if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere

Long overdue but I made a trip up to NYC for my birthday weekend, and I had a blast! As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s impossible to get bored of this gutsy and spunky city. The great Frank Sinatra boldly asserted, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” And if that Frank Sinatra sang it, it must be true.

Here is a list of all the places I visited this time around:

  • La Bergamote | 177 9th Ave
  • Intelligentsia Coffee | 180 10th Ave
  • The High Line | Chelsea
  • Chelsea Piers | 62 Chelsea Piers
  • Chelsea Market | 75 9th Ave
  • Jungsik | 2 Harrison St
  • Prince Street Pizza | 27 Prince St
  • McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince St
  • Boba Guys | 265 Canal St
  • Dermalogica | 110 Grand St
  • La Colombe | 70 Lafayette St
  • MatchaBar | 70 Prince St
  • Angel’s Share | 8 Stuyvesant St
  • Torishin | 362 W 53rd St
  • Lady M Cake Boutique | 36 W 40th St
  • Bryant Park | Midtown
  • Kinokuniya New York | 1073 6th Ave
  • Muji | 475 5th Ave
  • New York Public Library | 476 5th Ave
  • Katz’s Deli | 205 E Houston St
  • Dr. Smood | 183 E Houston St
  • Setsugekka | 74 E 7th St

For this trip, I made my very first YouTube video with a montage/compilation of the majority of places I checked out in NYC. I’ve always been interested in videography and have wanted to get into it as a hobby for a couple of years now. My career is very technical and I am very much a left-brained person; however, I have longed craved to be more creative and artistic. I am someone who believes that a person should never stop learning, and I love to challenge myself both personally and professionally. I am looking forward to learning more about cameras, film-making, and editing and working on my techniques.

Please check out my video below and let me know what you think!

As always, I will be leaving a trail of photos but I also really want to highlight two new restaurants: Jungsik and Torishin.

Jungsik

The signature tasting menu includes 9 courses at $225 per person. If you opt for the wine pairing, it is an additional $180 per person. The current signature tasting menu includes:

  • Osetra caviar
  • Foie gras mandoo
  • Octopus
  • Black cod
  • Tuna kimbap
  • Galbi
  • Yuja
  • Baby banana
  • Soy sesame

We started with Jungsik’s version of banchan, or Korean small side dishes. There were five, to be eaten in a clockwise direction. Despite being very small, each dish was packed full of layered flavors and set up excited expectations for the rest of the meal.

Banchan
Banchan

While everything was fabulous, my favorite courses were the foie gras mandoo (served with wagyu in a fantastic broth); octopus (served with gochujang and oh so tender); black cod (again, very tender); and tuna kimbap (love the contrasting texture of the crispy seaweed wrap against the tuna).

Foie gras mandoo
Foie gras mandoo
Octopus.jpg
Octopus
Black cod.jpg
Black cod
Tuna kimbap.jpg
Tuna kimbap
Galbi.jpg
Galbi

My favorite of the desserts was the baby banana dish due to its interactive presentation and flawless execution of what looks like a real banana, but in actuality is made of banana Bailey’s cake and ganache. This is served alongside coffee ice cream. When the server brings the dessert to the table, the “banana” is presented in a basket of fruits which you have to gingerly take out and place on your dish. Very creative!

Baby banana.jpg
Baby Banana dessert
Soy sesame dessert.jpg
Soy sesame dessert with toy

As someone who loves traditional Korean cuisine, I was awed by Jungsik’s contemporary take that blends in its Korean heritage inspiration with European (mostly French) techniques. Food here is complex, playful, and thoroughly enjoyable. Service is also impeccable, with our server being incredibly professional but also actively engaging. Jungsik is very deserving of their two Michelin stars.

Torishin

If you are a fan of chicken parts sizzling over a binchotan grill, this is the spot for you. We all went with Chef’s Omakase, which includes some appetizers, 10 skewers, a rice dish, and a dessert. At $70/person, I think it’s a reasonable price tag for so much quality food. You will definitely get full.

The first couple of dishes were pickled vegetables, daikon, and some seasonal appetizers. Then came everyone’s favorite part – the skewers! My favorites were the chicken meatballs, breast with plum and shiso, chicken oysters, and pork belly. For the rice dish, we chose the oyako don (chicken and egg over rice). It was delicious, and I wish I could find something similar back home. Finally for dessert, I went with the crème brûlée trio.

Chicken breast shiso leaf.jpg
Chicken breast wrapped in shiso leaf
Chicken meatballs.jpg
Chicken meatballs
Chicken oyster.jpg
Chicken oyster

All in all, the food was phenomenal and the service was warm and hospitable. It didn’t feel stuffy here at all – the perfect place to catch up and celebrate with friends or impress your parents. Not to mention, it does wear a beloved Michelin Star. If you like yakitori like me, definitely try Torishin!

More NYC …

Chocolate almond croissant.jpg
Chocolate almond croissant and coffee, La Bergamote
img_5162
Tea for Two, Angel’s Share
img_5159
Tea for Two, Angel’s Share
img_5156
Flirtibird, Angel’s Share
img_5155
Angel’s Share
img_5156
The High Line
img_5105
The High Line
Rose latte.jpg
Rose latte, MatchaBar
Pastrami sandwiches.jpg
Pastrami sandwiches and matzo ball soup, Katz’s Deli
Iced matcha watermelon.jpg
Iced matcha watermelon drinks, Setsugekka

What are some of your musts/go-tos in New York City? Let me know in the comments! I always look forward to checking out new places in the Big Apple.

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