Sunday, September 25, 2016

Atsugiri Tonkatsu Agedoki at Suntec's Eat at Seven

Loin Set

Yet another shop has opened at Eat at Seven (3 Temasek Boulevard #03-311, 6333-4386), this time extending out past Kohaku and into the atrium. They specialize in tonkatsu, and it was a lot better than I thought it would be, with that thick cut of loin being particularly juicy, all surrounded by crunchy breadcrumbs. It was also tasty enough to eat on its own, or perhaps with just a dab of salt. In fact, the only thing that I didn't like about this place was the sauce. But I'd eat here again.

US Epilogue: Two Cans of Spiced Sardines

From Top: Nuri Brand Spiced Portuguese Sardines and Flower Brand Moroccan Spiced Sardines

I saw these at a market in the US earlier this month and picked up a couple of cans to try. What's interesting is that despite these two seemingly coming from two different vendors and countries, the list of ingredients is nearly identical all the way down to the punctuation. Either way, the Portuguese one on top was the more interesting one for me, as it was more tender and tasty. The Moroccan one underneath featured bigger, firmer sardines, and it somehow didn't taste as good, even if the ingredients seemed pretty similar.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Japan's Akasaka Yukun at Shaw Centre, Singapore

Unagi Seiro Mushi 1 Layer

You know that Food Republic food court down in the basement of Lido? It's a bit cavernous, and thus not very obvious that there are stalls in the back. Well, now five stalls in the back have collectively formed Japan Foods Garden (1 Scotts Road #B1-01, 6493-7300). This is not to be confused with Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria, despite the fact that that the latter is run by Isetan and yet the former is next door to Isetan.

One of the stalls was this unagi shop from Japan that has been around since 1952. They specialize in unagi, and fortunately that one-layer seiro above was 50% off its usual S$28.80 (US$21.20) price. They weren't super generous with the unagi, but it did the job. I kinda liked the earthy-flavored rice underneath too.

Having said that, I'm not going to make any effort to come back, especially if they finally start charging the full S$28.80. It's really still just a food court at the end of the day, and at those kinds of prices, I'd rather just go to a proper unagi shop. None of the other stalls here looked very appetizing either; to be honest, they looked like boring old Food Republic stalls more than anything else.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tacos la Morenita on Senter Road in San Jose

Tripas Tacos

This was a random taco truck that we spotted along the side of the road, figuring that it'd make for a convenient snack (1704 Senter Road, 408-660-6075). The good thing was that they fried that tripe above so that it was nice and crispy, but all of the salsas were surprisingly mild. It nonetheless made for just the meal that we needed, especially when they had a Mexican fruit stall next to it too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Oren's Hummus Shop in Cupertino, California

Clockwise from bottom: hummus mushrooms, untraditional tabule, Oren's eggplant, cauliflower fries

This was the hummus shop that I saw in downtown Palo Alto the other day; they've opened up an outlet at the new Main Street Cupertino (19419 Stevens Creek Boulevard Suite #100, 408-982-5832). It was a well decorated place with a nice breeze passing through, and their cauliflower fries in particular were delicious. That Israeli Goldstar lager was very drinkable too.

It's too bad then that both the hummus and pita bread were a letdown. To be sure, we still polished through it all, especially with some of that potent green chili sauce that they had on the side. But for a shop that was dedicated to hummus, I was expecting it as well as their pita bread to blow me away, and they didn't.

Worse, the service was totally crumbling under the weight of the lunch crowd today. There were tons of staff, but somehow we kept getting ignored. Yes, they seemed really busy, but there were also still other empty tables around. Maybe it's because they are still relatively new.

Rick's Cafe in Downtown Los Altos, California

Corned Beef and Hash

I was in the neighborhood this morning and figured that I'd swing by this place in downtown Los Altos (205 State Street, 650-559-1941), especially since they are only open for breakfast and lunch. I got this corned beef and hash served the "old way," meaning that the corned beef was separate from the hash. I kinda liked this better since the taste of the corned beef became a lot more obvious.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mahalo Hawaii BBQ & Chinese Food in San Jose

Mini Loco Moco and Spam Musubi

This Hawaiian takeout place was a totally random stop (4750 Almaden Expressway, 408-269-8793) where I picked up a mini loco moco plate and a Spam musubi. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I left the place feeling satisfied, but that brown gravy was better than I thought it would be.

My First Taste of Vegan Phở and Gỏi Cuốn

Vegan Phở and Gỏi Cuốn

I've been eating too much red meat lately, so I figured maybe this would be a good chance to try the phở and gỏi cuốn from a vegan place called Loving Hut here in California. To my surprise, they didn't taste as bad as you might think they would. And while it was obvious that mushrooms and tofu took the place of the beef, everything else actually tasted pretty close to the real thing. It was only afterwards did I realize that this is a global chain, including a Singapore outlet in Joo Chiat.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Khanh's Restaurant in San Jose, California

Bánh Hỏi Chạo Tôm Thịt

I was told that this Vietnamese place (335 South Winchester Boulevard, 408-241-4940) was known for good DIY rice paper rolls, so we came down here and ordered that plate above along with some requisite bowls of phở. The latter was fine, but I was pretty let down by the former. Those gigantic cuts of grilled pork were so lean and dry that it was almost like eating cardboard (I must be getting spoiled by Wrap & Roll). If we end up here again, then I have to remember to try their bánh xèo instead.

Mo's Breakfast + Burger Joint from Campbell, California

Mo's All American Classic

As the name suggests, this place specializes in breakfast and burgers. We thus came down to its new Almaden Valley location (5925 Almaden Expressway, 408-997-1667) for breakfast. To my surprise, they were serving nearly their entire menu in the morning, so I ended up getting a burger (cue: Samuel L. Jackson). It tasted like a typical restaurant burger: it was meaty, but also overshadowed by the tons of veggies in there. Still, this place looks like it'd be fun to come to for drinks one afternoon. I thought I saw a Bloody Mary featuring an onion ring and small beer as a chaser.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Getting My First Ice Cream Taco

The Cream Taco

I'll confess, it was the word "taco" that got my attention. We actually saw a food truck yesterday offering ice cream tacos but never got one. So when I saw them on available at an outlet of CREAM, Inc. today, I figured that this was a chance to give it a try. I was a bit bummed then when I realized that it was basically just a banana split, but with a waffle in place of the banana. Sure, the ice cream here was still good, but next time I'll get their ice cream sandwiches rather than the taco.

Umami Burger in Palo Alto, California

Umami Burger

Umami Burger has opened an outlet in downtown Palo Alto, and we stopped by since we were in the neighborhood already anyway (452 University Avenue, 650-321-8626). It wasn't as good as I remember it being. Sure, it was very umami with all of the cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms inside, but it almost seemed kinda forced. In retrospect, we should've gone to some of those other places that I saw on University Avenue like that hummus shop or the farm to table restaurant. The skinny fries here were pretty good though.