Monday, December 31, 2012

Nando's Peri-Peri

Portuegese chicken restaurant that started in Africa, located in Washington, D.C.'s "Chinatown"(in quotes because DC's Chinatown doesn't have many Asian stores). The price isn't bad given the location and the food is decent.

inside the restaurant

Lemon-herb chicken with fries and garlic bread. The chicken isn't bad, it's juicy on the inside and has a definite lemon flavor on the outside. The garlic bread was a bit bland though and soggy.

Mango-lime chicken. It looks just like the Lemon-herb, but definitely has a tangy, mango flavor to it.

Story of Peri-Peri on the wall

Outside the restaurant

Outside the restaurant, the Chinese sign just says "Chicken Restaurant"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Luke's Lobster

Luke's Lobster restaurant in DC at 624 E. Street NW. They specialize in seafood rolls and seafood sandwiches. Worth a visit if you're in the area.

delicious Lobster Roll, with plenty of lobster meat in it

Boat house theme going on in the interior.
There's very limited seating (about a dozen at most).

outside view of the restaurant with seats for eating if it weren't so cold that day

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scottish Meat Pie

Meat pie in Edinburgh, Scotland at Auld Jock's Pie Shoppe. It's a small restaurant in Old Town Edinburgh not too far from the main tourist area. Seating is limited, but the meat pie was delicious!

Auld Jock's Pie Shoppe, front view

inside the shoppe and the menu

Angus steak pie, served with mashed potatoes and covered in gravy.

Haggis meat pie

Forgot which type of pie this is

Angus steak pie

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

小籠包 (xiao long bao)

小籠包 (xiao long bao) from 鼎泰豐 (Din Tai Fung), a Taiwanese restaurant famous for xiaolongbaos which has now branched out internationally. These pictures are from the SOGO location in Tienmu, Taipei, Taiwan.

Xiaolongbaos, sometimes called soup dumplings though they're not actually dumplings), are small thin-skinned buns filled with pork and soup. Other meat fillings are usually available too. The name xiaolongbao literally means little basket buns, and comes from the bamboo basket that the buns are used for steaming the buns.

The xiaolongbaos are eaten with ginger dipped in vinegar and soy sauce. The xiaolongbaos are placed in a soup spoon with the ginger and then eaten.

Chef's making xiaolongbaos in the kitchen

Shrimp filled xiaolongbaos

Other dishes served at Din Tai Fung. The xiaolongbaos are traditionally just a snack, so they're not enough to fill you up for a whole meal. That's where these additional dishes come in.

Even more dishes... I don't remember what these are called...

Dessert xiaolongbaos filled with sweet red bean paste

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hot Pot in Taiwan

Maybe this wasn't a good time to start a traveling blog. My originally planned travel is postponed because of unforeseen medical expenses. So I need to plan some cheaper, more local trips.

In the mean time, here's a post from previous travel. Taiwan!
Hot pot in Taiwan to be specific. This restaurant is from the night market (夜市) in Pingtung (屏東) though we went during lunch.

Hot pot consists of a large, boiling pot of stock in the middle where everyone at the table cooks various ingredients such as thin-cut meat as well as vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, fish balls and pretty much anything. This particular restaurant is one of my favorites and has some of the best hot pot meat and sacha (沙茶) sauce.

Hot pot with stock and vegetables.

The raw meat before being cooked.

Sacha sauce and raw egg yolk. The raw egg is mostly only in Taiwanese hotpot and is mixed together with the sacha sauce and used as a dipping sauce. And yes, the egg is eaten raw ^_^


Fish balls (minced fish meat, formed into a ball shape).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

布丁 (Custard Pudding) [followup]

By the way, this is what store bought custard pudding looks like:
 in original packaging

out on a plate

This was from 7-Eleven in Taiwan and can be found all over the country (both the 7-Elevens and the pudding). They even give you a tiny spoon when you buy it so you can eat it straight from the container.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

布丁 (Custard Pudding)

Custard pudding is an extremely popular desert in Japan and Taiwan (and maybe more places that I haven't been to). You can find it at literally any convenience store or grocery store. In fact, they often have rows and rows of different pudding brands at relatively low prices. In the US however, it's much harder to come by, but that gives us a reason to try to make it ourselves ^_^
So here are my first two attempts at making custard pudding  (a.k.a. flan or crème caramel or 布丁).
I used the recipe with from Cooking with Dog (watch the video for detailed instructions). The general steps are...

Caramelize sugar as such:

Butter the molds/cups for the pudding so it doesn't stick later:

Pour the caramel into the cups:
ran out of caramel for the last cup

Mix sugar, milk and eggs together, sieve and pour into the cups:

And cook in a pan with water for 20-30 minutes:

So my first 2 attempts had mixed results.. the first batch basically exploded when I poured it out of the cup.

Even though it literally liquified when I dumped it out of the cup, it tasted great! It was sweet, but not overly sweet and had a soft texture (at least the parts that didn't liquify).
The second batch actually looked a little better, sort of. Unfortunately I burned the caramel a little giving it a sweet yet charred tasted. It was interesting to say the least.

Anyway, I guess this is ok for the first two attempts. Maybe once I get better at it and experiment around I will post an updated blog post with the results.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tips for Photographing Fireworks

This post is a little late for this year's July 4th fireworks, but in case you want to be prepared for next year, here are some tips for photographing fireworks.
  1. Set your camera on a tripod.
  2. Focus on a distant object (or focus on the first few fireworks) and then turn-off auto-focus.
  3. Set your aperture to f/10-16 (varies depending on brightness and distance of the fireworks).
  4. Set the shutter for 2 or 3 seconds.
  5. Alternatively, I set my camera to bulb and use a remote. With the remote, I manually hold the shutter for 2 or 3 seconds depending on how many fireworks are going off.
  6. Optimally, you should be perpendicular to the wind so the smoke moves out of the way. Unfortunately, winds may be hard to predict or may shift during the fireworks show.

When photographing fireworks in a large city such as New York City or Washington, D.C. there may be many fireworks going off at once. Sometimes, the next fireworks are going off before the previous ones have even cleared. Anyway, the biggest part is practice! Take these tips and try photographing fireworks a few times and you will get the hang of it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day

Creating a blog for the first time in many, many years. Even though I labeled this as a food and travel blog, it'll probably be a variety of things including photography. Anyway, let's start this off with a bang since it's (or was) Independence Day here.

I went into sweltering Washington, DC for the fireworks. After the first metro train I was on broke down in a shower of sparks and the smell of battery acid everywhere, I finally made it in at 8:45, 25 mins before the start. Unfortunately, this year's fireworks were not as impressive as previous years.  There was less variety in the fireworks, and they didn't seem to fly as high up as before.

Not to mention, a number of fireworks exploded while still on the ground (as shown in the photo). Looks like there was a batch of defective rockets.