Muslim Noodles FTW.

This featured image shows hand-pulled noodles with spicy sauce, beef and peppers.


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I thought I’d throw in another picture of a popular dish (among me and my friends) from this restaurant. It’s a simple hand pulled noodle soup with a fried egg but it always hit the spot.
I am a big fan of noodles. Like if I’m ever having difficulties figuring out what I want for lunch, hands down, if there is a noodle-soup option I’m opting for that. Hand pulled noodles are the prize though. They are chewy, and I can taste the hard-work.

These Muslim noodles are from a restaurant located in my host university in China (GuangXi Normal University).  It’s delicious. This was the first meal I had in GuiLin, so it has a special place in my heart. There are other hand-pulled noodle joints in the state so don’t be upset you can’t fly all the way to China to try it out. One of my favorite hand-pulled noodle restaurants in NYC is Xi’An Famous Foods. There are also many other hand-pulled noodle places throughout the country that I encourage you to try out.


While I still have your attention because I enticed you with food, I thought I’d include more information about the university and also the region:

A little more about the university I attended in China. It was called Guangxi Normal University. Throughout China, there are a lot of universities that have “Normal” within their name. Originally, I thought that attending a “Normal” university, meant that it was a mediocre university. However, a lot of these universities have “Normal” in their name because it means that they are a college that is not specialized in any specific field.

China_autonomous_regions_numbered.svgAlso, Guangxi Normal University is located in the city GuiLin, which is in the autonomous region of GuangXi. China has 4 autonomous regions: GuangXi (located in Southern China), Tibet and XinJiang (Western China), and Inner Mongolia (Northern China). These regions are autonomous because they contain a huge population of sub-ethnic Chinese. Most Chinese living in China are of Han-Chinese descent. Usually, not only do these regions have their own languages, but also their own kind of cuisine and cultures.

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BeiJing’s KFC – better or worse than American’s KFC?

Picture in caption is a duck egg congee with egg on the side.


You would have thought that KFC is the same all over the world, it’s not. Thank goodness it’s not. Let’s take a look at some of the different KFC menus from all over the world.

China:

images    KFC

Sri Lanka:Kfc Sri Lanka Menu Price List, Value Meals & Delivery Areas 27 Jul with regard to Kfc Menu Price List

USA:kfc-party-packs-meals-USA-1024x631

Although items such as fried chicken, mashed potato, burgers and fries are consistent on all the menus, there are variations throughout the world. If you look at China, there are Congee (rice porridge) and rice dish options. In Sri Lanka, they feature Chicken Buriyani and Fried Rice. All those items are catered more towards the demographic of the individuals living in those countries.

You can see this with other international fast food joints such as McDonald’s and Burger King as well. McDonald’s offers a Bulgogi Burger (marinated beef burger) in their Korean locations because that is a popular dish among many Koreans. They also have a Spicy Shrimp burger.

This is a great marketing tactic because it makes their fast food restaurant different from the other local fast food joints in the local market of that country. This also makes it an interesting visit for those of another country because these fast food joints have something to offer that the ones in their home country do not.

I was raised this question while I was studying abroad by a professor who was also not from the country, if it was worth it to even visit a McDonald’s or any other American fast food restaurants.

Other students said no immediately, however, I said yes. Fast food restaurants in America have a bad rep for being unhealthy, having unethical slaughter houses, and other not so pleasant things. Whereas in other countries, people actually enjoy eating at these restaurants. Like people would go on dates here and would still have their girlfriend/boyfriend at the end of the date – this would not be the case in America. Plus, not only do we get to taste a little bit of what reminds us of home, but also a flavor for what your host country taste like.


So, is it worth checking out fast food joints from our home country in other countries? Definitely.

Williamsburg Smorgasburg – Worth it?

What surprises me the most about myself and Smorgasburg right now, is the fact that I have never been there. How is it possible that a foodie like me have never made their way to Smorgasburg??

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For those who do not know what Smorgasburg is, it’s an all in one food spot for all types of cuisines. They have food from the cultures of Moroccan, Mexican, Japanese, Taiwanese, American, Italaian, and many more.

