Posts Tagged ‘tofu’
Hotpot, steamboat, shabu shabu. Different names, same thing – lazy restaurant that makes you do all the cooking.
MK Trendy is a hotpot chain in Bangkok known especially for their special dipping sauce. Sweet and salty and just a smidge spicy with sesame seed and cilantro for added smiles.
I wasn’t blown away by the food here but I’m sharing because MK Trendy has a few things that you really need to see to believe.
True confession time again.
I’ve been to Daiso 4 times in the last 4 weeks. Obscene right? It all started off because I need a plastic bowl for my morning cereal. It has now morphed into a weekly, mostly innocent visit to pick up a peeler, a bottle opener, some tupperware. Whatevah. Then I started venturing into the food section at Daiso and it was all downhill from there.
Sometimes I buy things and have no idea what I’m going to do with them when I get home. Such was the case when I spotted some green tea soba at Daiso. For two dollahs I figured I didn’t have much to lose. I perused the internet (as is what often happens, you go to Google for life’s answers) and found two recipes that served as inspiration. One is from superfamous food blog Chocolate & Zucchini and the other from the Aussie mag The Gourmet Traveller.
Don’t worry I’m not in Hong Kong again. 🙂
This past Friday the gang got together to bid adieu to Selene as she heads back to (strangely enough) Hong Kong. We had aspirations of First Thai but were denied since they’re closed for Chinese New Year. Not one to be discouraged, we trekked a little further to Liang Seah Street and settled on Crystal Jade Hong Kong Cafe.
I was a bit confused at first. I had been to Crystal Jade before but their speciality was xiao long bao and la mian. This CJ was all about congee and milk tea. Apparently the Crystal Jade peeps have their fingers in lots of different pots and this is a different flavor of the same chain.
I’ve been saving the best for last.
The Night Market was my first meal in Taipei. After the giddiness of seeing my MV buds simmered down we MRTed it to Shilin in the drizzle to partake in one of Taipei’s best traditions. There’s also a story here of Jeff forgetting his Blackberry and harassing an unsuspecting security guard to check his email but that’s less interesting.
There are heaps and heaps of good food at the Night Market. Come hungry. This is NOT snacktime.
Our first victim: oyster pancake.
Egg with crispy edges = good, bits of green onion = good, oysters = good, gelatinous clumps of unknown origin = weird but palatable. I *think* it’s some concoction of rice flour. But why?
Follow the crowd. Hop into the long line in front of “Large Fried Chicken” (real name) and be rewarded with obvs genetically enhanced fried chicken.
Too bad there’s no size context on this because it is HUGE. I had to hold the thing with both hands. It has a familiar five spicy taste (reminds me of the pork chop at DTF). We asked for it spicy so there’s a bit of a bite thanks to that sprinkling of red stuff. Julia and I shared this and couldn’t finish. I lovingly refer to this as 8 chickens since it’s about the size of 8 chickens. The crowd does not lie.
Jeff disappeared while me, Julia, Ellen, and Kim lined up for big chicken. He returned with two servings of dumplings swimming in peanut sauce. This was an unlikely favorite of mine. It’s the peanut sauce that’s the winner here. It’s more salty than sweet with a bit of heat at the end. Reminds me of good satay sauce.
We strolled down several streets with Jess and Jeff leading the charge and stopping periodically when they came across their faves. This stall served baos with meatballs.
This was just alright for me. Tastes how it looks. Meatball with bao dough all around. Bonus points for being piping hot.
Turn the corner into another line of street stalls. They are big on sausage in Taiwan. Lots of street stalls with an astounding variety of sausage. Impressive.
The bestest stall of them all – scallion pancakes. I could probably eat these nonstop for several days. In Taiwan they are made even more delicious by a plethora of sauces – bbq, curry, etc and the option of adding eggs and/or bacon. The cakes come out flaky, buttery, and piping hot. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. After Julia and I were left hangin’ by the toilet restaurant we stuffed ourselves with scallion pancakes. OMNOMNOMNOM.
This vendor makes itty bitty mochi balls filled with red bean and rolled in ground peanuts. Pretty cool to see her doing her thing. Also pretty cool how easy it is to procure mochi desserts in Asia.
Alright. What we’ve all been waiting for. Stinky tofu. You can smell it from a mile away. My nose wrinkles just looking at this next picture.
So. I tried it. I didn’t spit it out. The verdict? It tastes like it smells.
So concludes our jaunt through Taipei. Not bad for 4 days, right? I’m ashamed to say I did not have boba (tapioca balls in the milk ice dessert kinda counts though) or thick toast. Who’s up for Taipei Round 2?
We had our first dinner in Chiang Mai at the hotel. We were pretty tired from our sprint through Bangkok Airport and had arrived in Chiang Mai just as night fell making the area around our hotel less appealing to venture out into (yah, we’re scared of the dark). We had a lovely dinner served by the nicest, sweetest hotel staff in the history of hotel staffs.
So that you can best enjoy your meal they’ll set out a fan, a citronella-type candle near your feet, and will lend you some natural mosquito repellant spray. The menu has both Thai and Western dishes. We jumped on all the Thai food and started with some spicy tofu and eggplant for the vegetarian.
We got lots of good recommendations from friends of things to do and places to visit in Hong Kong. One of the places that we heard about multiple times was the spicy crab place under the bridge. Little did we know that this was not just a description of the place, it was the NAME of the place: Under Bridge Spicy Crab.
One taxi ride later we found ourself at the aforementioned bridge with the spicy crab on the menu. We got dropped off at the corner and walked first up to a shabby looking kitchen. This was confusing. Was it an expensive hole in the wall? We were ushered a few doors down to a fancier building and waited a few minutes for our table. If you decide to pay them a visit, make a reservation. We did and we still had to wait.
I treated our party of 10 to lunch at Fortune (Hong Kong) Seafood Restaurant in Malolos, Bulacan during our stay. Located on a business strip right off of the MacArthur Highway it is sandwiched between a couple of larger, flashier chain restaurants. Fortune touts itself as being one of those ‘forreal’ Chinese joints. I’m not Chinese so I can’t tell you how authentic it is, but for what it’s worth the meal was pretty darn good. Instead of pouring over the menu we ordered a family meal that set me back about USD 60.