Restaurant Review: Nakayama Sushi (Hazlet, NJ)

I don’t usually write reviews based on takeout, but because Nakayama is an actual restaurant and my experiences there in two orders were good, I figured this could stand on its own. My coworker and I wanted a change from Sultan Palace after a couple of greasy, unappetizing meals in the last two months. This…

Photo of the Day: September 17, 2017

One of the assistants for my summer camps this year was Chinese, and his mom immigrated from Szechuan. I asked him if she could make me something spicy. She delivered with a tofu noodle and cucumber salad the first day, and then this, cold noodles with chili oil and scallions the next. While I’ve eaten…

Photo of the Day: September 9, 2017

I was not a big fan of West Lake in Matawan (overpriced and average) but I’ll be damned if that was not the best wonton soup I ever had. The wrappers were paper-thin. October 2016.

Photo of the Day: September 7, 2017

Not a groundbreaking photo by any means, but I just find it funny that every single Chinese takeout joint in the history of the world has a menu board like this when you walk in. What’s funnier is that they all have not been changed since probably the 1980’s and food never looks anything like…

Restaurant Review: Zhang’s Grille (Holmdel, NJ)

Every once in a while I have a dining experience that leaves me at a loss for words. On this rare occasion, I try my best to just put my head down and churn out a review to the best of my abilities. A recent visit to the newly opened Zhang’s Grille in Holmdel (formerly…

Photo of the Day: May 27, 2017

I find that a lot of times, photos don’t do good food justice. That’s the case here. Everything else I photographed at Shanghai Bun in Matawan did not come out so hot, except this one due to the crimping patterns on the dumplings. Most authentic Chinese restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. Ox tail soup, spiced…

What’s Going on at the Old Ruby Palace in Holmdel?

UPDATE (July 25, 2017): The location will open tomorrow, July 26, as Zhang’s Grill. According to a tip sent to this site, the owner also has another restaurant in Wall Township.  UPDATE (August 6, 2017): Read my review of Zhang’s Grill. Take it as a warning. I miss Ruby Palace. Maybe not enough to profile…

Travel Guide PA: Saigon Cafe (Lancaster)

My first experience with Vietnamese food was a success, and in the least likely of all places. Amidst the rolling hills of Amish farmland lies the cute, little Saigon Cafe. It reminded me of a Chinese place back home, Shanghai Bun, which is an authentic, no-frills eatery. There is not much decor to speak of,…

Restaurant Review: Penang (Edison, NJ)

It started with a cup of hot lemon tea. It was sweet, and served with a lime wedge. I was not expecting the sweetness, but it lent itself in a pleasing way. Asian cooking is all about contrasts. Different flavors, different textures, different feelings in your mouth. This simple tea opened up my palate to…

Takeout Joints: Chinese/Asian Volume 1

“You can’t swing a dead cat” without hitting a Chinese takeout place near my hometown of Hazlet. Like pizzerias (reviews of which to come at a later date), they are everywhere. But for every gem there are three or four that are just average, and a couple more bordering on abominable. Many seem similar on…

Travel Guide CT: Sunberry Cafe (Hartford)

Our first stop in a four-day excursion to Connecticut was a real winner. Just outside our hotel was a charming little brick side street. Literally, in order were the following: a liquor store, Thai restaurant, cigar shop, Korean BBQ, psychic readings, and Irish pub. All the comforts of home. Not able to decide, Will and…