Thursday, May 31, 2012


As I mentioned before, not alot are open early in the morning.  So, as we walked by the Darling Harbour, not alot was open.  We came up to the docks and this lovely cafe.  They are directly across from the Star Casino.
They have a lovely outside seating that you can enjoy a good breakfast, lunch or a good drink.  Just beware of seagulls, they're always hungry.

Since I was jetlagging, I just decided to have some yogurt and fruit and called it breakfast.  The fruit was good, but the yogurt was too sour for my taste.
Here's a cup of mocha.  Lovely decoration on top.  I would say the service is a tad slow, but the view is so breathtaking of the harbour that you don't mind the wait.  You are seated by the bay, with wharfs of private docking station.  And they converted some wharfs into lofts and apartments.  Can you imagine living there?

Overall, the place is lovely, they serve only breakfast and lunch because they're part of an office building.  But they also serve alcohol too.  If you catch a good day, it is gorgeous to sit outside and enjoy the view and enjoy your food.

I will warn you that eating in Australia is not cheap.  For a mid-range place like this, the price is the equivalent of a nice restaurant in US.  The good thing about eating in Australia is that tax is already included and no one expects a tip from you.  Of course, if you felt that the server is well deserve of a tip, by all means, give them one.  But, that's not expected.

Biaggio Cafe
48 Pirrama Road
Pyrmont NSW 2009, 
(02) 8571 0606

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cafe Sydney

So after a walk to a beautiful park and Opera House with my cousin, her dad and my dad.  She took us from the Opera House to the Customs House.  It is full of history but the building itself is amazing because of its architecture.  Pretty amazing.
Cafe Sydney is super nice place.  The decor of the place is super chic but what you're really there for, besides from food, is the view.  They have the prime view of the harbour between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge across from the Circular Quay.
This is a T2 Fruitalicious: it is a mix pineapple with white peach matched with fruit iced tea.  I don't really taste any tea, but it's more fruit juice.
This is the pork cutlet which by the way is awesome yummy!  The little stand up piece is yummy salmon croquette.  It's nice and moist.  The other piece behind it is the pork belly.  The cabbage slaw mix has apple and radish, too bad I'm not a fan of the radish, it's super spicy. 

The lovely thing about the place is that originally, we were seated in the restaurant inside, which you have a very nice view of their open kitchen.  But once an outside seat was open, they reseated us, which is a very nice touch that you don't expect that in the States.  Not only did the weather cooperated, the view is amazing.  If you get a chance to stop there, even for a drink any hour of the day, you should go to it.

Cafe Sydney
Reservation is highly recommended
5th Floor, Customs House
31 Alfred Street Circular Quay, NSW, 2000
Phone: + 61 2 9251 8683

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Super Bowl Chinese Restaurant

So, here's the trick about eating in Sydney, Australia.  Do not get up too early because nothing is open early.  Even for the working clan, they just grab a cup of joe and off to work they go.  Don't Australians do breakfast meetings?
Since our hotel is a few blocks away from Chinatown, we went down there to see what we can find.  We found this place that serves breakfast Hong Kong style, we'll take anything at this point.  Totally tired and major jetlag, eating at the new time zone is exactly what we needed.
My breakfast combo comes warm soy milk, and the fried donut.  The Chinese fried donut is not sweet like the American donuts, they actually has no taste, but when you dip it in the soy milk or congee, it soaks up the taste and it is quite tasty.
The other dish that came with the combo is the onion pancakes.  Actually, it has a layer of egg on top of the onion pancakes.

In the background is rice noodle dish with soy sauce, that is pretty standard everywhere.  They do cook very much to Hong Kong style, some dishes are mixed influence.  They are opened early enough (8am) and opened stayed late enough (2am).  So if you want something early, go there.

Super Bowl Chinese Restaurant - Haymarket (aka Chinatown)
41 Dixon St

Monday, May 28, 2012

Airplane Food

So, past week and a half I've been to the other side of the world and back.  Here, I want to share with you my food adventure.

First off, I want to make it known that when you fly different route within the airline you may get different food.  Last time, when I traveled to Hong Kong, the food was much nicer, they even give you a menu.
This time, when I travel to Australia, there's no menu and basically back to basics...

