[Orlando] A February Summer Toast

Snapshots from my 4-day escapade from snowy New York earlier this month.

A premature toast to summer - where else to go but the "happiest place on earth?" I've been to all the other Disney parks most more than once, but first time in Orlando! Bucket list item checked!

Finally fulfilled my childhood obsession/fantasy of visiting (ahem, I meant attending) Hogwarts. Butterbeer, you were a little too sweet though...

Sunshine and magic, turkey legs and lemonade, palm trees & salty breezes-
with lots of love from Pooh bear & friends:

Thanks for reminding me of my youthful spirit again, Orlando x

Flying over snowy New York 

Flying over snowy New York 

Diagon Alley! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios <3

Diagon Alley! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios <3

A whimsical, all-you-can-eat buffet with some favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood (oh hello Pooh, hello Piglet, hello Eeyore) at the Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom

A whimsical, all-you-can-eat buffet with some favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood (oh hello Pooh, hello Piglet, hello Eeyore) at the Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom

The Dragon atop Gringotts in Diagon Alley - he breathes out real fire once in a while!

The Dragon atop Gringotts in Diagon Alley - he breathes out real fire once in a while!

Big huggie with Pooh at the Crystal Palace while buffet feasting x

Big huggie with Pooh at the Crystal Palace while buffet feasting x

Meatballs & spaghetti at the Italian restaurant where Lady and the Tramp had their first kiss! (Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Magic Kindom Disney)

Meatballs & spaghetti at the Italian restaurant where Lady and the Tramp had their first kiss! (Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Magic Kindom Disney)

Ready for Epcot, Disney!

Ready for Epcot, Disney!

orlando-palm-trees
Magic Kingdom fireworks above the castle

Magic Kingdom fireworks above the castle

Buffet lunch at the Tusker house with Safari Donald Duck and friends! Best food of the Disney restaurants. Amazing grills and stews at this colorful Harambe marketplace restaurant inside Animal Kingdom

Buffet lunch at the Tusker house with Safari Donald Duck and friends! Best food of the Disney restaurants. Amazing grills and stews at this colorful Harambe marketplace restaurant inside Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom sunset

Animal Kingdom sunset

Can't enough of the trees

Can't enough of the trees

[NYC] Sushi of Gari 46 - Omakase Dinner

Categories: Japanese, Sushi Bar

Address: 347 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036 (Midtown West)

Date Visited: Feb 2017

Price: ~$220-250 for two, not including drinks, tips or tax

Verdict: 

YES! First off - flawless, fresh ingredients. This Midtown joint is pretty well-known in town and based on my first visit, I think it lives up to its expectations. The environment was a lot more relaxed than what I'd expected (non-pretentious & casual). Very solid meal overall. I strongly recommend it. 

The Omakase nigiri pairings are fun and innovative. Everything was melt-in-your-mouth delicious - I guarantee mouthfuls of umami for any of their seasonal offerings. The toppings are playful and delicate; nothing too overpowering so you can taste the raw delicacies of the fish. 

What to Order: OMAKASE! My personal favorites were:
        * Salmon Sautéed Tomato (their signature dish)
        * Sautéed Kingfish with creamy mushroom
        * Blue Fin Tuna with tofu purée & homemade chili (A MUST)
        * Baby Yellowtail with jalapeño
        * Sautéed Foie Gras nigiri (YES)
        * Sea Urchin (if you're a fan of uni, this is a must)

Our omakase courses in order (some we requested, such as the salmon sautéed tomato nigiri & foie gras nigiri; most others were chef's choice):

  1. Amuse bouche - mushroom with sweet soy and ginger, garlic oil chicken tenderloin, Sasabune-festival inspired soybeans
  2. Snow Crab / Sautéed Kingfish with creamy mushroom  / Baby Yellowtail with jalapeño / Toro with ponzu soaked radish
  3.  Japanese Red Snapper with lotus chip / Santa Barbara sea urchin (uni) / Seared Cod with Miso garlic / Blue Fin Tuna with tofu purée with homemade chili
  4. Salmon Sautéed Tomato  / Korean Sweet Sauce Marinated Tuna with roasted pine nuts and nori seaweed
  5. Sautéed Foie Gras with sweet balsamic and pickled turnip
  6. Seared Fluke Fin with poached quail egg and white truffle oil  
  7. Seared toro

