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Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

Fun Food at University District Farmers Market

In Eating Out, Food on June 30, 2014 at 11:27

It was finally the time of the year when we Washingtonian saw abundant fresh vibrant produce in the many farmers’ markets in different neighborhoods.

A deliberate trip to University District Farmers Market to purchase apple cider from Rockridge Orchards.

There were many different food offering at this large farmers market — Veraci pizza, empanadas, Thai to name a few.

We were very happy to try some funky waffles on a stick from My Sweet Lil Cakes.

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I loved the groove and the funk that whole food truck was exuding.

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We tried a sweet red velvet buttermilk with dark cherries and sweet cream, and a savory free range chicken and waffle.

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These waffle on the sticks were lots of fun!

Cooked to order and the aroma of waffle smelled comforting as we were waiting for our order.

The outside were crisp batter that was light.

The dark cherries inside the red velvet stick had nice crunch, just right sweetness and great flavor, some batter inside made it a little mushy.

The free range fried chicken had a delicious dose of black pepper, tender and light.

The chicken pieces tasted very healthy (definitely not fried) which was a plus.

Accompanied with maple butter, the sweet and salty play was just lovely.

Each stick was pricey at $7 each, and I could not get full with one stick.

It was definitely a fun novelty snack.

My Sweet Lil Cakes on Urbanspoon

The next stop was at Loki Fish Company.

They had a tent serving salmon sliders along side selling fish.

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We tried the arugula with apple aioli and bacon, and a fennel carrot jalapeno slaw with shoyu glaze.

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The little sweet bread of the sliders were soft and grilled crisp.

The salmon were interesting as I was expecting a small piece of salmon fillet, instead it was salmon cake with other fillers and flavoring.

Tasty but texture was a little soft and mushy in my opinion.

I loved the freshness of the fennel carrot and jalapeno slaw, not too spicy, crisp and fresh.

The apple bacon arugula combination was delicious as well with smoky flavor and crunchiness of the apple and arugula.

The sliders were at $4.50 each, also not cheap and I could say I tried them!

 

 

 

Brunch Spots — Serious Biscuits and Local 360

In Eating Out, Food on June 27, 2014 at 11:01

Had a quick brunch at Local 360 in Belltown.

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Loved the décor in the restaurant with a little Western feel.

Local 360 was a sustainable restaurant and sourced locally for their ingredients.

The menu was fairly extensive and the rabbit pot pie caught my eye and along with it, could not pass on the fried chicken and waffle.

Service was fast and friendly.

The rabbit pot pie looked stunning upon arrival.

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It was very creamy and rich, a little on the heavy side for me; but I loved the lean gaminess from the rabbit.

I wish there was more rabbit meat — only a few pieces were swimming around in the sauce.

The pie crust floating on top of the sauce was very buttery, flaky, and delicious.

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The fried chicken had good flavor and tender; there was a hint of spiciness in the coating and was made deliciously.

I loved that the waffle which was made with corn meal, it gave great corn flavor and gritty texture that was interesting and rustic; the down side was that the waffle was a little dense and soggy.

The flavors were there for the dishes but were not perfect.

There were quite a few items on the dinner menu that sparked my interest: PB&J bon bons, crispy pigs ears and smoked pork shank.

Even though their brunch had not wowed me, I would be interested to give dinner a try.

Local 360 on Urbanspoon

I had been wanting to stop at Serious Biscuit for quite a long while.

We were in a hurry, and got 3 biscuits to go: fried chicken, catfish and vegetarian frittata.

First, the biscuit.  I was disappointed.

The biscuits were hard and certainly not as fluffy as Morsel’s, it felt like the biscuits were in the oven just a little too long.

Overall flavors of all the biscuit dishes were good.

My favorite was the catfish with green olive tartar.

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The catfish was in a form of a catfish cake — very tender with herbs, and the light crunchy coleslaw contrasted the texture of the fish brilliantly, and no doubt, the catfish was the star.

My second favorite was the truffled frittata with tomato caper relish and arugula.

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The frittata was on the denser side with mild truffle flavor and smooth texture.

It paired really well with the tangy tomato caper relish and the spiciness of the arugula.

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The fried chicken one was smothered with black pepper tabasco gravy.

The chicken itself was delicious with soft meat; edges of the chicken pieces was a little over-fried and dry but it was well marinated with garlic.

The black pepper tabasco gravy had fantastic flavor but a little chalky to the mouth.

