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Japan - Tokyo

If there’s one place that will never fail in providing good food, it is Japan. I cannot think of anywhere I’ve been to in this country where I’ve had a bad food experience. Not even convenience stores. I look forward to eating in this lovely country every summer when I come back. Of course I look forward to other things that this country has to offer but I don’t think anything beats the food scene here. I’ve tried taking pictures of almost everything I’ve eaten here so far. So here we go.

First night, we went to a 居酒屋. Kind of like a bar but you don’t have to be of age and they serve lots of food there, and not just drinks.

Brioled fish

Sashimi

Japanese-style pulled pork with poached egg and radish

This was at an Italian restaurant. But nowhere on the menu will you find dishes with 384229 calories, slathered in cheese and heavy sauce. Simple, refreshing, and just the right amount of food,

Seafood risotto in tomato-cream sauce

Asakusa, a neighborhood in Tokyo, has many vendors selling 人形焼(ningyouyaki) - sweet red bean paste inside a kind of sponge-cake. These were hot and fresh off the 人形焼-maker. Mmmmmm.

Went to a buffet. They had Chinese, Japanese, and Western food (which is pretty much American food)

Round 1 (Bean sprouts flavored in sesame oil, shrimp in chili paste, dumplings, chicken stir fried with veggies…They had a line and even ropes to form the line for the roast beef…)

Round 2 (tempura, quiche, salmon, oven baked fish, shumai, duck, some sort of sausage stew..)

Round 3 (I wanted to try Japanese pizza to see if it was any different. Umm I had another helping of some salmon. And some katsudon. And a bowl of corn cream soup.)

And of course, dessert. (Matcha cake, peach mousse cake, sponge cake with fruits and whip cream, dango with sweet red bean paste)

7/29 - For lunch today, we had monjayaki. Tokyo is where this dish originated from, so of course we had to have some here.

You get to pick your toppings, and we chose mochi, cheese, and babystar ramen. Sounds weird? Yeah. Tastes awesome? Hell yeah. One of the ladies at the restaurant made it for us at our table, and we use a tiny little spatula to scoop some up from the hot pan. 

We went to a traditional Japanese restaurant for dinner tonight. Everything was so. GOOD. And the presentation was so beautiful.

Crab and cabbage salad

Sesame tofu

Dashimaki

Octopus and taro root stewed in soy sauce broth

Boiled asparagus with miso and mayo sauce - simple but amazingly delicious

Smashed taro root and crab, fried

Sponge roll cake with matcha chocolate - cd;oina;wenfaroj so good.

Matcha cheesecake

Tokyo, you’ve treated me well with your good food. Next stop - Oita, my hometown. On to the next one…

Gojo - Aurora

My mom’s friend is Ethiopian, and I tried her homemade Ethiopian food once. I remember it being really good, but I can’t remember much of the flavors except for the fact that everything was eaten with purple sourdough-tortilla-like bread. So I made it a goal for me to try Ethiopian food again in Seattle, since there are a good number of them here.

We tried Gojo in Aurora. Their menu consisted of meat and vegetarian dishes, but what seemed to be the best deal was their meat combination and veggie combination. Since we had four people in our group, we figured it might be a good amount of food if we ordered one of each combination. 

This is a lot bigger than how it appears in the picture. Each side was about two good handfuls, and this came with about 16 rolls of the injera (bread). The way to eat this is to rip pieces of the bread and pick up the dishes with it. I know a lot of people complain about how sour the bread is, but I found it to be really good and went with the side dishes really well. The spices used in the dishes really reminded me of Indian spices, and some of them were pretty spicy. The cheese (the white stuff on the far end) was a nice compliment to the spicy sides. I believe the meat used in the meat dishes were all beef, so I wasn’t a big fan of them (I’m not a big beef eater). But the vegetarian dishes were delicious. Each dish had distinct flavors, and the combo that we ordered was a delightful way to enjoy a little bit of everything. I think that if you’re a fan of Indian food/spices, you’ll definitely like Ethiopian food, and it’s also fun to eat because you get to use your hands!

Their service was attentive and constantly kept checking up on us. The price was amazing, because each combo was about 15 dollars, so in total we paid a little over 30 dollars. Split that between four people and it’s about 8 bucks per person, which is a really good deal considering how much food you get (it’s a lot…we couldn’t finish it). Consider coming here if you’re open-minded about food and looking for a fun, cheap place to eat!

Happy eating,

N.

B.F.D.

My housemate Ellen and I came up with a brilliant idea: incorporate chai into pancakes.

So we steeped two chai tea bags and added it to pancake batter.

….It smelled like chai but it didn’t taste like chai. :(

We went at it again. This time, we wanted to try chai french toast, with chai concentrate instead of chai tea bags. And then we thought, well, if we’re making french toast, why not make a whole breakfast MEAL?? Breakfast food is the best kind of food, after all. 

So we did. And we made it for dinner. 

Best breakfast-for-dinner meal I’ve ever had? Yes, I do believe so.

Folks, this meal was pretty damn close to being Portage Bay Cafe-level. Yuuup, it was that good. Or maybe I thought so because we made it. But either way, it was delicious. And I am willing to share with you our super chai french toast recipe here. 

