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Archive: June, 2011



Almost a Berliner now.

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

How on Earth did I forget to include a picture of Monsieur Vuong’s Chicken Pho?  Not the traditional sort, but nothing a bit of spicy sauce can’t fix.

Brasserie Desbrosses- Cod w/artichoke

Desbrosses:  DELICIOUS white asparagus salad

I ventured off on my own to a touristy area for a bite and wine.  Eventually settled at this noisy restaurant where I was greeted by “pick a seat,” then “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” by a second waiter. In principle, one should never give her money to an establishment that houses rude vermin.

So, I got up, left, and opted for Josty, a restaurant.  It’s a positive sign when a waiter greets you like a queen while the other helps make a handicap woman’s life easier by carrying the table to her wheelchair.  So I sat down to enjoy a lovely evening of wine, food, and A CLASH OF KINGS.

Brasserie Desbrosses- Chanterelle mushroom salad @ Josty–MUAH!

Josty:  argentinean steak

The next day, I decided to be a little more adventurous and thus try out a highly reviewed Taiwanese restaurant.  The restaurant owners were very nice.  I’m just happy that I got to try something new.

Lon-Men’s Noodles House: I vomit at the sight of chicken feet!  But well-cooked pig ears?  Lemme at’m. You can take the Chinese girl out of China, but not the pig ears out of the Chinese girl… or something to that effect.

Lon-Men’s Noodle House:  dumplings

Lon-Men’s Noodle House: Beef stew noodles

After my adventure with the Taiwanese restaurant, I caught a cab to the casino.  The cab driver was really nosy, lonely, or both–made me feel uncomfortable nonetheless.  I wish I could act, so I can pretend I don’t know how to speak English during times like this.  My fake Chinese accent is so bad, even an Englishman can detect it.  And that was the ethnicity of the cab driver.  I won 200 euros at poker.. 202 euros to be exact!  Woohoo! Lunch and dinner is on me tomorrow.

My Chia seeds lemon water mixture is a great icebreaker and/or chick magnet.  Curious women in Berlin stop me often in the streets to ask, “may I know what that is in your water?”  If I could speak German, I wouldn’t have to resist the urge to say they’re unhatched maggot eggs or boiled fleas and since a joke is only as good as its delivery, i usually respond with the boring, “chia seeds mixed with lemon and water.”  “Oh,” is the usual response (and probably, “how anti-climactic,” if she weren’t polite).

YamYam:  Monsieur Vuong’s wait was too long, so we stumbled upon this Korean restaurant with great bimbimbop.  It was fate.

I leave you with Berliner Dom.

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It’s by definition not a conversation if only one person is talking.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Do you ever have those moments where “what-the-fuck,” comes to mind over-and-over again while someone is blathering without a single pause? Where you mouth “what-the-fuck” secretly to your neighbor in hopes that the chatterbox will catch wind of your rude gesture– a passive-aggressive attempt to shut him up? I had that experience last night at a restaurant where I intended to have a relaxing meal to unwind from the events of that day. Never did I want more badly to blow my brains out, or wish for a remote control to hit “pause,” or “stop,” or better yet, “EJECT.” Anyway, I find it so strange that someone could be so insensitive to others around him and think that one would really enjoy listening to him talk incessantly about himself. In fact, I think that’s what it was. He must have thought I was really interested in the banal stories that had no consequence for me or anyone else in the restaurant for that matter who could hear his boisterous voice.

At least the pho was tasty.

