Monday, 1 December 2014

J-Shack Japanese Creperie food truck

Stanford re-introduced food trucks to campus, and J-Shack came by today!
I love Japanese crepes, and J-Shack did not disappoint! Bringing us crepes "from Tokyo to San Francisco", haha!
I ordered the sausage curry crepe today. It has deviled eggs (yum!), Japanese curry, spring greens, and Arabiki sausage inside. What a treat! It was all very good. Very balanced meal with balanced flavors. Can't wait for this truck to come by again ^_^
This cracked me up

I can't wait to eat this
Check out the curry around the eggs

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Roasted potatoes

Sharing my friend, Francine's, recipe for roasted potatoes. Her recipe yields potatoes that are soft on the inside but with a maximized surface area for crispiness on the outside.

  1. Potatoes
  2. Vegetable oil, or olive oil (not extra virgin)
  3. Salt 
  4. Rosemary
  1. Boil skinned potatoes in a pot with salt.
  2. (After 10-15 min) Drain the water after the potatoes are ~50% soft.
  3. With the cover attached, shake the potatoes inside the pot. The collisions give the potatoes rough edges, which will maximize the surface area for roasting.
  4. Place the potatoes on a fully oiled pan (oil should be around 1mm thick).
  5. Sprinkle rosemary generously over the potatoes.
  6. Bake for 30 min at 375 degF.
  7. Flip the potatoes over, and bake for another 30 min, until a nice golden, crispy crust forms.
  8. Ready to serve! Best eaten hot!

Look at that crust!!

Tea smoked chicken

Sharing a recipe for tea smoked chicken, that I received from my friend.
This recipe is super simple, takes minimal effort, yet yields a juicy, tender chicken with crispy pepper-crusted skin, yum!

  1. One whole chicken, or chicken parts that you would like to cook
  2. Soy sauce
  3. Olive oil
  4. Black pepper
  5. 2 cups of tea at room temperature (any flavor of black or green tea, I used Constant Comment black tea, with some bergamot flavors)
  6. (optional) Mushrooms, vegetables, etc.
  1. Generously rub the chicken all over with soy sauce and olive oil. This gives the chicken a nice golden brown crust after baking.
  2. Sprinkle black pepper on the surface of the chicken.
  3. Pour the tea into the pan, add the vegetables (optional) on the side
  4. Place inside the oven at 375 degF for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  5. Wait to eat!
You don't have to bast the chicken or do anything fancy! Because the steam from the tea will make sure the chicken stays moist, you don't even have to cover the meat with foil. Isn't it amazing??

The result:

And that's it!! Ready to serve to guests at a dinner party or for several yummy meals.
My friends commented that it tasted a bit like Chinese herbed chicken, though this was so so so much easier to make. And the skin! Heavenly.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Pink Elephant (San Francisco SoMA District)

This blog has taken a hiatus for some time, but I am kicking it back alive with a new restaurant review!
This review is for The Pink Elephant, in San Francisco's Financial District. This gastropub was opened just three months ago, but already have four stars on Yelp!
They have a full menu on weekdays for lunch and dinner, but only serve brunch on weekends. Even so, the brunch menu is quite decent, with a selection of omelette, eggs benedict, french toast, and a variety of burgers. 

Weekend brunch menu

My friend and I ordered the lamb burger and french toast. We were impressed with how good the food was! The lamb burger came with garlic fries and a side salad of onions, carrots and peppers. Served medium-cooked, the patty was very juicy, with juice oozing out as I cut it. The brioche bun was soft and mildly sweet, the way I like it. The tomato sauce (not ketchup) had a Mexican touch to it, true to the roots of the chef who designed the menu. (p.s. It is always fun to speak to the chef, you can learn so much about what everything on the plate is!) I also like how I did not get a greasy after-taste from the burger, something that really spoke about the quality of the ingredients.

The french toast was delectable. I loved how they used raisin and poppy bread, which made the flavor more complex and interesting. All the ingredients were fresh, with a generous helping of fruit, alongside whipped cream and syrup. The surprise was the chili whipped butter served atop the fruit, a concoction personally made by the chef (as with all sauces and marinades, apparently). It was very lightly-flavored, and complemented the toast quite well. 
Lamb burger with garlic fries and side salad of onion, carrot and peppers
Look how juicy the lamb patty is! 
French toast with lots of fruit, and topped with a house-made chili-whipped butter

Given that it is a pub, we had to try their beer after all. An extensive beer menu, there was at least 10 pages of beer selections from several countries, such as Belgium, Japan, America, etc. I tried their Hitachino Nest Red Rice beer, recommended by the owner to be a slightly sweeter beer to cater to my sweet tooth. Indeed, the beverage was easy on the palate, refreshing with sweet undertones.

I also liked their decor -- modern and simple, it was a rather relaxing environment, suitable for friends to chill out at. The staff were friendly and hardworking as well. All in all, I would return to this gastropub to try out their weekday menu and other beers (many looked very interesting), as well as their $1 Monday happy hour (5-7pm) oysters.

Entrance to the gastropub
  • The Pink Elephant
  • 142 Minna St 
  • San Francisco, CA
  • (this is a side street in the Financial District, SoMa, right next to a parking structure, how convenient)
  • (415) 757-0622