Um. To tell you the truth, we didn’t really use a recipe, because that’s how real good cooks roll. But for a whole loaf of challah bread, we used:

6 eggs
2 cups of milk
However much vanilla extract, cinnamon, and other spices you think would be good with chai french toast
1 cup of chai concentrate (the ones that come in cartons). And for every cup of chai, we put in 1 egg. But one cup of chai was enough.

And there you have it. Serve with honey/agave butter, powdered sugar, or eat it just by itself, because it’s that good.

Along with the french toast, we made breakfast sweet potatoes & potatoes, fruit salad, bacon, and parmesan scrambled eggs. It took us 3 hours to make everything since everything was in huge quantities but our hard work was well worth it. 

Okay Josh, you can make fun of me for writing a food blog about this now.

Happy eating,

N. :)

Honey Vanilla Challah

I tested my bread-making skills for the first time the other day. And I’m not going to lie, it turned out fantastic. :)

Well, it was perhaps because I chose an easy bread to make, but nevertheless, I was proud of myself. I decided to make honey vanilla challah. Not for religious reasons obviously but because…well, it looked good. 

The crust is tender but has a nice crisp, while the inside is ridiculously soft and delicate. And the sesame seeds add a nice flavor, too. This bread would go perfect with jam, or honey butter. But I decided to make french toast out of it the next morning.

Recipe can be found here.

Happy eating.

N

Palisade - Magnolia/Interbay (Elliot Bay Marina)

There are three things to consider when it comes to a good dine-out experience:

1.) Food (freshness, taste, presentation, correct preparation)
2.) Service/atmosphere of the restaurant
3.) Price

Palisade hit the bullseye on all three criteria.  

Of course, the price normally would be way beyond my budget here. But from April 18th through the 29th, Seattle is having a Seattle Restaurant Week, where over 100 local restaurants are serving three course dinners for only $25 (when normally, one entree at these restaurants would be $25). This is an amazing deal for foodies like me. 

I’ve read so many great reviews about this place, but I could really only afford coming here for my birthday since the price range was so high up there. So when I saw that Palisade was on the list of restaurants participating in the Seattle Restaurant Week, I was instantly set on coming here. 

I am so glad I picked this place.

We arrive at a wonderful secluded restaurant, across the water from Alki Beach. Inside runs a little waterfall with various sea creatures swimming around. All around were windows looking out onto the water, with a view of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle. The view was amazing, and I thought sitting by the windows would simply just be a miracle.

After waiting about 10 minutes or so, we got seated….at a table next to the windows. Our dining experience is off to a fantastic start. :)

We ordered our food, and was immediately brought some bread and butter. The bread was warm, soft, and everything you’d want in bread. Shortly after came our appetizer. I ordered the Seasonal Baby Leaf Lettuce, which was a salad with baby leaf lettuce, Walla Walla sweet onions, green beans, cucumber, and baby tomatoes tossed in a herb vinaigrette and served with a “delicate crisp cracker”. 

The vinaigrette was a bit oily for me, but was nonetheless flavorful and the herbs used in it were wonderfully fragrant, not overpowering. The vegetables were fresh, and the Walla Walla sweet onions were, indeed, pleasantly sweet. I could not figure out how the cracker was made, but it was seasoned well with garlic, salt and pepper (or at least, that’s what I tasted). 

Mona and Caitie ordered the Butter Lettuce with Rogue River Blue Cheese, which included baby bibb lettuce with blue cheese, smoked hazelnuts, julienned pear and butter poached colossal prawns. 

I’m usually not a fan of blue cheese, but the pear complimented the cheese so well that the blue cheese did not bother me at all (thanks for letting me taste it, Caitie).

Next came our entrees. Mine and Mona’s: Wagyu sirloin and butter poached prawns, with fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. 

The smoky aroma of the steak and asparagus was absolutely amazing. It adds a whole new flavor to the foods. The steak was perfectly seasoned with butter, salt and pepper. I asked for medium rare, and they grilled it to the definition of what medium rare should be: well done on the outside, and rare enough on the inside but not so rare that it’s bleeding. The prawns were cooked just right; not overcooked. The lentils complimenting the dish were perfect. I don’t know how they cooked it or what they cooked it with, but it was delicious. 

Caitie’s entree: lobster cooked two ways, one poached in Plugra-butter (whatever that is) and served over ravioli, and tempura fried with spicy hollandaise sauce.

How awesome is the presentation?

For dessert, Caitie and I ordered the spiced banana ice cream, topped with homemade candied almond brittle and served with carmelized bananas. 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is definitely in the top five of the best desserts I’ve had in my life. The caramelized bananas were burnt and crispy on the top, much like a creme brulee. It added just the right amount of sweetness to the bananas. And the ice cream. WITH THE CANDIED ALMOND BRITTLE. I didn’t want it to stop. I ate it so slow, savoring each and every spoonful. Who knew banana ice cream would go so well with candied almonds? Words can’t even describe how amazing it was.

Mona’s dessert: Chocolate lover’s cake: chocolate mousse cake with raspberries, chocolate hazelnut ice cream, and mini chocolate truffles with shaved white chocolate: 

(Sorry it’s blurry)

Basically, Palisade is worth your money. Every single penny. 25 dollars for all this amazing food is so worth it, folks. Definitely one of the best dinners I’ve had in Seattle.

