Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Durian Moon Cake

The Mid Autumn Festival is coming this weekend. Every year we always get a small tin can of moon cake just to feel like we haven't totally forgotten the festival. I'm not a dessert kind of person so mostly hubby will finish them off and me just trying a small piece here and there.
A few weeks ago as I was strolling at Marina grocery store in Cupertino looking at different kinds of moon cake I came across durian moon cake. How cool can that be ? DURIAN moon cake. Wow..I wonder what it taste like. I wanted to get it right there right then but I wasn't sure how well hubby will take it. He wasn't with me at that time and since he is the one who usually eat the moon cake I have to make sure that he wants it also.

So we went back to the store a couple of nights ago. Grabbed it from the freezer section ...took a a look around the can. The can wasn't sealed so we opened it and ..whoa....the durian smell came out strong...It's like opening pandora's box, we quickly closed it again just in case somebody might come sniffing on us thinking we were the source of the smell.
When we reached home, we took one of the cakes out and threw the rest in a paper bag and freezer they went. One stab on the cake and hubby knew it was half frozen. Each of us took a small piece and put it in our mouth. tasted just like eating the real durian. It didn't feel like eating moon cake with durian fragrant, it was the durian itself that we ate. I could swear I actually tasted the durian texture. wasn't too sweet and the skin was thin it didn't feel like eating cake at all. But for four pieces of cake the cost of $22 was too high. We could get a lot more real durian spending that amount of money.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Style - Korean Drama

Last week when I was home alone, looking to start a new series of Korean drama I stumbled upon Style. I wasn't gonna watch it because it is still showing in Korea that means it's going to take a while to show up one by one here. I hate not be able to watch it continuosly. By the time you wait till the next episode out you forgot what happened the last episode. But I gave it a try anyway because of Ryu Si Won. I liked him so much in Wedding (with Jang Na Ra). They made such a cute couple. You can see the chemistry between two of them.

Ryu Si Won didn't look as cute as he was in Wedding. Well, Wedding was produced in 2005. Hey..people do get old. Ryu plays Seo Woo Jin - a macrobiotic chef that just came back from New York. The other characters were Park Gi Ja - the fierce editor of Style magazine, Kim Min Joon - the photographer and also Park's lover, and the emotional Lee Seo Jeong - the assistant girl that wanted to be an editor.

The story line goes around the cat fight for the position as Chief Editor of Style magazine and throw in a bit family feud. We get to see how a magazine is produced from searching for articles all the way to getting it printed.

As not all episodes are out yet I don't know whether I'm going to continue watching this. I can't quite handle watching Ryu Si Won wearing his bright blue suit with white pants no matter whether you call it designer clothing. Or watching Park (the editor) wearing weird clothing in the name of fashion.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wow Noodle - San Jose

Hubby found this restaurant on the Metro Newspaper (?) recently. Then he looked it up on yelp to find out more information. And there we were this afternoon checking it out.

The location on First St isn't exactly convenient for people who drive there. First St on that part of town is one way because of the light rail. So we had to park about two blocks away and walked there. Of course another alternative was to park on a paid parking lot at the corner of First and San Fernando.

Restaurant was empty when we went there and as we stood there looking at menu nobody came and greeted us or tried to talked us in. ha..ha..Maybe they figured we'll be going in anyway why bother. And also there was no other restaurant near by if I remembered it correctly. Anyhow we went in and were seated on a booth. We kinda knew what we wanted to try but still looking at the menu to see whether we would change our mind. Hubby got pad see ew and I ordered house special noodle with chicken. The waitress left with our order and I asked hubby why he didn't tell the waitress what kind of meat he wanted with his pad see ew. And why the waitress didn't ask either ? Later the waitress came back to check on us and hubby told her that he wanted his pad see ew with chicken.