I would head back to Morsel when I crave biscuits.
Serious Pie and Biscuit on Urbanspoon

Good Eats in Remond — Flying Saucer Pizza and Now Make Me A Sandwich

In Eating Out, Food on June 25, 2014 at 09:43

These 2 good-eats places were nestled in business parks in Redmond and were only a block away from each other!

First off, Flying Saucer Pizza.

This funky spaceship-alien themed pizza joint served up delightful pizzas.

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I was most surprising to find deep dish pizza — something that was very uncommon here and reminded me of my days in the Midwest.

Flying saucer pizzas offer quite a few different flavors including great selection of vegetarian pizzas along with salads and pastas.

The pizza names were geeky and hilarious, they included Andromeda, the chickenator and crop circle.

On my first visit I had the deep dish Thai fighter without cheese to go.

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The crust was made of soft, yeasty bread that carried a light sweetness and baked to a slight crisp.

My pizza passenger along the way home was just taunting me with this sweet savory peanut aroma.

The sauce was sweet, mildly spicy and delicious; the slightly charred thinly julienned carrots and cabbage with sprouts and cilantro gave pleasant and aromatic flavors.

The pizza without cheese was still tasty.

The next trip I had a regular cosmic clucker and a deep dish luau.

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The regular crust was bready inside and appropriately dry crisp bottom and top.

I loved their twist of adding artichoke in this bbq chicken pizza; while the luau was Hawaiian pizza with extra bacon on top of Canadian bacon.

I did not skip cheese the second time, and I did find that both the pizzas were too heavy-handed with cheese that was distracting the main flavors and increased their greasiness.

I would go back again for sure and perhaps cheeseless would be my main stay.

Flying Saucer Pizza on Urbanspoon

Went around the block, one would find Now Make Me A Sandwich every Thursday stationed at West Willows Technology Center.

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The guys made very delicious sandwiches.

I loved their unique vegetarian sandwich with roasted yam, spinach, mushroom, peppers and the great addition of manchego cheese and garlic tahini sauce; the best part, it was called Buddha Call.

It was tasty with lots of flavors, fresh and the yam gave texture.

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Another one I had and enjoyed tremendously was the Vahalla pork — tasty tender pulled pork, dressed with a coleslaw with a surprising twist – apple jalapeno;  sweet and quite spicy, delicious with a crunch.

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I also had their Viking stew, which had generous amount of vegetables but the day I got it was a little cold which made the creamy stew heavy.

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There were many more sandwiches to try with fillings such as roast beef, ham, chicken and turkey, I shall be back!

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Now Make Me A Sandwich on Urbanspoon

 

 

Pike Place Market Good Eats Part II

In Eating Out, Food, Food Product for Home on June 23, 2014 at 12:34

Passed by lovely fresh fruits and vegetables,

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and after Uli’s sausage, next stop was Pure Food Fish.

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This was a must-stop for me to purchase smoked semi-dried salmon jerky.

These long thin strips of smoked salmon, smoky with lovely sweetness were my family’s favorite.

It looked like we were buying waist belts and most definitely a delight!

My father would buy them and brought them home to Hong Kong for further enjoyment.

Sadly the day I went there, they did not have it!

As an alternative, I bought some smoked salmon belly which was deliciously fatty and soft.

They were not cheap but surely very tasty.

Cut across the street up the hill to Rachel’s Ginger Beer.

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Had been hearing about this place for far too long and definitely worth the trip!

I tried almost all the flavors possible (must be more than 10!) and just loved the pungent real spicy fresh ginger in the soda!

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Overall, it was still a little too sweet for me, and we found ourselves diluting it with sparkling water when we got home.

Nonetheless they were still pleasure!

My favorite was the original, guava, blood orange and white peach.

There was a special red pepper that day but I could not get used to the strong pepper flavor in a sweet soda form.

Each growler (32 oz.) was pretty pricey — average about $16 with the original cheaper than flavored ones.

Fortunately the reuse program allowed refills to be discounted (I believe $8 for original and $11 for flavors).

We would be returning soon to refill!

Rachel's Ginger Beer on Urbanspoon
Last stop, Le Panier.

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Just could not resist the fantastic pastries in this place!

I had shown retrain and only bought chocolate croissant, peach tart and chocolate mousse cake to share with DH.

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The chocolate croissant was top-notch of flaky goodness with delicious chocolate pieces.

