Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Our family has never done the traditional turkey dinner because my mom doesn't like the taste of turkey. So, we have always spent Thanksgiving eating lobster/crabs/fish/chicken/duck...etc. Whatever it is, we enjoy it as a family. This year, we decided to travel north into Connecticut for a nontraditional day at the casinos. You would think this is an unusual excursion, but there were mobs of people (especially, Chinese folks) everywhere. We left early in the morning, and we arrived just in time for lunch. We headed to the first Chinese restaurant, Bamboo Forest.
Where should I start? The menu had limited selections for Thanksgiving. The decor of the restaurant had no Asian theme. It was just a continuous stream of the casino. So, I really didn't expect much for authentic Asian cuisine. However, the meal surprised me. We ordered roast duck noodle soup, lau mai gai, Shanghai seafood noodle, wonton noodle soup, and Korean BBQ ribs. All of it was hot and nicely prepared and very authentic. The wontons had a nice "bounce" to them. The noodles were al dente. Everyone enjoyed their choices.
Overall, I give the restaurant an 82/100.
Food 8.5/10 – Good Chinese food considering the place is 2 hours away from the city.
Service 9.0/10 – For a holiday, I was pleasantly surprised by the waitress. She was very cordial and patient with our orders.
Atmosphere 7.5/10 – We were seated at the bar because there was no room in the main restaurant. So, I had no real impression of the place.
Price 7.0/10 – My dad treated. Total cost $90 (incl. tip) for 5 people.
Satisfaction 9.0/10 - I enjoyed the meal, but we could have stopped at Chinatown for a similar meal and for less.
Really, you go to Mohegan Sun to gamble. So, eating is not the first thing on your mind. However, if you want a good meal, then Bamboo Forest has some good Chinese food.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Pho 99 - Highly Recommended
3151 State Highway Rt. 27, South Plainfield, NJ 8823 Phone: 732-821-1828
I have been to this tasty eatery before. So, this hole in the wall restaurant was easy to find. (Just as a point of reference for those familiar with the area, but you have never noticed the restaurant, it is next to the Big Lots! and Hong Kong Supermarket-before it closed down a few months ago.)
We ordered a large A1 (Cha Gio-Vietnamese Egg Rolls), and 2 large P2's (Dac Biet- Combination special bowl containing rice noodles, beef soup, and tender beef slices.). I apologize that I did not remember to take pictures until I finished my meal. But, I did remember to snag the business card and menu for your viewing pleasure.
Back to the meal, we chowed down the egg rolls. Warning: they are not like Chinese egg rolls or spring rolls. These guys are about the size of your pointer, and they contain shrimp, pork, and other ingredients. What gives them my two thumbs up are the facts that you lettuce wrap them and dip them in a fish sauce. An experience that cannot be matched at any other type of Asian restaurant. (I found another blog with pictures on how they are made, link: http://sundaynitedinner.com/vietnamese-crispy-spring-rolls-cha-gio/.) Before I could set my chopsticks down, the waiter dropped off our two P2's. I added the fresh soy bean sprouts, basil, limes, and jalapenos for the healthy and tasty factors of Vietnamese food. I can't tell you how much the steaming hot bowls of goodness made any cold day in NJ feel great. (It was 36 degrees Fahrenheit outside according the temperature in my car.)
Overall, I give the restaurant an 88/100.
Food 9.2/10 – Great Vietnamese food with nothing bad and many great things
Service 8.5/10 – The food came fast, and everybody had a smile. The waiter also had a great black t-shirt saying, "What the Pho?"
Atmosphere 7.5/10 – Nice updated silverware and plates. However, the cups and sauce bowls were still plastic. Very clean and nicer than the majority of places in Chinatown.
Price 9.0/10 – My friend paid for the meal. Total cost $25
Satisfaction 10/10 - It really was a cold day, and the meal warmed my body from the inside out.
If you have never tried Vietnamese before, please start at this place.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Until recently, Western taste physiology experts traditionally talked about four basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. But the Japanese include a fifth flavor: umami ("oo-ma-mee"), often translated as "delicious," "savory," or "brothy." Many fermented products have this quality, including naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce. A small amount of Kikkoman Soy Sauce will not add a soy sauce flavor but rather meld the flavors of a recipe and make the other ingredients simply taste better. Next time your meal loses its appeal, try using Kikkoman Soy Sauce for its flavor-enhancing, umami qualities:
- Vegetable stews and soups are richer
- More flavorful Vinaigrettes are balanced
- Flavor is multi-dimensional Cream sauces are nuttier
- Tomato sauces are less acidic
- Sautéed mushrooms are more savory