For 'dinner', we had beef pasta.  The noodle was a tad dry, but it's not half bad.  The salad is not as healthy as it looks.  I ended up throwing out alot of it.  :(
For 'snack', we had a sandwich with cheese and turkey and pickles.

For 'breakfast', much better in terms of redemption, we have eggs, turkey sausage (which had no taste), potato au gratin, and fruit.  With a raspberry crossant.  I actually would eat everything on this tray.
No food, just a beautiful sunrise.

On the way out of town, we had ravioli.  The sauce is not bad, and it came with pumpkin brownie.  I'll give them kudos for that.  I'm totally afraid to touch the salad this time.

The snack and breakfast on the way back was so uninspiring that I gave up.
Sunset on the way home!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Favorite Dessert Class - Sur La Table

For my birthday, I got a discount coupon from SLT and a gift card for my birthday, so it was cool to go take a dessert class for a deep discount.
So, here we have a molton lava chocolate cake, which is a very nice way of saying unfinished-baking cake.  It does come out beautiful and taste super yummy.  Some might say rich but it was awesome.
Next, we have Apple Pie:
We were talked into doing it rustic style and I think ideally, in all of our heads, it would've been lovely like the ones you get at Grand Lux.  But as you can see, they didn't quite came out like that, as a matter of fact, it looks pretty sad.  Luckily, that doesn't effect the taste.
The creme' brulee was a tad of disappointment, I actually really wanted to learn how to do this, because it's not easy to make them right.  And there was a teacher in training that took over, and while that is their job to train, they are also trained chefs before walking in those doors.  So we did have great tips of how to make this.  The disappointment was that the time management of the class, and it wasn't baked firmly enough for us to put the sugar on top to make the class.  So, wish they coordinated it better.
Another dish I was looking forward to was a dessert souffle'.  I love the idea of using meringue on something else.  They raised up nice and pretty, see!  When you dig in, it does taste good.  This one is lemon, and it does have the zest and the zing.

Sur La Table
Town And Country Ln 
Suite 101 
Houston, Texas 77024

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cheesecake Factory

Sorry for the double post if you're getting this via a feeder of some sort... best laid plans, right?  Tried to get it ahead of time and nothing was saved... so let's try again!

As you know, Cheesecake Factory has a wide array of food for everybody and every taste.  I would say, for those of you who are eating a gluten free lifestyle, it's easy to just get a burger with no bun, it's like a mini steak to yourself!  I had the mushroom burger sans bread.  Awesome sweet potato fries, totally addicting.
And you cannot leave the place without a cheesecake, after all, its namesake.  For a more gluten free friendly dessert, get the Godiva Cheesecake, it's a flourless cake and it's totally worth the calories.  Of course, if you share, none of the calories counts.  Haha.

Cheesecake Factory
Memorial City Mall
303 Memorial City
Memorial City, TX 77024
(713) 932-6344

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ruggle's Bakery brunch

If you haven't been back to Ruggle's Bakery for some time, you probably didn't know that they started to serve Brunch. I didn't, and it was nice.

First, for brunch, since most people aren't out and about, you are almost guarantee to have a good parking spot and good seats.  Second, they do offer items that are not on the menu but brunch.  I got the egg, bacon and cheese breakfast taco.  As usual, they give you way too much food than you ever need.  It also came with a side of fruit.

The tacos itself is nothing special because you can get that almost any Mexican eatery that serves breakfast.  For sure, eggs aren't over cooked and bacon aren't super crispy, but what you're there for is their own version of chipotle sauce.  It has a hint of pepper, not too spicy, but definitely kick the bland up a notch.  The green stuff is guacamole sauce.  I will say this, even though I'm not a big fan, I liked it alot.  The pink sauce is poppy seed dressing that goes w/ the fruit, but honestly, the taco was so filling that I pretty much gave the fruit away.

