Category Archives: Food

Favorite Eats in Rome

Rome Food 6_Fotor_CollageGli Angeletti – lasagna with salmon, penne with chili, tomato, garlic, parsley, and chicken meatball soupRome Food 1_Fotor_CollageRistorante Il MiraggioRome Food 2_Fotor_CollageAndrea Ristorante – noodles with crab (delicious!), beef ragu, fish, dessertsRome Food 3_Fotor_CollageLa Tavernaccia – fettuccine & meatballs, lasagna, margherita pizza with prosciuttoRome Food 7_Fotor_CollageOsteria da Fortunata – strozzapreti-carbonara, vegetable (cherry tomatoes & green beans), sciavatelli-amatriciana. I love how there’s a lady there making fresh pasta for everyone to see. The pasta is amazing!Rome Food 5_Fotor_CollageLa Botticella – oxtail roman style, grilled lamb chops, noodles pasta with garlic, oil, and spicy peppersRome Food 12_Fotor_CollagePizza Rustica Birreria, Forno Campo de’Fiori (flower & anchovy pizza, prosciutto pizza), Antico Forno Roscioli (pesto mozzarella tomato pizza, prosciutto pizza)Rome Food 4_Fotor_CollagePicNic Villa Borghese (affogato, latte macchiato)Rome Food 11_Fotor_CollageTazza d’Oro (cappuccino, granita di caffe con panna), Tazza  d’Oro (caffe orzo, cappuccino), Oratorio Bistro (americano, cappuccino), Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe (grand monocello, cappuccino)Rome Food 15_Fotor_CollageGelateria del Teatro (lavender & peach, four chocolate), Punto Gelato (dark chocolate with caramel praline almond, dark cherry), Fatamorgana, Gelateria del Teatro (garden sage & raspberry, mango)Rome Food_Fotor_Collage_FotorMy home cooked Italian night dinner: basil tomato tartlets with mushroom truffles, squid ink pasta, orecchiette pugliesi con come di rapa, mille-crepe tiramisu

Visiting Rome for the first time, the one thing I didn’t expect was falling in love with the food! Almost everything we ate there was delicious. I still dream about the food there and try creating my version of Italian food. It’s not as good as being in Italy but it’ll do for now.

My top 3 favorite restaurants:

  • La Botticella (everything we had here was delicious! pasta, oxtail roman style, lamp chops. there’s lots of bars nearby so it’s a great place to grab a bite and then go to a bar to drink.) 
    Via Tor Millina 32
    00186 Rome, Italy
  • Osteria da Fortunata (homemade fresh pasta – so good! there’s a lady there that makes pasta in the middle of the restaurant. it’s also close to a square for you to hang out after you’re done with your meal.)
    Via del Pellegrino 11
    00186 Rome, Italy
  • La Tavernaccia (thanks Esther for the recommendation! they don’t have an english menu so bring a translator or ask the server to help you translate the menu, which is what we did. the only downside to this restaurant is that it’s hard to get to. we had to call a cab to come here. it’s in a quiet neighborhood so there’s not much to do after you finish a meal except go home. you can ask them to call you a cab once you’re done with your meal.)
    Via Giovanni da Castelbolognese 63
    00153 Rome, Italy

Favorite pizza spots:

Favorite coffee spots:

Favorite gelato spots:

  • Gelateria Del Teatro (i love it so much i came here twice!)
    Via dei Coronari 65
    00186 Rome, Italy
  • Punto Gelato (a local gave us this recommendation)
    Via dei Pettinari 43
    00186 Rome, Italy

Have you been to Rome? What’s your favorite restaurants there?

Linking up with Tuesday Travels at Bonnie, Cynthia, Yalanda, and Courtney.



Favorite Eats in Barcelona

Barcelona Food 5Definitely get Spanish ham while in Barcelona. A bit salty and fatty but still good!Barcelona Food 6I love the presentation on this dish. It taste like an ocean in your mouth with all the different texture and shape.Barcelona Food 1These gel olives were so unique. There’s a burst of juiciness surprise inside.Barcelona Food 3Fresh grilled seafood. Mmmm….Barcelona Food 4Seafood paella. Omg I want more now! I even went to a grocery store in Barcelona hoping to be able to buy a packet of paella mix so I can make it when I go back home but was unsuccessful in finding one. *sigh.Barcelona Food 2Couple of tapas we ordered. The chicken kabobs were very tender and the mushroom was cooked perfectly.Barcelona Food 7Such a cute dessert shop. I love how they display the doughnuts on the wall.

I didn’t know what to expect when visiting Barcelona for the first time. The tourists here are younger and more robust. Things are open later. There’s so much going on I don’t know where to start. Well, since I’m a big foodie, let’s start with food!

Favorite restaurants:

  • Dos Palillos (Carrer d’Elisabets 9) – This is one of my favorite tasting menu I ever had. The dishes are Mediterranean / Asian fusion.  Every dish was so good that I’m going to write a separate post on all the dishes we tried here.
  • Bodega 1900 (Carrer Tamarit 91) – Apparently this is the sister restaurant of Tickets Bar (Michelin star and requires 2 months advanced reservation). We couldn’t get a reservation at Tickets Bar so we decided on Bodega 1900 and luckily got in. Everything was delicious!
  • Bosque Palermo (Carrer de València 163) – I met a tourist at a flamenco show and they recommended this restaurant for paella. Boy was I glad to listen to them. One of the best paella I ever had! You have to get the mixed seafood paella and mixed seafood grill. 
  • La Gran Pena (Calle Marina 189) – We found this place by chance just walking by. It’s run by this sweet, old couple. We were ordering a bunch a tapas and then the lady stopped us after 4 tapas saying we can we order more if we’re still hungry. Thank goodness since we couldn’t finish all 4 tapas. Everything was solid.
  • Chok Barcelona (Carrer de Carme 3) – Cute dessert shop that has doughnuts, cronuts, and churros. The person working there was super sweet. They were out of the flavor we wanted so he went to the back and made one especially for us.
  • Boqueria Market – This isn’t a restaurant but a food market. They sell all kinds of food and grocery here. Definitely can’t miss this spot if you love food!

