Friday, December 30, 2011

Perth Trip Recap (4)

Day 4 - Augusta / Margaret River

Let me start by telling you a little about our travel habits.  My friend is a Let-me-snooze-for-another-15-minutes and I am a I-want-to-get-up-go-out-and-see-everything.  I will be kidding if I tell you I wasn't worried about putting our friendship on a stress test.  So I am really impressed when my friend pretty much wakes up when I get up and starts getting ready.  I think we had a very smooth trip - we all saw / did what we wanted :)  Our mutual friend said we should give her credit because she has warned us about each other but my friend said that's because (1) she slept well, (2) have limited change of clothes and bags, and most importantly, (3) she did not have a blow dryer.  (The day she got hold of a blow dryer, it took her 45 minutes extra to get ready...  if we ever go on a trip together again, I am going to hide the blow dryer... just kidding... haha!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Perth Trip Recap (3)

Day 3 -Yallingup / Dunsborough / Margaret River

This was a planned relax day (my friend said she needed a "relax" day every other day) so we didn't go out as early as yesterday.  We picked up some brochures the day before and the two that really interested us were the Yallingup Surf School and the Yallingup Shearing Shed.  As both were in Yallingup, we decided to make our way back up north.  Sheep shearing in the morning and surfing in the afternoon - sounds perfect... but things never go as planned.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Perth Trip Recap (2)

Day 2 - Margaret River

Rise and shine!  We started off the day early, but since all the wineries don't open until 10 am, we ate breakfast at a local cafe, bought groceries, and walked around town before heading off.  All the wineries here close at 5 pm sharp,  so be smart when you plan your routes so you won't spend too much time driving.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Perth Trip Recap (1)

I just came back from a 15-day trip to Perth and a loop in southwestern Australia.  I definitely fell in love with Western Australia and can't wait to go back and see more!

Since there are not many travel guides for Western Australia, I am going to post a recap of my trip hoping it might be helpful to some of you (and I can re-live my trip too!)  My friend and I did spent over a month planning this trip and researching for the best deal along the way... I have to say, it was definitely a big success!  Planning is power!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Macau Series (3) - Fresh Produce

Today, I finally picked up my a$$ and went to the Red Market (紅街市).  Red Market is one of the fresh produce markets in Macau.  When I say fresh, I mean live fish, seafood, chicken (?), etc.  Thank God there is no pigs and cows...  I was going to post some pictures of my adventure today... but it was too crowded (it's Sunday PM >.<).  Maybe I will take some pictures when I go to the market again tomorrow with my dad (it's more fun anyway since we are going to buy fish...)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Macau Series (2) - Portuguese Egg Tarts

Anyone who has been to Macau knows the Portuguese egg tarts from Lord Stow's Bakery are heavenly.  Despite the fact that his main bakery is in Coloane, the farthest island from Macau peninsula, which takes approximately 60 minutes by bus on a traffic-free day, it's the only bakery on earth that would make my lazy a$$ travel that far...  That's because the egg tarts do not taste the same unless you eat it while it is hot... (even the instruction on the box says you have to eat it within 6 hours after purchase and for best taste, you have to reheat them in an oven...)

Macau Series (1) - Caldo Verde & Corned Beef Baquette

I am taking some time off - yes, the infamous gap year.  Whether I will actually be able to stay unemployed for the entire year is questionable - since I am a workaholic (sad but true) and when money runs out, money runs out... and no pay, no play... T_T  So far it's been 2 weeks and I have none not much other than sleeping like pandas and cleaning like Cinderella, with occasional socializing with old friends, which includes eating at holes in the wall and well-known restaurants alike :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Favorite Restaurants - a (very) short list

Update: (22/6/2013) I decided to slowly add back proper reviews for the places listed below.  Afterall, if they are my favorites, they deserve an individual blogpost at least, right?

In no particular order, I am going to list out my favorite restaurants in the East coast (since work mainly brought me to the East and I have returned to some of these places enough that you could call me a "regular").  I am going to try to limit myself to those that I considered "got to have it" and spread them out among different cities.  Hopefully it will help you when you plan your next tasty travels -

Monday, August 15, 2011

Brie & Prosciutto Sandwich

I remember one year in training there was this question - what's your favorite chain restaurant?

