Oven Roasted Cod with Pumpkin Puree

Hi!!! Break’s over and I’m definitely ready to get back to school. Yesterday, I suddenly realized that despite all the extra time I had, I hadn’t lifted a finger in the kitchen. What’s more, we recently had it remodeled: new countertops, new cabinets, new fridge and an AMAZING new oven. In addition to the normal features like broil and upper/lower rack heating; it also comes with 2 fan settings, grilling and quick heating. I just had to test it out.

What to make? Well, I scrolled through my “recipes that I’ll try when I’m motivated enough not busy” list and found this recipe I came up with last summer- Oven Roasted Cod. It’s fall now, so I decided to pair the cod with a nice pumpkin puree and some brussel sprouts.

 I know the plat isn’t really suited for this dish, but it’s the only thing I have

It’s healthy, simple and DELICIOUS!!! Let’s get cooking!

 

First, the marinade: Roast the tomato and garlic  until garlic is fully cooked. While the tomato and garlic are roasting, rehydrate the dried chilies and/or dried herbs in boiling water. SAVE THE WATER, it’s sooo flavorful and really adds to the marinade. For herbs, I recommend basil and thyme. Throw everything into a blender/food processor and pulse until smooth. Make sure the marinade is cooled, then let the fish sit in overnight. For crispier skin, keep the skin out of the marinade and rub with a bit of baking soda to draw out moisture

 

Veggie time! This is the easiest part of the recipe. Just halve the pumpkin, scoop out the center. Since it is a puree, be sure to clean out as much of the fibers as possible. Sprinkle on a bit of kosher salt and roast skin up. Meanwhile, toss the sprouts in some salt and pepper (I used steak seasoning) and throw them in with the pumpkin for 15-20min. After the pumpkin is very soft, scoop out the meat and puree with a bit more salt to taste. Simple right?!

Finally the fish. Remove filets from marinade and use a paper towel to remove excess water and baking soda. To ensure the most moist meat possible, I wrapped the fish in chives. Garlic sprouts,  banana leaves or even lotus leaves would also work. The chives didn’t hold together very well, so I fixed the bundle with a bit of foil. Then, into the oven. My filets were quite thick, so it took a good 12min at 180C. Cooking times will vary, but better err on the side of more time. To finish off, unwrap and broil until the skin starts bubbling.

Finally, plate serve and enjoy!


Oven Roasted Cod with Pumpkin Puree

For the Marinade

  • 1 very ripe tomato
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • herbs, to taste
  • salt, to taste

For the Fish

  • 2 150-200g cod filets
  • baking soda
  • chives

Veggies

  • 1 small pumpkin (500-750g)
  • salt, to taste
  • Brussel sprouts
  • seasoning, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (392F). Set rack to center and roast tomato and garlic for 3-5 min or until garlic is cooked through
  2. Puree until smooth, chill. Marinate fish for 12-24hours. For crispy skin, keep marinade off skin and rub with baking soda
  3. Preheat oven to 200C. Halve pumpkin, scoop out center, sprinkle with salt and roast skin up for 30-40min.
  4. Toss brussel sprouts in seasoning and roast for 15-20min. The sprouts should be slightly browned on top and soft but not burnt
  5. Remove filets from marinade and wipe off excess moisture and baking soda. Wrap in chives and foil. Bake for 8-12min (depends on thickness of filet). Remove from oven and unwrap
  6. Heat oven to broil (or the highest temperature possible) and broil for 3-5 minutes. The skin should be slightly browned and the fat should be rendering.
  7. Remove from oven, Plate, serve and enjoy!

[\recipe]

That’s it! The prep is a bit long, but its TOTALLY worth it. Anyways, that’s it for this week. I’ll try to do more recipe posts in the future. I hope everyone has a great week!

 

 

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The Hut at the Kerry

Hi!!! It’s National Holiday here in China,  and I get the entire week off! Well, I still have test prep and some research stuff, but that’s no big deal. Anyways, my mom’s high school classmate living Australia is in China with her daughter for the holidays, so celebration was mandatory! She happened to be staying right by the Kerry and of course I knew just the restaurant to go to.

