March 30, 2011


SO I finally caved in and bought an android phone. For the past 8 years I've used nothing but a normal phone and the only upgrade I've ever experienced was from a T9 to a keypad (it was a pretty exciting moment). Anyways, I still have no idea how to use half (ok more like 90%) of my phone nor do I know what apps I should even download. BUT I do know that 5.1 megapixels means my little galaxy can take some pretty darn good pictures. That means that even in the times I don't have my DSLR with me, I can still get some snapshots of delectable eats. Now isn't that exciting?

Brunch at Taphouse with the roomie. Finally tried the famed french toast and yes it was epic-ly delicious.You what else is epic-ly delicios? A breakfast burger with sweet potato fries. YUM.

Ok so the pictures aren't as good as the DSLR but not too shabby when you're in a pinch and when it's coming from a phone. Get pumped for more of these quick snapshots :)

March 27, 2011

Scenes from Mexico

I have to admit, I was not nearly as diligent with my picture-taking responsibilities (food and non-food related) but I did manage to snap some shots of this adorable restaurant located right next to our resort. Three courses, unlimited margaritas and a live mariachi band: this place definitely put Don Memos to shame.

These guys were definitely very legit.

Homemade tortillas, house fajita specialty and an array of appetizers. I normally despise tortillas because I find it to be too dough-y and flour-y. These fajitas were delicious and handmade by an adorable lady by the entrance.

Margaritas, decor and ambiance.

Another restaurant close to our resort after a day of shopping. I loved the colors displayed at the bar and especially the massive amount of pre-cut limes.
Ah well, thank goodness Philadelphia has its share of yummy Mexican food.

March 26, 2011

Asian Inspiration

Finally a foodie update. I have to admit, I have gotten very lazy about updating my blog lately but with all my midterms finally finished, there should be no more excuses!

One of the first posts I made back in the summer was about how I really really disliked Pod because I thought the food was overpriced and pretty sub-par. After last weekend, I've changed my mind (a little) and will admit to saying that some of the food at Pod is alright. Ok, fine some of the food is actually really really good, just not the ramen or the sushi. Since the best way to eat to eat out is being able to share, my roommate and I ordered an agglomeration of fried goodness and asian-ness. Check it out.

We started the meal right away with Shrimp Tempura. The shrimp was cooked perfectly but the tempura was not the best I've had. It needed a little more crispness and airiness but tempura is tempura.

So turns out, we ordered the wrong dish. By shrimp tempura we actually meant shrimp and vegetable tempura but the wonderful waiter brought us some vegetable tempura anyways :)

Ok, this dish alone makes the restaurant worthwhile. So worthwhile it got two pictures! These are the most delicious spring rolls I have ever eaten my life. Ever. Crab spring rolls with massive amounts of crab stuffed in and a creamy semi-cheesiness which reminded me of ravioli. yum.

Chicken Ramen with wontons. The ramen at Doma was definitely at lot better but I really liked the wontons they had in this dish. Wontons are suppose to have a really think shell so when they're made probably, I get very happy :)
A side of Bok Choy. Is there anyone who doesn't love baby bok choy? delish.
All in all I think Pod is worth going to for the seafood appetizers which, when you order enough can be a meal on its own :).

Noodles Again.
Ever since my friend started going on and on about ramen and soba and udon, I've been paying even more attention to noodles than usual. After my one day trip to home, we stopped by the asian food market on our way to Penn and I picked up a handful of goodies to make a nice big bowl of noodle soup.

Egg noddles, Chinese Spinach, Shitake Mushrooms, Inoke Mushrooms and Fish balls. 
This was the first time I ever cooked with inoke mushrooms so I think I over did it a little. I might just leave them raw next time.
Home made chilli oil! This was one of the first things my mom taught me how to make...might explain why I'm obsessed with spicy food haha. So to prevent me from majorly setting up the fire alarm, I had to go to the window which is on the other side of the room and pour the peppers into the hot oil. Kind of scary but it worked out!
Topped it off with pickled vegetables. Not as pretty as how the restaurants do it but I'll get there :)

Brunch at Tap House tomorrow! I have been dying to try the famed french toast. 

March 12, 2011

taste of home

There are two types of salads: appetizer salads that make you excited for the meal to come and meal salads filled with robust and filling ingredients. This is the former but just because a salad is an appetizer salad doesn't mean it can't be delicious. In this one we have romaine lettuce, carrots, mini pink turnips, cucumbers, Manchego cheese and homemade basalmic vinaigrette. Light, crisp and refreshing and just enough to make me more hungry for the steak to come :)

As I sat in an airplane waiting for take-off in Mexico, I decided to spend my last night of break at home in our spacious kitchen on a Saturday night instead of my dorm back at Penn. Dinner tonight was an oldie but a goodie of steak and potatoes. In the process of cooking with my dad and cutting some Manchego cheese, I started pondering over my foodblog and decided to spend this post doing a little bit of reflection and story-telling (sprinkled with the usual food pictures...I really don't like the phrase food porn for some reason so I always just say food pictures).
I absolutely love potatoes. In case you haven't noticed. I only blog about foods I like. What's the point of trying to figure out how to make beets if I don't want to eat it when I'm done? My secret ingredient to making potatoes is paprika. It's not very spicy but the smokiness adds a really enjoyable element to the dish.

