Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Iyasare - Best Dish at Bay Area

Sometimes the freshest ingredient is what makes the best dish. Brought to you by an executive chef, Shotaro Kamio, this Japanese restaurant serves inventive dishes shaped with traditional northeast Japanese cooking methods and fresh, simple, locally sourced ingredients. Taking place at Fourth street in Berkeley, the restaurant has both an indoor and outdoor dining areas.
Coming to one of the top dishes in Bay Area restaurants, beet-cured ocean trout is impressively presented with recognizable ingredients of refreshing yuzu aioli, delicious pickled beet puree and lovely contrasting texture of crispy gobo. Each fillet is sliced delicately in equal thinness, which has been cured in colourful pink beet juice.
Another remarkable dish is a combination of all my favourite sashimi. It comes artfully plated including fresh and plump sweet scallop, creamy sea urchin, and salmon roe; kicked up with additional wasabi leaf and a tasteful nori ponzu, which concludes a bursting umami flavor.
I'm truly impressed with this incredible meal and it is a delicious pleasure to dine here!

Ocean Umami

Iyasare

Menu of the Day

Outdoor Setting

Beet Cured Ocean Trout
Celery, roasted beet, pickled beet puree, yuzu aioli, fried gobo

Celery, roasted beet, pickled beet puree, yuzu aioli, fried gobo

Beet Cured Ocean Trout

Ocean Umami
Hokkaido scallop, ikura, sea urchin, fermented wasabi leaf, nori seaweed ponzu

Hokkaido scallop, ikura, sea urchin, fermented wasabi leaf, nori seaweed ponzu

Ocean Umami
Iyasare
Address: 1830 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Telephone: +1 510 845 8100
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30-14:00 ; Wed-Sun 17:30-21:00 ; Fri-Sat 17:30-22:00

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chipotle Mexican Grill - Pick Up Taco

Just like other fast food chains, Chipotle is a restaurant serving fresh and delicious Mexican gourmets.
Expect them to have tacos, tortillas, burrito or salad bowl, they have been the pick up meals for many Cal students at Berkeley.
I am asked to pick a base, then a meat, followed by rice, beans or veggie and finally some Mexican toppings.
The marinated barbacoa beef has a smoky heat with great balance to beef flavor, which is told to be marinated in a spicy chipotle pepper adobo, braised slowly and shredded by hand.
Skipping the starch or veggie part, the three crispy corn tacos are topped with mildly heated fresh tomato salsa, creamy guacamole and shredded cheese. The three tacos taste great and enjoyable with fresh ingredients, whilst the serving size is more than enough for me. The only negative thing I noticed is that the juice from the tomato salsa has soften the bottom of the corn tortillas completely.
Sadly, I don't enjoy soggy tacos!

Crispy Corn Taco

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Three Mexican Tacos

Barbacoa, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Guacamole, Cheese, Crispy Corn Taco

Chipotle
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Address: 2311 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Telephone: +1 510 548 0304
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-22:00

Smitten Ice Cream - Hottest Ice Cream Lab

One of the hottest, awarding ice cream shops in the Bay Area, Smitten at Rockridge is a hip sweet spot where everyone are smitten with ice creams.
The use of organic milk and cream, no extract, stabilizers, emulsifiers or preservatives, and in their one-of-a-kind patented ice cream maker, they produce the freshest, purest and creamiest ice cream right upon orders.
Other than their typical flavors of vanilla, chocolate and espresso, some of a few unique flavors are available during each month such as sticky toffee pudding, strawberry white balsamic, sweet corn with berries and maple brown sugar squash.
My blue bottle espresso is stunningly rich and smooth due to the instant freezing process created by the naturally occurring gaseous nitrogen. It is also delectable with their well-known TCHO dark chocolate sauce drizzled on top that is believed to contain 60.5% cocoa content.
While rewarding myself with this heavenly summer treat at this gastro lab, I am able to capture the entire ice cream making process and admire their homemade waffle cones at the back of the storefront.
The other day, I return to Smitten for the August seasonal flavor, which is regarded as one of the 13 most unique ice cream flavors in San Francisco. How could I miss that? The summer berries with sweet corn, harvested from California's Central Valley, is finger licking good. It is superbly creamy, equally rich, and less sweet unlike most of other ice cream flavors. I would recommend adding extra dollars for the berry sauce because the combination is unbeatably tastier.

