Five Guy’s Burgers and Fries

Last week on the last day of our 3 day weekend, and I had a sudden craving for Five Guy’s Burger and Fries. And so we went!! 😀

So I believe 5 guys originated on the East coast where In n’ out doesn’t exist. In the past few months, 5 Guys is popping out everywhere on the west coast, the first one near me opened up in Vacaville, and I noticed that one also opened in Sacramento. There are also a few back home, theres one in Pleasat Hill, whoever is back home and reading this. GO TRY IT PLEASE.

So this is their delicious Canjun Fries. Sometimes they put too much Cajun seasoning on it, but its truly delicious. At 5 Guys, you will always see a sign that is telling you what farm the potatoes they are using today to make fries come from. You will also see bags of potatoes lying in the store. What is so unique about 5 guys is that when you order fries, they don’t just give you the cup of fries, they give you another scoop full in to the bag. Ross and I have never had to order more than 1 order of fries. Other than fries, they also serve peanuts, you can pretty much eat as much as you want. Once you go in you will see cardboard boxes of peanuts with scoops and bowls inside, and you are free to help yourself to as much as you want.

Here is what I ordered, a little bacon burger with mayo, lettuce and grilled mushroom. OH MY GODDD. so good. So on a usual burger you usually just get the choice of onions, tomatoes and lettuce, but at five guys, you have a huge list of toppings you can choose from. You have the regular list of toppings and you would just tell your cashier “all the way” There are also even more extra toppings like “A1 sauce, grilled onions, green peppers, jalapeno, etc. All of these toppings are FREE. Also, I know my burger here looks like a regular burger you could get at any place, but this is what Five Guys consider a “little burger”, on a regular burger there is actually 2 meat pattes. There are only a 4 different kinds of burgers on their menu, the rest of the menu is like 4 other things, sandwiches and hot dogs. The burger is so delicious, juicy and meaty, you can tell that all the ingredients used are fresh. I don’t even know how to describe this taste with words, you just have to try it for yourself. Hands down, Five Guys Burger is my favorite burger place of all time.

Anyone who gets the chance, YOU HAVE TO GO TRY IT!!!!!

A trip to Japan Town SF

So yesterday, Ross and I decided to take a wonderful trip to Japan Town and just take a break from school. We went to our favorite restaurant called Osakaya (大坂や). I decided to order something different than what I usually order, which is Katsu don, but boo, made the wrong choice. It wasn’t bad I guess…just wasn’t what  I was looking for. I got a Hiyashi deluxe (cold ramen noodles mixed with chicken, cucumber, carrots, egg and pieces of raw tuna and salmon). Ross got a ramen with a miso soup base and california rolls.

The Hiyashi deluxe is mixed with a soy sauce mixed with vinegar, giving the dish a salty and sour taste. I’m pretty sure they used the soy sauce that is generally used fo soba (cooled wheat noodles) because the soy sauce/vinegar is also a little bit sweet. I have to say the sashimi on the dish was really good, and really fresh. It is hard to see in this picture but underneath all the noodles and ingredients, there is a layer of cold lettuce. The lettuce was what threw me off, I would’ve liked this dish if it was just the ramen and ingredients. It was just weird to get a texture of all soft and chewy with a sudden surprise of crunchy lettuce.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the miso ramen Ross had, in the end, we switched our dishes and I started eating his ramen instead of my own dish =P. The miso soup base was really really good, it was not too salty, yet just enough flavor. I feel like there were hints of sesame throughout the soup, but I’m not sure. All the ingredients in the ramen, (bamboo shoots, shashu pork , naruto (fish cake), bean sprouts) were really good. You could tell that the ramen was made to order because all the veggies were still crunchy and not soggy and soft. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of the california rolls, but they were beyond delicious! The rice was still a bit warm, making the sushi very soft. At Osakaya, they do something different in their california rolls, the put tamago (egg) in it, and it really makes a difference. It gives the CA roll a little bit of sweetness. I thought their CA rolls were just great, creamy, crunchy and fresh.

For dessert, we went to May’s Coffee Shop and got Tai Yaki filld with chocolate cream. The reason we got this was because when we were in Taiwan, we were lucky to run into a Japanese food convention at one of the malls, and there was a vendor there selling Tai Yaki. We fell in love with the Tai Yaki filled with butter cream. it was so goooooooood, ahhhhhhh I wish I could eat more of that, hopefully there will be pictures of that to come in the future, it’s currently on my dad’s computer. Anyways, we were exctied to eat Tai Yaki again, it was different from the one in Taiwan, this Tai Yaki had less filling and more cake to it. It was a lot spongier than the one we had in Taiwan, but the chocolate filling was really good. I wish I bought a dozen and took them home…

I always spend so much money at Japan Town…I also bought a totoro puzzle that glows in the dark…when that’s done, I shall post it on here 😀 Hope everyone is having a great end to a good 3 day weekend!

