Chuan Tian Xia – Pork with Garlic Sauce

Instagram Post 9/20/2018

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Sichuan restaurants are rare in Brooklyn’s Chinatown and Chuan Tian Xia at 5502 7th Ave is the newest in Sunset Park. First in a series, here’s an attractive presentation of Pork with Garlic Sauce; cucumber slabs provided the foundation for this creative bit of architecture.
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 5

Instagram Post 9/12/2018

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The last photoset from our recent amazing dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem – until I go back for more, that is!

[1] Jollof Rice with Chicken. And a hard-boiled egg. Accra’s jollof rice, the widely celebrated and beloved tomato-based West African triumph and a source of both pride and dispute among African nations as to whose version is best, was delicious as was the chicken.
[2] Pounded Yam Fufu and Okra. This time, the fufu is yam rather than cassava; different but equally tasty. The okra soup is delicious although mucilaginous – an acquired taste, or perhaps an acquired texture. Generally my advice to those who are new to okra soup is to try to think past the consistency and just focus on the wonderful flavor!
[3] Wakey (you might see waakye) with Fried Whiting and Gari. Waakye is Ghana’s culinary claim to fame; similar to West Indian rice and peas, it’s made with rice and black eyed peas or cowpeas. Gari is dried, ground cassava, a little like Brazilian manioc, but unique. And tasty fried whiting – what’s not to like?!

I’ll post the detailed story about our incredible experience as well as a roundup of everything we ate soon.
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 4

Instagram Post 9/10/2018

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But wait! There’s more! More photos from our recent incredible dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem, that is. Continuing the cavalcade of food we loved….

[1] Eba with Egushi. So many fufus, so little time, and I admit to liking them all. In contrast to smooth, pounded cassava fufu, firmer eba has tiny flecks of gari (dried grated cassava) in it and is a little tart or sour tasting. Perfect with egushi (you might see egusi), a delicious soup made from ground melon/pumpkin/squash/gourd seeds.
[2] Banku with Baked Tilapia. Banku is fermented corn or corn + cassava dough, a little sticky, and is a typical partner for baked tilapia and other fish dishes.

More to come from Accra Restaurant….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 3

Instagram Post 9/8/2018

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Our recent off the charts dinner at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem featured so many delicious dishes that I don’t have a favorite, other to say how much I love the cuisine of Ghana and the way Accra does it. I’ll do a comprehensive post soon, but meanwhile here are few more photos of what we enjoyed.

[1] Dibi and Acheke with remarkable mustard onions. Dibi is roasted meat, in this case lamb, sliced into chunks, and often part of the street food scene; the mustard component is a significant ingredient in the recipe. Acheke (you might see it as attiéké) is grated cassava with a texture similar to couscous.
[2] Guinea Fowl (Akonfem). The meat is a little leaner than chicken and the flavor is more pronounced. It was topped with peanut powder, traditionally a blend of peanuts and chili powder along with spices like ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

More to come from Accra….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 2

Instagram Post 9/7/2018

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More deliciousness from our recent feast at Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem. Full story coming soon, but for now a few more photos of what we enjoyed.

[1] Emo-Tuwoo and Peanut Soup with goat. I’ve seen many spellings for this starch including emotuo and omotuo; orthography aside, it’s a compressed rice ball that goes perfectly with peanut soup. Sounds good, right? Tasted even better!
[2] Fried Turkey Tail. Known to some as the pope’s nose, I call it the part that goes over the fence last. Smoky, juicy, delicious and often overlooked by those who don’t know better! 😉

More to come from Accra Restaurant….
 
 

Accra Restaurant – Part 1

Instagram Post 9/6/2018

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Ever had Ghanaian cuisine? Want to try some of the best you’ll ever have? Then look no further than Accra Restaurant, 2065 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd in Harlem. A group of us converged there recently and thanks to their excellent food and warm hospitality, it was an extraordinary experience. The tale is the stuff of which fantasies are made and I’ll post a detailed story soon but in the meantime, I’ll feature some dishes to whet your appetite.

[1] Plantain Fufu and Palmnut Soup. Pinch off a hunk of the starch with your fingers, dip it in the delectable soup and enjoy. One of my favorite starch/soup combinations, but they’re all great here.

[2] Suya. Grilled, spicy skewered beef (sliced here), best known as a delicious street food.

More to come from Accra….
 
 

Xi’an Famous Foods – Get the F4!

Instagram Post 9/5/2018

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A quick stop at Xi’an Famous Foods, 45 Bayard St in Manhattan’s Chinatown. I remember standing on line, appetite at the ready, back in the days when these guys occupied only a tiny stall in the depths of Golden Shopping Mall in Flushing. Now they’re a mini-chain and I’m happy to report that the quality is as top-notch and the food is as outrageously delicious as the original. Here’s F4 on the menu: classic boiled Chinese dumplings stuffed with ground lamb served in a spicy/sour sauce. Juicy and thick-skinned, you couldn’t ask for more from a dumpling.

Unless you want more dumplings, that is.

Which you will.
 
 

Golody Halal Buffet

Instagram Post 9/3/2018

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Golody Halal Buffet recently opened at 222 1st Avenue in Manhattan. Featuring West African and Mediterranean cuisine, it’s steam table, self-serve style and their descriptions of what I selected were simple: “Lamb Chops, Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Athieke with Peanut Butter Sauce, Cassava Leaves”. Timing is everything and ours was less than stellar; we were told to come back in two hours and there would be more choices. Ah well, maybe another day. Note that although the signage reads “All You Can Eat”, it’s pay by the pound.
 
 

German’s Soup

Instagram Post 9/2/2018

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In 1960, Hubert “German” Urling launched a restaurant in Georgetown, Guyana, that focused on local Guyanese dishes, but it was his singular recipe for Cowheel Soup that made the place famous. At German’s Soup, its outpost at 793 Utica Ave in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, we had a chance to taste their OG specialty (Original Guyanese, that is 😉 – second photo) along with a plate of pepperpot, Guyana’s celebrated stewed meat dish redolent of cloves, cassareep, and hot peppers.
 
 

Q Town Asian Cuisine – Part 4

Instagram Post 9/1/2018

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A few more dishes from our group dinner at Q Town Asian Cuisine, 82-87 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens. In no special order:

[1] Three Cup Chicken. A Taiwanese classic, theoretically made using one cup of soy sauce, one cup of sesame oil, and one cup of rice wine, but usually tweaked a bit and fleshed out with additional ingredients including garlic, ginger, sugar and red chili. They did a good job with this one.
[2] Sizzling Black Pepper Short Ribs with onions and bell peppers.
[3] Striped Bass swimming in Spicy Black Bean Sauce dodging slabs of tofu. Very fresh and truly delicious.