ChikaLicious, New York City

ChikaLicous, NYC

If you have a massive sweet tooth like my friend JM, then you must check out ChikaLicious, a 3-course dessert bar in NYC.

The establishment is a fun and intimate 20-seat restaurant that does not take reservations. They have a friendly doorkeeper managing traffic in +  out, gracefully telling drop ins how long it will be before a table is ready.

When JM suggested this place after our dinner, I didn't think I had it in me to eat a 3-course dessert. "Don't worry! The portions aren't that big," she says to me. And she convinces me to eat while I am insanely stuffed...AGAIN!

The 3-course dessert meal costs $16, where you get an amuse bouche, a dessert of your choice, and assorted petit fours to end your meal. The desserts at ChickaLicious are described as "American Style Dessert, with French presentation, and Japanese tasting portions". There are normally 6 dessert choices on the menu, with everyone in mind. A really good mix of light and rich desserts.

Our amuse bouche for the evening was a basil seed mango salad with basil sorbet. I don't see basil seeds used a lot, so that was cool. This was a dessert that wasn't overly sweet, which was a good way to start our meal.

Basil Sorbet
Basil Seed Mango Salad with Basil Sorbet

My dessert of choice was the kiwi marinated in lavendar topped with coconut sorbet and a crispy Kataifi made of phyllo dough. I wanted light and this was the perfect choice.

Kiwi Marinated in Lavendar
Kiwi Marinated in Lavendar

JM opted for the warm chocolate tart with pink peppercorn ice cream and red wine sauce. She wanted rich, and that is what she got!

Warm Chocolate Tart
Warm Chocolate Tart

S had the toasted almond panna cotta with peach tea sorbet and frosted almonds

Toasted Almond Panna Cotta
Toasted Almond Panna Cotta

SM had the Necatrine terrine on pecan sandie wafer with buttermilk ice cream and maple syrup.

Nectarine Terrine
Nectarine Terrine

Our petit fours for the evening were coconut marshmallows, white Genova sponge cake with Grand Marnier, and chocolate sable cookies. This was my favorite course of the entire meal. A delightfully sweet ending!

Assorted Petit Fours
Coconut Marshmallows, White Genova Sponge Cake, and Chocolate Sable Cookies

203 East 10th Street
New York, NY United States
Telephone: 212-475-0929

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Caracas Arepa Bar, New York City

Caracas Arepa Bar, New York City

Right across the street from Porchetta is a Venezuelan arepa bar, called Caracas. I actually had no clue what an arepa was until I set foot in this place. My hosts in New York City were from Venezuela, and they insisted that I try an arepa before I left.

Caracas has both a take-away and a sit down joint, side by side. Our hosts were in a bit of a rush, so we opted for the take-away place. They do have tables at the take-away restaurant, so we quickly ate our food there and went on with our day.

Caracas has 4 locations in New York. One in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, and one in Queens. I'm not sure what the other locations are like, but the take-away restaurant in Manhattan was a very charming and ecclectic place with a WHOLE lot of energy.

Caracas Arepa Bar, New York City

As soon as I walked in, I felt like I had left New York, and stepped into Venezuela. Latin music was blaring, the staff were all speaking Spanish, and the decor and bright colors of the place screamed Latin America!

At each table, was a jar of aji sauce, which we poured onto everything we ate. Aji sauce is a blend of tomatoes, cilantro, and hot peppers. Venezuelan food, surprisingly, is very mild so adding this sauce to our food was a nice addition.

Caracas Arepa Bar, New York City

We started by sharing a plate of tequeños, deep fried Venezuelan cheese sticks. This, with a whole lot of aji sauce was awesome!


So what is an arepa you ask? The arepa is a thick cornmeal patty that kind of resembles an English muffin. They are not as fluffy and soft as an English muffin, but chewier and more dense. They are filled with all sorts of fillings and you eat them like a sandwich.

I ordered the La de Pernil arepa. This was filled with roasted pork shoulder, tomato slices, and a spicy mango sauce. As mentioned, Venezuelan food is quite mild so even the spicy mango sauce wasn't all that spicy.

La de Pernil Arepa
La De Pernil Arepa

J ordered Los Muchachos, an arepa filled with grilled chorizo, spicy white cheese, jalapenos, and sauteed peppers.

Los Muchachos Arepa
Los Muchachos Arepa

F orders the same thing everytime, which is the De Pabellón arepa: shredded beef, black beans, white salty cheese, and sweet plantains.

De Pabellon Arepa
De Pabellón Arepa

My first Venezuelan experience was definitely a positive one. As mentioned, I was definitely suprised at how mild the dishes were.

93 E 7th Street
New York, New York
Telephone: 212-529-2314

Caracas Arepa Bar on Urbanspoon

Porchetta, New York City

Porchetta, New York City

I recently got back from a trip to New York City where I met up with a few old friends, met a few new friends, and ate myself silly!

One of my most memorable meals in NYC had to be at Porchetta, a super casual joint that specializes in one thing: Slowwww Roasted Pork.
I originally didn't want to come here because I was insanely stuffed. We had just eaten lunch across the street, and my friend, JM, insisted that I couldn't leave NYC without trying a porchetta sandwich. "All you have to do is take a bite", she says. "We'll walk around for a bit and before you know it, you'll be hungry again and can eat the rest later." I hate saying no to food, so I reluctantly agreed. Boy, am I glad I said yes!

Porchetta is a traditional Italian pork street food sold from a cart or truck. As defined on their website, porchetta is "roasted pork with crispy skin, highly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, garlic, sage, rosemary and wild fennel pollen. Typical plate of the Roman cuisine. Slow cooked Italian fast food."

Porchetta's pork is sourced from Niman Ranch, where the pigs are raised without the use of growth hormones and antibiotics.

Porchetta, New York City

Their sandwiches are served in a white ciabatta bun, and stuffed with pork 3 ways: lean loin, fatty belly, and crispy skin. The sandwiches are served without condiments, as they believe it should be good enough on its own. But, if you are totally craving for sauce, mustard and hot sauce is available.

Porchetta Sandwich

I was pleasantly surprised when I took a bite. It looked a bit dry, but it was anything but. And they are totally right when they say the sandwich does not need condiments. The pork is so seasoned so well, you really don't want to taint the aromatic flavors by adding sauce.

110 East 7th Street
New York City, New York 10009
Telephone: 212-777-2151

Porchetta on Urbanspoon

Silken Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Egg

Silken Tofu with Pork Floss and Century Egg

Yes, I am posting this dish for the 'fear factor'. It's likely going to gross most of you out, and that's ok! That's probably the normal reaction.

This is a cold dish of silken tofu and century egg, aka preserved duck egg. The color of the egg comes from the the clay and ash that it is preserved in. The tofu is topped with pork floss, and the dish is served in a pool of dark soy sauce.

Do I recommend this dish to the general public? No. Do I dare you to try it? You bet.

Although I like this dish, I don't recommend it because it truly is an acquired taste situation. You really have to love each component of this dish to truly appreciate it. The most bizarre parts of this dish are probably the texture of the pork floss, and that black, rotten looking egg, whose name implies that it has been sitting around for 100 years!

You can find this dish at Din Tai Fung, an awesome dumpling restaurant scattered across Asia and Australia.

You can also check out my previous meal at Din Tai Fung here.