January 29, 2013

Ramen Sanji

Ramen Sanji

If there's one thing you should know about me, it should be the fact that I LOVE RAMEN!  And I'm not talking about those instant kinds (although those are pretty delicious, too), but the legit stuff is where my heart's at.  So when I saw the sign that said "World's #1 Ramen," I had to go see for myself.  I mean, I know that technically anyone can claim to have the best ramen, but you better serve some good food to back up your game.  Or else prepared to get a back-handed slap from me.  Haha just kidding. 

#1 Ramen!

Chefs cooking ramen with love


Apparently the restaurant, Ramen Sanji, was named after Warrior Sanji.  All their ramen is named after warriors, but I was dead-set on the Ramen Sanji.  The ramens were all pretty similar, save for a few changes in the number of eggs and pork slices (Woo, so much change...can't deal with it).  They also had a few shoyu ramens, but I've learned over the years of ramen-eating to always order the tonkotsu broths on first visits.

Ramen Sanji


The curly egg noodles were cooked al dente, just the way I like it!  The egg had perfectly gooey yolk, and I loved the fact that they used brown eggs instead of white.  

The pork had a nice char-grilled flavor, but it was too fatty for my taste (although it made the broth super rich and creamy hehe).  It definitely wasn't the cleanest broth I had.  I mean look at it!  It's like when you see a murky lake and you worry about the fishes living in it.  But in the ramen world, thick broths are the most flavorful!  It was so good, I ended up draining the heck out of that ramen broth lake.  I ♥ the broth, but it probably wasn't that great for my ♥.

Display of Ramen

Bowls and bowls of (plastic) ramen on display!  If you're waiting in line, you can just gawk open-mouthed, at these pretty looking bowls.  Plastic can be mighty appetizing when you're hungry!

Lining up for ramen

Worth lining up for!  I wouldn't say that it's the world's #1 ramen, but it was one of the best I've had.  They should advertise that it's one of Cathy's favorite ramens!  

Ramen Sanji
at ATT4Fun Mall 
台北市信義區松壽路 12號 5樓
No. 12, Song Shou Road, 5FL
Taipei, Taiwan
 (02) 7737-5188

January 24, 2013

England Rose Garden Coffee & Tea Restaurant

The England Rose Garden Coffee & Tea Restaurant is actually a relatively new place.  It opened about half a year ago and I've passed by it many times but never actually stepped in.  After Cathy posted about her afternoon tea at Salut, I was very envious of the dainty tea cups and nicely presented snacks so I made the England Rose Garden Coffee & Tea Restaurant my next go-to restaurant.  Tea time!

Victorian Tea Time Snacks
Victorian Tea Time for two

Of course I had to order the three-tiered snack plates to make my tea time more legit!  I give an A+ for the wonderful presentation and I was all giddy when the waitress was bringing it to our table.  But...I wasn't impressed with the selection and I'm sure it couldn't feed two people.  

First tier: Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin cookie.  Sadly, they weren't made fresh and were kind of hard.
Second tier: tiny muffin, small cream puff, (prettily)sliced fruit, and a small sliver of tiramisu.  There was only one piece of each dessert and all of them were small, so we had to fight for it split it.   Although small, the tiramisu was the highlight all of the three tiers! 
Third tier: tuna and cheese with lots of lettuce sandwich.  The most disappointing part...there was barely any tuna salad spread on the bread so it was like eating a salty lettuce sandwich


The delicious tiramisu: rich cream layered in perfectly coffee soaked layers of cake.

Loose Leaf Tea Leaves

They have a large selection of England Milk Teas and Taiwan Milk Teas.  The Taiwan Milk Teas are the usual milk teas with boba.  The England Milk Teas come in a teapot with the pretty looking tea cups, which is what we ordered.  They had quite a few choices so we asked which tea the waitress thought was the best.  She recommended Irish Cream which is supposed to have a strong tea taste.

Irish Cream Milk Tea Tea Pot
Irish Cream English Milk Tea

I just can't get enough of the beautiful china.  The teapot sat on of a candle so the tea stayed hot throughout our entire meal.  The very last cup that I poured was still steaming! 

Pouring Irish Cream Milk Tea

Irish Cream Milk Tea

The Irish Cream Milk Tea was delicious!  It tasted creamy but light like a tea drink should be.  And I was amazed that the cream did not cover up the black tea taste.  It was the perfect balance of cream and tea.

Shrimp and Scallop Rice Risotto
Shrimp & Scallop Rice Risotto

In addition to the cafe food selections, they also have noodle and rice dishes.  We decided on the Shrimp and Scallop Risotto which came with a cream chowder.  The chowder was a bit watered down but the risotto was amazingly decadent!  If the Victorian Tea Time didn't fill us up, the risotto sure did!  Between me and my friend, we couldn't finish the entire dish.

