Macro Food

Our plan to eat at 15East (as recommended by my cousin) failed because of the long delay on our flight into New York. Our first meal was sushi take out (yay for technology!) delivered to our hotel because we were famished and tired.

Scroll to the very bottom for restaurant information.

We had lots of delicious food in New York, so much so that we didn't really get to try street food like we intended. Not all the food had pictures taken, either because of lighting or I was too preoccupied with eating. (Or I didn't want to pull out my camera and take food pictures at my first meal with someone.)

Our first proper meal was brunch at Colicchio & Sons as chosen by my cousin, the expert foodie. They had some delicious buns with chorizo butter. Yes, the butter had chunks of sausage in it. (The only way butter could possibly be better.) We had some pizza as appetizers and our entire table ended up ordering for entrée either soft-shelled crab or pan fried skate. Everything was delicious.

Thankfully my cousin understands my need to document everything for posterity. Everyone else just put up with my food photo taking.

My new camera lens, as you can see, is amazing for taking food porn. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of focusing with it though.

For dinner we went to Quality Meats, my cousin's favourite steak restaurant in New York. No pictures of the deliciously huge porterhouse steak because lighting was near non-existent inside. They make their own steak sauce right in front of you, with a little mortar and pestle.

The next day's lunch was at Les Halles in the financial district, chosen solely for its association at one time with Anthony Bourdain. The deviled eggs above are the best I have ever eaten. Deliciously creamy. We had some decidedly French food: duck confit and moules-frites. The salad with the duck confit had little bits of fried potatoes in it and the most delicious vinaigrette ever.

We had a light dinner of croissant sandwiches that night at Le Pain Quotidien's Central Park location. We were both I think still digesting the steak from the earlier night.

The next day we met my boyfriend's extended family for brunch and dinner. Brunch was at Le Philosophe, a cute little French with very delicious food. They had an appetizer of fresh small radishes with coarse sea salt and Dijon mustard butter that was amazing. It looked a little strange at first but tasted superbly fresh and tangy. I ate a croque madame because I felt hungry (didn't end up finishing it though, because as it turned out I wasn't that hungry) and wanted to eat something with an egg.

Dinner was at Ninja New York. The theme appeared to be as much fire and dry ice, as the theatrical stereotype of ninjas. The steak was really good, the sushi was really good, the edamame came with blue led lights and dry ice, and there's a cocktail which comes with a rubber shuriken. Also magic tricks. At some point I stopped taking pictures because I had to concentrate on finishing the ungodly amount of food.

15East (

We didn't actually eat here, but I thought I'd include it anyways because it came highly recommended by my cousin. Pricy but to be expected for a fancy Japanese restaurant with a Michelin Star located in New York. According to my cousin, the thing to do is to phone in and reserve a spot at the counter for omakase. Online says omakase is $140 per person.

Colicchio & Sons (

Nice chic restaurant with the sort of renovated factory look that's popular nowadays. Although it New York it's more likely because there's simply a lot of very old buildings. The food is excellent and decently priced, about $25 average for a lunch entrée. The décor is nice, service is good, and food is a good mix of bar-food style staples with a twist. So pizza with bacon, but also with peas and béchamel sauce. Pan fried fish, except it's skate. It's also located next to one of the entrances to Chelsea Market which makes it easy to work into your tourist plan.

Quality Meats (

Fancy restaurant with a delicious dry aged porterhouse steak and lots of side choices. Around $50 per person for steak but it is a lot of food. Their porterhouse is recommended for two but could easily feed three. They have a great selection of a modern fusion take on the classic steak sides. Case in point, their corn crème brulee. The atmosphere is great and they make the steak sauce right at your table.

Les Halles (

French brasserie style restaurant with two locations in New York. They are apparently known for their steaks but everything else is pretty good. Their bread is baked fresh and their fried potatoes are the perfect balance between crispy and soft. Average around $25 for lunch. It's a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with delicious French food.

