Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
While cleaning out my hard drive after all the hardcore photo sorting I’ve been doing lately, I came across this series of food photos that I had designated for a separate post. Paris is one of the great food cities of the world, but we didn’t indulge in any fine dining because we had so much sight-seeing to do. Besides, when you’ve been walking around all day, you’re not in the right state of mind to properly appreciate exquisite meals like that. So most of our meals consisted of eating at whatever random restaurants or delis we would run across. What follows is a selection of edible goodies from the past month or so, starting the night before the trip and ending at Boston, MA where we went to help my brother move into his new apartment.
I’m not sure when I first learned about Wolfgang Puck’s signature steakhouse named CUT, but it seems like I’ve been hearing its name every other week for the past year. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith were photographed having a double date there last year, it was the setting for a lunch meeting in a recent Entourage episode, Adam Carolla on his radio show/podcast talked about his encounter there with a couple The Hills stars in December, on and on, not to mention all the food blog reviews I’ve encountered. CUT is a very hot restaurant, to say the least, and for quite a while, I’ve been looking forward to eating here with its genuine Japanese Wagyu steaks (think: Kobe beef). I made reservations a month in advance!
Everybody knows that the Internet is a crazy place and there are websites about anything and everything. Still, I was surprised and entertained to find a Costco blog that details the stuff a married couple purchases on their weekly Costco trips. It sounds mundane, but being a Costco shopper myself, I recognize a lot of the items they talk about but have never purchased myself. Somehow it never occurred to me to look up what people thought about the rows of food products I just walk past, so it’s been a lot of fun browsing through this blog.
I actually found this site because a few people from the Something Awful “Goons with Spoons” sub-forum had recommended Jack’s Special Salsa from Costco and I was googling it to see other opinions. I bought it yesterday along with a bag of tortillas, and indeed it was a tasty snack. It’s going to be a regular purchase from now on.
I haven’t updated for a while (still have my Tokyo photos in my to do list), and that’s because I’ve been working on a mini project. No, it’s not a blog redesign that I sorely need or anything that you’ll benefit from, but I think it’s pretty neat and I’ll have some pictures to show in a week or two.
Three years ago, my family went on a trip that my dad said was “once in a lifetime”: a drive around the entire island of Taiwan. He called it that not because the feat is difficult (obviously, Taiwan is a small country), but we all knew that this was a two week journey we would never repeat. We visited all the major attractions of this beautiful island and essentially was finished with Taiwan as a tourist destination.
Even so, I’ve been to Taiwan twice since then, mostly to visit family, but also to relish in the amazing food and shopping. Following the break is a photo dump of some of the places I visited.
Typical street in Tainan, Taiwan
Park Hyatt Tokyo is the hotel featured in the movie “Lost in Translation”, with the New York Bar as a prominent setting in several scenes. Watching the movie was my introduction to the hotel. At over $500 U.S. a night for the most basic room, staying at Park Hyatt Tokyo is pretty much limited to international businessmen and the elite.
Taiwan is a food lover’s paradise with lots of unique and tasty delicacies. One of their most popular exports to the U.S. is boba tea, which some people call bubble tea. Another treat is Ai Yu jelly, which isn’t as mainstream here but is ubiquitous in Taiwan. Walk around any of the many Taiwanese night markets and you’re guaranteed to see multiple Ai Yu stands with lines of people.
Ai Yu is made from the seeds of the Jelly fig and has essentially the same consistency as Jello. It is practically tasteless by itself so traditionally, lemon juice or other enhancements are added. I’ll show you how to make this refreshing dessert! (so easy even I can do it)
This is all you need. You’ll have to go to your local Asian supermarket to find cans of Ai Yu. Chances are if you have a decent market, they’ll have a plentiful supply. Get the “Made in Taiwan” cans if available for best taste.
I like adding almond jelly for a little variety. I think this is probably sold in regular American supermarkets as well, but if you’re already at the Asian market, you can most likely find this right next to the Ai Yu cans and save yourself a trip.
Opening the can gives you a block of Ai Yu. Chop it up to pieces of desired size. Do the same with the almond jelly. Next, add as much water as you want and then squeeze some lemon juice. For a bowl of this size, I use half a can of Ai Yu, half a can of almond jelly, about a cup of water, and juice from one lemon.
The finished product! I can’t even call this a recipe since there’s literally 2 steps. It makes a refreshing treat and tastes just like they make it in Taiwan.