Jun 30, 2007

Chicken and Tofu Curry

Current Status of My Middle Finger-

I tried to learn guitar for like 15 minutes last night,
And this is what I got~
One giant blister on my middle finger,
Which I broke it later on,
And became a novice of C, D, E, F, G, A notes.

So hard to type,
So hard to cook,
So hard to do anything without my middle finger,
I finally realized how important you are, my finger.

Despite my impaired finger,
I still need to satisfy my empty stomach since it's been making noises the whole morning.
I ought to make something easy.

Chicken and Tofu Curry-


Boneless and skinless Chicken legs (cubed)
1 Deep fried tofu with vegetables (cubed)
1 Onion (sliced)
Few tbs of fried onion (smashed)
100g Spicy curry sauce mix


Drizzle some EVOO in a pan,
And stir-fried the onion till the color become transparent,
Also add a small pinch of salt to soften the onion.

Toss in the chicken and wait till the color turns brownish on the side,
Add cubed tofu in the pan and keep cooking for about 3 minutes.

Pour in the water until a little bit over the ingredients,
Bring to a boil,
Add the curry sauce mix and stir well,
Make sure there's no sauce mix chunks in the pan.
The sauce has to be smooth.

Toss in the smashed fried onion.
One nice and easy meal,
Even a woman with blistered finger can make it.

This is how I smash it-

Put the fried onion in the bag,
Seal it.
Go ahead and express your anger with the back of the knife.

Ziploc is truly one of the greatest invention for the century.

Cindy's Rating: 6

Jun 29, 2007

Italian Tomato

Italian Tomato in Costa Mesa-

Today's Cake
(that's really the name they used for the cake)-

Layered with sponge cake and filo,
Filled with slices of strawberries and oranges.
A light dessert for a busy Thursday afternoon.

Cindy's Rating: 5 (I like Extraordinary Dessert better)

Today's Cake After World War II-

Sesame Pudding-

Cindy's Rating: 4

I think most, most of the Japanese desserts are too light for me.
I need something between sugar bombarded American cakes and

Overall Rating: 5

Italian Tomato
Mitsuwa Market Place
665 Paularina Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 557-6699


Mentatsu 麵達

There are several popular ramen joints throughout the Orange County,
By all means "popular," doesn't necessary stands for mouthwatering food,
It's just more well-known to people,
Thus the restaurants are flocked with diners during peak hours.

To name a few:
Santouka in Mitsuwa,
Shinsengumi on Brookhurst,
Ebisu in Fountain Valley,
And Mentatsu, just down the block from Mitsuwa supermarket.

Inside the Tiny Restaurant-

Cute Water Cup-

Subuta (Japanese sweet and sour pork)-
Mapo Ramen-

If you like your noodles to stay hot from the beginning till the end,
Order Mapo ramen.
The heat is hard to dissipate since the soup is gooey,
Perfect dish for winter time.

Cindy's Rating (Subuta)- 5
Cindy's Rating (Mapo Ramen)- 5

Chashu Ramen-

The chashu at Mentatsu is thin and dry.
Not recommended.

Cindy's Rating: 4

Overall Rating: 5

688 Baker St. #7
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 979-2755

Jun 28, 2007

Taipei UC Noodle Bar - For the Sake of Bean Curd (Currently Closed)

**2013/02/04 Update**
Sadly, this store is now closed for office purpose only.

Was feeling kind of homesick today,
Somehow homesick leads to this blog entry about food in Taiwan,
Maybe it's one of the ways to make myself feel better,
-Food makes me happy-

Taipei UC Noodle Bar is located in one of the busy alleys in East Area,
The restaurant is designed by Jun Takahashi,
Mixed between old and new,
Where the traditional noodle dishes and the modern decoration elements clashed together.
Creating a whole new level for Chinese food.

One Corner-

Peanut Bean Curd-

Smooth and flavorful.
Rare find in the center of Taipei city.

Cindy's Rating: 7

I didn't take any noodle pictures,
What a shame,
But I had one bite of my friend's noodles,
Pretty good.

Overall Rating: 7

Highly recommended if you ever travel to Taiwan,
Good place to chill with friends while having some delicious dishes on the side.

Taipei UC Noodle Bar
Chun Xiao East Rd. Sec 4. Alley 181. Number 40.


Hsi Lai Temple

Went to the temple few days ago hoping that this trip will wash away my numerous sins.
Don't know if that ever works,
But for sure I got my peaceful mind that day.

Before I Enter the Main Temple-

Temple Picture One-

Temple Picture Two-

No pictures allowed inside the temple,
So that's the best I can do to share the view with you guys.

What were my wishes?
Happiness and Health.
For people I love.

