Thursday, July 28, 2016


Driven passed this place, literally for years.   Was out of ideas for lunch, and since they caught my eyes, figured what the heck.
The space used to do Teppanyaki, but then it had changed hands couple of times since.  For a weekend lunch, I basically was doing it tapas style.
I got the single order of peking duck bao.  It was nice, not too dry on the meat, but the sauce was laid on thick, literally.  So, I could've done with less sauce.
Got an Hawaiian handroll, it is pretty comparable to any out there.
Forgot the name of this roll, I want to say it's on their one-pager of Specials.  But it has salmon and avocado on top with spicy tuna inside.  

Overall, it really is much like any Japanese restaurants you go to, they have cool lamps for decor, and they used to have DJ nights.  That said, my server was awesome, energetic, making sure I was ok, and get on the kitchen when my handroll took a tad long.  Meantime, keep track of 4 other tables.  I appreciate that.  When your food is pretty much of the competitor's down the street, having excellent service really helps. 

Maiko Sushi Houston
2649 S. Shepherd (at Alabama)
Houston, TX 77098

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hong Kong's Cafe

Go back to my regular haunt.
For an Afternoon Tea set, for $5.60, you get a drink and a few dishes to select from.
I got the red bean drink.  Which is cooked adzuki beans, with coconut milk and shaved ice.  You mix it all up together, it's a beautiful thing, my friend! 
For this visit, I got the curry fish paste ball (aka fish balls) with bok choy noodle.  The noodle is just egg noodles, but the curry sauce is what typically makes the fish paste ball or slices with a kick.  It's nothing spicy because they are along the lines of Japanese curry, that is borderline sweet.  That said, it gave the bowl of noodles the flavor it needed.  And I think the bok choy is in there for good measure.

We've been coming here for so long that the owners knows my family.  This is such a good mom and pop shop as along of the places in Chinatown is, and you really feel like that's your Cheers in a little hole in the wall.  Remember to bring cash!

Hong Kong's Cafe
9108 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, TX

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Went to meet a friend for lunch.  
Luckily, there's a bunch of new places down the street from me.
Got my Arnold Palmer, it is not as tiny as it seems.  Don't worry just tea and lemonade, nothing else.
My lunch came with a salad, everything is very fresh and vinaigrette is not super oily either.
I got the Lobster Bolognese.  You can smell it before I even tasted it.  It was fresh and it was creamy and delicious.  Every bite has lobster to it, and the sauce is awesome.  Not too heavy, great for lunch. 

The servers are knowledgable on the menu even though the place is new.  They came and checked in on us several times to make sure we are doing ok.  Not to mention, parking was super easy during lunch.  It'd be ashame not to take advantage during lunch.

4444 Westheimer Rd
Suite A-120
Houston, TX 77027

Monday, July 25, 2016

Flip n' Patties

I went to an art show, and saw Flip N' Patties
Been meaning to give them a try, but not easy catching them.  So might as well take advantage that I can.
I had the BBQ Skewers, and it came with this cute little container with rice, veggie, and eggroll.  They give you this cute little spoon and fork too.  It's spoon one end and fork the other.  The meat was well marinated and delicious.  They weren't kidding when they say it's heaven in your mouth.  It was well executed and well made, and the sauce was delightful.  Not heavy, not salty, strike a right balance there.  So yummy!

Flip n' Patties
Usually at Marquis on Tues/Friday

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pei Wei

Went for a quick lunch at Pei Wei...
I had the Lo Mein with chicken.  It came with green beans, mushrooms, carrots, scallion.  Of course, my kid notice carrots and pick them out.  I love the flavor, it's not overwhelming, and the small serving is just right.  Thank goodness that they decided to offer small portion, previously we would put half of it away for later but now, we finished it and don't feel like a pig.

Don't forget you can customize your dish chicken, beef, tofu, or just plain veggies.

