Guess who’s back?

Hi 🙃
How are you?
It’s been a while, yeah?

Can’t believe the last time I wrote anything was over a year ago, and that’s when we were all free to travel without (some) care in the world! I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy during these times of events 🙏

So, what brought me back? A couple of things: wanted to start writing again and sharing any food recipes or food recommendations… most likely the longer food recipes, since eating out is a bit limited. I think last time I wrote in this blog, I didn’t have this specific Instagram account created, but I started a food Instagram! Mainly for recipes and food pictures of dishes I made. With that being said, I got a high request for this recipe, so let me go ahead and start sharing it! 🙂

Korean Braised Short Ribs
I feel like this dish is pretty easy to make. However, I can see why people think it’s an inconvenience as there are some steps that require a long wait time. But isn’t that the same as baking a loaf of bread? … if any of you started baking bread during the shelter in place 😂

Ingredients:

  • Short ribs (I used about 3lbs)
  • Potato (two Yukon Gold potatoes)
  • Carrots (My husband and I love carrots, so I used about four)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar1
  • 2 big spoon2 of sesame oil
  • two big spoon of grated garlic
  • 1/2 spoon of grated ginger
  • chopped green onions (about two stock of green onion)

Here we go

  • In a large bowl, place your short ribs in the bowl and cover in a bath of cold water for about an hour to 1.5 hours. This will drain out the blood from the meat/bones 


  • After 1-1.5 hours, pour out the blood water and rinse before transferring the short ribs into a pot. Fill the pot with water (enough water to cover the meat) and bring the water to a boil. We’re blanching our meat here
    I like to add a couple or cinnamon sticks + bay leafs to the water as well to flavor the meat. 
  • After the water comes to a boil (I keep it going for about 20-25 mins), pour out the water and the meat into a strainer and rinse away any extra impurities and set aside 

  • Cut potatoes and carrots into large chunks and set aside. 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the following together: 1 cup of soy sauce; 1 cup water; 1/2 cup cooking wine; 1/2 cup sugar1; 2 big spoon2 of sesame oil; two big spoons of grated garlic; 1/2 spoon of grated ginger, and chopped green onions.
  • Once sauce has been created, add your meat back into the sauce bowl and coat the meat with the sauce. We’re going to transfer both the meat+sauce into a pot, so don’t have to worry too much about getting the meat coated in the sauce.  
  • After a light coat, transfer the meat+sauce into a pot and bring to boil on high heat. As you see your sauce boiling, add in your carrots and potato, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and let it simmer (I did about 20-25 mins again).
  • Once your veggies are cooked, and your rice is set. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE:

  1. Instead of sugar, I like to blend together 1/2 an apple/Asian pear (depends what’s in season), 1/4 onion, and garlic together and massage that mixture with the meat to make the meat more tender. If the sauce isn’t at a sweet/tangy taste for you, feel free to add a little bit of honey or sugar. Whatever is easier
  2. Koreans tend to have a “go to” spoon they use, which could be found at your local Korean Market, but my “big spoon” is our standard cereal spoon. 😂

I know some of you are visual learners (so I am), so I dug up some old photos to help. Maybe next time I make this again, I’ll record it for you! But, give this a try! Let me know how it turns out with a photo. If you have questions, feel free to reach out and happy to help!

As always – stay safe; stay healthy; be kind.

Cheers, Jane

Aloha!

Oh dear – 2019…
Last post, Oct 2018…

So, how has everyone been? Haha

It has definitely been a long time since I wrote. What happened?
TL:DR – switched careers and now coordinating for executive leadership roles, got engaged in January 2019, and just been enjoying life as it comes!

Literally, that has been the quickest recap to the last seven-ish months (I’m not that interesting, sadly).

So, why the sudden urge to write again on my blog? Well, I traveled! And not to just some place – to THE place of paradise and relaxation. Yes, my blog friends – Oahu, Hawaii!

This trip was particularly special as I traveled with (my now) fiance along with his mother and his grandmother. It was everyone’s first time there – so a lot of Yelp-ing to find the hottest spots to eat. My brother’s friend (TY) was super helpful by recommending places to try as he is a local over at the island.

As we stayed on the island for 8 days, we did visit a lot of restaurants. With about ~40 restaurants on my list, I’ll write about my top three restaurants that I enjoyed while listing out a few of my other favorite restaurants with a summary of our orders + specialties. Let’s get started!

