Touring the Super H Mart food court

This has nothing to do with this post, but I want to say it anyway: I’ve been home for two weeks and Little Mom’s been making sure that everyday I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruits, mid day snacks, late night snacks, and more snacks. “Stock up for the rest of the year cuz you don’t eat at school. I know you,” she says. 😀 I get sleepy if I’m constantly full –> now I’m sleepy all day –> now I can’t blog. On the note of abundance, this post is about 4 kiosks in the food court of the Memorial Super H Mart, where my parents will most likely frequent for a quick tasty lunch after buying the kimchis and the myulchi bokkeum. The food court makes a wavy strip at the right end of the store, starting with Tous les Jours at the door and ending with a kiosk selling kimbab (김밥) near the kimchi section far back, the tables sealed from the view of passing shoppers by a strategic row of potato sacks and artificial sunflowers. I didn’t stand long enough in front of each kiosk to […]

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A quadruple mix at Saigon Buffet

A Japanese chef, a former Korean restaurant interior, a Vietnamese manager, and a buffet menu combining all three plus Chinese. Sounds unauthentic and one-star fusion? I thought so too, I didn’t plan on blogging about Saigon’s Buffet until I was a third way through my plate. Then I scrambled for the cam to snap a few from my mom’s. Good thing it’s a buffet, can always go back for seconds. From the far right end we gandered first through the kimchis and namuls, grouped with a bright yellow ripe mango salad mixed with gochujang and something soakingly flavorful similar to either pickled sweet onion or green papaya salad. To its left are sushi rolls and plump chunks of red tuna and orange salmon, and a few stubby octopus tentacles that I really wanted to get but didn’t know where to fit on my heaping pile. From the far back of L-shape buffet counter are fried rice, chow mein, and lightly mixed rice vermicelli (similar to bún xêu) that goes exceedingly well with the sesame-oil-sweet-smelling, cucumber-free wakame salad. Trays full of […]

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Down the Aisles 9: Green Tea Soymilk

Brunch: WestSoy vanilla soymilk Dinner: Pearl green tea soymilk When my green tea soymilk got scanned at the cashier, there were two reactions from the cashier girls: “Wow, this sounds awesome! I’ve never heard of it before!” and “I don’t know… it sounds a little weird to me”. Call me a Berkeley-induced hippie if you want (although I’d like to say I’m as far from being a hippie as Japan is from Berkeley), but I side with the first reaction, cuz I like green tea ice cream and I like soymilk. Now I’m addicted to this thing. Sweet and smooth with a light-hearted, herbal accent. I finally understand why the Brits add milk to tea. In this case, it’s adding tea to milk. The mix rivals my most favorite drink number: mung bean milk. Continue reading Down the Aisles 9: Green Tea Soymilk

Sandwich shop goodies 17 – Mung bean milk

Do you like soy milk? No? Well, someone once told me that if you don’t expect milk when you drink soy milk, then you’d enjoy it. Yes? Then you might just prefer this luscious, green, liquefied nourishment to soy milk. Not only is it nuttier, mung bean milk also feels more natural and more local than the modern soy milk. From the cheap plastic bottle with a green plastic cap and no label (that means no half-stamped “Sell by…” either), you can probably tell that it didn’t go through any metallic machine with pulleys and tubes. Whoever makes this mung bean milk probably soaks the beans overnight in a dented aluminum basin, boils the extract at 2 am in a sooty pot, and bottles the final liquid via a red plastic funnel that looks just like the one they always use for oil change. It doesn’t really matter as long as the delivery of a fresh batch comes at 6. The sandwich shop unstretches its iron folding doors. The customers start buzzing in. At 11 I came. I grabbed a bottle at the cashier. It was warm. Two and a half hours […]

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Roe, roe, roe your boat

I’ve finally had it. Le pâté des mers. A sandy lustrous texture and a briny air of the ocean compactified in bright orange lobes. It’s my first time, at a sushi house in Berkeley in early May, so I’m not gonna pretend like I had the faintest idea about uni. I’m not sure if it’s raw or cooked, but from the taste alone it’s too seashore-breeze-like to be cooked. It could be a paste from a tube for all I know. But now it’s decided. Sea urchin roe? Count me in. Thanks to noodlepie for writing about it. Really helps if you know what to expect before you try, as always.

Wurst, Lederhose and Mai Fest at Speisekammer

On one bright Sunday afternoon, I found myself spinning with a guy named Don in lederhosen to quirky Bavarian tunes. Black, red and yellow balloons swinging almost in sync with the “hoi hoi” cheers from honey-shining beer mugs. And I had my fill of meat. 🙂 May started, lively and carefree. This part of Alameda is old timey. A short green iron bridge over a narrow canal, fading painted warehouse signs with German names, old cars… It’s drowsy, almost. ‘Cept for this one corner of Lincoln and Park Street today. The German restaurant bloomed like a Royal Poinciana in June. We felt flamboyant too. What’s this… deciding on a whim to get lunch together at Speisekammer, and it just happened to be the one day Speisekammer held their Mai Fest (my name makes me feel special at times like this :-D). Everyone sitting out at long wooden tables under the parasols, sleepy dogs lying under the sun. It hasn’t been this warm for weeks. A band, balloons, flags, traditional clothes, dancing, food. A special menu. Continue reading Wurst, Lederhose and Mai Fest at Speisekammer