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to a new year, and new beginnings

January 23, 2013

To my dearest readers,

Thank you so much for your support and accompanying me on my munchie  journeys for the past 2 and a half years. I started this blog when I was a junior in university, and since then, I have graduated with a psychology degree, broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years, moved back to Taipei, and is currently employed at a German airline doing marketing. I’m at a new place in my life and I’m a happier and better version of myself when I first started this blog. And now, I have made the decision to start a new blog  focused not just on food, but on the many beautiful and amazing things in life.

Please visit me at: WWW.HANOKITTY.COM

j <3

cute x-mas cupcakes in taipei from superbaked 超級貝客!

November 27, 2012

Are you excited for the holiday season? I am I am. My friend Kimmy from Superbaked makes these amazing cute Christmas cupcakes that are divine and hand-crafted with love and care! You’ve probably heard of  Superbaked already since her cupcakes creations are found at Trine & Zen in Breeze Center, and featured in popular blogs like HungryGirl, and TaipeiTrends. My favorite flavors from Superbaked are the carrot and red velvet cupcakes. It was so good I ended up eating the whole box (half a dozen) in one sitting. I felt pretty guilty, but at the same time, I didn’t get that icky food-coma I’d usually get after stuffing my face with so much cake. All thanks to Kimmy for limiting her usage of processed oils and food chemicals in her cupcakes, hers feels much more guilt-free.

The holiday season is a great time to indulge and forget about your waist line. I cant’ wait to order some of Superbaked Christmas cupcakes and give them away to my friends and colleagues!
Contact Kimmy from Superbaked here: “info@superbaked.net”

l’air café néo bistro 風流小館- TAIPEI

November 26, 2012

One of BL’s friend who has a prospect of opening a bistro in Taipei recommended us to try L’Air Bistro near Yong Kang Street. We arrived at 6pm which is unusually early for dinner at a bistro, but BL had a red-eye flight back to LA to catch that night. We were a bit wary when we walked into the empty bistro. I think we were both wondering if it was one of those bistro-wannabe restaurants that looks of high-quality, but the food would be poorly executed. A sad but common phenomenon in Taipei. However, we remained positive since the bistro was suggested by some good friends, and the decor was visually to our liking; medium-toned woods, minimalist, rustic chic. We asked ourselves “why not?” and decided to go all out and order their signature menu.

Chef’s Signature Menu:

- Amuses Bouches 開胃小點- Shrimp Toast with Cheese Sticks 吐司蝦和奶酪棒- The shrimp toast was nice and light to start, and – the cheese sticks were very crispy and sufficiently lines your stomach to prepare for the big meal ahead. 
Salmon, Orange Slices 鮭魚, 橙片-  A generous piece of tender salmon with refreshing citrus sauce and salad.
- Hand-made Spinach Ravioli, Crab Meat 手工菠菜小方餃, 蟹肉- I enjoyed the fried crab meat on top, and the ravioli was ok but I didn’t think the two flavors worked that well together.
-  Pan-Fried Duck Liver Chicken Mousse, Fried Chestnut, and Chestnut Foam Soup 酥煎網油包鴨肝雞肉幕斯, 炸栗子與栗子泡沫湯- A really delicious foam soup with chestnuts! I really liked tasting the chestnuts bits. Although it’s made with cream, it wasn’t too creampy or overpowering.
- Slow-braised beef, white wine beef sauce 嫚燉牛肉, 白酒牛肉汁
- Avant Dessert 冰涼冰砂
- Chef’s Dessert 主廚特製甜點- Deconstructed Chocolate Cake 解構後的巧克力蛋糕- Visually a show-stopper but probably the least stellar dish of the night.
- Coffee or Tea 咖啡或茶- The tea was poured into a delicate porcelain cup, and the aroma of the oriental tea was wonderful.
NTD $2000 + 10% service

We were extremely impressed with the presentation, food, and the excellent service, we weren’t at all expecting. It’s truly a restaurant with Michelin standards. This is such a good addition to the city and I would love to come back!

L’Air Café Néo Bistro 風流小館
台北市金華街164巷5號
No. 5, Lane 164,  Jing Hua Street, Taipei
02-3343-3937

osteria mozza- LOS ANGELES

November 22, 2012

Osteria Mozza in Hollywood is a safe place for an overall high-quality Italian dining experience starting from the valet, decor, food, and to the service. The best thing here is the extensive menu which provides anything you would expect to find in your ideal Italian restaurant. 


Burricotta- braised artichokes, pine nuts, currants & mint pesto 16
Did you know that artichokes is a aphrodisiac? In Ancient mythology, Zeus turned one of his lovers into an artichoke when he discovered her un-goddess behaviour. From then on, artichokes were reserved for men only because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac and thought to enhance sexual power.  I learned this from Master Chef recently haha.

Caprese- buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil 26

Grilled Santa Barbara Prawns 22

Orechiette- sausage, swiss chard 20
Visually flavourful but the saltiness overpowered the flavours of the sausage and cheese, and the pasta was on the firmer side. I’m sure most Yelp reviewers would agree that Osteria Mozza has a problem with over-seasoning their dishes with way too much salt.

