Archive | October, 2010

What happens when you blogsurf hungry…

28 Oct

Never visit food blogs on an empty stomach. You will deeply regret it, especially if the photos are of foods thousands of miles away. Let me tell you, it will leave you with an aching in your belly and a somewhat depressed level of happy hormones (aka endorphins).

Let me retrace my steps for you now so you can suffer with me–we’re in this together.

1. This post on Shao Bing You Tiao on




With my interest piqued, I, of course, clicked on the link to this guy’s blog. Bad idea.

2. Oyster Omeletes on


Now I really want to hop in my car for a quick trip to Monterey Park/good ol’ San Gabriel Valley. And of course, being me, I couldn’t stop at that…

3. I can taste it on my tongue already…thanks



Gosh darn it! Now I REALLY want to go to SGV (San Gabriel Valley)…but dim sum won’t be served again until 11AM tomorrow.

Now at this point, I’m quite hungry and nearing the grouchy threshold so I am going to take a short break from foodblog surfing.

Be back later, La Poubelle.


-Chumbawamba (I think this suits my mood quite well right now.)



Thoughts on fusion cuisine

28 Oct

Rain Rannu/flickr

Have you heard of Macanese cuisine? Neither have I, until today. Born and raised in Hawaii, I would consider myself well-versed in the realm of fusion cuisine–after all, it’s basically what I grew up on–but I had never heard of Macau’s unique fusion dishes.

Perhaps it is because Macanese food is hard to come by in the U.S. (as mentioned by the author) but if it is as delectable as described, then shouldn’t at least whispers of it’s magnificence be heard? I mean, any food experience described similar to the following would leave you salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs:

It arrived looking like a hot mess on the plate, the bird having been marinated in chiles, onions, and garlic, smothered in a spicy, lemony coconut milk-and-butter-based sauce, and cooked to crisp perfection. It was hearty and heavy, yet complex, balancing savory and sweet with a hint of sour and just enough heat that I found myself working away at it with the slightest urgency. The dish is filling the way Brick Lane-style curry is filling, and puts you in the sort of breathless food coma often associated with Thanksgiving.

I hope that another Macanese restaurant will open in L.A. sometime soon (the last one, Macau Street Restaurant, also closed recently) so I can try this African Chicken and more. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for opportunities to learn more about this unique cuisine.

-Chumbawumba (my new nickname…yayy)

P.S. For those of you who are familiar with Macau cuisine, do you think it shares any similarities with other fusion cuisines? Not necessarily the trendy fusion cuisine we’re used to seeing today, but the fusion cuisine that emerged from the close interaction between different cultures (similar to Hawaii and the plantation experience).

Revisiting cafeteria food

26 Oct

Craig Lee/Chronicle

Came across this post today about changes to the National School Lunch Program that could help prevent rising childhood obesity levels.

Instead of focusing on traditional methods (forcing one, healthy meal option on students) that have been shown to be less effective, if not more detrimental, many schools are using tactics based on behavioral psychology. Now, many believe that “the ideal lunchroom—the smartest lunchroom—would be the one that led children to make healthy choices in the face of some more tempting options.”

And they have good reason to believe that this is the better approach. The article cites many real-world success stories such as the following:

One school in upstate New York was able to increase consumption of salads by close to 300 percent by simply moving their salad bar six feet from the wall and placing it near a natural bottleneck in the check-out line.

Even the USDA has acknowledged the potential of this approach:

To help make lunchrooms smarter, the USDA is taking a big step forward in supporting these more innovative and sustainable solutions through its recent funding of our Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program. The goal is to encourage researchers and schools to work together in finding solutions to make lunchrooms smarter that are easy and cheap—or even free.

I’m excited to see what other changes will be made to cafeteria dining–especially since they are changes that can be made across communities of all socioeconomic levels.

To get you in the Halloween spirit

24 Oct

This year Serious Eats is counting down the last 12 days until Halloween by dressing up Dumpling, their French Bulldog mascot, in 12 different Halloween costumes. So far he’s been dressed up as a taco, grapes, ketchup, and a pig.

My favorite so far is the pig costume:

Robyn Lee/

What’s your favorite?

Quick Read: Diabetes

23 Oct

This popped up on my news feed today. Experts are projecting the prevalence of diabetes to triple by 2050–a scary thought considering the current prevalence rate of 10%. The article closes by saying:

In 2002, a clinical trial called the Diabetes Prevention Program found that people could cut their risk of developing the disease by more than 50 percent if they spent 30 minutes walking briskly six times a week. “This is not a matter of running marathons or climbing mountains,” says Robert Rizza, director of research at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. “There are all kinds of small things we can do that will make a difference.”

But here’s the big question. What are these small things we can do? Maybe instead of focusing on what we already know we should start disseminating information on how to keep this from becoming our reality.


Hobbiton to relocate to…England?

21 Oct

Dark times ahead for Hobbiton...

Today it was announced that production for Sir Peter Jackson’s new movie, The Hobbit, might move to England:

Sir Peter and the producers have been in a standoff with actors’ unions who have boycotted the Lord of the Rings prequels while agitating for a collective agreement.

During the dispute there had been speculation that production could be taken overseas. Other countries had offered a one-off deal that is double New Zealand’s 15 per cent tax rebate for films.

Sir Peter Jackson and Walsh said the weekend lifting of the actors union’s blacklist “does nothing to help the film stay in New Zealand”.

“The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done.”

The move has undermined Warner Brothers confidence in the industry “and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their $500m investment”.

“Next week Warners are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production offshore. It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available.”

What? Don’t get me wrong, technology has come a long way–enough so that any environment can be digitally recreated to the point where fantasy and reality can barely be differentiated. But will a digital Hobbiton even come close to the set in Matamata? I don’t think so.

Read more about the new developments here.



20 Oct

Not necessarily of watching masterful takoyaki vendors in Osaka, or any other part of Japan for that matter, but of Hawaii.

Every summer and winter break I go home with two things on my agenda: visit family and eat. Most of the time, the two overlap–afterall, for my family good food is a must-have at all gatherings.

But certain foods require special trips. In terms of sweets, it’s definitely Leonard’s Malasadas for their amazing Malasada Puffs and Kansai Yamato for their amazing chocolate mochi filled with dark chocolate ganache and coated with cocoa powder. For the savory items, the list is much, much longer. Chun Wah Kam, Futaba’s (if I’m lucky), Bangkok Chef, and the list goes on.

One thing I always make multiple trips for is the takoyaki at Shirokiya. The thrill of seeing the cook deftly form the balls with the aid of just two thin metal skewers and the anticipation that makes you salivate when they package your order is something I don’t tire of.

But the best part of the entire experience is actually eating the takoyaki. