Top 15 Best Things I Ate in 2012.

It’s that time again!  Let me start by saying that 99% of the time I end up dining out in New York City, hence most of my favorites end up being at NYC establishments.  And let's not forget that NYC is a food lover's paradise, so you could imagine my struggle in coming up with this list.  Enjoy!

1. Edamame Dumplings @ Buddakan, New York City (Chelsea)
A signature dish at Buddakan, the Edamame Dumplings here are to die for.  Imagine a combination of mashed edamame and butter stuffed inside a dumpling, a dumpling that literally melts in your mouth so there isn’t much to chew on.  Incredibly light and delicious.  The Edamame Dumplings are reason alone to dine at Buddakan. 

2. Elvis Cupcake @ Butter Lane Cupcakes, New York City (East Village)
As soon as someone mentions, “Elvis,” I immediately think of a banana and peanut butter combination.  The Elvis Cupcake is essentially a banana cupcake topped off with creamy peanut butter frosting, the combination is moist and lethally delicious, and one of the BEST cupcakes I have ever had.  The downfall is trekking all the way to the East Village for an Elvis Cupcake at Butter Lane Cupcakes.

3. Murgh Kolhapuri @ Tamarind, New York City (Flatiron)
A Maharashtrian style Indian chicken dish cooked with whole spices and lots of peppercorn.  The chicken is tender and full of flavor, and the thick brown gravy is spicy and delicious.  Tamarind serves up amazing Indian food and the Murgh Kolhapuri is one of the best Indian chicken dishes I've enjoyed.

4. Salmon @ La Piccola Fontana – El San Juan Resort, San Juan, Puerto Rico
A filet of salmon topped with capers and kalamata olives in a tomato & garlic sauce is perfection at La Piccola Fontana!  Frankly speaking, I was quite surprised to eat such exquisite Northern Italian food in Puerto Rico of all places being that the island is of Spanish influence.  Surely, I’ll be recreating this dish at home, soon. 

5. Truffle Macaroni & Cheese @ De Santos, New York City (West Village)
Mac & Cheese is my all time favorite American comfort food, and De Santos’ version is buttery, crunchy, not as creamy, and yet outstanding.  It’s too bad this dish comes in a form of an appetizer, I would much rather order it as a meal.

6. The World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae @ Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, San Francisco (Ghirardelli Square)
On a recent visit to California, my sister and the gang hopped over to Ghirardelli Square where I enjoyed perhaps one of the best sundaes of my life.  This classic sundae comes with vanilla ice-cream, tons of hot fudge (+ extra on the side), whipped cream, chopped almonds with a cherry on top.  Worth.Every.Calorie!

7. Shrimp Drunken Noodles @ Sky Thai, Jersey City (Exchange Place)
A cute little Thai restaurant in the Financial district of Jersey City.  I've dined at this lovely establishment twice, and both times I ordered their signature dish, the Drunken Noodles.  Flavored with garlic, spice, and fragrant Thai basil leaves, this aromatic dish will awaken all your senses.  Phenomenal!

8. Avocado Beignet @ Vermilion, New York City (Midtown East)
Vermilion is an Indo-Latin fusion restaurant in New York City's Midtown East district.  On one side is the the Blueberry Sorbet infused with cardamom, so light and delicious.  On the other side we have a battered concoction of cream cheese, chocolate, and avocados, scrumptious combination when paired with the blueberry sorbet, you've got a melody of flavors so pleasing to the palette. 

9. Dhaba Chicken Curry @ Dishoom, London (Covent Garden), UK
Another chicken dish that tops my list for 2012.  Dhaba Chicken Curry is tender chicken cooked in a thick and dark gravy without a ton of oil.  The result, outstanding!  This dish alone will have me going back to London.

10. Panna Cotta with Caramelized Pear @ Thalassa, New York City (Tribeca)
Similar to the texture of flan, the panna cotta is slightly sweet with a mild custard flavor.  The strawberries are marinated in a balsamic vinegar which really brings out the flavor in this dessert.  Delicious, gorgeous presentation, and one of the classiest desserts I've tasted at this fantastic Greek restaurant.

11. Penne Funghi Tartufo @ Fig & Olive, New York City (Meatpacking District)
Penne pasta tossed with cremini mushrooms, black trumpet, parmesan, parsley, scallions, and then finished off with White Truffle Olive Oil, need I say more?  A delectable pasta dish, however you need to be a mushroom lover to enjoy this dish.  I plan on replicating this dish at home. 

