Eating Out in the Dirty City

I Wrote A Dim Sum Restaurant Review for Sassy Hong Kong!

tsui hang village dim sum hong kong

What is this half-eaten pig-shaped bun with a purple sweet potato filling, you may be wondering? In usual Iris-style, I’ve kept myself super busy and have already started new side projects as soon as I moved to Hong Kong. My good friend Rach, editor of Sassy Hong Kong, hooked me up and I’ve been contributing as guest blogger. Check out Rach’s own fabulous blog, Through The Looking Glass, for beauty, good eats, and more! My first post is about one of my favorite foods: dim sum. You can read my review of Tsui Hang Village and drool over photos of barbeque pork, custard buns, and glutinous rice dumplings.

Also, I apologize for the lack of new posts! My first month in Hong Kong has been fun, exciting, and inspiring, but getting settled in and looking for a job is very time-consuming. Hope to bring you more content about eating clean in this NEW dirty city soon.

Eating Out in the Dirty City

My Blog’s One Year Anniversary!

ice cream

Yesterday was Eating Clean in the Dirty City’s first birthday, yay! It’s been one year since my inaugural post about rediscovering Brussels sprouts. You know, I really thought I would have figured out my niche after a year and run this website like a well-oiled machine, but nope! Everything still feels disorganized and haphazard, even with my readership growing. Oh well. I can’t control and perfect everything in life, right?

I’ve definitely come a long way since last year–my photography is much better (hello, natural light), I’ve developed more cooking skills and instincts, I’ve been more creative in the kitchen, and I’ve even dared to write my own recipes. I’ve also expanded my knowledge of nutrition and fitness. Even though I see my eating habits as a work-in-progress and still haven’t learned how to moderate my sugar intake (working on it, promise!), I actually did cut way back on alcohol. Without any real intention, it kind of happened organically ever since I pondered when I would learn to just have one or two drinks. In fact, having “one too many” now sounds difficult for me to do!

Even if I’m not going to box myself in with a niche or a shtick for this blog, the one year mark has gotten me thinking about how I’m going to move forward. I’m going to put more time and effort into fixing all the little things that bother me, like the design. I also want to take a stab at creating some video content and learning how to better market my blog so i can reach more people. But the most important thing for me to focus on is getting back to the core message of Eating Clean in the Dirty City. I may post a lot of desserts and recipes that include bacon, so maybe my mission to help people eat delicious and nutritious food has been lost. That is about to change. I’m going to talk a lot more about clean eating and how you can eat your way to health, without depriving yourself of treats like dessert and bacon!

I want to take this chance to thank my readers for being so supportive. You made this a great year. I look forward to an even better year of eating clean with you guys <3

Most popular posts in the last year:
The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Beef Chow Fun
A Blogger Event: Whole Foods, Local Food, and a YouTube Celebrity Chef
When You’re Too Lazy to Make Thanksgiving Dinner, Make Turkey Burgers

My favorite posts in the last year:
What a Mug Cake Has To Do with Clean Eating
An Apple
10 Guidelines for a Wonderful Life of Eating
No Hearts of Darkness Here! My 2013 Valentine’s Treats

Eating Out in the Dirty City

Eating Out in the Dirty City: Takashi Restaurant Review

I don’t plan on writing too much about eating out because part of my clean eating philosophy is that we should prepare most of our food and buy high quality ingredients. I don’t sweat it too much when I eat out because I only do it about once or twice a week, but at the back of my mind, I know I’m not giving my body the best fuel I can.

