Category: Asian

Abhi

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I’m not sure how much good food news Birmingham, our our waistlines, can take in such a short period of time. First Publix. Then The Pizitz Food Hall. What else could possibly be as momentous? Flash back to October 2014, when we stumbled upon and blogged about a guy making the most inventive sushi we’d ever had with very high quality ingredients out of a sports bar in Five Points. We followed that guy, Abhishek Sainju, when he moved his operation to the Blue Monkey, and when he became the opening executive chef at the much-acclaimed Bamboo on 2nd. The menu was...

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Ichicoro Ramen: A Pizitz Food Hall Story

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Blog fans, This week Stall Story: Ramen. Need I say more. This story is brought to you by our friends at B-metro. Photo credit goes to Seamus Payne.   Ichicoro Ramen, a craft ramen restaurant, launched in Tampa Bay, Florida, is expanding to Birmingham. Chefs Noel Cruz and Masa Takaku incorporate local ingredients and regional cooking styles into the menu, celebrating the influence of Gulf Coast and Latin American flavors. Cruz grew up with an interest in food and remembers as a child constantly watching cooking shows and spending time in the kitchen contributing to family gatherings. While most kids...

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Chinese Hot Pot @ Black Pearl in Homewood

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Ms. Foodie is still getting over her jet lag from our trip to Japan, and this post wasn’t going to write itself. Even after the last two weeks of non-stop Japanese foodie goodness, this meal still stands out as one of the best we’ve enjoyed lately. So, I took it upon myself to write this post. We recently heard that the new location of Black Pearl in Homewood had Chinese hot pot. We have had this dish in Vietnam and as of this past week Japan (shabu-shabu) but so far had not found it available in the ‘Ham. We coordinated...

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Thirstea

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As a loyal fan, you may have noticed that we have never in the history of the blog focused a post on a beverage. Why, you ask? Because when you eat out as much as we do, we have to save our calories. And quite frankly, there are few beverages, in our opinion, worthy of those precious calories. That is, until now. Recently, we received a hot tip about a beverage place we just had to try “down 280” past Target.  As you can probably tell from some of our recent posts, it takes a lot to draw us from Southside that far...

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Pho 280

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As you may know from some of our prior posts, we love Vietnamese food.  Mr Foodie and I spent several weeks in Vietnam right before we moved to Alabama in 2011.  In Philly, we lived in Passyunk Square, a neighborhood home to the two most famous (but not the best) cheesesteak places in town, a vibrant Hispanic community that gives rise to some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, and,  Little Saigon.  Within 5 blocks of our house, we had access to some of the most delicious (and inexpensive) Vietnamese food I’ve had in the U.S. or in Vietnam....

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Bamboo has nigiri and sashimi!

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Folks, yet another reason to eat at Bamboo on Second: they’ve expanded their sushi menu to include nigiri and sashimi. We just happened to eat there tonite, the first night they offered it. We ordered the salmon, yellowtail, and tuna:       All three were outstanding. Melt-in-your-mouth, slightly citrusy from the lemon keeping it company, like butter. We also found out they’re open on Valentine’s Day-that’s where Mr Foodie and I will be, enjoying some nigiri!

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Blue Pacific @ Hoover Food Mart is back, baby!

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Foodies, A few months ago, we told you about some of the best Thai food in Bham being served out of a gas station in Hoover.  Blue Pacific, as it’s called, became very popular very quickly.  Think, 1000 shares on Facebook line out the door popular.     And then suddenly, it was closed.  This created some chaos in the Bham foodie scene.  Where did it go?  Would it come back? Well foodies, I’m here to tell you that it’s back.  It’s still owned by the same family.  They seem to have expanded the seating area quite a bit (though...

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Great Wall’s brand new secret Szechuan menu

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Fellow foodies, I am writing this post from the parking lot of Great Wall.  We’ve just eaten and are still digesting one of the best meals we’ve had in Birmingham.  Partially because we are too full to drive, and partially because couldn’t bear the thought of you going one more day without knowing about what we just experienced, we are putting this post up in real time. If you read our blog, you know that we are huge fans of Great Wall on Greensprings.  In our prior posts here and here, we talk about how owner Sunny hired a new chef...

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Blue Pacific @ the Hoover Food Mart

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Take some slow, deep breaths, foodie friends, and let the excitement wash over you. Last week, a friend texted me the menu of what appeared to be a brand new Thai restaurant in Hoover.  I’d never heard of it.  The menu was small but solid, and entrees were listed in both English and Thai.  This seemed like a seal of authenticity of sorts.  I was intrigued, and we arranged to meet there with a group of friends in a few days. This is one of our favorite things to do-nothing gets our hearts pumping faster than the prospect of a...