The Hut

The Hut is one of the newer and more successful restaurants in the Kerry. On a typical weekend, lunch usually requires at least a 30 minute wait and dinner requires a reservation. The restaurant was actually fully booked by the time my dad and I got there, but luckily, my mom arrived early and snagged a spot in a corner- the only unbooked table in the entire restaurant.

Food

What makes The Hut so good? The food of course! It features traditional Huaiyang cuisine with a modern twist and some seriously skilled plating. The food is very soup and seafood/fish focused, but for those who aren’t fans, the place makes some mean meat dishes. I got to order so here were the standout dishes

Smoked Yellow Croaker- This is their one of their signature dishes. Basically, they rub incredibly fresh small yellow croakers with a magic spice blend and smoke it in a magic oven. I used magic twice because magic is the only way to describe this dish. The skin has a slight texture and incredible flavor while the meat is equally flavorful and not only tender, but juicy! The smoking brings out the natural oils in the fish which added an extra, buttery, depth of flavor. Also, the dish comes in single servings, so each person gets their own. No need to share with hungry competitors  friends.

Braised Radish with abalone sauce- This is another signature dish. The Chinese name literally translates to “Beautiful person’s treasure chest”. I don’t know about the beautiful person’s part but it’s sure a treasure chest of flavor. The radish is braised tender, the covered in a thick, rich and extremely umami abalone sauce (also a house specialty). Honestly, I’ve had my share of abalone sauces, but this is by far the thickest and best. Also, the lightness of the radish makes it the perfect compliment to the sauce, leaving the palate clean.

 

Boiled lamb ribs- This is not a huaiyang dish, nor is it a specialty of the restaurant; however, a good restaurant excels in all dishes on the menu. I must say, I was pretty impressed. The lamb itself was tender, not too fatty and actually pretty flavorful, even without spices. The one disappointment was that the menu promised special sauce, but we only got a small thing of hot oil and cumin

Bean curd strips in Shark Fin soup- Bean curd strips in soup (煮干丝)is about as traditional as Zhejiang cuisine gets. Usually, the dish is cooked in chicken or pork stock and includes some crab roe and salted egg. However, The Hut managed to elevate it to a whole new level by using shark fin soup. It was umami through the roof and actually almost matched the radish in amazingness.

Also recommended but not ordered

Shrimp roe stuffed bean curd roll

Eel stuffed crispy pork intestine- don’t judge this one until you’ve tried it.

Orange spiced fire roasted duck

Fish head casserole

Atmosphere and Service

 

The atmosphere was lively but very elegant, which makes it perfect for a special event, receiving friends or even business dinner. It would also be a great place for a date night, but a having a party of only two people really limits the food experience. The service was also fast and great, but the wait staff are a bit slow with the water.

Overall Impression

Overall, The Hut is an AMAZING restaurant. Just be prepared to wait a bit.

So that’s it for this week! I hope everyone, whether on holiday or not, has a great week. See you soon!

 

 

Best Food Sites

Hi! This week’s been great and not too busy and I have plenty of time to write and eat. However, as much as I love to do both, there are many out there who are WAY better at both than I am. So, here are my favorite Food blogs and sites:

  1. Shanghai Girl Eats

Shanghai Girl Eats is a food blog run by ….. Shanghai Girl. She’s an Asian American currently living in Shanghai who “likes to eat” and “might as well take advantage of Asian metabolism” The blog is a quite exhaustive, very organized, compilation of restaurants in Shanghai along with (more than) a few restaurants in New York, Hong Kong and even Philadelphia. Her posts are honest, well written  and full of AMAZING pictures

URL: http://www.shanghaigirleats.com/

2. Mao Mao Mom Kitchen

MaoMao Mom Kitchen is one of the biggest, most comprehensive and authentic collection of Asian recipes anywhere. I mean BIG- she has literally hundreds of recipes, on the yellow pages and has English and Mandarin versions.  There are also some great western recipes. Unfortunately the site is quite crowded with random ads and doesn’t look too professional to be honest. Regardless, the recipes are totally worth it.

