Archive for January, 2011

甩皮甩骨嘅石班 – ABC Seafood Restaurant 富林魚翅海鮮酒家(福斯特市)

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

We had a pre-Chinese-New-Year dinner with some old friends at ABC Seafood Restaurant 富林魚翅海鮮酒家 in Foster City. Why ABC again? We had mixed experience there before but it was the one best located for everybody.

It was a great dinner because of the company. The food was so so. Soy Sauce Chicken was tasteless and tough. Roast Pigeons were dry. Bean Sprouts were “old”. The two steamed fish were literally falling apart even before our chopsticks had a chance to touch them. The best way to describe them was “甩皮甩骨”.

ABC Seafood Restaurant 富林魚翅海鮮酒家
973 E Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA 94404
Tel: +1-650-328-2288

Good Place for a Quick Delicious Lunch – Lotus Thai Bistro (Palo Alto)

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The Food Lover was shopping in the Palo Alto “Business District” at noon and decided to have a quick lunch there instead of going home. The “Business District” is the couple of blocks on California Avenue off El Camino Real – I can never remember whether this area should be “downtown” or “midtown” of Palo Alto. At 12:10pm, Lotus Thai Bistro was still half empty. It quickly filled up in the 10 minutes after I sat down.

Mango Chicken had the typical sweet and sour taste of Thai food with only the slightest trace of spiciness (I liked it that way). Lettuce was fresh and crispy. Brown rice that cost an extra dollar was chewy. Chicken was not exactly tender  but not tough either. This dish easily beat a typical oily rice plate at Hong Kong style cafes.

For a total of US$11 including taxes and tips, this was a reasonably priced, good tasting and healthy meal.

Lotus Thai Bistro
425 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tel: +1+650-289-0907

More Veggie Food – Garden Fresh (Palo Alto)

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

We decided to have another veggie lunch at Garden Fresh in Palo Alto and were happy that we did. The dishes tasted as good as they looked.

Garden Fresh
460 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tel: +1-650-462-9298

Sampling Spanish Tapas – Cascal (Mountain View)

Friday, January 21st, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, we had a nice family dinner at Cascal in Mountain View when Miss Food Lover was home for the holidays. One of the dishes we had was the Spanish Tapas Sampler which was a good way to try some Tapas which you otherwise would not order.

This large platter included Serrano ham, marinated shrimp, eggplant piquillo tapenade, stuffed dates, octopus salad Galacia, Spanish tortilla, marinated carrots and Spanish tuna escabeche, mussels vinaigrette, anchovy tapenade, chicken liver mousse, stuffed deviled egg, Spanish chorizo, Manchego cheese & quince.

Everything was delicious. Most popular was the octopus salad Galacia which I would order separately next time.

400 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Tel: +1-650-940-9500

SFXUSA Chinese New Year Luncheon – Imperial Palace 皇宮酒樓

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

This year the annual SFX alumni luncheon was held in San Francisco at Imperial Palace. This restaurant is located at a historical site in Chinatown. Before Imperial Palace took over operation, this place used to be Golden Dragon where some gangster members entered and killed  five and wounded eleven innocent bystanders with automatic weapons on that fatal September day in 1977.

Fortunately, our alumni luncheon was peaceful.

Imperial Palace Restaurant 皇宮酒樓
818 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Tel: +1-415-956-9888

Here is a slide show of pictures taken at the party.

Good Little Malaysian Restaurant in South Bay – Layang Layang (San Jose)

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Mrs. Food Lover’s friend recommended the Malaysian restaurant Layang Layang in San Jose so I asked the Maks to join us for lunch there. We were there a little early and they would not seat us until everybody arrived. No problem, the rest of our party arrived within a minute.

Albert and Laurita had been there many times and did the ordering. The Roti Canai was the best I ever had – crispy yet moist. We had two orders but they delivered them separately; according to Albert, they prepared the roti one at a time. Satay Chicken was also outstanding. Most satay I had before were dry and tough – not this one. The chicken was tender and moist.

The Ong Choi sauteed in Malaysian spicy shrimp paste sauce 馬來蝦醬通菜 was not too spicy for us and was delicious. Stir fried Mouse Tail Noodle was similar to our Silver Needle Noodle 銀針粉 also tasted very good with shrimp, chicken, egg and bean sprouts.

The egg gravy sauce for Lo Mee was somewhat between sauce and soup. I would say that Lo Mee was like Rice Noodle soup with seafood (海鮮湯河). It was good. Princess Tofu is another “must-have” in this place. Tofu was super smooth 嫩滑 with crispy skin 脆皮.

Among all the dishes we had, this Kari Lamb was just so so. The lamb was reasonably tender but didn’t have much taste of lamb.

