Archive for June, 2010

Jun 27

Dim Sum (點心) at Great Eastern Restaurant

I was not kidding when I say I have dim sum very often.  We were in Chinatown with my mom so we decided to get some dim sum at our other favorite dim sum place, Great Eastern Restaurant. I know that parking can suck in Chinatown, but if you park at the Portsmouth Square Garage and eat over $35.00 at Great Eastern, you can get some parking hours validated.   I think we parked for about 3 hours and got charged for 1 hour instead.   For this blog, I thought to note the dim sum photos instead to make it easier, click on the photos and order these items when you are there, they are all sooo goooood!

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Jun 26

Shabu Shabu Me at Shabu House

Okay, yes…I admit it, I am a pig, I’ve never denied that. After eating half my Tikka Masala Burrito at Curry Up Now, we went to eat shabu shabu at the Shabu House.  We went to the Burlingame location since there is more parking and less of a wait than their location on Geary.

This restaurant serves three different soup bases: Traditional Water, Spicy Miso and Ginger Chicken Broth. My favorite soup base to get is the Spicy Miso, it’s really not that spicy but it’s better than the Traditional Water.  The meal comes with your choice of meat, assorted vegetables and udon. And of course it comes with two dipping sauces, the ponzu and goma (sesame) sauce. I always add lots of green onions, garlic and chili sesame oil to my ponzu.

Since I ate beforehand I didn’t want to order the All You Can Eat menu, but it turns out that it’s all or nothing. If your group orders All You Can Eat, then everyone has to. The restaurant  has encountered groups sharing food by the middle of dinner, so this became a regulation at the restaurant. So yes, I had to get the All You Can Eat ,and this time, I didn’t get my money’s worth. However, I still ate quite a lot and my tummy spent Friday night fuller than expected.

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Jun 26

Hurry Up and Curry Up Now

On Friday night, there was an event called Off the Grid at the Fort Mason Center. I don’t work in downtown San Francisco or in any area that is closeby to these popular food trucks and food carts, so I had to attend this event to see what everyone’s been talking about! It started at 5:00pm and I got there at 7:00pm, needless to say, quite a few food vendors ran out of food and the lines were super long for those who were still serving! I decided to wait in the long line for Curry Up Now since I’ve heard really good reviews.  I have to admit that I was afraid that they were going to tell the line that they were out of food, I think I would have cried cause I was starving. So as I stood in line in the cold windy night, I was hoping for this place not to run out of food or at least have me as their last customer. Please please please, let me make the cut.

I honestly didn’t even know what they served until I got closer to the truck to see the menu. So yes, we were waiting in line for about 30 minutes not knowing what we were planning to eat. When we finally got to the front, the girl taking the order was so nice and sweet, she was just so happy to be taking the order. Even with such an ongoing line, she was not stressed  and didn’t rush us. We wanted the Samosa but they already ran out. So we ordered the Tikka Masala Burrito with Chicken and the Kathi Roll with Beef. Both of these were really good and we loved the concept of the burrito.  And they were both very spicy so they kept us warm in the cold. I’m really glad that I finally got to try Curry Up Now, I hear that their menu changes every so often, but after trying these two items, I am sure that their other menu items will be full of spices too! LOVED it!

I heard that this Off the Grid event will be going on for a few more Fridays at the Fort Mason Center, for more information, check them out on their Off the Grid Website or on their Facebook page! I plan to try the other food trucks I didn’t get to try, and next time, I plan to get there earlier!

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Jun 21

Vietnamese Homestyle Cuisine at Ben Tre

We were actually heading for another restaurant but it was closed so we decided to try out Ben Tre located in South San Francisco. I am so glad we accidentally walked into this place cause it was really good and really clean. When we eat Vietnamese food, we usually just get simple soup noodles or rice plates. But when we got the menu, we noticed some photos and decided to try some different items than what we always order.  For the appetizer, we decided to get the Roasted Quails…YUMM…this was perfectly crisp, we dipped it lightly into the salt and pepper and it was full of flavors, it tasted just as good even when we didn’t dip it.  I’m Chinese, we love crispy quails! For entrees, we ordered the Yellow Rice in Claypot served with chicken, shrimps, mushrooms and vegetables. It had an aroma, smelled really good, but I thought it was missing sauce.  But luckily, we ordered the Five Spice Chicken over rice and it came with fish sauce, so I used the fish sauce and poured it into the clay pot mix!  Oh, and the Five Spice Chicken was deeelicious and grilled to perfection!

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Jun 19

Ladies Brunch at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Today I enjoyed a wonderful brunch with some friends at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. It was a hosted event and we were seated in the very charming private dining room. This event was such a treat, good friends, good conversations and good food, what more can I ask for?!

