Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

Not Only for Tourists – Sutro’s at The Cliff House

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

The FoodLover used to think that only tourists would visit the Cliff House in San Francisco. Not any more. After enjoying another summer outing with fresh oysters and clams at Tomales Bay, we decided to drive by Ocean Beach on the way home. Just by luck, I spotted a parking space near the Cliff House and pulled the car in without second thought. 3pm seemed to be too early for dinner but the South Bay God of Cookery (南灣食神) suggested that we had an early dinner anyway.

Sutro’s was located at the lower lever of the Cliff House that overlooked the ocean. The dining room was bright and spacious with clear view of waves, birds and surfers. What a great place to sit, relax and chat with good friends! With such environment, the beautifully presented and good tasting food was just a bonus.

I will come here more often even when I am not showing tourist around the Bay area.

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Sutro’s at The Cliff House
1090 Point Lobos Ave. (between Upper Great Hwy & Merrie Way)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tel: +1-415-386-3330

Oysters on the grill at Tomales Bay

Oysters on the grill at Tomales Bay

Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳(密爾布瑞市)

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

20130608 Broadway Bistro BHong Kong style cafes in the Bay area usually offer traditional cafe food you can find in Hong Kong plus some American snacks. The FoodLover and Junior were in Millbrae at noon and picked Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳 for a quick lunch.

When Junior was ordering his usual Beef Fried Rice, he was happy to see French Fries on the menu and wanted that too. FoodLover wanted to try Baked Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce.

French Fries were crispy and as good as those that could be found anywhere. Junior judged the Fried Rice to be acceptable. The Bolognese sauce was a little hard due to overcooking but overall the dish was OK.

This is not a restaurant that you will travel a long way to enjoy. If you are hungry in the neighborhood, it is acceptable.

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Broadway Bistro 百老匯茶餐廳
349 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030
Tel: +1-650-692-3378

Real Beef and Potato – In-N-Out Burger

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

McDonald’s may be the most widely known burger joint worldwide. In California, In-N-Out Burger rules. Whoever had tried the burgers of real beef at In-N-Out would not want to go back to McDonald’s unless they wanted something other than burgers. French fries there are made of real potatoes too. You see them cutting whole potatoes to strips in front of your eyes.

Currently, there are 200+ In-N-Out stores in California plus a few more in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The rest of the world will have to wait!

In-N-Out Burgers
In-N-Out Burger
1159 N Rengstorff Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Tel: +1-800-786-1000

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

It was the FoodLover’s lucky day. Kinney and Loretta invited him to dinner at the Michelin 1-starred restaurant, GOLD by Harlan Goldstein, that Kinney had designed. Harlan Goldstein is known to be the “chef to the rich and famous” and Gold is his flagship restaurant located in LKF Tower at the top of Lan Kwai Fong.

This was obviously not Kinney’s first time there as everybody seemed to know him and the chef came out to say hello. We had the “Harlan’s Michelin Star Tasting Menu” which was a sampler of various dishes. Instead of the main dish in the menu, Kinney ordered the Big G Fiorentina. As one can see in the pictures, presentation of the dishes were exquisite; they tasted great too, especially the Fiorentina.

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If you want to take your good friends or family to dinner for special events, try this place. I didn’t know the price because Kinney didn’t let me see the bill. However, this restaurant is probably too expensive for you if you have to ask the price. Here’s the menu – GOLD-MENU.

GOLD by Harlan Goldstein
2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2869-9986

A Training Restaurant – The English-Speaking Dining Society

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

20130416 TDS BAfter having morning congee and walking from Tsim Sha Tsui to SFXC in Sham Shui Po with Peter The Japanese, the FoodLover went back to the hotel (on MTR of course) to take a break. Peter called again to inform that John (馬仔) was inviting us to lunch at his club – The English-Speaking Dining Society (TDS). John was so kind to pick us up and took us to TDS in Kowloon Bay.

TDS is a private organization operating several restaurants for purposes of providing training grounds for young trainees who are planning to work in the restaurant business. Members who pay an annual fee of HK$888 can enjoy good food in a nice environment for very reasonable (i.e. cheap) price. The only requirement is that customers have to speak to servers in English.

During the lunch, I noticed that instructors were looking over the shoulders of the servers and corrected their mistakes right away. For example, there were a few drops of soup on the saucer when the waitress was serving my soup; the instructor told her to take it aside, clean the saucer, and serve again. What a way to learn! When the waitress had problem understanding what I was asking, the instructor answered for her and explained to her what I was saying. (I was asking whether the salmon was wild salmon.)

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As shown in the pictures, presentation of the dishes were pretty good and taste was not bad either. All in all, it was an enjoyable and relaxing place to dine. For the four course lunch I had that included Grilled Scallop with Foie Gras Ice-Cream (263kcal), Russian Borsch (164kcal), Grilled Angus Beef Fillet (406kcal), Pear Chocolate Charlotte (252kcal) and coffee cost HK$120. Thank you, John.

This restaurant is within walking distance of the Kowloon Bay MTR station and there are enough parking spaces if you decide to drive. The HK$888 annual fee can be recovered by having a few meals there.

The English-Speaking Dining Society
Western Training Restaurant
8th Floor, VTC Kowloon Bay Complex
46 Tai Yip Street
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-3717-7388

麥滿分 = 零分 Soggy McMuffin

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

In order to beat Shanghai rush-hour traffic, the FoodLover had to leave the hotel no later than 6:45am for his daily round of golf. A McDonald’s only a few blocks away seemed to be the perfect place for a quick breakfast before the trip.