URL: http://maomaomom.com/

3. Chocolate Covered Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is a healthy food blog featuring desserts run by Katie. The site features hundreds of recipes that turn delicious but not so great foods into equally delicious but much healthier versions. My favorite are her healthy pancakes and actually inspired my Spinach Oatmeal Pancakes. She also shares great personal stories. The site is well organized, colorful and extremely easy to navigate.

URL: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

4. Epicurious

For everyone familiar with Allrecipies.com, Epicurious is a step up. This was the site that introduced me to foie gras, truffle and poaching fish. I haven’t been there in a while, but if you’re ready to step up your cooking game, give this site a whirl.

URL: https://www.epicurious.com/

5. Serious Eats

I saved the best for last. Serious Eats is the one stop shop for everything food. It is a comprehensive guide to pretty much every technique, cuisine, city eats……. The team behind the magic is an eclectic mix of professional chefs, restaurant owners, pastry experts and travelers all united by their common love of food. The site is well organized, easy to navigate and updates very frequently. They even have their own podcast- Special Sauce- and cooking courses. Definitely worth checking out!

URL: http://www.seriouseats.com

Those are just my top 5 sites. I hope everyone has a chance to check them out. See you next week!

 

 

RAW eatery and Wood Grill

Hi! How’s your week been? If its been surprisingly chill, then we have something in common. Last week (I consider Sunday the 7th day of the week)  featured two tests, timed writings and a lab, so this week, we got a bit of a break. Well….. study break= little weekend homework= time to explore and eat!!!!!

Where to go? I was stuck too, until I flipped through a magazine and found a raving review on a restaurant called Raw eatery and Wood Grill. Raw food+ coal oven? Count me in!

RAW Eatery and Wood Grill

 

RAW is a small,chic, upscale bar-style “Spanish” (although far more south American) restaurant. As the name suggests, they’re proud of their raw dishes, which they believe “best preserves the natural beauty of the ingredients”. But, tartare and ceviche aren’t for everyone, so they included a “Wood Grill”- a super high powered Josper charcoal oven where they stick mostly steaks, but also everything from chicken to cauliflower into.

Food

I admit, I was initially disappointed when I saw the small size of the menu

However, that disappointment vanished. Everything sounded so good! I wanted tartare, ceviche, steak, chicken….. but our stomachs and pocketbook has limits. Here’s what we ate:

Bread basket- Each table gets a complimentary bread basket and two flavored butters. For 28RMB, you get 3 more flavors. People online raved about the flavored butters, but since both my dad and I aren’t really bread and butter people, we stuck with the free stuff. The bread was beautifully grilled, but to be honest, nothing special

63 degree Egg- Sous Vide is all the rage now, and the 63 degree egg gets it perfect. The yolk was perfectly soft and the whites were pillowy, not raw. OF course a sous vide egg on its own is hardly a dish. The egg came on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and AMAZINGLY fresh and juicy mushrooms.

Roasted Cauliflower- This dish is simple and self explanatory- cauliflower roasted in the Josper oven and finished with olive oil and truffle; however, it completely changed how I view cauliflower. The cook was perfect with a bit of char at the ends and had quite a strong truffle taste. I must say though, the seasoning could have been more even. Other than that, it was a perfect appetizer

Anchovy crusted Buratta- If you know me, you’ll know I’m a HUGE sucker for grilled/baked fish. Last night was no exception and I have NO regrets. The filet was 1) HUGE 2) fresh and 3) AMAZINGLY seasoned. The anchovy crust brought an unparalleled depth of flavor that penetrated the entire filet. The dish also came with charred fennel, beautiful baby carrots and roasted heirloom tomatoes. Honestly, the steak lovers have NO CLUE on what their missing out on.


Roasted Argentinean Chicken- Even though fish is my thing, I was really craving something charred and with crispy skin. Half a chicken stuck in a high powered oven should do the trick right? Well…. sort of. The skin was nice and charred but it was soaked in a slightly too salty, although very flavorful au jus like liquid. The chicken itself was incredibly juicy. Unfortunately, the flavoring and spices, for the most part, failed to penetrate into the meat, so it was quite bland. Honestly, even if you’re trying to save money, get a steak instead.

