Thursday, December 22, 2011

Leftover from Bali Trip

This trip didn't happen just recently it was waaay back in summer. I happened to stumbled upon these pictures and decided to post them up. Some eating places we stopped by on our short trip to Bali, Indonesia this summer.

* Babi Guling Ibu Oka *
Heard the name babi guling (suckling pig) before but never thought of trying it out until it was featured on one of Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservation.

Deluxe platter (served with soup)

Very nice color soup

Suckling pig - combo platter
The location we went to wasn't the original location. This one was kinda out in the suburb of Ubud and the place was more touristy. Maybe that's why the items weren't as good as we expected ? The combo platter came with rice, slices of suckling pig, pig skin, greens, fried 'stuffs'. The pig skin was chewy and not crispy at all. I could imagine if it had been crispy we would be convinced of the popularity of this restaurant. But sad as it is, I came to conclusion that other location of that restaurant may have served a fresher suckling pig to Bourdain.
Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Jalan Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud - Bali, Indonesia

* Bebek Bengil *
When you're in Ubud, make sure to stop by this restaurant. It had changed quite a lot since the last time I've been there about a decade ago ! ha..ha..

Banana pie with ice cream

Bebek Jambul Putih
This time there we stopped by only for the view because that's what reminded of this place. Avoid sitting in the front facing the road and asked to be seated towards the back where you could see the paddy field. Since we were still full from the suckling pig, we only ordered banana pie with vanilla ice cream and Bebek Jambul Putih (which literally means white crested duck). The banana pie was the best I've tasted. Never quite fond of pie before but banana pie there was really good. The white crested duck thingy was some sort of dessert the local usually call es puter which taste like ice cream and has consistency like half melted ice cream. It usually has pieces of jackfruit but the taste was so reminded me of my childhood dessert.

Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner)
Jalan Sugriwa , Ubud - Bali, Indonesia

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pacific Catch - Campbell

Our office has tradition of going out for holiday dinner each year. I have been the one to make arrangement and also reservations. And most of the time I also get to choose the place since democracy in my office sometimes also means democrazy. Nothing will get done when everybody has their own opinions. :) So I volunteered myself as the dictator and made the decision for them. This year I chose a new restaurant that was just opened a couple of months ago. The idea came from my coworker, the same one that told me about Patxi's.

But Pacific Catch isn't really new in business. They have a few other locations in the Bay Area. I made the reservation through Open Table and got 7:45 pm. But a few days before the H day I called to see if I could change it to 7 and they gladly changed it for me. That was awesome. I was surprised though since I thought they'd be very busy.

When we got there the restaurant was busy but there was no line of people waiting. We waited just a little bit for them to get our table ready. The special that day was cod. But me and my other coworker were already set on the crab feast which was also the special through January 8.

For appetizers we shared Cabo Calamari, Pacific Catch Trio and Thai Coconut Shrimp. Later on we added Inside Out which is the sushi rolls with California roll inside and spicy tuna outside. The calamari and coconut shrimp were good but not impressive. The highlight was the Pacific Catch Trio which consisted of Baja shrimp ceviche, Hawaiian poke and Peruvican ceviche. All three were fresh and very tasty even for some of us who don't usually enjoy eating uncooked fish.

I ordered their whole crab which was on special right now as part of their crab feast. It was whole dungeness crab pan fried and served with garlic noodle. The crab was lightly seasoned so I could taste the sweetness of the crab meat but still has a bit flavor of garlic. It was sooo awesome. I was also provided with some garlic melted butter but I am not fans of melted butter so I totally skipped that.

Their crab chowder was also good. Served on a bowl with scattered crab meat on top. It's rich and bursting with flavor. If digging in the crab isn't your thing, at least give this crab chowder a try.

The other dish that also caught my attention was the swordfish with grilled zucchini and corn on the cob with some green sauce on the side. It was served with sweet potato fries. I so wanted to go back and check this dish out myself.

The rest of the table ordered the island tacos with different combinations. Choose fom crispy True Cod, spice rubbed mahi-mahi, spice rubbed chicken, crispy shrimp or marinated grilled steak. That's also on my list to try for my next visit. ha..ha..

Since we went there as a group, we had chances to try out different desserts. We got the mochi fondue, fried dulce de leche 'spring rolls' and macadamia nut brownie. The mochie fondue was a platter of three mochi with some hot chocolate dipping on the side. The 'spring rolls' as it's called did look like a spring roll served with ice cream. And the macadamia nut brownie was rich. I am not big fans of anything sweet so I gave them a try but I didn't really enjoy any of those. But the rest of the group agreed that the desserts were good.