Happy Eating! And take advantage of Seattle Restaurant Week!

N

 


Peso’s - Queen Anne

If you haven’t been to Peso’s, then you’ve never had eggs benedicts. No, don’t try to argue with me that you have. Because you haven’t. 

Peso’s, first introduced to me by my lovely friend Caitie, is a nice little Mexican restaurant in Queen Anne. By no means is it authentic Mexican; it has been Americanized to the max. But I’m not here to talk about their Mexican dishes. I’m here to talk about the world’s best eggs benedicts. And it can be found here.

Pictured above is the dungeness crab eggs benedict, with a side of potatoes and pico de gallo (or something like it). This is what I always order when I come here. I’m too much of a pansy to venture off and try something new because this dish is just too damn good. The eggs are poached perfectly. Not too raw, not too cooked. The chipotle Hollandaise sauce is just the right consistency, and adds just the right amount of flavor to the whole dish. The crab is always fresh. The English muffins are soft and never soggy. The avocados are such a great addition (I like avocados with anything, really). The potatoes are seasoned SO well. There’s nothing to complain about the food at Peso’s. It’s just complete bliss in your mouth. 

Don’t tell me this doesn’t make you drool.

I think the only thing that I’d complain about is their service. They don’t like to split checks and kind of give you a nasty glare when you ask them to. When they’re super busy, it’s hard to get the waitress’ attention. 

If you like to save money (who doesn’t?), go during their happy hour on weekdays, from 9 to 11 am. All their dishes are 6 dollars (with some exceptions). But I think even if you don’t go during happy hour, the food is worth every single penny. 

(Note Caitie rolling up her sleeves to tackle her plate, haha. :))

Happy eating! 

N

Please take the damn pastries. I bring home a crapload on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Please take the damn pastries. I bring home a crapload on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Eating in Vancouver, B.C.

This past weekend, we went to Vancouver, B.C. to celebrate the end of winter quarter. So how do we celebrate? We eat, of course. We eat, and eat, and eat, until we get sick of eating. If the amount of food we consumed this past weekend were to be compared to alcohol, we would be in the emergency room due to alcohol poisoning. 

Our adventure started at Shabusen, an all-you-can-eat sushi and Korean B.B.Q restaurant. $12.99/person. 

The fish was amazingly fresh for an all-you-can-eat restaurant. We took full advantage of this and probably ordered more than 20 pieces. They also had sashimi, which usually costs 10 dollars for 6 - 8 pieces. They had an 8-pieces/person limit, so we took full advantage of that too. 

The Korean B.B.Q. could have been better, but I don’t think we should expect much from an all-you-can-eat restaurant anyways. It’s not like we’re going to get unlimited kalbi and bulgogi for $13.99. That would be too good to be true. Besides sushi and B.B.Q, they also had other dishes that we could order an unlimited amount of, such as yakisoba, tonkatsu, tempura, and potstickers. 

The only thing that bothered us was that we had to eat everything we ordered, or else we would get charged extra. So we were trying really hard to eat everything.

Alisa was full. But we made her eat the corn so we wouldn’t get charged because we’re poor college students and every cent counts.

For dinner, we went to Yaohan, a huuuuuge Asian market. They had a food court so we shared some Chinese food, because we were still full from lunch. But I always have room for dessert.

I got chestnut cake. I don’t really know what to say except for the fact that I savored every single bite. It was delicious. The cake was light and airy, the cream was not too rich, and the chestnut cream had flavor but not too much that it overpowered the whole cake. Asian dessert > American dessert, any day. 

The next day, we went to a ramen restaurant called Kintaro. When we got there, the restaurant wasn’t open yet but people were already lined up outside, which was a good sign. I ordered the miso ramen, made from 4 types of miso from different regions of Japan. Apparently it’s the most popular one at this restaurant.

We had the choice of whether we wanted fat or lean pork, and how rich we wanted our broth. I chose lean pork because I usually end up not eating the fat on the pork in ramen anyways, and went with the “normal” broth. The pork was a bit too lean, and it was a bit hard to chew. The portion was huge, which was nice, but I’ve had better ramen, probably because I have been spoiled from eating in Japan. Alisa ordered the cheese ramen:

It’s a little intimidating. But she said she liked it. I think you really gotta love cheese if you want to get this. 

For dinner that night, we went to a Korean restaurant suggested by my friend Lydia. The moment you walk in, there’s a wall filled with autographs from Korean celebrities and photos of celebrities with the owners of the restaurant. You know this place has got to be good when celebrities have come here. 

We decided to share a hot pot, filled with potatoes, onions, and the most tender pork I’ve EVER had. The broth was not too strong, but still had lots of flavor. 

On the menu, it says this is for two people. But we had more than enough food for the three of us. It came with rice and, of course, side dishes. I’d really like to try the other dishes here, because the hot pot was delicious and I’m sure everything else is just as good. 

On the last day, we had dim sum!

Each dish was $2.50. Holla. 

I won’t be eating out for a while now. 

Happy eating. 

N

Banana Leaf - University District

I made a deal that I’d write a food blog on wherever my friend and I decided to go to dinner on Friday, even if we ended up going to 1101 (that would be a ridiculous blog entry). So this is where we ended up. 