What I wish we tried:

  1.      Tartare with Smoked Egg yolk
  2. Buratta
  3. Icelandic codfish ceviche
  4. STEAK!!!!

Service/ Atmosphere

 

Both were good to say the least. We arrived quite early, so apart from a small group of 4 at the table in front of us, we were alone. Despite this, the place didn’t feel empty or depressed, like some sub-par restaurants do. I absolutely LOVED the simple, chic decor. The wait staff were very attentive and food arrived a lot faster than expected.

Overall Experience

Overall, I highly recommend this restaurant, but to get the most out of dinner, bring some friends over to wine and dine!

That’s it for this week, See everyone soon!

 

 

Dimsum at May Love

Hi!!! Sorry for missing a post last week. Nothing tasty came my way, so I took the week off. Anyways, I knew I had to make this up, and luckily, we just happened to be around Times Square (the one in Shanghai)- opportunity much?

As usual, I wanted Japanese, but before we could find a good quality one, my dad and I stumbled into an alleyway and discovered a Mr.Pancake, Asjen Ramen and:

Suddenly, Dimsum sounded really great.

Food

The great thing about dim sum is that all flavors and textures are represented in small packages, so even with only two people, I had the luxury of ordering some pretty varied items.

Unfortunately, however, the restaurant was out of roasts, as well as many stir fried dishes 😦 I was really craving some crackling. The good news: all the steamed items were available. Here’s what I ordered:

Har Gao- I literally order har gao at every dim sum restaurant I go to, so how did these compare? Well, they were average. They had an intense flavor and nice skin, but the shrimp could have been more fresh and they needed a fresh element- like bamboo shoots or water chestnut- to balance the seafood taste.

Fish and water chestnut dumplings- I love fish dumplings, so I had high very high expectations for this one. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. The fish was fresh and had an amazing springy texture. The water chestnut was bright and sweet, which perfectly complemented the fish. However, the wait staff must have left it out a bit too long because they were a bit cold and sticky

 (sry for the bad pic, I was so excited to dig in)

Truffle-spiced mushroom dumplings- This was definitely my favorite item. The skin was thin and springy, but the filling is the bomb! First, I could actually taste the truffle. I’m no expert, but those dumplings were sooo aromatic. Second, the mushrooms were bathed in an amazing, thick soup, which prevented the filling from being dry/ rubbery. ORDER THIS

Beef balls with tofu skin- I must say, this dish was the lowlight if the dinner. The meat itself was quite good and not too fatty and had a nice texture, but the balls were flavorless. Not worth it.

 

The restaurant offers a promotion where for ever 100RMB spent on stir-fried dishes, there is a 20RMB discount. It’s a pretty good deal to take advantage of if you’re with a group. Unfortunately, my dad fell for it and ordered an extra dish no one touched

Overall, the food was very good, but the flavors all melted together. I would probably suggest varying the types of dishes to prevent the law of diminishing marginal returns from kicking in too soon.

Service

The service was fairly quick and good. The wait staff were attentive and obliging. My biggest complain would be that some of the menu items- ie all the roasts and poultry dishes- were unavailable. Honestly, going at an earlier time should resolve that issue

Atmosphere

 

The restaurant had a nice and casual, cafe-like atmosphere. I especially liked the couches and giant screen playing an old concert rerun from Hong Kong singer 邓子琪. However, it was a bit disorganized and dirty plates were often stacked next to the water jugs before being bussed away.

Overall Experience

Overall, I enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service. There could be some improvements, but I would recommend this place as a brunch or causal hangout dinner with friends.

So, that’s it for this week. I’ll have another dining experience to share next week, so see you then!

 

 

Grilled Blue Crabs

Hello! I’m two weeks into school and cruising along. Speaking of cruising, our driver, Mr. Yu, was cruising along the wet market when he saw insanely cheap and insanely fresh blue crabs. A phone call and a short wait later, 9 of them arrived at our kitchen. My first thought was to steam them, but Mr. Yu had a better idea- Wok grilling.

Last post, I promised a recipe,  but  it’s so simple there’s no need for one.

