Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thai salad rolls

The thai salad roll is one of my favourites since it is low in saturated fat and high in fibers, not to mention it tastes super refreshing and addictive. It is different from the vietnamese style because the flat rice noodle is used instead of the rice paper. The filling is 80% herbs vegetables,and that is the winning point for me. The ingredients are practically everything you can find in any typical asian market. The one I have here is filled with lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, mint, basil, grated carrots, and some kind of a long leaf that I don't even know what it's called but I will investigate. For the meat, we filled it with chopped up shrimp and ground pork. The sauce is much more packed with flavour. Instead of your typical thai lime and fish sauce dressing, this one require you to blend up all the ingredients and here goes the recipe:
2 cloves of garlic
1.5 tbsp of fish sauce
juice from 1 whole lime
1-2 chilli depending how spicy you want it to be
1 tpsp of sugar
a cup of choped up cilantro
In a food processor, blend the ingredients together to a light green consistency.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Som Tum (papaya salad) how to MV

This is just a quick how to. I don't have a precise measurements for ingredients since this batch was made for about 30 servings or more. Som tum, sticky rice, and charcoal grilled chicken are the best combo. Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good eats in BKK

Since I am spending quite some time in Thailand this year, I figured I'll write a few good recommendations of where to go eat if you're ever in the city.

I just love the never ending variety of food offered here, especially when it has the essence of different cultural backgrounds infusing together into one. Personally, I always boycott eating at Thai restaurants abroad. C'mon, once you've been in Thailand, tasted what Thai food should taste like and seen the price, the restaurants abroad are incomparable.

Nanjya Monjya Tepanyaki

The restaurant is well known for okonomiyaki which is made right in front of you at your table. It's really entertaining to watch the chef cook, and there is a huge variety of toppings to choose from the menu. Nanjya Monjya has been featured in various magazines and tv shows in Thailand and is located on Soi 9 Silom Rd.

Baan Klang Nam
If you are craving authentic Thai cuisine of any types, this is an absolute must-go-to place. Located by Chao Praya river, the restaurant gives patrons a beautiful scenic riverside view of Bangkok. My favorite dishes have to be the seafood since they are fresh from the tanks. The raw oysters are super fresh and clean, not to mention MASSIVE in size. It is served with lime, chili sauce, and fried onions to garnish. It is absolutely tasty. Amongst other popular dishes are Tom Yum Koong, Pad Thai, green curry, the list goes on in. Baan Klang Nam is located on Soi 14 Rama III Rd. Visit website at www.baanklangnam.net/

Philippe Restaurant
The lunch set served at 450 bath includes a starter, main course, dessert and coffee or tea. By the quality and presentation of the food served, the price is much more than a deal. The menu comes with several selections for each course. I thought the pesto infused butter served with freshly baked French baguette was brilliant. They practically had me at "Hello". The dinner course is a bit pricier ranging up to 1200 bath per main course, nevertheless a fair price for such fine French cuisine with superb quality.


Angelini at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok
I love this place for the super chic atmosphere, live jazz music, and contemporary Italian cuisine. Click here to view the menu!! My favourite is Frutti de Mare Pizza. Delicio!
Much Much more to come!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Easy Calamari, Bruchetta, and Panko walnut crusted tilapia recipes

