Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Shirayaki Unagi from Teppei's Man Man


I came back to Man Man today to give the shirayaki a try. It sounded interesting since it was an un-sauced version, seasoned only with salt. And I loved it! Sure, the sauce-based version is good on its own right, but I prefer this one, especially since the taste of the fat was much more pronounced this way. It's just too bad that the wait was so darned long today though.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Royal London Duck in Singapore

Two Meat Combo Rice Plate

If I understood it correctly, these guys split off from the London Fat Duck people on Scotts Road, which of course in turn was a bit of a knockoff of the Baywater duck place, Four Seasons. And this Royal London Duck place has already propagated into multiple outlets across the island now.

Either way, this was a letdown, primarily because there was little or no fat in the cuts of duck above. The char siew was a bit on the tough side too. Now, I never tried the other menu items like the noodles nor the black pepper sauce buns, but I don't think I'll be coming back.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dungeness Crab Louie Salad from Yankee Pier at SFO

Dungeness Crab Louie Salad

Even though I grew up in the Bay Area, I never knew that Crab Louie was actually from San Francisco until I saw an episode of Andrew Zimmern the other day. So I guess that stuck in my head, and I thus decided to get dinner at Yankee Pier while I was transiting here at SFO.

The picture might be a bit deceptive but there is a huge chunk of sweet tender Dungeness crab meat there. It was a bit weird that they didn't cut the leaves into smaller pieces, and seemed to have tucked the Thousand Island dressing underneath it all. But of course I still ate this thing, together with their (surprisingly thin) clam chowder.

Salt & Time in Austin, Texas

Salumi Platter

I can't remember how I found out about this place, but it was cool (1912 East 7th Street, 512-524-1383). It's actually a butcher shop that has a restaurant built into the side. I grabbed this salumi board along with a bowl of menudo, and they were both delicious. They weren't afraid of using a lot of spices and fat.

Angry Eggroll in Austin, Texas

The Drunken Master and the Grasshopper

After a number of drinks tonight, I needed food. I thus stumbled around for a while before coming across this cluster of food trucks, most of which were closed at such a late hour. But this guy was open (650 Red River Street). And the thin flaky greasy skin of an egg roll sounded like just what the doctor ordered, assuming that it was something like King Eggroll. I thus ordered one of each of the two items on his menu, one featuring pork and one vegetarian.

Only after I ordered did I realize that these were US$7 each. What the f*ck kind of eggroll costs $7? (cue: Jon Travolta ordering a milkshake in Pulp Fiction) It was only after he finished frying them did I realize why they were so expensive. These weren't egg rolls. These huge things were like chimichangas! And no, the crudely cut vegetables inside weren't anything to be desired; it reminded me of Panda Express.

Still, I have to admit that I still ate both of these things pretty quickly, despite the fact that the accompanying sauce was rather sweet. I guess some kind of a salty greasy fried thing would still be welcome after a number of drinks. So what was the best thing that I liked about this place? (aside from the fact that he was pretty nice) It was the fact that he gave a mini York Peppermint Patty with each "egg roll."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Emmer & Rye in Austin, Texas

Dry Aged Beef Tartare, Black Garlic, Mint Marigold, Nuka Beets, Grilled Bread

It's places like this that just make me happy (51 Rainey Street #110, 512-366-5530). What's not to like about small plates and fresh ingredients, craft beer and cocktails, plus friendly and easy going service? We told them to just feed us, and there wasn't a single dish to disagree with, including not just the tartare above, but the fresh cheese, pa amb tomàquet, short rib carnitas, or cacio e pepe. My favorite of the bunch was a crispy Carolina rice salad topped with lots of fresh basil (I loooooove basil!). Yes, I liked this place better than Parkside, Barley Swine, and Searsucker, and would be delighted to come back here again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden in Austin, Texas


Of all of the times I've been to Austin, I never even knew that Rainey Street existed. But there are tons of nice restaurants there, including this one offering 30 homemade sausages and over 100 craft beers on tap (79 Rainey Street, 512-386-1656). Yes, I liked it. That andouille sausage above was delightfully spicy (the menu said something about ghost pepper being involved), and it all got washed down by a couple of really nice beers. Thumbs up!

Trying Out Some Round Rock Donuts

Round Rock Donuts

No, I didn't eat that big donut in front, but I liked these so much that I *did* go back for a second donut after having inhaled the first one. It was awesome with just the right amount of grease and frosting without being too dense. I think I liked it even more than Krispy Kreme. Anyway, this was just something that the hotel caterers laid out as a snack this morning.

Ordering Chilaquiles from Room Service in Texas


I hate room service. But I looooove chilaquiles. And being pressed for time before meetings start this morning, I went ahead and ordered this after seeing it on the room service menu. Yes, it did the job with its spicy and sour salsa not to mention a touch a pulled pork that they hid underneath that egg. OK, off to meetings!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Stopping by Austin's Turf 'N Surf Po Boy

Grilled Cod Tacos

I still needed just a bit more food tonight, so I checked Google Maps to see what was still open and this shop came up (407 Lavaca Street, 512-276-2763). The chalkboard said that they had fresh cod, so I got some tacos, in which they put some very generously large pieces of fish. There wasn't any spicy salsa nearby to give it the kick that it really needed, but it was still fresh with lots of cole slaw too. It was only when I looked it up just now that I realized that I'd been to their food truck a number of years ago.

Hut's Hamburgers in Austin, Texas

Mel's Number 2

On one of my first trips to Austin many years ago, I noticed this place in passing (807 West 6th Street, 512-472-0693). Tonight, I finally had a chance to give it a try, getting that burger above, which featured local Texan longhorn grass-fed beef along with some huge black pepper onion rings. Sure, I liked it, especially when tasting the patty on its own.

It's just too bad then that nearly every burger on the menu was loaded with so many condiments that I can't imagine how one would taste the beef. I got the most minimalist one, which was just pickles and onions, and even then the pickles totally dominated the taste. Next time I should try to get a double patty and see if they can limit it to just onions and mayo.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Tonkotsu Shio Ramen from Machida Shoten

Tonkotsu Shio Ajitama Ramen

Here was the shio version of Machida Shoten's tonkotsu ramen. Yes, I liked it better than the shoyu version, especially with the cube of butter in there. Interestingly, it still needed a dash of black pepper and sesame for it to really take off (despite what the seaweed and garlic oil already did for the bowl), but I gobbled it up quickly either way. It came out of the kitchen pretty quickly too.