Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quail Sushi

I was having some sushi at my work with my friend a few nights ago and I decided to get something off the menu that I've never tried before. I decided to try out this quail egg sushi I hear about from friends and have seen many times before. Well here it is, my two quail eggs staring at me. I honestly don't have much to say about this except I've tried it. It really wasn't awful but it wasn't delicious and I probably would never order this again. I love eating quail (fried) and love eating the little eggs with just salt and pepper but eating quail egg sushi.. raw. This just wasn't my thing.

I have to be honest, the feel of raw egg is one of those things I hate. The texture was slimy and it kinda pops and ooze out when the yolk is smushed between your teeth. The taste is very.. plain. There wasn't exactly a taste I could describe but it tasted and felt like raw egg. The only flavor I could really get was from the soy sauce and wasabi, other then that it was just very plain. It was rich due to the fact you're eating an egg yolk.

Ahh I've tried and and I probably won't order it again unless it gave me special powers. I always wondered how guys could just drink raw eggs in the morning, but after this experience I don't think it was that hard. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Let's go to... RICE!"

Oh how I love going to Rice. It's very hard to find a Korean restaurant in Florida that provides a grill at your table. Rice happens to be my first Korean restaurant to what I can remember. My parents actually took me to eat korean food back back in the days when I use to live in Tacoma but that's something I don't remember. I don't go get Korean food often (I actually make most of it at home) because the price is just too crazy to be eating it every week. I think because there is a lack of Koreans here in Florida everything just happens to be pricey. I use to live in Tacoma, Washington and must I say there's so many Koreans you feel like you're in a different country. I like it (since I'm really into the Korean culture) but living in Washington wasn't my thing.

ANYWAYS, Rice is a wonderful place, it's huge but remains empty because they do mainly a lot of catering and selling drinks. This doesn't affect the taste of the food though. I've been to most of the Korean restaurants in tampa but I keep coming back to Rice. I really do recommend this place to others who want to try a different cultural food or just need a dosage of korean food. I come here often with friends or even by myself if I am in the area. 

I come here mainly for Korean BBQ (at the grill) which you have to make 2 orders to grill at the table. If you want to take a cheaper route you can eat in the booth *the meal for two* is great for that. It's enough food for 3 people. They also have this offer for the grill that if you order 3 set of meat you get 1 for free. This is def more then enough for 4 people. I get super filled trying to finish two orders with a friend so sharing is just a cheaper way. You can split it up and the more the people the cheaper it will get! It's great  doing your korean bbq all together and just having a fun time talking and all. My favorite part is all the banchan (side dishes) that is served. Especially at dinner time, there's always something new added in. 

 There's so many side dishes to eat from! I absolutely love the steam eggs and soup that is served with the meal. It's just perfect and warm that it just heat up your body. There's a lot of banchan to pick from (favorite to least favorite) but make sure you try everything to see what you like!

Everyone that works here are super friendly! If you have never had korean food before you can always ask the waitress or waiter and they will give you information and even show you how you're supposed to eat something. Don't be shy! 

I still think going for Korean bbq (grilling it yourself) is the best experience. I really recommend others to try it once because it's such a cultural experience and you're always preparing food the way you want to. 

^_^ mmm korean bbq!

I love love galbi (if you're wondering). 
Samgyupsal (pork belly) is good too but I don't like eating it because it doesn't have much flavor and I think it's too fatty. Plus I don't like pork so much but it is a cheaper choice of meat!

Rice Restaurant & Lounge
(Town N Country Plaza)

7525 West Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL 33615


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dim Sum @ Chopstix

I went to Chopstix in hopes for some Xiao Long Bao or soup dumplings as some would call them. A friend said they offered some. Soup dumplings are hard to find in Clearwater or anywhere near the area (sad face). Anyways, this restaurant is pretty new because I can still remember the old chinese restaurant that use to be in it's place. It is very clean and modern inside, there are tanks  full of seafood selections and even a fish tank (not to eat) to glare at. 

The food was alright, I wouldn't say this is my number one place to get chinese food or dim sum, but it is not awful where you wouldn't come back to eat at. Out of the whole dim sum selections we picked out the fried taro balls seems to be my favorite and the best compared to other dim sum restaurants in the area. The oh so long waited xiao long bao was a disappointment. It wasn't soupy enough and small, I actually enjoy the frozen soup dumplings more because there are more flavor in them and also more soup. You can get around 2 dozen frozen soup dumplings for under 5 bucks (which sounds a lot of money but if you are paying a few bucks for only 4 dumplings I think it is worth it). The fried shrimp balls were also pretty good too.

Overall I don't think this place is bad, the decor is very nice and the place is clean and friendly. If you are a USF student you also get 10% off your check.  They are well known and are always advertising in the Asian newspaper.

