Hong Kong Bakery

So when I went to get sushi from Saso’s the other day there was a 40 minute wait, so Albany John and I explored around Central some more. Right next door to Saso’s is a bakery and a chinese food place. These places are pretty new. Obviously I went into the bakery side, since, DUH! Albany doesn’t have any other chinese bakeries. Woo! Chinese bakery! Now when I go to the city, I don’t have to smuggle home a huge box of treats. I tried a pork pastry, which was interesting to have char siu filling in a puff pastry. Kind of sweet. A little too sweet. I’ll stick with the buns. Also, dan tats! I grew up sucking these down. Mmmm. They were okay, but the bottom was cookie-like, not flaky and layered like they typically are. But still, they’re fresh. I got a red bean bun. It was okay, but I’m not a big red bean fan. It taste a bit bland to me. A real treat though, was the peanut rice cake. AKA peanut filled mochi. Mmmm. That was delishious. I’ve never had them fresh, and can’t wait to get it again. The prices are great, and the staff there were really nice. They had chinese rap karaoke/music videos playing on the TV, and we joked about brushing up our chinese by getting one of the rap dvds. One of the ladies behind the counter said we should try something a little slower, because that would be like her trying to practice her english to 50 cent. Omg, hilarity.

The above picture is mango mousse. It was delishious, as I suspect all of their foods are. The little slice of fresh mango was a great touch, and really brought the mango out of the mousse, and blended it in with the cake layer on the bottom. This was actually on my second visit, which is why there are no pictures of the aforementioned goods. Sorry. Kind of.

They even serve lunch, sandwiches, and soups there. So it’s a safe bet that Albany Jane will be at the Hong Kong Bakery on a near daily basis.

Food Feast

Behold the Shrimpy Goodness

Albany John had another friend come and visit us in the 518, and luckily, he was a FOODIE! Yay! Originally I was planning on getting a Long Island Bake from Cousin’s Fish Market on Livingston, but when I got there, they said they weren’t making them for a while. So if you call and pre-order, forget it, because the girl on the phone is clue-less. Bummer, because for under $18 you can get a protein of your choice(crab, lobster, chicken…) with a lot of other things like clams, mussles, chicken (yes, CHICKEN!) and starches. So hopefully they’ll bring it back some time soon.

So, now I was food thought less. Hmmm… what were we to do? Well, we went to the Hong Kong Bakery (nother post on that a little later) and decided to cook for ourselves, since we would probably be disappointed by eating out. (Albany Jane has terrible luck when it comes to eating out, for some reason, but I will go and physically eat at Saso’s some time since everyone was so nice there) So we decided to go to Hannaford and get some stuff to cook ourselves.

Albany John did all of the cooking in record time. Iron chefs, he would kick your butt. He made: Broiled beef ribs, couscous, brussel sprouts, calamari, shrimp, butter lamb, falafel (I made the yogurt sauce), tempura sweet potatoes, and for some reason, I felt like a box of mac and cheese needed to be made. For, um, carby and cheesy reasons.
So here are some pics. Mmmm. We ate soooo much! And had so many leftovers!

Saso’s has the best sake


I’ve been wanting to try Saso’s Japanese Noodle House for a while now, but I always want to go on the days they’re closed. (Sun and Mon). Albany John and I were walking around Central ave, and I conned him into walking in for a quick roll. Which turned into more like 4 rolls and 2 pieces of salmon sashimi. Got take out b/c I was wearing crap clothes, and Saso’s feels upscale.


These are the rolls I got. Starting from the bottomleft corner going clockwise: Indulgence Roll, Spicy Scallop Roll, Albany Roll, Salmon Skin Roll.

The Indulgence roll was the BEST roll by far (can you tell from it’s name?). It was a special roll (~$7.50) that had salmon, crab, cream cheese, and I think avocado. I don’t remember the 4th ingredient, but OMG it was SO good. The black caviar on top was nice too. I’m not a big caviar fan(thank god, or I would be BROKE), but it blended nicely with the roll. This was a tasty and uber rich roll.

The Spicy Scallop Roll($6.50) had tobiko rolled on the outside, giving it a nice light crunchy-poppy texture. It was a little spicy, and thankfully that’s all the spicy Albany Jane can handle. This was pretty good, as I can’t really taste scallop, but what I wanted was the texture(smooth and moist mmm).

The Albany Roll($7.50). Eh, it was kind of a take it or leave it thing. I just had to try it cause it had the word ALBANY in it. But, since Albany is a take it or leave it kind of city I should have guaged the roll better. It has spicy hamachi, massago, and tempura crisps in it. All I could taste was the SPICY! Siracha all the way on this one! Wowch! I saw some massago on the inside but didn’t taste it, and I have no clue what or where the tempura crisps are or were. I guess order this if you can take the spicy. The spices really overwhelmed my palate, and I couldn’t taste much else. But Albany John agreed this was kind of ‘meh’.

