Al and I had a couple of meals over the weekend at two places we’ve really enjoyed in the past, Tiffin Wallah and You-Chun. What we ate:
Bajjia: Fried perfection. Thin slices of green pepper, acorn squash, and sweet potato in a thick (yet light) batter.
Uttapam with paneer: Another example of frying done right. This was quite a bit more browned and crispy that the last version we had (at the outstanding Sri Ganesh in Jersey City), but still very tasty.
Pondicherry Masala Dosa: A fantastic mix of flavors. The crepe was crisp and seemingly greaseless (thought later the takeout bag told a different story), with a lot of earthy heat, and the curried potato and mixed vegetable filling added a bright spiciness.
Complaint: the chutneys aren’t very good. They’re using premade stuff, and not even high quality stuff at that.
Kimchi dumplings: Loved these. They aren’t quite as out-of-this-world as the ones available at the snack bar attached to Han Yang Mart, but they’re close. I love the contrast of such a thin, delicate wrapper with the robust, almost rough flavors of ground meat and fermented cabbage.
Soft tofu stew (aka soon dobu jigae): No surprises here, just a nice rendition of one of my favorite dishes. Despite the intense-looking red-orange broth, it wasn’t searingly hot. The level of heat built nicely over time, instead of immediately walloping you over the head. The odd bit of seafood (cockles, squid, tiny mussels, etc) added a bit of brine and textural counterpoint to the silky bean curd.
NB: The specialty of the house is naeng myun, featuring wonderful homemade noodles, but with flurries blowing outside we weren’t feeling like a cold dish. It’s something that’s worth making a trip for, though.
Tiffin Wallah, 127 East 28th Street, New York, NY 10016
You-Chun, 156-03 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11358