There are many vendors within Smorgasburg that you can find outside of Smorgasburg and around the city. Two that I can state on the top of my head is goa taco and C Bao. So if you find something at Smorgasburg but you cannot make it there all the time, these restaurants got you covered by having more than one location.

Me and my friends went to the one located in Williamsburg, however, Smorgasburg currently has 3 locations within NYC. Their current schedule is Saturdays in Williamsburg, Sundays in Prospect Park, and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in Varick/Canal Street. I am a little biased since I have only been to the one at Williamsburg, but the location there is great. There are a bunch of places to sit, benches and grass. Plus, you get to view Manhattan’s skyline! Since I live in Manhattan, I only ever get to see the skyline when I am crossing the bridge from other boroughs or when I hit up Brooklyn. If I ever get a chance to go to the Prospect Park or Varick/Canal Street location, I’ll do a follow up article, but for now, Williamsburg Smorgasburg is my favorite.


To see the vlog about my day at Smorgasburg with my friends, click here!


As you can see in the vlog, I got a skewer set from Yakitori Tatsu (Japanese). I got the Tatsu set which consisted of a chicken breast skewer, a pork belly skewer, and an eel skewer. It was a bit pricey, $13 for all three, but it saves you a dollar or two. Although it was expensive, the skewers were really good. My chicken breasts were cooked well, rarely smokey or burnt on the outside, and it was juicy. My pork belly skewer was awesome, but that’s also because I am a sucker for pork belly. My eel was also really good. There was the right amount of teriyaki sauce on it, and it was also not burnt or smokey. Though I do think that $13 for 3 skewers that only contained 4 pieces on each of them is expensive, it was of good quality. If it was a treat yo’self kind of day, I would treat myself to this.

Then my friend Esther got a Vegan Beef Bahn Mi from Si Chuan Bahn Mi (Vietnamese and Chinese). Although I did not get a bite of hers, she really enjoyed it. I did get to try a bit of her vegan beef because she could not believe how great it tasted. She has also been a vegetarian for a long time so she does not remember how actual meat taste like. For my regular meat eaters – you could tell it was not real meat. It kind of tasted like tofu that has been submerged and marinated in a soy sauce or stir fried sauce. Not sure if she got a half or a full, but a half is $9 while a full is $14 (since she only got one side, I believe she got a half).

For dessert I got an ice cream from Bona Bona Ice Cream. I forget what the exact item was called, but it was a scoop of ice cream topped off with a toasted marshmallow. As for ice cream, I got a cookie dough and brownie flavored ice cream. One scoop of ice cream on a cone with the toasted marshmallow was $6. For $3 more, I could have gotten an extra scoop of ice cream. I really enjoyed eating the ice cream with the warm marshmallow. It was kind of like eating a fresh baked brownie that came right out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream.

One of my other friends got a mango flower with spice or paprika sprinkled on top. I know that this can also be found around NYC with all the mango carts so this is something that may be accessible to more people.

My friend Esther was also eyeing desserts and got something from kokus. She got the vitality which had a bunch of toppings on raw cacoa. This was a really lightweight dessert that was much healthier than mine. It cost $9, so it definitely makes a dent in your wallet.


Although I really want to like Smorgasburg, I think it’s because I am a foodie that I have been going to other places for alternative food options than those at Smorgasburg. I do have to admit that all the things I got at Smorgasburg was good, and the scenery was amazing and it was a perfect way to spend my Saturday. However, my wallet would not be able to keep up. I was happy to be surrounded by all the different food at Smorgasburg so that I could see my options, but there are definitely more things within the city (all 5 boroughs) that are friendlier to your wallet for the same quality. I think the good thing is that everything is there so that you do not have to travel far if your friends want different cuisines, but once you know what you like, it might be better to venture into different places for those options.

Boka – The crispiest fried chickens in NYC

-crunch- That’s the first thing you’ll hear when you bite in. Followed up by flavor and happiness. Leaving you with satisfaction.

Boka is located at 9 St. Marks Place.