 

Heat a wok or large pan on medium high heat and place the crabs shell side down. After about 8-10 minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of rice or cooking wine and wait 2-3 more minutes. Viola! Done! To get the most out of these crabs, serve with some ginger and soy sauce.

 

I honestly can’t believe we steamed any crab other than the hairy ones for so long. These crabs were DIVINE!!!! Steaming does wonders in preserving the moisture of the meat, but tends to dilute the flavor. Grilling, provided you don’t go crazy with the heat or time, preserves the beautiful natural salty-sweetness of the crab. Even better, the crab is literally cooking in its own juices.

There’s only 1 downside. The roe tends to bubble out a bit and burn. Honestly, there’s really no good way of preventing it all together. Just remember to cook the crabs shell side DOWN and reduce the heat a bit once things start bubbling.

I hope you all enjoyed this short little recipe. If you guys try this, please comment  with the results. See you guys next week!

 

Summer Pt. 3: Business in Ukraine!

Hi!!!, Back again! I promise, this is the last post about summer. In case you missed them, I gave an overview in Part 1 and shared my favorite eats in Part 2. Well, as the title says, I’m going to talk about my trip to Ukraine!

Why Ukraine

I’m a HUGE Russia/USSR junkie. I also missed my chance to go to Russia in the spring last school year, so I guess a trip to Ukraine isn’t too surprising right? Actually, I didn’t go on any old family vacation; I went as part of the China Delegation for the SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) world cup, which happened to be hosted in Odessa.

SAGE is an organization based in California that hosts a global business competition for students. A group of friends and I actually started a project, but the regional qualifiers happened to coincide with SATII testing 😦 Luckily, the China delegation had a couple of spots open. I applied and was accepted!!!!!

What I loved…..

  1. The Event itself was AMAZING. The first day was a culture fair, and the other countries really brought their A-Game.

We handed out these cute keychains that resemble foods and some bookmarks

Each country also did a short performance, which was really cool to watch. Unfortunately, my phone ran low so I didn’t get any footage 😦

The competition was also very interesting. It’s actually amazing what some of the teams did. Israel’s team is developing an interactive emergency wristband for senior citizens and actually got government funding as well as grants from 5VC firms!

2. The weather and views were even better than the competition. We were given free time on the third day to explore :

 

 

3. FOOD!!!!!! Granted, the meals they provided us at the hotel sucked, but everything else was AMAZING, and incredibly cheap. Seriously, a bottle of kefir was only 20 hyrvnia (less than a dollar). In Shanghai, a small thing of Greek yogurt costs upwards 28RMB (around $4). The fruit  and rye bread were also incredible. My favorite, however, had to be the cured fish

 

Sure, it doesn’t look appetizing, but trust me, the flavour is superb. Basically, the freshness and salt removes any fishiness while preserving the fish’s natural oils. The flesh, both times I had this, was tender and not too salty. Anyways, its available in pretty much every grocery store, but for the best, head to the beach and pick a stall!

What didn’t go so well….

Only 1 thing didn’t quite work out: the traveling

First of all, the flights were at the worst times. Honestly, the flight there departed at 3am and the flight back arrived 1am…. so much for a getting enough sleep…….

The on-site visas also got screwed up, so my team ended up stuck in Kiev for nearly 6hrs while they figured things out. In the mean time, we missed our flight to Odessa and had to take a 6hr bus ride instead…….at least we didn’t have to take a 22hr bus to Kenya like the Ugandan team

So that’s it for this post. I hope the ending didn’t bum you guys out. Overall, I highly recommend visiting Odessa, or the rest of Ukraine for that matter.

Anyways, August is almost over, which means crab season is starting! See you guys next week with a recipe!

 

 

 

Summer Pt.2: Best eats

Hi!!! As promised, I’m back. My first week as a junior is over and it is definitely WAYYYY busier than freshman and sophomore year. Anyways, it’s the weekend now, and I want to finish my summer recap before fall sets in, so let’s get started! Part 2: Food

Honestly, I didn’t get much of a chance to explore the amazing food scenes of some of the cities I visited, but I still hit three standout spots.

1. Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack (Iowa City)

At camp, I mentioned to one of the counselors that I liked smoked meats/bbq, and this was the first place he recommended. The next day, I walked over for lunch, and discovered just how lucky these college kids were. I wanted the 3 meat platter, but there was no way I could finish everything 😦  I ordered a pulled pork sandwich instead.

 It was AMAZING. The meat was tender and incredibly smoky. So, the next week, I came back and got a half rack of ribs

 No disappointment here. The ribs were not fall of the bone, but they had such flavor I actually appreciated the extra chew. They were also not too fatty, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable, despite the nearly pound of meat.

Other notes: The service is amazingly fast and the people are courteous. They also have a complementary toppings bar with housemade pickles and over 15 types of sauce!. However, as a trade-off, it’s not exactly college- budget friendly. Still, I highly recommend it

2. EMC Raw Bar

We go to Irvine every summer, but since we stay in an apartment complex thing, we don’t really go out to eat. When we do, it’s usually to the Chinese places down the street or some sushi place we happen to drive by. One day, after doing some shopping in Heritage Plaza, I noticed a new building

Seafood and raw bar? Now that’s my type of restaurant. It was already noon, so why not try it out?

The menu was small but extensive with a large variety of quite creative dishes like uni(sea urchin) avocado toast  as well as more traditional soups and pastas. Before any of that, oysters to start!

These were the Chesapeake bay oysters, which were very tasty and fresh, but small. I would recommend some of the larger (but more expensive) varieties.

For mains, I got charbroiled whitefish filet and my mom got the spicy seafood soup

(I was too excited and started eating before remembering to take a pic)

I’ll start with the soup. My mom didn’t think it would be enough to fill her up for lunch, but she could not have been more wrong. It was loaded with clams, muscles, shrimp……and just to satisfy those who just need carbs, the soup came with some garlic bread.

Mom thought she hit the jackpot, until my dish arrived. The whitefish was not only fresh, it was JUICY. yes, a juicy fish. Even better, I could still taste the char.

Other notes: For sides, I highly recommend the grilled corn or one of the toasts. This is definitely more of a fancy dinner place (perfect for date night!)The food also took a while to arrive.

3. Pinefish

While in Philly visiting UPENN,  I was really craving seafood, so I did a quick search on Yelp and found that this place called Pinefish had $1 oysters during happy hour. Yep, $1. We were going.

It took a while to navigate all the one ways, but we eventually arrived to this:

 

Turns out, the happy hour oysters actually existed! Even better, cocktail shrimp and clams were also included in the deal!.  So, we did the logical thing and ordered a dozen of each.

 (our first batch)

I must say, the oysters were a bit disappointing, but GET THE CLAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oysters, clams and shrimp are great, but not enough for dinner. The waitress brought us the menus. My dad and brother aren’t seafood people so they got overpriced meat dishes (not worth discussing). My mom and I took advantage of the place. Strangely enough, we ordered almost the same things we did at EMC.

 (grilled fish of the day- I don’t recall what fish)

 (Spanish spicy seafood soup)

This place was like EMC, but 5x better. I swear the fish I ate was still swimming this morning. Basically if you’re ever in Philly, find this place.

Other notes: They bring seafood in fresh everyday and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Come early. The service was actually pretty fast, but the highlight was the great attitude of the staff.

Well, I hope you get a chance to check out the AMAZING restaurants. I’ll be back soon with the final installment. See you then!

 

Back from Summer!

HELLO!1 Looong time no post. I hope everyone’s had a great summer because I know I did!

Basically, this post will be an overview of what I’ve been up to and the following 2-3 will get into some specifics. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started!

Nothing really happened the first month or so. I just chilled, took a few test prep classes and found out I got accepted to the China delegation for SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship)- more on that later

Things picked up in July when I headed to the states with my mom.

I hung out in Irvine for some shopping, then straight to Writing camp!!! In March, I was accepted to the Iowa’s Young Writer’s studio hosted by the Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. It was AMAZING. Imagine: 87 extremely talented (and some published) high school writers gathered at one of the top writing programs in the country, taught by actual professors from the studio, for 2 weeks. There were also nightly readings by phenomenal local authors and plenty of writing time. I actually got 3 pieces written and workshopped during the two weeks! We also had some pretty crazy reading assignments.If you haven’t read them already, I highly recommend Blu’s Hanging, Enrique’s Journey and Brokeback Mountain.