Banana Leaf is a Thai restaurant hidden on the corner of 40th and the Ave, often unseen by everyone because of its lack of a sign. Well, at least I didn’t know where it was until my friend told me about it this year.

I think this place is the best place to get Thai food on the Ave, considering the price and the amount of food they give you. Their happy hour is from 5 to 8, during which their entrees drop from their usual price of $6.99 to $5.99. I have had the drunken noodles, rama, pad kra pow, and phad thai, all of which are good. I had the phad thai for the first time this time:

(Sorry for the crappy picture.)

It wasn’t too greasy, and it didn’t have that…sour taste that some phad tais have. Do you know what I’m talking about? Maybe not. Some phad tais have this sour aftertaste that I don’t like, which is why I usually don’t get phad tai. But the phad tai I had here was really good…I think I might even go as far as saying that it was the best phad tai I’ve had so far. I got it with soft tofu; I usually don’t opt for tofu because at most places, it’s fried tofu, but I really like the fact that Banana Leaf gives you the choice of either getting fried tofu or soft tofu. 

Conclusion: The service has been excellent every time I’ve come here, the food is great, and the price is awesome. So scope out this hidden treasure and go try it for yourself…I think your Thai 65 and Thaiger Room days will be over after your experience here.

Happy Eating. :)

N

Marrakesh - Belltown

Have you ever had Moroccan food?

Because I hadn’t until last Wednesday. 

Let me just start off by saying I love trying new food. Especially after eating at the same teriyaki, pho, and Thai restaurants on the Ave. Moroccan was definitely new for me. And I was really excited, especially after my friend Eileen told me we’d be eating with our hands. How often do you get to eat with your hands at a restaurant, with the exception of sushi and tacos? Never. So I was stoked for this completely new experience. 

We get to the restaurant and it’s a shady-looking place on the corner with no windows. The door was even covered with cloth. Was this a strip club? Did Eileen trick us?

I walk in and was instantly pleasantly surprised (no, it wasn’t a strip club). 

I’d never seen anything like this before. It was like being inside of a private tent. Seating was either on floor cushions or couches lining the wall. I was having fun already.

The waitress came by, seated us, and gave us all towels. Towels. And then she came by with a basin and a pot of water to wash our hands. Have you ever been to a restaurant where they WASHED YOUR HANDS FOR YOU? I didn’t think so. 

We all chose to go with the five course meal, which came with soup, salad, an appetizer, your choice of entree, and dessert. All of this for a little over 20 bucks with tax. For my entree, I chose to go with the catch of the day baked in tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic sauce. I think the word “Outstanding!" at the end of the dish description got to me. And the fact that the catch of the day was salmon…mmm.

The soup was lentil soup. It was nothing extravagant, but I really liked the simplicity of it. And it tasted so fresh, without any preservatives. The salad was like nothing I’d ever had before. In the middle of the dish was a combination of smashed grilled eggplants, and carrots, surrounded by chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. This was all scooped up with bread; the softest, fluffiest bread you can imagine. Actually…the bread was one of my favorite parts of the whole course. Is that a bad or good thing? 

Next was our appetizer: a pastry filled with ground chicken, topped with powdered sugar. I know. Sounds weird, right? But it was surprisingly delicious. And we ate every last bit of it. The sweetness of the sugar and the savory chicken complimented each other so well…we all found ourselves licking our fingers clean.

So, unfortunately, my entree was my least favorite part. I personally thought the fish was too dry, and it lacked flavor. The sauce that it came in was a bit bland…it honestly tasted like plain tomato soup. It definitely wasn’t the best salmon I’d ever had. 

But I got to try everyone else’s dishes, and they tasted a lot better. The hare was really tender (yup…hare…a.k.a. bunny rabbit); the lamb (brochette marakesh) was grilled to perfection, working in perfect harmony with the honey sauce. And that’s coming from someone who usually doesn’t like lamb. 

While enjoying our entrees, we received a performance by a belly dancer. Eileen and Alisa got really excited.

For dessert, they brought out some sort of rose water flavored coconut pudding. Whatever it was, it was really good. It had the texture of pudding and jello combined, if that makes any sense. The rose water gave it a nice touch, and it didn’t overpower the main coconut flavor at all. Alongside dessert came a cup of mint tea, which was probably one of the best teas I’ve ever had next to matcha. It was surprisingly sweet, with a hint of mint. It was the perfect dessert tea.

Conclusion: Marrakesh is a restaurant that is enjoyed by a large group. It’s entertaining, different, and a rare experience. The food is good, but I wish it had more of a variety for appetizers (the appetizers are always set on the salad with the bread, the pastry, and the soup). The entree was not to die for, but delicious nonetheless. It’s a restaurant that you’d want to go to maybe once a year, and you’ll be content until the next year. I had a lot of fun with my friends but I probably wouldn’t come here just for the food.

Happy Birthday, Eileen. :) 

(Complimentary baklava!)

Happy eating!