This was a hard find at first because it is located on the lower level, and the only thing that was indicating that the store was there was a little poster stand. It did not help that the store was also dim inside, making it hard to tell whether it was open or operating in the first place.

This restaurant is known for its ties with Korean Fried Chicken (the other KFC). For those who do not know what the hype about Korean fried chicken is, I’ll break it down to you right now.

  • Unlike the fried chicken we have here, it is not as greasy and oily. Without a doubt, fried chicken is still fried chicken. However, fried chicken in America is insanely heavy as compared to Korean fried chicken.
  • The coating of the fried chicken is different. In America, it is thiner and not as crispy as Korean fried chicken. Often times, Korea fried chicken is coated a little thicker and fried more than once.
  • Korean fried chicken is known for their different sauces. Now, I’m not talking about sauces that come on the side. It is often already layered in the flavor. Typical sauces are black pepper, soy sauce, honey-red pepper paste. Usually people would order ban-ban, which means half and half. If you refer to the featured picture, that is what me and my fried ordered.

Overall, I’m just comparing the differences between Korean fried chicken and American fried chicken. I’m not stating one is better than the other – though I prefer Korean fried chicken more, this will really depend on a person’s taste buds. I know people who want more grease and heaviness that Popeyes or KFC gives when you eat fried chicken. Then there are individuals like me who want a crispier coating and more options of flavor.

The other thing shown in the picture is called JjamPpong (which I already have written a post on). But to sum it up, it is a spicy base soup with seafood and udon noodles.

Another thing on their menu that I have ordered in addition to the fried chickens are their seafood pancakes. Many Asian countries have savory “pancakes” like scallion pancakes in China and Taiwan. So do not be scared by the name – just think of it as a really thin stuffed pizza!

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I also mentioned in my vlog that they have lychee flavor calpico on their menu, which was also really good, like realllly good.

If you want to see more about my vlog click on the image!

Although I love eating at Boka, it definitely is on the pricier side of fried chicken. However, if you’re feeling like it’s a “treat yo’self” kinda day, I highly recommend the place.

NYC Vlogs: Museum of Sex

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Watch the full vlog by clicking on the image! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content!

This post will solely focus on the Museum of Sex portion of the vlog, and there will be two follow up posts on dinner: Boka and dessert: Spot Dessert.

The Museum of Sex is located at 233 Fifth Avenue in New York (corner of 27th Street).
Open from:
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm

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** There is a student discount ticket. You also have to be 18+ to enter the museum.

With that being said~
My thoughts after my visit to the Museum of Sex was very different from my first impression of the Museum. My high school was only a few blocks away from this place, so I would pass by the museum once in a while. The gift shop is the first thing you see when you pass by the museum. I had previously went into the store prior to going into the museum the second time around. The store and the workers were very open about sex. There were lots of dildos and sex toys. Perfume that were different scents that claim to stimulate getting it on.

I should probably state that this may be a topic that is sensitive to certain people, so before going on, this is just a warning and I am not stating anything to be offensive or mocking in anyway.

There were also books with full nudity. Plus other knickknacks like penis pasta, presidential condoms, etc.

When I actually went into the museum on my second visit, with the rest of the girls, I was surprised by the vast information stored in the museum. Right when you walk in, there is a lounge/bar. There were also a lot of pictures on display, almost like a gallery. Each picture talked about gay clubs, and LGBTQ links to the topic of sex. Then on the first floor, it had a bunch of toys and accessories, as seen in the vlog. There were certain things that definitely caught my attention like the bicycle in the center of the room with the hanging testicles and penis. Plus the different tools used on the reproductive parts.

However, the main reason I wanted to come to the museum was for the boob house.

There is a separate fee you would have to pay to have this in addition to the tour of the museum. You have to take off jackets, shoes, and leave behind any other things that is not part of your main clothes. We were only given 2 or 3 minutes inside the bouncy house (can I even call it a house?) It was very small, and nothing like what I had seen in the videos. So yes, it was a bit disappointing but I am still glad to say that I was able to jump onto boobs without injuring anyone.