However, once in a while I come across a restaurant worth writing about, like Takashi. Located in the West Village, Takashi is dedicated to clean carnivore food that tastes amazing. It’s run by a chef of the same name–a third-generation Korean from Japan whose food reflects his cultural background. Here’s the thing about Takashi: aside from a few appetizer or sides, everything on the menu is beef. All beef. And all different bizarre and glorious parts of the cow. Most is meat you grill yourself at the table, but there’s also a raw section of the menu. Before you protest that this hardly sounds like clean eating, Takashi is actually listed in Clean Plates, a restaurant guide dedicated to healthy, sustainable, and tasty food. Takashi hand-picks where each cut of beef comes from, using only sustainably-raised cattle with no antibiotics or hormones from New York state, Kansas, and Oregon farms.

We started with complimentary cabbage salad, bean sprouts, and kimchi. Mmmmm love kimchi.

We ordered the Yooke from the raw section. This is a raw thinly-sliced chuck eye tartare in sauce and a quail egg on top.

This is what the Yooke looked like after the waitress mixed it up for us. This was definitely the best thing we ate all night. Man, it was sooo good.

Another item from the raw menu: Mino-Yubiki, flash-boiled first stomach with ponzu sauce. We debated which stomach to get (first, second, third…), not knowing the difference. Then the film The Human Centipede popped into my mind. I insisted on first stomach. (If you haven’t already heard of that movie, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. SAVE YOURSELF!)

We also got some ribeye, beef belly, and liver to grill. The ribeye and liver was good, but beef belly was definitely our favorite of the three. There was an item on the menu called “The Tongue Experience” that got me all curious. Maybe next time!

Quick Notes

  • Takashi doesn’t take reservations for parties of less than four people.
  • If you don’t have a reservation, be prepared to go early, put your name down, and hang out at a bar nearby for an hour or two (I recommend Little Branch). They’ll call you if a table opens up earlier than they estimated, which is awesome.
  • Two raw items + three grilled meats was enough to satiate two people with medium appetites, though they suggest more.
  • The service is great and our waitress was happy to explain everything and make good recommendations.
  • You will leave with happy stomachs and happy hearts that you got in touch with your primal nature. Meeeeeeeat.

456 Hudson St
(between Morton St & Barrow St)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-2929

Eating Out in the Dirty City

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs for Dinner? I’m OK with that.

It’s hard eating clean in the dirty city. There’s just too many damn good eats in New York. While there are some places that make healthy meals and use high quality ingredients, let’s face it: we usually crave the nasty stuff. Sometimes what you want is a big New York-style slice dripping with oil. Or nachos. Or anything with pork belly.

I try not to eat out more than twice a week. I usually go for a healthier option and save half my plate for lunch the next day. Why not just eat out and order healthy food everyday, you ask? Because, even then, you really don’t know what you’re getting when you don’t prepare your own food. You can’t be sure how much oil they used, where they get their beef, or whether they do the right thing when they drop part of your meal on the floor (I have heard insider horror stories!) To take control of your health, you need to know what you’re putting in your body. And that means getting in the habit of making your own food.

That said, I love eating out. And I love eating everything. You can’t let the fear of not knowing how nutritious your food is stop you from going out to dinner with friends and enjoying what life has to offer. There’s no point in living in this city as a food lover if I don’t take advantage of the amazing food scene. I went to Crif Dogs a couple of weeks ago for date night dinner. I loved my bacon-wrapped dog with sour cream and avocado (pictured above). With some tater tots on the side. And a lot of ketchup. I didn’t feel one bit guilty about it. Ok, ok, maybe a tiny bit, but only because I’m so used to having veggies with every meal that it felt weird to go without.

Does it make me a hypocrite to write about clean eating and then gobble down a hot dog for dinner? I don’t think so. You don’t need to be an extremist, or deprive yourself to be a healthy eater. What you do once in a while doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do most of the time. If you’re preparing high quality balanced meals and get your vegetables in, go ahead and enjoy the few times you eat something deliciously unhealthy, guilt-free. Don’t give it a stupid name like “my cheat meal”. Savor your disco fries. Or Philly cheese steak. Or Buffalo wings. Just not everyday!

What are your takeout or eating out habits? Do you struggle with eating healthy when you’re at a restaurant?