N

Japan - Tokyo

If there’s one place that will never fail in providing good food, it is Japan. I cannot think of anywhere I’ve been to in this country where I’ve had a bad food experience. Not even convenience stores. I look forward to eating in this lovely country every summer when I come back. Of course I look forward to other things that this country has to offer but I don’t think anything beats the food scene here. I’ve tried taking pictures of almost everything I’ve eaten here so far. So here we go.

First night, we went to a 居酒屋. Kind of like a bar but you don’t have to be of age and they serve lots of food there, and not just drinks.

Brioled fish

Sashimi

Japanese-style pulled pork with poached egg and radish

This was at an Italian restaurant. But nowhere on the menu will you find dishes with 384229 calories, slathered in cheese and heavy sauce. Simple, refreshing, and just the right amount of food,

Seafood risotto in tomato-cream sauce

Asakusa, a neighborhood in Tokyo, has many vendors selling 人形焼(ningyouyaki) - sweet red bean paste inside a kind of sponge-cake. These were hot and fresh off the 人形焼-maker. Mmmmmm.

Went to a buffet. They had Chinese, Japanese, and Western food (which is pretty much American food)

Round 1 (Bean sprouts flavored in sesame oil, shrimp in chili paste, dumplings, chicken stir fried with veggies…They had a line and even ropes to form the line for the roast beef…)

Round 2 (tempura, quiche, salmon, oven baked fish, shumai, duck, some sort of sausage stew..)

Round 3 (I wanted to try Japanese pizza to see if it was any different. Umm I had another helping of some salmon. And some katsudon. And a bowl of corn cream soup.)

And of course, dessert. (Matcha cake, peach mousse cake, sponge cake with fruits and whip cream, dango with sweet red bean paste)

7/29 - For lunch today, we had monjayaki. Tokyo is where this dish originated from, so of course we had to have some here.

You get to pick your toppings, and we chose mochi, cheese, and babystar ramen. Sounds weird? Yeah. Tastes awesome? Hell yeah. One of the ladies at the restaurant made it for us at our table, and we use a tiny little spatula to scoop some up from the hot pan. 

We went to a traditional Japanese restaurant for dinner tonight. Everything was so. GOOD. And the presentation was so beautiful.

Crab and cabbage salad

Sesame tofu

Dashimaki

Octopus and taro root stewed in soy sauce broth

Boiled asparagus with miso and mayo sauce - simple but amazingly delicious

Smashed taro root and crab, fried

Sponge roll cake with matcha chocolate - cd;oina;wenfaroj so good.

Matcha cheesecake

Tokyo, you’ve treated me well with your good food. Next stop - Oita, my hometown. On to the next one…

Gojo - Aurora

My mom’s friend is Ethiopian, and I tried her homemade Ethiopian food once. I remember it being really good, but I can’t remember much of the flavors except for the fact that everything was eaten with purple sourdough-tortilla-like bread. So I made it a goal for me to try Ethiopian food again in Seattle, since there are a good number of them here.

We tried Gojo in Aurora. Their menu consisted of meat and vegetarian dishes, but what seemed to be the best deal was their meat combination and veggie combination. Since we had four people in our group, we figured it might be a good amount of food if we ordered one of each combination. 

This is a lot bigger than how it appears in the picture. Each side was about two good handfuls, and this came with about 16 rolls of the injera (bread). The way to eat this is to rip pieces of the bread and pick up the dishes with it. I know a lot of people complain about how sour the bread is, but I found it to be really good and went with the side dishes really well. The spices used in the dishes really reminded me of Indian spices, and some of them were pretty spicy. The cheese (the white stuff on the far end) was a nice compliment to the spicy sides. I believe the meat used in the meat dishes were all beef, so I wasn’t a big fan of them (I’m not a big beef eater). But the vegetarian dishes were delicious. Each dish had distinct flavors, and the combo that we ordered was a delightful way to enjoy a little bit of everything. I think that if you’re a fan of Indian food/spices, you’ll definitely like Ethiopian food, and it’s also fun to eat because you get to use your hands!

Their service was attentive and constantly kept checking up on us. The price was amazing, because each combo was about 15 dollars, so in total we paid a little over 30 dollars. Split that between four people and it’s about 8 bucks per person, which is a really good deal considering how much food you get (it’s a lot…we couldn’t finish it). Consider coming here if you’re open-minded about food and looking for a fun, cheap place to eat!

Happy eating,

N.

B.F.D.

My housemate Ellen and I came up with a brilliant idea: incorporate chai into pancakes.

So we steeped two chai tea bags and added it to pancake batter.

….It smelled like chai but it didn’t taste like chai. :(

We went at it again. This time, we wanted to try chai french toast, with chai concentrate instead of chai tea bags. And then we thought, well, if we’re making french toast, why not make a whole breakfast MEAL?? Breakfast food is the best kind of food, after all. 

So we did. And we made it for dinner. 

Best breakfast-for-dinner meal I’ve ever had? Yes, I do believe so.

Folks, this meal was pretty damn close to being Portage Bay Cafe-level. Yuuup, it was that good. Or maybe I thought so because we made it. But either way, it was delicious. And I am willing to share with you our super chai french toast recipe here. 

Um. To tell you the truth, we didn’t really use a recipe, because that’s how real good cooks roll. But for a whole loaf of challah bread, we used:

6 eggs
2 cups of milk
However much vanilla extract, cinnamon, and other spices you think would be good with chai french toast
1 cup of chai concentrate (the ones that come in cartons). And for every cup of chai, we put in 1 egg. But one cup of chai was enough.

