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Kidari Sushi Yatai

IMG_2512After watching a particular spot on south street turn over very quickly in the short time I’ve lived in the neighborhood, I was intrigued to finally see a sushi spot open up there. So on a night when we had out of town guests over, we walked over to check out Kidari Sushi Yatai, on South St, between 18 and 19. On a weeknight, the place was pretty busy! We showed up just in time to be able to get a table for 6. It’s a byob! The miso soup was good and the house salad, the typical salad you get at a sushi place with the ginger dressing, was especially good. It was rather large with mixed greens, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and a fresh ginger dressing. This is one of my favorites types of salads, so it was a good sign that the rest of the meal would also be good!
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IMG_2514The Sushi & Sashimi on table for two. We’re not sure why they call it “on the table” instead of “regular” like most places do, but hey, it must be their thing! This was a large assortment of various sushi and sashimi, and it also included a dragon roll, a spicy tuna roll, along with the soups and salads. It was a nice variety of fish for the sushi choices and sashimi choices, and everything was fresh. 
IMG_2515We also got some more adventuruous and curious rolls. At the bottom is the Texas Roll – a yellotail, roasted shallot, and avocado roll topped with jalapeno, crab meat, and bacon. Yes, I said bacon! We had to order it, just because, and it was a bonus that it was good! In the middle is the Rittenhouse Roll – salmon, avocado, red tobiko, scallion and crunch on top of california roll. Also very good. And in the back was one of the special rolls of the evening, whose name I totally forget. They were all great. In fact, all of the food here was great. And I was so, so, so happy because of it. The service was very friendly and I can’t recommend this place enough as a nice new neighborhood sushi choice. 
Kidari Sushi Yatai on Urbanspoon

The Pandan Room – Hackettstown

If you travel for work, sometimes you get to go to really awesome places, like Italy or Boston. Sometimes you get to go to less illustrious places. But wherever I’ve ended up, I’ve always managed to eat somewhere interesting. I’ve had to go to Hackettstown, NJ, a lot, and my best meal there was at Pandan Room. Man alive I love these prawn crackers! I ate the whole damn bowl. I can’t buy these in a store, because I would eat them too quickly.
I got the soup special which was a pumpkin chestnut soup. What’s not to love? I love pumpkin! I love chesnuts! Put them together!
For my main dish, I got the Babi Kecap Manis. These were little mini pork shanks marinated with Indonesian sweet soy, fresh shallot, lemongrass, and medium chili sauce. They were served with a sweet potato puree and quinoa. Quinoa at an asian restaurant? Yep! I’ve never had an entree quite like this. It was delightful!
Everything had been so delicious and also interesting, so even though I was beyond stuffed, I wanted to get some dessert. So I picked the banana mini cheesecake with vanilla ice cream. These were essentially deep fried cheesecake bites topped onto ice cream, with some sliced strawberries. Talk about decadent! This place was such a nice surprise. Service was great, attentive, and my server was super friendly. I was glad to see many people eating there, and it seemed to be mostly locals and regulars. 

Pandan Room Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pumpkin on Sundays

To continue on with my extreme laziness in blogging, I’m finally posting on this dinner from Pumpkin from forever ago. I don’t even remember what season it was! But I’m pretty sure it was from last summer. So I apologize in advance for the lack of timeliness in the menu and seasonal ingredients. But regarless, Pumpkin still has one of the best sunday night prix fixes to be had. The bread! So warm and so good.
My cucumber and grape soup that was served cold. I love me some soup. And I love me some cold soup. This is so much more exciting than a common gazpacho type cold soup. The cucumber taste was mild and the grapes were just the right pop of sweet. I would drink this out of a glass… or even a pitcher. Just put the funnel in my mouth and start pouring.
Salmon pate with spicy foam! The foam was so spicy! There were a few hunks of watermelon on top of the salmon.
Fregola sarda with cheesy foam and coddled egg. What is fregola sarda? I don’t really know. It’s big round bits of pasta, kinda like israeli couscous. This foam was so cheesy!
A big hunk of cheese! It reminded us of feta, but was a very creamy consistency. And there were some bits of green plant that were completely mysterious, but quite tasty. Beets too, and some kind of pickled onion type thing. We have no clue, but we ate it all!
There were adorable tiny purple potatoes with my beef! And more mysterious green things that I happily ate.
Fish with mushrooms and more foam! I didn’t even realize until now just how foam-heavy this meal was! And every single foam was completely different from each other.
Chocolate cake with mango sorbet… just about the most mango-y thing you’ll ever taste!
Banana budino! There’s not much for me to say, other than just reiterate my love for Pumpkin. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in all of Philadelphia. I’ve never been disappointed. It’s just a lovely place.

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