August 6, 2013

Spicy Kimchi

Banchan side dishes
Banchan


Banchan side dishes
Banchan

Ah, banchan, one of the reasons why I love Korean food!  At spicy kimchi, they usually only give 4 side dishes, but they switch it up everytime.  I wish they gave more, but their prices for the main dishes are generally cheaper than other Korean restaurants in the area.  My favorite side dishes are the beansprouts, fish cake, and cucumbers!  They're all pretty yummy, so I always get refills hehe.


Green Onion Pancake
Leek pancake

This is one of my favorite dishes because I LOVE ONIONS AND LEEKS and anything in that family.  I have a friend that doesn't like onions, and it's like YAY more for me!  So this is a perfect appetizer for y'all onion lovers.


Shrimp Noodle
Shrimp noodles


Knife Cut Noodles
Knife cut anchovy noodles


Their noodle soups are all strong.  They have a deep seafood soup base that is pretty addicting.  Plus, they use hand-made knife-noodles, which are thicker and more chewy.  


Udon Noodles
Udon noodles


Japchae
Japche glass noodles


Yayy this is one of my other favorite dishes here.  There's just so much STUFF with the glass noodles— spinach, mushrooms, carrots, onions... you name it!  Every bite is like a party in your mouth and everyone is invited. 


Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi fried rice


OHOHO I am getting hungry just writing this post, and I just ate lunch haha.  The kimchi fried rice is another great dish.  The fried rice itself is perfect with the kimchi — not too spicy and not too sour.  (And not watery, which is how it turns out when I make it at home.)  It's topped with a grilled egg....and you know the best part.......poking that yolk and watching it ooze out all over your rice.  And then eating the rice, of course. 


Bulgogi Rice Bowl
Bulgogi rice bowl


If you're low on budget, you can get a pretty large size bulgogi bowl for just 4 bucks!!  The bulgogi itself is very tender so it's easy to eat, and the sauce is slightly sweet.  And just look at all those onions.  


Ddeokbokki
Labokgi


Labokgi is pretty much deokbokki (rice cakes) with ramen.  I usually like to add ramen with my deokbokki, just so I can have more texture in the dish, and also because my jaw gets kinda sore chewing all that deokbokki! Haha.

This time, I gathered up all my courage and ordered medium spicy.  Why?  I don't even know, but I regretted it as soon as the dish came out.  Just look at how red it is!  It was like 90% spicy, 10%.  After 2 bites, I was already dying as if I had just watched Titanic.  But then again, I have super low spicy tolerance. Any one else that just can't handle spicy but really wants to??

Anyway, this is my favorite place to go to for Korean food.  It's a family-owned business, and they are all super friendly!  And they play Kpop MV's, which is always entertaining 




Spicy Kimchi
1381 S Diamond Bar Blvd 
Diamond Bar, CA 91765 
(909) 396-9968 
myspicykimchi.com

April 19, 2013

Ji Pin Restaurant

I know, I know, another Taiwan post.  Seems like I've been living in Taiwan for almost a year now, but trust me, it was just one summer!   I have a ton of more pics, but Taiwan is soon coming to a wrap.  For this adventure, join me through a dim sum experience like no other!


Interior
Interior


Tea Pot with a warmer!
Tea is always warm!


It was actually a fire under the teapot, so your tea was always the right temperature!  The staff here are super friendly and attentive, so your tea pot (and tea cups!) are always full!  Great service!


Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots


The bamboo shoots were lightly sauteed with a mild, refreshing flavor.  The perfect way to start off the meal!


Shrimp Dumplings
Shrimp dumplings


Chili Sauce
Chili sauce


You know how normal dim sum places give you a small plate of red and yellow sauce?  I usually only eat the red chili sauce just to add a little spice to my dim sum.  Here at Ji Pin Restaurant, their chili sauce is hardcore!  Imagine a chili sauce that is made to order.  Yeah, kind of what it tasted like!  They should seriously consider making it into a soup haha


Shark Fin Dumplings
Shark fin dumplings



Shark Fin Dumplings 2


Rice Roll
Shrimp rice roll

Rice rolls are one of my favorite dim sum dishes.  The roll itself was very chewy, and I loved how the sauce wasn't too soy sauce-y/salty.  It had more of a roasted aroma too it, which made it stand out from the hundreds of rice rolls I've eaten in the past.