I loved the peach tart — lovely aromatic cooked peach on top of creamy smooth custardy pastry cream containing in a very buttery and crumbly crust, studded uniquely with chopped pistachio.

The chocolate mousse was supreme — not sweet at all and extremely chocolatey.

Every bite was decadent chocolate that managed to still be light and non-cloying.

Every piece of pastry, every loaf of bread and each sandwich looked so appetizing, everyone bound to be able to find something they would like here.

Le Panier on Urbanspoon

Pike Place Market Good Eats Part I

In Eating Out, Food, Food Product for Home on June 16, 2014 at 17:18

A whirlwind shopping and eating trip at Pike Place Market for about an hour and fifteen minutes before the crowd swarmed in on a quiet Friday morning.

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It was always plenty of fun to go but parking could really be a hassle; Friday morning proved to be not so bad.

We started off with breakfast at The Crumpet Shop.

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The store was filled with people and they were certainly speedy as the line moved quickly.

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I usually went for simple crumpet with butter and honey with a cup of fabulous and aromatic tea.

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Crumpet reminded me of English muffin, perhaps because both were yeasty and with visible holes (one outside and one inside); basic ingredients were similar.

Texture of the 2, however, was completely difference experience.

The crumpet was crust hard outside, chewy, soft and spongy inside.

I loved their honey because it was very floral with lovely sweetness.

I got the Crumpet Store Blend tea heavy with Darjeeling, it was very strong in bergamot, smooth and floral.

My girlfriend got one with egg and salmon.

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I ordered a scone to-go for DH.

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Their scone was chewier and breadier than traditional scone such as Murchie’s, and amazingly buttery, dry on the edges and crusty.

The zesty lemon curd was delightful — tart, sweet and creamy.

It was a treat to visit the store and had something unique and different.

The Crumpet Shop on Urbanspoon

Next stop, picked up some Uli’s sausages for dinner.

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I got a couple exotic sausages and one of them was the spicy Merguez.

This was a very spicy lamb sausage with garlic as the primary flavor.

The sausage was popular in North Africa, France and Belgium.

I loved the flavors but found the meat a little mealy.

Then we had the South African Boerewor.

The flavor was very floral and perfumy likely due to the large amount of coriander.

The bacon sausage was my favorite.

It was a new experience of eating bacon without the grease, coupled with a crunchy bouncy sausage texture which was wonderful.

The German Thueringer had the best bouncy texture of all the sausages with lovely sweet flavors.

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Must go back for more!

Uli's Famous Sausage on Urbanspoon

 

New Hing Loon and Spicy Miso Black Cod

In Eating Out, Food, Home Creation on June 13, 2014 at 09:56

During my party years, I went to Hing Loon a lot.

It was one of those places that opened until really late at night.

I had fond memory of Hing Loon from way back in the early 90’s, when they were one of the few edible Chinese food restaurants in Seattle Chinatown when I freshly came from Hong Kong.

My favorite had been the salt and pepper fried chicken wings — fried to crisp, well-flavored with garlic and fresh chilies, meat was tender, always a treat.

I liked their wings the best — some places made it soggy, some places did not have enough flavors (plain fried wings), and they seemed to find the perfect balance.

It used to be my destination wing stop!

When I passed by couple months ago I noticed the English name of the restaurant had changed to New Hing Loon, although the Chinese name stayed the same, the place had likely changed hands.

We went with friends anyway for late dinner and really hoping that my favorite would stayed the same!

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Verdict was – it was good, but not as good as before.

The flavors were there, but I believe they coated it with some flour now, so there was pockets of coating instead of plain crisp skins.

It was still a light coating, just not the same.  Alas!

The fried rice was a little bland and not dry enough.

We also had “west lake” beef soup.

It had tender beef and soft tofu with floral cilantro.

It was delicious and exactly how I knew it.

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We got Mongolian beef which was very tender but overly salted.

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Pea vine was fresh but the fried tofu dish with enoki mushroom was super salty.

The tofu was fried crisp with steaming hot egg tofu inside, but I couldn’t taste the enoki mushroom sauce much aside from salt.

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I did not recall that they had a problem with salt levels before, hopefully that would be fixed and they could deliver consistently salted food.

New Hing Loon on Urbanspoon

Spicy Black Cod

This dish is so simple to make it is practically a cop-out on cooking!

Yet, it is delicious and has the added benefit to introduce healthy fermented foods in the body.

Both Japanese miso and the Korean pepper paste were fermented and, the primary flavors of this dish.