—–

Since we’re all whining now, I have yet another complaint.  Most of my friends are older than me–unintentional, unplanned, just happened that way.  I’m attracted to people who are older I guess.  To be specific, I’m attracted to people who are mature when necessary and immature at all other times because I get along with those peeps the most.  However, sometimes you get a friend of a friend who’s spiteful and insecure of the age difference.  I mean, I think most of the time the spite is unintentional–it just comes out because he/she is insecure with their age/place in life.  Which is why I have to suck it in whenever someone says in that snooty way, “ohhh, you’re way too young to understand.”  “Too young” in that you’re-too-naive-to-know-anything way.  There are definitely more tactful ways of saying, “I wasn’t a part of your generation, so I might not remember/know what the heck you’re talking about” to avoid misunderstanding. But shoot, I took history courses.  I bet you can’t name five ancient Greek sculptors from the 5th century BC (neither can I, but I’m supposed to since I was an Art History major).  Should I say, “You weren’t even born yet! So young…” snooty hooty snooty hooty.

I know I’m young, and I have a whole lot more to understand about the world, but just because I don’t listen to whatever band you loved in the 80′s while I was still in a crib, doesn’t mean I don’t love Depeche Mode or In Living Color (reruns of course).  How on earth DO you respond to “you’re too young, you wouldn’t know?”  I constantly have to fight the urge to bring up Power Rangers or N’Sync JUST so I can say, “oh you’re too old, you wouldn’t know.”

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June 20, 2011: Berlin via Paris

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Here we are in Paris at my favorite udon restaurant of all time, until I have better–Kunitoraya.  There’s a very good reason why we returned four times during our week-long stay in Paris (certainly not for lack of variety).  Fortunately, our “irregular” time schedule afforded us quick service and zero line-waiting (apart from one-time).  Otherwise, we’d be waiting in a 30+minute line during peak meal times.  It’s a uniquely designed restaurant, with the main dining area situated in a very cool basement.  I love when interior design preserves the essence of an original building.  But then again, I just like it when things look cool.

Kunitoraya:  As an appetizer, we have here pork katsu

Kunitoraya: The main attraction in all its glory–kunitora udon aka heavenly udon pork concoction orgasmic delicious

Kunitoraya. I’m so ashamed.  If it weren’t for being so stuffed, I would have licked every last speck of msg off my bowl.  Not sure if there was really MSG, but you do feel thirsty afterward.

Kunitoraya. I forgot to mention the side of rice my beau ordered.  We weren’t very hungry, obviously.

I didn’t write the name of the restaurant down, but it’s located near Kunitoraya.  There’s a reason why we were the only ones in the restaurant, but it definitely wasn’t our worst experience.  Gyoza.

The same restaurant located near Kunitoraya.  This is their rendition of beef stew noodles, which was basically noodles, beef, and a few veggies thrown into diluted broth.  The beef was actually good, now that I remember.

All over the internet is huge hype about L’as Du Fallafel.  I guess we should have ordered falafel since they’re famous for that, but neither of us like falafel, so we ordered shawarma, which was tasty, but not craveable-get-in-my-belly-NOW type of shawarma– really muted for middle eastern food.  This is what happens when you’re spoiled with delicious cuisines, you become stupid picky.  Anyway, there was an enormous line of people waiting.  Fortunately, J figured out early on we were waiting in the wrong (dine-in) line.  This is another reason to learn as many useful languages as possible.

L’as Du Fallafel:  Here you have a man preparing our order.

L’as Du Fallafel: innards of shawarma wrap

L’as Du Fallafel: beverage.  Speaking of Oragina, this brand has very unique advertisements littered all over Parisian streets and TV, which may seem strange, but is quite normal to a select few.  That’s what I love about most parts of Europe though, creative freedom.  Anyway, their commercials are known for fetishizing animals or bestiality or wishful thinking.  Puts the “vagina” into orange soda (Orangina).  See below for an example:

Orangina gay

OHHhhh I digress.  Here’s the shawarma wrap thingy we both got. Probably could have settled on just one. But that’s the greedy fat American in me!  I have to say, the eggplant is kick ass.

I betcha can’t guess what this structure is!

Pont Alexandre III Bridge view from a river boat.  I’ll let you read about the bridge here.  The most spectacular of all bridges we floated under on the Seine.