If you live within 25 miles, you must find time to try Layang Layang. Do get there early though. There were people waiting at the door throughout our lunch.

Layang Layang
1480 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129
Tel: +1-408-777-8897

Babbo’s Original Mediterranean Bistro (Palo Alto)

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Last Friday, we were looking for a new place to have lunch and ended up at Babbo’s in the Stanford Shopping Center. It was pretty chilly so nobody was sitting at those tables in front of the restaurant. It was warm and cozy inside.

Our friendly waiter brought us some fresh and crunchy bread while we were browsing through the menu. The Food Lover is also a crab lover; I ordered the San Francisco Crab Cakes. The Mrs. loves to eat rice whenever possible; she ordered Mushroom Risotto. Miss Food Lover and her friend David both wanted to have something light and asked for salads.

Crab meat inside the crab cakes was fresh and tasty. I especially liked the roasted red pepper sauce; ate a few bread sticks with that sauce alone. Mrs. Food Lover also liked her risotto. The rice was more crunchy than Chinese style cooking but was moist and delicious.

The salads were also very good. David’s only complaint was that the garlic croutons were too big; he got tired cutting them. He had to burn some calories cutting up the lettuce too.

We now have another nice place to go for fine food nearby.

Babbo’s Original Mediterranean Bistro
717 Stanford Shopping Court, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel: +1-650-321-1488

Chinese Vegan Cuisine – Garden Fresh (Palo Alto)

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Garden Fresh is a little Chinese vegan restaurant on a side street in downtown Palo Alto. According to the lady owner, she and her husband have been serving strict vegan food in the appearance and taste of meat dishes for twenty years in Mountain View before opening this second shop in Palo Alto about nine months ago.

We ordered lunch specials which included soup and brown rice. The Tofu Soup tasted good and appetizing with some green peas and corn. Tofu Skin with Asparagus was recommended by the owner. The sausage-shaped tofu skin was delicious with rich flavor. Veggie Ham did look like ham and was a little crunchy but I couldn’t taste ham. The vegetable of both dishes were fresh and tasty. What I liked the most was the brown rice which was chewy and slightly sweet after I chewed it for a while. I finished all the rice with the sauce.

All in all, this is a good place to go if you feel like enjoying good-tasting food that is also good for your body. We will likely go back to try other dishes on the menu.

Garden Fresh
460 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tel: +1-650-462-9298

Just Koi 華之鯉, Dublin (by Wallace)

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Last night after a long road trip from Los Angeles back to the Bay Area, we went to 華之鯉 (Just Koi Restaurant) for late super at 9:30pm.  “Just Koi” is located in Dublin (take 580 highway to Dublin/Pleasanton and exit Tassajara; turn left onto Dublin Blvd.) and a branch of the famous “Koi Palace”.

We ordered the usual items i.e. wonton noodle soup and roasted duck lai-fun. The foods were prepared and served in Hong Kong style.  What impressed me was the Hoinan Chicken Rice dinner set.  The chicken was tender and the soup was awesome! The rice tasted just about right and there was no artificial yellow color on the chicken and rice which is the normal practice of other San Francisco restaurants.  This restaurant was smart to keep the soup in a little clay tea pot to retain the high temperature.  The last time I saw the same way to serve the soup was in Encore hotel (Las Vegas) last year.

For desserts, we chose Turtle Jello and Mango Pudding.  Our kids kept saying two thumbs up. Saw a poster advertising the chicken ho-fun, which was very attractive.  Will try next time.

Overall, Just Koi always delivers high-quality of foods with a simple menu.  If you happen to be in the Dublin area, I recommend you to try out the 華之鯉.  Oh…forget to mention…the service was attentive and efficient.  You feel like you are in HK.

Just Koi 華之鯉
Ulferts Center, 4288 Dublin Blvd., Suite 120, Dublin, CA 94568
Tel: +1-925-833-3938

Gae Sung Restaurant, Garden Grove (by Wallace)

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Spent a few days in Disneyland, Los Angeles for the 2011 new year holidays.  It was freezing cold in L.A. and we wanted Korean soup to warm up the bodies at night.  So we surfed the web and found there are quite so many Korean restaurants in Garden Grove which is only a few miles away from Anaheim. After reading many great reviews about Gae Sung Restaurant, we decided to give it a try.

Absolutely no regret to have dinner at Gae Sung.  It is a mother-cooking style restaurant and their Gamjatang is famous in the Korean community!  Gamjatang is a pork neck bone potatoe soup.  The pork has been slow cooked for hours and that’s why it’s so so tender and soft.

We also ordered the Kimchi soup, Bean Paste soup and BBQ beef.  Very “local” Korean taste and I will definitely repeat in the next trip to Orange County.

Gae Sung Restaurant
9567 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844
Tel: +1-714-530-1276