The pad see ew looked good and tasted good. Not oily but it could be more spicy. My noodle soup wasn't too special. The noodle was rice noodle like the one used for pho. Soup was surprisingly spicy for my taste so that was the plus. But other than that, there was nothing much in the soup. A bunch of chicken breast meat, a bit of bean sprout, a few pieces of celery chunk and fried garlic. That's it. I actually thought that the picture of that special noodle soup showed meat balls and imitation crab. So when I looked at that plain noodle soup I was a bit disappointed.
Hubby finished his pad see ew and was looking for more. There was another girl that brought our order. So I asked her if there was rad na on their menu. She told us no but could make it for us. So we went ahead and ordered. The same with our previous order, she asked how spicy he wanted it.
The rad na came out on a bowl. It had a bit more gravy than we usually see on rad na. This one looked almost like a noodle soup. The noodle didn't have any hint of smoky flavour so I think it wasn't even fried at all. All in all we didn't like rad na as much as the other orders.

The restaurant didn't provide chilly or anything to spice up your food on their table. So it's really hard to get the most out of it. And for me who like to customize my noodle soup I didn't have that opportunity at all. I guess they wanted the feel to be like cafe instead of regular noodle restaurant. The ambiance was nice with nice music and interesting decor. There was a big wall waterfall in shape of a Thai lady across from where we sat.

Wow Noodle 78 S. First St, San Jose, CA 95133 *(408) 279-0881

Friday, September 18, 2009

Monty Python's Spamalot - San Jose Center for Performing Arts

After a few unfortunate events the previous night we made it to San Jose Center for Performing Arts. Thanks to a few very understanding people at Broadway San Jose and to KLIV we were able to enjoy Monty Python's Spamalot on their second day perfomance. We got there around 6:45 pm and went straight to the box office to get our tickets. Then we went out and sort of sitting around outside watching people. I thought we would be the youngest patrons that night just by looking at majority people that showed up already. But we were wrong, more and more people came as the time was getting closer to the show time.

We went in the theatre about 7:15 to give us enough time to look for our seats. We got seats at row 11 and turned out to be very good seats. I guess they weren't kidding when they said we'll be given best seats. Then I looked around and noticed the theatre were packed. As far as I could turned my head around, there were no empty seats. I guess it's because they will only be showing for about one week here in San Jose.
A little bit after 7:30 the lights dimmed and the audience all paid attention to the stage. I'm not going to tell much about the story line here. Most of the funny part was either part of the act or the songs. The play moved smoothly from one scene to another and there was no dull moment. Before we knew it was end of part one. And I enjoyed it so far though I had some difficulties understanding the jokes when it's part of a song.

There was a scene when King Arthur and his knights were dancing around 'the round table' that looks like the wheel from Wheel Of Fortune complete with the sound like the slot machine. They made fun of Jews, gays, Christians, French etc. I hope everybody can just laugh it off just like one woman behind us and not get offended by anything. I enjoyed it so much and so was hubby. It was my first musical performance. I was worry that hubby might not like it because he didn't show that much of excitement to begin with.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Series of Unfortunate Events

I have my plan lay out today. Stopped by the radio station to pick up my tickets/voucher to the Monty Python's Spamalot and then train station to pick up hubby. I won the tickets a week ago but haven't had chance to pick them up yet. By the time I picked up the voucher I was surprised to know that the voucher was for the show that same night. I were to pick up the ticket at San Jose Convention Center and the show was starting at 7:30. I called hubby and he was still in San Francisco ! And where the hell is San Jose Convention Center ??

Seriously at that moment I wish I had one of those smart phones. I called my bro in East Coast - no answer. I was going to have him look up Google for me. :) I flipped through my address book and found another friend. Finally I got the address and was about to get going. Hubby called back. He said he believed his train just hit a car. What ??!! Are you for real ? Anybody injured, I asked. He didn't know yet because nobody around him seemed to even realize it. He'll keep me posted meanwhile I'd try to go pick up my tickets and see whether they could change them to tomorrow night show instead.

Hubby called after five minutes. The train conductor just confirmed the accident and the train stopped somewhere in Redwood City now. He didn't know yet how they were going to transport the passengers.

