Saturday, October 22, 2011

BerryLine - Cambridge, MA

Saturday is perfect for frozen yogurt (yes, even in this cold). We stopped by Harvard Square today for a musical at the university and it was nice and sunny (does not mean it's warm) outside when we walked out.  So we decided to go to BerryLine.  I decided to go with the original flavor this time but they do have interesting flavors like coconut, Taza chocolate, apple cinnamon (differ by location). Also worth a mention is their mochi, my must-have with frozen yogurt. Unlike the more standard mochi elsewhere, their mochi was bigger and chewier. Price-wise, they are slightly more expensive than the bigger chains if you want three toppings (~$4.50).

3 Arrow St,
Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ippudo - New York, NY

I finally had a chance to go to this famous ramen place in New York City! Ramen is actually a very tricky thing because they are extremely easy to make but extremely hard to make it perfect. Since the fresh or frozen ramen from Asian supermarkets also has a very high standard, it raises expectations when I go to restaurants specializing in ramen. Particularly the soup base, the chewiness, the pork and the egg. A good soup base should be flavorful but now salty; the noodles should be fresh and slightly "bouncy"; the pork should be soft and "fat"; and the egg should be cooked to a point where the yolk flows slightly.

Ippudo minus the line or the wait would be a great ramen place to go. A tip though, they take reservation if you go to the restaurant in person earlier in the day (great for groups)!

Restaurant Information:
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003

Monday, October 17, 2011

Joel Robuchon - Las Vegas, NV

Last week, I started the blog by a more fine dining experience. Today, I want to share about a even more extravagant and lavish experience at Joel Robuchon inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. All the food was exquisite and very modern. The foods are also rather fusion and creative, like the eel and tofu soup I had (delicious). To be honest, the food was nothing compared to the lavishly decorated dining room. And our amazement for the night did not even begin there.

I love yelp (literally!) and you will know why after the story. We read on a review that the hotel would provide complementary limo services if you are dining at Joel Robuchon (which we were unaware of when making the reservation). So we decided to give it a try and call ahead of time.  We were sent a golden limo with the car plate MGM2 (we later found MGM1) to pick us up from the Bellagio where we were staying at. After a couple of turns off the crowded main street, we were greeted by a tall gate and the limo turned into a private little garden.  We were then greeted by a staff, who led us all the way through the VIP check-in rooms through another gate back to the "normal" front-end of the hotel. Now who can forget THAT experience?

Restaurant Information:
Joel Robouchon
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trattoria Delia - Burlington, VT

Whenever I think of Italian food, Julia Roberts and all the food she had in Italy in the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" pops into my head.  Since I haven't been to Italy (yet!), sometimes I wonder if the restaurants I have been to are "real Italian food". But anyhow, Trattoria Delia is recommended by a couple of friends who also love to eat so we actually planned our Vermont trip around the time of our dinner reservation.

This nice little restaurant is just steps away from the crowded Church St. When we pushed open the wooden door, smell of garlic and tomato and all kind of good things hit us in the face (which we were happy with). We had the Lumache alla Sambuca, snails with herbs on bread, to start. The snails were soaked (literally) with tastes from all the herbs and butter. For main courses, we shared the Ossobuco alla Milanese, braised veal shank in white wine, and the Zuppa di Pesce, garlic and seafood (two of my favorite things). The veal was so braised to the point where the meat melt on my tongue. And of course, we cannot skip dessert because that's what completes a meal! We had the Tiramisu (a must-try if you happen to go there) and Profiterole with chocolate hazelnut Gelato inside. And the night at Burlington had a perfect conclusion.