Lately

So my new years resolution, actually I don’t really want to call it a new years resolution because i just feel like then my goals will doom to fail. But anyways, my goal is to cook more! So far it’s been going alright. My sisters taught me a few simple tricks to easy cooking and delicious food 😀
so none of these dishes are anything fancy, they are just the doings of a poor college student. This above dish is just some frozen veggies thrown in with some italian sausage. And I put some hoisin sauce on it and had it with rice =) It was delicious. Ross likes to put the spicy sauce that people usually have with dim sum on it, and it is just as good. I’m really enjoying cooking dishes like this because it is just perfect for a couple like me and Ross. He loves his food spicy and I don’t most of the time. So what I do is just cook something plain like this, just with salt and pepper. Then the two of us just put whatever sauce we want on it in our own individual plates. It works perfectly every time!

I suck at making pictures beautiful…but anyways, above in the kitty cup, its called winter melon tea! It’s a super delicious asian drink. Usually you can buy it in a solid block, and you cook that block in boiling water. Once the tea cools off, it’s usually really really sweet, so you might want to add more water to dilute it. A block of the winter melon tea lasted me about 4 days. I just put the original tea I cooked in a pitcher and left it in the fridge. The tea was definitely a good study motivator, or a good encouragement during break time. To the right is hot dog fried rice. Haha unconventional I know…but really good! I was craving fried rice and didn’t know what kind of meat to put in it, and since I only had hot dogs in my fridge, I decided to give it a try, and it turned out really well. I cook fried rice like how my mom does, just day old rice, some soy sauce, eggs, some seasoning, nothing fancy. So the saltiness of the hot dog really made the fried rice really good! In my own bowl, I also added a little bit chinese barbecue sauce. Chinese BBQ sauce is nothing like American bbq sauce, it doesn’t have tomatoes in it, instead it is made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilis, brill fish and dried shrimp. The sauce has a slightly salty and spicy taste, kind of smokey.

Lately, I also bought a wok from Ikea and a George Foreman Grill. I’m pretty excited, the wok works really well for pan frying veggies. I haven’t really gotten a chance to use my Foreman grill yet, but I have a list of things that I am excited to try with the grill, I have salmon, burgers, chicken, tilapia, and lamb.  I try to cook during lunch, and have enough left over for dinner. It really is saving money! I am also trying to cook through my pantry, I have a lot of dry pasta, canned corn, canned tuna, etc etc.  I’m definitely already seeing a change in my health as I am cooking more and not eating out as much. In the week that I’ve cooked everyday and just ate at home, I lost 3 pounds. so 😀 can’t wait to see how this “cooking at home” strategy is going to work out!

 

“Why Chinese Mothers are Superior”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

I was just on facebook and randomly came across this status post by my cousin, and the title caught my attention “why Chinese mothers are superior”. The article really spoke to my heart as it reminded me so much of my childhood, for I moved here when I was 8 years old, and my mom was pretty much hard core asian on me. haha.

But there were a few mistakes that I just felt the need to type out somewhere and share my thoughts, I didn’t feel like sharing it on the comment section cuz like, c’mon…half the people who are commenting have no clue what they’re talking about, no idea of the culture and such and such.

Everything stated in the article, I have probably experience more than once in my life, and sure some of them left damaging effects but I feel like everyone did not read the last part of the article where The author and the daughter snuggled in bed together after the accomplishment. I have always known that my parents love me, for after all the shouting and yelling about not being able to achieve something, I would get some sort of reward. I think that is one part the article didn’t do the asian culture justice, the author didn’t really explain all the other things in Chinese culture that helps children understand why they are “precious”. For example, before a test or something, my mom would be by my side, yelling, shouting, hitting pretty much doing anything until I understood correctly what the test is about. My mom would constantly be circling around me to make sure I am doing homework and such, but once the test has been taken, and the score is back. “Wow!! 100%!!” my mom, grandmother, dad, every elder in the family, we would go out to eat at a really nice place, my grandmother would buy me some ice cream, my dad would buy me some toys and take us out on a family outing. I think that is the only thing lacking from the article is where the Chinese parents shower their children with love and prizes after the painful and strict road to accomplishments. I guess not every chinese family is the same, but it is true in some small way or form.

