Extraordinary Lunch at Tempura Matsui

Tempura Matsui is a Japanese restaurant focusing on tempura (fried vegetables and seafood). The small, 20-seat restaurant is located in Murray Hill, hidden approximately 50 feet to the right of the entrance of a hotel. Tempura Matsui calls their style of making the art that is tempura “The Matsui Way” after their grand chef Mr. Matsui.

While numerous restaurants in New York City makes tempura, Matsui’s paper-thin batter gently coats the ingredients and enables the juices and subtle flavors to stand out. The lunch is a set menu, priced at 40 dollars.

I sat at the ten-seat tempura bar, right across from the two chefs and a large pan of bubbling oil.

To start, they served a plate of cold, round udon noodles accompanied by a bowl of sauce to dip. With two slurps, I inhaled the tiny amount of noodles. When dipped, the noodles hold onto the sauce, adding a nice saltiness and a bit of tang.

Next, the star of the meal: the tempura courses. Piece by piece, the chefs placed the delicately fried shrimp, fish, and vegetables onto a small block in front of me.

My favorites were the eggplant, the onion, and a fried mixture of chopped vegetables (including pumpkin, sweet-potato, and string bean). Each piece of tempura is accompanied by radish and tempura-sauce to cool down and add another layer of complexity to every bite.

Biting into the fried slice of eggplant produced a burst of juices enclosed in a thin layer of lightly-salted dough. I was shocked by how hot the interior of the eggplant was, so be cautious.

The god-father of an onion ring, the onion tempura held absolutely no greasiness. The sweet flavor of the onion worked beautifully with the crispy coating.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the fried mixture of vegetables. All veggies were cubed in precisely the same size and bound together on a bed of fried, flaky dough. The sweetness of the potato and pumpkin added to the texture of the firm cuts of string bean.

The whole special tempura experience is definitely unlike any other in NYC and worth a try.

Tempura Matsui: 222 E 39th St, New York, NY 10016


Spot Dessert Bar–NYC

spot-dessert-barThere is an unbelievable dessert bar by Iron Chef Kittichai located under The Bao in New York City. From the new innovative light bulb glass bubble teas to the moist, molten “Green Tea Lava” cake, Spot Dessert Bar is a definite find.

I loved the super airy, creamy, gelato-like green tea ice cream that accompanied the extremely rich lava cake. Inside the lava cake is a mixture of chocolate and a gooey sweet green tea, making a tasty center.

My other picks on the menu are “The Harvest” (a fun soft layered cheesecake in the shape of a plant) and the “Banana Chouff” (a delicate puff with interesting banana milk ice cream and sweet bruléed bananas).

The Spot Dessert Bar is my new favorite place for desserts.

Spot Dessert Bar
13 St. Marks PlaceNew York, NY 10003
(212) 677-5670


Two Little Red Hens

two-little-red-hensThe Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake at Two Little Red Hens is a chocolate lover’s dream. It is layers of incredibly moist chocolate cake and super sweet, extremely light chocolate frosting.

It is a nice treat for anytime.

Two Little Red Hens
1652 Second Avenue
(@86th Street)
New York, NY 10028
(212) 452-0476


Coconut Cloud Layer Cake

By The Way BakeryI just went to the newly opened By the Way Bakery and loved their coconut dream layer cake. Super moist, with four layers of sweet coconut cake and icing, the cake is a delicious treat. Topped with lots of shavings of coconut, the coconut dream cake is worth trying.



By the Way Bakery

2442 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
(212) 877-0806

1236 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10028
(212) 988-3300

Eating My Way through Hudson Eats

I enjoyed exploring all the offerings at Hudson Eats to find the dishes I can recommend as my favorites. I wrote an article about it that was featured on Betty Confidential. Click here to view the article!



Throughout New York City, there are many modern food court-like spots that have a variety of restaurants and eateries. These food courts have become incredibly popular, and an important stop for any foodie living in or traveling to New York City. One of the newest and best food courts is Hudson Eats near the World Trade Center at Brookfield placeHudson Eats boasts a wide variety of offerings: from BBQ and dumplings to cupcakes and sushi, you can find just about any food you are craving! The individual eateries include Black Seed BagelBlue Ribbon Sushi BarChop’tDig Inn Seasonal MarketDos TorosLittle MuensterMighty Quinn BarbequeNorthern TigerOlive’sSkinnypizzaSprinklesNum PangTartinery and Umami Burger. The giant food hall is packed around lunch time

I set out to find the best foods in the Hudson Eats food hall. After trying all sorts of foods within each of the eateries, below are my favorite dishes and recommendations.