Gochiso-sama (deshita)! ("It was a feast!") I'll be back for sure, especially since it's just a block away from my apartment :)

Amuse Bouche - Mushroom with sweet soy and ginger, garlic oil chicken tenderloin, Sasabune-festival inspired soybeans

Amuse Bouche - Mushroom with sweet soy and ginger, garlic oil chicken tenderloin, Sasabune-festival inspired soybeans

Bottom to top: Snow Crab / Sautéed Kingfish with creamy mushroom  / Baby Yellowtail with jalapeño / Toro with ponzu soaked radish

Bottom to top: Snow Crab / Sautéed Kingfish with creamy mushroom  / Baby Yellowtail with jalapeño / Toro with ponzu soaked radish

Snow Crab

Snow Crab

Salmon Sautéed Tomato  / Korean Sweet Sauce Marinated Tuna with roasted pine nuts and nori seaweed

Salmon Sautéed Tomato  / Korean Sweet Sauce Marinated Tuna with roasted pine nuts and nori seaweed

Left to right: Japanese Red Snapper with lotus chip / Santa Barbara sea urchin (uni) / Seared Cod with Miso garlic / Blue Fin Tuna with tofu purée with homemade chili

Left to right: Japanese Red Snapper with lotus chip / Santa Barbara sea urchin (uni) / Seared Cod with Miso garlic / Blue Fin Tuna with tofu purée with homemade chili

Seared Toro

Seared Toro

Me caught in the moment: (awkward happy face) eating :D 

Me caught in the moment: (awkward happy face) eating :D 

LOOK AT THIS FOIE GRAS.  JUST LOOK AT IT. AMIGAWD.

LOOK AT THIS FOIE GRAS.  JUST LOOK AT IT. AMIGAWD.

[Shanghai] Fu He Hui 福和慧 - Autumn 2016 Dinner Tasting Menu

Awards: Michelin One Star (2016), Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2016

Categories: Vegetarian, Fine Dining

Address: 1037 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiangsu Lu, Changning District, Shanghai

上海市长宁区愚园路1037号, 近江苏路**

Price: Tasting menu only, 880RMB per set, without drinks

Verdict: YES for refined & innovative vegetarian dishes. Forget about what you think you know about Chinese vegetarian food. Be prepared for a good mix of traditional vs experimental offerings and displays, eg. Shanghainese-style stir fry gluntinous cakes with shaved black truffles to smokey porcini on sticks in a jar. Spectacular services, environment and presentation.

"Matsutake" (松茸); with taro, crisp rice & snow pea

"Matsutake" (松茸); with taro, crisp rice & snow pea

fuhehui-mushrooms
"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes; garden greens, bamboo shoots and BLACK TRUFFLES

"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes; garden greens, bamboo shoots and BLACK TRUFFLES

fuhehui-champagne
"Bean Curd" (豆腐); organic tofu, gingko, peach gum, soy - super silky and smooth tofu covered with a gelatinous jelly-like topping

"Bean Curd" (豆腐); organic tofu, gingko, peach gum, soy - super silky and smooth tofu covered with a gelatinous jelly-like topping

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup; baby corn, white fungus, black medlar, vegetarian consumme - immaculately pure without losing taste - not oily or greasy at all!

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup; baby corn, white fungus, black medlar, vegetarian consumme - immaculately pure without losing taste - not oily or greasy at all!

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup

"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes

"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes

fuhehui-01
fuhehui-banana-dessert-ice-cream

[Recipe] Easy Baking - Soft Green Tea (Matcha) Cookies

Soft & Chewy Matcha Cookies Recipe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Baking Time: ~25 mins

I'm not really sure why my baking urges seem to always strike around midnight. I wanted cookies, real bad. Chocolate-chip, I thought. However, upon realizing that I'd ran out of chocolate chips, I scoured through my pantry to see what little ingredients I have available to bake. And guess what I found... matcha powder! So here goes, a very simple recipe with very few ingredients to make green tea cookies.

They came out lightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Make sure to cool off in room temperature and best eaten 30-60 mins after cooling. I'd advise AGAINST putting it in the fridge as it'd suck out the moisture and make it less soft (but you can do so if you like crunchy cookies). Enjoy!

gofindalice-matcha-cookies-recipe

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract. Dissolve baking soda and salt in hot water. Add to the batter. Stir in flour, room temperature water and matcha powder. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  3. Bake for about 11-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 20g matcha (green tea) powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup room temperature water