I don’t usually do much for the Lunar New Year, but this year a weekend visit from my friend Aki happened to coincide with the festivities.
First thing: noodles! This time at Mew Men in the Village.
Eating long noodles during the New Year and on birthdays is important in Chinese culture since long noodles symbolize longevity. But mostly we had them because we’re ramen fiends.
The pork was kind of tough, but the broth and noodles were excellent. Plus each was only $5 with a coupon Aki had.
Afterward we walked up to Union Square and stopped in Korean beauty product store Nature Republic. We both ended up buying this Korean version of Baby Feet, that feet peeling kit. I’m kind of scared to try it since the results, while effective, are supposed to be disgusting.
We had a very packed day ahead and needed to start it with some sustenance. Blue Stone Lane to the rescue.
While overpriced, I do think their food and coffee is really good. Usually I get the avocado toast, but I felt like changing things up and had the soup instead – lentil Italian wedding. It was so good, as was the toasted bread that came with it. And when we left, I couldn’t resist a $5 vegan apple cinnamon donut for a snack later (that was delicious too).
Our next stop was The Met, where there was lion dancing:
Like most things you do on the New Year, lion dancing is supposed to bring luck and chase away evil spirits. Plus it just looks and sounds really cool. The lobby was packed to the gills, but we had a pretty good view.
Besides lion dancing, we checked out the Temple of Dendur, then went upstairs to see it from the Asian art wing.
Next up: lunch! Aki had heard that the best xiao long bao in the city were at Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao in Flushing. So out to Queens we went.
There were tons of people waiting. They told us about 20 minutes, and that’s what it was. We got dou jiang, one youtiao to split, and pork and crab and pork buns.
The verdict? I don’t know if they’re the best in the city since I haven’t had all the little juicy buns in New York, but they were damned good and well worth the schlep and the wait.
After lunch we went to New World Mall. It was a tad overwhelming, and since neither of us were hungry, it was kind of a waste on us. I’ll have to go back on an empty stomach.
Our last stop of the night was, you guessed it, food! We hit another ramen place, Nakamura, this one on the Lower East Side.
I wasn’t too thrilled about it at first, to be honest. Although there were a ton of empty seats, we were told we had to wait 30 minutes (I guess there were reservations?). And the fact that the waiter was wearing a fedora didn’t help matters. I wanted to leave, but Aki convinced me not to.
In the end, I’m glad we stayed because the food was really good. Aki, who’s super picky, pronounced it one of the best bowls of ramen she’s ever had.
I absolutely loved my Japanese curried spice ramen.
It also had something a little different: cilantro, which Japanese food never has.
Aki was all set to leave that morning when she said, “I want bagels.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
We went to a place not too far from my apartment, H&H Bagels (which doesn’t have a website, weirdly enough). There was a line, but it wasn’t too crazy. I got my usual sesame bagel with lox spread.
Aki got a sesame bagel with nothing on it, figuring I’d have more than enough cream cheese, which was true.
The bagel was really good. I ate mine in about five minutes, Aki said, which is a bit of an exaggeration. But I did eat it quickly.
Interested in more of my New York adventures? Check them all out.