Saturday, May 18, 2019

Din Tai Fung's Century Eggs With Diced Ginger

Din Tai Fung's Century Eggs With Diced Ginger

Somehow I never even knew that Din Tai Fung had this until I saw some pictures online today. I actually thought that the white stuff on top was raw garlic, but it turned out to be diced ginger instead...pickled ginger, to be specific. That made it a bit sweet, but I still ate it all.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Go-Ang Pratunam's Thai Braised Tender Pork Dry Noodle

Go-Ang Pratunam's Thai Braised Tender Pork Dry Noodle

It seems that Go-Ang Pratunam has expanded to a few locations in Singapore. And they've also added some noodle dishes, like this pork dry noodle. It tasted fine, but wasn't anything special either (and honestly, the pork was a bit dry). I'll stick to their chicken rice instead; their prices are still amazingly low either way.

Saigon's Heart of Darkness Brewery in Singapore

Beef Pho

This craft brewery from Ho Chi Minh City has opened up an outlet in Tanjong Pagar (55 Tras Street, 6208-7940). They serve food, including that bowl of phở above. I liked how they used tastier cuts of meat with fat attached. And they are one of the only shops around here to use the firmer and skinnier noodles that I'm accustomed to. But the broth was rather tasteless and the herbs were limited in quantity, thus killing the bowl for me. I'll come back for their huge array of taps though, and maybe even the steak or wagyu burger that I saw on the menu. What'd be even more ideal for me is if they had some kind of tribute to Hanoi's bia hơi.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hosay Mee Pok in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Signature Mee Pok

There was something odd when I walked past this new mee pok stall: its signage said that it was "endorsed by Ah Hoe Mee Pok." Really? The same Ah Hoe Mee Pok that was at this Ace Eating House previously? I'm not sure what the relationship was there, but I liked this better than Ah Hoe, mainly because it wasn't as sweet. Now, it's still a far cry from Tai Hwa, but it still worked, especially since they had black vinegar that you could spike it with.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The United Polaris Burger at San Francisco Airport

The United Polaris Burger

The new United Polaris Lounge at SFO is so nice that it even has a section with table service. I went for this burger; the fries were better than I had thought they would be, but the patty wasn't anything special, and I wish that they had used raw onions instead of pickled ones. I shouldn't complain though; it was part of the lounge's food service so there was no separate charge for it. Nice to see United fiddling with dining concepts too.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Khao San Thai Street Food in Portland, Oregon

Khai Luk Koei

I don't know why Thai food is such a big thing in Portland, but this Thai place was around the corner from a few bars that we were at tonight (1435 North West Flanders Street Suite A, 503-227-3700). No, it couldn't compare to places in Southeast Asia, but it did the job of getting food in our bellies, including those son-in-law eggs above.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Minato Japanese Restaurant in San Jose, Calfiornia

Hamachi Kama

When I was a little kid, we used to go to San Jose's Japantown quite a bit, in particular for this restaurant (617 North 6th Street, 408-998-9711). It was where I tried raw fish for the first time, and they also had a very unique ginger-based salad dressing that I loved. It turned out that it was still in business after all of these years, and I was kinda curious as to what it was like now, especially since some online comments said that they did a good hamachi kama. Besides, even Bourdain made it here once, so it couldn't be too bad, could it?

Sigh. They had "world famous teriyaki spareribs" served on the bone that I didn't even want to finish. They oddly used firm tofu for their hiyayakko, and their salad dressing was now mixed with commercial goma dressing, if I tasted it correctly. Granted, I wasn't expecting a proper izakaya (which is why I ordered the spareribs to see if they might've done something interesting with them). But the yellowtail collar above was the only thing that I cared for, and only marginally at that. We should've gone to Dan Izakaya instead.

Friday, May 10, 2019

St. John's Bar & Grill in Sunnyvale, California

Hamburger and Fries

One of the reasons why I suggested this place for lunch today was because it was an old school place with a bold claim to having the "Best Burgers in Silicon Valley" (510 Lawrence Expressway, 408-738-8515).

But it turned out that what I liked more about this place was the fries, which were wonderfully crunchy yet moist and full of greasy potato taste without being oily. The burger paled in comparison, as the bun was a bit sad and the patty was a bit thin, even if it was still grilled nicely.

I'll come back for those fries either way, especially since they have a pretty big collection of beer on tap too. Maybe next time I'll get the double burger, or even the serrano pepper "Beg For Mercy" burger.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Dac Phuc Restaurant in San Jose, California

Bún chả

I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure why I came here nor even how I heard about this place (198 West Santa Clara Street, 408-297-5517). But I managed to catch them before they closed at 7 PM. It looked like a family-run business, and was a very friendly one at that. I told them that I was torn between the phở and bún chả, and they said that the latter was good,. Yes, they gave the pork a nice grilling, and they were nice enough to give me extra noodles too. I am not sure if I'd come back just for that though.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

New Mongolian BBQ in Mountain View, California

Mongolian BBQ

I'm pretty sure that I've been to this place before (304 Castro Street, 650-968-0381), but it's been so long that I don't remember it. Well, there was a decent spread of ingredients tonight, but I couldn't get the sauces to work for me. The house signature sauce was sweet, and the red chili oil wasn't spicy. Their spicy recipe didn't pack any heat either, while my custom concoction of just soy sauce, garlic, and chili seeds also ended up being sweet without being spicy. I ultimately went for three rounds (it's all-you-can-eat) of this trial-and-error process, leaving with a stuffed yet unsatisfied belly.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Pho To Chau in Mountain View, California

Pho Bo Filet Mignon with a side of oxtail

I went to downtown Mountain View for dinner tonight, only to realize upon arrival that the place that I wanted to go to was closed on Tuesdays. I thus diverted to this phở shop to see if it were any good (852 Villa Street, 650-961-8069). To my surprise, they had some interesting cuts of meat available, including sliced filet mignon (as you'd expect, they were tender but lean), as well as oxtail, whose fatty pieces fell off the bone. The broth was rather boring though, and I didn't see any nước béo hành trần listed on the menu either. Pho 90 Degree is still my first choice.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Clarke's Charcoal Broiler in Mountain View, California

Cheeseburger and Fries

I used to drive past this place many years ago when I still worked in Mountain View. But for some reason, I never went in (615 West El Camino Real, 650-967-0851). Today I was in the neighborhood again, and I'm glad that I made it this time. It's an old school place that has been running since 1945.

The thing that I liked the most was the huge condiment counter for you to dress your burgers up in, featuring tons of fresh green lettuce, big slices of onion (both red and white), not to mention pickles and pepperoncini plus an array of sauces including horseradish. I loaded up on my burger, making it go down with ease.

To be sure, the fries were a bore, and the meat was a bit overcooked. But it wasn't dry, and still carried a bit of a chargrilled aroma. So yes, I'll be back here again, especially since they have beer on tap too. In retrospect, it looks like you can specify the doneness of your meat, so I'll need to remember to do medium rare next time.