After the boobs, we entered the Animal Kingdom where we learned about the sexual interactions between different animal species.  I did not catch this on camera, but it was the first time I saw an armadillo’s penis. Also the fact that ducks chase their rape victims to their death and proceed to go on.

The last floor consisted of more things about sex, but it dealt more with how the topic is seen in current times. Such as the development of sex movies and the whole porn industry. In addition, the use of sex within marketing – and the term of “sex sells.” It also talked about different glory holes that could be found around the city, and how that term came about.

Overall, the museum of sex was very different to how I thought it would be. I was taken away with the vast amount of information and learned so much about not only the topic of sex within our culture, but also in the animal kingdom.

I would definitely recommend coming here and jumping on boobs if you are in the city. Plus, the museum is located close to the Flatiron, Korea town, the Empire State Building, and a huge shopping district.

Puerto Rico {Day 4}

Last full day in Puerto Rico!

Watch the vlog here:

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Goals of the day were: head over to Vieques, go snorkeling, explore Vieques, grab food!

Our journey to Vieques:

  1. We overslept
  2. There was only one ferry that day (there are usually 2)
  3. The ferry schedule was delayed by an hour
  4. The commute was an hour and a half – one way + more time in the Uber from Old San Juan to the port to board the ferry

All in all, we ended up at the port at around 1pm. We wanted to get there earlier, but we did not wake up on time to board on the earlier ferry. You can go online to check the ferry schedule: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/fajardo-ferry/

  • Fajardo to Culebra (7 days/week & holidays)
    9:00am • 3:00pm • 7:00pm.
  • Culebra to Fajardo (Mon- Fri)
    6am, 1pm, 5pm. Sat/Sun: 1pm, 5pm.
  • Fajardo to Vieques (Mon- Fri): 4am, 9:00am, 1pm, 4:45pm, 8:15pm. Sat, Sun and holidays- 9am, 1pm, 4:45pm, 8:15pm
  • Vieques to Fajardo (Mon-Fri) 6:00am, 11am, 3pm , 6:30pm. Sat/Sun and Holidays- 6:30am, 11am, 3pm, 6:30pm

It was not really reliable because everything runs on island time.
What is island time?

Basically a “go with the flow vibe.” “It’ll come when it comes.” This is completely opposite of the New York City hustle and bustle culture that I grew up in.

We waited over an hour for the ferry to arrive, and by the time that it did, we still had a while till we landed in Vieques. Thus, it was around 4pm when we got to Vieques. We immediately walked over to the snorkeling store, which was closing in half an hour. Although they were still willing to rent out the equipments to us, the worker told us that since we do not have a car, the closest area of water was Sea Glass Beach. Sea Glass Beach is not a bad beach, but it was not made for snorkeling. It definitely had a lot of tides, and it was very shallow. Adding those two factors together, it would have been very difficult and dangerous to go snorkeling.

We did not end up staying at the beach for long and headed over to dinner.

On the way over to dinner we saw these horses. The lady at the restaurant told us that these horses had a unique gallop. It was not the same sound or rhythm that the horses in America have. There was more clack to their steps, and it sounded more like tap dancing – it was definitely very interesting.
This is information found on caribbeantrading.com: these horses were originally brought over by the conquistadors in the 16th century. Some of the breeds within the horse family, “Paso Fine,” are the Andalusions, Barbs, and Spanish Jennets. However, the Spanish Jennets are now extinct.

There were a few restaurants on the island, but we decided to eat at Coqui Fire Cafe:

**BEWARE, there are a lot of flies at the restaurants.

Prior to Coqui Fire Cafe we went to another restaurant that had an amazing view of the water. However, we could not stay in that restaurant because of the amount of pests at the place. So we walked over to another place that was more put together, which we thought had less flies – they decided to pay a visit. They literally all decided to come once we got our food. However, it did not impeded us from loving our food.

We got an appetizer to share – Queso Fundido con Chorizo. It was really good and had a lot of flavor. Would definitely recommend this to whoever ends up at this restaurant!

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For our individual dish I got the fajita : steak and the others got the carnitas.

