Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Afternoon in Seattle

So here is the story after having doughnuts this morning.
It was supposed to be a nicer day, driving to the coast side was a good idea, plus we found that there is a good Korean restaurant on the way. Again as usual tofu soup and beef ribs. They were very good ALMOST as good as the ones in NJ, almost.
The city/town we went was Edmonds - 15 miles north of Seattle. It is the edge to the sound (not ocean) and you could see the mountains beyond the sound (water). There were a few ferries between the islands with cars stored. I guess it is the only (or easiest) way to commute between the islands. Wind was cold but sunshine was strong enough to offset the coldness. Some (crazy) people were even wearing shorts (not that warm though).
On the way back, we stop by at the ice cream shop I have been a few times. I noticed that this place's ice cream is not sweet or too creamy at all, but more to milk taste. As you can see it stands in the middle of nowhere, but there were a lot of people enjoying the ice cream under the sunshine, which was very rare to see in Seattle during the winter/early spring.

Sunday Breakfast in Seattle

To start a good week (in my opinion, a week starts from Sunday...), it has to be doughnuts from Top Pot. Lucky me, it is located only 1.5 blocks away from my hotel - not the original one in Seattle downtown though.
They mimicked the decor just like the way the original store has - like library. THREE doughnuts - cinnamon twist (huge one), plain old fashion, and glazed chocolate old fashion. They were so good and I know my Sunday would be a great day...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend in Seattle in February

It has been a while since the last entry. I have been busy on work (yes, I need to work sadly) and away from home, Brooklyn Heights.
I am in Seattle this weekend, but I don't feel I am away from home - I wonder why...
Anyway, drove to Seattle downtown to have "guilty pleasure" meal. BTW, I had two doughnuts from Top Pot already in the morning. It was supposed to be very famous for their chili and we had chili over pasta and over home made French fries. Oh boy look at them. They serve only chili and they were really good. Aren't they looking good to you too?
Drove further to West Seattle - 10 minutes from Seattle downtown. You can see beautiful view of Seattle (it was not clear when driving there), and there are several "downtown" feeling small neighborhoods here and there.
Parked the car at one of them and found a pie place where they sell Shoofly pie - molasses based pie. It was first time to eat and it was really good. It reminded me pecan pie, since both use molasses in it.
I am writing this at a hotel room before dinner - yes I still need to eat another meal to end a day...
BTW, did I tell you that flowers in Seattle are already blooming? Sorry NYC people to hear that you guys are having over foot of snow this week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Back in NYC BUT...

I am back in NYC (from Japan), but maybe my mind or at least my taste buzz still lives in Japan (or Asia).
This past weekend, our table was covered with Asian food. On Saturday, since we went to NJ for the Koren food AGAIN, dinner was pretty light - no meat but all vegetables - Kabocha pumpkin, Korean radish, soy bean and of course Kimchi along with brown rice.
On Sunday we cooked rolled/stuffed cabbage. I was not sure if typical Japanese rolled cabbage has tomato in or just chicken stock taste, but OUR version had tomato in. Some people mix rice into meat mixture, but Japanese one usually does not, so we left it out this time.
Next time, we might try to have some rice into the mixture, which I believe adds tenderness/textures to this dish.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweet Valentine's Day

It's February 14th, meaning Valentine's day. It is custom in Japan that girls give chocolates to boys- originally this is the (only) day when a girl express her feeling to a boy.
In the U.S., it is opposite - a guy gives chocolate/gift to a girl (or love one).
Here is OUR version of Valentine's day - chocolate (dark, milk and white chocolates) covered pretzels, along with truffles. They look really fat and actually the pretzel itself is thin but chocolate coating is thick... yum yum.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lunch with Long-Time Friend and...

Today I met up with one of my long-time friends for lunch.
There are a few cute coffee houses (more to restaurant) in the city where she lives. Isn't this nice? It is not in the middle of nowhere but there was a spot like this in the middle of small city.
We ordered their lunch specials - fresh pasta and deep fried beef (beef cutlet) rice bowl. They used Mizu-Na (Japanese green) on top of duck sauce which cut the richness of the sauce.
Rice bowl which used Miso based sauce along with Onsen-Tamago (half boiled egg) which added another dimension to the dish - crunchy and light beef cutlets with a bit sweet sauce were a perfect marriage on top of the rice.
We changed the place to have after lunch coffee, and I had ginger flavored milk tea, which had ice cream in the cup when it served which was of course melted away when I powered the tea. The scone they served with tasted more like short bread than typical scone you can have in the U.S.
After saying bye to my friend, I went to my sister's place. My brother in-law is eel chef (YES, there are specialized eel chefs in Japan who cook predominantly eel (Kaba-Yaki) along with traditional Japanese dishes). This time, he was not cooking that but some small half dried fish (Tsuku-Dani) with San-Syo (Japanese traditional seasoning).
Meeting long-time friend and my family members was something I look forward to when I come back home.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Food in Japan - Part 2

I had a good lunch (this time by myself) at a ramen noodle shop in Ginza. It was a bit early, 11:30, on Saturday, so not so many restaurants were open yet. I asked the bell boy at the hotel about a good one near by, and this was what I ended up with. Melt in my mouth pork belly (Cha-Syu) soup noodle. It does look really heavy/oily but it was pretty light and I finished it within a few minutes.
This picture was taken at one of the department stores in Ginza - like 5th/Madison avenue in NYC. They make rolling pound cakes in front of you and it seemed pretty popular there.
Friday night, we went to a coffee shop in Shibuya - like times squire in NYC for after dinner coffee. This place was pretty unique and you can choose the cup - range from $50 to $2,000. Since I can't drink coffee in the afternoon (decaffeinated coffee is not that much popular in Japan), I choose hot coco/chocolate instead. Very pretty cup..., isn't it?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good Food in Japan

I am back in Japan for vacation. Personally winter is the best season to fully taste what Japan offers - great seafood, vegetables and pickles...
I spent a few days in Tokyo before heading to my hometown. I had several meals with my friends (every meal was shared with some friends), but I only took pictures at this restaurant - Miyazaki prefecture regional cuisine.
I am not that big fan of raw fish but I love cooked fish. This time we had two types of fish and a variety of vegetables - more like to be Spring vegetables but they already service them even it was still February.
Roasted bamboo shoot with Fuki (Japanese wild vegetable) miso paste.
Fat/Thick green asparagus with Koji miso paste.
Aren't they look beautiful and yummy?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Curry and Velvet Cake?

I forgot to post a picture of another dinner this weekend. We made Japanese style curry by using chicken and beef. I grew up with pork, but now I don't use pork for curry that often. For the leftovers, I ate with some kimch as I learned from my Korean friend, and I hope you would try this combination at home.
I have been seeing many velvet cakes at the bakeries these days, mainly because it is almost valentine's day, I suspect. I could not resist from the temptation and I bought this one from the bakery in Brooklyn Heights, where you can buy great pies... For the people who don't know what velvet cake is - it is RED cake with a hint of coco powder in it with typically cream cheese icing/frosting. I believe it is more popular down south.