Monday, January 30, 2012


Today was just another day being Emily and I had to go on another boring grocery run with my mom, this time to Uwajimaya in Bellevue. While I was walking through the area with the dead fish with their faces fully intact, I stopped in my tracks... I stumbled upon fresh poke! Like the one I fell in love with in Hawaii! I tasted it and it was exactly the same. I looked around, and Uwajimaya also has my favorite Aloha Maid juices like POG (passion fruit, orange, guava). There was even a Hawaiian aisle filled with things like chocolate covered macadamia nuts. The foods brought back good memories from my trip like chilling out on the beach with the sun on my face, feeling the soft breeze flow through my hair while drinking a POG. Check out my discoveries...


Fresh fruit drinks without corn syrup...

Chocolate covered macadamia nuts...

It brings me back! Ahhhhhhhh! If you want to feel the Hawaiian experience, go to Uwajimaya and taste what I am talking about.

I also found a really fun type of candy that you hold in your teeth and blow. It makes the coolest and loudest whistle ever! It also tastes really good and fruity...

Uwajimaya is a great store for kids, they have locations in Seattle and Bellevue. You can find lots of interesting candies and cookies too. Just stay away from the fish faces. With the eyeballs.

Uwajimaya Asian Food & Gift Market on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Icing On The Fairy Cake


  Last week I was given a mindblowing gift: two cupcakes hand carried from London! These weren't just any cupcakes, these were "fairy cakes" made at Harrods, one of the most famous stores in London. I love how some words are different here than in England, but calling cupcakes "fairy cakes" takes the cake! Ha ha ha. The chef (Fiona Cairns) made these fairy cakes and she also made the Royal Wedding cake for Kate and William.


The first thing I thought when I saw the fairy cakes was how gorgeous and elegant they looked! They were dusted with edible glitter and the designs on top were London icons like a cab and a double decker bus. The decorations were so enticing that I expected the flavor to be as wonderful as they looked. Turns out, it was a "royal" pain to taste them! I know the fruitcake in London is horrible, but white cake too? Really? These fairy cakes tasted like plastic. They have this clever wrapping that is air tight with the frosting so they last a long time and the cake stays as moist as if it was just out of the oven. The cake was really moist and tasted average but don't even get me started on the frosting! It was totally rock solid and I couldn't even identify the strange flavor. I thought it was some kind of alcohol flavoring for adults. The design on top was on a thick piece of plastic, um I mean frosting, that was sitting on top. Kids, if you are lucky enough to be Harrods, only get these fairy cakes to accessorize your bedrooms. I really appreciate the new experience and I am honored that I was thought of in London.  Overall, these were definitely an experience. That I don't ever want again. I know people say the food in London is gross, but fairy cakes too?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dick's Special!

Tomorrow is a big day at one of my fave burger places, Dick's. They are celebrating their 58th anniversary by lowering their drink prices to what they were in 1954...10 cents! I just saw the movie Back to Future where Marty McFly went for a ride in a cool car that took him to 1955. I want to ride in that car and get fast food for these prices! Who knew a McDonald's meal deal would seem so expensive? Get on over tomorrow (1/27) to a Dick's near you to get your 10 cent soda, any size. There are locations all over Seattle. Sadly, there aren't any on the eastside for now. That is only a matter of time.

Dick's Drive-in (Capitol Hill) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake!

Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the dragon. The dragon is the deliverer of good fortune and he delivered my fortune in the form of cake! In celebration of the Chinese New Year, I decided to go to Regent Bakery & Cafe in Redmond.

On decor of restaurant, I give it a 3. The cafe looks pretty boring, in a boring strip mall. Other than some Chinese posters and lanterns on the walls, the bakery was mostly made of large glass cases where the cakes and pastries are displayed.
The cases are so pretty, check them out...

 There are brown walls and tables with matching brown chairs. The sign behind the counter is bright yellow and orange and it was hard for me to read. If you decide to come here it might be a good idea to bring your glasses. I could really tell that their main focus was on the food and not the decor.

On friendliness of staff towards kids, I give it a 3. When I first walked in I was very overwhelmed. The woman working there kept asking me if I wanted lunch and needed to know when I wanted to order. I set my things down on the counter and then she told me where to sit. But then... she brought me a glass of water and a fork without even having to ask! That made me feel like she wanted me there.

On service speed, I give it a 5! They were super fast at putting the piece of cake on the plate. Wowzers, they should be in the cake plating olympics! There was a small line but it moved quickly.

Fresh Fruit Cake...

Swiss Chocolate Mousse Cake...

On taste of food, I give it a 5! I tried two cakes - Fresh Fruit Cake and Swiss Chocolate Mousse Cake. Fresh Fruit Cake: This cake made me feel healthy in a "not really" healthy way. Healthy food never tasted this good! There were different kinds of fresh fruit in the cake like kiwi, strawberry, pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew melon. The cake was an angel food cake and the icing was not actually icing, but heavy whipped cream. Eating it made me feel like I was floating on air.
Swiss Chocolate Mousse Cake: There were 3 layers of decadent light and fluffy chocolate cake filled with airy chocolate mousse. The mousse had just the right amount of airiness in it. It was not so airy that you can't feel it, but not so dense that it feels like there is a 5 lb. weight in your mouth. It had the perfect consistency. The cake part was just the same. It was light and airy but with the perfect kick of density. The cake was also perfectly moist. Regent Bakery knows how to make cake!