Calamari with bruchetta

I love deep fried food, especially calamari. I didn’t realize that they are so easy to make that even a lazy mofo like me can succeed in making them at home too.
To make these delicious home-made calamari, just following these steps.
You’ll need 3 bowls. First bowl, season half a cup of flour with salt, pepper, garlic salt and cajun spices. Then, beat one egg into the second bowl.
Mix Panko breadcrumbs with basil (and other herbs like oregano if you like) in the third bowl.
Preheat canola oil in a deep frying pan and bring it to about medium heat, you don’t want the oil too hot or the batter will quickly burn.
Dust defrosted squid rings into the first bowl with flour, shake off excess. Dip the squid into the egg bowl and then the panko breadcrumbs. Make sure the squids are fully covered in batter.
Deep fry the calamari until they turn golden brown. Place the calamari on paper towel to absorb the oil, you can add more salt and pepper to taste at this time.
Served hot on bed of arugula and a wedge of lime or lemon.
You can enjoy calamari with all kinds of sauces or dips. I decided to go with bruchetta for a more refreshing taste.
To make a quick and easy bruchetta, all you need are:
1 whole tomatoe diced
1 clove of garlic
chopped of fresh basil
1 tbsp. olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and set aside for about half and hour or so for all the flavours to blend in together.
Panko and walnut crusted tilapia with pesto
Crusted Tilapia
Spray vegetable oil on of both sides the tilapia (you can coat it with melted butter as well). Season tilapia with salt and pepper. I actually went all out with every spice I had at home; basil, oregano, paprika, garlic salt, lemon pepper, etc. The more flavour on the fish the better. Place the tilapia on the baking sheet, top the fish with crushed walnuts and panko breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 350 c and once it’s ready, pop those babies in for about 12-15 minutes until the crust turns golden and the fish is flaky.
100 g pine nuts (or you can substitute walnuts cuz they’re way cheaper)
olive oil
chopped basil
a pinch of salt
1-2 clove of garlic
chopped sun-dried tomatoes
In a food processor, puree garlic, pine nuts/walnuts, salt, and basil together, drizzling olive oil so it becomes a smooth paste. I add a bit of sun-tomatoes in there just for extra kick in flavour. Once all the ingredients blend together, scoop pesto over a bed of your favorite pasta. Grate Parmesan on top for extra creaminess. Lay the baked tilapia on top with a slice of lemon.
Easy and tasty Italian garden salad
It’s the exact same recipe from Italian restaurants that serve the exact same dish for 7-10 dollars!
In a large bowl mix, organic baby arugula, fresh prosciutto, halved grape tomatoes, chopped garlic together. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper, and add shaved Parmesan. Voila! So crisp and so fresh, I could eat this salad everyday.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to deal with bad food service

There is a direct correlation between my hunger level at my patience level when I'm waiting for my food at the restaurant. The longer I'm hungry, the faster my patience runs out. If the kitchen is busy and the food comes out slow, I do somewhat understand and wait. However, when there is a factor of bad service from the server involved is out of sheer ignorance and rudeness, it is something I can't stand. I still have one grudge against the restaurant called Lazia, located in North side of Edmonton. In the past, I had always liked the place for good food and good service. However, this one experience had totally changed my mind and it was the last time I ever set foot in that place. We waited almost 2 hours for our food to arrived. Our patience pretty much ran out when we found out that they had forgotten our orders. The manager did come and talk to us, but blamed it on the busy kitchen instead. During the wait, I had asked a random server for a new bread that isn't burnt since our server was nowhere to be found. Once that server told our waitress what I said, our server stopped serving us and kept sending someone else instead. Then, when the food finally arrived, it was extremely awful and overcooked. When we asked for the bill, our waitress who saw us waved her over, still sent someone else instead. I was extremely pissed at the service and at the food. At the time, I was angry beyond words and wanted to leave that I didn't bother speaking to the manager regarding the experience. After I calmed down, I wish I did. So those of you who have been in my shoes, here's a list of how to handle bad food service experience.

Step 1
Keep in mind that you, the customer, are always right. Note that anyone who thinks you are wrong should read the prior sentence.

Step 2
Send back food that is either undercooked, overcooked, too cold or not fresh. Remember that a problem with your food may not be your waiter's fault; be polite, and give your waiter the opportunity to fix the problem.

Step 3
Send back wine that does not meet with your requirements. Return any wine that you did not order.

Step 4
Complain to the manager or owner, during or after the meal, if the waiter gave consistently shoddy service.

Step 5
Take your money elsewhere if the restaurant doesn't adhere to your demands.

Step 6
As a last resort, write a letter to the local newspaper that reviews the restaurant.

(Source: ehow.com)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good article on Izakayas in Vancouver

Izakaya, known to me as a joint that serves japanese tapas and beer, has been a popular staple amongst Vancouver locals for quite a few years now. Its reputation and popularity with visitors coming in the sample the much talked about menu has also grown immensely. As more Izakayas open up, Japanese tapas are becoming like Dim sum but for dinner, instead of brunch. I stumbled across an article about Vancouver Izakayas on Chow.com which has a good overview and listing of Izakayas in Vancouver area, covering famous ones such as Guu and Gyoza King. If you love japanese cuisine and never been to an Izakaya, I recommend going to Guu on Robson. It offers a unique experience with their chaotic yet upbeat atmosphere, and most importantly, their cocaine-for-your-palette tapas.
Read the article here.
Pictures taken @ Guu, Aberdeen Centre, Richmond BC

Okonomiyaki (japanese pizza)

Tuna mousse to be wrapped with nori

Beef Carpacio

Monday, January 4, 2010

Good Eats in Vancouver

I'll update this post often as I go to Vancouver a lot , solely for the food.