And there you have it. Serve with honey/agave butter, powdered sugar, or eat it just by itself, because it’s that good.

Along with the french toast, we made breakfast sweet potatoes & potatoes, fruit salad, bacon, and parmesan scrambled eggs. It took us 3 hours to make everything since everything was in huge quantities but our hard work was well worth it. 

Okay Josh, you can make fun of me for writing a food blog about this now.

Happy eating,

N. :)

Honey Vanilla Challah

I tested my bread-making skills for the first time the other day. And I’m not going to lie, it turned out fantastic. :)

Well, it was perhaps because I chose an easy bread to make, but nevertheless, I was proud of myself. I decided to make honey vanilla challah. Not for religious reasons obviously but because…well, it looked good. 

The crust is tender but has a nice crisp, while the inside is ridiculously soft and delicate. And the sesame seeds add a nice flavor, too. This bread would go perfect with jam, or honey butter. But I decided to make french toast out of it the next morning.

Recipe can be found here.

Happy eating.

N

Palisade - Magnolia/Interbay (Elliot Bay Marina)

There are three things to consider when it comes to a good dine-out experience:

1.) Food (freshness, taste, presentation, correct preparation)
2.) Service/atmosphere of the restaurant
3.) Price

Palisade hit the bullseye on all three criteria.  

Of course, the price normally would be way beyond my budget here. But from April 18th through the 29th, Seattle is having a Seattle Restaurant Week, where over 100 local restaurants are serving three course dinners for only $25 (when normally, one entree at these restaurants would be $25). This is an amazing deal for foodies like me. 

I’ve read so many great reviews about this place, but I could really only afford coming here for my birthday since the price range was so high up there. So when I saw that Palisade was on the list of restaurants participating in the Seattle Restaurant Week, I was instantly set on coming here. 

I am so glad I picked this place.

We arrive at a wonderful secluded restaurant, across the water from Alki Beach. Inside runs a little waterfall with various sea creatures swimming around. All around were windows looking out onto the water, with a view of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle. The view was amazing, and I thought sitting by the windows would simply just be a miracle.

After waiting about 10 minutes or so, we got seated….at a table next to the windows. Our dining experience is off to a fantastic start. :)

We ordered our food, and was immediately brought some bread and butter. The bread was warm, soft, and everything you’d want in bread. Shortly after came our appetizer. I ordered the Seasonal Baby Leaf Lettuce, which was a salad with baby leaf lettuce, Walla Walla sweet onions, green beans, cucumber, and baby tomatoes tossed in a herb vinaigrette and served with a “delicate crisp cracker”. 

The vinaigrette was a bit oily for me, but was nonetheless flavorful and the herbs used in it were wonderfully fragrant, not overpowering. The vegetables were fresh, and the Walla Walla sweet onions were, indeed, pleasantly sweet. I could not figure out how the cracker was made, but it was seasoned well with garlic, salt and pepper (or at least, that’s what I tasted). 

Mona and Caitie ordered the Butter Lettuce with Rogue River Blue Cheese, which included baby bibb lettuce with blue cheese, smoked hazelnuts, julienned pear and butter poached colossal prawns. 

I’m usually not a fan of blue cheese, but the pear complimented the cheese so well that the blue cheese did not bother me at all (thanks for letting me taste it, Caitie).

Next came our entrees. Mine and Mona’s: Wagyu sirloin and butter poached prawns, with fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. 

The smoky aroma of the steak and asparagus was absolutely amazing. It adds a whole new flavor to the foods. The steak was perfectly seasoned with butter, salt and pepper. I asked for medium rare, and they grilled it to the definition of what medium rare should be: well done on the outside, and rare enough on the inside but not so rare that it’s bleeding. The prawns were cooked just right; not overcooked. The lentils complimenting the dish were perfect. I don’t know how they cooked it or what they cooked it with, but it was delicious. 

Caitie’s entree: lobster cooked two ways, one poached in Plugra-butter (whatever that is) and served over ravioli, and tempura fried with spicy hollandaise sauce.

How awesome is the presentation?

For dessert, Caitie and I ordered the spiced banana ice cream, topped with homemade candied almond brittle and served with carmelized bananas. 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is definitely in the top five of the best desserts I’ve had in my life. The caramelized bananas were burnt and crispy on the top, much like a creme brulee. It added just the right amount of sweetness to the bananas. And the ice cream. WITH THE CANDIED ALMOND BRITTLE. I didn’t want it to stop. I ate it so slow, savoring each and every spoonful. Who knew banana ice cream would go so well with candied almonds? Words can’t even describe how amazing it was.

Mona’s dessert: Chocolate lover’s cake: chocolate mousse cake with raspberries, chocolate hazelnut ice cream, and mini chocolate truffles with shaved white chocolate: 

(Sorry it’s blurry)

Basically, Palisade is worth your money. Every single penny. 25 dollars for all this amazing food is so worth it, folks. Definitely one of the best dinners I’ve had in Seattle.

Happy Eating! And take advantage of Seattle Restaurant Week!

