Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Miss Dessert

Being a sweet tooth, I was very much looking forward to the newest Chinese dessert place in Houston.
Miss Dessert is a tiny spot next to Fu Fu facing Bellaire Blvd.  Plus, now that the street is fixed, it's much easier to see the sign and get in.
Not too much on the menu.  They have Vanilla based, Sago based, Glutinous Rice Balls with soup based and fillings, Mango based, Grass Jelly based, Homemade sweets based, snacks, and Milkshake blends.
I got the coconut milk sago.  It turned out to be cold, there is a warmer version, but I should've guessed it.  They are generous with the sago, but not with the portion.  That tiny dish is not very deep in case you're wondering.  And while the taste is spot on, for $4.60 for a small dish is not very price worthy.  Because comparatively, when you turn the corner (within the same shopping center) at the Gelato Cup, you can get a big cup of sago with fruit for the same price.  They will do it either warm or cold, and again the size is larger, and makes a difference.

This is a hole in the wall, and they do serve some desserts that no one in Chinatown is serving.  Some of them, you'll have to go to someone's home in order to taste them.  That said, for the price, the taste is not outstanding, now that I've tried it, I don't have to wonder anymore.  By the way, they only accepts cash and the place is small if you do end up going there with a group, keep that in mind.

Miss Dessert
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cafe Kubo's

Cold days makes me crave for soup and ramen... since there were a long line down at Tiger Den, we went to Kubo's Cafe.  Not that they're the second fiddle, just that I know that I'll get decent soups there too.
Tonkotsu~ oishii!!!!  The soup was nice and thick, and when it hits your tummy, it delivers warmth.  Talk about hitting the spot!  The egg is the perfect 60 degrees - soft boiled egg.  The pork is nice and fatty.  I wouldn't have minded if there's more fat.  The soup is nice and thick, the noodles are Sun Noodle, but nice and complimentary.  All I have to say is delish!  
Ended up splitting this roll with my mom.  It's the scallop tuna roll.  The scallop is chopped inside and tuna on top.  They drizzled the eel sauce on the outside.  It was nice without a lot of sauce.  I know it's a bit expensive, but it's worth the try.

Reminder, Ramen is only served in the evening and weekends.  So, make sure you go when they serve.  Roll they have all day long.  Should you miss their ramen, their bento is good and generous too.

Cafe Kubo's
9889 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX

Monday, December 29, 2014

BiBiJo Express - Korean Cuisine

T'was cold and rainy in a December day, the best thing to do is to get something that warms my belly.
 Inside H-Mart, there are several places that serves noodles, stone noodles, rock bowl, bowl rice...etc.  I wanted to get something warm to my belly, so decided to give them a try.
It was a special they were promoting, which is spicy pork rock noodles.  They are not as spicy as I'd thought it'd be.  I would say the heat came from the rock bowl, which is pretty sizzling hot.  The temps were for sure there.  The spice is there, it's not hot enough that a wimp like me can't take.  It is for sure flavorful.  The pork is definitely generous portion, the flavor got soaked into the soup.  And you get some kimchi in there, which makes the whole thing yummy.  They serve the bowl with rice, and apparently, they have little side dishes behind the sign that you are free to have along with your dish and rice.  For $8.99 you can't ask for more... as a matter of fact, my tummy was warmer for it.

Bibijo Express
1302 Blalock Blvd.
Houston, TX 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Just want to wish you a Merry Christmas and may you get what you want and most importantly, ate well!

Will continue next week. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Moeller's Bakery

My mom had to get some goodies for work, and she picked up some macs for me.  They cost $1, and it's from Moeller's Bakery which has a long history in Houston.  So, here we have (from left) Almond, (back) Pistachio, Strawberry, Lemon, and Chocolate.  The pied were good, and the shells stands well.  For the Strawberry ones they put some flavor in the batter, so you can taste it more on the shell instead of the filling.  

Overall, the macs aren't super spectacular, but not horrible.  Better than some, but not the most memorable.  For $1 and its decent size, it'll do the trick in a pinch.  I'd go for Moeller's other goodies, such as cakes and eclairs.