Shrimp and Scallop Rice Risotto

Shrimp and Scallop Rice Risotto

Their risotto was a fried rice topped it with mushrooms, shrimp, and scallops then topped with a white creamy sauce and a thick layer of cheesy yumminess.  The dish is baked so the cheese comes out brown on top and all gooey.  If you're craving for those hearty-warm-your-tummy meals, this is it right here!  Caution: you may want to take a nap afterwards.

Shrimp and Scallop Rice Risotto
Mmm...look at gooey goodness...

The menu is a bit pricey, ranging from $10-$20 each dish and a pot of tea is $6.  Overall, this place is wonderful for catching up with friends over a a nice cup of tea but maybe after getting some lunch.  A pretty tea time is definitely my cup of tea! (haha)

England Rose Garden Coffee & Tea Restaurant
640 Barber Ln
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 800-6658

January 22, 2013


TASTy offers a prix fixe menu with 6 courses, all for a whopping $20!  And nope, I'm not missing a zero. If this were served in say New York or Paris, this meal could easily go for $200.  TASTy claims to specialize in Western cuisine, but of course there were some Taiwanese (or at least, Asian) influences as well.  And yes, everything was mighty TASTY! 


Shrimp and Asparagus
Shrimp and snap beans

I felt like I was at some museum looking at some minimalist modern art.  Like, oh, "good use of space!" Haha anyways, the best part of this dish was the sauce.  It was some kind of mustard sauce...slightly sweet, but not quite as sweet as honey mustard.


Seafood Salad
Seafood salad

Some people might be kind of freaked out by the presentation of the shrimp, but I thought it was pretty cool. The bottom portion was a potato salad with bits of fruit in it.

Fruit Salad
Fruit salad

Garden salad with thousand island dressing


Danish pastry baked with beef

I wonder if the chefs were inspired to make this dish while playing Jenga.  This dish started with layers of flaky crust, topped with a beef patty, and then topped with cheddar cheese and specks of cilantro.  A pretty savory dish, although it felt kind of heavy since the pastry absorbed the oils from the meat.  

Square Toast
Square toast

Baked mushroom with garlic and cheese
Baked mushroom with garlic and cheese

The square toast and the baked mushroom/cheese came together.  You dip the bread into the cheese (or spoon the cheese onto your bread.)  The cheese was super rich and creamy, and you could taste bits of the mushroom and garlic for that extra pop of flavor.  


Pumpkin Chowder
Pumpkin soup with king oyster mushroom

Creamy Mushroom Chowder - Tasty - Taipei, Taiwan
Creamy mushroom chowder

Both the pumpkin and mushroom chowders were rich and thick, just the way all chowders should be.  Dipping the breadstick was especially fun, since the soup would actually cling to the bread without making it soggy!

Italian Beef Balls Soup
Italian beef ball soup

I'm a pretty huge fan of meatballs, so I had to order the Italian beef ball soup!  And the beef balls were so yummy.  They were super plump and meaty, and you could actually suck the soup from the beef balls.


Vinegar shot

I first introduced these vinegar shots here, and they're one of my favorite parts of the meal!  The (alcohol-free) shots are meant cleanse your palate and open up your stomach for the main course.


Fried Duck
Roasted duck

Roasted Pork Ribs
Roasted pork ribs

They serve you the plate with 2 racks of ribs, and then they cut it in front of you.  Talk about good customer service!  And they give you these cute little plastic gloves for you to wear, so you don't dirty your fingers!  The ribs were nicely seasoned with lots of peppers (who doesn't love pepper?) and a sweet, slightly tangy barbeque sauce.


Creme Brulee
Crème brûlée

Oh yeah baby, crème brûlée!  It was perfectly toasted, giving it that nice hard shell of caramel on top, and the custard on the bottom was soft and fluffy.  When the waiter brought it over, I was so happy because it looks so big, right?  Well, the dish was quite shallow.  I wished the dish would be a little more open-minded.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate filled Bag
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate bag

The vanilla ice cream came in this perfect dome.  But the best part about this dish was the chocolate bag that was completely edible!  The outer shell was fried, making it hot and crispy.  One bite into the bag and LIQUID CHOCOLATE came flowing forth.  It was seriously one of the best things I've experienced.  The chocolate was also hot, and just SO rich.  It was served with small scoops of raspberry and orange jam in that cute flower pattern.  It's one of the best feelings in the world when you see something pretty and you find out it's edible (and even better, yummy!) 


