Dumpling Orgy at King’s Village (UPDATED)

February 20, 2011

King’s Village
1639 NJ Hwy 27, Edison NJ
(732) 339-9858

Once again, our intrepid group of foodies headed down to Edison for some serious gut-busting dumplin’ eating at King’s Village, a Beijing-style (Mandarin) restaurant in Edison.

Every February, in celebration of the Chinese New Year, the owners host a month-long “Dumpling Fest” which for a whole $16.95 per person, they feed you jiaozi of all different types until you plead for mercy or explode, whichever comes first.

Sounds great, right? So let’s get on with the gluttony.

Are you ready for some DUMPLINGS? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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The Last Supper with David

May 8, 2010

New York Times’ David Corcoran, who’s wonderful restaurant reviews have graced the “Old Gray Lady’s” NJ Metro/Dining section for 10 years.

My foray into food blogging has almost certainly had much to do with my respect and admiration for the newspaper writers, who’s level of reviewing standards I could never even try to emulate with any degree of success.

The print newspaper and magazine staff restaurant writer is a dying breed, one who’s role has had to change with the times, if not for the challenges that newspapers and  other periodicals must now face in competition with the food blogs and other new media outlets.

That being said, I am sad to see this occur, even if I am a willing participant and advocate in this change of focus towards the Web.

Perhaps one of my saddest moments in this realization was a happy occasion — having a wonderful Chinese dinner with a newspaper restaurant reviewer that I call a friend and mentor, who had told me that this meal would be his final review.

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NJ Dining: Lotus Cafe (UPDATED)

February 26, 2010

Lotus Cafe
450 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ
(201) 488-7070

At first glance, you might dismiss Lotus Cafe offhand as your average suburban American Chinese joint in a strip mall, because that’s entirely what it looks like. For the first couple of years I lived in this area, that’s exactly what I did, and now I regret that mistake. While I wouldn’t say it has the depth that Petite Soochow or Chengdu 1 have with their Shanghainese/Sichuan cuisine, Lotus Cafe is putting out some seriously good select Taiwanese-style dishes on its menu, particularly all the noodle stuff they do.

Storefont, 2010

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Ultimate Chef Bergen County 2010: Battle Pignoli

January 26, 2010

That’s right folks. It’s time again for your favorite culinary battle competition, Ultimate Chef Bergen County, sponsored by Chef Central in Paramus, New Jersey. For the second round,  Chef Adam Weiss of Esty Street in Park Ridge went up against  Chef Ike Koutrakous of Cooking in Your Kitchen.

This fight was a doozy, resulting in the closest competition that Chef Central had ever had to judge. Let’s get to it!

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DO NOT MISS: NTDTV 2009 International Chinese Culinary Competition in NYC, Sept 20 and 21

August 31, 2009

chinesefood-demo

NTDTV‘s International Chinese Culinary Competition, which previously was exclusive to Asia, as seen in these photos of their preliminary competition in Taiwan, is now coming to New York City, at Chelsea Piers (Pier 61) September 20th and 21st, 2009.

The New Tang Dynasty Television International Chinese Culinary Competition is a new annual culinary event in New York City dedicated to traditional Chinese cuisines with the mission to revive traditional cooking methods and promote authentic Chinese culinary culture.

The Competition is comprised of 5 cuisine categories: Cantonese, Huaiyang, Szechuan, Shandong, and Northeastern Chinese. Gold-prize winners will be awarded $10,000 each. Contestants are required to prepare 2 dishes within 45 minutes during preliminaries and 3 dishes within 60 minutes during finals. Self-selected dishes must come from the traditional menu lists published by the Competition. It’s an individual competition and contestants are not allowed to bring assistants.

If you’re a fan of traditional regional Chinese cooking, this is a must-attend event.

For more information, check out http://www.bestchinesechefs.com

To purchase tickets, visit https://register.ntdtv.com/culinary/ticket.php

Download: NTDTV 2009 International Chinese Culinary Competition (PDF eCard)


NJ Dining: Chengdu 1 (UPDATED October 2009)

April 4, 2009

Click for Hi-Res Slide Show!

Chengdu 1
89 Pompton Ave (Pilgrim Shopping Plaza)
Cedar Grove NJ, 973-239-7726

I think that by now people realize that I love really spicy food. One of my favorite spicy cuisines is true Sichuan-syle Chinese food, which is characterized by its use of red fire oil (vegetable oil that is infused with red chile pepper essence) and the face-numbing Sichuan Peppercorn, also known as hua jiao (meaning flower pepper, as it resembles a tiny flower) or fagara.

While there are many restaurants in the greater New York metropolitan area with “Szechuan” in the name, the sad reality is that there are very, very few restaurants serving actual regional Sichuan cuisine, New York City included. There are  a few such restaurants  remaining in Manhattan, most notably being the midtown and uptown branches of Wu Liang Ye. Spicy and Tasty in Flushing, Queens is another good example. The much-loved Grand Sichuan International Midtown closed in April of ’07 but some of its sister (and inferior) branches remain.

So when it came to my attention (by way of an excellent post by Melissa Rayworth on the Montclair food blog Barista) that we in fact had the genuine article right here in Northern New Jersey, I knew we had to go.

Chengdu 1 is right down the road from Montclair State University on Pompton Ave, in the Pilgrim Shopping Plaza next to Clearview Cinema

Can you take the heat? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NYC Dining: Wu Liang Ye 48th Street

December 2, 2008

Wu Liang Ye Restaurant
36 W 48th St, New York, NY
(212) 398-2308

Other locations: 86th Street, Lexington Ave.

Rachel and I had a show to see on Broadway last Saturday evening. As it was Thanksgiving weekend, Restaurant Row and the typical Broadway suspects close to the theater were absolutely jam packed, with no hope of getting a table in under an hour. So we decided to detour away from the Broadway and Times Square scene and walk up 48th Street, and grab some SERIOUS Chinese food.

Wu Liang Ye 48th Street, NYC by you.

Just around the corner from Radio City and NBC Studios is probably the best Sichuan restaurant in all of New York City.

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