Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lee's Sandwiches - San Jose

This location on Santa Clara St in San Jose was supposedly the original location of Lee's Sandwiches before they branched out. It's been a few years since we were last there and the inside has been remodeled. It looked chic and modern. Wood tables and nice digital menu display. A huge mural near the corner with history of the company.

We ordered a #9 banh mi sardine and a banh mi bowl with white rice, lemongrass tofu and Vietnamese dressing. We didn't see this banh mi bowl before so decided to give it a try. It's a custom order bowl similar to Chipotle. Pick your carb (jasmine white rice, brown rice, etc), pick your protein (pork, chicken, etc) add a sauce or for $1.5 add an extra. The base price was $7.95. This wasn't very economy compared to the huge banh mi that only cost $4.95.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Na Rak O Resort - Chiang Rai, Thailand

We were going to stay at the same hotel we did ten years ago Wangcome which was located close to the night bazaar. But as it turned out the rate for that hotel was around USD 60. For a night or two would probably be fine. But since we were going to be there for 4 nights, I tried to find a cheaper accommodation.

Na Rak O Resort though sounds expensive but it's not exactly a "resort". It's more like a modest hotel with a homely feel to it. Our room was downstairs with a small common area for snacks and tea. Upstairs got more rooms with a tiny pantry area serves as breakfast place where guests can prepare their own breakfast in the morning.

Revisited again : Cheon Joo Young-Yang Dolsot

This was the third time we visited this restaurant. At this time we have decided that the strength of this restaurant was in their not very typical Korean restaurant menu. Come here for the stews or jeongol (casseroles) because you won't be able to find it else where.

I was going to order the beef and octopus casserole (bul nak ji jeongol) but didn't see it on the menu anymore. So we went with seafood casserole instead (hae mul jeongol).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Get Wet At Songkran Celebration in Thailand

I guess that's how we looked like getting splashed from bystanders
We arranged our trip to Thailand to coincide with the Thai new year celebration Songkran. What I didn’t know was Songkran was such a huge celebration there for the local and of course for the visitors like us.

We were in Chiang Mai on the first day of new year.  The biggest mall there (Maya) had set up this huge stage along with huge screen and was testing their sound systems getting ready for the celebration. At the same time, the hotel at the catty corner already started the celebration with loud music blaring and a crowd of hundreds of people dancing and getting sprayed with water coming out of a hose every so often.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Masala Toast

Was doing research on Indian food when I stumbled across this recipe from Tarla Dalal on Youtube. I was intrigued and decided that I need to make it myself to find out what it tasted like. The recipe below was a simplified version. The original version can be found here.

Garlic green chutney

Yield : 4 toast

Ingredients :
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped coriander
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1 tbsp roughly chopped garlic
2 tbsp roughly chopped green chillies
salt to taste
a few drops of lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Using a food processor, blend all the above ingredients until it resembles a paste similar to the consistency of yogurt. Set it aside.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dee Dee's - Santa Clara

A mixture of rice and different dishes with puri on the side
Last weekend we were contemplating on what food to eat. And while checking out Indian buffet we came across Dee Dee's. I was surprised to see how close the restaurant to our house. And then a light bulb suddenly turned on. We passed by this restaurant before and there were lots of people waiting outside. Intrigued by the good reviews we decided that we need to check it out.

By the time we got there it was passed 1 pm. I thought the line shouldn't be too long. Wrong. There were at least 20 people waiting outside. The restaurant was kind of tiny. Probably fit like 30 people.

We waited like about 40 minutes before we got our table. The buffet selection were not bad. I couldn't name any of those dishes though because I was unfamiliar with them. I recognized those puffy crunchy hollow cracker thingy which later on I found out were called mini poori or puri.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Thai Breakfast - Thailand

khao soy - northern style curry based noodle soup
When we were in Thailand our hotels both in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai didn't offer breakfast. So every morning we went out to look for food. So what kind of breakfast do we normally come across ?

Noodle soup
There are quite a few types of noodle soup. When we were in Chiang Mai I got the tom yum noodle soup with the wide rice noodle. The soup was clear pork (?) broth with fish ball, minced pork  and fried wonton skin and chopped celery leaves as topping.
tom yum noodle soup

When we were in Chiang Rai, hubby had khao soy which was typical to northern Thailand. Khao soy is curry based noodle soup with topping like crispy noodle. The curry broth wasn't very rich but more on the lighter side.
fish ball soup with rice noodle

Also in Chiang Rai, I had the fish ball soup with some clear broth served with rice noodle. In a quite a few places, they actually offer different types of noodle. So choose wisely. I normally like it with the thin rice stick. Though the fresh wide noodle was also nice.

Stir fry noodle
Pad thai was probably the most popular Thai noodle dish known to Americans. But it's just one of so many other stir fry noodle in Thailand. I did try pad thai once just to see how the real one supposed to taste like. It's different from the American version. It wasn't as sweet and color was more lighter instead of hint of reddish.
pad thai - lacked of chives ?

Hubby normally like the rad na which was served with the fresh wide noodle topped of with sauce.

rat na with abundant sauce

Friday, May 6, 2016

Orenchi Ramen - Santa Clara

Okonomiyaki fries
One of a few things that I sort of craved after we came back from our two weeks trip was ramen. So this past weekend we finally were able to get our hands on the famous Orenchi ramen in Santa Clara. I said famous because I couldn't wait for the long line on my first visit.

This time we got there like around 11:20 and there were quite a lot of people already. Mind you, they were not open yet until 11:30 but they allowed patrons to come and put names on wait list. And there were at least 40 people in front of us on the wait list. But don't worry, once the restaurant was open, the line moved pretty fast. We were seated like around 12:15 and got our food around 12:30. So allow at least one hour for wait. Don't go there too hungry because you'll be miserable.