Sapopilla Mango Smoothie
Mango sopapilla smoothie

When I first saw "sopapilla" on the menu, I thought it was some distant cousin of the chinchilla... har har.  I'm not too sure why it's a sopapilla smoothie because it tasted 100% mango.  No pastry or bread taste!

Hot fruit tea

Inside the pot, there were pieces of mango, kiwi, orange, strawberry, and pineapple!  Pretty much any fruit you can think of. 

Iced Coffee
Iced roasted coffee

Lemon Barley Tea
Lemon barley tea

Ohoho see those little googly-eyes floating in the drink?  Those are chewy bits of barley goodness!  Barley has such a fun texture, and it's natural sweetness paired well with the acidity of the lemon.

Dining area

3F, No.152, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd.
Da’an Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan

January 17, 2013

Curry House

This is actually the first time I've tried Japanese curry at a specialized curry restaurant and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised.  My whole life, I've only known curry in the form those condensed blocks you can buy Asian Super markets (which are actually pretty delicious) so I was very much looking forward to freshly made curry!

Curry House dinner
Our Curry House dinner!  Woohoo!

We arrived at Curry House about 7PM on a Friday night and it was packed!  The menu has a large selection of different Japanese dishes from, well of course, curry dishes to Japanese style spaghetti.  And most entrees come with an appetizer.

Corn Potage
Corn Potage

So for appetizers we chose their corn potage and house salad.  The corn potage was the best corn soup I've ever tasted!  Super creamy and sweet which balanced nicely with the slightly salty corn kernels.

House Salad
House Salad

The salad was drizzled with a light and refreshing miso dressing with lots of different toppings.  I loved the addition of the beans!  I never add beans in my salad but it gives the salad a break in the crunchy texture of the lettuce.  Beans are gonna be my new habit.

Deluxe Katsu Curry
Deluxe Pork Katsu Curry

We ordered the Deluxe Katsu Curry.  Oh yeah deluxe, I'm rolling with the high rollers harhar  So differences between the normal and deluxe Katsu curry is the deluxe comes with a curry fried rice wrapped in an omelet while the normal one is just plain rice.  Mmm...curry fried rice with curry...can't get enough curry on one dish!

The curry actually tasted a lot like the cubed curry from the supermarkets but definitely had more depth to it, more herbs perhaps?

Deluxe Katsu Curry innards
Revealing the hidden treasure: curry fried rice!

For the katsu, you can choose from chicken leg, chicken breast, and pork.  We went with the typical pork katsu just to see how it compared with other pork katsus out there.  It was pretty good, crispy on the outside and had the right amount of saltiness but it was really the curry fried rice that made the magic!

Kinoko & Kaiware with Tofu Shirataki noodles
Kinoko & Kaiware with Tofu Shirataki noodles

This dish was fantastic with its mix of shimeji and eringi mushrooms and soy sauce based sauce.  We payed an extra buck to trade out the normal pasta for the Tofu Shirataki noodles and it was the best choice ever!  Tofu Shirataki noodles are yam noodles with tofu and they have this chewy texture to them.  It's so fun to eat  And evidently, also healthier:  40 calories per dish, no sugar, no cholesterol, and gluten-free. 

Vegetable Curry
Vegetable Curry

The curry is the same curry used for the Deluxe Pork Curry but a whole pot of it. Came with a mix of baby carrots, corn, long beans and a HUGE plate of rice!  Dishes are actually pretty expensive here, range from about $8-$20.  So for the cheap people out there, this dish is for you.  You could probably three people!

Teppan Neapolitan
Teppan Neapolitian

The Teppan Neapolitan was served on a sizzling plate but it wasn't actually sizzling.  The sauce is a mix of tomato sauce and ketchup so it was sweet and tangy.  There were wieners and vegetables cooked with it.  The wieners were salty but the noodles themselves were a bit bland.  

But the saddest part was the egg.  So you can choose how you egg is cooked: raw, soft boiled, or hard boiled.  In the menu, the picture for soft boiled and had this delicious-looking yolk flowing out so we chose soft boiled egg.  But when I was cutting open the egg, I was hoping for a food porn shot with all this gold yolk running down the noodles but nope, almost cooked all the way.  Sigh...

Tofu Cheesecake
Tofu Cheesecake

Ohhh Tofu Cheesecake, doesn't that sound interesting?  I just had to to try what tofu and cream chesse tasted like together!

Tofu Cheesecake
Looks like a actual slice of tofu!

The cheesecake did taste like cheesecake but had a nice light fluffy texture to it with a hint of tofu.  The crust was thick and sweet like a cookie which paired well with the cream cheese.  Mmmm...

Curry House

Curry House
10350 South De Anza Boulevard
Cupertino, CA 95014

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