Ruggles Cafe & Bakery
2365-A Rice Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 520-6662

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simply Delicious - City Hall Farmers Market

I was more than thrilled when the farmers market at City Hall resumed in February.  As the weather gotten better, the more I look forward to Wednesday! 
There are tricks to getting a decent meal at the Farmers Market.  Since it primarily target office workers around downtown, the best thing to do is either go early or go late.  There are a few booths that have your lunch made to order, so it can easily take anywhere from 5 mins up to 20 mins.  And as any office worker can tell you, if it takes that long, they'd rather go down to the tunnels.
This round, I tried Simply Delicious. I was mostly drawn by their Hibiscus Mint Tea, it's very delicious on a hot day.  They were offering Bahn Mi and Chicken and Spinach Calzones.  While the chicken inside was a bit dry, you really want the dipping sauce they have.  It has herbs and spices, and mixed with the calzone it's delightful.

Simply Delicious
cater and farmers markets

City Hall Farmers Market
901 Bagby Street

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bistro Provence

Some friends of mine wanted to grab a quick lunch and landed at Bistro Provence. It really is a hole in the wall, if you mind the road and not look, you wouldn't even realize that there's a tiny strip mall with a few shops in there. 
The decor is nice, and feel very countryside France. It is very dark, and even with incredible sun outside, you feel the intimacy inside.

For even one diner, they brought out this big loaf of bread.  Wow!
I ordered the Salade Nicoise, it's a pretty standard French salad dish where you get seared tuna, hard boiled egg, anchovies on top of a bed of mixed greens.  

I would say over all, the salad is not bad, since you don't get to have that easily accessible in Houston.  That said, compare to other Salade Nicoise I've had, this only fare so-so.  I think one of the reasons was that the service doesn't give you the French feel at all.  I understand the cuisine is French, but neither the GM or the Chef are French.  I guess they really have one other server for lunch, so the GM had to serve us while he's busy running around to other tables.  Aside from having the dishes pronounced in proper French, I don't think I've gotten any warm and fuzzy of the French feel at all.  I know I'm such a Francophile and a French snob, but I think the least they can do to complete the experience for diners.
I will say this, the cappuccino was good, and looks like they have a decent offering of dessert, I was too full to try anything.  But, give it a shot, and see what you think.

If you're going to dine as any other meal, that probably would be an enjoyable experience.  However, if you're expecting a French experience, I think Bistro Le Cep done a better job in the complete experience.  Otherwise, Provence was not a bad place for a date.

Bistro Provence
13616 Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas 77079

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Goodie Box - Food truck

To end the food truck crawl on a sweet note, we had dessert at The Goodie Box.
It's a super cute truck.  And again, the truck is partnered up with a bar, and this round, the smart move here is partner up with another truck.  Any savory truck is perfect to match with a sweet truck.  Thumbs up!
Here's their menu, $3 a pop, no preservatives, all natural, no dairy, made with fruit juice.  I'm totally a sweet tooth, so the more natural sugar the better.
I picked the tangerine, it was very flavorful and definitely yummy to end the night.  It does taste very sweet as a good popsicle should be.  It has a good citrus taste, and had only wish that I had enough room for one more.

The Goodie Box

Here's a few tips for doing your own food truck crawl:
1, Map out your course, my friend, Julia had a list of food trucks that she wanted to try, and we did our research.  My suggestions would be to actually focus in an area.  There are alot of bars and trucks in the Washington Ave or Montrose area.  Pick them and map it out before heading out.  
2, Research before you head out the door.  Since most all of the trucks have a nice websites, but the most up-to-date info are located on their twitter.  Feel free to follow them to keep track of them.  It's also ok to ping them and ask them when and where their service will be.  They're more than happy to know that you're interested.  Of course, because of their popularity, they have catering gig, this will also save you some grief.
3, Carpool. For instance, it is difficult to find parking in around the Washington Ave area or Montrose area, so find a good and safe parking spot, and take the Jitney that runs up and down Washington Ave or park in the no-tow parking lot in Montrose and walk a bit.  Some may not be close enough to walk to but worth a shot.
4, Bring cash!  Even though alot of them now has Square on hand, that does take credit cards.  Cash is always king.  If you have cash on hand, it makes things move faster.  Watch that cash because you spend it faster than you know.
5, Start early on a weeknight, or better yet go on a Saturday because there's more trucks out and about to do business on the day while people are running errands.