I felt that the only reason in high school that I took those shouting words to heart and acted “dramatically” towards it was because of high school and the media. or just common social concepts. Watching my friends who are the same age, and throwing fits about really small things like “my mom won’t let me go to the movies”, I felt that I too had the right to throw tantrums and such. I feel like if I wasn’t in contact with such beliefs, my life would’ve been just fine. Wouldn’t have really thought anything about “self esteem” or “my image”. The older I get the more silly it seems to me.

There was a portion in the article where the author was talking about “fattie” I mean seriously, this past summer the whole entire time I was in Taiwan, not only my mom, but like any stranger said I was fat. I think this is more like a whole wide cultural thing where Asians are just brutally honest. I think in America, everyone is just so wrapped up around the whole “self esteem” thing they are even afraid to call someone fat, even in the case of health issues.Another thing I don’t think that the article stressed enough on was the length of what a Chinese parent will go to to help their child succeed in life. My mom came to America and took care of me and my sisters for 10 years while my Dad worked in Taiwan. Talk about sacrifice right there. I hope some of the people who commented on the article will eventually someday realize what their parents gone through to help them be the successful person they are in life today. I hope one day they realize how hard it is for their parents to leave a country where their family and home was, to go to a brand new country just so their kids can get a better education, and I hope those commenters will eventually realize how ungrateful they have been to their parents.

I want to also state that, not only does this “tough love” happen in the home, it also happened in school, my teachers used to hit the students for every point they missed on the midterm or final. Yeah we had midterms and finals ever since the 1st grade. But till today, I do not hate my elementary school teachers, I do not hate my parents, in fact I thank them for the way they brought me up. I thank my mom for making me learn to memorize the multiplication table when I was 6, I thank my mom for never letting me give up in whatever I’m doing. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my parents.

Back to Food

Apparently I owe Jason a post now =P just kidding! But it’s time to write a new post anyways =). So I think I will finally come back to writing about food once again since I haven’t been really doing that for a while. So I believe this was my meal on my second day in Taiwan. Ross and I had 3 days off before we actually started our internship, since we went to bed really early, we actually got up early enough for a delicious breakfast! We never do that at school…sigh I hate college life sometimes. I’m going to rephrase that, I hate college life sometimes in America. I was talking to my friends in Taiwan and they said they pretty much don’t know how to cook because delicious food is everywhere and so cheap, you can get a full meal for about 2 dollars and sometimes even cheaper.

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My mom took us to this little place that’s right around the corner from where we live, and I ordered a smoked chicken sandwich. I thought the sandwich was delicious because it was kind of different than an American sandwich. The toast was some sort of toast with herb and poppy seed, there are also a mixture of sprouts, lettuce and onions in the sandwich. When you bite into the sandwich, it is a delicious savory yet sweet taste from the chicken and veggies. What I also really like about sandwiches in Taiwan is that the mayo they use is different. The texture is a more gooey and tastes sweeter than American mayo.

I guess I didn’t really eat lunch that day since I have no pictures…but I did take a picture of a yummy snack I had during the day!

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This is a really common treat in Taiwan, you can pretty much get this anywhere on the streets of Taiwan, at night markets, day markets, anywhere! I don’t know how I can translate this into English, but it’s somewhere along the lines of being some sort of cake…Anyways, usually it is a sweet cake batter and have different fillings like sweet red bean paste, butter cream, peanut butter, etc. I’m sad that I didn’t get to take a picture of the stands making these cakes. Usually you would see metal pans that can fold…kind of like waffle pans! but with shapes carved into them, for this instance,  it is a circular shape. The chefs will pour the batter onto the pan and then add the fillings and fold the pans! This cake is really good when its hot, but sometimes it can turn really dry after it gets cold =(

At night after my dad got off of work, we went to New Zealand Steak House (紐西蘭) at Liu He Ye Shi, a night market. I have been eating at this steak house since I was a little girl and I’m very happy to say that the flavor of this place have stayed true to its traditions =) What’s really cool about this place is that, it is really cheap, but you will always get a pretty good medium rare steak. The meal always comes with a soup, my favorite being the corn chowder, and bread. Their bread is amazing in that it actually has butter in the middle, so when you bite into the bread, there is hot butter oozing out, fattening, but delicious!