From time to time people will ask me what the purpose of my food blog is, which always puzzles me because I never know how to answer it. Truth is, I'm not really sure. I've always been obsessed with food. From the time I was eight and I learned how to make tomato and eggs from my mom, I found myself in the kitchen alost everyday of the week helping my mom make dinner. When I was younger, I dreamed about having my own cooking show and owning a restaurant. Then the restaurant turned into a chocolate shop, then a cafe and then a bakery. After a while it was all about becoming a pastry chef so I could make really pretty desserts. Of course, evading college and making chocolates for the rest of my life isn't the most practical of life choices (Now my dream is to be the next Stephen Starr). Last summer, I was inspired by a very cool sorority sister in my lineage to start a food blog.

Left the meat cooking to my dad but I did catch him marinading the meat: montreal steak seasoning, chilli peppers, garlic vodka (more on this later), salt pepper and garlic salt. Cooked the New York Strip for 20 minutes until the internal temperature reached 140 degrees and the color was a nice medium red.
Usually we cook the steak on the grill but since the weather still hasn't gotten warmer, we used the handy grill pan instead.
For me, the food blog is an outlet which allows me to ramble about my obsession and passion for food and eating. If other people get something out of it as I go about snapping pictures and experimenting with cooking, then all the better.

Watch out for a post on Mexico and brunch tomorrow :)

March 6, 2011

"We don't have ethnic food where I'm from"

My friend's friend from Virginia visited this past weekend and apparently, according to him, in the middle of Virginia, all you eat is non-ethnic food (whatever that means). So naturally, we had to show this guy all the wonderful things he was missing. It also meant we weren't having Italian for dinner.

 It seems Banana Leaf has always been a staple in the Penn community (and probably the Philadelphia community in general) and while I've always been pretty indifferent in my opinion of the restaurant, I was surprisingly pleased with our dinner choices last night. And I was also finally able to snag a better picture of my favorite dish, nasi lemak.

Chicken satay with a (surprisingly) sweet peanut sauce and Roti Canai aka Indian bread (lol).

Chow Kueh Teow: stir fried noodles with seafood.

Nasi lemak! 
Pad Thai. I'm a big fan of this pad thai. Its sweeter and less oily than the usual pad thai that other places on campus serve.

March 5, 2011

An unexpected detour

In the midst of scouring for a bathing suit this afternoon, we stumbled upon Le Pain Quotidien, a coffee/eatery/brunchery on 14th and Walnut. Originally in the process of going to Bonte, we passed by the the blueberry muffins in the window and immediately changed our plan of action. So a detour meant for coffee turned into a sit-down break into a mid-afternoon lunch for me a second brunch for my companions. Who can say no to that? Although a little on the pricey side, Le Pain offers freshly baked goods, desserts and savory dishes all made with organic ingredients. 

A shot of probably the best cappuccino I've had in Philadelphia. (and a shot of another camera tehee).
Fresh baked bread, organic (and vegan) ingredients, pastries and some good looking blueberry muffins.
Prosciutto and Mozzarella di Bufala with sundried tomatoes and basil pesto.
Atlantic smoked salmon with chopped dill, scallions and avocado. 

Toasted paris ham and gruyere crossaint with organic mesclun and mustard trio. I was particularly excited about the mustard selection.

Ricotta with mission figs, black pepper and organic accacia honey. I loved the sweetness of this tartin and am now inspired to make a dessert with ricotta.

 One last collage of Coffee at Nook after lunch at Doma yesterday. Chocolate eclairs, masala chai tea and a lot of lounging.

March 4, 2011

Let the festivities begin

Hi kiddies. Get prepared for a glutinous weekend of eats before I jet off to Mexico. No exams, no classes and no homework (at least nothing due for another 10 days) means major foodiness and blogging. After failing to deliver on those ramen pictures, I decided I needed to go back to Doma and get some shots of the artistic looking food. It just so happened that I wound up going two days in a complaints there.

First night: sushi dinner with another hardcore sushi lover. Doma reminds me of the Japanese restaurant I used to work in high school especially the menu from which features a plethora of specialty rolls, eclectic and creative appetizers and even the salmon tempura appetizer they give to all their guests. Doma's interior is also pleasantly austere with quaint bubbles holding candles hung on the ceiling.

Medusa Roll: shrimp tempura, avocado spicy sprouts, spicy mayo (o) lump crab salad, wasabi mayo, red tobiko scallion.
Island Roll: salmon, spicy aioli, tempura crunch, (o) salmon, mango, wasabi tobiko.
Sashimi sundae with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado and spicy mayo. My friend asked me what is in spicy mayo and I told her it was mayo and sirrachi. For some reason people are always surprised to hear that there is mayo in spicy mayo. huh.
 Second night: Birthday lunch with my big and twin :)
Hamachi Crudo sliced yellowtail, jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu sauce.  Jumbo Ebi Shumai steamed jumbo shrimp dumpling served with ginger soy vinaigrette.  Stuffed Jalapeno Tempura tuna, cream cheese, scallion, lightly battered topped with sweet glaze and chili sauce.

Omakase 6 individually prepared maki pieces with chef's selection of fish and assorted toppings of the day.

Tempura Udon.
Needless to say, dinner and lunch were both absolutely amazing. We followed up our crazy lunch with tea and eclairs at Nook, a coffee shop on 20th street. Dinner tonight however was a completely different story. Groupon had a deal for Max Brenners a few weeks back and I snagged a coupon thinking it'd be a fun place to go for dinner.

So tonight my roommate and I went over to the Bald Man's eatery on a girl date but the food was definitely not worth the trip. We went with the savory choices (probably should have just gotten the chocolate waffle. sigh.) but the food was sub-par coupled and service was terrible. Plus even my tea can't soothe my unhappy stomach right now. Of course, it was still an adventure but this has cemented my view that franchise restaurants are never worth it. No more American food either. Waffle fries may be good but they're not that good, especially when I get a bowl of noodle soup instead. Oh well, lesson learned.