N

 


Peso’s - Queen Anne

If you haven’t been to Peso’s, then you’ve never had eggs benedicts. No, don’t try to argue with me that you have. Because you haven’t. 

Peso’s, first introduced to me by my lovely friend Caitie, is a nice little Mexican restaurant in Queen Anne. By no means is it authentic Mexican; it has been Americanized to the max. But I’m not here to talk about their Mexican dishes. I’m here to talk about the world’s best eggs benedicts. And it can be found here.

Pictured above is the dungeness crab eggs benedict, with a side of potatoes and pico de gallo (or something like it). This is what I always order when I come here. I’m too much of a pansy to venture off and try something new because this dish is just too damn good. The eggs are poached perfectly. Not too raw, not too cooked. The chipotle Hollandaise sauce is just the right consistency, and adds just the right amount of flavor to the whole dish. The crab is always fresh. The English muffins are soft and never soggy. The avocados are such a great addition (I like avocados with anything, really). The potatoes are seasoned SO well. There’s nothing to complain about the food at Peso’s. It’s just complete bliss in your mouth. 

Don’t tell me this doesn’t make you drool.

I think the only thing that I’d complain about is their service. They don’t like to split checks and kind of give you a nasty glare when you ask them to. When they’re super busy, it’s hard to get the waitress’ attention. 

If you like to save money (who doesn’t?), go during their happy hour on weekdays, from 9 to 11 am. All their dishes are 6 dollars (with some exceptions). But I think even if you don’t go during happy hour, the food is worth every single penny. 

(Note Caitie rolling up her sleeves to tackle her plate, haha. :))

Happy eating! 

N

Please take the damn pastries. I bring home a crapload on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Please take the damn pastries. I bring home a crapload on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Eating in Vancouver, B.C.

This past weekend, we went to Vancouver, B.C. to celebrate the end of winter quarter. So how do we celebrate? We eat, of course. We eat, and eat, and eat, until we get sick of eating. If the amount of food we consumed this past weekend were to be compared to alcohol, we would be in the emergency room due to alcohol poisoning. 

Our adventure started at Shabusen, an all-you-can-eat sushi and Korean B.B.Q restaurant. $12.99/person. 

The fish was amazingly fresh for an all-you-can-eat restaurant. We took full advantage of this and probably ordered more than 20 pieces. They also had sashimi, which usually costs 10 dollars for 6 - 8 pieces. They had an 8-pieces/person limit, so we took full advantage of that too. 

The Korean B.B.Q. could have been better, but I don’t think we should expect much from an all-you-can-eat restaurant anyways. It’s not like we’re going to get unlimited kalbi and bulgogi for $13.99. That would be too good to be true. Besides sushi and B.B.Q, they also had other dishes that we could order an unlimited amount of, such as yakisoba, tonkatsu, tempura, and potstickers. 

The only thing that bothered us was that we had to eat everything we ordered, or else we would get charged extra. So we were trying really hard to eat everything.

Alisa was full. But we made her eat the corn so we wouldn’t get charged because we’re poor college students and every cent counts.

For dinner, we went to Yaohan, a huuuuuge Asian market. They had a food court so we shared some Chinese food, because we were still full from lunch. But I always have room for dessert.

I got chestnut cake. I don’t really know what to say except for the fact that I savored every single bite. It was delicious. The cake was light and airy, the cream was not too rich, and the chestnut cream had flavor but not too much that it overpowered the whole cake. Asian dessert > American dessert, any day. 

The next day, we went to a ramen restaurant called Kintaro. When we got there, the restaurant wasn’t open yet but people were already lined up outside, which was a good sign. I ordered the miso ramen, made from 4 types of miso from different regions of Japan. Apparently it’s the most popular one at this restaurant.

We had the choice of whether we wanted fat or lean pork, and how rich we wanted our broth. I chose lean pork because I usually end up not eating the fat on the pork in ramen anyways, and went with the “normal” broth. The pork was a bit too lean, and it was a bit hard to chew. The portion was huge, which was nice, but I’ve had better ramen, probably because I have been spoiled from eating in Japan. Alisa ordered the cheese ramen:

It’s a little intimidating. But she said she liked it. I think you really gotta love cheese if you want to get this. 

For dinner that night, we went to a Korean restaurant suggested by my friend Lydia. The moment you walk in, there’s a wall filled with autographs from Korean celebrities and photos of celebrities with the owners of the restaurant. You know this place has got to be good when celebrities have come here. 

We decided to share a hot pot, filled with potatoes, onions, and the most tender pork I’ve EVER had. The broth was not too strong, but still had lots of flavor. 

On the menu, it says this is for two people. But we had more than enough food for the three of us. It came with rice and, of course, side dishes. I’d really like to try the other dishes here, because the hot pot was delicious and I’m sure everything else is just as good. 

On the last day, we had dim sum!

Each dish was $2.50. Holla. 

I won’t be eating out for a while now. 

Happy eating. 

N

Banana Leaf - University District

I made a deal that I’d write a food blog on wherever my friend and I decided to go to dinner on Friday, even if we ended up going to 1101 (that would be a ridiculous blog entry). So this is where we ended up. 

Banana Leaf is a Thai restaurant hidden on the corner of 40th and the Ave, often unseen by everyone because of its lack of a sign. Well, at least I didn’t know where it was until my friend told me about it this year.

