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Archive for the ‘Travel Food’ Category

Richmond Night Market

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on July 21, 2014 at 11:10

So wonderful to be visiting the Richmond night market!

Weather was nice and so many people — queueing up for food, waiting for food and it was so much fun!

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There were way more food that I wanted than my already flexible stomach could hold in one go.

As a result, the plan of attack was to get the food that I really missed!

Number one being curry fish balls!

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I could make that easily for myself at home, but having curry fish balls on the street was very nostalgic for me —  it was one of the quintessential street food in Hong Kong.

Next, delicious lamb skewers.

Had to admit that we might have gone to the wrong stall as the famous stall might be an aisle down.

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This stall still had non-stop business with a long line, a tell-tale sign of a good place, Asian way.

They served chicken, beef, pork and shrimps as well, but I was partial to lamb.

The lamb skewers were still very fresh, delicious and spicy hot!

Tender and perfect balance between meat and fat, slightly charred with slight burnt meat/fat flavor – such a delight!

I was happy to find stinky tofu!

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Rumor was that night market had stopped serving stinky tofu because it was still too stinky for the public.

Stinky tofu were tofu that had gone under fermentation, and the process imparted an almost blue cheese flavor to the tofu.

They were then fried or sometimes steamed to serve, and was considered one of many Chinese delicacies.

These stinky tofu were Taiwanese style with hot sauce, sweet soy sauce paste, cilantro, and pickled cabbage.

They were not nearly as stinky as what I was used to having growing up (I remembered literally able to smell the stinky tofu street vendor blocks away).

In fact, I saw the sign on the stall front, rather than reaching them via my nose.

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It was still a tasty rare find, and I was glad the night market still had this dish!

We walked past stalls that was making the fine art of dragon beard candy…

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Yummy fried chicken fillet and mochi dessert…

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Our friends got the grilled calamari that was tender and delicious, cooked in its own juice.

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On our way to night market, I saw a girl with a cup of Chendol that looked delicious; since then I had kept my eyes peeled on finding one for myself.

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Eventually I got the Chendol while DH got a mango drink.

Chendol was a popular Indonesian drink dessert with hard-to-miss green rice noodle, coconut milk and palm sugar.

This stall version also consisted of red and green beans, almond tofu and jelly.

It was refreshing and filling at the same time.

DH was not quite full yet from all the teaser nibbling, and we landed on the pancake roll.

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The pancake wrap was similar to roti and we opted for pickled vegetables and pork filling.

It was buttery delicious mixed with crunch and tartness of pickled vegetables.

The stall also had kimchi and beef, and the traditional Chinese dry shredded pork with eggs filling.

At this point, my stomach was nearly at end of its stretch.

Passed by a fried Mars bar bus…

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…and would really loved to try the new Korean crazed ice cream-filled spiral called IceCane…

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At the end, went for my little eggs as some of my friends had never had this classic Hong Kong street food.

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We walked and ate until it got dark.

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Went back to our hotel with a happy, satisfied and full stomach!

Granville Island

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on July 16, 2014 at 11:02

Granville Island — one of the touristic highlights of Vancouver BC.

Especially around this time of the year when the Pacific Northwest had beautiful sunny days and gorgeous colors in our surrounding.

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The market was bountiful and vibrant with abundance of produce.

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Seafood were other highly prized items from the Northwest.

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Many food vendors also occupied the market.

Pastry shops….

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Specialty pie shop…

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We bought lunch at Laurelle’s Fine Foods.

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The salmon pie was good with a tangy fresh beet salad.

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Unfortunately my own Shepherd’s pie was better than theirs — of course I am biased!

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The filling was not tomato-ey or herby enough and the mashed was a little hard and dry.

Laurelle's Fine Foods on Urbanspoon

Found ChocolaTas in the Public Market after lunch.

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A few of the pieces were interesting: Kyoto cherry rose and rooibos tea. 

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Their dark chocolate ganache were smooth and with lovely roasty chocolate flavors.

