The London Fox | Currently on sabbatical in New York City

Month: May, 2013

Cheeky snack

On the way back to the den one day, I stumbled upon a small Chinese snack store called Biang!. Feeling rather peckish from the day’s activities, I thought I’d go and grab a quick snack to satisfy the hungerbeast.

Biang! is the second venture of some college graduate who made it big into the New York food scene by opening a Western Chinese restaurant in Flushing called Xi’an Famous Foods. After making some headlines, Biang! was created, offering similar servings to the tourists, financiers and media moguls of Midtown West (there are other locations in Chinatown, East Village and Brooklyn too). I’ve always been a big fan of the cumin-riddled, meaty, steamy, noodle-filled dishes from that region of China. The menu is cheap and simple. Anything from lamb buns to offal noodles are on offer here. There’s just something so comforting about it all.

I went for a modest serving of one lamb bun and jasmine iced tea. Did the trick marvellously…

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Biang!
45th & 6th

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Lower East Side

Filthy, smelly, and in real need of a good wipe, the Lower East Side (or LES if you’re a real New Yawker) is the arse crack of Manhattan. Albeit quite a delicious arse crack, and one the London Fox like to venture down to for a quick taste every now and then…

I have been to the LES on several occasions before and last night decided to revisited several of my favourite spots. Drinks at the Stanton Social: a very chilled out, quite chic restaurant/bar kicked off the evening’s proceedings. My first poison was the Brooklyn Lemonade which tasted like soup. My second was the Cucumber-Vanilla Cosmopolitan a lovely light drink, and not too sweet (I actually swapped this for my initial order of the Basil-Lime Gimlet, which also tasted like soup. I think the barman may also be a chef).

It was a cold night, but we braved the (very) short walk to Family Recipe on Eldridge. I had been here about three months ago by chance and was thoroughly impressed by the simple but tasty menu. Our bellies already quite full with soup from the Stanton Social, we decided to order some light appetizers to share. The shrimp salad was a deliciously light plate, complementing the Ginger Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings perfectly. Then came the Heritage Pork Belly Buns which were gorgeously tender the last time I had them but disappointingly undercooked this time round.

A selection of Family Recipe’s delights:

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The night ended with one more drink at Beauty and Essex, probably one of my favourite bars in NYC so far. I’m a sucker for high ceilings and grand lighting, and B&E has both in excess. It is a busy spot on weekends so worth booking in advance.

As always, a stellar evening spent in the LES. The Fox will be back again for another taste soon…

Stanton Social
Stanton & Ludlow

Family Recipe
Eldridge & Stanton

Beauty and Essex
Essex and Stanton

 

Wake up, Mr. Fox

The London Fox wakes from his hibernation. The winter in New York was cold, harsh and long. A chink of light teases his eyelids open making him yawn. The murmur of traffic outside his New York apartment starts to clarify into a familiar street symphony. The regular march of car engines and the short hiss of the local bus starting and stopping play the percussion line. The harsh ambulance siren, so much louder than the London melody…crescendo then diminuendo. Against it, the brass band of car horns play purposefully out of rhythm to the time signature of the rest of the traffic.

The London Fox smiles. How he has missed the New York tune.

I’ve been busy exploring, tasting, hosting, capturing and hosting some more lately and have had little time to document all these experiences. It seems that when you move to New York you become some kind of hotel and tour guide to everyone you know. Well, that’s fine because it gives me an excuse to try new things.

Spring has almost ended here in NYC, and the Summer promises to be hot and humid and full of pleasurable offerings. Speaking of which, I wanted to write about one particularly great restaurant of which I have become somewhat of a regular patron.

Catch sits on top of a makeup store in the middle of the Meatpacking district (a glossy, pretentious spot where models and bankers frequent). A part of the EM Group empire, who is responsible for most of New York’s hotspots, Catch is predominantly a seafood restaurant with a random top floor bar.

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Fish tacos

The great thing about Catch is how cool it is. Not too try-hard, with just the right amount of bare-walled New Yorkness. And oh, the food is delectable. One side of the menu offers sharers, while the other serves larger portions of fish. The cuisine is mainly Japanese sushi/robata with a few curve balls kicked in like fish tacos and lobster. The closest thing we have in London is probably Roka (which I love).

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Cook-it-yourself wagyu beef

I’ve been to fancier places, I’ve been to cooler places with better food. However, if I were to take a group of people out here in the City for a nice dinner, Catch is the first place that comes to mind.

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The lobster mash – to die for

Catch
W13th & 9th