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When the waiter delivers the steak, they present the steak and noodles on a metal plate, in Chinese it is called tia ban (鐵板)So when the steak comes out, it is still sizzling, spraying juices everywhere and steaming like crazy. The steak platter also comes with the restaurants specialty, fried noodles with veggies in their special sauce. The sauce is like a tangy and sweet tomato sauce with maybe some onions…I have never figured it out =P

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Ross’s favorite food in the world is a good piece of steak, so I believe him when he said this is one of the best medium rare steaks he has ever had.

* this is just some funny memories I have of my childhood. We use to eat at the steakhouse like every weekend, and they serve a really strong black tea. My mom would always yell at me and say if I drink more than one sip I will stay up all night and annoy her. But now I can drink like 5 cups and still go home and just fall asleep. Hehe.

Sigh. I miss Taiwan and the food. I am such a starving college student =(

So my last post was pretty much describing this restaurant we ate in the mall. But unlike american malls, Taiwan malls are super big, most of them have at least 10+ floors and each floor is dedicated to sections such as, teen, women, toys, men, etc. Usually my favorite floors to hit is the basement floor, which is usually the food court, the toys floor, the restaurant floor, and the highest floor because that’s where the video game section is usually at. The food court floor not only has areas selling fresh cooked food, it also has bakeries, specialty food stores, and sometimes japanese style stores that sells make up items, over the counter drugs, etc. Usually the food court is filled with people, because obviously, the food is cheaper than a sit down resturant. A meal in the food court is probably about $1.50-$3.00. Here is a picture of a small section of the food court…look how crowded it is!!

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So after we ate at the mall, we decided to go visit another mall since in Taiwan, everything is pretty close by. As we were driving do a mall called “Dream Mall”, we passed by a KMRT station and that’s when I realized, Taiwan had world cup fever.

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This station is the “Central Park” station, it’s basically where all the teenagers hang out. This place has a lot of outdoor vendors, shops, food, basically whatever you can think of. But anyway back to the design. From the picture, you might not be able to tell how big that soccer ball is. But hopefully the building in the background can serve as a contrast.

After we got to the Dream Mall, there were even more evidence on Taiwan’s World Cup Obsession.

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The mall basically had a large portion of the first floor, put everything world cup related, plus a giant half soccer ball in the middle. And…CRAZY. SO MANY PEOPLE.

Anyways…write more later! I have class!

Yay!!

So I finally finished organizing my Taiwan photos, and now hopefully I can refresh my memory and write about my trip in great detail 😀 So from now my posts may not be in chronological order since I took pictures with 2 different cameras…well hopefully it all works out!

So I document my trip from the beginning,  this is Ross sitting in SFO waiting to board the plane, he still looks normal and not shocked yet haha xD.

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As soon as we get to Taiwan Ross’s face turned into this…
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This picture is taken as we are taking the transfer bus from the Taipei Taoyuan Airport to the High Speed Bullet Train. It was so much fun to watch Ross be lost while I pretty much knew what was going on =P  So after 13 hour on the plane, we still had a 20 minute transit ride, and then about an 1 hour and 30 minute ride on the bullet train all the way across the country back to my home town =)

As soon as we get to Kaohsiung, my dad picked us up, and he had a goal in mind to make everyone stay awake until night time to make sure we don’t get jet lag. It was also a rainy day in Taiwan, so my dad took us to some of the major shopping malls. Our first stop was 漢神巨蛋 (Han Sheng Ju Dan). This mall is one of the biggest in the city, and it has a concert hall built next to it. Our first meal was at Azabu Sabo. It is a Japanese restaurant that has a wide variety of food and delicious desserts =) Since it was our first day back, I decided to try something new for once and not order my usual =P (Hamburger patty with some sort of asian sauce on it) and I tried a pasta instead.

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If I remember correctly, this pasta was some sort of salmon white sauce pasta. I was actually kind of disappointed with the dish since 1. It took over 50 minutes for the waiters to bring us food 2. the food was lukewarm 3. my dad exploded at the waiters xD My dad can be really stubborn when it comes to restaurants. But I don’t blame him, even my soup was cold! who serves soups cold -.- lame. I know I’m complaining right now, but this restaurant is really good! when it is not on an…”off” day. Now comes the dessert…where they can’t mess up!! yay!

This dessert is a combination of soft serve vanilla ice cream, shaved ice and black sesame seed paste. On the side of the dessert, its a condensed sweet cream and mochi. You can’t see it from the picture, but below the shaved ice, there is another generous portion of black sesame paste