The Kyoto cherry rose was very nice with a hint of cherry, green tea like flavor and hint of rose.

Flavors were just right and subtle; allowing the characters of chocolate to shine.

The rooibos tea flavor in the ganache was too light and unnoticeable.

ChocolaTas might not be Thomas Haas level great, but still enjoyable.

ChocolaTas on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part III

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 21, 2014 at 12:42

My favorite Hong Kong style café in Richmond BC – Lido!

The must-get in Lido was the Hong Kong style milk tea.

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Hong Kong style milk tea with corn beef and egg sandwich

Black tea flavor was strong and the milk was silky, velvety smooth and creamy.

The milk tea came unsweetened and each person could adjust their sweetness-liking accordingly.

It was truly a little luxury in a cup and I savored every sip of it.

Alas, no establishment in the Greater Seattle area produced such delicious milk tea — it made crossing boarder a must!

Lido also served excellent Hong Kong style coffee and milk tea mix, yin yang 鴛鴦, which was exceptionally authentic, down to the use of not-so-great coffee.

Perfect balance of tea, coffee and milky goodness, it was another must-try.

To eat: my favorite toasted corn beef and egg sandwich.

At Lido, fantastically fluffy eggs and salted corn beef was sandwiched between 2 slices of perfectly toasted white bread.

Every bite was exciting — first there was the crunch of the toast, followed by soft pillowy eggs and flavored with corn beef.

My only wish was for more corn beef in the sandwich.

These drinks and sandwich brought back nostalgic memory of having these same food with the street vendor in Hong Kong market.

Lido was also famous for their pineapple buns, which were often sold out.

I found pineapple bun with satay beef on the menu and had to try that!

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The pineapple bun was fluffy, sweet and lovely as usual.

The best part of the pineapple bun was the top where the sweet flakes fell off as one bit into it.

It was unmistakably buttery and soothing.

The addition of satay beef introduced a sweet salty competition in the mouth.

The satay flavor was very strong albeit a little too salty, and the beef was super tender.

It was a little messy to eat and nonetheless enjoyable.

Lido Restaurant 麗都餐廳 on Urbanspoon

Another place I loved right next door to Lido was Excellent Tofu and Snack.

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They made some really smooth tofu here.

Usually I came for the plain tofu, or tofu fa 豆腐花 with ginger syrup.

The tofu was silky –  upon close inspection, there was no bump on the surface of the tofu.

It had a nice soy bean flavor and each spoonful would melt away in the mouth – it gave away exactly like the inside of seared foie gras.

I believe tofu fa was one of the greatest dessert in the world.

It was healthy — completely vegetarian, low in fat, high in protein and as long as we did not overdo on sugar or syrup, it was also low-calorie.

The shop offered this simple, light and healthy dessert in hot or cold form.

Each tiny table in the store or the counter area had small tubs of brown sugar which was customary to add into the tofu dessert for extra sweetness (also textural crunch), or when someone ordered the tofu plain with no syrup.

There were many flavors or combination possible with this simple food: the addition of red bean, grass jelly, barley; coconut flavor, peanut flavor, taro flavor, options were limitless.

This last visit, I went for something different, almond tofu.

I usually enjoyed the “fake tofu” almond tofu.

The fake one was made with agar, evaporated milk, almond extract and sugar.

This real tofu almond tofu was delivered with sweetened almond syrup.

On top of it, I had the full make up with the addition of fruit cocktail.

It was so delicious!

The shop also sold fresh soy milk and tofu curd for cooking.

I loved their tofu so much that I brought a box from Seattle to buy their tofu curd and transported them back.

Unfortunately it was an utter failure — due to its silky soft nature, the tofu curd did not survive the car ride and turned into tofu mush.

If I recalled, I made the tofu into a very mushy ma po tofu — never again.

Excellent Tofu & Snack 好好豆品專門店 on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part II

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 5, 2014 at 10:39

Went to Guu Garlic, and we were disappointed.

The dishes were not as good as they used to be — very sad.

We ordered many small dishes to share.

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L: sweet shrimp sashimi — R top: roasted garlic — M bottom: fried shrimps — R bottom: chicken wings

The ama ebi, sweet shrimps, was ok and was not popping crunchy fresh.

The fried garlic and fried shrimps were not anything special.

Chicken wings with soy glaze was delicious but I was not wow by them.

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L: stir fried udon — R top: salmon sashimi — R bottom: beef carpaccio

In the past, I longed for Garlic Guu’s stir-fried udon.

I was expecting a delivery of my old favorite but not anymore.

It used to be cooked just right in noodle texture, this time around, it was overcooked and soggy.

It used to have this most amazingly mushroomy flavor that I loved, and that was gone — resulting in just a regular beef udon stir-fry.

The wild salmon sashimi was fantastic, fresh, sweet and firm, and my friend said the beef carpaccio was excellent.

To be fair, food was not bad; they just had turned ordinary — without the little something that made them special anymore.

Or perhaps, we were just there on a off night.

I will still go when my friends go, but I will not long for the place anymore.

Guu Garlic on Urbanspoon

 

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Nero waffle bar, on the other hand — I will be returning in a heart beat — really wish there is one in Seattle of that quality!

The waffles were definitely one of the best I ever had!

This very tiny store on Robson and stone throw from Garlic Guu had about 12 seats inside the store and 6-8 seats outside.

The minute the door was opened, one would be welcomed by the unmistakable creamy, dreamy aroma of sweet eggy waffles.

Nero served both the light and crispy Brussels waffles and the soft and sweet Liège waffles.

On the menu, there were equal numbers of savory and sweet waffle concoctions.

Our party actually stopped by Nero before Garlic Guu to kill time and put more food in the stomach; and I ended up sharing the strawberry cream waffle with DH.

If I knew I would be disappointed with Garlic Guu, I would have eaten another chocolate mousse waffle all by myself!

The Brussels waffle was the lightest I had ever had.

Took a significant bite, and it just disappeared in my mouth — light, airy and yet, the impact of the milky, eggy and buttery flavor was enormous.

The sweet hint of waffle carried through every bite and stayed pleasantly in the mouth afterwards.

The fresh strawberries were only for decoration as the waffle star was shining so bright that there was nothing that can dim its light  (and yes, lovely fresh strawberry flavors and fresh fruit texture).

I kept eyeing the delicious looking chocolate mousse with orange on the next table and I swore to myself that I would return soon!

Of course, must also try their Liège waffles!

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar on Urbanspoon

Vancouver Food Day Part I

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on May 2, 2014 at 10:07

Vancouver eating trip was always the best!!!

I was often surprised by my own flexible stomach at which large amount of food were deposited in a short period of time.

We started our trip at Michigan Noodle Restaurant.

I had heard a lot about the wonton noodle in this place for a very long time and finally made the journey.

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L: mixed pan fried noodle — R top: stir fried pea vines — R bottom: won ton noodle and salt and peppers chicken cartilage

The wonton noodle was excellent!

The noodles were thin and Q Q — the best term to describe the perfectly cooked noodle with a slight chewy texture, al dente and bouncy.

I usually avoided ordering egg noodles because most places could not cook them properly and had a soapy flavor.

These egg noodle was prepare fantastically without soapy flavor, and I would most certainly eat this!

The wontons were ginormous, crunchy with very fresh shrimps and thin wrappers, every bite was a treat; accompanied by the expected fish broth accented with yellow chives, it was a memorable bowl of wonton soup noodle.

The pan-fried crispy noodle was delicious as well — the contrast of crisp and soft noodle was always an enjoyable eating sensation.

There were some ingredients in our mixed pan-fried noodle I had not seen for a long while – livers and kidneys!

I believed DH had avoided them all as he was not a fan of inert.

I am not a fan of liver but a huge fan of well prepared kidneys.

Kidneys at Michigan was not bad: cooked perfectly – still crunchy and not overcooked, but there was still a little “piggy” flavor in them.

