I’ve got tons of pictures to share, and I am filled to the brim with good food and great fun!
First of all, can I say how much I love New York City? Yes, it’s dirty and creepy. Yes, it’s got a permanent stink and the traffic crawls along like a limp frog. Yes, the people are rather unfriendly and sulky.
But I adore the warm bustle and never-ending hum of the city, the busy pedestrians of assorted ethnicity marching across in all directions, the absolute contempt for traffic stoplights, the efficient public transportation, the many eclectic hole-in-the-wall restaurants and shops…It is quite an exciting city! It’s the kind of place in which you wish you never needed to sleep, because there is just that much going on.
At my blogger meet-up with Karena from Run, Eat, Repeat and Rebecca from All Vegged Out, Karena recommended visiting the Chelsea Market. Chelsea market is an indoor food-shopping mall, and home of many Food Network offices. It’s also where Iron Chef America and Emeril Live was shot! How freaking cool is that? Of course I had to make a trip there!
At first glance, I was surprised by how run-down the building looked. But as I got closer I realized that was just the design of the building…It was designed to be artistic, hip, and urbane.
Welcome to the Chelsea Market!
Inside, I was amazed and entranced by the interior decorations. It was so unique and interesting. Glossy, yet not tacky at all.
It has got that historic industrial look and feel, if you know what I mean.
There was even a small fountain, and people threw pennies and dimes into the pool for good luck:
Seriously, I was like a kid in Candyland. My tongue was hanging out with eagerness and I sprinted from one place to the other, eyes wide with wonder. First place I hit was Eleni’s, a bakery that sells hand-painted art cookies and cupcakes:
This one was my favorite:
How adorable! But pricey for $2.50 each!
Next I stopped by Amy’s Bread:
I couldn’t resist buying something:
A mini-loaf of whole wheat walnut bread, and two semolina-fennel rolls.
The Lobster Place:
And Buon Italia, the source for all things Italian!
Sweet little fruit-shaped marzipans…
Of course I zoomed into the gnocchi section!
$2.35 for a package of spinach-potato gnocchi…Score!
I really wanted this kooky-shaped pasta, but the price was way too high…:-(
And a GIANT tub of Nutella! I took a shot of this just for our very own Nutella Queen, Debbie!
We also hit by Sarabeth’s Kitchen:
Only $1? I couldn’t resist buying this jar of cranberry relish for future sandwiches…
And look at this cute little baby pineapple I found at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange!
After all this touring of food, we got really, really hungry. There were also a few restaurants in Chelsea Market that boasted really scrumptious menus, but we already had a place in mind…
Ever heard of Ippudo? Apparently it’s got the best ramen in New York, so we decided to pay it a visit to see what the fuss is all about.
I was immediately impressed by the chic decorations:
But not so the dim yellowish lighting. Boooo for photography!! I think every restaurant should fix their lighting with food bloggers in mind, don’t you agree?
We started off with an appetizer which Jane treated:
Hirata buns, which is a pillowy white steamed bun filled with mayo, spicy chicken, and lettuce.
The bun was so soft and spongy and delicious! But I didn’t care much for the chicken inside…who leaves the rubbery skin on? Urgh, I can’t stand the pimply chicken skin unless it’s fried.
Jane ordered the miso ramen:
Soy bean paste ramen noodles soup, the “originial tonkatsu” based soup with sliced berkshire pork, minced pork, cabbage and scallions
I ordered the shoyu ramen:
Soy sauce flavored ramen noodles soup, a combination of chicken and tonkatsu soup, with slice of bershire pork, naruto, egg, cabbage, and scallions
The best way to eat it? First sip a spoonful of the rich, meaty, greasy broth…
And then pinch a bunch of springy ramen noodles with your chopsticks and sluuuuurrrrp it up! Ramen is one dish in which you are required to make a lot of noise! So, slurp slurp slurp!
Jane was too polite to slurp though…I was like a pig next to her, slurping with gusto while she daintily ladled her noodles into her spoon and nibbled.
But seriously. BEST NOODLE SOUP ever!!! I’ve never tried ramen so I’m not to judge, but if there is a better ramen than this, you bet I’ll be there faster than Sonic the Hedgehog!
I didn’t care much for the pork slices, though. It was just way too…porky and meaty and stinky, if you know what I mean.
Aaaaah…I am so contented right now, I can’t seem to wipe the silly beam off my face. Amazing food, great company, new adventures and experiences in a cool city…this is life!
Can you believe just half a year ago I locked myself in my own house, refusing to venture out except to exercise all my non-existent “fat” away, scared shitless of new adventures and challenges? I am so freaking glad I have finally popped out of my ED bubble.
And yes, I call it a bubble…because when you’re in that bubble, you are a delicate little thing, and just to reach through that thin watery wall seems to be the end of the world. Trapped in that bubble, the world outside seems so scary and skewed. But really, all it takes is one giant leap out, and that bubble will pop you free. I used to think it was impossible, but now I realize that it really is not such a big deal. One pop is all it takes! So reach out and grab for your future and life!
Question of the day: Do you make a lot of noise when you eat? I ask because being Korean, I slurp and chew and munch louder than a cow. But I know it’s not really polite in western cultures, though it is actually welcomed in Korea!
P.S. There will be a NY blogger meet-up on Thursday, 7pm at Green Pea. It’s at 435 5th Ave, between 38th & 39th Street. I’m announcing it now because a few of you have asked. Anybody is welcome!