Have fun!  It's such an adventure that you can your friends will have.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pi Pizza Truck - Food Truck

Our last stop was Pi Pizza.  To be honest, that's not my normal type of truck.
They're definitely edgier than I'm used to, but looking at all of their offerings, these guys are definitely creative via their food.  They also have a sense of humor, and I can always appreciate that.
This is a slice.  Here, that means 1/4 of the pie.  Here we have a slice of the Socialite, and to be perfectly honest, I was super happy to see this pizza being offered, and also felt that it's strange they have this pizza here.  It has arugula, pear slices poached in riesling wine and vanilla bean with gorgonzola cheese.  And while it does sound like it's a sweet type of pizza, it's a very 'classy' type of pizza.

I remember having a pear gorgonzola pizza at TTR, but the flavors here is much fuller than I remember the pizza at TTR.  Now, gorgonzola cheese is not everyone's cup of tea, as an alternative there's the Trailer Park Train Wreck, which is buffalo chicken with hot sauce and jalapeno.  Definitely has a kick. Go hungry, you'll love what you picked!

Pi Pizza truck
Again, follow them on twitter, and they do delivery, check their site.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Phamily Bites - Food Truck

The next stop is Phamily Bites.  They were parked at Liberty Station on Washington.
I just love their logo... totally clever!  And they do have cups of pho noodles, and bahn mi sandwiches.  Mind you, neither of these are brand new food items, but these guys found a way to make it popular, so I'm totally excited for that.
What I don't see much in Houston is a place that serves Musubi.  Musubi is super popular in Hawaii, which they are the largest consumer of Spam out of the country.  Spam is so much part of their day-to-day lives that I'm impressed that Phamily Bites is bringing it main stream.  Spam seems to have this big stigma in the mainland that most people don't like it.  But seriously, give that a chance, it'll surprise you.

Here, I have the Roybeezee, which is Spam over rice with fried egg on top wrapped in nori paper.  Not be frank, I have Spam on a pretty regular basis, so I don't feel one way or the other.  To me, it's like having breakfast on rice with some seaweed.
For dessert, I had the Sesame Balls, which is a Chinese dim sum dish where they have aduzi (sweet red bean) bean mix inside the glutenous ball.  It is deep fried and covered with sesame seeds.  To top it off, they drizzled a little condense milk on the bottom to soak it up.  It is definitely the restaurant quality.  Definitely thumbs up!

Phamily Bites
Follow them on twitter to trek them down.

And oh, they have a cool camera on their truck, you can take a bunch of pictures and they automatically loaded up on FB.  So friend them, and you get to see where they are and tag yourself in the meanwhile!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Coreanos - Food Truck

As the food truck crawl journey continues... 

We come up to Coreanos.  They were parked in Kung Fu on Washington, and like I was mentioning yesterday, food truck pair with bar is awesome.  Good food with good booze.
The first time I heard of the Coreanos was when I walked by them in Austin.  The truck in Austin is much smaller than the one in Houston.  Their food is a mix of Korean food with Mexican street food.  Plus, they have a cool website.
When I saw that they have the LA Dog, I was super excited, since I had the real LA dog in LA. To my surprise, it wasn't close to the real LA dog.  First off, the buns are way too thick, which reminds me of SloDough bread.  The dog itself is wrapped in bacon and cooked.  With jalapeno and onion with mayo on top.

Unlike the true LA Dog, it had the bacon wrapped dog, topped with pico di gallo, ketchup/mustard/mayo with avocado.  Of course, the buns were just 6 to a bag type of hot dog buns, and it was cooked in a big pool of grease, and I think that really made the difference.
For a side of junk food, I ordered a side of fries.  I was tempted to order kim cheese fries, just curious what it is.  Instead, we got a side of season fries, they topped it with shredded cheese, ketchup mixed with hot sauce.  It does have a kick to it, but it is also so addictive that you just want to kept picking at it.

I'm still loyal to OhMyGogi, their quesadilla is still a bomb, and their fries is good enough to give you a heart attack because they're that good.  But it's good to know that Coreanos is here for my LA Dog or a decent Korean burritos.

don't forget to follow them on twitter or check their site for their schedule and locations.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stick It - Food Truck

When my friend Julia of Travel with Flavor wanted to do a food truck crawl, I wasn't going to say no.  She is much more plugged into the Houston Food scene than I am, and I can only imagine an awesome ride.  