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INGREDIENTS

1 black cod fillet (half the fish)

1.5 tbsp. miso

1/3 tbsp. Korean fermented pepper paste

1 tbsp. sake

1 tbsp. hot water

white peppers

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 380F.

Pat dry fish fillet and sprinkled white pepper generously.

Mix miso, pepper paste, sake and hot water together until melted and smooth.

Spread the paste on top of the fish fillet evenly.

Bake for 8 mins.

Change the setting to Broil for 1-2 minutes.

 

I have used this recipe on salmon and it worked beautifully as well.

Enjoy!

Garlic and Sapphire, Crumble and Flake

In Books, Food, Food Media, Food Product for Home on June 11, 2014 at 10:52

Garlic and Sapphire by Ruth Reichl

This book was absolutely eye-opening and an extremely fun book to read, especially for food nuts!

It told the experiences of the author, Ruth Reichl, when she was the restaurant critic for New York Times.

I would have never guessed that multiple disguises, with different personalities would be involved in writing about restaurants!

The author wrote in details of her encounters with people around her, the services and attitudes she received as these alter egos.

All the work to make sure she had a full spectrum and clear understanding of each restaurant she was writing about — and what a contrast to the tweeting and instantaneity of today’s society!

Ruth went to each restaurant at least 5 times before she wrote a review, and made sure she was not recognized in some of those visits — inevitably the New York Times critic would be treated far superior with better table and services, bigger and fresher portions of food and larger berries on desserts.

It was fascinating to read about those encounters when she dressed up as an old lady, or someone who did not seem to be rich, or a blonde.

It gave me to jolt of a reminder that how quickly we tended to judge people in general — is it right or is it wrong?  something to ponder on.

Personally as a food blogger writing about my restaurant experiences, this was a bible.

Particularly the inclusion of the actual reviews that Ruth wrote.

They opened my eyes to how descriptive writing could be; and to experience as if I was sitting in the restaurant having that exact same meal the author was writing about.

The power of descriptive writing — something I am slowly learning — and does not come natural to me especially all my experience are in technical scientific reporting.

The book also contained recipes for times when we wanted to roll up our sleeves!

—-

Finally stopped by Crumble and Flake on Capitol Hill — I was speechless!

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Their pastries were really delicious!

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I tried the chocolate croissant, lavender cherry scone, double chocolate brownie, cream puff and canele that day.

Since it was difficult to park around the shop, I did a dash and run while DH waited outside in the car.

First thing I ate when I ran back to the car was the cream puff!

Couldn’t let it get soggy!

These cream puffs were amazingly yummy and they were filled-to-order.

They offered classic flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, blackberry etc. and they particular day, they had yuzu — I immediately went for that!

The cream puffs had crunchy tops with crystalline sugar, but bready and chewy inside.

The yuzu filling was this dense pastry cream which was very nice with just the right amount of sweetness and the lovely scent of sweet grapefruit.

This definitely made Beard Papa paled.

The chocolate croissant was very flaky — as the store name!

It had a generous amount of chocolate, buttery with many layers to savor on.

The scone was another buttery treasure with mild lavender and plump cherries.

I applauded the perfect amount of lavender used in the scone — it tasted just a hint of floral without the soapiness or perfumey scent when it was overused.

Sugar on top of the scone gave the crunch on the overall dryer and denser yet tasty scone.

It was lavished with cherries in it which I loved!

I just wish the scone would be bigger!

The Canele was amazing!!

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Tiny little treat, they only made them on the weekends.

It had a crunchy hard outer shell tasted like it was made with burnt sugar and the inside was moist, custardy, heavenly laced with vanilla and rum.

It was very eggy which was ultra delicious and tasted just like the custard in bread budding except quite a bit chewier in texture.

The double chocolate brownie was incredible.

It had strong dark chocolate flavor without the sweetness.

It was not chewy in texture but much softer and gentler in the mouth.

It almost boarder to be chocolate mousse instead but it had the rigidity to stand on its own and sustained the car ride home in a bag.

These awesome treats were pricey, they were $3-$4 a piece in small sizes.

What we were paying for was delectable art work.
Crumble & Flake Patisserie on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

 

 

International District Finds – World Pizza and Mike’s Noodle

In Eating Out, Food on June 9, 2014 at 13:52

Every time I passed by World Pizza I was already full from dim sum lunch at Jade Garden.

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Not this time!

Armed with my empty stomach, I was quickly drawn to the store with its fantastic pizza aroma.

