Monday, July 31, 2017


Haven't had lunch at 51Fifteen for a long time.  
 I usually go to the bar, but this time went for a business lunch and did a sit down service instead.
This is their Seared Ahi Tuna salad.  Don't underestimate the salad, there's tons of stuff you cannot see underneath.  There's a bed of greens, with pineapple, apple, strawberry, pecan, avocado, and drilled with this dressing that's a coconut champagne vinaigrette.  Can I taste the champagne?  No, but it is light, not too over empowering, and matches the fruit and tuna nicely.

As expected, lunch time here is not as busy, but if you have a decent size party, you may want to go ahead and do a reservation.  If it's just you and a friend, bar area is not bad, and they do serve full menu in addition to their bar lunches.

5175 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77056

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cloud 10

It's super hot outside, so we opted for some ice cream at Cloud 10.
 We got Rocky Road Cloud Bar and Dark Chocolate ice cream.  Don't worry, I did not eat all of that myself.
Cloud bar truly lived up to its name.  It has a soft shell to hold the toasted pecans.  The ice cream inside is not super hard, which means it's freshly made instead of being in the freezer for days.  Inside is a raspberry marshmallow, nice and soft.  It amazes me that it's not common in marshmallow as a big piece in the ice cream, but they made it work.  I do have my chocolate, my nuts and my marshmallow in a bite.  It was neat and frankly, enjoyable.  Very neat.

I was talking to Chris Leung that they are busy right now getting the Heights location (711 Heights Blvd) ready for opening.  Looking forward to that.

Cloud 10 Creamery
5216 Morningside
Houston, TX 77005

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Haven't had some yummy fries for a long time, and no time like the present.
 Chocolate Shake, always handspan.  Though, I'm telling you, it's really vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.
 Yummy fries.
I got the Swiss mushroom burger with truffle mayo.  Tons of yummy goodness here.  It was not too much but with the mushroom it does add some juice to everything and became messy.  It was a yummy mess, but mess nonetheless.

We have an excellent service with the staff this visit.  They weren't super busy but they have business.  And they made sure we get everything and double check on us and brought us our togo box.  So nice to be pampered.

5220 Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 77005

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sushi Sakura Express

So my mom-friend Hillary was telling me about sushi belt, so decided to go check it out.
 It's by I-10 & Wirt, can't miss it, but from looking at it, you wouldn't know it's a conveyor belt sushi... except, there's no belt per se, it's all magnet.
Pretty big menu.  They charge you by the color of your plate.  So, don't expect to clear your plates, just stack them. 
 We got super awesome seating... right by the chefs, which means food are super fresh as they come out.
 Food comes to you, just grab.  While it may seems weird to reach across, but it's not a faux pas here.
 Just a few sample, they have hot and cold dishes... sushi roll, dumpling (recommended), squid salad (not bad).
 The inside of the sushi maki is spicy salmon and the top is tuna... yum (note blue plate $$$).  Don't worry about the $$$ signs, the most expensive dish is $4.50.
 Left top (clockwise): squid salad, Black pepper Tuna, Salmon (pretty fresh), Red Snapper.
 Marinated seared salmon (pretty yummy).
 Those circle where the plates rest on are magnets.  They even have signs telling you not to mess with it.  Pretty neat, like a mini magnet train logic, moving food around.
 If you don't see what you want, you can always order.  The kitchen is at the back, but they too have a window to put food thru.
They even have dim sum for appetizers, here's Har Gow (shrimp dumpling), Shui Mai (pork dumpling). 

So, our visit was pretty fun.  They seated us right by where the chefs put out food, so all of our stuff is super fresh.  Though, you can tell, they have a routine of putting a batch of something at a time, and you have to wait till they do something or order for it.  

We'd figured out that strategically speaking, any seat at the front bar is good, food rotate there first.  Like I mentioned earlier, you can reach across, though it feels weird.  If you end up at the booths, the right back side is also an optimal seat because that's where the food from the kitchen go thru first.  They also have fruit, desserts, cakes, and Yakult (random but useful).

Overall, prices can get expensive just grabbing plates.  Know the company you go with, because if you guys can split, you can do that and save room to try more stuff.  If not, for 2 people $50 is not unusual.

