Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Instant noodles

As usual, we have our pantry full of stuffs just in case we need a quick food fix but are too lazy to cook or go out, or even call for delivery. =)

This time it's instant noodles straight from Taiwan, which my ever dependable hubby got from his recent trip. Instant noodles are called 泡麵 (pronounced as 'phao-mien' in Mandarin and 'phao-mi' in Taiwanese dialect) in Taiwan or 公仔麵 (pronounced 'kong-chai-min' in Cantonese and 'kong-tzai-mien' in Mandarin) in Hong Kong.

It's made by a famous Taiwanese company under the brand name 康師傅 (pronounced 'khang-zhi-fu'). This one particular flavor is also for vegetarians and without msg added. It's 當歸藥膳麵線 (pronounced 'dang-kwuei-yao-shan-mien-sien'), where I added some mushrooms and an egg. Doesn't do much for the looking but tastes really good, specially added with a taste of sesame oil.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hotpot @Yu's Bistro

This is an eat all you can hotpot meal @Yu's Bistro.  It cost approx USD14 + tax per person, coz it doesn't come with seafood. The added seafood varieties will cost approx. USD17 + tax.

They call this the Yin-Yang Hotpot (鴛鴦鍋)
This is the soup broth base for a hotpot meal, where one side is the mega-hot broth and the other side mild.

Then, what follows are all put inside the soup broth to boil. We like the veggies boiled till soft while the meat just right. =)

What should always be remembered in each hotpot meal is the concoction of sauce mixture where we dip the meat & veggies before devouring them. Above are the selection of Yu's hotpot sauce mixture (from upper left to lower right):  sa-cha paste, sesame paste, chopped string onions, chopped garlic. Not shown is the soy sauce which I added for taste.

I was not able to show what Yu's Bistro looks like before.  So, I took a quick shot before we stepped in this time around:

Brunch @Yu's Bistro

We have been to this restaurant 1.5 years ago and was very disappointed with the food quality as its tasted blah. A big embarrassment as we brought the take out to a friend's potluck party. =(

A few days ago, hubby and I decided to give their dinner meal another try.  We were surprised as there was a big difference. It's way better. Apparently, it is now under new management.  The lady owner told us that her hubby is the chief cook so kitchen quality is well monitored. That's good to hear. 

So we went there today to try their brunch. It actually tastes good enough to be added on our regular to-go places.  These are the yummy food we had:

soy milk (豆漿)
I had the sweetened soy milk but I think it should taste better if they lessened the sugar a teeny weeny bit. Also, I prefer it served in a glass. It also tastes better than the one sold in Westmont, IL. Sigh, that's what happens when you get used to the great food sold everywhere in Taiwan.

Dan-Dan Noodle (担担麵)
 This one comes spicy and a bit salty, so be mindful for those who can't take spicy food. As with typical Szechuan dishes, they added pericarpium zanthoxyli (花椒) as with most of their spicy dishes. This leaves your lips a bit numb afterwards. Don't worry as it lasts for only a few seconds.  If it's just a bit less salty, I would highly recommend this dish.   

Pan friend bun w/meat stuffing (生煎包)
I guess the strong taste left by the dan-dan noodle has made this one bland. So, I should try this one again the next time we go back to be able to give a fair comment on whether it's good enough to be recommended or a definite blah. =)

Crab Rangoon (酥炸蟹角)
I think I should emphasize that crab rangoon is not a typical chinese dim-sum at all in Asia. I have not seen it in HK, China or Taiwan. In fact, it is only here in US dim-sum restaurants that I have encountered the crab rangoon dish. They are said to be one of the favorites of non-chinese (usually westerners) who frequent the dim-sum restaurants. So far, I can say that Yu's Bistro can be said to serve the best tasting crab rangoon yet. They come with a substantial filling of crab meat w/ saucy fillings (which we usually call crab meat salad) wrapped in those wonton wrappers and deep fried. They are served with honey mustard and/or a kind of sweet sauce (this is not the typical sweet and sour sauce but tastes like the so-called duck sauce that's popular only in US chinese restaurants). The other crab rangoons that I've tried usually have so little fillings that I can't even taste what's in it. You know, like huge fried wrappers with barely anything in the filling. Yu's crab rangoon is best served with dippings of honey mustard and that other sweet sauce. yummy. thumbs up.

Chinese Cruller (油條)
I personally find their chinese cruller too oily. I know they are supposed to be deep fried, but when you tear open the cruller and find the oil almost dripping... it's simply yuck. The ones sold in Westmont, IL by a Taiwanese fast food stand is way better, no oil drips.  

Chinese Chives Pie (韭菜合子)
This is my first time to have chinese chives pie and it tastes- wondeful! As usual, I think that this would have been perfect if its a bit less salty and I don't see the oil dripping.  Can you see the oil on the skin?  A piece of clean tissue dabbed over it should do the trick. I guess I have been used to food in Taiwan, which means that food aren't too salty, sweet or oily. I guess Taiwanese are just too health conscious.  

I took photo shots of their brunch menu for those that are curious how much these dishes costs:

As I usually appreciate knowing where we can find good food and new places to dine, I am including their contact information below for reference, hoping that it makes life a bit easier for others:
Yu's Bistro (七星椒)
658 S. IL-59, Naperville, IL60540
Phone- 1.630.8486998

They claim to serve authentic Szechuan, Cantonese, and Taiwanes cuisines.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Regular freebies from Victoria Secret

I receive these mail ads from Victoria Secret regularly.  They usually give away free undies with no purchase required!  You can't help loving them!!!  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Steamed fish for dinner

Wet markets don't seem to be very popular here in Illinois. The only places where we can buy live or fresh fishes are usually those sold in asian stores. Yes, I mean those fishes that are still swimming around before you got your eyes on them and they got wacked on their head to get cleaned up for your next meal.

Among asians, I bet the chinese people are the most hard to please when it comes to fresh seafood. That means that go where the most chinese live and you should be able to find live seafood. 

So off to chinatown I went and got my live fish for tonight's meal. I forgot what fish specie it is. They used a net to catch the fish from the aquarium and confirm with you before wacking it to sleep, remove the scales, etc. Poor fish, but since it's not my pet, I didn't feel really sad.  It's the smallest fish in the tank and just good for two people.  It cost me approx USD7.

I cleaned it again before steaming it.  It's yummy and this is what it looked like:


Cotton Candy

I just purchased this unit and isn't it the cutest cotton candy making machine?  It brings back childhood memories where we line up waiting infront of the cotton candy man waiting for our turn to buy a pink or blue cotton candy.  Now, I can just pop 2 candies to turn it into a cotton candy! Right at home, without having to go outside looking for the cotton candy man...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekend Dining @Great Steak

The bread at Great Steak Premium Outlet used to be so yummy, coz they toast the bread a bit which they don't now. So, it's not as good as before anymore. But that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. I'm sharing photos of their 'super steak' meal:

And, this is how the fast food court at Premium Outlet looks like: