Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wandering back in Philly

It's been five years since J and I went back to Philly. We were afraid a lot had changed, especially shops disappearing and landmarks fading.

We went on a quick 2 days 1 night weekend trip with two other friends. It mainly consist of a lot of eating, and quite a bit of walking.

Philly was still how I remembered it, just like NYC but a lot less congested. We revisited places like City Hall, Independence Hall, Pat's and Geno's. We stroll along new places like the Italian Market and the Franklin Fountain.

It was a good weekend getaway especially for the change of scenery. Our favorite seafood restaurant was still there, which we were ecstatic about. Oyster House has definitely gotten more popular. They even changed their happy hour which used to be 5-7pm and 9-11pm, we usually went for the latter since it usually means less people. But nowadays, happy hour on Friday is only 5-7pm and weekends are 9-11pm. We were lucky enough to snatch a table within a 15 minute wait. The oysters and clams here are the best, they're fresh and full of meat. Not briney or salty at all and they're just $1 during happy hour - can't express how much I loooove this place. And a new discovery this time around, the New England Clam Chowder is pretty bomb also.

Our 2 days in Philly involved a lot of sandwich eating. We had four Philly cheese steaks and 2 pork sandwiches. For the pork, I like DiNic's better. The pork is sliced thinner, the broccoli rabe gives a nice crunch and dimension to the sandwich and the provolone was sharp but not overpowering. As for the cheese steaks, I realized that J and I can't choose between Pat's or Geno's. I know I've mentioned in the past that Geno's was better but after this past weekend, it felt like both sandwiches complimented each other a lot more than anything else. The juiciness of Geno's made up for the lack sauce that Pat's didn't have; and Pat's cheese and generous amount of steak made up for the few slices of meat that Geno's offered.

Other honorable mention during this trip was Franklin Fountain - delicious ice cream, the Hydrox Cookie (what an awesome name) basically tasted like cookies and cream but so much better, the cookies were soft, not crunchy or hard, and it blended with the ice cream so well; Federal Donuts - the honey butter donuts was just as good as I remembered it, the story goes that I ate the only donut five years ago when we ordered it with the fried chicken (I was drunk when I devoured it), luckily this time around they were willing to sell the honey butter donuts without an order of fried chicken - WIN!

Side note - after this mini trip, I definitely need another trip. Actually, I need a vacation where I can just lounge, soak up the sun and drink. Also, J and I are planning our Japan trip coming this fall, exciting!

Pork sandwich with spinach and sharp provolone @ John's Roast Pork
Pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone @ DiNic's
Philly cheese w/ onions and wiz @ Tony Luke's
Philly cheese w/ wiz @ Sonny's Famous Steaks
Hydrox Cookie @ The Franklin Fountain
Happy Hour oysters and clams @ Oyster House
For more in depth reviews of places we eat - head over to Husband and Wife Eats.

Currently watching: Doctor Stranger (K-drama)-halfway there; Korean Odyssey (K-drama)-standstill

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2017 Best Eats

The husby and I are gluttons.
We love food.
Well, to be more precise, we love good but simple food. We're not the type to go all out and dine somewhere fancy or try to snag up the latest food trend (because that will die out - eventually). We love food that are perfected in its simplicity, something like, a really good egg sandwich.

We definitely are adventurous eaters and we love traveling for food. 2017 was an interesting year especially with the wedding towards the latter. There were times where we held back but nonetheless, we didn't deprive ourselves from what we love most - FOOD.

The following is a list of my best eats of 2017 (I'm sure the husby will agree also *halo*).

Nutella Latte
Starting off 2017 with something really really bad. At this point, the husby and I should be on our "diet" for our photoshoot in Hong Kong but as you can see, we failed. But, the Nutella Latte at Prato Bakery was exceptionally good. I was never the type to like sweet drinks, especially sweet coffee. But this was totally different, the nutella was just smeared on the side of the glass and latte was filled up to the brim. If I wanted more sweetness I would just mix more of the nutella into the latte, genius!

AYCE

There was a number of stuff in Hong Kong that was amazing. One of them being this AYCE place on like the 8th floor of a building, Daimanki Japanese Restaurant - hard to find but definitely worth your time trying. The quality was beyond my expectation and the presentation was beautiful. The best part was the sashimi, but they also had cooked food like grilled prawns, lamp chops, seafood and endless amounts of desserts and drinks - alcoholic drinks.

Pineapple Bun

Yup, fresh out of the oven-morning breakfast-fluffy and pillowy bun. The HK-ers love their butter with these buns but just on its own is phenomenal. I just want to roll around in them and eat my way through the pillowy-ness. This bakery definitely has one of the absolute best pineapple bun ever.

Fried Intestines

So unhealthy but so satisfying. The crunchiness on the outside and the juicy interior makes for a deadly combo, add on some sweet sauce and mustard, it's a quick street food that's a staple in HK. We find ourselves returning to Delicious Food stall for other goodies like stinky tofu and fish paste soup.

O-toro Nigiri

The omakase we had at Sushi Ishikawa was an experience. The husby and I went to a number of omakases before but this one topped it. The quality and hospitality was top knotch. Each piece of sushi was more superb than the last (how is that possible?!). This particular piece of o-toro (fatty tuna) with caviar and gold flakes stole the show for that night. Yea, I'm kind of pretty easy to impress.

Fried Clam Strips

The husby used to live in Maine for about 2 years and whenever I was there, I had to have their fried clams. Ever since, it was hard to find anything close to being good in NYC. Cape House proved that wrong. We were so happy to finally have found a seafood house that fries really good seafood. Crispy, light and airy but you don't get cheated with the clam meats. Heaven!

Grilled Pork

Never would I thought I would have the best grilled pork ever in Chania, Crete (a Greek island!). It was tender, moist with the right thickness. I will always long for it at Pork to Beef Wild, the sandwiches there were great too. We somehow stumbled to this place after bottles and bottles of wine, best drunk food ever although I'm not going to admit I was drunk...

Pasticio

The husby and I were on a free walking tour in Athens, Greece. Our group was lucky enough to taste a little homestyle cooking - fresh from the oven. Similar to lasagna in which it has pasta, meat sauce and bechamel sauce (the only different ingredient). It tasted comforting and home-y, it was a great treat. It also made me very determined to try and recreate this dish back in the states since the husby loved it a lot.

There goes my best eats of 2017. Now you see what I mean about how we like food in its simplicity. I hope 2018 will hold more best eats as there aren't any restrictions to our diet!

Currently watching: Criminal Minds (K-drama)-halfway there!; Doctor Stranger (K-drama)-I'm at a standstill

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wrapping up 2017

2017 was a crazy year.
An eventful year.
An unforgettable year.

The majority of the year was spent planning for the wedding. It definitely wasn't a hard task but it was really time consuming.

The husby and I went to Hong Kong for a pre-wedding photoshoot, visited his family and made a small trip out of it with our friends. A week was not enough, especially the passion we have for Hong Kong. But, we did need to save up the days for other errands and in preparation for the wedding that happened in November.

At the end of May, the husby and I had another engagement photoshoot. This time we had it in New York City, the place where we grew up and fell to love (along with some hate relationship there). The photoshoot was with a Vietnamese singer (from Paris by Night), she use to perform but now that she's married to her husband which is the photographer (how perfect!) she does the styling for the shoot. It meant so much to me to have them as our photographers!

My high school friend, Susan got married in June. In which, we had her bachelorette trip in May. We traveled to Cancun, I took this opportunity to relax. I also tried to make sure I didn't get a sunburn or tan too much. It was a much needed getaway.
Being a bridesmaid for a Chinese wedding is always hectic. From getting ready in the morning, to the wedding photos, to being a "tea lady" and helping with the tea ceremony, to making sure the bride is a-ok, can really exhaust a person. But, it's all worth it for that special friend. Plus the adrenaline rushing through my body is quite something, especially when I lasted the whole day with heels! That was a record on its own.

As the summer was rolling by, the husby and I knew we didn't have that much time left to prepare for the wedding. I actually binged watched a Korean drama about a month before the wedding. This drama was what actually started getting the husby and me back into the realm of k-drama. Scarlet Heart: Ryeo was such a heartbreaking drama. My co-workers said I looked "emo." Well, anyone would after watching such a heart wrenching drama. So glad it didn't affect my emotions and attitude on the actual wedding day - haha. I honestly still can't get over the drama, praying for a season 2 like everyone else...

Finally, the biggest event of the year.
Our wedding.
The day was crazy. Long story short - my day started at 5am. Makeup and hair was done, then tea ceremony at my parents house, then his parents house. Afternoon pictures, then head to the venue. Cocktail hour with mad photos. Wedding reception begins, a little hiccup in the process (tables were all screwed up!), dances, food, booze, cake! Finally got to relax and unwind with some people. Step foot into apartment at around midnight.
Unforgettable and intense night but I would change nothing (not even the crazy tables - well maybe the crazy table screw-up...)

Felt surreal the day after. And, on top of the dreamy feeling, we had to pack for our honeymoon which was the next day.

Greece was probably one of the last options for a honeymoon but the deal was too good to pass. A lot of the planning was done last minute and we honestly just went with the flow. We visited Crete, Santorini and of course, Athens. Greece was beautiful and the food was phenomenal. Quite hard to believe that every step we took, we were walking on history.

The husby and I spent Thanksgiving morning with my family and evening with his family. My first American feast, it was actually quite delicious and we all devoured the turkey.

Christmas just passed recently. We don't usually celebrate it but that might just change next year.

New Years is around the corner. Although 2017 was a very special and spectacular year, I wonder what 2018 holds. Only one way to find out...

Excited for Miss Saigon with husby and my parents this weekend. I've seen it before but it was a good 10+ years. Many thanks to my husby for being so thoughtful and getting us all the tickets =D

Currently watching: Criminal Minds (K-drama); Doctor Stranger (K-drama)