I guess nothing beat the kidneys that my Mom made at home with large amount of ginger and no piggy flavor.

The pea vine was sweet and had a crunch.

I had accepted the fact that vegetables, especially Chinese vegetables, were of much better quality in Canada than in the States.

Fresher and higher quality vegetables yielded a much tastier simple stir-fried vegetable dish.

Well, I will just have to eat lots of vegetables, along with plenty other food the next time I am in Vancouver again!

Michigan Noodle Restaurant 麥之根雲吞麵世家 on Urbanspoon

Must have ramen in Vancouver!

Normally, I went to Motomachi Shokudo.

This time, we heard about this chicken soup ramen place, Marutama Ramen and decided it was a must-try!

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I LOVED IT!

The chicken broth was really thick and rich; it was very comforting as if someone had put a blanket on me and tucked me in bed.

I opted for spicy and it made the soup tingly in the mouth both from the hot broth and the peppers.

The noodle texture was fantastic; it was an option to choose how soft we wanted the noodle to be cooked and I picked the chewiest option and I got that exactly.

The egg was excellent with its light soy flavor, runny egg yolk that was cooked just right.

The pork was extremely tender, thinly sliced, well-flavored.

It was such a textural trip: bouncy noodle, thick velvety broth, soft tender pork and the resistance of egg white at the first bite opening up to runny creamy egg yolk.

Every bite was fun, every bite was delicious, and I could drink the soup forever!

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Marutama Ramen on Urbanspoon

Eating in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles

In Eating Out, Food, The Caribbeans, Travel Food on March 24, 2014 at 10:40

Doof Out

I wish I could eat in each one of the country we visited on the cruise!

In reality, I knew it would be difficult to get my hands on local foods for one reason or another.

In the Bahamas, we were dropped off at a secluded part of an island basically ran by the staff of the cruise ship – no local food.

In Aruba, everything near the strip off the port was touristy.

There were quite a few eateries but they were serving sandwiches, pizza and pasta.

Colombia and Costa Rica were challenging because we only have enough time to tour but not enough to eat locally.

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia  L: fruit vendor -- R Top: sweet cookies snacks -- R bottom: orange juice vendor

A Glimpse of Street Food Life in Cartagena, Colombia
L: fruit vendor — R Top: sweet cookies snacks — R bottom: orange juice vendor

We got off at Colon in Panama for a very short stop.  To my surprise, on a Tuesday, most stores were closed around 4pm.  There were once again, eateries with pizza, Lebanese and Greek food on the main street – no luck again.

My one and only food adventure was at Curacao, Dutch Antilles — and it was wonderful!

Floating market

Floating market

We found a market where locals went to eat – a what a fantastic food journey!

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inside of the food market

inside of the food market

First, must try the famous iguana soup.

L: iguana bones -- R top: soup with extra hot pepper -- Middle bottom: inside of iguana eggs -- R bottom: iguana eggs

L: iguana bones — R top: soup with extra hot pepper — Middle bottom: inside of iguana eggs — R bottom: iguana eggs

Chunks of iguana meat were served in the soup with bones.

I was really out of vocabulary to describe the taste of iguana meat.

It was sweet and tender, not anything like any other meat that I had (DH and I joked that alligator meat tasted like chicken, and certainly not the case for iguana).

Our tour guide in Aruba once said that the iguana meat was healthy because iguanas were vegetarians.

I would assume that the vegetation on the Caribbean was so vastly different from ours that the meat of the animal would certainly tasted different too.

The bones were small and sharp, and looked more like fish bone (I believe I had the tail part) rather than mammals’.

When saw these little balls at the bottom of the soup and started chewing them.

I thought it was some kind of starch or herb, as it was very firm like a perfectly cooked whole ginko.

Turned out they were iguana eggs!  Super interesting!

They did not taste like any of the fowl eggs, and it had no yolk or whites to speak off.

My dad loved it so much that we had the shop keeper scooped us more from their soup pot.

The soup was  a light broth and very spicy, with some carrots and onions’’’’’’’’ in it.

