Chinese on the cheap

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, the day that we scare off the ghosts and celebrate luck, welfare and success. In my family we always exchange red envelopes with yellow coins inside. Red is supposed to scare the ghosts away and yellow brings luck. We celebrate this with a big Chinese dinner party at my parent’s home or in a restaurant. With lots of Chinese food off course. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? And if so, do you eat Chinese on Chinese New Year? If yes, here are some of my favorite no frills Chinese spots on the cheap that you might consider: 

Cafe China New York

1. Cafe China (13 East 37th street, between 5th avenue and Madisson avenue. Midtown East). $$

To my knowledge, this authentic Sichuan restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant where you can have a two course meal for less than $10 (11.30 am -3 pm Monday- Friday). If you like spicy, order the Tree pepper chicken, Spicy Cumin Lamb or Ma Po Tofu and Pork Dumplings on the side. If you’re not into spicy, have some Tea Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Broccoli. 

Cafe China New York

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Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle

LAM ZHOU HANDMADE NOODLE (144 East Broadway, between Pike street and East Broadway. Chinatown). $ 

After over 5 months, I am finally able to try out some new Noodle place in New York city. This afternoon I had lunch at Lam Zhou Handmade noodle. The noodles here are handmade in right in front of you. It can’t be any fresher. And even better, the fairly large bowls are very very cheap. I paid $6.00 for my roasted pork chop noodle bowl. Certainly not a romantic fine dining experience, but not bad at all considering it’s price. 


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Punjabi Grocery and Deli

PUNJABI GROCERY AND DELI (114 East 1st street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A. East Village). $

This authentic Indian deli and takeout is definitely good value for money. A buffet of typical Indian dishes in rich and spicy flavors. There is no seating or service, but you can’t expect this for a $4 meal anyway. Would skip the naan. 

Punjabi Grocery and Deli New York

Punjabi Grocery and Deli New York

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Dinner @ De Stadskantine

DE STADSKANTINE (Van Woustraat 120. Amsterdam- Zuid/ de Pijp). 

I just returned from the Stadskantine. This self-service restaurant without much ambiance, offers daily changing main courses (including salad) for just €8,85. The choices are limited to a fish meal, meat meal or vegetarian meal. Today there was a choice between Goulash with potatoes, Fish cake or Cannelloni stuffed with pumpkin and sweet potatoes. We ordered the fish and vegetarian dish. 

De Stadskantine Amsterdam

De Stadskantine Amsterdam

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6 x Dim sum brunch

Having a dim sum brunch is something that I like to do with a group of friends. Sharing small Chinese dishes is a fun inexpensive way (most of the dishes are under $5) to try different kinds of food. These are the places I go to: 

1. JING FONG (20 Elizabeth street and Canal street, between Canal street and Bayard street. Chinatown)

$$ Food *** Ambiance ***

Jing Fong is one of the most well-known dim sum restaurants in New York City. This is a restaurant where I like to take my visitors from Europe to. Those who have never been to Asia or a dim sum restaurant are often quite impressed by the massive size of the banquet hall full of Asians and servers pushing around assorted carts. The majority of dim sum dishes at Jing Fong are very basic such as Siu Mai, Har Kau, Chicken Feets, Congee, Spring Rolls, Rice Rolls and Fried Shrimp Balls. I wouldn’t go here for outstanding dishes, outstanding service or a romantic date (it happens quite often that you will be sharing the table with a bunch of strangers) but it’s a fun place to go for an authentic Honk Kong feel dim-sum experience. 

Jing Fong New York Dimsum Chinatown

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5 Fried Chickens

Last month I posted some pictures of my favorite organic chickens in the City and how a simple piece of chicken can be raised to a whole other level of the idea of chicken. At the same time, I am also hooked to greasy fried chicken wings which. Due to budget reasons, I actually eat fried chicken a lot more often than the upscale organic ones. Here is my top 5 (in random order): 

1. BLUE RIBBON FRIED CHICKEN (48, East 1st street & 2nd Avenue. East Village)

$ Food **** Ambiance ***

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is one of the restaurants of the Blue Ribbon Empire. You can find blue ribbon fried chicken in their East village location, or at the Brooklyn Bowl. Their East Village spot is a sort of fast-food restaurant. KFC-like but better. Since the fried chicken ($1.75 and up) was quite disappointing according to the daily news, it did not expect much when eating here. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the my fried wings. The skin was somewhat dry compared to the chicken places as described below, but I liked the spicy taste of it.

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Brooklyn Bowl New York

Chicken wings from Blue Ribbon

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5 x Dumplings


Depending on where you go, Asian dumplings are some of the cheapest delicious snacks available in New York City. Taste wise, it doesn’t really matter where you u get them because they all taste similar (at least to me). The price point on the other hand, can differ but mostly it varies from cheap to super cheap. Here are three well- known places I want to share with you: Continue Reading →

My top 3 organic chickens

In some of my previous posts, I told you about some great chicken bites I ate. Although I am hooked to fried and greasy chicken wings (will post about this later), I can also rave about a more natural simple piece of organic cooked or roasted chicken. If executed well, a simple piece of cooked chicken can be such big threat for your belly. 

Here’s a short sum up of my top 3 organic chickens so far (in random order): Continue Reading →

My birthday meals

Lunch @ MINCA ramen factory (536 East 5th Street, between Avenue A and Avenue B. East Village, Alphabet City). 

$$ Food *** Ambiance ***

Yesterday was my birthday and like every year, I celebrated it with food. In the Chinese culture, it’s a tradition to eat “long life” noodles for your birthday as a symbol for the many years ahead of you.

Minca Ramen Factory New York

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Where to find 18 top (ham)burgers

New York is a mecca for hamburger lovers. I think I never ate so many hamburgers in one year. If you’re up for a hamburger, don’t go to Mac Donald’s or Burger King, because there are so many better ones such as:

1.UMAMI BURGER (432, 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas, between West 9th and West 10th street. West Village)

$$ Food ***** Ambiance ***

Umami burger is a hamburger chain somewhere in between a fast food joint and a real restaurant. Their hamburgers are heaven, the best in New York I think.

Umami has about ten different burgers to choose from. My personal favorite calorie bomb (almost a thousand calories) is the Truffle Burger;a blend of beef with roasted garlic aioli, house made truffle cheese and truffle glaze ($12).

My second favorite one is the 5 Spice Duck Burger, also a calorie bomb. The 5 spice Duck Burger is not listed on the menu, you have to ask your server for it

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