Pei Wei
5110 Buffalo Speedway
Suite 100
Houston, TX 77005

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

House of Pies

I love to go back to House of Pies to reminisce my 20s.   
That's my favorite diner-esque place inside the loop.  I get my burnt coffee with my yummy pie.  I always get the Bavarian chocolate with banana.  It's has the yummy chocolateness plus the texture of banana.  What's not to love?!  Quick pie and some conversation with friends, helps me get thru any boring days.

Now, they do server a mean dish of corned beef hash.  They also have food for dinner and lunch.  I do like counter service, you can see all the action in the kitchen.  But I also like the new part of the diner, where there's more seating and it's pretty and bright.  Go check that out.

House of Pies
3112 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77098

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cafe Express

I always forget that I can do a quick and decent lunch at Cafe Express
Since I don't work downtown anymore, there isn't one that is near me that I can get to easily.  But was meeting a friend, so we went out that way as a halfway point.
I got a soup and salad combo, but that's still alot of food, and I didn't even finish the bread they gave you.  It's a great deal, for less than $9, you can do either a soup or sandwich with a salad.  Of course, for the business lunch, it's fast for a quick hour turn around.  We were at the Uptown Park, so parking can be a tad competitive.   Otherwise, their service is fast, and definitely get you in and out.

Cafe Express
Uptown Park
1101 Uptown Park Blvd
Suite 12
Houston, TX 77057

Monday, July 18, 2016

Common Bond

Since I don't get to go often, when I can, I'd like to go to Common Bond.
When you go during the week, there's no line out the door, and you can always find a spot to enjoy your coffee.
I got the Valrhona Mocha.  Nice and rich, and cute design by the barista!
This time, I got Egg on a Roll.  It's 2 eggs, actually, with ham, cheese, and squeeze into a sesame bun.    The sandwich looks small, but it's actually alot in person.  I had finished half of it, and had to take the other half home.  But it was filling nonetheless.  

Like I said, going during the week is so nice.  You can always find parking, even though they had a trailer that took up some spots, and another storage/cooler type thing took up more spots.  You can find a parking spot, no stress.  Then, there's no line out the door, and you can easily find a spot to eat. It was just such a relaxing experience compare to weekends.  I highly recommend it if you can swing it.  Of course, you cannot by pass the counter without gawking at the wonderful looking bakery display (insert drool here).

Common Bond
1706 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Seasons 52

Went to have Happy Hour/early dinner with some friends, and they did the picking, which I was loving all the picks!  Check that out!
This is the Kona Crusted Lamb Lollipop.  OHMYGOSH!  Soooo good, it surprised me how well aged and seasoned it was.  It was just indescribably good. 
Seared Ahi Tuna with mango vinaigrette, super delicious.  
Roma Tomato Flatbread, it has obviously tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese.  It was a great sharing dish, not too heavy, and let you talk and not sink you down.  After you had all of that, you don't feel like you ate a bunch of carb, and yet can still drink with some food in you.  

I can honestly say, I have never had anything bad here.  Things have always tasted great.  The transition from bar to table was a little confusing amongst the staff, but once we got it straighten out, it was fine.  Service is always attentive, and with several people going different direction, they did not get our orders wrong at all.  They are real pros!

Seasons 52
4410 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77027

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jenni's Noodle

Went to meet some colleague for lunch, and they were craving Vietnamese. 
I got the Pork & Shrimp Egg Roll Vermicelli Salad.  I was hoping that they were more of the style of Bun Thit Noung Cha Gio.   Instead, it was really a bed of lettuce, vermicelli, and just egg rolls, which has pork and shrimp.  I could've used a little more protein.  I liked their food, and definitely love their vibe, but food is more for the quick dose of Vietnamese.  I love that their fusion is good for the taste bud in the area, but for the real dose of Vietnamese, I would go further down the road and get some down home Vietnamese.