I think this place is the best place to get Thai food on the Ave, considering the price and the amount of food they give you. Their happy hour is from 5 to 8, during which their entrees drop from their usual price of $6.99 to $5.99. I have had the drunken noodles, rama, pad kra pow, and phad thai, all of which are good. I had the phad thai for the first time this time:

(Sorry for the crappy picture.)

It wasn’t too greasy, and it didn’t have that…sour taste that some phad tais have. Do you know what I’m talking about? Maybe not. Some phad tais have this sour aftertaste that I don’t like, which is why I usually don’t get phad tai. But the phad tai I had here was really good…I think I might even go as far as saying that it was the best phad tai I’ve had so far. I got it with soft tofu; I usually don’t opt for tofu because at most places, it’s fried tofu, but I really like the fact that Banana Leaf gives you the choice of either getting fried tofu or soft tofu. 

Conclusion: The service has been excellent every time I’ve come here, the food is great, and the price is awesome. So scope out this hidden treasure and go try it for yourself…I think your Thai 65 and Thaiger Room days will be over after your experience here.

Happy Eating. :)

N

Marrakesh - Belltown

Have you ever had Moroccan food?

Because I hadn’t until last Wednesday. 

Let me just start off by saying I love trying new food. Especially after eating at the same teriyaki, pho, and Thai restaurants on the Ave. Moroccan was definitely new for me. And I was really excited, especially after my friend Eileen told me we’d be eating with our hands. How often do you get to eat with your hands at a restaurant, with the exception of sushi and tacos? Never. So I was stoked for this completely new experience. 

We get to the restaurant and it’s a shady-looking place on the corner with no windows. The door was even covered with cloth. Was this a strip club? Did Eileen trick us?

I walk in and was instantly pleasantly surprised (no, it wasn’t a strip club). 

I’d never seen anything like this before. It was like being inside of a private tent. Seating was either on floor cushions or couches lining the wall. I was having fun already.

The waitress came by, seated us, and gave us all towels. Towels. And then she came by with a basin and a pot of water to wash our hands. Have you ever been to a restaurant where they WASHED YOUR HANDS FOR YOU? I didn’t think so. 

We all chose to go with the five course meal, which came with soup, salad, an appetizer, your choice of entree, and dessert. All of this for a little over 20 bucks with tax. For my entree, I chose to go with the catch of the day baked in tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic sauce. I think the word “Outstanding!" at the end of the dish description got to me. And the fact that the catch of the day was salmon…mmm.

The soup was lentil soup. It was nothing extravagant, but I really liked the simplicity of it. And it tasted so fresh, without any preservatives. The salad was like nothing I’d ever had before. In the middle of the dish was a combination of smashed grilled eggplants, and carrots, surrounded by chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. This was all scooped up with bread; the softest, fluffiest bread you can imagine. Actually…the bread was one of my favorite parts of the whole course. Is that a bad or good thing? 

Next was our appetizer: a pastry filled with ground chicken, topped with powdered sugar. I know. Sounds weird, right? But it was surprisingly delicious. And we ate every last bit of it. The sweetness of the sugar and the savory chicken complimented each other so well…we all found ourselves licking our fingers clean.

So, unfortunately, my entree was my least favorite part. I personally thought the fish was too dry, and it lacked flavor. The sauce that it came in was a bit bland…it honestly tasted like plain tomato soup. It definitely wasn’t the best salmon I’d ever had. 

But I got to try everyone else’s dishes, and they tasted a lot better. The hare was really tender (yup…hare…a.k.a. bunny rabbit); the lamb (brochette marakesh) was grilled to perfection, working in perfect harmony with the honey sauce. And that’s coming from someone who usually doesn’t like lamb. 

While enjoying our entrees, we received a performance by a belly dancer. Eileen and Alisa got really excited.

For dessert, they brought out some sort of rose water flavored coconut pudding. Whatever it was, it was really good. It had the texture of pudding and jello combined, if that makes any sense. The rose water gave it a nice touch, and it didn’t overpower the main coconut flavor at all. Alongside dessert came a cup of mint tea, which was probably one of the best teas I’ve ever had next to matcha. It was surprisingly sweet, with a hint of mint. It was the perfect dessert tea.

Conclusion: Marrakesh is a restaurant that is enjoyed by a large group. It’s entertaining, different, and a rare experience. The food is good, but I wish it had more of a variety for appetizers (the appetizers are always set on the salad with the bread, the pastry, and the soup). The entree was not to die for, but delicious nonetheless. It’s a restaurant that you’d want to go to maybe once a year, and you’ll be content until the next year. I had a lot of fun with my friends but I probably wouldn’t come here just for the food.

Happy Birthday, Eileen. :) 

(Complimentary baklava!)

Happy eating!

N

Japan - Tokyo
Gojo - Aurora
B.F.D.
Honey Vanilla Challah
Palisade - Magnolia/Interbay (Elliot Bay Marina)
Peso’s - Queen Anne
Eating in Vancouver, B.C.
Banana Leaf - University District
Marrakesh - Belltown

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College students who have a passion for food that are tired of sandwiches and salads from the cafeteria.

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