i dont do product reviews often, but i recently got to try 2 new products from A-Sha Dry Noodle: Taiwanese Pineapple Cake & Mini Break Instant Coffee. i really enjoyed them so i thought i’d share.
their pineapple cakes use authentic Fresh Pineapple in Tainan. if you are not familiar with pineapple cakes, it’s one of most notable dessert snacks created in Taiwan. today however, most commercial pineapple cakes actually use Winter Melon flavoring and other substitutes. Only around 3 brands in Taiwan still use real pineapple, A-Sha is one of them. i was in a chinese grocery store the other day and they carried 5+ different brands of pineapple cakes. i read the ingredient labels of each one of them, they ALL contain winter melon.
Box of 9 individually wrapped cakes
they are rich, crumbly, buttery on the outside and filled with tender tasty pineapples inside. they are very delicious snacks that go very well with coffee or tea. i shared with my fam and a few friends, they all loved it. they said the quality is excellent, a lot better than what we can find in local grocery stores.
i thought this would be prefect for the holiday season. if you are interested of buying them, check out: http://shop.ashadrynoodle.com/Taiwanese-Pineapple-Cake-Box-of-9-individually-wrapped-cakes-2013001.htm
also check out their facebook page, sometimes they have coupons.
Mini Break Instant Coffee
my new job really requires attention to details and boring readings. ive been drinking sht load of coffee everyday recently ever since i started with my new job cuz i really need to stay awake and focused. there is one starbucks nearby but i cant afford to wait in line for 25 mins and 2/3 times a day. there’s a flavia coffee machine at the office but i just dont like how it tastes. i also have the option to brew my own coffee but that just takes too long.
flip open the handles and prop Mini Break filter on the edge of your cup and pour hot water into the top of Mini Break filter and let the rich coffee and aroma drip through the filter. nice and easy. i actually enjoyed the
‘brewing’ process; i could really take a break and rest my eyes.
i was surprised by how good quality the coffee is. very rich and aromatic. nothing tastes like instant coffee and even better than a lot of freshly brewed coffee. oh, did you notice my cool mug that pork belly got me as a gift? it changes color as you pouring in hot water hehe.
for more info, see site here: http://www.minibreakcoffee.com/home.html
you can purchase here: http://shop.ashadrynoodle.com/Mini-Break-Instant-Coffee-1-Box-7-Individual-Packs-2016001.htm
have a relaxing weekend everyone, im off to a hotpot feast chea!
*disclaimer: the products were sent to me for free, but i did not get paid to write this review nor obligated to.
yes they have a DJ
finally an izakaya feels like an izakaya, but more spacious
food was tasty and on the fusion side. service was very friendly and fast. a lot more affordable than izakaya seki, but i wish there were more seafood dishes.
we also had a chance to chat with Daisuke Utagawa, co-owner of daikaya. we talked about ramen and how they built the restaurant. one interesting thing he mentioned was that ‘it took about 4 years for them to build the 2nd floor of daikaya’. well the restaurant sure looks wonderful.
705 6th St NW
(at N G Pl)
Washington, DC 20001
thanksgiving weekend, we went back to pork belly’s home DC/Virginia to attend a wedding as well as spending the holiday with his fam. while we were in town, we checked out izakaya seki.
did you guys notice something different about my pix? pork belly got me a new camera! fuji x100s, the camera i always wanted! i love my dslr, but it’s jus too heavy to carry around with me all the time and it’s hard to take selfies with. so all above pix were taken with the new x100s, what do you think?
ive only had it for a few days and still tryna learn how to use it. there def likes and dislikes and it can never replace my dslr, but overall im happy with it so far.