On appearance of food, I give it a 5! These cakes are decorated and served beautifully. They are served on actual plates, on small golden paper wedges with plastic on the outside to keep the cake in place. They are displayed immaculately in the cases and even more immaculately in my stomach. I can tell that they put a lot of effort into baking and decorating their cakes. They are so appealing that they make you want to take a picture and then gobble them up!  

On price, I give it a 2. A slice of cake averages around $4.00. A whole cake averages around $35.00. That seems like a lot.

Regency Bakery and Cafe scored an overall score of 23/30. WARNING: When you first walk in it smells terrible. The bakery also makes traditional Chinese dishes like Sesame Chicken. Sesame Chicken combined with cake is not a smell that is good. If you can get past the smell and focus on the cakes, you will see that they have lots of different kinds of cakes like cheesecake, black forest cake, tiramisu and chestnut cake. They also have traditional pastries like sausage buns and BBQ pork buns. Everything is made fresh onsite. Do yourself a favor and celebrate the year of the dragon! And let yourself eat cake.


Regent Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let It Snow!

Happy Snow Day!!!

I have been meaning to get out and review a restaurant, but there is no way I could even think of getting out of our driveway! Since we live at the top of a huge hill, our house gets the most snow. Nobody is driving so my friends and I decided to go sledding down our hill...

I had a blast! A few wipeouts and a bloody tongue won't stop me! 

On snowy winter days, I always like to roast marshmallows in the fireplace with my family. I also like to make homemade meatballs that cook in tomato sauce all day long. My great grandmother Josephine (aka Nanny) taught my mom the recipe to her meatballs and we have been making them ever since. If you want to make something similar, here is a recipe from Patsy's in New York:

I am related to Patsy but I have no idea how. That is how it is in big Italian families. I just found out last year that my "Aunt" Jen isn't actually related to me.

I hope everyone is enjoying the snow and no school!!

Patsy's on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hawaii, The Island Of Extremes

Mele Kalikimaka! 

I just returned from an amazing vacation to the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. The locals refer to the Big Island as the "island of extremes" since there are volcanos and snow at the same time. I refer to the Big Island as the "island of extremes" because I had some of the best food I have ever had there and some of the worst!

Here are the best things I ate in Hawaii...

This is tuna poke (pronounced po-kay). The tuna is raw and as fresh as it could be because it is caught right there in Hawaii. The tuna is chopped up with green onions, avocados, soy sauce and sesame oil. I normally hate fish and I didn't even want to try it. But... it is always good to try new things so I forced myself to have a bite. To my suprise, I not only didn't gag but instead I loved it! It isn't fishy at all, but tastes more like the fresh ocean. You can get poke everywhere in Hawaii, including the grocery stores. 

  This is a rambutan, otherwise known as a "hairy lychee." I found these at a farmers market in the middle of Kohala. To open this exotic fruit you need to squeeze it very hard until the shell pops open. Inside is a delicious fruit that looks like a huge lychee. It tasted like a mix between a lychee and a grape. There was a lot of juice packed inside of that shell! I like to remember what Andrew Zimmern says, "if it looks good, eat it!"

This looks just like an ordinary pancake, but don't be fooled. This pancake is huge and is the fluffiest pancake I have ever had in my life. It was served with butter, which I spread all over. Whoever doesn't put butter on their pancakes isn't living life. It was so delicious that I skipped the syrup. I got this amazing delicacy at a local diner called Hawaiian Style Cafe. This cafe was recommended to me by the people who worked at our hotel. It is very popular, but inside it sort of looks like a dump. Sorry to say.

The guy with this huge cleaver is at the farmers market in Kona. You ask him for a fresh coconut and he cuts it up with his enormous cleaver. I was very scared he was going to cut his hand off! First, he cuts a hole in the top of the coconut and sticks a straw in to drink the juice. It was so fresh! Then you take back the coconut and he cuts it up so you can eat the meat. This was a young coconut so the meat was kind of like jello. The experience was very unique. You should also go to the farmers market for the tourist stuff like jewelry and ukeleles. A ring I saw at our hotel was $20, but here it was only $5!

Now, onto the worst things I had in Hawaii...

Poi. Also known as the worst food in history. It is flavorless taro root paste and should be avoided at all times. The locals say "it is an acquired taste." Yeah right. I will never acquire this taste.

Everything on this plate is nasty. It is called a loco moco and is also from the Hawaiian Style Cafe. A loco moco is meat (usually hamburger) on top of rice, covered in gravy. This is a local version that you would have to be loco to eat. On the bottom of the picture, you can see the second worst thing in Hawaii...Spam!!! Bleh!!!! Why do people like this? What even is it? It tasted like dog food (I want to clarify I have never actually tried dog food before). People in Hawaii are obsessed with Spam, and I am obsessed with avoiding it. Is this also an acquired taste?

This was the main course at the local luau. Everything on the table was revolting. I don't even know what half of the things are! Even my mom didn't eat it, and she eats everything. The main course was a whole pig that they roasted underground. It just tasted like shredded pork. They served it with it's head on and that was actually cool. Some people don't want to be aware of what they're eating, but I am comfortable seeing the source. Stay away from the luau. Unless you like fire dancing.

After a few days, we were sick of eating expensive hotel food. We went to the local grocery store and got food for the room. We made it fun and decided that everything we got had to be from Hawaii. Some of my favorites were the Maui style potato chips, the local fruit juices, the HUGE avocados, and the tiny apple bananas. My mom found some awful snack called "cracked seed." She loved it but I don't know why. The Big Island has a lot of good food and bad food, but I love to try local food. As long as it's not poi or Spam.