Our selected menu was from their day/brunch menus, so these dishes are also served in the main dining room of the restaurant.  I started with the Baby Romaine with White Anchovies and Vella Dry Jack. This was no ordinary Vella Dry Jack, it was perfectly crisped cheese! It was like a piece of PopCheese, get it? Popchips? PopCheese? And no, I don’t think this really exists or that would be dangerous. For my entree, I had the Croque Monsieur with Black Forest Ham, Gruyère and Dijon Mustard on Toasted Levain!  This was very tasty, and with these ingredients you really can’t go wrong! The dessert I selected was the Crème Brûlée with Huckleberry Violet Compote and Short Bread.  It was the perfect sweet ending to my meal, it was light and not too sweet.  Of course, during my meal I had a bite or two from my friends.  The Dungeness Crab-Salad Sandwich and TCHO Chocolate Pot de Crème were delightful too!

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Jun 18

Lamb Stew at Gazebo

Gazebo serves very simple Cantonese dishes. It’s not the best Chinese restaurant, but one of the dishes that we  came back for was their lamb stew!  Just to let you all know, they have 2 different menus, one is in English and one in Chinese and they do not match. The English menu has all the food that is not the homecooked Chinese food and the Chinese menu has food you may enjoy from mom!

I can’t really read any Chinese, but went with people that did. But even if you can’t read Chinese, you can still say lamb stew!  It is served in a huge clay pot and the soup base has carrots, sugar cane and water chestnuts which made the lamb taste delicious, it helps reduce the gamey taste! They also gave us vegetables to cook in the soup.  To bring out more flavors, you can dip it in the bean curd dipping. I believe it cost about $19.95 for this one big dish.

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Jun 13

Dim Sum is so YUMMM at Asian Pearl Peninsula

We eat dim sum at least 2 times a month with my mom, a tradition we’ve had forever.  We love sitting there, drinking strong tea, talking about the week and watching & smelling the food stroll by. I really love the  dim sum at Asian Pearl Peninsula located in Millbrae, the dumplings and other dishes such as the chicken feet and  spareribs, are always steamed to perfection.  I also love the shark fin soup dumpling here, the dumpling’s skin, soup flavors and ingredients are so tasty. I always add vinegar and ginger into the soup to bring out more of the flavors too.

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Jun 11

Japanese Small Plates at Naked Fish

We normally go to Naked Fish, the Millbrae location,  for quick lunches on the weekends. When we come here for lunch, we normally get the simple bento box lunches with an order of their butter fish nigiri.  The bento box is a deal and tastes good, we’ve always wanted to come back for dinner, so today was the day. Sushi is always a great idea on hot days! When we got seated, we got a nice  free small bowl of edamame to start us off, that was nice since I was starving.

We ordered a few small plates-Butterfish Nigiri, Uni Nigiri, Ankimo, Poke, Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab and Miso Seabass.  We were hungry and I thought that this was not enough, but I’m glad we stopped when we did cause this was perfect for the two of us! The butterfish and uni were really fresh, the cold seafood flavors were perfect! The ankimo was very smooth, it was a bit fishy at first but after I dabbed it with the spicy radish ponzu and scallions, it was delicious! I thought the deep fried soft shell crab was not bad either, but the one small dish that was REALLY good was the miso seabass! It was a very small piece, but the sweetness of the miso seabass was delightful, I will definitely order that again and try to make it at home too! I was eating every bite slowly, trying to figure out what the secret ingredients were.  I was really disappointed with the poke, it was not really good, it tasted a bit weird, there was a mesquite BBQ flavoring.

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Jun 08

Spicy Minced Pork over Shanghai Noodles at Wonton House

Last Sunday, we went to have lunch at Wonton House. I am not a huge fan of their soup noodles, but since we were in the area, we decided to come here for some cheap Chinese food.  Whenever I come here, I always order the same thing, the Spicy Minced Pork over Shanghai Noodles, I can never go wrong with ordering this comfort noodles dish. I really do enjoy all the flavors and bamboo shoots in the sauce. We also shared the Chinese Turnip Cake, perfectly crispy on the outside and tastes great with their chili sauce!

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Jun 07

Movie and Puccini & Pinetti

Over the weekend I went to watch SATC 2 with two wonderful ladies at Century San Francisco Centre 9 featuring relaxing plush seats! After the movie, we were hungry but wanted to stay in Union Square instead of dealing with parking again.  Saturday night and parking does not mix well in the City. We decided to walk around to see what was appealing.

When you eat in Union Square, it is never cheap, we already knew we were going to spend more than expected. We walked over to the area where Puccini & Pinetti was located, checked out their menu and decided to try it out.    The restaurant was comfy and traditional, we sat at the bar  since there was a wait and since they served food at the bar. I was just happy to see that they had hooks on the bar for coats and purses, not a lot of places have this nowadays.  Since we sat at the bar, we actually got the bar menu too, which was perfect since one of my friends wanted bar snacks type of food. They had a great bar menu, we just ordered a bunch of items since they all sounded good and were reasonably priced!  We shared the Crispy Calamari, Arugula Salad, Marinated Olives, Fried Ravioli, Cheese Plate, and a Pizza with Potato Skins! Everything was in small plates except the pizza and they all tasted delicious! I am so happy that we walked into this restaurant cause now I will definitely be back again!

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