Dec 30, 2009

Hito BBQ 田季發爺燒肉農安街總店

This time I wanna show you guys this all-you-can-eat barbeque place in Taipei,
Hito BBQ,
They only have two pre-set prices,
One is $399 (around $12 U.S.), and the other one is $499 (around $15 U.S.),
There are more seafood items for the higher price,
But since me and my friends can be careless about seafood, we picked the cheaper one.

By the way,
For this restaurant location, 
Before getting to the meat, you have to first climb 3 floors of steep stairs,
Me and my friends were complaining to the guy who booked the place,
Exercise is good, but not when we're starving!

So for the first round, we selected all the meat items-

And few plates of vegetables,
Just for your information, the ratio of meat versus veggies is about 3:1,
We're all carnivores!

Free kimchi-

Very good, I was surprised actually.
Maybe I shouldn't blame the guy for booking this restaurant,
We'll see how other dishes go later on.

Pork items-

We seriously ordered way too much food,
I didn't have time to ask what kind of meat it was,
The only thing I remembered was plates of meat keeps piling up at our table...

To show you how much we ordered-

The waiter had to use 4 grills total in order to cook all of our food.
Oh yeah, the waiter/waitress actually cook for you, you don't have to touch a thing,
Some of us tried to cook our own meat...but after comparing with the ones prepared by the guy...
Mmmm...we've decided to let the professional to do the job.

This is the chicken thing our waiter made-

Looks like okonomiyaki,
It was slightly burned on the outside and very juicy on the inside,
The waiter used some spices on the table for the seasoning-

Cheese, mustard, dried seaweed, shichimi togarashi, pepper, salt,
The restaurant also provides seasoned soy sauce and lemon juice as additional seasoning options.

Our waiter also made cheese flavored beef-

Kind of different, but it was indeed very delicious and juicy.

Grilled fish-

The fish won't fall down even if you turn the net upside down,
You might be thinking that the fish skin is sticking to the grill net right?
Surprisingly, our professional chef simply gave the net a few knocks with two tongs and the fish came out perfectly,
Skills skills.


What is he doing?
Peeling off the shells for us, how nice!!

(((Skipping some meat dishes pictures, sorry I was too busy eating)))
This is our final dish,
Sticky rice cake dipped in condensed milk and peanut powder-

The rice cake was grilled till it started to bloat up a little bit,
Then dipped in condensed milk, and rolled in peanut powder.

I rarely eat sticky rice cakes,
Don't like the way it sticks on my teeth...and I probably have to lick it out with my tongue..
Not a pleasant scene in the public.
However, this time I ate it because I never had it with condensed milk,
Glad I tried, it was delicious!
But I did have to deal with the "remaining" sticky rice cakes on my teeth afterwards though..

Hito BBQ is probably one of my favorite all-you-can-eat barbeque places within this price range,
Service was good,
Our waiter had to cook for a bunch of starving people, didn't really get a chance to rest in between,
Applause for that!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Hito BBQ 田季發爺燒肉
台北市農安街31號3樓 3rd Floor, Number 31, Ruon En Street, Taipei
(02) 2595-4100

Dec 26, 2009

Animamix Biennial Visual Attract & Attack - Taiwan Taipei

Sorry that I haven't updated my blog for a long time,
I'm currently traveling in Taiwan (Horray for winter break!),
I do have internet at home..
But somehow my parents lost the password for the wireless network,
And my desktop at home is super slow,
Seriouly, I felt like smashing the monitor numerous times already...
(It can take up to 10 seconds sometimes to load one page...)

So before I head to a cafe with wireless service,
Let me just post some pics of a current exhibition at MOCA Taipei,
Animamix Biennial Visual Attract & Attack,
Pretty cool stuff!

Some sculptures-

"Miss" Murakami-

Baby spider man-

Painting (the second panda from the right is so cute!)-

Highly recommended exhibition!
If you are in Taiwan, come check it out,
It's unlike some of the "artsy" stuff that are hard to understand,
(Like staring at a giant painting with 2 blocks of colors...),
This one is fun and interactive, I'm loving it!

MOCA Taipei - Museum of Contemporary Art

Dec 17, 2009

Urth Caffe - Downtown Los Angeles

Haven't write a restaurant review for a long long time,
Actually, I was gonna post a recipe about Japanese stewed egg plant..
But...I think that dish needs to be improved a little bit before I can write about it..
Don't wanna give out the recipe unless it really tastes good,
Especially during this holiday season, giving my readers stomachache is not a very wise idea!

Luckily, I always have some backup pictures in my hard drive,
So here it is, my restaurant review for Urth Caffe in Downtown Los Angeles.