Quasimodo must have been on strike, because I didn’t hear anyone yell “SANCTUARY! besides me of course.  It’s just one of those necessary things you have to do when you’re a stupid tourist.

Au Coin des Gourmet:  The best thing here was the beef salad,  everything else was meh.

Au Coin des Gourmet

Au Coin des Gourmet:  Chicken wings

Oh come on, I wouldn’t really take a picture of a pile of sh*t.  This is, in fact, fish at Au Coin des Gourmet.

Sometimes you just need to kick off your shoes and watch movies in your hotel room with the one you love and your boyfriend.  I joke.  Delivery pizza from a nearby place that was still open at 11 PM.

Pho 14.  A familiar picture because this is the 2nd visit while in Paris.  Still stands as the best in the world (until i have better).

Mövenpick remains my favorite green mint and chip ice-cream since I had it first in Sydney, Australia.

Kunitoraya was closed so we settled for meh korean bbq across the street.

Chicken wings at the Korean place

A pork something dish at the Korean restaurant

Kimchi jiggae at the Korean restaurant–meh.

Raspberry sorbet at that restaurant name printed on the chocolate chip.

Banana split at the same restaurant as above.

My favorite macaroon shop at a special find near (surprise, surprise), Kunitoraya.  The Japanese peeps really know how to add their own touch.  If you want to visit, just go to Kunitoraya, then locate the closest Japanese bakery with a lot of people in it.  I will write down names next time.  I will try to write down names next time.

Flavors:  black sesame, yuzu (kinda weird, prefer yuzu on meat), green tea, and I’m drawing a blank on the fourth flavor.

How did this picture get here?  Anyways you have to order the egg rolls from Pho 14.  Darnnit, I hate it when my pictures are out of order; but not enough to reorganize them.

Space Invaders all over Paris, I heard they helped promote his show?

Another one!

Susuru- Japanese noodle bar in Berlin.  We were hoping to recreate the experience we had in Paris with Kunitoraya. Not quite… but good nevertheless!

Chicken dish at susuru

Donuts at Dunkin Donuts, but not like the soft, fluffy ones in the US.

A hoarder pole.

Remind me to not have large expectations at upscale restaurants when I’m looking for a vegetable garden on my plate to satisfy my veggy craving.  I think I had a total of 3 arugula leaves in my “salad.”  But this dish was soooo good.  In Berlin, forgot the name, it was Italian, Buca di Beppo?

“Buca di Beppo” suckling pig.  I couldn’t choose between this and pasta, so…

I pooped out last night’s spaghetti and ate both.

Bicycle rides around Berlin offer you unparalleled views of the city and its art.

1 hour long (i think) bike ride later, we reached the mother of all chicken + garlic butter.  YA HALA!!!!!!

Ya Hala:  You will never have chicken (you might) this perfectly prepared and juicy, accompanied by crispy seasoned fries and oh-so-creamy garlic butter.

Monsieur Vuong:  egg rolls

Monsieur Vuong:  this is why we come here… the spicy sauce!  If you want your spicy sauce to slap you in the face, come here.

Raspberry and green tea/hibiscus sorbet at Häagen-Dazs.

Monsieur Vuong: darn, out of order again. Lime soda

Monsieur Vuong:  chicken pho.  Doesn’t taste like traditional pho, but add a little or a lot of that spicy sauce kick I mentioned before and you’re golden

Took a detour to Helsinki.  Gorgeous.

Die Antwood at Helsinki.  One of the most entertaining bands.

Proud to say, I had a close-up profile view of Ninja’s flopping penis as he bounced up and down in his boxers.

One of the most entertaining bands that crowds will understand someday.  If you’ve ever watched Die Antwoord, you’ll understand.  They’re really fun.

Back to Berlin at Hasir.  Actually, our first stop back in Berlin was Hasir.  They’ve expanded their restaurant.  Not exactly as I remembered, but still freakin’ delicious.  Here is a doner plate.