After came, everyone headed to the east coast for college visits.

Columbia- They were actually filming a movie based on the Senate Papers, but we weren’t allowed to take pics of the set. Anyways, Columbia was by far my favorite

Harvard- It was rainy and miserable so no pics 😦

UPenn

Yale- Yale has a really cool thing called a student forum. Basically, interested students gather and talk with current Yale students- no parents allowed!

Finally- UKRAINE for  SAGE!!!!!- # squad

Well, tomorrow its back to school. See you soon!

 

 

Dim Sum Brunch at the Pullman

Hi!!!! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m back!!! Yesterday, one of my mom’s college friends came over from Nanjing to visit. Usually, I’m usually not interested in these meetings, but she’s been working in Sweeden for a while. I was interested so I asked to tag along. Of course, lunch was a must. She happened to arrive by rail at the Shanghai Railway Station, so we knew just where to go.

The Century

 (I know, not the best picture)

The Century is an upscale dim sum restaurant at the Pullman Shanghai Jin’An. It’s literally less than a block from the south plaza of the railway station. Alternatively, take metro line 4 to the railway station and any exit will get you within 400m.

Unlike many other dim sum places, it follows more of a traditional, western, breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule. We arrived around 11, and it was pretty clear lunch hadn’t started yet. We had the staff and fish as company.

Of course, that wasn’t a problem. Less people means less waiting right?

Food

My mom and I have been here a couple of time before, so our expectations were through the roof. It was only the three of us, so we couldn’t order everything I wanted. We did get some of my favorites:

Steamed Items

Har Gao- Most, if not all, dim sum places have har gao. This place, however, takes it to another level. The skin is delicate and thin, but the star is the filling. It’s literally whole pieces of incredibly fresh shrimp with bits of bamboo shoots mixed in for another layer of texture and flavour.

Abalone Siu Mai- Siu mai is another must order dim sum dish. To me, it’s actually the true test of a dim sum place. I’ve only ever remember going to one or two places with truly good siu mai. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of them. The flavor was definitely there, but the filling was overcooked and the skin was soggy and sticky.

Truffle and mushroom dumpling- While siu mai and har gao are traditional, this dish is definitely not. This was actually the best dim sum item I had there, every time. When having one, the gel-like skin melts away to reveal an incredibly aromatic and light, yet surprisingly meaty, filling. The textures were also on point. This is a must!

Char Siu Pastry- I’m not a fan of pastries, but my mom’s practically an expert. According to her, the Char siu pastry is the bomb. We ordered it, and sure enough, they didn’t disappoint. The pastry was crispy on the out side while flaky, buttery, but not overly rich inside. Definitely a good choice

Durian Pastry- Durian isn’t for everyone, but this place has got it down. The rich, slightly savoury pastry and incredible quality of ingredients really tones down the unpleasantness of durian. Again, highly suggested.

Roasts

No dim sum meal would be complete without some roasts.

Crispy skin roast pork- This dish was literally the best thing we ordered. The meat was perfectly tender, juicy and seasoned as well as not too fatty. The skin could not have been crispier. No reheating here! Of the 12 pieces, 10 were gone within 2 minutes

Mixed roasts platter (three item, half order)- I was just missing my pork, when this dish arrived. The three item platter consists of char siu, roast goose and, of course, more pork. The pork was still the star. The char siu had great flavor, but lacked much texture- too soft. The goose was cooked perfectly, but WAY too fatty. Honestly, this dish is overpriced (118rmb/ half order). I suggest ordering the pork and char siu separately.

Other items I highly recommend

Tofu casserole

Enoki mushroom in soup

Pickled Turnips

Roast squab (pigeon)

any of the steamed seafood

Service

Overall, the service was amazing. The food came out very fast and the staff were extremely polite and attentive. However, compared to the last few times, service quality has dipped, but that’s probably because we came at a very awkward time

Overall, this restaurant is AMAZING for any occassion, but come with a group for the best experience!

That’s it for this week… and the rest of summer. Until August, Bye!