Moeller's Bakery
4201 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77025

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pronto Cucinino

For a quick Italian bite:
we went to Pronto Cucinino.  If you are a fan of Nino's, you can definitely appreciate coming to Pronto.
I tried to turn the picture couple of times, but it didn't work... despite that, you can still see the food, so here it is: Rigatoni Pomodoro with Italian Sausage added.   There is a surcharge for adding the sausage, but it's totally worth it.  You can also get the Rigatoni Rustica, which is essentially the same with eggplant.
My friend and I split a Tiramisu, being in a pinch, this will definitely do the trick.  Not too heavy, and not too sweet.  Just nice and balanced.  You can find that in the to-go fridge.

This place essentially is a Cafe Express but only Italian food.  You walk in, place your order at the counter.  Grab a seat, they will have their servers bring you the food.  They leave out the to-go box, knowing that not everyone can finish their dish, which is always good for the next day lunch.  If you don't have time to sit down, they have a to-go that you can call ahead and do a curb side pick up.

Pronto Cucinino
3191 W. Holcomb Blvd
Houston, TX 77025

Monday, December 22, 2014

Arirang Korea Restaurant

Been meaning to try this place, been driving by for years...
The reason we haven't is mainly in a separate shopping center to itself.  We finally made the trip.
 They are known for their dumplings, which was interesting because I didn't know much about Korean dumplings.  I will say they do taste home made not frozen.  And the filling is done very well too.  This one we have is pork and cabbage.
 I love the Korean BBQ, every table has a grill.  Our grill in particular seems to be weak, took a little longer to cook even the beef, despite the fact that it's already thinly sliced.  And of course, I really go there for the little side dishes.  They have picked cucumber, kimchi tofu skin, kimchi potato, plain kimchi, spinach, spiced tofu, sprouts, and spiced lettuce.  

I will say, for the spread, it is more expansive than other restaurant of the compable size and food.  For the beef dish, they were charging $17.95, and if you want the seafood combo, they cost $79.95.  So, it's not cheap.  In terms of quality, the chicken seemingly would've been ok, so while the taste was decent, the meat was dried.  The beef was so-so, not terrible but also not something that I must come back here for.  I'd say fair at best.  You can see the entire menu on their Facebook page.

Arirang Korean Restaurant
9715 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77036

Thursday, December 18, 2014


It's been a while since I been to 51Fifteen.
We sat at the bar area, as usual, to take advantage of the Associate Pricing.
 I got an Arnold Palmer (virgin, of course).  Just Lemonade & Iced Tea.
I got the Chicken Fettuccine.  The Sun Dried Tomato wasn't really adding more to the dish.  The chicken was nice and moist, I wish the cream sauce was more flavorful, but it wasn't.  I did like the added parmesan, but then again, I like all cheese on almost anything.

So, as mentioned, for lunch if you sit at the Bar area, you can take advantage of the Associate Menu.  You can also take advantage of the Associate Menu at the Bar on 3rd Floor of Saks.  Yes, you order it, they will deliver up to you.  You can have some peace and quiet up there.  Or if you want to feel like you're in the restaurant, the bar will do just fine.  For $13, tax included, you get a main entree and a drink.  For substitution, there will be an upcharge.  For extra sides, there'll be nominal charge.  But they have Lobster Bisque as a side, you wouldn't mind paying extra $3-5 for it.

2nd Floor of Saks 5th Avenue
5115 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77056

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hong Kong's Cafe

Back to Hong Kong's Cafe.
Afternoon tea starts at 2:30 thru 5:30p
 This round, I got ramen with lunch meat.  Wish there's a bit more flavor on the soup base.  Alas, it's very plain soup.
 My normal lemon iced tea.  I love it!

For the low low price of $5.40, you get a main dish and drink.  And we were there around 4:30p and there were hardly anybody there.  We pretty much have the whole place to ourselves.  