The soup was extremely addictive and tasty, and tasted like a light chicken broth

Then, we had goat stew, called carni stoba, with funchi.

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The goat stew was delicious and the goat was very tender.

The funchi was even better.

It was basically locals’ polenta, and best polenta I had ever had!

It was creamy both in texture (not gritty) and in flavor (probably had milk or cream in the mix).

No corn mill cardboard taste to it but just hint of corn flavor.

Our first out of country polenta experience was in Romania, and DH and I both did not like it as it was bland and had the corn mill cardboard taste.

If all polenta was prepared this way in the Dutch Antilles, I would have this every meal!

My parents loved it too and I told my parents about this being the best and they would likely not enjoy other polenta.

Incidentally, that same night during dinner at cruise ship, they were serving polenta.

I gave my parents a bite of it and they both shook their heads…..

Kadushi, cactus soup

Kadushi, cactus soup

Lastly, must try the kadushi, cactus soup.

It was cooked with meat and was very slimy.

It was very difficult to eat with the spoon as the spoonful of soup would slip away from the spoon before it hit the mouth.

The flavor of the soup reminded of this Shanghainese soup that my grandmother used to make at home, we called it “yellow fish soup” — which was made with shredded fish meat, eggs and vegetable similar to spinach.

I was really surprise the cactus+meat reminded me of a fish soup!

The quite enjoyed the slimy texture but my travel companions were passing on the soup.

The fun part was what the soup did to my stomach.

I wasn’t full when I had the soup, and after I had the bowl, it felt like my stomach was about to burst!

It felt like the slimy starchiness just expanded exponentially in my stomach.

After no more than an hour, I was back to being hungry again!

The cactus starch did not last.

We continued to enjoy the colors of the local markets with its abundance of fresh fruit, fish and meats on our way back to the cruise ship.

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Eating on Cruise Ship

In Eating Out, Food, Travel Food on March 21, 2014 at 11:39

Doof Out

From the brief stop in Miami, we went to Fort Lauderdale to board our cruise ship to the Caribbean, Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia.

Life on cruise ship was interesting.

DH and I exercised crazily on board because we knew how much we were eating!

Food was accessible 24/7 among dining room, buffet, poolside snacks, afternoon teas and room service.

In general, the food on our cruise ship were flavored well, but we often times found them too salty or too sweet.

My parents enjoyed the atmosphere and service at the dining room, so we had dinner there every night.

The varieties of food they offered were fantastic!

It was, however, difficult to avoid dairy in the dining room.

Formal Night Dining Room Dinner L: filet mignon and lobster tail -- R Top: duck pate and caviar -- R bottom: escargot

Formal Night Dining Room Dinner
L: filet mignon and lobster tail — R Top: duck pate and caviar — R bottom: escargot

They tried to have an international appeal in the menu and I believe they did a good job.

Dining Room Breakfasts L: corn beef hash -- R top: Japanese breakfast with tamagoyaki, grilled salmon, rice and miso soup -- R bottom: Scandinavian breakfast with smoked salmon, pickled herring and hard boiled eggs

Dining Room Breakfasts
L: corn beef hash — R top: Japanese breakfast with tamagoyaki, grilled salmon, rice and miso soup — R bottom: Scandinavian breakfast with smoked salmon, pickled herring and hard boiled eggs

My biggest downfall was the ease to get my hands on desserts!

Dining Room Desserts L: molten chocolate cake -- R Top: fruit crisp -- R bottom: tropical fruit sundae

Dining Room Desserts
L: molten chocolate cake — R Top: fruit crisp — R bottom: tropical fruit sundae

My most memorable food moments on the ship was the tropical fruits.

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I was in heaven!

Fresh mango, dragonfruit and guava along with the usual pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew and berries.

They were of good quality and fresh!  I was looking forward to the fresh tropical fruits to show up again but they never did.

Another great moment was having Panama rolls.

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I did not know how authentic these Panama roll was.

In fact, I could not find it on the internet at all; it could just be something that the cruise ship came up with.

