Here’s a quick photo diary of my Halloween in Tokyo!
I was surprised that Halloween was really big in Japan. The roads were closed off so people can wander the streets of Shibuya and have a fun & safe time. I saw a lot of great costumes. Here are just a few.
And of course, food post to follow.
The streets were packed with people! This picture doesn’t even capture the madness.
Clearly, I am not the only fan of McDonald’s.
The creepiest couple
These two guys needed assistance from Elmo & Ghostface.
I’ve been craving simple Korean food and Han Bat always hits the spot. Beef broth, rice, and kimchi.. It’s the best!
Their kkakdugi is always SO good. I need two bowls to myself.
I had dinner at Spice Affair in Beverly Hills. It’s on restaurant row.
The food is upscale Indian and all the dishes were LOADED with spices.
My favorite was probably the Coco-li-flower which is an appetizer consisting of crispy cauliflower in coconut sauce. It’s one of the very few vegan dishes I like! I am a total carnivore, if you haven’t figured that out already. HAHA.
This is what I do before every meal. My friends know that they have to wait.
I visited back in August and I was not fond of waiting in that line. I don’t know why I went on a weekend. [Actually, I know why. My friend suggested it. LOL. ] I usually try to avoid these hot spots during peak days. But fortunately, the line moved pretty fast.
I filled out the order sheet that they give you while you are waiting. But it’s hard to decide without actually being able to see the pastries so I decided to go inside to check the pastry case.
The way they set up the space is that you wait at the top of the steps at the entrance and then walk across to the counter where the pastry case is to give your order sheet with your order number on it and pay when it is your turn. This makes it difficult to browse the pastries before you pay.
When I got inside, the host was pretty rude and pretentious and told me that “there’s a line”. Well obviously, there is a line; it’s wrapped around the side of the building. I wasn’t trying to cut. I couldn’t even cut because I didn’t have the order sheet with me, either; my friend was waiting outside in line with it. I think they could have told me in a nicer way; that just left a bad taste in my mouth. And when we got to the top of the stairs and were next up to pay, she said “you can go and pay now”.
Oh, can I please??!?
Spacious and lots of natural light
The menu is very limited if you do not want pastries, salads, or sandwiches. We came after 11a so we couldn’t get the breakfast items [such as the coddled egg and egg sandwich] which seemed more appealing.
Out of the Liege waffle, bread pudding, and the strawberry scone, I thought the waffle was the best. I just wished it was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside but it was more of a soft waffle with a fluffy inside. The taste was good, though.
The bread pudding came out lukewarm. We asked if they could heat it up and they actually brought out a fresh new one that was supposedly warm. That was nice of them. BUT it was still lukewarm. I really liked their bread pudding at their original location so this was a huge disappointment for me. I remember liking the eggy-ness mixed with the fluffiness from the bread but this one had large chunks of egg custard in the center.
I went when they were fairly new, so I hope they worked out the kinks by now [as well as fixed their attitude problem].
I got to try out Munchery, a SF-based food delivery service. They are available across various cities in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.
I saw on their website that they have cooking kits, where you can cook a meal for two in 15 minutes. I must try that next time and see how it turns out.
The price point is pretty good for the quality of food you get. To keep prices low, they charge a subscription fee for members.
I ordered my meal two days ahead of time because I REALLY wanted the CAWxMunchery Gold-Flaked Chocolate Cake! It was sold out the last time I tried to order it so when I saw it on the menu, I just had to jump on it.
A plus is that you can pick your delivery window. (I chose 4-5p.)
The food comes chilled in compostable containers and in a paper bag so it is ideal if you are home or will be home when the food gets there.
This is what I got this time.
They have rolls & nigiri too!
For me, the spicy tuna crunch roll is a light snack, or appetizer to start off my meal.
And got my favorite dessert! Of course, I had to get TWO. Sadly, I shared one.
It’s been a couple months since my last visit H O M E.
Yes, I still call LA my home even though I’ve been living in the Bay Area for about two years now.
San Francisco-based Mr. Holmes Bakehouse just opened up a location in LA, Highland Park to be exact. They have a location in Seoul as well!
Went for a media preview & got their DONUTS, of course! [Thanks, @dailyfoodfeed for the invite.]
I definitely recommend the donuts, but depends on the filling. I usually like the cream-filled ones.
They did not have Cruffins for the preview but that is what they are known for, so you should try them at least once. It’s similar to the Cronut in texture and taste, but shaped like a muffin.
Afterwards, I was STARVING. I love donuts and all, but I needed something more substantial.
So I decided to go to Szechuan Impression.
I have been wanting to try this place for the longest time.
Impressive Cold Noodle.
It was impressive, indeed. Good texture on these noodles as well as the spicy flavor.
Lamb on Toothpicks.
