If you follow us on twitter (@HungrySwans JUST SAYING), are friends with us on Facebook or, yunno, spent any time at all with us over the past four months you will know that at the end of November we went on a Hungry Swans holiday to *sings* NEEEEWWWWWW YORRRRRRRRK.
The Big Apple is fab; the sights, the sounds, the shopping, the smells, the funny accents, the POLITENESS, the shopping AND of course, the food. All the food.
We flew on Thanksgiving and (very optimistically, as it turns out) booked a slap-up Thanksgiving dinner at 8pm at The Gander in midtown. Top tip, travellers: when your flight gets into JFK at 5.45pm, 8pm for dinner is TOO EARLY. It also, in a manner reminiscent of Schrödinger’s cat, manages to be TOO LATE, as your poor abused body thinks it’s 1am, which even for us is too late to eat a 4 course meal. The food was amazing, but our total planning fail meant we absolutely didn’t do it justice. Slapped wrist, will do better next time.
^ NOW on the other hand, I could do that like an actual boss
The next night was a different story. After an *exhausting* day shopping (HI BLOOMINGDALES, LOVE YOU KISSES) we walked (so much walking…) to Chelsea, which was about 25 minutes from our hotel. Chelsea is a really cool area to the West of Manhattan, so as I’m sure you can imagine we felt right at home LOL. We were heading for Chelsea Market, which is hands-down one of my favourite places in NYC. It’s indoors – always a bonus in November over there – a beauteous building spanning a block and packed full of cool food shops and stalls to poke your nose into and nibble around. You *can* go to one place and have a full meal, but we preferred to spread ourselves around. All the better for avoiding food envy.
First we had some snacks in…
Not just any snacks either, Korean snacks. Yum. We shared the kochi sticks, mōk wings and ho’ cake (stop sniggering in the back) washed down with beer (for Caroline and Mum) and saké for me.
Saké in a can! Apparently that stops the light getting to it and making it go funny. I have to admit I’m not a huuuuuuge saké fan (sometimes it makes me pull the ‘jagerbomb face’), but this was very nice; light and subtle but with enough of a kick to stand up to the spicy food.
Kochi sticks turned out to be those funny rice cakes which are really chewy. Yum-tastic spicy sauce, but other than that not mind blowing. Wings (two spicy, two mild) with super-duper crispy coating and super-duper moist insides. These were really excellent and the sauces were fantastic, though ‘mild’ would not be the first word I used to describe them; they have a heavy hand with the chilli here.
The ho’ bun wasn’t what I was expecting – it was a little like a quesadilla – but was delicious with the rich meat and sauce and the fresh, spicy (yup) dip.
That lot took the edge off our hunger so we had a wander round. The spice stall is particularly good; you can smell it coming a mile off and it sells ready mixed rubs for meat which look great. Chelsea Wine not only sells all the booze in the world, but also excellent booze accessories. Self-cooling wine glasses?? GENIUS I TELL YOU! There’s also little supermarket where we stocked up on ranch dressing and various groceries and, my favourite place of all, the fish market. Full to bursting with all things aqua, it’s a seafood lover’s paradise.
The sushi – they have a sushi bar! All shops should have sushi bars! – is to *die* for, and eating it in the middle of a buzzy seafood market, sitting in front of the chefs makes it a really cool different experience. Caroline had a selection of oysters from the oyster bar, where oyster experts (oysperts?) told us all about the different varieties, helped her choose the best ones, shucked and then dressed them before our very eyes.
^ the one in the middle is a distant relative of Nessie, judging by the size of it
I wanted tacos next, so we had a bento box to share from the Takumi stand.
Spicy tuna and carnitas tacos and charred corn salad. The spicy tuna – to be perfectly honest – was a bit too heavy on the spicy sauce rather than the tuna, but the braised pork was glorious and the charred corn salad was lovely and light (and also reminded me a bit of the charred corn salsa we make to go with our lamb fajitas).
For pudding we had doughnuts from the Doughnuttery…
Made fresh in front of you, they were teeny mouthfuls of fat, sugar and happiness; without a doubt the best doughnuts I’ve ever had.
We waddled home, replete, with the Empire State building in the distance showing us the way.
NYC you are just toooooooo sexy ❤