Matsu Sushi

So yesterday was Easter here in the US.

Normally, we celebrate with the rest of my wife’s family, but this time we decided instead to do it on our own.

We were going to Mass and decided to go out to eat afterwards.

Esedia had a couple of suggestions. One was to go to Pantanal (our local Rodizio) and the other one was a sushi bar.

I suggested that, the sushi bar was a better choice, as I though the other place was going to be more crowded with the holiday.

We went to Mass at 12:30 PM and left for the house at 1:30 PM. We had to pick up Gilberto that had just come out of work.

We then drove to Westport, CT to Matsu Sushi.

A really nice place. Lovely atmosphere with about ten tables on the inside and a few tables for couples on the outside.

Like many sushi bars, you have an area where the prepare the sushi up front and a kitchen in the back where they cook other more traditional dishes and hibachi.

We ordered some drinks. Large Hot Sake for me,  and Beer (Kirin Ichiban) for Gilberto. Esedia and the boys had soda and water.

Delicious Hot Sake

We had sake before, but this one was at the right temperature and not bitter like in other restaurants.

We then placed our orders. Esedia and Carlos went for the Hibachi (Chicken and Steak, each) and Gilberto, Gaby and me decided on the Bento Box. Steak for me. I also replaced the soup for Vegetable Tempura.

The decoration is pretty simple and inviting. The open space and the garage style windows make the space look bigger than it really is. Plenty of light to take some pictures.

Our meals came with Soup and Salad for starters. Miso or Clear soup depending if the meal was Bento or Hibachi.

Miso Soup and Salad

Both were delicious and better than what we had before.

Dinner Bento Box

My dinner Bento box was enormous!! Four pieces of Sashimi, rice, steak, two shrimp dumplings and the vegetable tempura. I almost couldn’t finish it.

The sushi was very fresh and delightful. Esedia and Carlos gave me taste of the Hibachi and it was also very flavorful.

The restaurant has many lunch choices and the prices are extremely affordable. Definitely a great place to have sushi, Bento Boxes and Hibachi.

All in all, we had a great Easter. A little unorthodox but nonetheless a great meal.

Highly recommend Matsu Sushi.

Matsu Sushi is at 33 Jesup Rd, Westport, CT 06880

Prime One Eleven

A couple of weeks ago, it was Gabriel’s birthday. Since then Esedia had told me that she wanted to take him and the other boys to celebrate.

She wanted to take them out to eat and celebrate as a family. Regrettably she was sick for the better part of last week and we couldn’t go.

Coordination with all the different schedules is also almost impossible. Specially with Gilberto’s schedule.

Yesterday was the day! It was a really beautiful day and everybody was home, so we decided to go right after Art Class.

Esedia had two choices, either Sushi or Steak. We texted the boys and they all said “Steak“. (of course!).

She had bought a Gift Certificate online, on the Facebook Marketplace and we were all set to go to this steak house called: Prime One Eleven.

When we got there it was empty…
It was a 15 minute drive from our home to Trumbull and when we got there, the restaurant was empty, which is the case every time we go out. 🙂

The setting is absolutely beautiful, with hardwood floors and a wide open space table arrangement. There are some tables with umbrellas outside and they are all set for the hotter months.

Been that this was a steakhouse, we knew that this was probably going to be an expensive lunch. A guy made a comment when we were coming in, that “I was a braver man than him, bring those three boys to a steakhouse“.

The menu has a nice choice of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, oyster bar (my brother will love it!) and a few nice selections of cut meats.

Gilberto and I got some beers, Guinness for him, Two Roads Road Jam Raspberry Wheat for me. Beers were a little warm for my taste, and the Raspberry/Lemongrass combination lost some of its charm because of that.

We order some Calamari Fritta as an appetizer while we waited for our meals.

Calamari Fritta
We stuck a conversation about how expensive some of the dishes were and I made the argument that this was the Trumbull/Shelton area which is much more affluent than Bridgeport and I was sure that the clientele could afford it much more that your average Joe.

It’s also one of those… “Special Occasions” that you do something like this, not to repeat it for a couple of years.

Esedia was telling me that she had heard from some of her co-workers that the restaurant was almost always full.

Right after saying that, the crowd started coming in…

Esedia ordered the Fillet Mignon Chili.

Fillet Mignon Chilli
Gilberto and Gaby ordered each, the Prime “Steak” Burger. (they were siting on the opposite site of the table, so I could not take any pictures).

I ordered the Ultimate Steak Sandwich and…

Ultimate Steak Sandwich
…the pièce de résistance, was the NY Strip Center Cut that Carlos ordered and that is dry aged 28 days.

This is what a US$50 piece of meat looks like… Medium Rare, of course!
The Fried Calamari was fantastic and my Caesar Salad was made from scratch, so it was delicious. I have not had a Caesar Salad this good since my Dad and I made them.

The sandwich was good, but I would not call it “Ultimate“. I only ate half of it and took the rest home.

I had the chance to taste Esedia’s Chili and it was pretty fantastic!! I guess you can deny the quality of the Fillet Mignon.

Gil and Gaby seem to have enjoyed their burgers, as they devoured them toot sweet!