At 6am, there were a dozen of random people sitting in this McDonald’s; strangely none of them had any food or drink in front of them. An employee was mopping the floor but that didn’t stop me from walking up the counter to order my food. The guy who was mopping stopped mopping and went back behind the counter to take my order. There were no scrambled egg or hotcakes on the menu, so I ordered a Sausage McMuffin with Egg and coffee.

One reason for me to pick McDonald’s was its consistency – bad but consistent. Unfortunately, this one was not even consistently bad; it was EXTREMELY BAD!!! The muffin was so soggy that it could have been coming out of a steamer, except that it was cold. I grew up being told that each grain of rice should not be wasted because it was the product of hardworking farmers and that poor kids somewhere in the world would kill for it. So I had forced myself to finish eating a lot of terrible food over the years. Not this time. I couldn’t even take a second bite of this so-called McMuffin. Even the coffee was just warm.

An interesting observation was that the Chinese words for this SAUSAGE McMuffin with Egg was “豬柳蛋麥滿分”. Since when has “sausage” become “豬柳”(pork fillet)?


電話: +86-21-6375-6028

Kunshan SunIsland Golf Club 昆山太陽島國際俱樂部 Par-3 Hole #3

Kunshan SunIsland Golf Club 昆山太陽島國際俱樂部 Par-3 Hole #3

Star World Hotel 星際酒店

Monday, April 1st, 2013

The FoodLover’s flight arrived Hong Kong just before 7am. After taking the Airport Express to Kowloon and Turbojet to Macau, it was a little before 10am when I got to the Star World Hotel. Unfortunately, this was the last day of Easter holidays and my room was not yet ready. Hotel reception staff was very kind to offer me a cup of complimentary coffee while I waited at the lobby lounge. I saw the nice looking pastry and got myself a Fresh Food Danish which was freshly baked. At that time, I didn’t know that the wait would last four hours before I got to the room at 2pm. I didn’t just sat there for four hours; I did go home to have lunch with mother before coming back to the hotel.

Star World Hotel 星際酒店Star World Hotel 星際酒店

I liked the pastry so much I had a whole basket for breakfast when I checked out a few days later.

Star World Hotel 星際酒店

Star World Hotel
Avenida da Amizade, Macau
Tel: +853-2878-1111

This casino hotel is an exciting place where they provide entertainment for guests who happen to hang around the lobby.

Pancake to Share – Original Pancake House

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Sunday. Early Afternoon. The FoodLover had to step outside for some fresh air and found himself sitting in Original Pancake House in Los Altos for a late lunch. A few days earlier, he and some old friends were reminiscing those Sunday mornings when they used to have delicious pancakes at the Original Pancake House in Wilmette, Illinois.

I knew exactly what to order even before taking a glance at the menu – Dutch Baby. This bowl-like pancake was freshly baked and had texture of crepe in the middle. The side of the “bowl” was fluffy and slightly crispy. To fully enjoy this pancake, I squeezed plenty of lemon juice on it with generous portion of whipped butter and powdered sugar. It was rich and delicious – I found out later that it might be too rich for me.

Original Pancake House 2013.2.10

I finished eating this Dutch Baby at around 2:30pm but had to skip dinner because I was still full at 7pm. The next morning, I had an orange for breakfast, went out to play 18 holes of golf and was not yet hungry after the round. I could still feel that pancake in my stomach at dinner time but had a light dinner anyway. That was 28 hours after I had the pancake.

Couldn’t blame the pancake because it tasted good. It’s only a sign that my digestive system is not the same as it was forty years ago. I should have done what the old couple sitting at the table next to mine did – they asked for an extra plate and shared an Apple Pancake.

Will I go back again? Of course, I will.

Original Pancake House
420 S San Antonio Rd., Los Altos, CA 94022
Tel: +1-650-559-9197

New American Cuisine – Basil Carmel (by Phyllis)

Monday, January 7th, 2013

We spent the afternoon driving around Carmel and stopped by the cute, European-village-style downtown area to look for an early dinner (5pm-ish). Basil Carmel was a pretty easy choice as it was the only non-European non-Japanese restaurant that was ranked highly on Yelp and open. It was a great choice and I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area and want some New American cuisine featuring fresh local seafood and produce (good wine too).

The restaurant was pretty quiet at 5pm, but there was another couple there and swing music was playing in the background. It was cosy, probably seating 20 on the inside and another 20 outside (we visited in January so there were heat lamps). We were given straight-out-of-the-oven bread with pesto sauce (a little different but delicious and obviously they like basil) while we waited for our appetizers.

The menu is seasonal; when we visited, a few ingredients (Monterey squid, Shaft’s blue cheese, Brussels sprouts and black mission figs) appeared in several dishes. All of our dishes felt fresh and had interesting flavors, mixing savory with fruity. The squid was accompanied by eggplant, raisins, pine nuts and basil. The gnocchi was mixed with a creamy blue cheese sauce that wasn’t too strong. The sea bass was topped with olives and tangy kumquats, and the venison was served with a fig reduction.

We were too full to have dessert. Maybe next time!

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Basil Carmel
San Carlos Between Ocean & 7th. Carmel By The Sea, CA 93921
Tel: +1-831-626-8226

Kam Wah Cafe 金華冰廳 (by Wallace)

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Wallace ran into Arthur coincidentally in Prince Edward and we went to Kam Wah Cafe for a quick afternoon tea meal. Kam Wah is all time packed with customers. We both ordered the “today special” which included:

Two pieces of deep fried chicken wing
One freshly baked egg tart
Milk tea (hot or cold).

Typical Hong Kong style tea time snacks and make our stomach so satisfied. These are the items hardly found in San Francisco! The meal costed only HK$22 (US$3).

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Kam Wah Cafe 金華冰廳
電話: +852-2392-6830