Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've been hearing a lot of hype about Vanessa's Dumpling House. They were recently rated as one of the best dumpling houses in NYC by Time Out NY this year.

I finally had the chance to try them out and yes, they are OH-so GOOD! I like how they offer the option of boiled or fried dumplings. I, personally am not a huge fan of fried dumplings. Their Basil and Chicken Boiled Dumplings are rocking! They will only run you $3.75 for 8 pieces and it'll come in a soup for only $4. That is a serious bargain.

Other yummy goodness that you check out here are the Chive and Egg Pancake and the Noodles with Mashed Sesame Sauce.

If you love the dumplings here as much as I do, you can take them home frozen. A bag of 50 dumplings will run you somewhere between $9-$14 (depending on the variety).

To confirm, the dumplings here are definitely among the top that I've tasted.

NEW YORK, NY 10002


The old Music Palace used to sit on the corner of the Bowery and Hester. It was the last of the few Chinatown movie theaters. It closed down sometime between the years 1999-2000. At this time, it was supposed to have been taken over for a commercial project that never fell through.

The space has been vacant for a very long time. Recently, construction for a new hotel has been under way. I think it will be good to give life to this space.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I've been hearing about Milk and Honey for the longest time. When I heard about this secret location , I knew it would be in Chinatown/LES.

So for those of you who don't know about M & H; it's very exclusive to get into. At one point, you had to know someone who knew the phone number to get reservations and find out where it is.

I'm going to blow their cover and tell you that they are located on Eldridge right off Delancy. Someone invited me and made reservations. It was well worth the walk over there.

The feel of the place is that of an old school speakeasy. Their mixologists here are top notch. M&H doesn't have a menu. Instead of having staple drinks, they will mix up anything that you fancy with a bit of a spin to it. I was dreaming of something sweet with fruits. They came up with something that tasted a bit like a white grape mojito with whole pieces of fruit. DELISH!


Saturday, December 26, 2009


CICF donated new toys and served as a drop off point for Hamilton Madison House (HMH) this year. My friend Cynthia Lin was also kinda enough to donate baked goods for the occasion. She also served as my elf. There was also a dancing reindeer who knew how to play the violin that I brought all the way from the North Pole!

According to Thea, I am the first Chinese girl Santa in the history of HMH. This is wack considering it is Chinatown. Glad I broke down that barrier...

A definite Christmas success!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Whenever I take the F train, I pass by Ming's Caffe. I never had the chance to try their food until today.

The decor is cute and homey. You can watch Chinese comedies while enjoying a good meal. I got the spaghetti with pork chops and tomatoes. So HK and totally YUM! One friend got the Spam and eggs over rice. My other friend got the tripe. The herbal tea is also a healthy alternative to soda.

Now that the weather is so cold, I don't want to step out. It's really great that they do deliver. I'll definitely have to try some other things on their menu!

(Please note: the spelling of the restaurant is CAFFE instead of CAFE when looking it up)

28 Canal Street
FREE Delivery

Saturday, December 19, 2009


In these pictures, floats are prepared for a holiday parade on Mulberry street in Chinatown that goes through Little Italy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In this picture: Bob Diamond, Mary Lee, and Sal Situ try to raise funds for the Greater Chinatown Community Association at their holiday party.

In this picture: Magnetic North rocks CICF shirts!
(Photo by An Rong Xu)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

EGG CUSTARD KING=-Natalie's Bakery

Egg Custard King was kinda like the egg custard version of CICF. They used to have different flavored egg custards, ranging from strawberry to taro. With all the variety, I am still a fan of the original egg custard (don-tot).

So I get a comment on my post the other day that they renamed it Natalie's Bakery? I'm thinking WTF?!!? So, I go and call them and ask if this is Egg Custard King and they reply "yes". I'm not convinced. I go in for further investigating and walk to the location.

It is oh so deceiving. The sign's font and everything looks the same as the old Egg Custard King but yes it has been renamed Natalie's Bakery! They actually only have too varieties of egg custard; original and Portuguese style.

This is sad news for the don tot scene in Chinatown! They did however have yummy green tea cakes!



On cold winter days, I like Hong Kong Station. With a choice of noodles, you can choose toppings that vary from fish dumplings to tripe. This eatery charges per item. My eyes are usually bigger than my belly. I usually wind up picking a lot!

My favorites are the wide rice noodles (hou fun) with fried eggs, bok choi, chicken wings, and dumplings. ( I add a lot!)

The ambiance is friendly to diners who eat alone, as well as groups of friends. I usually eat my meals alone in Chinatown since I work. This spot is definitely one of my favs! I get to listen to Cantonese love ballads over a bowl of yummy goodness! Wow!

*Also if you're not in the mood for noodles, they have yummy egg sandwiches and French Toast!


Saturday, December 12, 2009


Chinatown gets a bad rap for selling counterfeit bags. Canal Street is world famous for selling knock-offs. About a year ago they shut down a large row of stores, leaving the block empty. This week, the Cops made another big bust and closed down another block.

I don't really see how cracking down on bags is a priority in our community. I've heard that the city loses money on luxury tax when people buy counterfeits instead of the real thing. In my opinion the people who buy counterfeits are not the same crowd that are going to be buying the good stuff.

Regardless of whether you agree with my point of view; it has hurt our community. When the bag stores are shut down by the Police, the stores are left vacant. The landlords can't collect the rent and the businesses that were there aren't going to be paying their taxes.

Empty blocks equals less foot traffic in the area. That means it hurts our restaurants,
boutiques, cafes and even our ice cream stores.

And the funny thing is that the people that sell knock offs just learn to evolve. When they have their stores taken away from them, they wind up selling at secret locations and out of garbage bags. The bags are still being sold, but their blocks become part of a ghost town.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The CICF shirt is wicked popular! In this picture, the CICF shirt is worn in Man vs. Food. He owns the CICF shirt in blue, black and red!

Monday, December 07, 2009

In this picture: Iris Lin bring a bag of toys for the Hamilton Madison Toy Drive.

Friday, December 04, 2009


My friend An Rong came in today to take pictures of CICF. He's the next up and coming photographer. The guys is still only in college and is so talented and driven. I think he's going to be the next Corky Lee ( a famous Chinatown photographer).

An Rong was born and Chinatown and has strong ties to it. He still coaches baseball at PS 130 and is an alumni of CPC (Chinese American Planning Council).

The community inspires his photography projects. He knows the people and wants to tell their stories. He knows everyone from Wally over at Nam Wah to the 3rd graders at the local elementary schools.

When our pictures are done, I'll post them with his website(it's under construction).

I suggest you bid and buy his photos now because I believe they'll be worth a small fortune in the near future. =)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


When I think about the holidays, I get really excited. Holiday parties, family, and friends and shopping!

But then again, it's also a time to think about people who have it less fortunate than you. A lot of people can't afford presents and nice things.

I'm part of the Jr. Committee at Hamilton Madison House (HMH) and every year we have a toy drive for the neighborhood kids. HMH serves the low income, immigrant population. In previous years, we have been paired up with the NY Cares Winter Wishes program but this year we weren't chosen. This means we are in need

CICF will be one of the drop off points for the toy drive. We are collecting new unwrapped toys for children 5-12. The last day of the drive will be December 14th.

Please support during the holidays!

drop off point-CICF 65 Bayard Street