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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bento #1

Sauteed scallops on a bed of carrots (sorry carrots, you'll have your day in the sun :), cherry tomatoes and blanched brocolli... for dessert, cow zai candy (牛軋糖).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cat's Theory of Yummitivity

Yummitivity = YUMMY!/(fancy decor + celebrity status of chef)

The more money they put into foofoo-ry (ok, I made up this word, it means people who spend more time on superficial stuff than innate beauty), the less resource they have to devote to the taste of the food. Also, if the chef happens to be a celebrity chef, the food is bound to be bad cuz he/she is probably too busy appearing on TV to focus on the food.

Case Point I: Look how beautiful this restaurant is...
It's even got a lover's nook! But alas, the food was unmemorable. In fact, I don't event remember the name of the place anymore.

Case Point II: Shilin Night Market in Taipei... no foofoo-ry at all!
And its yummitivity score is outa this world! Oyster pancake...
Stinky Tofu! Served on paper plate and disposable chopsticks, sure signs of max yummitivity!
Tofu Flower... mmmmmm.
In conclusion, yumminess is inversely proportional to fancy decor/celebrity status of chef... End of Lecture. Off to accept my Nobel Prize for culinary science :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stefan's LA Farm

Hmmm, food is over-rated... company was good :) Here are the famous sorbet lollipops.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here are a few classic Su-Zhe-Hui dishes I had while on vacation in Shanghai. Su-Zhe-Hui stands for Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai (Hui is the shortname for Shanghai). It is an area south of the Yangtze River that has traditionally been the heart of Chinese Jiang-Nan (south of the river) culture.

Shredded Daikon and Shredded Jellyfish
Drunken Marinated Periwinkle (the marinate is a Chinese liquor infused with spices)
Drunken Marinated Crab (sort of similar to the periwinkle marinate)
Smoked Fish
Big Zha Crab (M-M-M Good!)
Ga Li (Clams) Noodle Soup
Wontons! Us delicate Su-Zhe-Hui-ers DO NOT eat dumplings (unlike the barbaric northern Chinese), we eat wontons. So the rule is: Dumplings, NEVA, Wantons, Yummy.
Wonton Soup (and for breakfast, we make little wontons and have little wonton soups)

Here is a dish we always eat for Chinese New Year - sauteed Ta Ku vegetable, Bamboo shoots and sticky rice cake (nian gao). These foods are eaten for symbolic reasons: the "Ta" in Ta Ku vegetable means grounded, bamboo shoots shoot higher and higher, and "nian gao" literally means year higher. So the idea is to have a prosperous new year (career/bank account etc grow higher and higher) while remaining a grounded person.
Here is a picture of Ta Ku Vegetable - it's green but flat and I guess that's why it has the word "grounded" in its name.
Shanghainese dessert: fermented rice wine. Mmm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Who is the fairest of them all? Yuck!
Ewee! (you know, I really feel for geoducks. Some people are born pretty and others... are born like humongous, ewee...sigh)
Prepare yourself peeps, here is a closeup! EEEWWWEEEEE...
Just another day at a Cantonese restaurant... maybe we should send these animals to Korea for some cosmetic surgeries.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cube Cafe

Mmmm, Cube Cafe, delish. Here is the private party room, beautifully decorated, see the cured meats/cheese sampler plates already set up, darn it, should've chowed all of them down!
Our cured meats/cheese plate. I love the plating, it's like they set them on a chalkboard and write the names next to the meat/cheese... love cured meats, even the cheeses were yummy. What's going on?
Black truffle pizza, so subtly fragrant, incredible.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shanghainese YuDan Family Dinner

In Chinese culture, January 1 (western New Year) is referred to as YuDan or round egg, I think... So, I went to a friend's house for YuDan eve dinner... it was a cold crisp day. Here is a veiw from grandpa's office, Shanghai is truly an urban jungle now.
Chinese family dinners usually involve at least a dozen people, so the tasks were split between various family members, here my aunt is the official food chopper. She is chopping the eel here (eels are standard Shanghainese fare)...
Now the two chefs are in action in the kitchen...
Stir frying away...
Shanghainese cold appetitzers: smoked fish (two styles), shredded jellyfish and daikon, shredded Lusun (I think that's what it is called).
Now all the dishes are here (except the eel dish actually) and the kids called grandpa to the table... see how filial Chinese people are?
View from grandpa's office at night...

Monday, January 10, 2011


Went to Jay Chou's concert, where I was a super VIP, so super I was actually on stage...
Jay and crazy kiddie fans...
Stage from above...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Love Story in Taipei

On my flight back to LA, I saw a Taiwanese movie called Snowfall in Taipei (台北飄雪). It sucked. The guy and the gal stare and pose, and nothing happens. Argh. If I were the director, here is how the story would go...

Ah-Jen (阿珍)and Ah-Long (阿龍)are kind hearted but lonely souls... and one winter day in Taipei, despite the once in a millenium heavy snow, they wandered to Raohe Street Nightmarket (饒河街觀光夜市)in search of their favorite food, stinky tofu! At the entrance, they each took a sniff of that sweet stinky smell and suddenly their eyes crossed...

They continued to stare cross-eyed at each other as they passed a bunch of food stands...
Finally, they reached the peppercorn bin stall... But alas, there was only one bin left... so Ah-Jen gingerly looked up to Ah-Long and said: you wanna share? Ah-Long couldn't believe his luck and replied, sure!
And so, it was love at first bite. Chomp! What do ya think of my script? Shall I submit it to a Hollywood studio?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Prime Rib and Conan

Prime rib at Houston's, and guess who we bumped into -- Conan O'Brien! He looked exactly the same in person and his hair was super fluffy. Btw, I finished the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Small salad, big salad...

Post-Asia trip detox... oranges, fennels, cured beef, arugula...
This salad looks, er, HUUUGE.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Loved Taipei so much, decided to open up my own cafe there :) Lots of food pics to come, see ya later!