——

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
Shrimp Scampi w/ Rice

There’s all this hype about this shrimp truck. A few of my favorite YouTubers posting IG photos of the food here, so we thought we’d try. And boy… does it meet the expectation!

We got the original “Shrimp Scampi”, which comes on a plate with a dozen shrimp and two scoops of rice that is drizzled with garlicky goodness. The shrimp is cooked perfectly and seasoned well with the sauce and the amount of garlic is just right.

A lot of the people in the crowd was comparing the taste to Boiling Crab, but to me – Giovanni’s shrimp was a better fit as it did not give me the guilty feeling of consuming so much butter. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Liliha Bakery 

Butter Rolls w/ Guava Jam
Butter Rolls w/ Guava Jam

This place was recommended by TY. My fiance and I are big fans of loco moco and TY mention this is the place he goes to for his loco moco – so, the next morning after getting the recommendation, we headed over. There seem to always be a line forming outside of the restaurant (we went a few times throughout our trip) but they are very quick to get their customers seated (as they have both table or counter choices).

As a starter, you get four butter rolls with a side of guava jam. I don’t know what it is about butter, but these rolls were DELICIOUS – with a nice golden coat of toasty crunch and the right amount of butter on the rolls that it can be enjoyed with or without the jam.

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Loco Moco w/ White Rice

For our main, we ordered the loco moco. If you don’t know what a ‘loco moco’ is, it’s a popular contemporary Hawaiian dish that consist of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty and a fried egg then smothered in gravy. The loco moco here was definitely divine as my fiance and I are big fans of a smokey tasting patty, which Liliha did well. You also have the option to pick a different type of rice you would like the patty to be on top of. I preferred the original white rice, but you do have the option of substituting the rice with fried rice or brown rice.

Another dish we tried (and is a restaurant favorite) is the Oxtail Soup. If you had oxtail pho – it is a very similar consistency and taste, which hit the spot for me after days of swimming and hiking (sometimes you just really need a nice bowl of soup).

SIDE NOTE: On the bakery side, they have these delicious poi mochi donuts, which was the reason why we kept coming back to this location.


Helena’s Hawaiian Food
**TY recommended

This is a ‘hole in a wall” place that you know it’ll be good because of the number of cars and people waiting outside of the restaurant.When looking at the menu, there are options to order any dish individually or if you want to mix and match, there are combo sets you can order in regular or large quantities.

For our order, we decided to go with the Kalua Pig + Pipikaula short rib with rice combo set. We also added an order of the fried butterfish collar and boiled butterfish collar w/ Watercress (in case his grandma couldn’t eat something hard) – and everything was flavorful! We actually ordered to go, which included a tray of onion, haupia (coconut pudding), and a small to-go bowl of poi (porridge-like texture made from taro).


Sweet Home Cafe
Taiwanese Hot Pot

  • Broth choice: House Special + Healthy Herb (creamy/white soup base)
  • A fridge full of veggies, seafood, noodles on different color plates that identify the cost of each item
  • The sauce is self-serve on the side of the restaurant (didn’t realize that till the end of the meal)
  • At the end of the meal, a HUGE complementary shaved ice bowl 


TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie

Japanese noodles

  • Located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
  • Had the Tan Tan Udon – Spicy miso broth with ground pork
  • Noodle texture was good – chewy; seem thicker than normal udon noodles  
  • The appeal of this restaurant – the bowl size that the udon comes out of. But just your usual udon place


Don e Don
Korean 

  • Came here for the “Gamja Tang” – Pork neck stew with potatoes. Huge serving and a lot of meat!
  • Also ordered Pork Spare Ribs, which was full of tender meat, which is great to eat with a side of salad


Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

Japanese

  • Ordered the Special Kurobuta Pork Loin Katsu-don and 7oz Kurobuta Pork Loin Katsu
  • The thickness of the pork was about an inch and each piece melts in your mouth.


Heavenly Island Lifestyle
Breakfast & Brunch

  • Located next to the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki
  • As the location is next to the hotel, a very popular and busy restaurant. Also, advertise its focus on organic products.
  • Ordered the pineapple mimosa with the pork belly egg benedict and the island’s acai bowl

Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha
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Dessert – Shaved Ice

  • Ordered the Strawberry Dream and Uji Kintoki (matcha based with mochi and red bean). Simple and refreshing!
  • Got to meet Uncle Clay, who is the sweetest and most humble uncle! To speak with him and be welcome by him was the cherry on top!