Tagliatelle with oxtail ragu 21

Chiocalato- bittersweet chocolate cake with Perugian chocolates 12
What is so special about Perugian choclates? What is Perugian chocolates? I can’t tell the difference and I wouldn’t order this again. I gotta admit though, I thought it sounded exotic and enticing, but it’s really rich and one dimensional.

The meal didn’t blow us away, but nothing went wrong either. I would come back if I had the chance, but if I had to chose between here and Osteria Angelini? I would pick the latter.

Osteria Mozza on Urbanspoon

osteria angelini- LOS ANGELES

November 22, 2012

I’m afraid I will need to revisit this Italian restaurant on Beverley Blvd. every time I’m visiting LA now. I had been dying to go to Osteria Angelini ever since I saw their signature lasagna featured on ‘The Best thing I Ever Ate’ on the Food Network. A bunch of my friends and I finally made our way out there, and we left SO pleased, so pleased with almost every single dish we ordered.


A smaller intimate space. Not pretentious and I felt like I was in someone’s home dining room.


Caprese Salad  of Tomatoes with Burrata
Fried Calamari

Uni Pasta

Pasta Bolognese

Trofie alla Riviera Short Spiral Pasta with Shrimp, Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach
White Truffle Pasta with Fennel Sausage
This dish was more than $40, no joke. Everyone that had a bite went to heaven. Honestly, I was expecting more of a kick. I remember thinking to myself that it’s probably not worth the price, but still good.
Lasagna Verde  “Omaggio Nonna Elvira” with Beef and Veal Ragu
The lasagna was sort of a let-down. It was kind dry and we hoped for more tomato meat sauce.

Overall, a really good dining experience. It’s for everyone- people who can’t afford to splurge all the time but would like to enjoy a nice meal occasionally, and people who frequent upscale restaurants will all love this place. The restaurant space is a little small, but it doesn’t make you feel suffocated. It’s also classy without being stuffy at all.  It’s a really nice place to chat, and everyone just seemed to have a down-to-earth good time.

Angelini Osteria on Urbanspoon

 

blu jam cafe- LOS ANGELES

November 20, 2012

Look no further, BJC has the BEST french toast in town! You’ve got to try it. It’s located on Melrose, serves breakfast all day, and easy for celeb-spotting. I’m pretty sure I saw Hayden Panettiere two tables down.

Yay breakfast all day! Every day!

Crunchy French Toast- Signature Dish- egg brioche dipped in batter, rolled in crunchy corn flakes and grilled to perfection, topped with fresh bananas and berries, vanilla bean sauce 12.95
One bite after another. I couldn’t stop. I blame it on the crunchy corn flakes. It’s sort of like leaf stomping where you obsess over stomping on fallen shriveled-up dry leaves (the drier the better) just to hear and feel that nice clean crispy sound underneath your shoe. It’s like a sound of relief *CRUNCH* *CRUNCH*… does that make any sense?  

Steak Hash- Niman ranch beef tenderloin, grilled, chopped and sautéed with organic baby spinach, caramelized onions, gorgonzola, mushrooms, red potatoes, topped with two softly poached eggs and drizzled with herb-chive hollandaise 18.95
Good but really heavy. Lot’s of potatoes and grease from the steak.
Vegan Burger- House made grilled tofu based vegan patty with wild arugula, vegan aioli, and sliced tomato on a round vegan focaccia 11.95
Although it looks pretty bad-ass,  the vegan patty was pretty bland so I had to ask for ketchup. After my veggy burger at Rivva Cafe the day before, It’s hard not to compare. However, both burgers uses a completely different base for the patty so it would be unfair to compare them.

Blu Jam Cafe on Urbanspoon

rivva cafe- LOS ANGELES

November 20, 2012

Visiting my ex in LA was not always easy. After he goes off to work, I’m left with 10 hours by myself to find things to do with sometimes no car. I love exploring the city and I don’t mind doing it alone, but walking around our neighborhood everyday wasn’t too exciting. On this particular day for lunch, I was craving something healthy after coming back from Vegas where our eating habits were out of control. Yup, it was DETOX time! Ah, that word get’s me excited. And so I Yelped, and found the perfect little place to lunch solo in Brentwood.


Rivva is situated on the 3rd floor of the Brentwood Village Plaza. As I was waiting for my order, a customer asked about their juice cleanses. I really need to try a juice cleanse next time. 

Organic Juice- Vital Force- Energizer/Flu Fighter- orange, carrot, apple, ginger 6.95
Veggie Burger- cheddar cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, special saue, honey wheat 9.95 It doesn’t really feel like a burger because they use whole wheat bread, but it’s the most delicious veggie “burger” I’ve tasted. It tastes very earthy but all the flavours and textures were right on. It made me really full too. I’m hooked.

Café Rivva on Urbanspoon

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