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Bamboo on 2nd

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This post documents the long-awaited arrival of the most unique and certainly one of the best additions to Birmingham’s food scene in recent memory. This place is a game-changer. Its existence acknowledges that in 2015, Birmingham is “ready” for a restaurant that offers top notch pan-Asian cuisine, most of which cannot be found on the menus of even my favorite Chinese, Thai, or Indonesian restaurants in town. I could not be more excited to tell you about Bamboo on 2nd. Mr. Foodie and I first met Abhi in October, 2014, when we accidentally discovered him making the best sushi we...

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Masaman Thai

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As y’all know, we don’t blog negatively.  There’s enough negativity in this world.  Plus, we aren’t professional food critics or experts-we are just two average foodies trying to eat a great meal. However, you may have noticed some food genres are notably absent or nearly absent from our blog.  Take, for instance, Thai food.  Without saying anything negative about any place in particular, I will just say that in our humble opinions, Birmingham hasn’t had a really great Thai restaurant in the time we’ve lived here.  The only really great Thai place around here that we know of is Kati...

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Hotbox at Parkside

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Having a food blog has a lot of upsides.  Mainly, it’s a perfect excuse to eat out at great places with new friends.   As a result, we have made more die-hard foodie friends in the past year and a half than ever before.  And we are finding out about must-blog restaurants even sooner than we otherwise would have. Last week, we went to a party at a friend’s amazing downtown loft, where we only knew a handful of people.  As we stood on one of the most spectacular roof decks in the city, taking in the skyline and watching...

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Dim sum (yes, you read that right) at Red Bowl

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Please note:   Dim sum is only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30-3!!   Now for the post: If you’ve  ever read this blog before, you know that Mr Foodie and I are huge fans of Birmingham.  As one of my native Alabamian friends likes to say, “you aren’t from here, but you got here as fast as you could.”  That pretty much sums it up.  This is our adopted home. But it’s not surprising that people often ask us if we miss living in Philly or Manhattan.  Our usual response is that of course, there are things we miss...

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Nori’s Secret Indonesian Menu-Part 2

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In February, we told you about an incredible foodie find.  Birmingham actually has some of the best Indonesian food you’ll find anywhere, and it’s at the unlikeliest of places-a Thai restaurant in a strip mall in Vestavia.  And it’s all because of Marty, their chef who happens to be from Bali.   The first time we went, Marty asked us if he could just cook for us-and we said, um, yes please.  What resulted was an impromptu and unexpected Indonesian feast.  No way to top that.  Except for one thing:  one of my foodie friends knows a lot about Indonesian food....

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Seoul Restaurant-new owners, authentic Korean food

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Lately, we’ve become fairly obsessed with Korean food. When Mr Foodie and I traveled to Vietnam for my work a few years ago, we had an 18 hour layover in Seoul. Of course, we took a food tour and had our first experience with kimchi jjigae, or kimchi and tofu stew, a dish that that blew our sinuses and our minds. After that, we actively sought Korean food in the US and had some experiences that only reinforced our newfound foodie interest at Woo nam Jeong Stone Bowl House in Atlanta and at the Dolsot house near my family’s home in Cherry Hill, NJ. We’ve...

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Nori’s Secret Indonesian Menu

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A few months ago, a friend told me that she has a friend who had eaten off of a secret Indonesian menu at a place called Nori Thai and Sushi. All of my foodie radar signals went off. If true, this discovery would cover two holy grails-the secret menu and the foodie urban legend. This could be a big discovery. So I called. I said “Hi. I hear you have a secret Indonesian menu. Is that true?” “Yes, that’s true,” the voice on the other end of the phone replied matter-of-factly. “If I come in, can I eat from that...

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NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Everest Sushi at the Blue Monkey

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NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Blog friends, I am happy to report that Everest Sushi, including owner/ chef Abhi and sushi chef Kyle, are safe and sound at the Blue Monkey. Originally, they were at the Blue Monkey just for late nights on the weekend-now they are there Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 9pm-2am. Mr Foodie and I were there on Tuesday night, and again last night. I had never been to the Blue Monkey before – the place is great! It’s a dark little lounge with good music and attentive bartenders. As we sat...

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NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Everest Sushi is Back!!

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NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Dear loyal blog fans, Everest Sushi Lives! As I previously discussed here and here, Everest Sushi is some of the best sushi in town. And to our horror, we recently learned that it had lost it’s space at the Red Zone. But good news-I heard from Abhi just yesterday that he is back in business! Everest Sushi will now be at the Blue Monkey Lounge at 1318 Cobb Lane in 5 points during the following hours starting tomorrow, December 9: Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-10pm Friday-Saturday 9pm-2am. We will be there...

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NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Save Everest Sushi!!

NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Now for the original post: Loyal blog fans, This is a plea for your help. We have a foodie emergency on our hands. Everest Sushi, which I blogged about here and here, has lost its space at the Red Zone. I know y’all love Everest because it’s #1 on Urbanapoon’s talk of the town, and my two posts had the most shares of any place I’ve blogged about. Everest is a true Birmingham foodie gem, and even moreso, it’s owner Abhi is a foodie treasure. He is self...