Hsi Lai Temple
3456 South Glenmark Dr.
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

(626) 961-9697

Red Ant Cafe -紅螞蟻- in Rowland

Two Red Ant Cafe in California,
The first one is on E. Valley Blvd in San Gabriel,
And the other one just opened not long ago,
Located in Diamond Plaza in Rowland Heights,
Where the Noodle Hut (千味小廚) was.

But there's no more Noodle Hut,
It's already been replaced by Red Ant Cafe,
So sad...
No more Noodle Hut's Tom Yam noodles for me...

Guilin Style Shrimp Cake - 桂林蝦餅-

My friends said it tastes like fried fish balls.
Cindy's Rating: 3
H.K. Style Baked Pork Chop Rice with Tomato Sauce -焗港式豬扒飯-

Not cheesy enough for me.
Cindy's Rating: 4
Portuguese Style Grilled Pork Shoulder -葡式煎豬頸肉-

Cindy's Rating: 5
Grilled Chicken Steak -香煎雞扒-

Cindy's Rating: 5
Overall Rating: 4
I wish Noodle Hut is still there instead of Red Ant Cafe...

Red Ant Cafe 紅螞蟻
1370 S. Fullerton Rd #102
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 581-1370

Jun 27, 2007

Spaghetti Lunch in 20 Minutes

Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce-

Ingredients (3 big plates for me, 4 plates for normal people.
I consider myself eating more than most of the female human beings):

Onion (half, chopped)
6 Links of chicken sausage (sliced)
15 Shrimps (shelled and deveined)
One can of tomato spaghetti sauce (lazy way to cook pasta)
One box of whole wheat linguini pasta
1/4 tbs of chopped rosemary
Fresh ground pepper


Boil the water in a deep pot,
Add few pinches of salt and cook the linguini as directed on the box.

In the mean time,
Drizzle some olive oil in the frying pan,
Toss the onion and cook till golden brown,
Remember to add a pinch of salt because it helps to soften the onion.

Toss in the sausages,
About 4 minutes,
Now it's shrimps' turn to enjoy the hot weather in the pot,
Also add a few spoonful of tomato sauce and some fresh ground pepper for the flavor,
Cook it with all the ingredients.
Add rosemary if desired.
After the shrimps are cooked,
Dump the remaining tomato sauce into the pan.

Drain the pasta when it's done (I prefer al dente),
Transfer it to the pan,
That's it.
Simple and easy.

About 10 minutes for boiling the pasta,
Another 10 minutes for chopping and cooking.
20 minutes total in exchange of a healthier homemade meal.

Cindy's Rating: 6

(I picked out two rose petals for decoration, wanna make some use out of these pretty flowers)

Jun 26, 2007

Not So Authentic Banana Bay

It's not authentic,
But if you're not too picky,
I think this place is actually pretty nice to dine at,
Spacious, occasional live band performance, and a giant fish tank.

Sign on the Road-

Thai Tea-

Probably the most common drink that a Chinese person will order at a Thai restaurant,
Talking about myself?

Cindy's Rating: 6

Fried Tofu-

Kinda cold already when they served this to my table,
So so quality.

Cindy's Rating: 4

Fried Shrimp Toast-

I love shrimp toast.

Cindy's Rating: 6

Cha Po (Rice with Three Items)-

Top: Roasted duck.
Middle: BBQ pork.
Bottom: Fried pork (my favorite).
Also served with On Choy.

Cindy's Rating: 5

Hainan Chicken Rice (海南雞飯)-

The chicken was ok,
But the rice was delicious.

Cindy's Rating: 5 (most of the points go to the rice)

Overall Rating: 5

Banana Bay
18230 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

(626) 839-5511

Dessert from Ralph's

Feeling a wee bit weird putting this entry under "dessert places" since Ralph's is more like a supermarket.

I was there buying ingredients for tomorrow's meal,
Somehow I ran into these yummy-looking desserts,
Since when did Ralph's start serving cakes that look so good?


I couldn't resist the temptation of trying it out,
So I bought the middle one,
Caramel Fudge Brownie Cheesecake.

I dropped in on the floor 5 mins later,
Only 5 mins later....


Jun 25, 2007

Little Fellas at My New Place

Some little fellas who reside at my new residency.

Mr. Mario-

I got it from McDonald's long long time ago,
Was trying to get Yoshi too,
I rarely eat at McDonald's unless I'm on a snowboarding trip.

Mr. Skateboard-

Flying all the way across the Pacific Ocean from Taiwan.

Mr. Taco-

Tape holder,
His tiny eyes make me happy.

Mr. Unborn-

Salt and pepper shaker,
I believe that the yellow thing is actually a chick,
It makes noises every time I shake it.

I shouldn't be bored with all these little fellas with me in my little studio.

