Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kata Robata

Before you scan thru all the pictures below and think that I'm a pig. This was taken over 2 visits, since I ordered different things, I decided to show you what we had.
Kata Robata, which is one of the highest recommended sushi restaurant in Houston.  My recommendation on this place, you should make a reservation because any given time, they can be busy.  Except maybe on Sunday afternoons.  They might not be packed, but they do have lots of people.
Hawaiian Amberjack sashimi with Fois Gras, that is made with Tonic 5, lime, olive oil, hazelnuts, and chives. Unbelievably, they all went together very well. Highly recommend!
Kobe Skewers: meat was so tender that it just fell off of the bamboo sticks, totally melted as you bite into it.
Nigiri and spicy salmon roll
Unagi, of course
Chopped Scallop
Spicy Tuna Roll (though not on the menu anymore, they have the Tropical Tuna Roll), you can still ask for it.
Spicy Salmon Roll, very fresh
Here's the Caribbean Roll, which has lobster, tuna, eel sauce, mango, and tobiko.  Super fresh, and you do feel like you've been transported to Caribbean.  Must try!

Kata Robata
3600 Kirby, Ste H
Houston, TX 77098
Reservations recommended!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Niko Niko's

Here's my tip to you: if you have a craving for Greek food, and dying to go to Niko Niko's. Go either early between 6p-6:30p or after 8:30p.  Otherwise, you will find yourself standing in line outside of the door.  Long been an institution of Houston, this place started out as a little stand, and I recall they first enclosed the front to add seating.  Now, the place has additional parking lots and to go spots to accommodate customers as they come.
Of course, you order their famous Gyro Plate.  They always include the dalmas with the dish, which I'm just addicted to.  On top of the generous gyro meat and potato, we often split this one dish, and still have left over to take home.

I love their potato because it's soft and nicely flavored and boiled. If you want to try to make it yourself, they provided a recipe on Houston Chronicle, so if the line gets too long, maybe you can ease your craving with this.
Their newer popular item is Loukoumades, which is their honey balls.  It's a nice and fluffy dough ball with honey injected in them.  Watch out, they are hot inside even though they are cooled on the outside.  Not to mention, when you bite into it, the honey gets squirt into your mouth with yummy goodness.  Good to try it on a cool day (which is not for a long time)...

Niko Niko's
2520 Montrose
Houston, Texas

they also have another location in downtown as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brennan's Brunch

This is a little late, but I took Mom to Brennan's for Mother's Day Brunch, and here's what we got:

I ordered the brunch set, which was $32 that includes starters, entree, and dessert.  Of course you can order separate from the prix fixe, but the pricing is not much different, and you get more of a deal out of this.  If you end up ordering what they have included on the pre-set menu, then I highly recommend you to take advantage of this.
Before the food arrives, enjoy their warm bread and muffins.  Of course, it can't just be plain biscuit or plain muffins, they have the warmest blue berry muffins, so delicious!
For my starter, I had their famous Turtle Soup.  I'm honestly hoping it's just a mock turtle soup instead of real turtle.  Either way, it's Creole style, so it's thicker than a vegetable soup, but spicier than normal.
For my entree, I ordered the Blue Crab Scramble Eggs.  Honestly, I can taste more crawfish than crab, but it has more a kick to it than I'm used to.  It is a huge serving, if you want to save room for dessert, you need to stop earlier than the half way point.

Whoosh!  Talk about a dinner and a show!  Brennan's is famous for their Banana Foster dessert.  If you order it, they will cook it by table side.  Watch out for your eyebrows!
Here you have this delectable dessert: they come with this awesome homemade vanilla ice cream to compliment the taste very nicely.  If you want to try it for yourself, here's a recipe for you to try. 

3300 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 522-9711

Monday, June 25, 2012


I ordered Thit Cuon, which is rice paper, lettuce, pork, vermicelli, and sprout.  And you must dip it in fish sauce, I know it's not the best smelling sauce to be near, but it does make the flavor comes out.

Some days I just crave Pho Tai, beef noodle soup with onion, scallions, and I throw in some sprout for good measure.  It's the soup that's addictive, full of flavors and definitely what brought me back time after time, especially if you wanted something late at night.

5176 Buffalo Speedway  
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 664-7303

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dolce Delights

By word of mouth, I heard about Dolce Delight and had to check it out myself.  =D  It was not exactly easy to find, you could've driven by it and didn't even know.  It is located at the building where Sushi Raku and Piola on Louisiana and Elgin.  
Since it is facing Elgin, the trick to spot it is if you park at the garage, they have a side door entrance to the pastry shop.  They do have a pretty wide range of dessert there.
From brownies to go, to personal size cakes, to regular size cakes.  I saw on their menu that they sell macarons, but they didn't have any when I was visiting.  So, that just means that I have to go back for it.
I heard this is one of their more popular flavor: Rose Cream Brulee Mousse dome with lychee filling.  Honestly, I love the cake that is not overly sweet, but soft and moist for you to enjoy. 

I also heard another popular choice was the chocolate dome, maybe that's my next go.  :)  They are open early on weekday for you to catch your early joe and maybe a piece of cake to go for later.  But they are also open late to cater to the cafe sitting crowd.

Dolce Deights
by Candace Chang
3201 Louisiana St. Suite 100 
Houston, Texas 77006 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hillstone - Lunch

I haven't been to the Houstons restaurant on Kirby in years, little did I know that it's not Houston's anymore.  It became Hill Stone, actually they bought Houston's and renamed.  Quite a list of chains.