Hasir:  Ground chicken

Mall food for a quick fix before we watched the longest movie of my life—the tree of life.

I was craving beef stew noodles so I found DoDeli in Berlin via someone’s blog.  BLEHHHH it would have been tasty if they didn’t put huājiāo in EVERY spicy dish.  This spice is commonly used in Sichuan cuisine and it numbs your mouth, at least, it gives you a buzzing sensation which sucks and defeats the purpose of eating a spicy dish if you can’t feel your tongue.  That’s an exaggeration..you can taste the food but your tongue feels weird when you eat.

Dodeli:  OK fried rice

Dodeli- bleh boiled dumplings aka shui jiao.

Stopped by a flea market on our bike ride back to the hotel

Houses that line a river, home to the otter people as someone said to me.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  I’m not sure if we were exactly allowed to stand atop the concrete structures, but I saw a lot of other people doing it and being the natural follower, I followed suit.  Absolutely with zero intention of disrespecting the memorial.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Constipation can strike anywhere.

Even mid-air.

Success!

We love the subway system in Berlin.  My attempt to capture this moment with an application on my phone that didn’t let me use the reverse camera thingy, so I had to guess.  The extra stress of gawking passengers didn’t help.

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June 11 2011: I love zuh food

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Le Petit Vendôme has the best baguettes so far. Bread isn't too roof-scraping tough. Perfect creamy goat cheese and slice of jambon

Buddah-Bar: Fried chicken

Buddah-Bar: Spicy crispy rice salmon that's not spicy but good

Buddah-Bar: Cod with Yuzu

Must be organic

A cafe we stopped by for a quick bite. Yummy pesto pasta and jambon!

A little snack

Don't want to wait in Ladurée's line. These are excellent!

Eiffel's sparkly tower

L'Avenue: Spicy thai beef. Doesn't look appetizing but delicious!!!!

L'Avenue: My tribute to e. coli. (let's hope i didn't just jinx myself)

L'Avenue: this was once a chocolate cake

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June 10 2011: Parweewee!

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Bridge between the Musée d'Orsay and the other side. I wish US public art decision makers had better taste. We have the money..and we certainly do spend a lot of it.

Phallic Symbols of Paris: Colonne Vendôme

Phallic Symbols of Paris: The predecessor to the sport's cup

Phallic Symbols of Paris: Well hung my good man

Nutella Crepe--CHECK!

Phallic Symbols of Paris: Baguette---CHECK!

The BEST Pho I've ever had in the world yet--CHECK!

Pho Tai (small): It must be the French influence that gives the broth its delicate yet flavorful taste and supple slices of raw (eventually cooked) beef. I will return soon.

Pho's must-have accessories. The Siracha sauce tastes different in France. The bottle looks similar, but it could be a different brand (didn't analyze it closely enough). Regardless, a much sweeter take on it (i prefer the US version). The chopped peppers aren't commonly given as a condiment in the US, but I usually get it in European Vietnamese restaurants.

A mandatory companion to the Pho.. EGG ROLLS. Not just any kung-fu panda eggrolls, these are legit + fish sauce concoction.

I'm not sure what this is, but it was OK.

A visit to the Musée d'Orsay and its Clock during the Manet exhibit--one of my favorite artists. The museum is probably one of the most fun names to pronounce. I think they implemented a new rule since my first visit 4 years ago.. no photos! Unless I didn't read the signs before. This explains the lack of artwork photos in this entry.

I recommend this wine bar for foreigners who don't speak French, or good French for that matter. At least 100 varieties of wine. All you have to do is add money to a card of any amount, then dispense a tasting or full-serve portion into your glass. Tasting portions range from 1-40ish euros. Average is 2.50 euros.

Wine by One: Wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures, so I quickly took a blurry shot of the dispensers.

A really bad photo of the small charcuterie plate for 2 people, which ended up being our dinner!

Au Revoir Baguette!

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