Located in the center of art district,
This place offers a wide variety of organic coffee, as well as some high quality, healthy sweet and savory items,
And this is the first thing I saw when I walked into the eatery-

Cakes!!! Pies!!!
I think other customers standing in the line could see a spark in the corner of my eyes right at that moment, BLING**

Urth farmer's salad-

Made with organic greens, grilled artichoke, dried fruits, and more.

Side track here,
I think it's very important to eat organic stuff as long as financial situation allows,
Indeed organic stuff is expensive...hopefully it'll get cheaper when more people start buying these products..

But what I'm trying to say is that...
I seriously think many "modern" diseases are coming from the food we eat,
Especially canned products or processed meals.

I was reading one article from New York Times, talking about the danger of consuming extra estrogen by eating canned food,
(Estrogen coming from the materials used for the inner side of the can)
After all, it's not natural...think about it..eating food coming out from a tin can...
That's been sitting on the shelves for who knows how long...
Or cooking vegetables that were being sprayed with pesticide..
Even though the government said the amount of chemicals used will cause no harm to human bodies...
Seriously, it's not natural!

Hmm...just a thought here, after all, you are what you eat!
*Hey! That can be a good name for a food blog!

Ok ok, enough of my babbling, let's get back to our Urth Caffe,
Tea latte and tomato basil quiche-

Both items are super good!
The quiche might look small here, but it was very filling and very flavorful,
Kinda juicy inside, possibly coming from the tomatoes,
Only one thing I have to pick on here...
I can never figure out what's the pattern they were trying to draw on my tea latte..(?)..
Elephant? Monkey?

Fruit tart and the back of either triple chocolate cheese cake or key lime pie-

I really the cheese cake was very heavy, just the way I like it!

Urth Caffe is a very relaxing location,
Their light meals are great (I'll definitely try other individual quiche next time),
There are also some cute little stores and art galleries around the neighborhood,
After venturing around the area, stop by for a cup of tea or coffee, it'll make your day even better!

*For me, I'll probably go for the dessert and quiche....yum!

Cindy's Rating: 8

Urth Caffe - Downtown Los Angeles
451 South Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 797-4534

*They also have other locations in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica

Dec 9, 2009

Pork Rolls with Spinach and Dried Seaweed - 豬肉波菜捲

Took me a while to figure out the English name for this dish..
Sometimes it's just so hard to translate for food items....
Once a while I even said garlic when I meant to say curry,
Because garlic sounds just like the Chinese pronunciation for curry...
Confused enough, let's start with this recipe.

Pork roll with spinach and dried seaweed-


10 pork loin slices
1 big piece of dried seaweed (smaller kind works too, but just have to use more)
1 bundle of spinach
Black pepper
Olive oil
10 toothpicks

Sauce (you can adjust it a little bit depend on your personal taste):

2 tablespoons of ponzu
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoon of hot water
1 tablespoon of mirin


1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Some roasted sesame seeds


So I pound each pork loins to make them thinner and wider first,
In the mean time, boil a pot of water, add some salts in it.
Remove the bottom stems for the spinach, give it a rinse then toss in the boiling water,
Cook till it got wilted down, drain out the water, set aside.

Here's the fun park,
Lay down on pork loin on the board (I work on my chopping board),
Tear off the seaweed to the exact size of the pork, put it on top of the meat,
Then add some of the cooked spinach in one end,
Roll it up! Start out with the side you put spinach on,
Seal the end with toothpick.

Repeat the steps for the remaining 9 rolls.
Remember to sprinkle some salt and pepper before cooking.

In a skillet, drizzle some olive oil and wait till it turns very hot,
Transfer the pork rolls and sear all sides till medium brown color.

Pour in the sauce mixture and cook till it's reduced for about 1/2,
Drizzle some sesame oil before you take them out the skillet.

Transfer to the cutting board, wait for about 5 minutes.
Now, cut out one ends so the bottom part is even,
For the other end, but it diagonally,
Transfer the center part to the serving plate and sprinkle some sesame seeds.


Cindy's Rating: 7

Dec 3, 2009

Berry Much Muffins

Too early for Christmas?

Ingredients (for 6)?

1 1/2 cup of mixed berries (it's gonna be a lot of berries, you can use 1 cup instead)
1/4 cup of whipping cream
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Some salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pre a big bowl and sift 1 cup of flour there,
Add a pinch of salt and the baking powder.
In the other big bowl,
Beat the whipping cream, sugar, honey, egg, vanilla extract, and butter till well-blended.

Pour the dry ingredients to the bowl with wet ingredients,
Mix them well then pour in the berry mixture,
I used golden raspberries, red raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Use a plastic spatula and fold the berries into the mixture.

Line up paper muffin cups in the muffin pan,
Into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or till the top turned slightly brown.

Taste even better if you drizzle some honey over the muffin!

Cindy's Rating: 7