Chief’s Luau

Hawaiian + show

Chief’s Luau is not a restaurant, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND attending this luau to enjoy good food and AMAZING entertainment. Chief and his team know how to entertain their guest. Not only does your admission ticket include food and drinks, but you also get to participate in fun activities before the show: weaving your own headband, tasting pure coconut meat, airbrush tattoos, learn how to start your own fire!

The food is buffet style, which allows you to eat as much as your heart desires! The fruit punch is great and the bartenders that make the paid alcoholic beverages are generous. But, the highlight of the whole experience was the Polynesian dancing, the singing, and the demonstrations that Chief would do on the stage. I can’t say anymore as I do really hope you visit this place! It was so worth it.

——

Well, there you go! Ten places I would recommend on O’ahu. Again, totally optional but I found these places very enjoyable and dear to my heart (or my stomach I would say). As true Hawaiian culture – mahalo and aloha.

Until we meet again!

Cheers, Jane

 

Viva Las Vegas (off strip)

Hello world!

Another – long time no – write entry.

I know, I know… why does it take me so long? Because I feel like creativity works best when I feel like writing vs when I force myself to write. And I also just came back from Las Vegas; meaning I have some food adventures to share with you! 🙂

Since I’ve been dating my boyfriend, we’ve been going to Vegas too often. But luckily, I met a man that enjoys food more than gambling which allows us to venture off the strip then staying within the hotel walls.

This time around, we went to Las Vegas to watch our favorite comedian, Russell Peters. He is currently on tour after being MIA for a year and with good reasons. I’m always so impressed with his material and I could listen to his stuff for hours. By following our favorite comedian, it allowed us to stay off the strip at the Palms Place Hotel – and I must say… I really like it there! The suite style room with the kitchen definitely makes a great place to stay if you have kids or plan to stay for a while. Wish we took advantage of the kitchen, but NEXT TIME!

For food, we discovered a few new places this time while revisiting some of the favorites. Here is a list of places that we went to this time:

  1. Cafe Sanuki
    Legit cafeteria style restaurant. You grab a tray, order your meal, then pay at the cash register. It was a fun experience if you want to experience the Asian cafe style. Really enjoyed their tempera and the Shoyu Pork Udon and the Niku Beef Udon.
  2. Sweets Raku  FAVORITE.
    Had their Chef Dessert Set (which includes their special of the day + chef’s special) and their Sweets Raku Dessert Set (includes special of the day + one main dessert choice).
    That days special was a mango sorbet or a raspberry sorbet, which were both tarty and refreshing. The chefs special was an apple pie with honey ice cream and a blown sugar apple filled with whipped cream. And for the main dessert choice, we had chosen the “Mars” which included a cool fire show.
  3. Shang Artisan Noodle
    Shang is known for their hand-pulled noodles. We’ve been here before but had a major craving for it again. I recommend the pork & cabbage dumplings + their potstickers. We’ve tried their Shang Beef Noodles (which has a spicy broth), but if you prefer a non-spicy broth, the beef shank noodles were great.
  4. Good Pie
    For dinner, we saw great Yelp reviews for this place and decided to order-in as my boyfriend had to do some work (delivery by DoorDash). We ordered the Johnny be good, Detroit style, which means the pizza has a thick crispy crust (more bready if you like bread). The pizza was great delivered, but I bet it would have been better if we ate it at the restaurant.
  5. Sapporo Revolving Sushi
    Conveyor belt sushi – NOT all you can eat. Each plate is about $2.50 while you can order other things at a different price. Uni was great, so were the salmon and tuna.
  6. Goong Korean BBQ  FAVORITE
    Whenever the local Uber drivers ask why we’re going off the strip to eat and what is the best place to eat Korean BBQ in Vegas, we always suggest Goong. Goong’s meat quality is pretty high compared to what we get in the Bay, and the price is pretty reasonable as the quality of the meat is high. We like to order the Wagyu Beef platter that includes banchan (Korean side dishes), Korean pancake, soup, and steam eggs. Definitely, recommend trying!

Hope you enjoy my list of restaurants as much as I enjoy eating at these restaurants haha. And as always, thank you for stopping by and reading my blogs! If you have any feedback or recommendations, feel free to leave me a comment! I would love to explore new places and new items of foods. Well, till next time!

Cheers, Jane.

Not so… cloudy/rainy city?

Hello, world!

Long time no write! It really has been a while (maybe a month, right?) Well, it’s been hard to be creative while I was in a “Motown funk” mode, but I’m trying to get past it and get back on it!

