Ass-a Soup

queueuI arrived outside Assa at 6:30 p.m. and was greeted by a queue. I could not believe that at senior citizen dining hour there was a line out the door for a small Korean restaurant in Soho.

Following a 20-minute wait, Emma and I were seated in a kimchi infused restaurant bustling with Koreans. Quick FYI, Emma is half Korean, and discovered that Assa serves the soup from her local town. She fondly calls it ‘Ass Soup’ because it’s made mostly with spam, which was a delicacy after the Korean war when locals found it leftover in American army bases. beerKorean KoreanHotPot This is how the soup is served, in an enormous pot heaving with vegetables, beef, kimchi and spam. I’ve eaten spam once before, and it was purely out of necessity. I was on a school camping trip, it was 40 degrees Celsius and the fresh meat was rotten. The only thing left for us to eat over seven days was spam and powder cordial.

Now, if Emma hadn’t told me that I would gain serious friendship points for trying the soup, I might have chosen anything else on the menu, but as a close friend I knew it was my duty to forgive the spam and give it another go. KoreanHotPot2After 10 minutes the noodles should have gotten soft enough to start serving. KoreanHotPot3 KoreanHotPot4My first bite and…..KoreanHotPot5I’m contemplating whether I love it or not- surprisingly, yes! I love spam. Who knew?! (As a side note: Emma and I are now officially BFFS)boyintoilet This is by far the creepiest art on a toilet door I have ever seen. emmaandicecreamGelupoIceCreamEvery time I am in Soho I insist on stopping at the Italian gelateria Gelupo. Seeing as Emma introduced me to her favourite restaurant, I felt it only fair to introduce her to my favourite ice-creamery.

Based on her empty cup, I’d say this won’t be Emma’s last visit. GelupoIceCream2

New York Round Up

It’s official I have left New York and am back in London. Moving there was hands down the best decision we’ve ever made and New York is now the second city to have my heart. Paris being the only other place where I swooned from the moment my feet stepped off the plane. 

So here is a round-up of the best restaurants and museums in no particular oder. (Do you realise I ate at over 40 places all together!?! I also gained four and a half pounds in the process. )

Best brunch atmosphere and mimosa’s: Beauty and Essex

Who to take: Your girlfriends or tourists. This speak easy sums up what’s fantastic about New York. 

Tip: Book way in advance and make sure to boogie into the late afternoon upstairs. 

What to order: Lobster Taco’s and the cheese dumplings in tomato soupthefishtacos2Best seafood: Mermaid Oyster Bar

Who to take: A date. Its low lit and very romantic. Plus you know what they say about oysters!

What to order: Prawn corndog, lobster corn fritters with truffle honey and lobster rolls. The first two dishes you won’t find anywhere else in New York.

Tip: On Monday’s oysters are $1 and the bar menu is open all nightlobsterhouse2Best restaurant worth it’s very long reservation waitlist: ABC Kitchen

Who to take: A date, but they also have huge wooden tables that would perfectly suit a group of 6 friends. 

What to order: Crab toast, pumpkin and hazelnut salad, fried chicken, popcorn sundae

Best ramen: Totto Ramen

Who to take: Anyone hungry

What to order: Miso ramen with avocado on top

Tips: Arrive with stretchy trousers on and an empty stomach because the portions are huge. Order avocado as an extra with your noodles – it’s aways worth the extra dollar. ramennoodlesBest indoor food stands: (TIE) Luke’s Lobster and Los Tacos No. 1

Who to take: Anyone who likes lobsters and Mexican. 

What to order: Lobster Roll at Luke’s and Chicken Quesadilla’s with all the dressings. 

Tips: Los Tacos. No 1 has no seats so either stand like everyone else does or wonder around Chelsea Market and find a tablechickencornBest Pizza: Lombardi’s

Who to take: Anyone, not the right first date atmosphere though

What to order: Any pizza with a tomato base is going to be the right choice. 

Tips: You can customise your order so the sky is the limit.

Best dessert and best place to take a date restaurant: (Tie) ABC Kitchen and The Dutch

Who to take: Date

What to order: ABC- Crab toast, pumpkin and hazelnut salad, fried chicken, popcorn sundae. The Dutch- Foie Gras, spicy seafood pasta, banana crepe. 

Tips: Make a reservation early for both and arrive before your reservation time at The Dutch so you can enjoy cocktails at their bar.dessertbananaBest art museum: MoMA

Who to take: Anyone who loves modern art

Why: They had such an impressive collection of famous artworks from Pollack to Duchamp, I was completely blown away and could have easily spent a whole day admiring their curation.

Tip: They have a variety of restaurants and cafes. If you want simple, Italian fare in an upscale cafeteria go to level 2. meandpollocjBest museum: The Natural History Museum 

Who to take: Anyone who loves history, animals or planets

Why: The museum might be a bit dated in some parts but the dinosaurs are definitely the favourite amongst visitors young and old. We also loved the space and planetarium section, which is a real must-visit while you are there. 

Tip: Luke’s Lobster is just around the corner, so you can make a food and cultural day of being out in the Upper East.