Beard Papa’s is selling mouthwatering autumnal pumpkin cream puffs. They are filled with their signature cream custard but are topped with a fragrant pumpkin purée/Belgian white chocolate paste and a few pumpkin seeds. This special treat reminds me of a mont-blanc aux marrons.
Beard Papa’s (Upper West Side)
New York NY 10024
This can of stewed whale meat that I bought at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo has been sitting in my cupboard for almost four months. So often I buy special things and don’t use them because I want to wait for a “special occasion”. I don’t know what came over me yesterday but, even though it was just a regular old Wednesday afternoon, I decided to open the can of whale!
The Minamoto Kitchoan kiosk at Mitsuwa in New Jersey is selling a special hands-on summer wagashi. I think it’s arrowroot with agar agar and extra water, mizu. The jelly prism is placed inside a plastic box and pushed through a screen that cuts it into small, spaghetti-like ribbons. A small packet of molasses is included and could be used as a sauce for the jelly noodles. The whole set is only $6.
I want to go back again tonight for more delicious meat skewers. They had hatsu (chicken heart) and bonjiri (chicken tail), my favorite yakitori items.
255 W 55th Street
New York NY 10019
Elmhurst’s Ayada restaurant is really proud of their raw shrimp salad. Their front window is wallpapered with New York Times articles that ranked it as one of the top 100 New York snacks. It is served with raw bitter melon slices, raw garlic, and a raw carrot salad in the middle.
I thought it was nice and spicy with a great brininess, but the sweetness was missing. No balance. I wonder if the chili and lime concoction that was covering each shrimp could have benefited from a little bit of jaggery.
I will probably never order it again and I give it 6 out of 10.
77-08 Woodside Ave
Elmhurst NY 11373
Kenka in the East Village has a special menu featuring raw tuna bones, bull penis, turkey testicles, a “cheap” okonomiyaki, and many other wonderful things. We ordered the bull penis and turkey testicles last night to celebrate a special homecoming.
My favorite was the turkey testicles. They had a wonderful flavor and texture. The first thing I thought of was a White Hot Snappy Griller, a pork hotdog that is sold in upstate New York. The testicles weren’t chewy or tough — they were tender and had a nice outer casing to them that broke easily between my teeth. I wish I had gotten a take out order of them for breakfast this morning!