Cape May: Cape Orient Review

So earlier this summer, my sister and I went on a week long vacation to the Jersey shore – no, not that Jersey shore – we hit up classic seaside destination Cape May. We had a blast – and minus a car we definitely had our fair share of adventures. I’ll be sharing all the deets of our vacay, including where we played and stayed as well as our picks for the best places to eat, sleep, and tan!

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One of the places we ate at was the Cape Orient – located right off of Washington Square Mall, and a few paces away from Acme supermarket, Cape Orient is an established Cape May eatery. It’s obviously a favorite of the locals, many of the customers were familiar with the staff and would actually call in to pre-order the fish they planned on eating before coming in for dinner. One of the walls in the entrance is lined with awards and reviews, and despite their apparent culinary klout we found the hostess that greeted us to be very warm and friendly – but not in that weird overbearing way that makes you feel like you’re about to get fleeced.

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Now, the two times that we went were for takeout. The first time we shared Chicken Pad Thai and Wonton Soup Deluxe – it came out to about $14.

The description for the Wonton Soup Deluxe said it had chicken and shrimp, but ours also had shreds of pork, as well as snow peas, carrots, and of course, wonton. The pork, chicken, and shrimp were tender, the snow peas and carrots were bright and tasty, while the wonton literally melted in my mouth. It was simply delicious, flavorful, and one order of the small ($3.95) was enough for both of us to share.

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The Chicken Pad Thai was my favorite item that we tried from Cape Oriental. The noodles were perfectly cooked and packed with flavor! It’s not overwhelmingly spicy (keep in mind, we love spice/heat in my house and often eat such foods), and definitely rates as one of the top Pad Thai’s that I’ve ever had. It contained peanuts, scallions, basil, onion, red chili pepper, and other spices. While it was enough to fill us, it was so good that we could’ve eaten more just for the flavor.

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Ours came with white rice and a sweet & sour (?) sauce. We actually didn’t use the sauce – I didn’t like it, I know some people are big fans but the smell just turns my stomach. But we liked the Pad Thai noodles so much that we’re determined to find good Thai in the city now!

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The second time we ordered Peking Duck Rolls, and Chicken Lo Mein. The Lo Mein looked like standard NYC fare, but was surprisingly tasty. And unlike standard NYC fare, it wasn’t drenched in oil and had a nice amount of veggies – which I thoroughly appreciated.

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The Peking Duck Rolls however, were more of a disappointment. There was far to much hoisin sauce in our rolls – and ruined the perfectly tender and otherwise delicious mahogany roast duck. If there had been less hoisin I’m sure the rolls would have been amazing, but our rolls pretty much had equal parts hoisin and equal parts duck – which isn’t the most desirable combo.

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Altogether, Cape Orient was definitely a great find for us. We would go back in a heartbeat. In fact in hindsight I wish we had had another round of their Pad Thai during our stay. Their menu is definitely worth exploring – and I do hope I get another chance to do so!

Momofuku Ramen – it’s what’s for lunch

It was years ago when I first read about momofuku on my favorite foodie site Serious Eats, and it wasn’t until recently during a lunch with my friends Cinny and Dana that I actually had a chance to try it.

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We were there at the 1st Avenue noodle bar location during lunchtime hours and sat next to the window (glass storefront) at the bar/counter area, it has a really nice atmosphere – although it can get really hot in there.

First of all, if I could change anything, it would be the seating. The bar stool and picnic table-like seating seems overly structured and not comfortable at all. But this is a small insignificant gripe, when what we’re really talking about here is the noodles – so here they are:

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We all three ordered the Momofuku Ramen, which features pork belly, pork shoulder, and a poached egg. Simply put, I loved it. The noodles were perfect and had a great springy consistency, the broth was tasty – if not a little salty, the egg was poached flawlessly, and the pork – I can’t say enough about the pork – it was insanely yummy, I would’ve been happy with a plate of that alone it was so good.

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The prices are a little steep – but the service was great, and the quality of food was worth it. I know there’s this raging debate among foodies about whether or not momofuku’s noodle bar is worth its weight in noodles, but I didn’t go there expecting fireworks or a luxury gourmet experience, I was just looking for a good lunch to have with friends and that’s exactly what I had. I definitely plan on returning, this time with my brother Shawn who is more of a ramen connoisseur than I am – and I have every intention of trying their famous pork buns.

Do you know of any good ramen places in NYC? Let me know in the comments below!