1117 V St NW
(between N 12th St & N 11th St)
Washington, DC 20009
Seoul Soulongtang is another newly opened restaurant in allston/brighton area specializing in Soulongtang or Seolleongtang, a milky white soup from seoul made of long-simmered ox leg bones or other cuts. the location is where Toro Sushi / Cheo Ga Jip used to be. they did a good job on the renovation; it looks a lot of more spacious, clean, and bright.
soulongtang – white ox bone broth with brisket, marrow and thin flour noodles + add taste with salt and scallion
it’s a milky white soup that is simmered for a long time so the bone marrow can release into the broth which gives the milky richness. the seasoning is done at the table according to personal taste by adding salt, ground black pepper, and scallions. the aroma is very rich and meaty. however, some people complain about the lack of meat in the soup, but it didnt bother me.
yook gae jang – spicy beef broth with assorted vegetables and shredded beef
i personally prefer yook gae jang over soulongtang because it’s lighter and has less meaty taste. however, i noticed the yook gae jang at Seoul Soulongtang was more milky and richer than other places. i wonder if they used the same broth as the soulongtang. i enjoyed it a lot.
the service was pretty slow but forgivable considering they are still working out kinks as a newly opened restaurant. the food was delicious/satisfying and surprisingly good quality comparing other korean restaurants in the area like kaju. i ll probably find myself wolfing down a bowl of yook gae jang often especially in this 20 degrees weather. i just secretly wish they dont get so popular too quickly so i wont have to wait in line for it.
1245 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02134
ittoku, a new japanese izakaya, has been opened less than a month on Commonwealth. not for a fact, but ittoku is a joint venture between Carlos Garcia of Café Mami, Manabu Ito and Taiji Miheo from Sapporo Ramen, Chiki-san, a sushi chef at Ebi Sushi, and Yakitori Zai’s yakitori chef Sho Inoue.
if you are not familiar with the concept ‘izakaya’ 居酒屋, it’s a basically a casual drinking place for after working drinking where food is also served to accompany the drinks. ‘i’ means to stay and ‘sake-ya’ means sake shop in japanese. it’s very similar to spanish tapas.
not sure if i liked the ambiance here. the restaurant is very open, spacious, bright rather than cramped/tight space im used to at izakayas. it didnt feel cozy and intimate.
moving on to the food:
chanja: spicy marinated pollack fish trip stomach – crunchy texture.
kimchee ra-yu hiyayakko – chilled tofu with homemade spicy oil. i didnt like the fact that firm tofu was used rather than kinugoshi (silken) tofu.
kinoko butter itame – assorted mushrooms pan fried with butter
takowasa – raw octopus marinated with fresh wasabi
tsukune – chicken meatballs
eringi – king oyster mushrooms – no flavor
shishitou – sweet green pepper – no flavor
bacon & okura
bacon & enoki mushroom
bacon & uzura (quail eggs)
shishamo – smelt – i do appreciate a nice char, but this was very burned.
ninniku – garlic
momo – chicken thigh
bonjiri – chicken tail
torikawa – chicken skin – not charred enough
ebi – shrimp – dry
butabara – pork belly – barely flavored
sunagimo – chicken gizzard – too dry
gyutan – beef tongue
karubi – beef short rib – tasted metallic
service was friendly and polite, but very slow. the food was very underwhelming, bland (kushiyaki), relatively low quality, and not very well executed. the ambience felt more like a restaurant than izakaya which killed the mood for drinking. didnt feel satisfied after the meal and it wasnt cheap. the $1 valet parking might have been the best part of the night. dont think i will be back anytime soon.
Categories: Japanese, Sushi Bars
1414 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02134
one of the places we must stop by whenever we are in town is din tai fung. dont get me wrong; by no means this is the best xiaolong bao (XLB)/soup dumplings place. it’s just better than any of the places on the east coast. if you are wondering where has the BEST XLB, check out here.
i was here for soup dumplings, so i didnt order other things to fill up my stomach. their original pork soup dumplings are my favorite. the skin is indeed exceptional thanks to mexican cooks from the 2nd picture. thin but still strong enough to hold the fillings inside without breaking. the soup and the meat inside were flavorful without being greasy at all unlike the bad soup dumplings you get elsewhere.
although still cant compare to my favorite XLB, XLB at din tai fung were still satisfying and better than what i can get on the east coast.
Din Tai Fung
Categories: Dim Sum, Taiwanese, Shanghainese
1108 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007