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NOW BAMBOO ON 2ND: Everest Sushi, Part 2

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NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Now for the original post: Since our original post only a week ago, Mr Foodie and I have returned not once but twice to Everest Sushi. The first time, it was just us. The second time, our two wonderful, highly discerning foodie friends joined us. We also ran into the president of our local neighborhood association who had decided to stop by based on our first blog post. He joined us too. With 5 people, we were able to order our old favorites (the Wham Bam Birmingham, Beer...

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NOW BAMBOO ON 2nd: Everest Sushi

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NOTE: Everest Sushi is now the sushi bar at Bamboo on 2nd. Now for the original post: What I love about this town is that JUST when you think you’ve found every last [fill in the blank], you find one that has been right under your nose, that you’ve never heard of before, and that is as good or better than all of your favorite places. To find these hidden gems, I occasionally obsessively peruse Yelp and Urbanspoon. Sushi being one of my favorite things in the world, as I have done many times before, last week I did a...

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No Secret Menu – the story of Great Wall

This is the story of Great Wall, and also the story of Sunny. Sunny is Great Wall’s owner, and she has been the face of the restaurant for decades. If you have ever been to Great Wall, you have probably been greeted by her always-cheerful personality and warm smile as she takes you to your table. Last week, in between calls for take-out orders and teaching her American customers Chinese one word at a time, Mr Foodie and I had the opportunity to talk to Sunny about her passion for bringing “high-class,” “authentic” Chinese food to Birmingham. History of Great...

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Great Wall (alert-includes homemade Dim Sum!)

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I have a theory that Birmingham is full of amazing, authentic ethnic restaurants flying under the radar. For authentic Chinese food, most people know about Red Pearl and Mr Chen’s (I think). Earlier this week we blogged about Black Pearl, a Chinese place that’s been around for awhile, but now has a new chef who has introduced more authentic Cantonese dishes. This got me to thinking… Maybe there are other places around with similar stories. All it takes is one chef… And so I started poking around Yelp and Urbanspoon. Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant in Homewood, seemed like exactly...

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Black Pearl

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Wait wait wait. I know you are about to correct me here. Yes, I know there is a much loved authentic Chinese restaurant and supermarket on Valley Avenue called Red Pearl. This is not that. Read on. Authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese food are my absolute favorite types of food. I think this comes from living in the Vietnamese neighborhood in Philly, which was only a mile from Philly’s Chinatown. (If you are ever going to Philly, let me know and I can make some recommendations.) Then, a few years ago, right before moving here, Mr Foodie and I...

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Kati Thai

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Ok, I know, I tricked you. There are so few (if any?) truly authentic Thai options in Bham that when you saw a place you didn’t recognize, your heart skipped a beat. You felt butterflies in your stomach. Well – made you look. This place is actually in Gadsden. So sue me. I would drive an hour for amazing authentic Thai food any day. A few weeks ago, Mr Foodie and I took a road trip north of the Mason-Dixon Line to attend a family reunion in Pennsylvania. We left Birmingham just before 5pm, so predictably, we began to feel...

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The Backstory: Sushi Village 2

A passion for sushi Owen Ou’s passion for sushi began 20 years ago in the kitchen of famed Iron Chef Morimoto‘s restaurant in Manhattan. Originally  from China, Ou moved to the US as a teenager with his parents.  At age 17, he had just finished school, and recalls searching the internet for a job just “to make some money.”  With no prior interest in the restaurant industry – he didn’t even know who Morimoto was – he landed a job as one of his dishwashers. This early experience helped shape the direction of his career. Morimoto recognized Ou’s hardworking spirit and soon began to...

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Mr. Chen’s

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Recently, I heard something I could hardly believe. Mr. Chen’s-arguably the best Chinese restaurant in Birmingham-serves soup dumplings. Mr. Foodie and I lived in Philadelphia for 10 years, which has one of the best Chinatowns in the US. This experience completely spoiled us. We are used to eating non-greasy Chinese food with fresh ingredients, and have come to love dim sum — a Cantonese style of bite sized dining which typically includes dumplings. A really good dumpling – one that isn’t from the freezer section, that is hand made with perfectly seasoned filling – is hard to find. One specific...

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Sushi Village 2

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Friends, do not be deterred by its location in a newly revitalized but slightly dingy strip mall. Sushi Village 2 is the real deal. Look for this sign, in the back of Crestwood festival across from the Edge movie theater and behind the ever-classy Bargain Hunt (we once bought a tandem bike there, don’t ask): For the last year since it opened, Sushi Village 2 has been our go to weeknight place. Their sushi and kitchen appetizers and entrees are consistently good, and really cheap. What makes this place really great is the people who run it-when it first got...

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