Ngo Your Meal's Favorite Restaurants of 2018


Hi Everyone! This is going to be a quick post looking back at 2018 and the next steps going forward for 2019. 

Overall, we reached 400,000+ views on the blog so that's exciting. We wrote a total of 58 posts, including this one. 

For 2019, we're going to aim for 500k views and 64 posts as we approach Ngo Your Meal's 6th birthday. We've also renewed our domain for another 5 years! I'm going to work on improving email notifications, strengthening our social media presence, and enhancing the quality of posts. Thanks to everyone that reads the blog. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. 

The Madame Pho at Madame Vo in New York City

Anyway, here's our favorite NYC restaurants of 2018 (in no particular order):

  1. Ugly Baby - This Thai paradise represents everything I love about good food. Here, the food is more than just sustenance. It's a whole experience. Ugly Baby also adds soul-awakening spice to their dishes. 

  2. L'Appart - This hidden gem serves a fine French tasting menu with views of New York's North Cove Harbor. With a homey vibe, there's no scent of pretentiousness here. 

  3. The Musket Room - The Musket Room will impress you with its unique interpretation of New Zealand flavors. The presentation of each dish is thrilling. I really enjoyed taking my mom here for Valentine's Day. 

  4. Loring Place - The chef from Jean-Georges' ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina cooks up a celebration of locally-sourced ingredients in an industrial yet rustic setting. This is where vegetables take the main stage. 

  5. 886 - There's never enough good things I can say about 886. I'm a big fan. Go here to enjoy some really badass Taiwanese dishes. Check out our review here

  6. Toriko - Hands down the best yakitori in New York City. It's successfully dethroned Torishin in my heart and that's saying a lot. 

  7. Madame Vo - Finally, New York City has more good quality Vietnamese food. Since I left California, I've never really been that satisfied with pho in NY. But now, I'm good. Looking forward to trying Madame Vo BBQ, which just opened up too. 

  8. Eleven Madison Park - Named the World's Best Restaurant of 2017 and the World's 4th Best Restaurant in 2018, we went back after their remodel. Yep, it's still dope. 

Consolation Prize: Very Fresh Noodles and Tabetomo - The La Mei Beef Noodle Soup at Very Fresh Noodles is seriously impressive and eye-opening. Also, the best Tsukemen in NYC has finally arrived. For years, I've been upset that nobody has opened a specialty Tsukemen joint in the city, especially since all the good "ramen" in Manila is actually Tsukemen. I had high standards coming into Tabetomo and I'm happy to say all of those standards were met and surpassed. 

Lo Ba Beng at 886 in New York City

These restaurants have achieved gastronomical greatness! It's hard to describe why I chose these places. But, there is definitely something special happening at each of them. Whether it was the unstoppable heat of Ugly Baby's Kua Kling Southern Dry Eye Round Curry, a heart-warming bowl of Lo Ba Beng at 886, or a devastatingly fine Baked Ricotta from Loring Place, these restaurants showed true authenticity and uniqueness amidst the mutable nature of the culinary world. 

I have a lot of respect for these restaurants as they stay true to their flavors and style. These days it's easy to throw some low quality truffles or uni on something and all the food-o-philes come rushing in. 

Feel free to check out the reviews I've written. But, honestly, I encourage you to just go try them out and see if they are worthy to be one of your favorites as well. Thanks again for another great year!

Chicken Oyster at Toriko in New York City