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd
Ste A
Houston, TX 77036

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Corner Bakery Cafe

We went to breakfast at Corner Bakery with Mom
She's very proud to use her senior discount, and bought breakfast.
I got the Apple Cranberry pancake breakfast.  It was a bit too much food for one person.  They have eggs and bacon which is already a full breakfast.  You add the pancakes, which is a 4 stack, with cooked apple and cranberries.  Not sour at all, very nice.  But too much food.

It's nice on a Sunday morning to come here, it's never crowded are too busy.  You can definitely can enjoy your breakfast as you see fit.

Corner Bakery
2615 Southwest Fwy
Ste 100
Houston, TX 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Counter

I can honestly say the last time I was at the Counter, I was still pregnant.  Given the kid now walks, I'd say it's been a while.
 They changed their format a bit.  They have a mini binder of a menu, then at the very end is their checklist to make your own burger.  I guess the choices overwhelms people so they give you some ideas with the menu.  
 Got a Chocolate Shake... sorry took a few sips before remembering to take a picture.
 I had the burger, Medium Well with Cheddar and Onion Confit and Aioli Sauce on the side.  Originally, I was going to put Hickory BBQ sauce, but our server was just telling us that several customers didn't like the new batch of hickory sauce, and advised against me getting it.  So, I took the advice and get my default Aioli sauce.  Trust me, if you get that, you can't go wrong, I was just trying to explore other sauces.
For side, I got onion strings.  They come with this buttermilk ranch that is awesome and addictive.  And also the Hickory BBQ sauce, and I get why it was bad.  The texture was thin as water, and it was not going to stick to anything, if it's not going to stick to the fried onion strings it's not going to stay on a burger.  I did dip a onion string to test it out, and I didn't even finish it... so good call, Mr. Server.

Overall, the Counter is pretty reliable, mainly if you custom made your burger you just need to know your own taste buds.  I did see they are running alot of drinks specials to match their audience on Washington Ave.  I will say that the Adult Milkshakes looks intriguing, and probably wouldn't mind giving that a shot in the near future.

The Counter
4601 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hong Kong Food Street

Took my mom for her birthday dinner, and she picked...
 For our veggie, we did ginger stir fry style snow peas.  I can stand for them to be more ripe. These were a tad on the young side.
 Japanese Style Short Ribs - I swear the last time I had it, it was less sauce and more sizzle.  But this time was very full of sauce.  Still tasted good, but I swear last time it was more pan fried sizzle.
This is meat pancake with salty fish hot pot rice.  The meat pancake has pork and some salty fish in it.  Mom said that salt fish is more expensive now so they don't put alot in the pancake. That's so strange to me, because growing up salty fish is a peasant food, it's a super cheap everywhere.  Now, it's actually hard to come by.  That's very odd to me, how a everyday food to a delicacy.

Keep in mind that if you order the hotpot rice, it takes 20 mins.  They are cooking the rice from scratch, so it does take that long.  Either you order if when you sit down, or expect to wait a bit.

Hong Kong Food Street
9750 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX 77036

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Breakfast Muffin

So, I was hanging out with some friends who are also moms, I decided to do a Pinterest project.
While surfing, I found this awesome picture... and it looked easy enough to replicate.  You can find the real recipe and pictorial instructions here.
I ran out of eggs, so I ended up using 6 eggs instead of 8, but still turned out nicely.  I also did some substitution.  Instead of normal wheat bread, I had gluten free bread.  Instead of meat, I had put in hast brown potato.  There were sprinkle of cheese, and I did a leaf of spinach per cup.  

The only thing I forgot was to grease the tin pan, they did stick at the bottom.  So remember to grease them first.  I did baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then I left it in there for additional 3 minutes, and it does turn golden brown.  I didn't get a chance to take an after photo, but I will say that I could've add a little more spices, but the potato was already flavored so that helped the taste.  Give it a try!