Store was small, with a counter selling pizza by the slice.

There was also a seating area with tables for consuming pizzas in-house.

Upon checking out what laid under the glass counter top, I was strangely attracted to this pizza that had brilliant bright green chunks on it!

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Turned out, it was wasabi marinated pineapple chunks!

The pizza also had pickled sweet peppers on it and it was definitely one of the very interesting pizza eating experience.

I got “spiciness” attack from all directions:  the fairly spicy attack on the tongue by the sweet pickled peppers and the nose attack from the wasabi.

Every bite was sweet, pungent and vinegary at the same time.

The wasabi also gave a very grassy flavor to the pizza.

The second slice I got was the potato roasted garlic pizza.

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I loved this vegetarian pizza with very tender potatoes and sweet roasted garlic.

Flavored with lots of black pepper and lovely dried herbs of mainly thyme, it was very delicious.

The pizza crust was very dense, not bready nor fluffy — felt like it was made with whole wheat — very hearty and rustic.

Good amount of cheese that was slightly browned which I loved and accompanied with sweet tomato sauce, the pizzas were a very enjoyable lunch!
World Pizza on Urbanspoon

I visited Mike’s noodle when I had craving for Cantonese style wontons and could not conveniently be in Vancouver BC.

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This tiny store did very brisk business.

They had the best wontons and also Cantonese style dumplings in the Greater Seattle area.

I usually ordered the wontons with rice noodle as unfortuantely their egg noodle was no Michigan’s.

They were still very good but just not as bouncy.

The rice noodle were always cooked to perfection.

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The wontons were pretty big with thin wrapping and small crunchy shrimps plus nicely marinated, peppery, tender pork with a little fat.

The soup, however, seemed to have changed from what I recalled.

It used to have more of the authentic fish flavor in the soup;  now it only had a hint of fish and was too salty.

The day when I was there for lunch, I ventured out to try their squid balls but was disappointed — flavor was decent but very soft texture without the bouncy chew or crunchiness of really good fish or squid balls.

Mike’s noodle’s congee, or rice porridge, was also one of the better ones in the Seattle area.

Not too runny nor too thick, it was creamy with very simple flavors.

I liked the fish congee with tender fish fillet and ginger; and the version with creamy thousand-year old eggs and well salted pork.

Mike’s noodle was my go-to spot for wontons and congee here at home.
Mike's Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Eating on the Eastside – Sofra Turkish and Boba Express

In Eating Out, Food on June 5, 2014 at 10:30

We had been living on the eastside of Greater Seattle for over 15 years now, and it was amazing to watch the changes in Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland — the primary cities that made up of the growing eastside.

There were many more Asian shops and restaurants around (particularly some major ones opened up such as Din Tai Fung and Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot opened on the eastside before their branches on the west side).

Recent addition had been Turkish, Mediterranean and Persian grocery store (where I was able to purchase and try Persian dessert such as pashmak and Faloudeh) and restaurants.

In Bellevue alone, the 2010 census had shown that almost 41% of the population were minority or ethnic, compare to that figure was about 25% in 2000.

I believed that explained the proliferation of minority and ethnic small businesses, which of course was fantastic for foodies!

I loved Turkish Kofte and the fairly new Turkish restaurant, Sofra, opened in my neighborhood.

The version of kofte I had in Turkey was formed like little sausages –super tender meat with fantastic flavors of garlic and strong in cumin.

The menu at Sofra was on the small side, but as long as the food were good, it would be great as so many fantastic restaurants in Asia were “specialty store” that only served a handful of items.

The day of my visit, I thought Sofra did not have Kofte.

It was translated as Turkish burger, and I did not read Turkish carefully and completely missed it!

I had to go back and try my favorite Turkish dish!

Doner was next on my list.

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Doner was the same as Greek gyro or Arabic shawarma.

The lamb doner at Sofra was very delicious — beautifully marinated and charred lightly on the surface to give the crisp meat layer.

It was very gamey which I loved and expected from mutton.

The rice was fluffy and was buttery goodness; accompanied by a small salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley and warm pita bread.

I remembered seeing tripe soup as special one day when I passed by the store, but was jot available on the day of my visit.

Sofra also had a small section dedicated to Turkish grocery at the back of the restaurant.

If you fancy doner, Sofra was definitely a place to visit and lovely place for a quick lunch!
Sofra Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Another favorite place of mine was the long time establishment of Boba Express.