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In addition to your meal, you also get 3 pieces of tortilla (corn or flour). I opted for the flour, and the rest got corn. LOVED this meal. This restaurant is also known for their homemade hot sauces, which you can also get online here: http://www.coquifire.com

My favorite was the mango garlic sauce, which has a sweat factor 5. They also gave all the sauces to us when we requested it. Pretty good customer service. The meat was done really good and was not dry at all.

My overall thought about Vieques:

It really is a beautiful island and it definitely requires more than a few hours to explore it all. Everything is very chill here, and people really do take there time to enjoy everything. In addition, you need a car to get around the island because there is no Uber. Thus, we could have still snorkeled if we had a car.

We were not able to explore most of the island, and only a small portion of Vieques but nonetheless the commute was worth it.
The ferry still came late, and we waited from 6pm to board at 8pm, and finally arrived back in Old San Juan at 10pm. BUT, still worth it.

Puerto Rico {Day 3}

Check out my vlog on my YouTube channel!
Click on the picture to see my vlog:

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Brunch @ La Mallorca

So my friend Iris told us we’d be going to this place for brunch the next day because it has sugar powdered sandwiches. I did not know how I’d feel about mixing my meal with powdered sugar. I mean, I love dessert and sweets. However, I normally keep those two apart from each other. Good thing the place had other things on the menu, so we got a sandwich to share, and then our own meals.

Oddly enough, I did not hate the sandwich. I do not think I would gravitate to it often, but I liked it more than I thought I would. So I would definitely recommend getting this if you’re at Old San Juan. This is something I have never encountered in New York City, and do not see often in New York City, so I am glad that I was able to try this while I was in Puerto Rico.

As for our individual meals that we ordered, as seen in the video, I ordered a “stuffed chicken with plantains” with rice and beans. The chicken was not stuffed with plantains or anything at all, so I’m not really sure why it was called that, but it was delicious. The chicken’s meat came apart so easily. The beans were on point like always. Plantains were also bomb.

I forget what my friends ordered but one of them ordered a Gumbo, which is a stew with rice and meat – so in Asian terms like a congee or if you got a soup and you added the rice to it. It was delicious and definitely a dish that was up my alley. Another thing on the menu that I recommend!

Journey to Casa Bacardí

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We walked over to the pier where we would have to take the ferry to the other part of the island. This was a better method for us because it would be easier to go across the water than to drive around the land and get to Cataño. The ferry was also really cheap, it was 50 cents one way. It also was not a long ferry ride, unlike the one we had to take the next day.
Untitled drawing-12Once we got to the island we took an uber to Casa Bacardí, which was cheaper than taking the taxi. Then we decided on just going on the historical tour because it was the cheapest and you could get a complimentary drink with your Bacardí cup. The other options were the rum tasting tour, which included everything in the historical tour with a rum tasting option. Then the mixology tour included the cup, drink, rum tasting, and an option to mix your own drinks. This option had separate timing options, since you would be taking a class.

As promised in the vlog, here is the reason why the bat is the symbol of Bacardí.

When the family made the distillery, which was originally in Cuba, there were a lot of fruit bats lingering around the distillery. The wife took the bats as a symbol of fortune as it could ward off misfortune, although bats were related to vampires and bad omen. Another reason on how the bats are beneficial to the Bacardís is the fact that they help pollinate the sugar canes that are used to sweeten the alcohol by eating the bugs that would ruin the sugar cane.

Other things that stood out to me during the tour was the amount of details within the distillery tour portion. The actual machine was that was used in Cuba was also in the tour. The tour guide also told us that if they actually wanted to, they could still use the machines, it would just take a while to make it. Another part of the tour that I liked was the rum smelling section. They had each rum in a container with a metal mesh cover so you could get a sniff of each all the products. The video that was used in the tour was a little outdated though, so they should probably update that.

Post Casa Bacardí we went to the beach.

The beach we went to is called Condado and it was BEAUTIFUL. We took an uber from Casa Bacardí to the beach, which did not take that long. The beach had blue crystal clear water that was to die for. There was also a hotel at the beach, so that could be another lodging option for those who are visiting Puerto Rico.