Sushi Sakura Express
1014 Wirt Rd
Ste 263
Houston, TX 77055

Monday, July 24, 2017

I Never Thought I'd Eat That - Dinner

Went to Izakaya for the 'I'd Never Thought I'd Eat That' dinner.
 But first, a drink: Fuku Bounce - Sprinkling Wine, Pear Brandy, Lemon, Togarishi Pear.  Go down quite nice.
Here's our menu.  5 Course menu, brain child from Chef Hori (Kata Robata) and Chef Philipe (Izakaya) 
Chef Philipe talking about the dish.
First Course: Jellyfish and Shiso Ebi Ceviche.  They had fresh jellyfish and the way they treated it, it was nice and fresh and crunchy.  Instead of typical ceviche lime sauce, they used a fermented tea leaf dressing, and it mixed in with everything very nicely.
Chef Hori describing our dish...
Sazae (also known as Turbo Cornutus - which is part of sea snail/mollusk family) Sashimi with sea grapes and sardine chips.  The sardine chips are very good, best thing I've had like ever.
Here's Lamb Hearts and Roasted Potato with mint sauce.  Since they weren't able to get the Rocky Mountain Oysters, they just got more heart.  The hearts are very tender and goes very well with the Peruvian Mint Sauce (which is very much like the Greek yogurt sauce).  The Roasted Potato was super delicious too.  We were definitely disappointed not having any Rocky Mountain Oysters.  In case you don't know what that is, it's also known as Cowboy Caviar (look that up).
For some carb, this is Turtle Hands Ramen with Mantis Shrimp.  Don't worry there were no real turtles harmed while making this dish.
At first, we when we saw the Instagram of these 'hands' I was intrigued.  But they are sea barnacles, which has a little interesting.  They do look like claws, but it's actually an allgae feeder and has no real heart.  As a matter of fact, Chef Philipe was saying that usually fishermen scrape them from the bottom of the boats and throw them back into the sea.  Turns out, there's a delicious muscle in there, who knew?  Plus, I've never had Mantis Shrimp before, for all the scary things I've seen on YouTube and Discovery Channel was curious what it'd be like.  First of all, it is a bigger size shrimp, but it tasted like... well, shrimp.
The reason why my friends were drawn to the dinner... bugs.  Bleh!  So, the pastry is like a napoleon layered puff pastry with mango sauce.  To top it off is 2 grasshoppers, which were dried and crunchy. It was seasoned with lemon somehow, but it does not make me feel any better.  It was dry and crunchy don't mix well, just felt like some dried chips gone bad.  The Chocolate ice cream is sprinkled with worm powder and on the other side of the pastry was ancho chili glass, which is their homemade concoction.
So, let me tell you, I eat visually, so seeing the grasshoppers, I just was super turned off by it.  I don't mind what's underneath it, just mind what that is.  It was, like I said, dried, crunchy but not in a good way with some lemon taste to it.  As my friend's husband was just saying how they go so well with beer.... urm, pass!  

The worm powder, however, because I don't see it, I tasted it, and didn't bother me one way or the other.  It was mixed in with chili powder, so the chocolate ice cream just had a chili kick to it, which I'm used to.  But it goes back to, I don't see it, it didn't bother me at all.
The chef's hard work for the night really paid off.  They even entertained questions and very friendly and free flow conversation.  Super enjoyable.

My thoughts, the venue, knew that the dinner is slated for 7pm, did't get set up, and seated us until 7:20pm.  Now, I will say almost as soon as everyone was seated, the dishes immediately came out.  As a matter of fact before our drinks did.  Just odd combo.  All the 'oddities' aren't as odd as I'd thought they'd be.  As one of my friends said, that's because I'm Asian, and most of those we've seen in one occasion or another.  I think its pretty accurate, but also open us up to a lot of food adventures, some times I don't even know what I signed myself up for.  That said, the bugs truly bothered me, whole night, I laid in bed thinking, is it stuck in my intestines?  Needless to say, I was weirded out.

Overall, I knew we're in good hands in terms of food, presentations, and taste.  I've eaten at restaurants that these chefs works at, so there's certain preconceived expectation.  One thing they did mention was that all of them are cooks, not pastry chef, so what they made for dessert, was a pretty fancy deal.  It's fun, wouldn't mind trying something as 'different' in the future.  Really enjoyed the collaboration.


Kata Robata 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I don't usually eat up at the Woodlands, but business took me there, and Jasper's came highly recommended.
The sign said they're upscale casual dining, sound a bit contradictory.
 For appetizer, we thought Blue Cheese Chips sounded interesting, why not...  It is exactly that, house made potato chips with blue cheese melted on top, and topped with more blue cheese.  This was unique and turned out to be a good choice.
 For lunch, I did the half sandwich and half salad, and boy was I glad that I made that decision.  The portion was just right.
 I got a half caesar salad.  I liked that the dressing is not too strong and it gives it enough taste plus the cheese was just nice.
This is half of Corned Beef Reuben, which came highly recommended by my coworker.  This has over an inch of corned beef, seared, with their secret sauce (Russian dressing), with apple sauerkraut, in-between two slices of marble bread.  The sandwich is warm, and the sauce dripping and it was delicious.  It was a good recommendation, and so glad I got that.

