Yokan is a Japanese dessert that is made of bean paste (typically adzuki or white kidney beans), agar, and sugar. We received this yokan as a gift and it was delicious! This yokan is made of matcha and shiroan (white kidney bean paste). I personally prefer yokan made out of shiroan compared to adzuki. In New York you can find yokan at Japanese supermarkets like Sunrise Supermarket (41st Street btw. 5th + Madison) or for a higher quality yokan you can go to Minamoto Kitchoan which is located near Rockefeller Center.
However the one that we had was Toraya Yokan which is very famous and high reputation. If you are ever in Japan please visit one of their shops: Toraya Website
They also have some locations in California!
When you think of Christmas in New York, I think it’s safe to say that most people automatically think of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller center. But personally I prefer places a little bit off the beaten path.
The West Village and Greenwich Village is a beautiful place to visit at this time of year. All of the restaurants are decorated with Christmas lights and the streets are lined with lit up trees. There’s a really warm and cozy feeling that I love about this area. It may be the earth toned brick buildings or the fireplaces burning inside cute little cafes and restaurants.
I recommend Fish’s if you’re into seafood and oysters. This place has a great atmosphere especially at Christmas time. They have a fire place and an awesome display of fish and seafood that customers can see. There prices are pretty reasonable too!
Another place that is beautifully decorated for the holidays is Market Table. The atmosphere of the restaurant is really nice and it’s decorated beautifully for the holidays. They also have a menu filled with dishes using seasonal vegetables.
If you are in the mood for something more casual and Japanese, check out Rockmeisha. I couldn’t find their website but you can see some pictures here. It’s a rather hidden place and I have gotten lost numerous times trying to find the restaurant, but I think that makes it more interesting. I’m a big fan of their shochu and ramen.
Coffee and Tea:
Check out the Porto Rico Importing Co. for great coffee and holiday gifts located on 201 Bleecker St. They also have a variety of loose teas from China and Japan.
I really love McNulty’s Tea & Coffee shop. Can you believe this shop has been here since 1895? I go here when I want to buy black tea (ceylon, Darjeeling, and English breakfast). They also have a great selection of Japanese loose teas as well. The staff are really friendly here too!
DAVIDsTEA is also another great shop with a more modern twist. It’s almost like the MoMa of tea with tea displayed in glass cases with modern accessories. They have a ton of gift sets so stop here if your shopping for a tea lover.
Or you don’t even need to go into any of the shops. Just take a stroll and enjoy the ambiance!
Today I bought amaranth greens at the farmer’s market. It was my first time to see amaranth greens being sold in New York and also my first time eating them. And I was really surprised by how delicious they are and how easy they are to cook! I started out by sauteing them in sesame oil and planned to add all kinds of seasonings but when I tasted them I decided to just stop there and eat them as is. They were really delicious. I bought them at one of the booths at the farmer’s market at Rockefeller Center but I will keep my eyes out to see if they are sold anywhere else!