Salmon Skin Roll($5.25). MMMMM This was the best salmon skin roll I’ve had up here! I love salmon skin. It had just the right amount of crunchy and charcoal taste to it. ORDER IT! IT IS GREAT!

Salmon Sashimi ($2.15 each) – The best sashimi ever. It had such delicate intricate flavors. Fatty, nutty, rich salmon. Albany John only got half a bite.

And their maki isn’t super-sized like Ichiban’s can be, so you don’t get super huge chipmunk cheeks eating it. MmMMM.

Total damage: $34.00 for 4 rolls and 2 sake sashimi.

La Familia Mexican Restaurant

Today we decided to go out to lunch at La Familia Mexican Restaurant with a friend of Albany John’s. We wandered upon it more as a result of me not wanting a huge meal since I had just eaten breakfast, and didn’t want to stuff my already full gullet at one of the Indian lunch buffets. I did a brief stint in Texas, so getting some decent mexican in Albany has been a challenge. Above is a picture of some fresh salsa and chips they gave us when we sat down. (The people there were very nice too!) I decided to get the Agua de Horchata ($1.25). It said it was a drink of mixed fruit, crushed almonds and seeds, mixed with water and milk. It really tasted of almonds, but a nice subtle milky-almond taste to it. The taste definately went with the meal, but it had a chalky texture in it. Kind of like there was a lot of cinnamon at the bottom, or maybe that they added dry milk to it to make it look so milky. It tasted pretty good when you drank the Horchata from the middle of the glass, if that makes any sense. I’d say it was worth a try, and wasn’t too bad.

Chorizo Taco
Steak Taco
Steak, rice, and beans

I decided to get a chorizo taco. Mmmm. It was tasty and full of chorizo-y goodness. Their tacos are small and simple ($1.50-1.75) with some onions and cilantro mixed in. They are soft pillows of taco heaven. Albany John went with a chorizo taco, and a steak taco. I nibbled on the steak taco, and it was seasoned to perfection! Albany John’s friend special ordered a flat steak with rice and beans ($6.50). He said the steak and beans were good (pinto, not kidney), but the rice was a little blah and dry.
Our total ended up $13.65 which was really cheap. I’d like to go back and try some of the other stuff (it doesn’t go over $9.50), but some of the food seemed a little over priced for what it was ($9.50 for an enchilado just seems a little over priced to me, even after living in Texas). So I highly recommend the tacos at La Familia, and if you’re not funny about spending money like I am, try everything else too.
Oh, it’s located at 54 Philip St (on the corner of Madison). And closed Saturdays.

The Muddy Cup

Cafe Au Lait

This is a cafe au lait from the Muddy Cup. It’s the coffee shop right next to the Madison Theater. I didn’t actually get this. My boyfriend, Albany John ordered it. It was the same price as a regular coffee, so why not go for the au lait? I thought this looked very nice, especially since they used freshly steamed milk. Albany John liked it, especially with 2 packets of BLUE DEATH IN IT!!!! (aka equal) Which is good, since he can be picky with his coffee. I on the other hand, was surprised with a white hot chocolate. Woah, you’re probably thinking to yourself – ‘White hot chocolate? How can it be?’ Well, you know how white chocolate isn’t techincally chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cocoa, and is, essentially, just fat (fatty goodness, mind you)? They should have just called this the ‘fat chocolate’ since that’s all it really was. It was very… creamy. But it just tasted like cream. I could taste a little bit of white chocolate in there some where, it was begging to be accentuated(ACCENTUATE ME!). I wish they’d made it more white chocolate-y and less half-and-half with a shot of white chocolate flavor, cause this was really like drinking cream. Oh, and it came about 1/4 full of WHIPPED CREAM. Now I love whipped cream and sweets (as yee shall see in future posts), but this was SOOO rich and heavy. And when I got it, it wasn’t really warm. Just tepid. And I’m the kind of person that has to wait 20 minutes to get tea to a drinkable temperature.

The atomsphere was really alive. Some people were studying, some people were in deep conversations, and some people were playing crappy board games (but kudos on the crappy board games, since I haven’t seen any other coffee shop with free crappy games to play). Kind of a hipster-y college vibe. I saw some high school aged kids walk in and then walk out after looking at the crowd. *shrugs* I didn’t get a good look at the food (seemed home made, but okay), but one chick had a pretty good looking piece of chocolate cake.

So, in summation: cafe au lait good(~$1.50); white hot chocolate – a tepid cup of overwhelming fat($2.50). Decently priced, but it’s gonna be busy if you go past 5 pm. Or whenever college students decide to populate it, since it’s right next to St. Rose, and a lot of SUNY people live in apartments near by.

(and yes, I’m sure I could have returned the crappy cocoa, but I’m not good at that sort of thing, and it’s something I should work on.)