I did not ask to try Carlos’ NY Strip as I wanted him to enjoy his choice and give me his opinion. He was paying for his dish and I though I will let him gloat a little about eating an expensive steak.

He said that he has had better…

We had an extraordinary meal. We were all so full after that, that nobody though about dinner that night.

Great restaurant, fine choice of meats and entrees. Great place to take a date but not for a family of five that includes three very healthy boys!

The obligatory Selfie…
When we got out of the restaurant we saw a brand-spanking new Mercedes-Benz  parked outside. It was very luxurious  and I made the comment to the family, that we had to consider that we ate at the same place as the owner of that car…

Prime One Eleven is on 51 Monroe Tpke., Trumbull, CT, 06611

Ramen

Lately, I have been obsessed with Ramen…

I think my obsession started when I watched Juzo Itami’s Tampopo a few years ago with my friend Yana.

 

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.—Tampopo (1985)

I went to visit her one day, and she had just come back from Singapore and she said: ” So, do you want to see a movie about Ramen?

What the heck is Ramen?“—I said.

She explained to me that, Ramen means Noodles. She also said that people everywhere say it wrong. The usually say “Ramen Noodles“, in effect saying: “Noodles Noodles“. It’s just Ramen.

I think we never finished watching the movie. She is the kind of person that gets easily distracted and someone  came to visit… 🙂

When I came to USA, I knew that this was the kind of place where you could find every kind of food in the world.

Beef Ramen

I came to live in Connecticut, which is in close proximity to New York so ethnic cuisine was “on the menu” (pun intended) somewhere close by.

I guess it didn’t help that I was watching TV shows like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknow” or “A Cook Abroad“.

My son Carlos, who graduated from a Culinary Arts school, introduced me to the restaurant Mecha Noodle Bar, here in Fairfield CT.

Tonkotsu from Mecha Noodle Bar, Fairfield CT

There, the obsession got renewed!

I had the wonderful Tonkotsu, a combination of pork ramen, chase, spicy sprouts, egg and scallion.

I wanted more!!

The search took us to Kawa Ni in Westport, CT. And boy, is it good!!

I am addicted!!

So, next came the Netflix show “Samurai Gourmet” based on the Manga (Kodak no Gourmet) of the same title and that is when I watched Episode 3: “The Demoness’s Ramen“.

I thought, “hey this seems simple enough, why don’t you make it?

I have been perfecting my ramen-fu.

Chicken Ramen

I don’t have all the exotic ingredients, but I think I have perfected the process enough to get it where it’s going to be my own interpretation and flavors.

Enjoying this, is really satisfying and cooking it fresh gives me such a sense of accomplishment.

Chicken Ramen, Top view

I leave you with the images. I hope you like them. I gotta go finish watching Tampopo…

Kingston Kafe

So a couple of days ago, Esedia told me she had a coupon for a Jamaican restaurant called Kingston Kafe, in Stratford CT.

She had said that the coupon was about to expire and that we had to use it before next Friday.

We made a date with two of the boys to go on Wednesday (yesterday) and we were all set to go.

Yesterday was a really long day for me at work, as I woke up around 2:00 AM (Esedia heard a noise downstairs and I couldn’t go back to sleep). I worked almost until 6:00 PM.

In other words, I was welcoming some rest and relaxation!

So the boys, Esedia and I drove to the Kingston Kafe in Stratford.

A little quaint place that feels really small on the outside but when you get inside it seems to open up like a Tardis.

Like many other Jamaican restaurants, you get an area where you can order take out in the front and tables and chairs in the back.

The restaurant has a mini gift shop in the back where you can purchase lots of Jamaican clothing, jewelry and even Marley coffee (as in Bob Marley).

Oxtail, Rice and Peas and Fried Plantains

We sat at a table in the back and there were two other tables with people in them. It seem that at that time the restaurant gets pretty busy.

We ordered Jerk Chicken for the boys and Esedia ordered Oxtail. I had my eye on the Escovitched Snapper (as I saw it on their website).

Escovitched Snapper, Rice and Peas and Steamed Vegetables

All meals come with either white rice or Rice and Peas (rice and beans) and steamed vegetables. The boys got some fried plantains with theirs.

Because we always like to try new things we ordered some Jamaican Dumplings and a Jamaican Beef Patty for Carlos.

For drinks we got some Ginger beer and some other sodas for the boys.

The staff was really courteous and helpful. The two girls that helped us were really lovely and made sure we were really satisfied.

When the food came, we were amazed at the amount of food they give you. It’s definitely a great deal.

“…this is my new favorite place to eat.”

I was so busy enjoying the food, that I forgot to take some pictures. I managed to take the picture shown here before I devoured the snapper.

Food was really, really tasty. Esedia’s comment was that: “…this is my new favorite place to eat.”

Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Steam Vegetables

The food was fresh and delicious. The Beef Patty was scrumptious and with the right amount of spice. My only complain were the dumplings as they were a little hard.

There were so much food, that we had enough leftover for lunch today (for her and me!).

I wish I could have taken more pictures (Most of these were taken by Esedia), but take my word for it, it does not disappoint.

If you are into ethnic food, and you like Jamaican, Kingston Kafe is most definitely one of the places you should visit here in Connecticut.

Kingston Kafe is on 30 Barnum Avenue Cutoff, Stratford, CT.