Blue Bottle Espresso

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten's Menu

Ice Cream Laboratory

Homemade Waffle Cones

TCHO 60.5% Chocolate

Fresh Mint Chip

Patented Ice Cream Machine

The Churning Process

Blue Bottle Espresso with TCHO Chocolate Sauce

The Sweet Corn Machine

Sweet Corn with Berries

Smitten Ice Cream
Address: 5800 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Telephone: +1 510 594 76301
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 12:00-22:30 ; Fri-Sat 12:00-23:00

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Chairman - Best Food Truck's Bao

Finally! The Chairman is opening at Tenderloin! I'm able to grab the long waited steamed bao from one of the highly raved food trucks at the Bay Area of San Francisco! The Chairman trucks are not easy to locate, especially when they are changing their site location constantly everyday.
In addition to their delicious baos, The Chairman ground restaurant is now serving some rice or noodle bowls and salad, together with two new bao items, Japanese curry beef short ribs and crispy tempeh.
For the first visit, my choices are of course their signatures.
Two slabs of extremely tender pork belly are deliciously smeared with a sweet sticky miso glaze, sandwiched within their fluffy and slightly sweet steamed slider bun, served atop some refreshing crunchy pickled daikon.
Whilst the juicy braised pork is also cooked excellent with a sweet coca cola base, it has been paired wonderfully with yellow mustard dressed cabbage coleslaw.
Both the steamed baos are heavenly and absolutely loved.
This self-serve, quick pick up model is indeed a delicious addition to their business and no matter if it's the Chairman or the Chairman Truck, their baos are not to be missed!

Steamed Chinese Baos

The Chairman

The Chairman Truck

The Menu

Sriracha Sauce

The Self Serve Bar

Tender Pork Belly
Red Miso Glaze, Turmeric Pickled Daikon, Green Shiso

Coca-Cola Braised Pork
Savoy Cabbage, Preserved Mustard Seeds, Garlic Mayo

Tender Pork Belly & Coca-Cola Braised Pork Steamed Baos

The Chairman
Address: 670 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Telephone: +1 415 813 8800
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30-21:00 ; Sun 11:30-19:00

Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop - Legendary Double Scoop

Ghirardelli has been renowned for their premium chocolates for long. At the square of this legendary chocolate brand next to the Fisherman's Wharf, there is an origin of their chocolate factory, alongside with ice cream and chocolate shops that offers indulgent hot fudge sundaes, signature chocolate drinks, chocolate products and an experience with the chocolate manufacturing process.
At the same time, the sundae station is also drawing attention, where is found mobbed with customers sloping with either the mouthwatering fudge sundaes, parfaits or several scoops of customizable ice cream. 
So I got a classic double scoops over a gigantic waffle cone.
The original Ghirardelli chocolate is undoubtedly smooth, velvety and rich in chocolate, whereas the vanilla with no sugar added, is equally delectable but just a tad lacking vanilla flavor.
The dark chocolate hot fudge is also an amazing addition to this wonderful ice cream waffle cone, which is homemade, crispy and caramelized.
All in all, Ghirardelli Chocolate is surely the best completion of a trip to Fisherman's Wharf.

Double Scoops

Ghirardelli Market Place

Chocolate in the making

Homemade Waffle Cones

Ghirardelli Chocolate & Vanilla (No Sugar Added) Ice Cream

Homemade Waffle Cone with Ghirardelli Dark Hot Fudge

Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace
Address: Shop 900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Telephone: +1 415 474 3938 
Opening Hours: Sun-Thur 09:00-23:00 ; Fri-Sat 09:00-00:00

Saturday, July 25, 2015

ICHI Kakiya - Japanese Oyster Bar

Hottest new restaurant in SF? Best bar and restaurant? Walking all the way down to Mission Street from Bart, my destination is this Japanese oyster bar.
Ichi Kakiya, the sister restaurant to Ichi Sushi + N Bar, is a raw and oyster bar intimated by a group of Chef where serves market fresh seafood and dishes that are full of inspiration and energy.
Everything being served here is either raw or Japanese inspired, equally decent to look at given they are all tiny portioned.
The popular raw scallop with salmon roes comes with a plate of nori. It is eaten like a taco, and the notable kombu pickle puree has indeed added a nice zing!
Nonetheless I was completely disappointed by the replacement of lobster roll with Japanese egg salad roll on their menu, the hot ocean trout fillet is still amazing to warm the heart, even though it was a bit too salty with the miso marinate.
After all, it is still a great Japanese fusion restaurant that worth a try but do expect it to come with a slightly high price tag.

Scallop, Kombu Pickle Puree, Cured Salmon Roe, Nori

Ichi Oyster Shop

Wine Bottle Lamp

Bar Setting

Scallop, Kombu Pickle Puree, Cured Salmon Roe

Scallop, Kombu Pickle Puree, Cured Salmon Roe, Nori

Miso Marinated Umi Masu, Fennel Onion Pickles

Thank You Bill

ICHI Kakiya
Address: 3369 Mission Street (at Godeus), San francisco, California 94110
Telephone: +1 415 814 3877
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 17:30-21:30 ; Sat 17:30-22:00

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