So this week, I'll be sharing with you what we had.  What you see the entire week, we ate in one night. Yes, we ate tons of stuff, but since it was spanned over a period of time, it wasn't so stuffed.
First stop was Stick It food truck, this night, they paired up with Karbach Brewing (local craft brewery).  That is an awesome idea, which you will find that all of these food truck are doing.  They usually partnered up with a bar and serve good food with good drinks.

As their truck name suggests, everything they have is on a stick.  Things to note about food truck is that while it gives them the flexibility to express their creativity in cooking.  That also means that what you see on their menu one week may not be there the next time you visit.  So, you may have some awesome stick item, it may have been a one time appearance over certain period of time, like the Halley's comet.
Here we have Korean Pork Belly over a bed of jasmine rice and on the side (far right) is crunchy pork pop.

The pork belly was beautiful, nice cut, nicely grilled.  Juicy enough that captured the flavor from the fat.  Mix well with the rice, which I can tell besides scallions there are stuff in the mix just can't tell what exactly.  It wasn't exactly easy to stand and eat while holding a glass of beer at the brewing place. The crunchy pork, what made it crunchy was that it's been lightly fried.  That sounded good, except I think because of that it dried out the pork.  So, while it is well seasoned and flavorful, the meat texture was a little tighter and more jerky-like than the pork belly.

Obviously, they have more to offer on their menu, there are beef and chicken selections and bacon fried rice.  If you ever lack your quota of bacon for the day, you should definitely try it.  Even though most food trucks do have a 'set' partner bar or parking lot, they are also like the travelling troubadour, you have to catch them where you can.  Stalk them on twitter and facebook, and this goes for all food trucks.

Stick It Food Truck

Friday, May 11, 2012

Laduree + Hello Kitty

It's Friday!  Of course, there's more macarons!  This time is a true delight!  It's a collaboration between and Hello Kitty. You literally cannot think of a better match than the two.  Let's face it, even though men love macarons too, the cuteness of both Hello Kitty and macaron makes it a perfect marketing opportunity for women.
With the awesome design of the box, you get a box full of lovely macarons.  I have here salted caramel, lemon, rose, mocha, and chocolate.  YUM!
Awww, Hello Kitty is blushing, how can you not find her adorable!!!  And she is having a macaron!  Adorbs!
This one contains 8 macarons.  There's another box that contains 12 macarons, but figured let's finish the 14 I got.  Plus, as any macaron connoisseur will tell you.  They are best enjoyed within a week.  I find that if you do leave them in the fridge too long, they will get dry and crack.  When you bite into them, they immediate fall apart or very hard to chew.
Here's a Cassis (blackcurrant) flavor.  You see that when you bit into it (sorry for the bite mark), the rest of the cookie is still in tact, and no cracks in the middle.  It's still chewy and moist and for this filling is still fresh.

864 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(646) 558-3157

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sushi Wabi

So, finally went back for sushi. Last time, if you recall, we had tried their starter and their specialty items, but how does sushi stand?
The prices for sushi is super reasonable.  Average $1.25 - $1.75 a piece, of course specialty fishes are extra.  Frankly, I've always liked to order by piece than 2 per order.  Just so free you up to try more types of sushi.  Since most places gets you 2 pieces per order, more than likely I'm filled up with rice before trying other stuff, so I'm a big fan.

Not to mention, the fish and scallop here, is super fresh.  The owner was so proud that he was showing us and another set of client of fresh fish flown in from Japan.  I'm happy to see that there's still sushi owner that value freshness.
Then I ordered a Lava Roll.  This is just too cute, I just have to share.  I was a late night, so I can tell they can take their time on making it.  It's also super nice and creative of them to have done that.
Ok, what's in a Lava Roll: it really is masago, kani, baked scallop with mayo on top.  It usually comes with avocado, but since I'm not a big fan, I asked them to do without.  The sauce that makes the heart is the eel sauce.  Red sauce is hot sauce, green sauce is wasabi sauce (not too spicy).  Of course, I had to ruin the beautiful drawing in order to enjoy my sushi.  And boy, it was a good choice.  I highly recommend it.

Sushi Wabi
3953 Richmond Ave
houston, tx 77027713-623-8818