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.

Yuki Sushi

You all know that whenever it’s up to my mom to pick a restaurant, it’ll b sushi. Hands down. Bar none. No questions asked. This is how I’ve ended up visiting many of the countless sushi joints in the Philadelphia burbs. One of them is Yuki Sushi, in Newtown Square. In a random strip mall, it was originally a thai joint, but no longer! Now it’s a sushi joint!
Green salad with ginger dressing… ubiquitous to sushi spots and one of my most preferred salads. This was well done. Look at the fancy cucumber slices!
My mom’s sushi regular, her go-to dish at any sushi joint. It was supposed to be 7 pieces of assorted sushi, but two of them are the same tuna. A perfectly respectable plate of raw fish.
I got the tempura udon. While the tempura bit was fine, I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the udon. The bowl was very small and the broth was bland! You should just get more, physically and figuratively, for $14. I’ve had better, I’ve had worse. If you have a hankering and you live close by, it’s certainly an option!
Yuki Sushi on Urbanspoon

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