Snack Review: Wei-Long Spicy Sliced Bean Curd

Details: Couldn’t find a site for this specific product. The Chinese name of the Wei-Long company is 卫龙 in case you want to copy and paste that to do your own search. Wei-Long is actually a very big company in China and had a few health scandals there as well… which doesn’t bode well for their products.

Score: 6.2/10

These were all right. They are pretty spicy. The thing I liked most about this product is that inside the initial packaging, the individual servings of spicy tofu are individually packaged. That means you don’t have to worry about having to finish the package once you open it because they will remain sealed. In fact, because of the spice level, eating one piece once in a while is probably the optimal way to eat these.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that Wei-Long, the company that produces this product, has a pretty bad reputation for cleanliness and food safety within China itself. Just something to consider before buying this product.

Snack Review: Wei-Long Spicy Tofu Skins

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Details: Also known as 卫龙 亲嘴豆皮 豆C 川香麻辣. I bought a pack for about two dollars in New York City. Couldn’t find an official site, but here’s an Amazon site selling the stuff, though it is B grade: https://www.amazon.com/Wei-Long-snack-slices-Flavored/dp/B07BZSV3M7/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1534798785&sr=1-8&keywords=weilong%2Bsnack&th=1

This is one of the spiciest things I’ve ever eaten. I assume the C refers to a grade on how spicy it is. I found Amazon.com selling A and B grade versions, which I’m assuming are less spicy purely based on how hot the bag I ate was. My freaking gosh.

Overall, this was fire given form. Nearly killed myself trying to finish the bag. If you like spicy and are perhaps a vegetarian, this is the snack for you.

Score: 5/10

Restaurant Review: Atoboy

Details: Located at 43 East 28th St., New York, NY 10016. Official site is http://atoboynyc.com/#atoboynyc

Atoboy is a new restaurant that’s opened this year. It is part of a new wave of “New Korean” food. Similar to the “New Nordic,” the practical meaning of this phrase is Korean food, but elevated to the traditional standards of Western/French fine dining. Jungsik is the poster child of New Korean, being one of only a handful of two Michelin starred restaurants in New York City and the only one focusing on Korean food. It’s no wonder why everything I’ve ever read about Atoboy boasts about how the head chef is the former Chef de Cuisine of Jungsik.

There is only way one to order at this restaurant. For $36.00 (at the time that I went, not including tax and tip), you order three dishes, one dish from one of three sections. The menu is on their website so I won’t go into it, but the first two sections seem to be appetizers with the last section consisting of meat dishes. The idea seems to be of doing bon chan (Korean appetizers), but to make each appetizer into its own, full on dish.

I came with three friends so we decided to share and try to try as many dishes as we could. We ordered the eggplant (dungeness crab, tomato, and lemon), the tofu (soybean, king oyster mushroom, mustard), the cobia (Korean pear, Perilla, Sesame seed), the Littleneck clam (avocado, rice cracker, Gochugaru), the asparagus (spicy cod roe, shallot, egg yolk,), egg (sea urchin, watercress, quinoa), corn (taleggio, bacon, Doenjang), squid, (pork, shrimp, salsa verde), chicken (spicy peanut butter, garlic), pork jowl (barley, ssamjang, romaine), NY strip (arugula, poblano, wild sesame oil), and the brisket (fois gras, ginger garlic). We also had the seasonal rice (had seaweed mixed in) for an extra two dollars.

The eggplant, tofu, cobia, asparagus were forgettable and not really all that great. The Littleneck clam was great and came with the tasty green, foamy sauce.  The egg was actually a steamed egg with sea urchin mixed in, which was amazing. I’m a sucker for steamed egg. The corn was essentially a corn n’ cheese, like a mac n’ cheese with corn instead of macaroni. It was good. The squid was okay. They wrapped the squid around a pork filling. The chicken was a fried chicken, and it was fine. I’m glad we were sharing because I don’t know if I could’ve eaten a whole plate of that chicken. The pork jowl was good. The NY strip was extremely tender and I enjoyed it very much. The brisket was all right, but the foie gras sauce it was drenched in was kind of overwhelming. The seasonal rice was okay, but probably was about the same as the regular rice. Not going to think about it too much since it was just two dollars more.

Overall, I think it was a great meal, especially considering the price. If you want a taste of Jungsik without paying their prices, Atoboy is a nice introduction I think.

The interior was all right, lots of concrete. There is this trend among new restaurants to have very little indication that it is a restaurant on the outside while having an impressively large inside. I kind of like it. Makes you feel like you’re walking into something exclusive, for people in the know.

The service was very attentive, maybe too attentive. I think the staff was given explicit instructions to never let the water in your glass to be less than half full because they were constantly refilling our water. I guess that’s fine.

Score: 7/10 I’d definitely recommend it. There aren’t too many places for Korean food mixed with a little Western fine dining so if you want to get a taste of that, this place is definitely it. The price is also really impressive considering the quality of the food and helps keep the restaurant casual despite the head chef’s high end background.