Have you been to Barcelona? If so, what’s your favorite restaurant there?

Linking up with Travel Tuesday at Bonnie, Camila, Jessi, and Amy.

 



Easy Peasy No Recipe Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken 1Roasted Chicken 2Roasted Chicken 3Ever since I discovered how easy it is to roast a chicken, I’ve been making this dish once every two weeks. This is a great dish to make since it’s so easy, no precise measurement needed, and you can change it up with every roast. Whenever I don’t know what to make, I make this dish :)

Ingredients for the chicken

  • ~3lb whole chicken
  • mixed herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • lemon, quartered
  • salt & pepper, mixed together
  • extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the side vegetables

  • carrots
  • onions, chopped
  • brussels sprouts, halves
  • small red potatoes, quartered

Direction

  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Put it on the roasting pan.
  2. Chopped up all the herbs and mix them together.
  3. Starting from the breast, slowly and carefully create some space between the skin and the breast meat. You have to jam your fingers in there and work your way until the skin separate from both sides of the breast meat. It’ll be pretty gross but worth it! Throw in a few pinches of salt & pepper into the gap and then stuff it with the mixed herbs. Save some of the mixed herbs for the outside of the chicken.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil inside the cavity of the chicken and rub salt and pepper in the cavity wall. Stuff it with the lemon quarters and some of the herbs. Some people recommend tying the chicken’s legs with twine but I usually just leave it out hanging and it still taste just as good.
  5. Drizzle some olive oil on the exterior of the chicken. Rub salt and pepper all over the chicken and rub the rest of the mixed herbs all over the chicken.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
  7. Surround the chicken with the potatoes, onions, carrots, and brussels sprouts. Drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper over the vegetables. If you have any left over herbs, sprinkle it over the vegetables.
  8. Put the chicken and vegetables in the oven. For a 3 lbs chicken, it takes a little over an hour to roast. Just make sure the internal temperature reaches a number that you think it’s best for your preference.
  9. Enjoy your roasted chicken with vegetables!

Tips

  • Make sure you use fresh herbs. Dry herbs just doesn’t do this roasted chicken justice.
  • You can use any herbs you have in your refrigerator. I’ve used different types of herbs every time I roast a chicken and even bought a pack of mixed herbs from the grocery store.
  • If I have too much herbs, I put them in a freezer zip lock bag and freeze it until I need it for my next roast. Still taste just as good! This helps cut the prep time.
  • You can change up the side vegetables. I decided to replace the red potatoes with brussels sprouts on my last roast since my husband doesn’t like to eat too much carbs. Maybe I’ll try adding mushrooms next time!
  • I use baby carrots in a bag to save time on prepping. No peeling and cutting needed. Just open the bag and toast it in with the chicken.
  • Save the cavity bones of the chicken to make chicken soup.

What’s your go-to dish to make?

Linking up to Treat Yo’ Self at Treasure Tromp.



Benu – Asian Influence Tasting Menu

*Update* Just found out Benu was award three Michelin stars for 2015! It was two Michelin star in 2014. Congratulation Benu!

One of my out-of-town friend, Kim, and her boyfriend, Charley were visiting SF and made a reservation at Benu. They wanted to try French Laundry but since it was booked the weekend they were visiting (of course!), they thought they’ll try Benu instead since the owner, Corey Lee, used to be the head chef at French Laundry prior to opening his own restaurant.

I was really excited about dinner at Benu since it was an Asian influence tasting menu and there’s not that many Asian flavor tasting menu. The testing menu was $195 per person.

Entry way of Benu.Benu 1

Setting placemat. We got to keep the menu and magnet (the round light green circle with a “b”). Benu 2Benu 11Benu Collage 1Benu Collage 5Benu Collage 4Complimentary chocolate.Benu 24Benu 25

My favorite dishes were:

  • thousand-year-old-quail egg, potage, ginger – i love thousand-year-old egg and tofu in my porridges so it’s a given i’ll love this dish with a twist
  • oyster, pork belly, kimchi – the crunch of the kimchi holding the oyster and pork belly came together perfectly
  • eel, feuille de brick, creme fraiche – the play on egg roll was chewy and delicious
  • anchovy, celery, cashew – crunchy texture in one bite
  • salt and pepper squid – lots of flavor with a nice crunch texture
  • lobster coral xiao long bao – one of the best xiao long boa … i wished i could order more of this!

Least favorite dishes:

  • xo sausage with basil curd – taste like dried salami
  • beef braised in pear juice with oyster plant – too heavy and salty
  • fresh and dried yuba, almond, white chocolate – definitely unique but not my favorite since i thought it was too slimy for me but the guys liked this dish

Verdict

Everyone was really nice and the porcelain the dishes were on were really unique, all customized just for Benu. You can tell there were attention to detail on everything. The dishes started off strong. We all love the first half of the testing menu but as it progressed to the heavier dishes (fish and meat), there was something off. It was too heavy and salty. We were a bit disappointed in the end. It was a still a great experience being able to try Asian dishes with a twist.

My friend told me the owner, Corey Lee, is also planning to open a Korean BBQ place in SF so I’m definitely looking forward to that since there’s not that many good Korean places in the city.

Benu

22 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415.685.4860

Which restaurant has your favorite tasting menu?

Linking up with Local Adventurer at Esther & Jacob.

Local Adventurer