I finally made it to San Jose Convention Center based on the address given to me and my good old paper map. Talking about technology. Who needs those ? There was nobody around. No lines out the door even though I was prepared for that. I was looking for anybody to ask when I saw the posted working hours. Crap ! They closed at 5 pm and I looked at my cell phone. It was 5:07. Great. Now what ?

We made it home around 7 pm. Had we had the tickets for that night performance, we wouldn't be able to make it. Later we found out that the driver of that unfortunate car died instantly. He stopped for the emergency vehicle and the train ran into him. Why didn't he notice the signal for the coming train? Nobody had the answer to it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

International Gourmet Buffet - San Jose

Updated 12/18/2011
We passed by about a month ago and this place has already been closed down.


This establishment opened about more than one month ago. We passed by one day when we we were going to Ross/Target in the same shopping mall (The Plant). At that time they were not open yet and we couldn't wait for it to open. When it finally opened, their reviews on Yelp weren't convincing so our curiosity kinda ebbed away. Then last week, hubby won a free meal voucher for two for this restaurant and we got excited to have a chance to try it.

From reviews on Yelp, patrons were complaining about the price that was too expensive for the selections available. The first thing we noticed when we got there was the Sunday Brunch for $12.99. It was available from 9 am to 3:30 pm. We went there around 12:30 hoping to catch a bigger lunch crowd but the place wasn't packed.

We were seated on a huge sofa booth that was set up for six which we appreciated. But we were wondering why the hostess seated us there considering there were a few four seats tables available. We noticed later a family wanted to seat on the same booth setting and had to wait for one to be cleaned up for them. The decor of the restaurant was nice and looked expensive. The furniture don't look like those regular buffet restaurant but more like those white table cloth establishments. There was also a bar there which I don't know how exactly it works on a buffet setting. Later on we found out that Sunday Brunch price of $12.99 includes champagne. The place looks bigger from outside but inside wasn't that big. They also have some patio seatings which work out well on a nice day.

Okay enough about decor and setting and let's talk about food. Because the ambiance and decor could only get you so far if the food doesn't even support it. That's how we felt about this place. There were only two rows of food and a small area against the wall with little muffins, croissant and bagels. There was a set up for omelette to order but I only saw the guy manning it every now and then. Not too many people seemed to be interested in it. The first row of food was meat/poultry/fish and cooked food. The second row was salad/fruit and dessert.
For my first plate I took vegetable lasagna, chicken kebob, chicken fajitas, and salmon. The lasagna looked kinda of dry so I put some marinara sauce on it. Chicken kebob and chicken fajitas was good and tasted freshly made. Baked salmon was fresh but dry and tasteless.
There were not too many selections for soups. There were menudo and another weird looking soup. I chose menudo because it was labeled but the other wasn't. Hubby chose the other and surely enough it tasted as weird as it looked. It had lentils, spinach and noodle. Hmm..I don't know why they don't go by more safe (read: common) soup like chicken noodle soup or minestrone soup. My second plate I decided to check out the other row of food. I got some usual lettuce and potato salad. One scooped of marinated mushroom, two dolmades and shirazi salad. I love mushrooms so the marinated mushroom tasted fine to me. I can't say much about the dolmades because I haven't eaten enough to know how it supposed to taste like. Same thing with the shirazi salad which was chopped cucumber and tomato salad with some spice. The shirazi tasted good actually but I found it a bit oily. The dessert was very questionable. None of them were labeled. There was a platter of cut bananas with gooey syrup. Hmm.. I picked one that looked like donut (or Italian donut) but tasted stale. I picked something looked like baklava but it was a bit too sweet for me. Hubby picked up two different balls, one brown and one white but they both tasted horrible. We laughed at it and felt like we were in one of Andrew Zimmern shows. :)
The waiter was attentive and stopped by a couple of times to asked how we were doing. But I was surprised the first time she stopped by she didn't offer to take my dirty plate away. She also didn't offer to get us more water which I think was fine since we didn't drink that much. I just don't understand if she made an effort to stop by and asked, why didn't she offer to get us water ?

International Gourmet Buffet at The Plant Shopping Mall
101 Curtner Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 (408) 564-6778