Jun 24, 2007

Kaisen Kaiten Sushi Bar

Kaiten sushi = revolving sushi.

Where the food is placed on a rotating belt (on the plate too of course),
And diners sit around it,
Whenever something delicious comes along,
Just grab the plate to your table.
Let the feast begin.

Circling Around-

Wall Design-

Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)-

Cindy's Rating: 5

Maguro Nigiri (Tuna sushi) and "I Can't Remember What That Was"-

I really can't remember what kind of fish it was,
I tried and I tried..

Cindy's Rating: 4

Philadelphia Roll-

One of the Americanized rolls that got into my palate,
I like it when they incorporate cream cheese with Japanese rolls,
This one from Kaisen is not that good.

Cindy's Rating: 3

Unagi Nigiri (Eel Sushi)-

Really fishy,
Not good.
This dish drags the whole rating for Kaisen to an even lower level.
I personally believe that no matter what,
A sushi place should never serves fish that does not meet the standard of freshness.

Cindy's Rating: 1

Tamago Nigiri (Egg Sushi)-

I always end my sushi dinner with tamago.

Cindy's Rating: 5


I didn't finish all these,
It was for two people, two!
But I can't deny it that I did eat more than other friends at my table tonight...
Moving consumes a lot of energy.


One stomach for salty food,
Another one for sweet treat.

Price Index-

They calculate the price by the color of your plates.

Overall Rating: 2 (due to bad eel)

Kaisen Kaiten Sushi Bar
3855 S. Bristol Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704

(714) 444-2161

The Last Episode of Packing vs. Unpacking

One very efficient day,
Two movers came to my place in Fullerton at 8:50 a.m.
Wrapping, packing, loading, unloading, cleaning,
The whole process took them 3 hours only,
Everything's settled in Irvine.

And then 2 more hours of work for me,
Putting everything together,
More cleaning,
Even decorating,
The new place is now cozy and comfy.

From Old-

To New-

What's Even Better-

Roses ^3^./
Very happy indeed.

Santouka - 火頭山 "山頭火"

So what's happening today?
I've been packing, loading, and unloading my stuff the whole day,
Excited about the new apartment?
I don't know,
I only know that I'm tired,
Plus my allergy was killing me last night,
Couldn't sleep well.
Man am I exhausted..

But..I refuse to go to bed before I finish writing this blog.

Stubborn and anal.


Ramen joint located in the food court of Mitsuwa market place.
It's originally from Japan, where more than 40 locations scattering throughout the continent.
And we have three Santouka here in Southern California,
One in Costa Mesa,
One in Torrance,
And one in Los Angeles.

Kara Miso Ramen (Spicy Miso Ramen)-

I always order this one.
Their chashu is really fat.
Man~ I love fat meat.

Cindy's Rating: 7

Shoyu Ramen-

Cindy's Rating: 6

Overall Rating: 6

Improvement needed:
Their spoon is too small,
How am I going to enjoy the soup with that shallow utensil?

(At last, I can finally head back to my sac in peace)

Santouka 火頭山
665 Paularino Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 434-1101


Jun 22, 2007

Chocolate Souffle - In a Healthier Way

Something to boost up my energy before I start moving some stuff over to the new place.

Chocolate Souffle-

Ingredients (For One Portion):

1/4 cup of butter
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/6 cup of sugar (you can mix together both the granulated sugar and brown sugar depend on how you like it)
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 oz bitter sweet chocolate (I used 65% dark chocolate)
Small pinch of all purpose flour
1 scoop of extra rich vanilla ice cream


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
People usually set it to 375, I don't know, somehow mine is 450.

First, brush some butter and sprinkle the flour on the souffle cup.
So it won't stick if you would like to pour the cake out later on.

Melt the chocolate and butter on the plate - while the plate is set above a saucepan with simmering water. Or just use sauce pot if you have it.
Remember to stir it constantly, you don't want the chocolate to be burned and sticking on the plate.
Remove from heat after it's melted.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs till kinda fluffy.
Add the sugar,
Keep whisking until everything blends together.
Add few drops of vanilla extract and pour in the chocolate,
Mix mix and mix.

Pour the mixture into the souffle cup,
Put the cup on the baking sheet and ~ into the oven for about 10 mins?
I'm not sure about the time so remember to check constantly,
When the souffle is rising and turns dark-brown color,
That means it's ready to go.
Don't worry if it rises above the cup,
It's normal.

Topped with vanilla ice cream,
Garnish with chocolate sauce and mint leaves if desired.

Are you ready for morning dessert?

Cindy's Rating: 6 (My roommate gave me 7 though.)

And why is it healthy?

Cz I used organic butter, organic eggs, low fat ice cream (even though it says rich on the box), low fat chocolate sauce, organic flour, and organic sugar.

Organic is good for you.