12. Salted Caramel Cupcake @ Georgetown Cupcake, New York City (Soho)
A beautiful bakery that finally opened up in Manhattan's Soho district.  The Salted Caramel Cupcake is extremely moist with creamy caramel frosting piled on high.  In short, it was a combination of sweet and salty… love that in a cupcake. 

13. Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream @ The Wolseley, London (St. James), UK
I believe we can all agree, nothing beats Afternoon Tea in London.  The scones at The Wolseley were perfectly warm and not terribly sweet.  Jam and clotted cream are the perfect accompaniment to these delicious scones.  Simply heaven with a cup of English Breakfast!View albumScones @ The Wolseley

14. Mallorca @ Cafeteria Mallorca, San Juan (Old San Juan), Puerto Rico
Although I went to Puerto Rico for my friend’s bachelorette party, I shamefully admit food was a big incentive for me to visit la isla del encanto.  Famous for their sweet, flaky, and buttery mallorcas, this is one breakfast everyone should indulge in when visiting San Juan.  Combine this sweet treat with a cup of cafĂ© con leche and you'll be in total bliss.

15. Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce 
Yes, this isn’t a dish, nonetheless this pasta sauce is seriously one of the best pasta sauces out there, thanks to my friend, Marian, who introduced me Rao's. Approximately $9 a bottle is a little hard to swallow, but I assure you the taste is well worth it. I love making this simple pasta dish with Rao's Marinara Sauce drowning in lots of fresh basil leaves.  Give Rao's a chance and you too may be a convert for life.

TELL ME: What are some of the best things you ate in 2012?  Dish, restaurant, location?  Share the knowledge!


  1. Love this post, you've inspired me to make one of my own :) I also had some pretty amazing eats of 2012.

  2. I can't for the life of me find fresh clotted cream here boooo. Love your lineup. Looks like 2013's got some fierce competition....Happy New Year, my friend!!

  3. I absolutely loved this post but at the same time, its making me very hungry :( this post has totally inspired me to make those edamame dumplings and try out these amazing places in NY when I am there next.

  4. Wow this is such a great post but I don't think I could even narrow my list down to just 15 foods. Some worthy contenders are:

    Freshly baked choc chip cookies at Indigo Deli- Mumbai
    Classic Burger with "Pink" Sauce at Tramp- London
    Truffle Pizza at Skinny Pizza in Singapore

    PS I want that sundae or salted caramel cupcake!

  5. Funny how we have so many of the same likes...I too LOVE Fig & Olive, Dishoom, The Wolseley, Rao's, and Ghirardelli.

    I'm dying to go to Puerto Rico and Ali is going later this month but I can't join because of Maya's school. So sad.

    PS: The laptop that I was recommending is the Lenovo X1 Carbon. Let me know if you need any more info about it!

  6. Leave it to you to make my mouth water! All of these sound amazing! I think the #1 thing I ate in 2012 was the St. Louis chocolate gooey cake in DC. I still dream about it!!

  7. @Natalie - Thanks.. wish you'd share those amazing eats of 2012. Glad you are inspired. :)

  8. @Squishy - Yup, I haven't been able to find clotted cream, but I'm positive it's super easy to make.. I may give it a try if I'm daring. Happy New Year!

  9. @Dixya - They have some awesome places here in NYC.. OMG, if you make the dumplings, I'd love to hear about how they turn out. :)

  10. @Khushboo - wow a restaurant named Tramp? Love it. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them the next time I visit those cities. The Ghirardelli Sundae is awesome, it just sucks their locations are so limited here in the States.

  11. @Ameena - haha, great minds think alike. :)
    Puerto Rico is a fun island, I loved it, but a couple of my friends didn't care for it, so it varies individual to individual. I'll send you an email on 2 suggestions for Ali... they have a couple great places that stand out.
    Thanks so much about the laptop info, I'm gonna start checking reviews. :)

  12. @Parita - Oh yes, I remember you talking about that St. Louis cake in DC, definitely going on my list of places to try the next time I visit DC. :)

  13. Oh my gosh, that all looks delicious! The salmon looks especially tasty, sadly I'm not sure I could justify traveling all the way to Puerto Rico just for that though!

  14. @Sarah - I agree with you on that, you have to find more of a reason to visit any destination than just 1 food item. :) Puerto Rico has a lot more to offer than just great food though.

  15. Looks like you ate some fantastic food in 2012! Those Shrimp Drunken Noodles are making my stomach growl :)

  16. @Christina - Thanks.. those Drunken Noodles were uh-mazing!!! So good! :)


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