Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all my readers a splendid Christmas and an excellent New Year!

Oh we did get a bit of snow this year, but this is probably only just like summer in Minnesota haha.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Mike's Pastry, Boston, MA

So I do apologise for the lack of updates and the unprecedented hiatus but things have been crazily busy as of late and I stand guilty of blog neglect.

Almost right across the road from The Daily Catch is Mike's Pastry which does some pretty tasty cannoli. It's been getting more and more touristy over the years but I still try to pick up some sweets from them when I'm in the area.

One will be quite spoilt for selection here; the humble cannoli comes in a variety of flavors and fillings;

here's a selection of cookies and various macaroons which go pretty good with bitter espresso and

they have a variety of other sweets as well such as nougat, brownies and marzipan, so most people (who have at least a little of a sweet tooth) would be able to find something here.

So I unwrapped my little stash in my hotel and started with the massive cannoli; I went for a simple creamed ricotta filling dipped and drizzled with chocolate. Sweet, rich and creamy, the crisp shell was flavorsome without being too greasy, just how Mike makes them.

The brownie however, was only decent at best, I guess that was folly on my part to buy American desserts from an Italian pastry shop.

At least the ending was good with this giant profiterole, the mixture of choux pastry filled with fresh cream (not too sweet) and pretty much drowned in rich chocolate sure was tasty.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Littlefield Ranch Premium Texas Steaks

Those who have been somewhat following this blog over the last three years would know that I tend to veer towards a more carnivorous appetite. Steaks, good quality steaks have a always a special place in my heart and I was recommended the Littlefield Ranch from a friend of mine. Apparently, they provide premium Texas steaks shipped across the USA. Being quite an avid online shopper myself, I thought, "Why not? Let's try some online steaks". The package arrived within the delivery date and was packed quiet nicely.

Within the first outer box was a smaller one packed within styrofoam walls and dry ice.

Despite having arrived on an afternoon on a rather warm day (after a 2 day transit mind you), the steaks and dry ice were all still very nicely frozen. So far, everything was pretty good, they even provided me with a little stick which measured the doneness of the steak, however, that was broken on arrival but no biggie for me really.

The packaging was good but I'm no sucker for pretty packaging. The proof of their product lies simply in only one thing; their steak. After thawing one of the fillet mignons for 24hours in the fridge and letting it rest out for a bit more to obtain room temperature, I rubbed on a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and sealed off the edges in high heat on a cast iron skillet. I then threw the rest of it into my oven to roast on high (450degF). Took it out once it was medium rare, and let it sit for about a minute before putting my blade to it.

Ooh, this was so tender that my steak knife pretty much just glided through it. Normally I'm not a fan of fillet mignon but this was the cut my friend recommended and it was indeed very good. Succulent and juicy despite being frozen; this tasted extremely fresh. This was good online steak, now I'm keen on trying the other cuts; especially the ribeye which looked pretty nicely marbled on their website.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Daily Catch, Boston, MA

The Daily Catch is definitely one place I would recommend to anyone who is visting Boston. Down in Little Italy, nestled amongst a huge bevy of Italian restaurants is this little eatery on 323 Hanover St (617 523-8567).

The menu is simply just written on the chalk board and everything is freshly bought. So the menu is not extensive, but the quality is pretty damn good.

Fresh tender calamari, encased in a light crisp batter. A sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. An excellent appetizer.

This is a big favourite of mine. Squid ink puttanesca, the pasta was done perfectly al dente. I don't really mind the story behind the name of the pasta, if that indeed is the oldest profession in the world then politics would be a close second and the two are not always mutually exclusive. The anchovies and olives in the sauce were so tasty and fragrant; I felt almost like I should have ordered a main serve instead of the entree because this was just so delicious.

For our finale, we had a huge platter of fresh seafood marinara spaghetti. Two whole lobsters, tons of sweet fresh clams and mussels cooked in a tasty white wine marinara broth. This dish alone epitomizes what The Daily Catch is all about.

A refreshing light white to accompany this excellent meal.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday DBS

Three years on... and still dancing.

Here's a picture from just round the corner from my home in Perth... where it all started.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

East Side Bar and Grill, Cambridge, MA

So maybe we just didn't feel like having lobster for brunch today or the lobster shack we were looking for was closed on a Sunday (I confess, it was the latter); walking towards Cambridge, hungry as we were, we stumbled on the East Side Bar and Grill which was opened and seemed to be quite popular with the locals, soon enough we found ourselves inside for a little Sunday brunch.

Fried mozzarella is always a nice appetizer, but as I've grown accustomed to the generic mozzarella sticks, these wedges of freshly cut mozzarella before being crumbed and fried to a gooey mess was indeed quite tasty. Accompanied with the tangy marinara sauce, I knew the disappointment of not having lobster would soon dissipate.

I'm a strong advocate of the hearty first meal, so my main of sirloin steak tips, fried potatoes and sunny side-up eggs definitely fitted the bill. The steak tips were well marinated but most importantly the spuds were fried with real butter! That itself deserves extra points.

The other main was a 10oz burger with home-style fries. Pretty decent for a burger but definitely not the best we had, in fact it was a little too dry and definitely not the medium rare we ordered. The fries were tasty though.

Lastly we had a serve of French toast. Served with freshly whipped cream and a fine dusting of icing sugar, it didn't take long for us to smother these slices in syrup and finished off the meal. In the end, not having lobster was actually mightily refreshing and of course, there's always dinner.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vinh Sun, Boston, MA

So I always thought that Boston had the oldest Chinatown in USA but apparently that's not the case? I now hear the one in San Fran is probably the oldest one. Anyway, a little pet hobby of mine when I go traveling is to check out the Chinatown, I've had pretty good food in Boston's Chinatown about four years ago, so we went to check out the place and ended up at Vinh Sun.