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I believed they had the best boba tea in the Greater Seattle area.

I usually went to the Crossroad Mall spot and knew that they had another one at Factoria Mall.

Before Boba Express, I used to only get bubble tea in Vancouver BC.

Boba Express had most definitely eliminated my need to travel for a drink.

Their bubble was cooked perfectly — soft and chewy.

Many places had them overcooked and was too soft, or that I had encountered undercook bubble that had hard and powdery center.

They also cooked or soaked their cooked bubbles in sugar so that they carried enjoyable slight sweetness versus other stores I had tasted bland bubbles that I did not care for.

My favorite was the Thai Iced Tea bubble or honey green tea bubbles.

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Unfortunately the shop did use flavored syrup for many other flavors which I tried to avoid for health reasons.

They also served the most amazing popcorn chicken.

I also believe that was the best popcorn chicken in Great Seattle — better than Facing East, Yeas Wok or many other restaurants or bubble tea places.

The tender chicken pieces were consistently marinated well with strong garlic and soy flavor, and deep-fried fresh which yielded fantastically crispy and piping hot chicken pieces.

They custom-made the spiciness level with each order by tossing chili powder to the chicken pieces; and medium spicy were generally quite spicy already — what a rush!

The secret to the great tasting chicken had to do with the addition of basil.

I believe basil was tossed with the hot chicken and it imparted a nice light floral, grassy sweet basil flavor to the chicken.

I did not get the chicken often as it was deep-fried and I tried to avoid chicken and beef when eating out — it was by far the greatest guilty pleasure!
Boba Express on Urbanspoon

 

What are your Top 5 at Din Tai Fung?

In Eating Out, Food on June 3, 2014 at 09:49

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Din Tai Fung — I could always count on getting a great meal there.

We did not go often because it was quite expensive to get full.

I went to Din Tai Fung for 5 specific items on their menu that I craved:

1) organic chicken soup

2) spicy vegetables and pork wonton

3) noodle with sesame sauce

4) pork soup dumplings

5) sweet and sour spare ribs

The cold cucumbers and taro dumplings were also exceptional.

The organic chicken soup was the most pure concentrated chicken soup one could ever had.

It was simply stewed with chicken pieces, ginger and green onion.

Delicate, intense and rich chicken flavor, one could taste its fat and last ounce of juice; and at the same time, simple, clear and unassuming — I just loved it.

The very first time I had the chicken soup in Taiwan Din Tai Fung, I drank 3 or 4 bowls of it.

I only stopped because I realized the bill was stacking up with one single item quickly; certainly not because I did not want more!

The vegetables and pork wonton with spicy sauce was my next favorite.

The wonton wrapping was decent with nice, soft yet crunchy fillings from the tender pork and fresh vegetables.

The star was the spicy sauce — it was garlicky and addictive.

The hot sauce was so good that they actually sold the hot sauce by the bottle as well.

The sesame noodle’s sauce was smooth, delicious and with hint of roasted peanuts; the noodle was tender and cooked just right.

I loved mixing the spicy sauce from the wonton to zest up the sesame noodle.

Of course, the meal was not complete without having their famous soup dumplings.

Granted, the Din Tai Fung in Bellevue was not Taiwan Din Tai Fung, it did serve the best soup dumpling in our area.

Thin and elastic wrapping, the small dumpling packed a great amount of soup which more often than not, burnt my palate and my tongue because I just could not resist the piping fresh, off the steamer dumplings.

The pork filling was always juicy and well-flavored with ginger.

I love the black vinegar ginger dipping sauce for the dumplings as the tartness of the vinegar accentuated the delicate soup of the dumplings.

I usually skipped the soy sauce as I felt that the dumplings were perfectly salted and the soy sauce would mask their excellent flavors.

I was obsessed with the cold sweet and sour spare ribs.

The bite-size spare ribs were coated with the fantastic sauce that was exactly tangy enough and sweet enough to be coveted at maximum.

I would be very happy to  eat a whole bowl of rice just with the rib sauce!

Finally for dessert — taro dumpling.

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We usually get one steamer with 2 flavors: taro and red bean, since DH liked red bean.

Personally I found the quiet and subtle taro flavor soothing and delicious; the occasional small chunks of taro gave a bite and a surprise to the filling which was thoroughly enjoyable.

We had taken to go to Din Tai Fung at odd times to avoid waiting in line; sitting at the bar was also a great option for us.

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 on Urbanspoon