I ordered a Seared Ahi Tuna salad, sounded easy enough.  But look at how fancy it is!  It has chunks of mango in it.   The salad dressing is a miso vinaigrette.  Amazingly, it all came out to be very harmonious, not at all sour from the mango.

If you go during peak hours, I highly recommend you make a reservation.

4848 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 529-2385

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Alright, we're done w/ the Aussie stuff... now back to Houston food!  That actually worked out where it gave me some time to go out and eat something different and report back.
Ok, not totally different, because we've been there before.  But if it's good, I totally don't mind going back and see what else they have to offer.
I ordered the dragon roll, it is spicy tuna on the inside and salmon on the outside.  I skipped the avocado, just not a huge fan.
But look at that detail!  The little eyes were little squid, the tongue and the anthers are slices of cucumber, such eye to details!
The rest of the sushi were fresh and you can tell they took the time to make them.  They are consistently good everytime we go there.  The parking might be a challenge, just need to pick off peak time to go.

They also have a huge bento box I saw the next table over.  You definitely will not go home hungry!

Nippon Japanese Restaurant
4464 Montrose Blvd
HoustonTX 77006
(713) 523-3939
They are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sydney's Fish Market

One of the places that opens early in Sydney is the Fish Market.  You can sign up for a behind the scene tour for $20, and 1.5hr tour where you can see the fish bidding and trading, and tour the dock and see fish loading/unloading.
It's a beautiful setting with docks right by the bridge.  Do beware of seagulls, they are not afraid of people and are willing to dive at you for your food.  Don't take your eyes off of your food.

You can buy fresh seafood at the vendors shops and alot of them will cook it for you.  You can choose to have your food cooked in different style, even sashimi.
Since it was too early for a full lunch, I opted for a lobster mornay.  It is basically cheese and cream baked over the lobster meat.  I will say that it wasn't as warm as I liked, but it's a good tourist spot for lunch with a nice view of the dock.

They also have a cooking school to teach you how to make something yummy with your daily catch.  You can see their school catalog on their site.  You can get there by metro or bus, obviously by car, and they have their own parking for a fee. 

Sydney's Fish Market
Bank Street  
Pyrmont NSW 2009, 
(02)9004 1111

Monday, June 18, 2012


My aunt took me to Wollongong, it is an hour or so outside of Sydney.  After day of sightseeing, her son met us for dinner and took us to Wagaya. 
They are located in Haymarket (Chinatown) area.  The decor is pretty chic, and customers get seated in big booths. 
The ordering system is cool.  At your table, you get to use the touch screen to order.  That is very helpful when the lights are dimmed and you can't see, so having the screen is super helpful.  You can cancel your order no problem.  And I have to say, this is super efficient because as soon as we put the order in, we got our food within couple of minutes.  You can't get service that fast if you have to wait for your server.

First, we have here, seared wagyu beef with scallion, and you dip in this ponzu sauce. 

Beef skewers

Eel skewers

Chicken skewers

Agedashi Tofu

Beef hotpot, and they serve with cold noodles.  And you put the cooked meat and veggies on top and the soup, and you eat it together, and it warms you from the inside out.

Salmon Nigiri

Eel roll - they really went to town with the eel.

Like I said, as you put the order via the monitor and food just appear. And you can check on your order as well.  You can see if your food is still being prepared, they have a little icon that shows you it's cooking.  Too cute.  And when you're ready to pay, you go and hit check out, and the check will appear mysteriously.

1/78 Harbour Street
Haymarket NSW 2000, 
(02)9212 6068

Friday, June 15, 2012

Passion flower - Aussie edition

On this Australian trip, my other aunt and cousin took me to dessert after dinner.
Inside the Capitol Square across from the Haymarket (aka Chinatown), and the one of few Starbucks in the city.  You walk into the shopping center and there's all these eatery, and then this hip bright dessert spot.
I ordered a tiramisu, look at how decorative this is.  It's like a little piece of artwork that's yummy!  Not only do they have tiramisu, they also have crepes and exotic flavors of ice cream.

This is definitely a good end for my 1st Australian trip.  I've got couple more places to report, after that, we'll be back to Houston's food!

Shop G12, Capitol Square
730-742 George Street
Haymarket, NSW 2000

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bau Truong - Aussie edition

So my aunt and my cousin took me to Blue Mountains and then took me to Bau Truong.  It's quite different than the Vietnamese we have back home, the salads, yes I said salads.
First we have the Lotus salad mixed with shrimp and chicken and pepper.

You mix up the salad with the fish sauce, and you eat them with the crispy shrimp chips, by putting it on top of the chips to get the effect.
Then we have venison salad with veggie and peanut on top.  

Beef salad with tamarind sauce and mint leaves on the sauce.

Vietnamese Pancake (Bahn Xeo), the outside is made out rice flour and coconut milk, and it's crispy.  The inside has bean sprouts, shredded pork, shrimp, and herbs.  You dip it in the fish sauce and soften it and eat it with the filling inside.

Beef roll (Bo la lot), which is one of the 7 course of the Beef 7 Ways.  It is beef roll wrapped in lolot leaves which are indigenous to Loas and Vietnam.  You wrap it in rice paper, and put vermicelli, veggies, bean sprouts, and you dip it in fish sauce for flavor.

Needless to say my aunt and my cousin had to roll me out of this place because that's alot of food for the 3 of us.  Cabramatta has a very big Vietnamese population, and there is no shy of good Vietnamese food in the area.  As a matter of fact, there's different branches of Bau Truong around. 

Bau Truong
70 John Street, 
Cabramatta, NSW 2166
Phone: (02) 9727 4492