Salty Egg with Pumpkin
Salty egg and pumpkin



Luffa (sigua) and Pork
Luffa, pork and wood ear


No, not a loofah for scrubbing your lovely legs.  Luffa (a type of squash), has a soft yet crunchy texture, quite similar to that of wood ear (a mushroom.)  I thought it was pretty genius to put the two together.  


Fried Daikon Roll
Fried daikon rolls


Oh my gawd, daikon!  I never thought about mushing up daikon and frying it as a roll, but man, it was so delicious!  The soft texture of the daikon played well with the flaky crust.  Definitely a must try if you come here, because I've never seen this anywhere else before!


Leek Dumplings
Leek dumplings


Fish on Tofu
Fish on tofu


We came with a friend who frequents this restaurant quite often, and she custom ordered this dish for us.  Imagine a long, tiring day at work.  It's 9 pm and you finally get to go back home.  The first thing I would do?  Plop down on my memory foam mattress!  Yeah, best feeling in the world.  

That must be how the fish feels, lying on top of that silky bed of tofu.  The tofu was the star of this dish – so soft, yet rich and egg-y at the same time.  You could also taste hints of black pepper, my fav!


Egg Tart
Egg tart


Red bean Soup
Red bean soup


Egg Custard Bun
Egg Custard Bun


Haha for you loyal readers, does this look familiar?  Sadly, I didn't capture the inner flow-y goodness like Jocelyn's, but it was definitely bursting with that egg custard innards.


And finally, I really have to give it to Ji Pin Restaurant for their excellent service!  They seriously treat you like royalty here... pouring your tea for you, clearing out your table, and changing your plates every few dishes!  To the manager, if you are reading this, thank you for such a great dim sum meal 




Ji Pin Restaurant
2樓, No. 236, Section 4, Xìnyì Rd
Daan District, Taipei City, Taiwan
(02) 2700-3311

April 10, 2013

Clover Bakery & Cafe

I discovered the adorable and delicious Clover Bakery & Cafe while I went to do some grocery shopping in Mitsuwa Market, right next door.  And from then on, I really can't stop coming back.  During my one week Spring Break, I ended up coming here 4 times and I think the employees can recognize me now!


Clover interior


Clover drink bar
Drink bar


Clover has a warm inviting atmosphere with super kind employees.  I asked if I could snap a few photos and they were very welcoming  The place is homey and has a few tables so you enjoy your burgers and sandwiches over a cup of green tea.


Strawberry Milk
Iced Strawberry Milk


The drink bar is fully equipped with an espresso machine!  Their drinks range from Japanese Green Tea to Carmel Lattes. I've had their Green Tea Latte which is handcrafted very well.  I've also tried their Iced Strawberry Milk which was DABOMB!  Don't be fooled by its simple name, this baby's got real strawberry bits in it!  My favorite drink here but I have yet to try them all.  
You know what would be mind-blowing fantastic?  A STRAWBERRY LATTE.  I wonder if that would be possible, because if so, I'd be sipping those all day and night!



Racks of yummy breads


All the bread labels are hand written with hand drawn pictures.  It doesn't get anymore adorable than this
They make Japanese breads and sandwiches.


Burgers, Japanese-style!
Burgers, Japanese-style!


Danish Breads
Danish


Hello Kitty loves Clover too
Hello Kitty loves Clover too


Sandwiches
Sandwiches


Bread!


Mini Apple Tarts
Mini Apple Tarts


Custard Cream Cornets
Custard Cream Cornets


Mini Melon Bread
Mini Smiley Melon Bread


My tray of breads
The chosen ones


Note:  the following Bread Photo Shoot was over a 4 day span.  I didn't eat them all in one day but then again, I probably could of (hohoho)


The perfect breakfast pastries
The dream breakfast :)


Mini Strawberry Tart


Mini Strawberry Tart
Mini Strawberry Tart


The Mini Strawberry Tart was flaky with fresh fruit and custard sitting in its tummy.  The fresh fruit is really a great plus to the pastry!  It was refreshing to have real fruit.


