Monthly Archives: January 2013

Saigon Cuisine

Two words: Sangkee Wannabe. Although it is cheaper and the ambience is much better than Pho Saigon on 43rd and Spruce. It replaced “Nan”, the French/Thai fusion restaurant. Not in the mood to make a real review though so here are some shady pictures from my phone.

Address: 4000 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
Price: $6-10 for entrees

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Nom Nom Ramen & LevelUp

Aside from the ridiculous name, this little hole in the wall is actually pretty satisfying. Located in Rittenhouse Square, this place tops other ramen shops in the area, most notably Ramen Bar in University City. Prices are cheaper and the portion sizes are actually rather generous. There are 3 or 4 broths to choose from and you can add extra meat or vegetables for a small price. The only thing that was missing was it didn’t offer kae-dama which is essentially a system that offers you an extra serving of noodles.

From the Ippudo website, “When you have almost finished your first serving of noodles, order by saying, “Kae-dama, please”.  In a few minutes the server will bring you another ‘ball of noodles’, and put it in the soup. At that time, you must have enough amount of the soup in the bowl to accommodate the new noodles, that is, you shouldn’t drink much of the soup if you are going to order the Kae-dama.”

The other thing to note about this place is that it accepts only cash or LevelUp. LevelUp is a mobile payment app where you store your credit card info in the app and then scan the QR code on your phone with a special LevelUp scanner that is provided by the restaurant. No need to pull out that credit card any more! Best part of LevelUp is that every time you use it to pay, you save money and by frequently revisiting the same restaurants or frequently paying via LevelUp, you can “level up” and get even more discounts. Mobile payments are the future…

Address: 20 S. 18th St, Philadelphia 19103
Price: $8 for regular, $10 for large
Hours: Daily: 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pImage
Pork Belly Buns (tasted like poop don’t get them)Image
Large Shyo Ramen

Ela

This contemporary American restaurant is located on the corner of 3rd and Bainbridge, near South Street. It’s a pretty cozy place, with the crowd being a bit older (30’s ~ 40’s). Good place to bring a date (they even have a Valentine’s Day menu already!). Service is friendly, though it takes a while to bring the food, but that just gives more time to talk to your date! Recommendations include the scallop noodles, beets and carrots, octopus, and the wagyu skirt steak!

Address: 627 S 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19147
Price: $15 for appetizers, $25 for entrees
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5:30pm – 10pm

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Menu
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Beets & Carrots
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Scallop Noodles
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Gnocchi
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Wagyu Skirt Steak
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Pumpkin Pudding

Beijing Restaurant

Every once in a while, I like to eat crappy Chinese food. Today was one of those days. Stopped at probably the most overpriced Chinese restaurant on campus (why do I do this?) and grabbed a bite to eat. The food was extremely unauthentic but it satisfied my palette. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives with just as crappy food. 2 out of 5 stars!

Address: 3714 Spruce Street  Philadelphia, PA 19104
Price: $15 / entree
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am – 10:30pm

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Kung Pow Chicken
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Beef with String Beans

Fruit Bowl

I have a big sweet tooth. I once ate 10,000 calories in one day from just cake, ice cream, brownies, and more cake. Hoo hah! Unfortunately, I am also extremely cacomorphobic. Just kidding, I love everyone.  Thus, when I had a huge sugar craving last night, I did the next best thing. I made a huge bowl of fruit with a friend and ate it all. 

Ingredients:
1. Strawberries
2. Raspberries
3. Kiwis
4. Bananas
5. Grapes
6. Pineapples
7. Watermelon

Enough antioxidants to last me through flu season…hopefully. 

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Tamarind

My favorite Thai restaurant in Philadelphia is Smile Cafe, as I’ve written in one of my earliest posts, but Tamarind is a close second. Located on South Street by the Delaware River, it’s a great place to go for Penn students who want to try something other than Thai Singha or Pattaya. The food is phenomenal and you can choose the spicy level on a scale from 0 to 7. A couple friends ordered 7’s and they were nearly crying by the end of the meal. Restaurant is also BYO so that is a plus for all you underage drinkers.

Tamarind

 

Roasted Duck with Vegetables

Reflection and Food, Lots of Food

As the final winter break of my undergraduate career nears an end, (actually school started 3 days ago but I’m still bumming around at home), I can’t help but to look back at the last 8 years of my life in Shanghai, the greatest city in the world. Coming to Shanghai as a white-washed, narrow-minded 8th grader was no easy transition. The pushing and shoving on public transportation, the lack of hygiene, the pungent smell of public bathrooms, the hideous local girls, and the even the China man squat that I would later come to love and adore was all too much for me at first. Every day I could come up with a handful of different reasons as to why I wanted to go back to the States.

But as time went on, I found it harder to come up with reasons to leave Shanghai and easier to find reasons to stay. I had found a new home. A home that has met and exceeded any crazy expectations I’ve ever had. It’s no surprise now that when people ask me where I’m from, I say I’m from Shanghai, even though I’ve lived in America for longer.

I can go on and on about everything Shanghai has given me, but the one gift that stands above all  is that it has given me a truly global view of the world. My biggest fear coming to Shanghai was that I would miss out on all the experiences my friends back in the States were having and that I’d turn super chinky and fobby and I would forget English and start peeing on the streets (I was really cool in 8th grade). Shanghai has done the opposite for me. Going to an international school allowed me to meet people from all over the world and opened my eyes to all the different cultures, not limited to just American or Chinese, and it’s given me the knowledge and comfort to interact with individuals from various backgrounds. I couldn’t have asked for a better time and just want to thank everyone who has made this journey extremely memorable and worthwhile.

Now, to thank you for bearing with me and listening to my rant, here is a shit ton of food pictures to look at. It’s all the stuff I documented this past break. Includes food from Bali, Singapore, and Shanghai. Enjoy!

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Empress Garden

Found this relatively cheap Taiwanese restaurant in Chinatown with my friend the other day. It’s a cozy, small place with extremely friendly service. The main waitress lady is super nice and recommended a bunch of their specialties to us. Their 三杯鸡 is extremely good and so is the 台式牛肉面. It is a BYO too and they don’t have a corking fee like this other crappy ass establishment in the city  Han Dynasty. It’s in Chinatown after all so don’t expect godlike ambience but it really is a nice and cozy place for a small group hangout.

Address: 108 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Price: $10-15 per entree
Hours: Daily 11am – 9:30pm

ImageRieslingImageBeef NoodlesImageFried Chicken – was craving this for daysImage三杯鸡ImageTofu and PorkImageSo much food