Pacific Catch
1875 S Bascom Ave, Ste 550 Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 879-9091

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gamjatang (Korean style pork bone soup)

Inspired by our reason visit to Jang Mo Jib when we were in Vancouver, I decided to make my own version of gamjatang. These links are my main sources for the recipe which I combined to make my own :

Even though the name is gamjatang (gamja - potato; tang - soup), the main ingredient is pork bone. It's hard to find pork spine bone so I settled with whatever pork bones I could find. As long as they come with meat instead of just bones. It does take long time to boil the bones. Give yourself around 3 hours time to cook. So if you're preparing it for dinner, get it started earlier or else it will end up as supper. :)

Ingredients :
For soup base :
2 lbs of pork bones
6 cloves of garlic
1 thumb of ginger
10 whole black pepper
1/2 green onion
2 dried shiitake mushroom

For stew :
1/2 napa cabbage
1 medium size bowl of kimchee
1 lb soy bean sprout
1 medium size yukon gold potato
1-2 serrano chilli
1-2 green onion (green parts only)
3-4 perilla leaves

Sauce :
3 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs hot pepper flake
3 tbs rice wine
3 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs kikkoman soy sauce
1 tbs belachan mix (South East Asia style shrimp paste with chilli)
2 tbs Korean hot bean paste (gochujang)

Put the bones in a big pot and covered it with cold water. Make sure the bones will only take up half of the pot. Just because we are going to add more stuffs to it later so reserve enough room in the pot. Put 1/2 ts coffee powder. This supposedly helps to get rid of the smell of pork bones. Put the pot on the stove under high heat. Bring it to a boil and turn it off. Using a colander, pour the bones and water into the colander. Then rinse the bones under cold water. Make sure to wash off all the scums/blood that may stick to the bones. Pour the bones onto a bowl. Meanwhile wash the pot clean. And then put the bones back in the clean pot.

Put all other ingredients for the soup base into the pot with about 10 cups of water. Turn on the stove at medium to high heat. Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium low just enough for the soup to simmer.
Make sure you set the alarm to check every 30 minutes. Let the soup simmer for about 2-2.5 hours.

While waiting for the soup to get ready. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients for sauce.

Also get the greens ready for the stew. Slice the perilla leaves about 1/2 inch wide. Cut the green parts of the green onions about 1.5 inch long. Wash about 1 small bowl of soy bean sprout. Cut 4-5 leaves of napa cabbage about 1 inch wide and 3 inch long.

Peel the potato and cut into 1.5 x 1.5 inch cube. Boil in cold water with a dash of salt until half cooked. Drain the water and set aside.

After 2.5 hours, turn of the stove. Depends on how many people you're preparing the gamjatang for. If you're feeding like 4-6 people, you could use up the whole pot. Since we're only feeding two people. I used another medium size pot and laddle soup from the big pot along with the pork bones. Be careful not to scoop up the onion or ginger etc. Fill half the medium size pot with the soup and bones then arrange the veggies, kimchee and potatoes in the pot as well. Put about 3-4 tbs of the premix sauce in the pot. Slowly mix them well and let it boil for about 10-15 minutes to get all the veggies cook through and the sauce mix well into the soup. Now you're ready to enjoy your gamjatang. It can be served with rice and banchan (Korean style side dish.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Patxi's - Campbell

Found out about this pizza place from a co-worker at work. Me and hubby love Chicago Pizza and their deep dish style pizza. But since they only have two locations and none close to home so it's only once in a blue moon that we go out of the way to get the pizza.

Patxy's is located at the Pruneyard shopping center. The parking there could be tricky during weekends and especially closer to holiday now. Get ready to fight with those shoppers that go to Marshalls or Trader Joe's.

We called in the order ahead of time and ordered our pizza and just stopped by to pick it up. It was a nice day so we had packed our drinks and planned on having pizza picnic in the park. The order took about 35 minutes to be ready. By the time we got there the pizza was all ready to be devoured.

I didn't pay attention but hubby did make a point that there were almost more employees working than the guests. We were greeted at the door and then pointed to the cashier. A girl at the cashier area asked for my name and went to pick up the order. I handed her the cash but she pointed me to another man who walk over to take my cash and rang me up. Very confusing. We were out pretty quick but then again another guy that looked like waiter said good bye to us on the way out. Wow..

Let's get to the pizza. It was a spicy bacon cheeseburger on Chicago style deep dish pizza. When I opened the box the only thing that caught my attention was the amount of tomato sauce on the pizza. It was all covered up with sauce and the jalapeno was scattered on top of it. The crust didn't taste like bread. It was more like pie ! And as we bit into it, we could taste the bacon and the mince meat in it.

It's different from Pizza Chicago that we tried before even though both claimed to be Chicago style pizza. And I can't say that I like this one better. The amount of tomato sauce kinda of make the pizza taste like tomato pie. It's just not proportional with the toppings and crust.

1875 South Bascom Ave, Suite 405

The Pruneyard Shopping Center
(408) 559-0700