It was delicious enough — light dough outside filled with custard and probably apricot preserve.

They were light and sweet with some interesting texture bits on the top.

The other fun experience was to tour the kitchen of the cruise ship.

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Everything was very streamlined and organized.

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They had a chart on what every dish should have and how each should look like.

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We also got to observe fruit decorative carving.

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The skillfulness, creativity and efficiency was just fascinating to watch.

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The best part of cruising was the fact that all the cooking was done by others and I could just eat!

Eating Out in Miami

In Eating Out, Food, North America, Travel Food on March 19, 2014 at 11:40

Doof Out

Wow!  Sun and warmth in Miami, what a contrast to home and certainly a nice break!

Very grateful for the opportunity to finally visit the Everglades, rode an air boat and saw some alligators!

Best part, delicious Cuban food!

We went to the famous Versailles.

The place was ginormous and had its own bakery and corner for just a quick bite and coffee.

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I ordered the plantain soup and the cortadito.

The plantain soup was delicious and addictive.

R: Cuban sandwich -- L: plantain soup

R: Cuban sandwich — L: plantain soup

It was most definitely non vegetarian because it had small bits of shredded meat in it — probably why the soup tasted so good.

There were chunks of cooked plantain and fried banana chips on top, which made the soup’s texture very diverse.

The soup tasted mildly curried.

The cortadito was a Cuban espresso with milk.

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It was nice and strong, lovely roastiness and just with a touch of milk to add some smoothness.

I made DH order the Classic Cuban sampler, and I was so glad we got it!

Cuban Classic Sampler (clockwise from 3 o'clock): picadillo ground beef, tamale, fried plantains, cassava, roast pork and croquette

Cuban Classic Sampler (clockwise from 3 o’clock):
picadillo ground beef, tamale, fried plantains, cassava, roast pork and croquette

The best tamale I ever had!

I normally did not like tamales, somehow I really did not enjoy the corn husk flavor.

This tamale was without the corn husk flavor, soft, super flavorful with little bit of meat inside.

I could eat that all the time!

I introduced my parents to it, but they did not like it – I thought there really was no chance for them to like the regular tamales.

The black beans were very aromatic with shallots, and the picadillo beef was some tomato goodness; they both complimented the fluffy white rice greatly.

The ham croquette was to die for.

Soft crunchiness outside with nice creamy flavored mashed potatoes (which probably was mixed with milk or cheese) and ham in the core.

The roast pork was flavorful but was a little dry.

The cassava was most definitely an acquired texture.

It was similar to perfectly boiled potato slices in hardness but was sticky and pasty.

Sad to say that I was not a fan, at least not how it was prepared.

The fried plantains were sweet, with slight crisp and caramelization on the outer layer were very tasty.

My father loved Cuban sandwich (first introduction at Mojito Café in Seattle) but he was disappointed with his because it was uneventful and the sandwich did not have much meat.

However, he loved his café con leche.

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Milk was sweet and creamy, similar to a reconstituted sweetened condensed milk.

The coffee was just as strong as the cortadito which made it a fantastically delicious cup of coffee.

We finished off the meal with a Cuban flan — smooth, eggy and more rigid than usual flan; it was tasty with just right sweetness.

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Versailles Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Later that night after spending several hours at the Everglades, everyone was tired, and decided that we were going to get take out.

We went to El Palacio de los Jugos.

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Completely cultural shock as everything was in Spanish and the store did not offer English menu, even the store clerks were not very helpful because their English were not so great either.

It worked like a Panda Express Latin style – point and scoop.

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Luckily one other customer there was able to tell me what was good in the store and gave us some suggestions.

We got the Latin version of Chinese fried rice which was recommended and was amazingly good.

It was the standard fried rice but with huge chunks of chicken and ham, fried with eggs, onions and green onions, then topped with raw bean sprouts which gave a different dimension to the texture.

We got a shredded grilled beef fried with onions which had very good flavor but was a little dry.

Lastly we had this fish fillet which was delicious and tender.