The place is upscale in the Main Street area in the Woodlands.  It faces a nice lawn and you get to see some green space and some fun shopping space.  I heard that on weekends and holidays, that is the place to be.  For upscale bar, this is the spot, the service is good and the food is top notch.  I do look forward to going back there.

Jasper's (The Woodlands)
9595 Six Pines Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Empire Cafe

It's been a loooooong time since I ate at Empire Cafe.  Not that I don't want to, their food and selection is still good, I just don't live near enough and don't have the patience for brunch parking.  You have to go early.  So it's nice to go during the week.
 Had my favorite Milky Way, which is latte with hazelnut mix with caramel, and chocolate syrup.  It really does taste like a Milky Way.  My favorite part of all that, is the cookies.  When it's hot, it's great to dip with... so delightful!
Since it's weekday, no Migas for me (sad).  But instead, I got the Spinach Frittatas.  It's actually huge, which the photo doesn't do it justice.  It came with a side of herb roasted potato (yummo!), and a side of fruit.  I did attempt to finish the entire dish, and then felt super full and wanted someone to roll me out of there.  It was good, and I was reminded why I like to go there.  Unique decor, good selection of beer and coffee, and good food.  Don't forget they have a parking lot behind the building, if you have to park on the street, don't forget to check the signs.

Empire Cafe
1732 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77098

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fuji Ramen King

Drove down Holcomb and found this hole in the wall place... curiosity kills the cat, let's see what they're about...
They've got bubble tea, but since I'm eating savory, figured that I'll save the bubbles for later.
Got a side of egg roll to start... sometimes I just want junk food... it's nice an quick from the fryer.
This is their Tonkotsu ramen.  The noodle is the thick egg noodles, the fish cakes are the standard ones you buy at any Asian Supermarket, but the veggie, scallions are fresh.  I will comment that the meat is surprisingly tasty.  Nice and soft, not too chewy.  The broth doesn't have much taste, but the meat was good and made up for that.

So this is a mom and pop shop, they do mostly take-outs, but if you walk in, they do have some seatings for that.  The shop is so small that you basically can't really turn around, so grab your seat and sit down.  They also offer Baos, Banh-mi, BBQ Skewers.  It's not bad for a quick neighborhood joint.  

Besides bubble tea, they also have smoothies, fancy coffee of types, handmade buns for special order available too.  If parking at the front is unavailable or too scary to pull out, there are more parking at the back of the building.

Fuji Ramen King
2518 Holcomb
Houston, TX 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Went to Americas for a friend's birthday.  I haven't been there for at least 2 years.  Not for any particular reasons, just didn't have the occasions and it's not exactly in my hood.
 For start, I had a side salad, it's pretty huge for a side salad.  It has various greens, corn, tomato (peeled), pickled onion and feta cheese.  I asked for vinaigrette but it doesn't taste like there were any there.
Since the power went out mid meal due to a thunderstorm, we all dined by candlelight.  Luckily, our food were cooked on gas stove, so didn't impact our food coming out.  For sure, drinks they can keep refilling.  

Anyway, I got the Chicken Fried Lobster Taco, which has hoisin sauce, cole slaw, avocado, the lobster.  The side was rice with plantain and beans.  I cut the lobster in half just knowing that it'll bound to overflow.  But that didn't do the trick it still went over.  So maybe 2/3 size would work.

So, it was strange, it poured, thundered and power went out.  Even though we were seated around 6pm, dinner prime time is usually 6:30 -7:30p, and the power didn't go out until after 7pm.  But we look around, there were plenty of tables emptied.  For a very popular spot for dinner and it's a Saturday night, we were very surprised that there weren't more customers.  Of course, once the power was out, they call the patrons to let them know that they have no power and cancel what they can.  But still, I can imagine people are already there earlier.  So, it was strange to witness for a Cordua establishment.

2040 West Gray
Houston, TX 77019

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Five Guys

Whenever we're out in Katy, we will always stop by Five Guys.
Amazingly, the small fries is supposed to be that small, but it came with a big bag of over flow.  Note to self, ask for kid's size, which will probably be correct.  A quick note, they also cook it in peanut oil, in case you have peanut allergies.
This is a Little Hamburger, which is really a normal size hamburger.  I had lettuce, bbq sauce, and mushroom, and that's already lots.  If you're real hungry, get the double, which has 2 patties and add all the toppings you want, which will guarantee you to be full.