Restaurant Information:
Trattoria Delia
152 Saint Paul St,
Burlington, VT 05401

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Red Lentil - Watertown, MA

Fall is a time for good food! With all the magnificent fall colors comes apples, squashes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins... and the counts continues. After a apple-picking trip recently, we stopped by the Red Lentil for some good vegan food. The restaurant is nice but small and can only accommodate one big group at a time. As a group of omnivores, we asked the waitress to recommend some popular dishes and we were glad we did when the food came. All the dishes are so flavorful that you won't notice that you weren't eating any animal products.
 Gobi Manchurian
 Beet Potato Latkes
 Sweet Potato Quesadilla
  Pistachio and Herb Encrusted Tofu with Corn Cake
 Chocolate Strawberry Cake (with hidden fresh strawberry!)
Carrot Cake (very chunky!)
Pistachio Almond Cream Cake

Restaurant Information:
600 Mount Auburn St,
Watertown, MA

Friday, October 14, 2011

City One Beverage - Shatin, Hong Kong

Friday is a time for a little nostalgia.  My friends often ask if there's anything that I particularly miss from Hong Kong since there are many Asian food in the states nowadays. It took me a while to realize how much I miss these waffle-like snacks called "egg puff" or "eggettes". It came in a lot of different flavors like original, chocolates, sesame coconut, etc. The good thing is, they can be found in a lot of street stands in Hong Kong and are quick and cheap to buy. Another great local snack is a modified version of waffles, a waffle sandwich, with butter, peanut butter, sweet condensed milk, and sugar inside. How can it be not good when all these good stuff are put together?

Throughout the years in Hong Kong, I have tried numerous stands that sell these traditional snacks, but my favorite has always been those from the City One Beverage. They always manage to get the crispiness on the outside and the soft and chewiness in the inside just right!

Restaurant Information:
City One Beverage
City One Plaza G65,
Shatin, Hong Kong

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beatty and Beastro - Saint John, NB

We discovered this cute restaurant during a summer road trip. We arrived at around 8pm and saw this tiny but glowing restaurant at the corner of the street and decided to give it a try.  There was only one person running the whole restaurant, meaning she was the hostess, the server and the cook. She took us in and told us she would not be able to serve us if we were a bigger party.

The restaurant is very nicely decorated with figurines of pigs (my favorite!) and cats. It was definitely a great dining experience with colorful napkins and cute plates with cats on them. I had the "sole princess", which was sole with a creamy shrimp-y filling on top, and it was delicious. To complete the meal, we ordered a couple of different cheesecakes so that we get a variety. Just as I always tell my friends, if life is like a good meal, desserts are the tastes of love.

Restaurant Information:
60 Charlotte Street
Saint John, NB E2L 2H9, Canada

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Crab Pot - Seattle, WA

 The Crab Pot is one of my favorite seafood places! And it's not an easy-to-get comment from someone who grew up with seafood although I must say their way of serving the seafood might have been why I love the restaurant so much in the first place. Their "seafeast" is definitely a must-try. Everything is thrown into a pot, steamed, covered with their yummy spices and poured out at our table. The mussels, the clams, the crab legs, the shrimps all taste really fresh. Their corns are sweet and juicy and their potatoes absorbs all the essence of the seafood. The only slight complaint I have though, is that the food gets cold REALLY fast if you sit outside (with the sea breezes), so either eat fast or request to be seated inside.

Seattle is a lovely place to visit, because it has some of the prettiest national parks and a breath-taking skyline and a relaxing atmosphere, AND great seafood.

Restaurant Information:
1301 Alaskan Way
Pier 57, Seattle, WA 98101

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainbow Cafe - Boston, MA

For people like me, living in a place so far away from home, finding a restaurant with homemade food such as that in the Rainbow Cafe is what makes survival in a new city possible. Rainbow Cafe is located in the heart of the Boston Chinatown.  An old couple owns the place with the wife being the main cook. Their whole family (including their children and grandchildren) are very friendly and a pleasure to talk to in general.

Some people might be scared away by its more than casual (and little bit messy) appearance. It also takes a lot longer for them to cook the food than other restaurants especially during busy lunch hours. However, they also have very special Chinese food that cannot be found elsewhere, such as oysters pancakes, medicinal herbal teas, and special types of rice noodle dishes.

Sadly, the old couple will be closing the restaurant after tomorrow (October 12) because the wife has a scheduled eye surgery and they are taking the chance to retire altogether. I am truly grateful for the times I have eaten here and there food will surely be missed. I hope there will be a good restaurant to replace the Rainbow Cafe soon. 

Restaurant Information:
60 Beach St
Boston, MA 02228

Monday, October 10, 2011