Since this place was famous for juices, we got mango, papaya and tamarind.

The best tamarind juice I ever had – it was thick, sweet and tart and extremely strong tamarind flavor.

The mango juice was good too but a little unexpected.

It tasted a little green, similar to the green mango juice we had in Melaka, Malaysia with a hint of saltiness.

We got an empanadas and a guava pastry for breakfast next day.

The empanadas was delicious with ham and cheese and my father said the guava pasty was good – I could only took his word because we did not get to try it.

All in all, an eye-opening eating experience in Miami; I felt like I was transported to a Latin country.

Palacio de Los Jugos on Urbanspoon

Gem of Bainbridge Island — Hitchcock Restaurant

In Eating Out, Food, Travel Food on January 22, 2014 at 11:50

Doof Out

Hitchcock restaurant was on the main street of Bainbridge Island, just right off the ferry terminal.

The restaurant has been around for almost 4 years, and the deli was added about 2 years ago.

The little place was romantic and lively at the same time.

Chef Brendan McGill was voted as one of the best new chefs in 2013, and his food most definitely live up to the reputation.

All the ingredients used in the restaurant were locally grown and harvested, and I could taste that freshness in our food.

For the two of us, we received different plates for 4 out of our 6 courses, and that was just plain fun!

We got to try so many more dishes and they were amazing!

We started with locally farmed oysters as our first course.

L: duck parfait, R top: cured pork belly, R bottom: oysters

L: duck parfait, R top: cured pork belly, R bottom: oysters

They were super fresh.

We each had one garnished with hot sauce, onion vinaigrette and most creative of the bunch, sweet pickled water melon rind.

Both the hot sauce and vinaigrette tasted great, strong and aromatic, but they were overpowering the oysters for our taste.

The water melon rind was fantastic.

It was very refreshing; the rinds lifted the oyster flavors and gave a different twist to the texture.

Then, we had our different second course: duck parfait and cured pork belly.

The duck parfait was out of this world!

It was smooth and flavorful.

Little shaved truffle and sea salt on top, it made the duck parfait even more decadent.

The toast for the duck was toasted perfectly with crisp on the crust and chewy inside.

This was the first time I ever had any food resembling a savory ice cream!

The pork belly flavor was great; we did prefer more meaty pork belly, and this one had too much fat in our opinion.

I could see pork belly connoisseur would really enjoy this.

The tartness and bitterness of the radicchio salad that accompanied the pork belly helped cut the fattiness away.

Our third course was clams.

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They were once again amazingly fresh.

Came with a cream sauce with smoked bacon bits, celery and potatoes, the clams were flavorful.

The celery gave a surprising texture to the dish, and helped cut through the creamy sauce, giving the dish another flavor dimension that was unexpected.

The fourth course was a squash soup with leek oil and creme fraiche.

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The soup was smooth, sweet, a little on the salty side; however, the leek oil was delicious.

We then were treated with a grapefruit palate cleanser: sweet, bitter, slight tartness, creamy and refreshing.

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A little bit of salt was added onto the palate cleanser–made us experienced all tastes on our tongue!

DH and I had different fifth course, a duck breast and a pork chop.

They were some of the most superbly done meats I had.

The duck breast was cooked perfectly rare with a lovely crisp skin.

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It was lightly flavor to taste the freshness of the duck meat.

Accompanied by well cooked rutabaga and farro on the side, and little extra duck mousse, it was excellent.

The pork was cooked perfectly pink and moist.

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Normally, I refused to order pork in Western restaurants because they were most often too tough and dry.

I would have this pork every meal if I could!

The meat was lightly flavored again, showcasing the quality pork, crisp on the skin and just melted in the mouth.

There were sweet apples on the side with spicy kimchi relish; all the flavors played so well together, this dish was another step ahead of the duck!

Then, we had cheese and desserts.

L: chocolate terrain, R top: sheep hard cheese and soft goat cheese, R bottom: caramel crème brulee with ginger cookie

L: chocolate terrine, R top: sheep hard cheese and soft goat cheese, R bottom: caramel crème brulee with ginger cookie

If we counted them separately, we technically had seven courses.