Five Guys Burgers
1150 N. Fry Road
Suite A
Houston, TX 77084

Monday, July 10, 2017

Table 57

We always enjoy going to Table 57.   Food is good, they have great live music, the kids can run around at the play area.
Got there for brunch and invited a few more friends who've never came for brunch.  They were so impressed that they can do grocery shopping later.  Let me tell you, as a mom, these are the precious moments where you can combine several need-to-dos with nice-to-have scenarios.  

Anyway, got the breakfast my way with 2 eggs (sunny side up), bacon (nice and crispy), diced potato (that has a kick to it).  Of course, it came with biscuit should you want to make your own breakfast sandwich.  It was lots of food, shared with the kiddo and barely finished it for the 2 of us.  The dining here is casual and easy.  Though, now that the heat has been turned on here in Houston, it's less enjoyable being outside, both for little kids and grownups.   We'll be back, but will be in the side room next round.

Table 57
inside HEB on San Felipe
5895 San Felipe
Houston, TX 77057

Thursday, July 6, 2017


I was dying for something sweet and came across Popfancy.
It is located at the Rink Level of the Galleria mall.
These are fancy popsicle flavors, include Thai Tea, Caphe Su Da, Champagne Pear, Coconut Milk... and more.
I went with Lavender Matcha (Green Tea).
Wow, came out very pretty.  Flavor is not bad either.  You can definitely taste the green tea, the lavender so-so.  But I do feel like I'm having cold green tea with creamy flavor.   Definitely going back and try the other flavors.

Popfancy Pops
Houston Galleria Mall
Rink Level
5085 Westheimer Rd
Court Ste 110
Houston, TX 77056

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


It sure has been a long while since I've been to Uchi.
As usual, we try to get the Sake Social and linger thru dinner time.  That's so fun, you get some dishes at discount, sure to get a decent seat and enjoy the food and company at the same time.
Eggplant Nigiri, I know people look at me like a crazy person, but their eggplant sushi is super good. It is grilled, not too mushy, and it has this lemon curd for taste, not too zesty or zingy.
This is the Sake Social sushi maki: avo maki, which has avocado, fried shallot and yuzu kosho (don't know what that is but it's good).
Machi Cure, one of my standard go-to.  It is: smoked yellowtail, yucca chips, marcona almond, pear.  The trick is to put all of that on the chip in one bite to get the full taste of all of them together.  
This is my first time trying the fried yucca, which is like a fried sweet potato.  The sauce is the green goddess sauce which works well with the starch. 
This is Kori Kaki, which is a fancy preparation of oyster.  It has cantaloupe and green tea mix on there.  All I can tell you is that is the most refreshing oyster I've ever tasted.  It's not too sweet, but it is so fresh and refreshing that I slurped the juice.  Wish they make that mixture for drinks... no kidding.
The top is the Uchi-viche, which has salmon, cilantro, avocado, hot pepper, and a Vietnamese sauce of nuoc mam, which I have no idea what that is, but it tastes good.  On the bottom left is the red sea urchin, which was super smooth.  And the Oyster on the bottom right.
This is the Negi Hama Futomaki, which has yellowtail, cucumber, negi and tamari sauce.
This is the gyu kare, which is short ribs (that melts in your mouth), cherry tomato, peanut, cilantro.  So good...
The hamachi nabe - which is hot pot rice with yellowtail, rice, soy broth, and egg yolk on top.
They mix it all up for you, so that the egg yolk will cook, the fish, broth, rice mix nicely.  By the way, the rice is cooked in this pot, which explains the bottom of the rice has bonded together, it was by design, not overcooked.
Spider Roll
Taraba Kanpyo - Alaskan King Crab (super fresh, by the way), summer squash, and wildflower gastrique.  You again combine all of the ingredients into one bite to taste all the flavors.  And let me tell you, the crab has been soaked in butter that keeps you wanting more.
Haru Tataki - which is cauliflower 3 ways, pureed, grilled and pickled.  Our favorite was grilled, then pureed, then pickled.
The famous Fried Milk - chocolate ice cream, with chocolate cookie crumble with ice cream, toasted meringue and little ball of fried (what seems to be) condensed milk.  Oozing with yummy goodness.
Peanut Butter Semifreddo, it has apple miso dot sauce, peanut butter flan like pudding, ice cream with crushed peanut and raisin.

Entire meal did take close to 2.5hrs to eat.  As usual, for those who are not familiar, they do tapas style size but the dishes don't all show up at the same time.  They come in courses one by one.  Luckily, we have a very enjoyable group and the time just flies.  We all were commenting how you felt like you ate so much but yet not needed to be rolled out of the restaurant.  That's a good feeling.  If you ever wanted to go, make reservation ahead of time. If not, show up at the open and you can definitely get yourself a seat at the bar, which serves the full menu.

Uchi Houston
904 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006