Other than Einstein Brothers (Nova Lox!) and McDonalds (yes... really... nobody makes a better Sausage McMuffin... yet...), Vino Volo is probably one of my favorite airport chains.  I love their tasting flights and I especially love their Brie & Prosciutto Sandwich.  It's such an easy sandwich to make at home too I literally bought the ingredients as listed per the menu and made a few changes.  (it definitely won't cost you $11 per sandwich)

Brie & Prosciutto Sandwich
Warmed brie, Italian prosciutto and fresh greens with fig jam

Friday, August 5, 2011

Braised Beef Brisket (炆牛腩)

Per the requested by a dear friend of mine, I asked my mom to write down her recipe for the braised beef brisket that's very popular back home... it's probably not the exact dup from your favorite noodle house but it should be the next best thing :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Manly Quiche

Well, if you have been an avid follower of this blog (I doubt there are many of you out there), you would have noticed the number of posts have gone down... well, that's because my mom is in town.  I don't really cook when she is here (I am a firm believer of one kitchen, one cook), hence, the lack of new posts!!

Girl & the Goat

When you have to make a 3-month advance reservation at a restaurant (and the restaurant is already telling you the Saturday you wanted is already full), you just can't help but to develop a very high expectation...


Friday, April 22, 2011

Shrimp Etouffee

when I can't eat, all I can think about obviously, was what I should eat when I am well again... I think I will make a trip down to New Orleans soon... because I am craving for good Cajun / Creole food... actually... I am just craving crawfish :P

Chicken Thohk

Well, I finally recovered from the horrible strep thoat that plagued me for over a week... and the most horrible thing was that I can't eat because it just hurt too much to swallow... (you know I am really sick when I can't eat... coz there are only very few things in this world that would stop me from eating... I ate when I got my wisdom tooth pulled!) I made chicken soup when I finally felt better but I thought - what a waste to throw away the leftover chicken!!  But it's so bland to eat it alone... thank goodness for the chicken thohk my mom used to make...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ojisan Dinner

I really need to correct my over-shopping tendency at grocery stores... the people at the grocery store probably don't know that I am only shopping for 1 (I think I spend $80 on average, which is unacceptable for a single woman who travels 50%+ for her job)  oh well, the good news is... I do eat everything I bought...


The first time I had tea served in a tetsubin was at Mandarin Oriental, DC April 2010.  I fell in love with the tetsubin almost immediately (I didn't even know what's it formal name is until today).  Tea stays warm without a tea light for hours and I just loved everything about the tetsubin.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Have been craving for lasagna since the one I had at Carmine's... /drool

Looked up some recipes on and found one called World's Best Lasagna... well, I am a sucker to names like this... so I had to make it...  it literally took me all night (and half a morning)... I definitely would not recommend anyone to make it on a week night... I decided to bake it in the morning so it will be nice and fresh (hopefully the meat sauce will soak up the noodles overnight nicely and provide better flavor) and it's just too late to eat when it's finally done cooking...  (best idea ever!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Strawberries were on sale at my local groceries store... $0.99 a pound... can't resist... Instead of just eating all of them fresh (even I can only eat so much strawberries at one time...), I made some of them into strawberry jam.  The only thing that remotely resembles jam I made in the past was cranberry sauce and that was really good... I should post the recipe some other time... (maybe this Thanksgiving?)

Ichigo Daifuku

One of the many benefits of not watching TV is that you have more time to pursue your hobbies and tonight, I present to you - Ichigo Daifuku (originally I just want to make green tea azuki bean daifuku but since I got fresh strawberries in the fridge so I tell myself, why not?)  At the risk of insomnia, I brewed a fresh pot of green tea at 11 p.m. and enjoyed my freshly made daifuku - that's bliss right there my friend :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


 Instead of making my usual weekday dinner - dumplings, I actually tried something new tonight... bao!  It wasn't as hard as I thought it was in the beginning but then I soon learn it's not an easy dish to perfect... and it took forever to cook (I need a bigger bamboo steamer!)  It takes 20 minutes when you steam the bao in the proper bamboo steamer... you can already tell how long it will take me to steam 12 with this tiny steamer that I have....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicago Dining