A wonderful hard sheep cheese which was nutty and smoky, and a soft fermented goat cheese, it was perfect for DH and me.

I generally liked the mild hard cheeses, and DH enjoyed the stinkier soft cheeses — we did not have to fight.

Desserts were yummy.

I am a chocoholic, and would always be partial to chocolate dessert.

I loved the chocolate terrine with saffron cream and white chocolate pistachio brittle.

It was smooth and very much strong dark chocolate; it was roasty, creamy and not very sweet at all.

The crunchy white chocolate pistachio brittle was wonderful with contrasting texture to the smoothness of the terrine, and hint of saltiness.

The addition of saffron was beautiful and exotic.

Normally I was not crazy about crème brulee, but this caramel crème brulee was very good.

It was creamy and smooth as expected but without the heaviness of cream; instead it was eggy, and I dared use the word “light” on a crème brulee.

It was fantastically done with a delicious piece of ginger cookie.

I will most definitely go back to eat at Hitchcock again even it means the extra money and time for the ferry ride!

Hitchcock on Urbanspoon

A Food Tour of Bainbridge Island, WA

In Eating Out, Food, Travel Food on January 20, 2014 at 13:27

Doof Out

For our wedding anniversary, I had planned a get-away to a quint little town, Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island is not very far from Seattle, about 30-min ferry ride from downtown.

Many people commute from Bainbridge to work in the Seattle area every day.

For me, however, it was something special — it felt as if I was travelling to an exotic location again!

Managed to snap the picture of the Seattle Great Wheel with the unintentional effect showcasing the inside of the Washington State Ferry

Managed to snap the picture of the Seattle Great Wheel with the unintentional effect showcasing the inside of the Washington State Ferry

Unfortunately after searching high and low for accommodation, I concluded that everywhere on the island was pretty expensive.

I decided to only going for food.

We walked along the main street on the island and found Blackbird Bakery.

I heard praises for this bakery for a long time and glad that I finally made the trip.

The bakery offered wide range of selections from pastries, cookies, sandwiches to full and beautiful cakes.

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I got an orange cranberry ginger scone and it was fantastic.

The inside of the scone was fluffy with plenty of flavors – an overall sweet orange flavor, with zesty ginger bits and tart cranberries.

All the additions compliments the sweetness of the scone dough.

The outside was dry and had a nice harder crust, it was perfect!

Although there were plenty other lovely pastries, I told myself that restrain was necessary as a big dinner was near in sight.

Well, that thought lasted for 2 seconds.

We stepped out of the bakery, looked to our right, was Mora Iced Creamary.

I wanted to try ice cream from Mora for a very long time.

All the ice cream at Mora were made in small batches with clean ingredients.

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I loved the store’s simple design, clean and sleek.

Each flavor of the ice cream was hidden in a stainless steel bucket with stainless steel lids.

I really wanted to have the goat cheese fig ice cream that day, but it was sold out.

I tried the Marron Glace – chestnut cream.

It was creamy and tasty with excellent roasted chestnut flavor; however, DH did not like it.

We settled with Maraschino cherry flavor.

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I knew the cherry flavor wasn’t the freshest kind, and the color was the most unnatural, but I grew up with those little cherries on top of ice cream sundae or in canned fruit cocktail, the maraschino cherry flavor was every bit nostalgic for me.

The sweet cream flavor came through fantastically and it was very creamy.

The little snack before dinner was delicious and against all Chinese parents’ teaching, “no sweet food before dinner, you will spoil your appetite!”

I am glad that the ice cream did not do too much damage, and I was able to enjoy my 6-course tasting menu at Hitchcock (the meal was fantastic and deserved its own page…stay tune!)

On our way back, we joined the city in celebrating the Seahawks’ advancement into the NFC Championship Game, and now SuperBowl!!

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Blackbird Bakery on Urbanspoon

Mora Ice Cream Co on Urbanspoon