Wo Fung Dessert Aberdeen Centre, Richmond, BC

I was extremely heartbroken when Little Bean which had the crispiest and juiciest fried chicken wings no longer serve chicken.

Then, I heard rumours that the best fried chicken wings are at the food court and Aberdeen Centre. It took me a couple trips before I found where this joint was located. Finally, one day when as I was making another hunt for chicken wings I came across something peculiar. While other food joints were waiting for one customers to come and order, only one had a lineup of about 10 people. I quickly observed to see what people are ordering and behold, fried chicken wings are flying out of the kitchen. It seemed to be the only thing patrons are ordering from Wo Fung Dessert. I think the "Dessert" part is what threw me off and why I never found this hidden treasure. Anywho, I took one bite of the freshly fried wings and I think one single tear of joy came out. It was crispy, juicy and the skin and the meat are perfectly seasoned and marinated. There's tons of flavour but not over powering and you can just taste a hint of ginger.

Frappe Bliss

If you walk a few steps over across the food court you will find a shop called Frappe Bliss which offers all different kinds of shaved ice dessert. It may sound too simple but their secret ingredient lies in the shaved ice which is made of milk, a combination fresh ingredients and milk, or yogurt. The texture of the shaved ice is very smooth, almost velvet and has creamy flavour. Aside from the different flavoured shaved ice you can also pick different toppings to go on the dessert. It's very different from all the other shaved ice desserts and extremely refreshing even after a full meal. I didn't find their website having a lot of information but you can click here to see their selections and reviews.

Steveston Pizza Co. Steveston, BC

Steveston Pizza Co. is a small shop on the corner of Moncton and 3rd Ave in Steveston and only does takeouts. In the summertime, it's a perfect spot to stop by and picnic by the beach which has a scenic harbour view. Steveston Pizza Co. is well known among the locals for using fresh and gourmet ingredients. It's hard to make a selection from the menu when everything sounds fantastic. My favourite is the simple Margerite One but I'm still making it my mission to sample everything on the menu.

Cheesy leftover!!

Tenku Richmond, BC

I call it the giant takoyaki, but the apprporiate name is actually "Bakudanyaki". The giant ball is sold at 500 cents a pop and is consisted of rice cake, shrimp, calamari, cabbage, quail egg, and different toppings. Look for a Tenku stand when you are hungry for bakudanyaki at 7100 Elmbridge Way (in a parking lot) from 11-8 pm everyday. Here is the website for the delicious menu and location.

Gmen Ramen Richmond, BC

G-Men Ramen is achain of Gyoza King and is known as Kintaro's biggest competition in Vancouver. The key here is the broth; shoyu, torigara (chicken) shoyu, and miso; all of which are rich and packed with flavour. Cheese lovers should try the Miso, Cheese & Kimchi Ae Soba. Aside from ramen, there are also donburi (rice) dishes such as bbq eel, salted cod roe, or marinated pork on rice. The only downer is that the space is extremly limited and there's always lineups. If you are planning to go with a bigger group of people, all party must be present once your table is available, otherwise they'll give up your table. Inside the restaurant, the decor is kinda cute. They make the kitchen to look like a street vendor, reminiscent of authentic ramen stands in Japan.

Japadog downtown Vancouver

Located on Burrard street, (one location on Burrard and Smithe, the other on Burrard and Penderstreet, Japadog is probably the most famous hot dog stand in Canada, having been aired by CBC, Global, and CBC, not to include published in various magazines. some of the past clients include Steven Seagal, Daniel Dae Kim, and Ice Cube. The lineup on any regular day may be long but nobody seems to mind the wait. You can find all sorts of people from businessman to tourist sitting down on the pavement and enjoying the delicious fusion between Japanese flavour toppings and a North American staple. The most popular being the Terimayo, which branches into different types, and the Oroshi. Patrons can check on their website before embarking on the search for Japadog as they maybe opened or closed depending on the weather.