Jenni's Noodles
2027 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

St. Regis Tea

Went to St. Regis for Tea again.  I'm just going to warn you that it'll be picture heavy.  Enjoy!
Pretty china and nice settings
Amuse Bouche - Curry Shrimp salad on lettuce boat.  It was meant to be served cold and it has a hint of curry, no kick, don't worry.
Gorgeous china.  And again, we were recommended 2 types of tea today.  It was a dark tea for the savory course.  Our butler had named off several kinds of black tea for the St. Regis Blend, but he was in a hurry, I didn't want to ask for too much details.
Sandwiches (clockwise): Cucumber Sandwich, Chicken Salad sandwich, Beef and Provolone sandwich, Gruyere with Roasted pepper and pecan, and Salmon and cream cheese.
Star of the show: Blackcurrant Scone with Devonshire cream.  I have to say, the cream this time wasn't as fresh as I had before.  It was actually better to use their house made jam than the cream.  The scone itself was great, nice and fluffy.  It remains you of a pillow, it was yummy.
Dessert course: we had the fruit tart (which was disappointing), passionfruit meringue tart (which was surprisingly delicious), and Chocolate Mousse cake (it was sweeter than I needed, but not bad).
To take home, they gave you macarons.  It has Pistachio, Raspberry, and Coffee.  I have to say, the coffee was delicious, raspberry was too sweet, and pistachio is exactly what I anticipated.

Overall, we've always liked to come here for tea.  However, you can't help but felt like other people are looking at you because the space is so small.  We eye-balled it, they could not fit max 30 people and be enjoying tea comfortably.  They do have a harpist accompanying you while you have tea, which makes the experience that much more fancy.  This time, however, our butlers wasn't as attentive as the previous times we've been here.  I'm not in a hurry, when you come to tea at St. Regis, you're expected to enjoy it for the entire 2 hours, that said, when our tea ran out, it took a little work to get the butler's attention to get more tea.  That we've never had that issue in our past visits.   That said, this is still the best tea in town.  It's well done, well executed, compare to the other places in town, this has A+ on food, atmosphere and price.  That should tell you how outrageous the other places are.  

Since their tea service have gained such popularity, they've added another seating for the weekends.  So, now there's a morning tea and an afternoon tea for Saturday & Sunday.  Friday, is still one seating.  Always make a reservation!

St. Regis Hotel
Afternoon Tea
1919 Briar Oaks Lane
Houston, TX 77027

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ninja Ramen

I was so excited when I saw Ninja Ramen's FB post that they will be serving lunch.
Been meaning to go there forever, just don't like to trek down to Washington in the midst of Happy Hour drunkeness and inconvenient parking.  Now, it's perfect for lunch.
This is a blueberry lemonade, unique and refreshing.  Super delicious and not over empowering my taste buds.
As I was having my first taste, I was so stunned.  The ramen is unlike any other I've tasted around town, the meat is great, the egg is harmonious with the rest of the bowl.  How do they do it?  My server/bartender was telling me that they cooked the meat in the broth first then stew it for 8 hours before serving.  The egg is soaked in ginger and soy sauce while making, then in the broth, plus their secret ingredient that he is not allowed to disclosed.  But, no wonder the whole thing goes together well.  What I mean by that is, if you've been to other ramen places, you should notice that the meat taste 'separate' than the broth, than the egg, than the noodles.  This one, it all goes together in one big happy picture.  OMG!  Must have!  

The noodles, they imported them in, and actually have to pull it themselves, thus the name ramen (which means pulled noodles).  Back in Asia, there are masters that take on apprentice who teach them how to make the noodles dough, how to pull and how to separate.  While I would be lying if I tell you I can taste all that.  I will say this, while everyone using Sun Noodles or make their own dough, you definitely can taste the difference between Ninja Ramen's dough than the others.  It's less egg, more elasticity.  If you can't tell those characteristics, just appreciate how well the entire bowl put together.  And if you ask the server nicely, they will give you half portion of extra noodles for free.  Another portion they will charge you.  But next time, I think I'll order extra meat and get the extra portion of noodles to go with it.  Definitely superb!

