Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bad food in London?

Whoever says food in London is abysmal, expensive and simply lacking in variety, doesn't not know what they're talking about. I am currently on an extensive trip in the UK visiting friends and family, and have been down to London several times, a city I had lived in for more than 11 years. I have to say that I was bowled over by some of the restaurants I visited - some old favourites I hadn't visited before, and some new kids on the culinary block.

I plan to blog more extensively about this later, but here are some of my favourites so far - Yoshino- a delightful little sushi place near Regent Street, and Siam Central, an immensely popular and yummy Thai place, on Charlotte Street.

Have you been to these restaurants? What did you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

World Market's Chili Chocolate

Have you tried it? I'd heard a lot about the chocolate-chili combo, especially served in upscale Mexican restaurants, so I did not expect to find it packaged up in my local World Market. World Market's Chili Chipotle Chocolate Bar is simply divine. Love how the hotness kicks in after allowing you to enjoy the luscious and spicy 64% cacao. I envisage it going really well with a full-bodied red, what are your thoughts? I'd post a picture, but I devoured it in minutes.

World Market Brand - Chipotle Chocolate Bar - $1.99

Friday, June 5, 2009

Some Thai recommendations

The above picture is courtesy of Kate R on Yelp - the appetizer 'Dancing Prawns'
I would like to rave about two places in particular. One is situated in Redwood City, sandwiched between generic shops in a rather nondescript mall. But gems are usually hidden like this, and all thanks to Yelp for pointing this one out. Although it does not look like much from the exterior, Karakade, as this restaurant is called, is very cute inside, attracting a smart and young clientele in the know. Bright colors and tasteful decor increase your appetite once you walk in. Karakade also provides take out, which I have been taking out at least once a month, and they never fail to disappoint.

The portions and the quality of the food are both highly commendable. Classics like red and green curry prevail and are delicious, but try the spicy eggplant with tofu. Or chicken basil noodles, or the amazingly aromatic garlic prawns. The food is amazingly cheap given its quality, and if you live in the San Mateo County area, you certainly want to give this a try.

The above picture is courtesy of Amy L on Yelp - Siam Thai restaurant in hotel Parc 55

My second recommendation is 'Siam Thai' restaurant in downtown San Francisco. Like Karakade, it's a 'hole in the wall' kinda place, and is not in the least bit fancy. However, it is (at least structurally) part of the pretty smart Parc 55 hotel, and as a result, attracts plenty of tourists who want to eat well on a budget. Service is fast and courteous, and the dishes are really tasty. The prices are unbelievable as well.

Minutes from Union Square, this is the perfect place to have a hearty lunch or dinner before you embark on numerous city tours.

Siam Thai - 55 Cyril Magnin St (inside Parc 55) between Eddy and Ellis, (415) 362-7456

Monday, June 1, 2009

(Almost) alcoholic mixed berries...

Finding a dessert which would satisfy not only your taste buds but give you no guilty feelings about wanting seconds has always been a challenge for me. That was until I started reading the 'Pregnancy' magazine in the doctor's waiting room.

I learned about a fabulous sorbet on the market made by a company called 'Ciao Bella'. Now I was familiar with CB because I once purchased a variety ice-cream pack and it was simply divine. This upscale company does not compromise on the quality of its ingredients, and produces Italian-gelateria style ice-cream.

This particular flavor is called 'Blackberry Cabernet' and is touted as being a real wine substitute for those long and hard nine months. Or perhaps you don't even drink, and are simply looking for a refined and non-fat dessert option.

I'm not much of a sorbet person, but this I liked! The magnificent wine-colored concoction tastes sweet and tart at the same time, and is extremely grown-up. I believe it contains some wine but not nearly enough to affect your pregnancy. However, pregnant or not, try this out. It is perfect for the approaching summer, served with a selection of mixed berries (making it even healthier!). I bought this a week ago at Whole Foods at $2.79, a special offer. Normal retail is around $4.

Ciao Bella's Blackberry Cabernet, Whole Foods, $4 approximately.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Okay, so I disappeared...

But I had an excellent excuse. Yes, I've been working full-time, but so have trillions of other bloggers. I am proud to announce that I am expecting and only have 10 weeks to go. Between bratty 7th graders and and an ever-expanding uterus, I really have not been that motivated about sitting in front of the computer. But it's Spring Break, I'm on leave, and I intend to populate as much as web space I am entitled to in the next few months. Up until I am ready to hit the delivery suite.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cute Italian in Sausalito

(Picture courtesy of

Just returned from this cute and elegant little restaurant in Sausalito, Marin County.  Sausalito itself was a discovery.  I didn't expect to have such a good view of the San Francisco skyline from its quaint little downtown promenade called Bridgeway.  Amidst tourist shops, jewelry stores and fine art galleries, one can find the Piccolo Teatro di Sausalito.

The interior is very enticing: a mahogany bar, hardwood floors, a fireplace, and soft recessed lighting. Smartly-uniformed waiters greet you graciously.  The food is very flavorful and the selections are refreshingly different from those found in a standard Italian restaurant.  The portions are not huge, however, and bread costs $2.5.  In spite of that, the delicious and finely cooked food is definitely worth it.  For two people, my recommendation would be to order three of the 'Small Bites' priced at $2.5, and three selections from the 'Primi' and 'Secondi'.  This was enough for the both of us.  With wine and a soft drink, the bill came to about $70.

Piccolo Teatro is located on 739 Bridgeway, Sausalito.