I love cumin lamb and their version was flavorful. The meat was really soft.
Sautéed Spicy Crab
I try not to get crab too much because I don’t like cracking them. I wish the meat was already taken out of their shells but oh well. They left the best part intact, which is the crab eggs + the tomalley. I hate it when they take that out! The dish was #SPICYBUTNOTSPICY for me but I loved the numbing spice.
I was pleasantly surprised. I would go back to try other items on their menu.
When I think of Crustacean’s, I think of their famous roast crab & garlic noodles.
If you don’t know already, the An Family owns multiple restaurants in SoCal & SF. Their first restaurant, Thanh Long, which I have been to, is located in the Outer Sunset.
I was excited to attend this event to watch Chef Helene An cook something up in front of our eyes… And also because I was secretly hoping that she would cook us up some garlic noodles. Hehe.
Here is the menu of the items from her new cookbook that she previewed with us.
Part of the spread, all from the cookbook.
[top left cw: Vietnamese chicken coriander cabbage salad, caramelized salmon, coconut spare ribs, filet mignon shaken beef]
They brought out so many extra dishes besides the ones that were listed.
[above are from the actual restaurant menu: crab puffs & jumbo prawn wontons]
We had a lot to eat! That’s a very Asian thing, which I L O V E.
In most Asian households, there are alwaysleftovers; no one ever leaves hungry.
My favorite dish was this FRENCH ONION PHO WITH BEEF RAVIOLI. The mini bone marrow added richness to each bite. The broth tasted super clean. This is definitely not your average pho. I am going to try and recreate this dish from the cookbook, one of these days!
My Second favorite dish from the cookbook was probably this SPICY CHICKEN & SHRIMP RAMEN IN COGNAC XO SAUCE. If you know me, you know I NEED spice in my life.
And just when I thought, they weren’t going to bring out the garlic noodles….
The book is written by Chef Helene An & one of her daughters, Jacqueline An. I had the pleasure of meeting both of them and they were really nice! They personally signed each book, which I thought was very thoughtful.
She was really tired, but I had to bother her for this selfie.
[A photo of Chef Helene and I with THE Dog Filter.]
I loved listening to the An sisters, sharing their family’s story and memories associated with the food that inspired them. You, too, can read about their stories in their cookbook.
They will be releasing this family style tasting menu next week! Luckily, I got a preview.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Heirloom tomato gazpacho: the salted egg added something special to the soup.
Ocean Trout Crudo: can never go wrong with fresh raw fish.
Broccoli di Ciccio: I’ve noticed that this is the hottest trend in green veg. I’ve had it on pizza @ Fiorella and now here.
Crispy Octopus: probably my favorite dish. The batter on the octopus was crispy, yet chewy. The octopus was perfectly cooked. All the colorful veggies made the dish very beautiful. The roasted red pepper rouille was a nice creamy sauce that had a little bit of spice; it went well with the crispy octopus and the fresh tomatoes. #MoreThanJustOK
Bavette steak: This was the heartiest dish. The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and it was not chewy or tough.
Brown butter panna cotta: This dessert was soooo good. I LOVE panna cotta. This was less gelatinous than most panna cottas I’ve had. It was super smooth and the brown butter flavor really came through. The tartness of the raspberry sorbet and the texture from the chocolate cake crumbles balanced out the creamy, butteriness of the panna cotta. I wish I had a bigger bowl of it. #MoreThanJustOK
The pretty cocktails: Pear shiso & Carrot and Chinato.
Family Style Menu: $65/person * $35/beverage pairing
I love having the option of choosing the base. I went for organic Straus so I could be a little healthier. But then again, I ordered the double, which was giant. HA HA. I noticed that the ice cream is usually super silky and smooth when it is made with liquid Nitrogen and Creamistry’s texture was ON POINT.
There are so many flavors and toppings to choose from (over 70+!). I, of course, got so many toppings because I like options. I got fresh strawberries and bananas, marshmallow cream, Fruity Pebbles, and a waffle cone. I added fresh fruit, so it’s healthy, right?
I wanted to try the edible chocolate bowl, but those weren’t available yet. A side of brownie is also an option with your ice cream.
I also tried a cookies ‘n cream NitroShake with mini M&M’s mixed in garnished with some minis and chocolate shavings.
Soft Opening this Monday, 9/12 and officially opening on Friday, 9/16.
Will be back to try their affogato, and their specialty creations in a cup.
$10 off first subscription of these snack boxes from Try The World.
Use my code ‘HungryHungry10‘
This month features snacks from Sweden, France, Thailand, Spain, and Portugal.
I really liked the Thai Taro Chips. They are baked, not fried. The chips had a super crispy texture with a slightly sweet and buttery taste; something that I found addicting. The buttery-ness comes from the palm oil that they use. Let me know which was your fave!