Monday, December 8, 2014

River Oaks Donuts

It's too convenient to get to the donut place.
 So, naturally, I go for my favorite...
 ... the donut holes.  I'm still excited that they are the only place with flavored donut holes and you can just get one if you want.  Of course, it's like Lay's Potato Chips, you just can't get just one.  I had a Fritter Bite, Chocolate Cappuccino, Old Fashion, Blueberry.
Just a chocolate glaze donut.  It's very good, not too sweet.  I do have a question about the difference between a raised glazed and a normal glaze.  It just seems to be the same to me, and the lady at the drive thru could never hear me right, so I can't ever get the right one.

River Oaks Donuts
3601 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027


Was meeting a friend for lunch over at Grotto.  I've been here for Happy Hours many of times, but this is the first time to have lunch here.  You can sit at the bar area for lunch if you're in a hurry.
This is the Ceasar plus chicken.  Sadly, you can obviously see they added the chicken after the mix.  It's kinda weird because the chicken doesn't have the salad dressing taste to it.  The cheese cracker does taste good though.
This is a lobster bisque.  It's pretty thick in texture and the 2 pieces of lobster you see?  Well, there are just that, 2 pieces of lobster meat.  I still much rather have the Pappadeaux bisque.  It's the right thickness and meat every bite.  Don't get me wrong, it doesn't taste bad or anything, but just lacking something.

I did the lunch special where for $11.95 you get a soup and salad.  They have a choice of Tomato Soup or Lobster Bisque and Ceasar Salad or Grotto Italian Salad.  So when I asked what was in the Grotto Salad, it sounds much like a Mediterranean Salad; which is why I opted for the Ceasar, but  it doesn't come with much, as you can see...  I think the next time I would do the Business Lunch which range from $15 - $17 which comes with a soup or salad with a full size entree.

Grotto Restaurant
4715 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027

Thursday, December 4, 2014

(Yu Yuen) Shanghai Restaurant

It's been a while since I've been back to the Shanghai Restaurant.
This time we got Shanghai Stir Fry Noodles (they use thicker noodles than the other styles), as oily as it is delicious... can't get enough of it.
(Sorry photos upside down from here)  This is Four Season beans, which is really green beans with onions and garlic, it's pretty strong spice for taste, can only have a few at a time.
Xiao Long Bao - which is not a true bao (bread) of any kind.  Also known as Shanghai Soup Dumpling, when you bite into it, there's a bit of consumate in there.  Definitely yummy... don't forget your ginger vinegar!
My favorite, Steam Fry Pork buns.  I know you're wondering, how can it be steam and fried?  Well, the entire thing is cooked via steam, when it's almost done, they put it on a pan and fried.  So the bottom is nice and crunchy.  They have a nice pork meatball in the middle as filling and it does have some soup to go along with it.  It's like a more solid version of the XLB.  Very delicious... I always use that as my yard stick to measure the Shanghai restaurants in town.

Since the name is kinda of ambiguous, I want to make sure you know where this is.  It is in the Sunshine Grocery store (formerly known as Golden) and it's to the right of it, if you were facing the grocery store.  It's in the mini parking lot, 2nd store.  I love that you know they made everything in house.  By looks of their breakfast menu, it looks pretty awesome too, need to come back for that.

Shanghai Restaurant
9888 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hong Kong's Cafe

We actually go to Hong Kong's Cafe almost weekly these days.  Either because we're nearby to run some errands or just meet friends.  We always ended up there.  So naturally, I didn't take pictures of the same thing I get all the time.  So, I just want to highlight couple of things we got this last couple visits.
 This is stir fried rice noodle with beef.  In Chinese, they called it dry stir fry beef 'ho fun'.  The dry is because there's no sauce that goes with the dish; think spaghetti with alfredo.  Instead, they use soy sauce to get that browning color and taste.  If you want to try it yourself, this is a very good recipe I've seen online.  
They have this new thing where they started to serve Ramen in the evening.  Starting at 6pm daily, they are serving ramen for $6.99 and it comes with a drink.  So, the noodle is normal egg noodle, the seaweed is plentiful, the egg was not a 60 degree soft boiled egg.  There were way too much corn.  But the pork was good.  The soup, as you can see is more Shoyu style than Tonkotsu style, not at all fatty or soupy.  It works for a diner style ramen, much like Suehiro.  I think just for ease, that's the easiest to make.  So, no slurping the soup here.
This is the Hai Nan Chicken Rice.  Frankly, when I visited Han Nan Island, they don't have this dish there... sorta like the fortune cookies - they were an American invention, not the Chinese.  I hope I didn't burst your bubble.  Just in case, you're wondering - Santa, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy are real...