We started off with deep fried whiting, whiting encased in a crisp and light batter, this was a pretty good appetizer.

On to more substantial protein; the beef short-ribs with green peppers were pretty tasty as well. The meat was fall off the bone tender but still retained a nice a chew. A tad bit oily, but that's the norm for this cut.

And of course, the lobster feast continued, 2 lobsters straight from the tank cooked Chinese style with ginger and spring onions.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Atlantic Fish Co, Boston, MA

I do apologize for the lack of updates, I've been so busy moving out of my previous apartment. I was also in Boston a few weeks back and boy was I lucky to have arrived when lobster season was just starting. Is it possible to get sick of lobster? After this series of posts from Boston (I had lobster every single day), you tell me.

A quick query from the concierge pointed us towards the nearby Atlantic Fish Co. as the place where the locals go for good seafood nowadays, so off we went. Not making reservations meant we were seated in a little table right in the middle of the dining room, not the most comfortable location but we were hungry so we weren't going to complain. We started off with a simple Caesar salad; crisp leaves, grated parmesan and toasted croutons. Fresh but otherwise unremarkable.

The clam chowder provided a much more substantial start. Rich and creamy, the generous chunks of clam flesh still had a decent bite.

Our first course was a plate of mussels steamed in butter and white wine. The simplicity of its preparation allowed the freshness and flavor of the mussels to prevail.

Very tasty and possibly the plumpest mussels I've ever eaten.

Here's a cute little bib that was given to me just before the main course. A bit of a novelty, I saved my as a souvenir.

Here we have it, the seafood platter of little neck clams and a 2.5lb lobster.

Did I mention I'm glad we came just when lobster season started? The massive claw almost spanned across the entire plate. Claw meat is not too bad but I still prefer the body meat which I think is the sweetest and most succulent.

After the devouring the massive crustacean we were introduced to the dessert trolley and we picked out the signature chocolate cake, which was really only ok. Somehow it was really heavy and thick but perhaps wasn't the thing after all that lobster and dipping melted butter.

The Boston cream pie was way more welcoming. I think the light sponge cake and cold cream made it the more refreshing dessert. It helps that I like cream pies as well.

Atlantic Fish Co. definitely raised the bar for good lobster. I'll have to see if the other restaurants match up over the next five days.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homemade "taco"

This is basically just a typical sloppy, greasy meal I make when I'm hungry and in a hurry. Stuffed a flour tortilla (yup, I prefer the flour ones to the corn ones) with sliced beef, bacon, tomatoes and some muenster cheese; let everything bake whilst I sneak a quick shower and by the time I'm done, it's all ready. A mess? Yes, but what a tasty one it was.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Asian Legend, Ann Arbor, MI

The literal translation of Asian Legend is actually "Old Place", I guess it's supposed to invoke memories of nostalgic popular Taiwan eateries. One of the fairly decent Chinese eateries in Ann Arbor, Asian Legend serves food which is touted to be Taiwanese. In all fairness, I think it's more like Chinese food as certain Taiwanese staples are not available, but still the fare is consistently quite tasty, so I try to stop by whenever I'm in Ann Arbor.

We started off with a generous serving of deep-fried pig intestines. Crisp on the outside and succulent within, salt and pepper sprinkled on top gave it a nice flavor. I would have preferred if it was fried a little longer to be crispier but it was still pretty good.

Deep-fried chicken wings with basil and salt and pepper were up next. This could have been a very good dish if not for one flaw, the nasty fragments of chicken bone in almost every bite. It's as though they bashed the wings up a bit to let the flavor in so I had to contend with bone every time I had a chew.

A braised combination of pig ears, cold seasoned beancurd and seaweed. Everything here was good except the seaweed which tasted extremely fishy. I'm serious, it tasted just so off that we barely touched it.

The beef pancake rolls were just as good as I remembered. Crispy spring onion pancakes rolled around succulent braised beef slices. This is a must order whenever I'm here.

Last but not least, we had a serve of the Taiwan braised beef noodles. I was never really a big fan of these noodles to begin with so I guess this was pretty much as good as it got. A tasty broth, some chunks of braised beef, springy noodles and the minced preserved vegetables on top.

Asian Legend isn't exactly hardcore, authentic Taiwanese but it's good and predictable Chinese food. When the pickings are that few in Ann Arbor, one can't be too fussy.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Potbelly Sandwich Works, Ann Arbor, MI

This is just a one of those toasted sandwiches from the Potbelly Works chain. It wasn't really spectacular but did the thing after that early morning flight. I still think they beat Subway anytime though.


Friday, March 20, 2009

One Dollar Hotdog, Manhattan, NYC

Like thin crust pizza by the slice, hotdogs are another convenient snack (or meal depending on how many you eat) that are readily available in New York. It's hard not to walk around Manhattan and not see one of those so-called dirty water hotdog stands. I don't even know the name of this one but it's apparently pretty famous as the hotdogs only come up to a dollar after tax and they look pretty big too. Catering to the Chinatown crowd and definitely the Fung Wah Chinatown bus clientale, this hotdog window at the corner of Canal and Bowery has gained quite a following.

So how was it in the end? It was actually surprisingly tasty. It was larger than the average street hotdog and they claim to use quarter-pound all beef dogs here. The casing was snappy and the meat was still quite succulent and juicy. Maybe I was hungry but I did wolf this down pretty quick. Catsup and mustard are free but onions cost extra.