  1. Best Pizza: Skinnypizza

Plain Slice with original skinny crust-

This incredibly thin slice of pizza has a large amount of light, sweet tomato sauce and a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. The skinniness of the crust highlights the density of the cooked tomato sauce which adds a great taste to the simply delicious slice.


  1. Best Ice Cream Sandwich: Cool Haus @Umami Burger

“I’m Pei-nut butter” ice cream sandwich-

At Umami burger, they sell a variety of Cool Haus ice cream sandwiches. Cool Haus has an ice cream sandwich truck that travels around NYC, so it’s very unique that they sell their sandwiches at Umami Burger. I tried an ice cream sandwich with double chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter ice cream. After waiting two minutes for the ice cream to soften, the soft rich chocolatey sweet cookies went perfectly with the mild and subtle sweetness of the peanut butter ice cream.


  1. Best Grilled Cheese: Little Muenster

Grilled cheese with white American cheese and caramelized onions-

Little Muenster has the best grilled cheese in Hudson Eats. From the perfect crunch in the buttery, super fluffy toasted bread to the tasty caramelized onions and the white American cheese, it was a delicious grilled cheese!

  1. Best Bagel Dish: Black Seed Bagels

“#1” Bagel Sandwich with smoked salmon, plain cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions-

My favorite bagel dish in Hudson Eats was from Black Seed Bagels. They wood fire their bagels, which gives them a unique toasty but chewy layer. I ordered the #1 bagel sandwich and loved every bite of it. I got a toasted plain bagel which made the plain cream cheese even more melty. The creaminess of the light, warm cream cheese went perfectly with the refreshing cold tomato slices and the saltiness of the thinly sliced smoked salmon and the plump, fresh capers.

  1. Best Sandwich: Num Pang

 “Pulled Duroc Pork” Sandwich-

At Hudson Eats was the Pulled Pork sandwich at Num Pang. It was unlike any other pulled pork sandwich I’d ever eaten. On a perfectly toasted baguette-like oval roll laid a delicious layer of sweet and sour tender pulled pork. On top of the pulled pork was a light creamy spicy mayo spread. I added pickled carrots and a refreshing bite of the cold cucumber with some cilantro. It was an incredible mixture of ingredients in an unforgettable sandwich.

  1. Best BBQ: Mighty Quinn’s

Brisket Sandwich-

The fall-off-the-bone, well-seasoned brisket at Mighty Quinn’s was out of this world! They included a little sea salt which combines with the juiciness of the meat and creates a great salty flavor. The lean brisket on a soft roll with a few very lightly pickled cucumber slices makes for an especially flavorful meat.

  1. Best Sushi: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar

Spicy Tuna Roll-

The Sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar was overall extremely tasty and super fresh. I loved the Spicy Tuna Roll which was very simple. It had just the right amount of tuna with the exact amount of kick needed, a lot of rice with a nice acidity and seaweed created the perfect simple yet complex-in-flavor sushi roll.


  1. Best Cupcake: Sprinkles

“Vanilla Milk Chocolate” Cupcake-

Sprinkles, home to the Cupcake ATM, produces some of the best cupcakes in New York City. This outpost reflects the same impeccable standards of the other outposts,  despite not having its own cupcake ATM, features amazing cupcakes. My personal favorite is the Vanilla Milk Chocolate cupcake. It is a light vanilla cake with super creamy and rich sweet milk chocolate icing.


  1. Best Dumplings: Northern Tiger

“Heritage Pork and Chive”-

Northern Tiger not only has the best dumplings in Hudson Eats, but features one of the best dumplings in all of NYC. I was shocked at how unbelievable the pork and chive pan fried dumplings were. They have the perfect levels of juiciness and saltiness. he chive adds a delicious complex flavor, with a sublime ratio of filling to dumpling.  The pan-fried wrapper was cooked to perfection With the citrusy-soy sauce, the dumplings are worthy of being named the best of NYC.

Hudson Eats is a cool place.  It not only has great food, but creates a vibrant and fun destination with spectacular views. It is well worth the trip downtown, but if you happen to be visiting the World Trade Center, Battery Park, or Financial District, you have no excuse for not stopping by to check it out.