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Sunday, January 29, 2012


The Village Voice rated Tabata's GEKI KARA as the #1 SPICIEST RAMEN in NYC....a title formerly held by Ramen Setagaya in the East Village.  I didn't get a chance to try Setagaya's, but I didn't feel a need to as it had fallen second to Tabata's spicy ramen. A huge fan of spicy foods, I was salivating like a dog in heat for this dish.

The bowl of red goodness came out very quickly as my friend and I had waited to try the spiciest ramen in NYC...well more me than my friend as he had already eaten the dish before and wanted to get my take on it. The portions was a fair amount of noodles, scallions and chunks of thick pork swimming in the red broth. It smelled spicy without having that chemical odor that I find in most spicy food. I had my napkin in hand ready to dab my forehead and cold glass of water within arms reach in case I was overwhelmed by its spiciness.

Bringing noodles up to my mouth I was anticipating the fire, but none came about. I thought maybe I needed more noodles, but again the spice was so-so. I tried drinking some of the soup and yet again it was a huge letdown. The flavors were good, but there was such a lack of spice and/or heat in my mouth, my friend gave a glance that we were both in agreement and disappointed. Despite the disappointment, I finished the undercooked noodles and tasty pork chunks, finishing off the entire bowl..broth and all. 

What a complete let down and a waste of time. The spices in this were no hotter than some of the milder packaged ramens I've eaten in the past, during my college years.  Don't expect to come here for spice, as it has left the building like my enthusiasm. Come here if you want; just Ramen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Having had Duck's Blood before, I wanted to try it again and give my updated thoughts on the cuisine. You can find Pig or Duck's blood in most Authentic Chinese restaurants throughout NYC, but short on time, we opted for Pig's Blood found in the Brooklyn, Chinatown.

It doesn't have that, "Mmmm, mmm good" smell, but its not offensive like Stinky Tofu. There's a slight musky odor thats familiar, but I can't put my finger on.  Visually it looks like a chocolate bar thats been sweating in the hot sun with small pores peppered throughout.

Upon my first bite, the texture of the Pig's Blood was very noticeable. It had a smooth outer texture and a gritty texture upon chewing that stuck to my teeth. It wasn't at all pleasurable chewing as if I was eating mushy chalk, but it didn't deter me from finishing the 6 pieces I had left on my plate. I found some pieces tougher than others, which could be signs of older bloods being sold. The taste wasn't strong in flavor, but a hint of that musky odor could be hinted in the back of my throat.

...we may have gotten an older batch.  The taste is very doable and not offensive, but lack of flavor to me would put Pig's Blood middle to low of the totem pole of a menu.  I'll have to try a fresh batch and update this blog.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


What better way to inaugurate my No Fear Foodie-Eating On The Edge blog, then with STINKY TOFU.  Thank you Andrew Zimmern's, as I now want to tackle the one item that made him queasy. Tracked down Stinky Tofu in the Brooklyn, Chinatown 5806 8th Avenue. LINDA'S MINI KITCHEN operates and sells these delicacies off a cart.  Already I'm suspicious as I am with most items sold from carts, but there's no turning back.

Initially I couldn't smell anything "offensive," but when I leaned in close thats when it hit me. THE TOFU SMELLS LIKE GARBAGE...LITERALLY.  Its not unbearable, just unpleasant like spoiled milk sitting on the countertop. You really need to get in close to smell it.

The Stinky Tofu tasted like "freshly" made fried tofu.  A light crispy texture, drizzled with a mediocre spicy sauce and a soft silky inner core. Despite the smell, I wouldn't be able to discern the taste at all from several varieties of non-stinky tofu. If I didn't know what I was eating, I would've gagged a bit and assumed it had spoiled and tossed it out.

Take a big bite and don't nibble. Its not that bad, its just the initial smell that seems to hold you back.  Although it linger in your mouth, lips, hands and hair, the taste was no different from fried tofu you can find in most Chinatown or Asian restaurants. Is it Authentic?  Not sure as I've read mixed reviews, but its the most authentic I could find.  

I eventually brushed my teeth, washed my hands and face to get rid of that stinky smell.  One piece of advice, don't drink anything carbonated as I burped up the Stinky Tofu a couple times throughout the night.