Anyway, this time the chicken was oilier than I liked.  You're supposed to dip the oily chicken into the vinegar dish and the rice is cooked with chicken broth and serve with salt roasted peanuts.  The vinegar tasted good, the chicken, as I said was a tad bit on the oily side.  The rice is good and it is supposed to go with the peanut.  If you have an allergy tell the server ahead of time.  They're pretty good about accommodating.  As usual, they only accepts cash.

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd
Ste A
Houston, TX 77036

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PF Chang's

It's been a while since we were at P.F. Chang's.  We came in late in the afternoon and they're still serving lunch.  
Lunch order comes with either a soup or salad... by way looking at this salad, I should've gotten the soup.  This just looked a bit sad.
I got their Gluten Free version of Beef & Broccoli with Fried Rice.  For lunch, they normally do either steam white rice or brown rice, so if you want fried rice, you have to ask for it special.  I want to say there is a surcharge for getting the fried rice, but it's nominal.  Not going to break the bank over it.

We were at Highland Village and I know what you're thinking, during the shopping season, you gotta be mad going there.  Actually, since P.F. Chang is right by the parking garage, it's very convenient.  They don't have valets until dinner service, so you can park wherever you want.  And should it truly be full, elevator is fast and clean.  Cannot complaint.

P.F. Chang's
4094 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77027

Monday, December 1, 2014

America's Thanksgiving Buffet

Warning: This is picture heavy!  Every year Thanksgiving, my friend and I have been to different restaurant to do Thanksgiving.  It works out well for those of whom who are not going home for the holiday, and still get together with friends minus the cooking.
At America's, instead of a prix fixe like alot of places, they decided to do buffet.  You can see a nice spread, if not here, coming up.  For starters, they have the plantain chips with the different sauces, several kinds of salads, salmon and capers.
There are several kinds of empanadas, fried shrimp, fried yuka balls...
More sides: of course you must have baked sweet potato, not sure about brussel sprouts, normal potatoes, grilled mixed veggies and asparagus.
To the Roast Table, there are Roast Beef, Turkey, Roast Chicken, Roast Lamb...
... and the beautiful focus piece was the roast pig.  Very nice!  Not pictured, omelet bar and waffle/crepe bar.
To the other side of the restaurant is the dessert table, they have: tres leche, pumpkin tres leche, chocolate cake, bread pudding with tequila sauce.
Creme Brulee, not pictured Wedding Cookies, which were delicious, pumpkin empandas that were more savory than sweet.

As you can imagine, Thanksgiving day the place is packed and it's chaotic.  I do appreciate that they brought on extra staff to help clean plate and refill drinks promptly.  They do replace your silverware super quick.  As soon as you stand up to get a plate they're ready to swoop in and change out.  Talk about quick and efficient.  The chaotic part was, even though we've made a reservation, there were still confusion as to priority to seating, I guess some folks showed up without reservation by taking a chance.   We did see some folks sitting outside on the balcony to eat, luckily weather was cooperative.  But aside from that, the in house service was good, and given it's such a hectic day, I think they performed very well under pressure.  

Will definitely come back for a sit down meal.  By the way, you don't have to valet if you don't want to.  Depends on which direction you come from, the garage is right behind the store front.  If you get yourself to 2nd floor, you can just walk straight to their entrance.  But should you want to valet, you still need to make a flight of stairs, the elevator is around the corner after the stores, so that may actually serve you better if you have someone in your group that cannot do stairs.  And for this place and location, reservations is highly recommended.

America's River Oaks
2040 West Gray St.
2nd Floor
Houston, TX 77019