Chopstix - Tampa

1441 East Fletcher Avenue
Tampa, FL 33612

(813) 632-3293

Chopstix on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Crawfish @ Joe's Crab Shack

Please bare with me, I only had my cellphone camera at hand. This is something I always make two orders of. I love seafood and I love shelled creatures the most. At first I came to Joe's for the lovely steam pots they have, full of 3 different types of crab legs, corn and potatoes, all seasoned in your choice of flavor. After awhile it started to get extremely pricey so I discovered that you can make orders of crawfish by the pound for only 6 dollars a pound. After that, crawfish is all I ever get at Joe's. They are hardboiled and season in a cajun kind of spice that makes it hard (spicy) to eat but it is very enjoyable. 

*There has been time when the crawfish was disgusting but I figured out why.. Don't ever go to Joe's when their cooks are off their shift! The manager was cooking our crawfish and it certainly didn't cut it.

The environment is very fun and enjoyable for all ages. They have all the employees dance every 45 minutes to a different song each time, they sing and celebrate any occasion you're having and all are very high spirited. You can chose to eat inside with the AC or outside, which include a sand playground for the young ones. They also have some mighty good looking alcoholic drinks available.

I really do enjoy coming here to Joe's for the crawfish (and their other dishes) and just to have fun with friends. Every time you come here it is a different experience because there's always a different crew of people working with you, different songs playing and always something new happening at Joe's.

Joe's Crab Shack

2730 Gulf to Bay Boulevard
Clearwater, FL 33759

(727) 799-8530


Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon

Vinh's Restaurant

I spent a night in Orlando and decided to go get some food for lunch the next day. Didn't really know what I was going to eat so we happened to end up at Vinh's Restaurant, which is a typical vietnamese restaurant or pho restaurant. The place was clean and neat, nothing too homely but nothing too modern. During the time I went in there wasn't much of a crowd but it wasn't empty at all. My friend and I ordered some appetizers and two bowl of pho the both of us. 

I can say now. I was pretty darn disappointed in the food. The service was alright, but somehow our waitress kinda blew up at one of the owner or manager for whatever reason so it made an awkward feeling in the middle of our meal. The appetizers (egg rolls and spring rolls) were okay, the egg rolls was good to eat but the spring roll was filled with 90% noodles and there was barely any meat or shrimp inside. Plus the peanut sauce was super watered down so there wasn't much flavor. The pho was just horrible. My friend and I agreed that we were done and felt sort of sick. I barely ate any of my pho, there was probably 80% of the dish still inside that bowl. The noodles were overcooked so it was somewhat smushy, the broth tasted very salty (even after I squeezed 3 pieces of lime into it), and the meat was just too soft. I stopped eating not because I was full but becase I lost my appetite. 

I certainly wouldn't come back to this place and now I realize why my parents didn't take me here to eat pho before. The price is over 2 dollars more then the normal bowl of pho I would get here locally (which taste better). I normally don't do such harsh reviews for the heck of it but when a place really sucks. IT REALLY SUCKS.

Vinh's Restaurant

1231 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

(407) 894-5007

Vinh's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cajun Chicken Pasta @ Chili's

I decided to chose the Cajun Chicken Pasta off of the 2 meal for 20 dollars. This is a great and inexpensive way to split or share with a friend or even two other friends since the food portion is much more then a normal person can eat (well for my friend and i, in that case). 

There's is an appetizer that you can chose from and also two meals. I also remember in the past you were able to chose a dessert but I guess they took that off the menu now. I wanted to get either the burger or pasta, in the end I decided to go with the pasta. I wasn't disappointed at all. The service was good and friendly, place was clean, and the food was good. It wasn't to die for amazing but it was pretty darn good. 

The pasta came in a huge dish plus a piece of garlic bread. The pasta had a lot of flavor (compared to the pasta I had at applebees) and the chicken wasn't dry at all. I loved how the pasta wasn't too over cooked or undercooked, it was perfect. The fresh chopped tomatoes and green onion on top gave this dish some color and also some refreshing buzz, this isn't your fat free sauce smoothing your pasta at all and it deff is good! You should check this dish out if you're dining at Chili and in hunger for some pasta!

Chilis - Clearwater

25987 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33763


Chili's on Urbanspoon

Hello there...Logan

MMM The logan/longan fruit is so good! Typically grown in the South/ Southeast Asia or similar to the tropical weather. Logan are named after "dragon eyes" because the thin light brown skin is similar to eyeballs, the dark brown to black sit or pit in the middle can be seen through the translucent white flesh like a pupil or iris. 

When they are fully ripped the brown skin is firm and the inside is full of juicy translucent white flesh. The firmness of the shell creates a easy "crack" or "pop" sound when opened whether by popping it in between your fingers or how I do it, by biting the shell so I can peel it off (rinsed first of course). 

Logan are in full bloom the same time as lychee's but I somehow enjoy logan so much more. The taste is very sweet and smooth to eat, there's is no tanginess or acidic feel to is. You can also find logan dried, like in herbal medicine, fresh, frozen, or even in a can full of syrup. 

I like them fresh the best ^_^!