Le Pain Quotidien (

A chain with many locations through out the US and a lot in New York. There is one located in Central Park with outdoor seating that I highly recommend. We went to one for dinner and one for a light midday snack. They have very fresh food and especially fresh breads. (The croissant is really good.) Their style is fresh food made with fresh ingredients, and they put the focus on their daily baked breads. All the menu items have calories listed, which I thought was interesting. Good prices for lots of great fresh food with a slight French influence.

Le Philosophe (

Amazing little French diner in a quiet part of New York with cobble stone streets. Very authentically French (as in French waiters) and great food. Highly recommend their radish from the "Assiettes a Partager". Price hovering above and below $20 for brunch items.

Ninja New York (

Yes it's gimmicky but it's also fun and has pretty good food with generous portions. The prices may look a little high, but once in factor in the size of the portions and consider that it's located in New York, it's actually pretty decent. Their shtick is sudden loud yells, audience participation, fire, dry ice, more fire, and some more dry ice.  Get the Ninja Star Martini for a rubber shuriken to satisfy your inner child and outer adult. (Tastes somewhat of lychee...)

Sushi at Shiro's

In somewhat of a Christmas Miracle, both my cousin and I were in the same town just after New Year's. Seeing that we're both foodies and gluttons, what better way to celebrate both our birthdays, the new year, Christmas and just seeing each other after such a long while.... than to have some delicious food!


First though we spent the day doing some touristy spots in Seattle. We went to the aquarium to see some cute sea critters (before we were due to eat some delicious sea critters later that night).


We ended up all ordering the sushi omakase. It was so much food! First course of white fish, then some delicious matsutake soup in a tea pot and a cold appetizer of grilled salmon belly. Then it was three more pieces of sushi, various cuts of salmon. Then delicious tuna and seared chutoro, and a slightly old fashioned nigiri where the tuna was aged and marinated a bit.

Then it was finished by a large plate of various sushi: anego, uni ikura, amaebi, geoduck, saba, cucumber and  umeboshi roll, and salmon roll. And the most impressive piece on the plate: the tamagoyaki that had the texture of a dense Castella cake. It was sweet, eggy and unbelievably delicious and unlike any tamagoyaki I ever had.


It took some real effort to finish all that food! I was full until well past the next morning. Each piece was super yummy and each piece was just the right size. Even looking at the pictures now I'm starting to drool...

Christmas in Vegas

I spent this year's Christmas and the few days before New Year's in Las Vegas with my boyfriend. It was mostly random walks through all the hotels and casinos, enjoying the winter displays. I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, I blame it on the cold and a general end-of-year laziness.


We also took a day trip to the Grand Canyon. The bus ride wasn't too bad, driver was mildly entertaining and there was an audio guide talking about the history of the area. I mostly just slept since it left early in the morning. There was a quick stop over the "new" bridge to see the Hoover Dam.

The trip we chose was to the West side of the Grand Canyon where the Skywalk was, on Hualapai reserve land.  You are not allowed to bring anything with you onto the glass platform. Partially for safety reasons, mainly so you have to buy the photographs they take of you. They also make you put on little cloth shoe covers to avoid scratching the (already visibly scuffed) glass.

The Skywalk was cool but once I was standing on it, not as scary or impressive as my first impression. The glass did flex a little bit when some people decided to lightly jump.

Ending this post with a picture spam of all the food I ate. (Pictures vary greatly in quality depending on the lighting at the time.)


Favourite and fanciest dinner of oysters and beef wellington at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant. 


Six Feet Under

The third day in Rome was rainy and gray, and as a result there's pretty much no pictures in this post.

In the morning we went to see "Bocca della Verità", or the "mouth of truth". Apparently this worn down piece of stone is famous for having been featured in the movie "Roman Holiday".