Strawberry Danish
Strawberry Danish


The bread was soft and had the perfect sweetness.  Once again, real strawberries!  This is the best danish I've ever had. 


Strawberry Danish


Chocolate Mini Pie Crossiant
Chocolate Mini Pie Croissant


Chocolate Mini Pie Croissant


Chocolate Mini Pie Crossiant innards
Chocolate Mini Pie Croissant innards


The croissant was decadent with all its buttery flakiness going on and with its chocolate filled inners.  You're biting through the layers of flaky-ness and BAM!  Smooth chocolate glides all over your tongue.  This is some good food porn...mmmm...


Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger
Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger


Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger


Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger innards
Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger innards


So the burgers aren't exactly what I picture when I think of "burger" but they're more like a sandwiches made with dinner rolls and hot dog buns.  Oh right, did I mention they bake their own bread?

The Vegetarian Tofu Croquette Burger was made with a delicious dinner roll.  The roll was cut in half then stuffed with a tofu croquette.  And the tofu was filled with all these yummy veggies!


Corn Cream Croquette
Corn Cream Croquette


Corn Cream Croquette innards
Corn Cream Croquette innards


This one's made with a hot dog bun.  It's stuffed with a salad which is kind of like a coleslaw then topped with corn croquettes.


Mini Choco Melon Bread
Mini Smiley Choco Melon Bread


Isn't that the cutest thing ever?This is the ideal breakfast bread for Mondays, gotta start your day with something sweet and with a smile!
Can't help but get all giddy when I look at it!  The melon bread has a hard sugary crust on the outside and a soft sweet bread inside. 


Mini Choco Melon Bread
Smile!


Breads packaged with love
Breads packaged with love

Almost all their breads and pastries are hand packaged in a sandwich bag then taped.  I feel like Clover is just filled with love; you can see it and taste it!


Mini Custard Cream Bun
Mini Custard Cream Bun


Mini Custard Cream Bun innards
Mini Custard Cream Bun innards.  The cream was super fluffy!



Yakisoba Donut
Yakisoba Donut


Yakisoba Donut innards
Yakisoba Donut innards


Look how amazing is that? I cut it open and my breath was taken away.  Dude, yakisoba + donut?  Woohoo, heaven!  And Clover doesn't get stingy, this thing is stuffed! 


Red Bean Donut
Red Bean Donut


Red Bean Donut innards
Red Bean Donut innards


This donut is delicious!!  The outside is lightly powdered with sugar and the insides stuffed-to-the-max with red bean paste.


Yakisoba Bun
Yakisoba Bun


The Yakisoba Bun was a monster!  It was huuugee.  There is so much Yakisoba on this bun, I had to use a knife and fork to eat it!  You cut it open and...


Yakisoba Bun innards
Yakisoba Bun innards


...you find treasure!  Surprise, it's Mr. Hot Dog!  Love hitting the jackpot hohoho


Vegetarian Curry Bun
Vegetarian Curry Bun


Vegetarian Curry Bun innards 2
Vegetarian Curry Bun innards


And for the finale, may I present to you...

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Mini Strawberry Cake
Mini Strawberry Cake


Mini Strawberry Cake


Mini Strawberry Cake!  And it's a beautiful.  It's a mini strawberry cake so it's the size of a large cupcake (4 inches), so adorable!  But they also make normal size cakes if you're planning on sharing.

I couldn't stop taking photos of the cake so I have quite a few pics here harhar


Mini Strawberry Cake



Mini Strawberry Cake


Mini Strawberry Cake innards
Mini Strawberry Cake innards

It was much like a Strawberry short cake.  What I loved the most about the cake (other than its delicate pretty craftsmanship), the cake was not too sweet.  I'm always out searching for a cake that's not overly sweet so I could eat more than a slice.  I ate this whole thing by myself!  (Hohoho, I'm a beast.)  The cream was so rich, it married well with the fluffy cake.  And of course, real strawberries in the middle!

The breads at Clover range from about $1.25~$2.75.  You could pretty much have lunch for about a buck but you're bound to buy more than one item!  Their stuff's too delicious!


 


Clover Bakery & Cafe
4342 Moorpark Ave
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 257-3412
http://cloverbakery.com/index.html
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