Most of my friends know I love to eat... so they often come to me for restaurant recommendation... and I can usually give it to them, except when they ask me about Chicago...  since I cook when I am in town...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fried Pork Cutlets with Japanese Curry

Sometimes I credit my ability to resist dining out on non-travel weeks to the fact that I am not a bad cook (hey! where's your modesty?  gone with a good meal~)  I had to return something at the mall after work today and I was hungry!  I was so tempted to eat at one of the restaurants but I know I have ingredients at home to cook with... I am glad I did!  It looks daunting but everything is actually done within an hour (cook, eat, and all)  I ate it with rice but if you don't like rice, I think it goes well with french bread too!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New England Inspired Meals

As some of you knew, I was just at Portland, Maine again... I love, love, love that place... probably would move there if it's not so cold in the winter!  Love the seafood there - so fresh, so delicious.  I went to Harbor Fish Market just off Commerce/Rt 1 and picked up some goodies (smoked trout, smoked bluefish, and fresh minced clams in a tub).  The smoked trout are consumed as delicious snacks daily in lieu of a real meal at work and I made Linguine con le Vongole (Linguine with Clams) and New England Clam Chowder using my fresh clams.  Both dishes were so easy to make - great for a weekday dinner. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


I was originally going to bike/visit Long Grove/do stuff outside the house today... however, it was gloomy and cold so I changed my mind... so instead, I cooked and baked... (maybe I will still do a grocery store run later today...)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NYC Recap

Back from NYC - thought I should do an update before I forget :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicago Restaurant Week 2011

Well, I can't believe I missed restaurant week in Chicago every year even though I have been living here for a while...  so as I was researching about NYC's restaurant week, I also looked up Chicago's and I realized how little I know about the good restaurants in Chicago... (so yeah, I am NOT the person you want to ask about dining options if you ever visit Chicago)

I did my homework and I have my list now... I guess I should also make a wishlist some other time based on Urbanspoon / Yelp / Chowhound recommendations...
  1. Cafe Des Architectes (just made my reservation - the weekends are filling up fast!  I am excited!)
  2. Chizakaya (don't want to go during RW but a good place to check out)
  3. HUB51 (again, just thought the place look cool, but... not worth to pay $33 for what they are offering in my opinion)
  4. Japonais (hmm... I think I prefer ordering a la carte)
  5. Le Colonial (another fun place to check out outside of RW... the decor is seriously too cool for a vietnamese restaurant)
  6. Mercat a La Planxa (made my reservation - have been wanting to try this restaurant since I enjoyed Chef Garces' other restaurants in Philadelphia so much!)
  7. Piccolo Sogno (has been on my urbanspoon wishlist for a while now)
  8. Vermilion (the chef is an iron chef contender and I have been craving good Indian food lately)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NYC Restaurant Week 2011

Going to NYC for work next week and it so happened it's restaurant week!  Totally excited to try 1 or 2 of the restaurants out and just eating at the fabulous places in general...  some of the places I have in mind or places I know my co-workers are dying to go / return...

I feel like a pilgrim :)

1. Spotted Pig - 314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014 - (212) 620-0393
2. Peter Luger - 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 - (718) 387-7400
3. Joe Shanghai - 9 Pell St, New York, NY 10013 - (212) 233-8888
4. 21 Club - 21 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019 - (212) 582-7200
5. Yakitori Taisho - 5 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003 - (212) 228-5086
6. Rice to Riches - 37 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 - (212) 274-0008
7. Magnolia Bakery - 401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 - (212) 462-2572
8. Lombardi's - 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 - (212) 941-7994
9. Nobu - 105 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013 - (212) 219-0500
10. DBGB Kitchen and Bar - 299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003 - (212) 933-5300
11. Ippudo - 65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003 - (212) 388-0088

I wonder if I have missed any "must-try" restaurants... the next thing is to plan the routes and try not to break the bank :)

Monday, January 10, 2011


Walked over 2 hours today and almost got myself in trouble... was thinking of going to a coffee shop and enjoy some coffee and dessert but obviously that didn't happen... oh well, thanks to, I will have my dessert tomorrow... but seriously, Chicago needs more high-tea places... /sigh...


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