After that we took a bus, past the city walls of old Rome, to one of the many catacombs scattered around the outskirts of Rome. Burials were not allowed within the city walls of ancient Rome. Le Catacombe di San Callisto is known for having up to 16 popes buried there, among other martyrs and other figures in early Christianity. The Catacombs are managed by a monastic order that offers guided tours in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

Since it was an "indoor day", our next stop was Basilica di San Clemente. This church is extremely interesting structurally due to the present church being built on an earlier converted church built in the 1st and 2nd centuries, and below that are foundations from a building during the Roman Republic. It's quite amazing and the stairs go down several levels to reach the lower levels. It was used for a period as a "safe house" of sorts and there is a trench where a fresh water spring was directed to run.

I thought I took pictures but it turns out I didn't.

In keeping with the "dead people" theme of the day, next stop was "The Protestant Cemetery" or "Cimitero Acattolico" (non-Catholic cemetery). It is located near the Pyramid of Cestius. The cemetery contains the tombs of non-Catholic foreigners, in particular, the graves of famous English poets Keats and Shelley.

Then it was off to one of the many famous plazas of Rome. The Piazza del Popolo ("People's Square") is famous for its symmetrical layout featuring a relocated Egyptian obelisk in the middle of the plaza, and flanked visually by twin churches (Santa Maria del Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto) at the entrance.

It can be extremely difficult to get a good shot here due to the high number of tourists milling about. The road does slope up a  bit facing the churches, so I recommend standing back more, almost to the archway.

To tie it into our theme of the day, Piazza del Popolo used to be one of the chosen executions sites of the Papal state during the 18th and 19th centuries. The public executions consisted of everything from simple beheading to hanging and quartering. 

It was here that I had the most expensive cup of cappuccino I have ever had in my entire life. I was feeling a bit unwell due to the cold and dampness, and desperately needed to sit down somewhere warm and have a hot drink. Unfortunately I chose Rosati, a famous cafe open since 1923. I suppose it was nice to see the atmosphere but I don't fancy paying 8 euros for a small cup of coffee. The cappuccino was indeed very good, but I don't see any particular reason to patronize this cafe unless either you have money to burn or really like fancy atmospheres.

After that it was to the famous "Spanish Steps" at Piazza di Spagna. Story goes that it used to be a famous spot for pretty girls to linger in hopes of catching the eyes of a painter. Later on, supposedly it was to try and catch the interests of famous movie directors.

There is of course also the famous scene from Roman Holiday of Audrey Hepburn on the steps.

The famous fountain, Fontana della Barcaccia, by Bernini was unfortunately undergoing restoration work, and so had was covered by rather ugly scaffolding.

The streets leading up to the Spanish Steps are all occupied by couture and luxury brands. Peddlers just steps away were hawking counterfeit goods. I wasn't there to shop, but had to stop to take a picture of the Dior store front.

A little ways away, there was a cart selling roasted chestnuts! A warm and welcome reprieve from the seeping coldness. I also finally manage to get a nice clear picture of one of the many Fiats roaming the streets of Italy.

Dinner that night was pizza! One seafood pizza and one with zucchini and prosciutto. The next day was to be the last in Rome and Italy.


Airplane Food

A quick post of the food on the airplanes to and from Italy. We traveled there on KLM, which had some of the best service ever. I actually had to turn away water since they kept hydrating us so much. The entertainment system was also quite nice and the staff were super friendly. They even gave us a (delicious) sandwich and two drink services on the short hop to Italy from our transfer in Amsterdam.

Also European airlines are awesome because they had small size cans of pop and beer.

The short flight back to Amsterdam from Rome was through Altalia and was probably the worst experience I've ever had on a plane ever. The air attendants and ground staff were rude and unfriendly. They forced us to check our luggage even though we arrived in Italy through a similarly sized KLM plane, and messed up the final destination of our baggage. If not for being overly cautious and checking the baggage carrousel at Amsterdam, I would have probably lost my suitcase. Thankfully it was soon back to KLM for the flight back home.