Lunch was not widely publicized but they still have decent crowd showing up the first week.  People trickling in and what not.  What's going to help is that they're open for Happy Hour from 3-6p, and dinner service 6- whenever they close.  This is really a bar that happens to serve really good ramen.  They have more bar space than seating for food.  That said, the food quality is good, definitely have legs to stand on.  So glad I finally got a chance to taste their noodles!

Ninja Ramen
4219 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Siphon Coffee

I've had Siphon coffee everywhere, finally made it in to check it out.
Don't get intimated at their parking lot, which seems like always full.  The turnaround is really quick. Alot of people stop in for food or beverage and then leave.  Plus, in the morning, the other shops aren't open yet, so easy to get in and out.
Got me a vanilla soy latte.  I appreciate the barista so patiently make every cup, and she made mine all pretty and stuff.  Adorbs!  Really appreciate her patient.
I only had about 20 mins to kill, you can't exactly sit down for a full breakfast, but too much time to get to my appointment waaaay early.  So, grabbed a cup of coffee and a breakfast taco.  They made everything there, and let me tell you, really appreciate the real eggs they used there.  Plus, they're fast, didn't even have a chance to pick a table, and my food was ready.  

I liked the place is so welcoming and not at all intimidating.  They have tons of bar seats with plugs, fully expecting you will be writing your next great novel or conducting intense research writing there.  They have a few tables for sharing as well.  Let's just say for a first timer not knowing what to expect and a hipster salon next door, I was thinking it'll be horrid.  Conversely, the folks were fast and friendly, and the food and coffee is delicious.  Definitely coming back with my laptop or a book.

Siphon Coffee
701 W. Alabama St
Houston, TX 77006

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hugs & Donuts

Finally made my way over to the Heights for 'breakfast', and we use that word loosely.
Hugs & Donuts had lots of buzz with Eater and Houston Press.
Lots of unique donuts and what I love is that they have more cake based donuts instead of yeast dough.  Let me tell you, I love them all!
Ok, just two, but still, my eyes approved, then I know my tummy will too.  This is a Nutella Crunch.  You can definitely tell the crunch when you bite into it.  It was deelish!
I also got an iced latte that they made there, it goes well with the Green Tea Coconut donut.  I'm not usually a coconut fan, I am a green tea fan, and maybe that's why I love this one too.  Needless to say, I was a happy camper.  

The shop is small, but don't underestimate the small display case, they are constantly replenishing.  On weekends, they also have vegan donuts too.  I appreciate them trying different variety to cater to the new wave of foodie in the donut world.  They even have free wifi.

Hugs & Donuts
1901 N. Shepherd #4
Houston, TX 77008

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Dunlavy

Been driving by Dunlavy many of times, finally get to stop in.
Beautiful morning view of the building.
I got the hibiscus raspberry water, which sounded interested and tasted good.  Wish it was a tad more chilled.  I like how their cards for your order is designed like a playing card.
Can't come here and not mention the huge floor to ceiling windows and their unique chandeliers.  They have so many, that made the place looks disorganizingly pretty.  All the chandeliers are different, and shaped different, but with the Houston Downtown and Allen Parkway as backdrop, it brings its beauty to the place.  One part of the glass house, is facing the creek and trees, reminiscent of a scene in Farris Bueller, where the car ran out of the glass house, it's the glass house.
Let's talk food.  They didn't have frittata that I wanted to try.  So instead I got the St. Cecilia, which is like a panini, with fig and proscuitto, there's brie and honey too.  It's unique, we all've known that fig and proscuitto is a thing, and brie and honey is a thing, who knew that mushing them together is a new and delicious thing?  You clever people you!  Every breakfast sandwich comes with steak fries.  

So, they only serves breakfast and lunch, and host special events, which is a waste, since they have a full bar, can probably make more money on happy hour as that is a good stop for folks on their way home.  And if they do afternoon tea, that place just provide an awesome setting for it.

The Dunlavy Kitchen
3422 Allen Parkway
Houston, TX 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th!

Wishing you and your family have a fantastic 4th!  Go eat something great!