Last weekend was my beloved’s birthday. And for his birthday, we went to Seattle (as he has never been). When we usually travel, we like to include some outdoor activities and of course food. But this time, we decided to go with the touristy route and purchase a CityPASS and explore the popular spots.

With CityPASS – Seattle, we were able to explore Space Needle, Argosy Cruise Harbor Tour, Museum of Pop Culture, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Unfortunately, the Seattle Aquarium had a special event that week, so we weren’t allowed to enter that, but that is also included in the CityPASS.

Not only did we get to explore those four spots, but we also went to the famous Pike Place Market. I’ve been to Seattle before with my high school orchestra, but for some reason – I couldn’t remember that market for the life of me. However, it has been 10 years since then and I’m sure a lot has changed, like my mindset when I travel.

Enough of the touristy spots, now about food!
Like I said – my boyfriend and I are always seeking out food spots that we can’t get at in the Bay Area, or food spots that are known in those certain cities. The spots we hit up are the following:

  1. Un Bien – Cuban Sandwiches
    Caribbean Roast + Press sandwich was the most popular
  2. Rosellini’s Bakery
    Ordered two espressos with a coffee cake + earl grey macaroon
  3. The Tasting Room
    Wine tasting near the Pike Place Market. They also had board games which made it nice to chill while tasting some wine.
  4. Ramen Danbo
    OUR FAVORITE. We came here twice because we loved it sooo much. Franchise from Japan and the only store in the USA (until it opens its New York location), we enjoyed the classic rekka ramen and the miso rekka ramen. You can also choose the cut of the noodles (thin or thick) and the firmness (I recommend soft). It was great and definitely nice to have if you want something warm.
  5. Piroshky Piroshky
    Crazy line, but totally worth the wait. We kept hearing the locals talking about the smoked salmon pate, so we got an order of that, the beef & cheese, and the coffee cinnamon roll. Three different type of pastries, and totally worth trying!
  6. Pike Place Chowder
    Another “go to” place around the market. I would suggest ordering through their online platform and sit at their public seating. It was a lot faster than waiting in the line.
  7. Sushi Kashiba
    This is where the world-famous Chef Shiro works at. Unfortunately, the day we went he was not working so we did not get to see him. But the other chefs are great! Quality of fish was delicious and fresh. Be warned, your wallet will hurt after the meal but… you only live once, right? Also, people started waiting in line at 3:30PM (1.5 hours before the restaurant open), so if you would like to be seated at the bar and be served by Shiro – good luck.
  8. Biscuit Bitch
    Breakfast & Brunch, southern style. Grits were nice and garlicky. Biscuit was also soft and flaky. Come with an empty stomach and hoping to walk all day to burn them calories.
  9. The Pink Door
    Great cocktails and delicious pappardelle and clam linguine.

Oh man – went to a lot of restaurants… HAH. On that note, enjoy this short video! Not too much video footage as my GoPro was not corporating that weekend. But as always, thank you for stopping by and reading my blogs! I hope you enjoyed this post! Till next time.

Cheers, Jane

Awkwardly talking to myself

Hi world!

Wow, can’t believe its almost the last week of August! Crazy how time has flown by.

It has been a busy couple of weeks but finally had the chance to take the day to myself and explore around the Bay Area. Though I was born and raised here, there are many places I still have not yet visited – one of them being the Devil’s Slide Bunker.

60B4B962-AE0D-4968-8E81-22A93EC855B2-1025-0000008E8D22D46ELocated in Pacifica, CA (right on Highway 1), it was a beautiful drive over. It has been a bit foggy in the Bay, it wasn’t too cold nor windy, which made it perfect to take a stroll to see the bunker.

The bunker was used during the WWII as a watch station but was abandoned in 1949. What attracted me to visit this place was the graffiti. The bright color of the paint contracts against the fog has it pop out more, which was great. And the creativity these artists have is quite interesting too to look at.

NOTE: I read the bunker is on “private” land and/or it’s against to go up on the bunker. So… I recommend not to do that. oops…

Anyways, I wanted to try a different approach and thought I create a vlog of my adventure! It is VERY choppy as it’s my first one and I felt VERY awkward talking to myself (or to a camera and you can obviously see that on my facial expression), but I had fun creating this. Give it a watch and feedbacks are always welcome (as there is room for improvements).

As always, thank you for always stopping by and being part of my non-sense adventures and word vomits. And I hope to see you guys soon!

Cheers, Jane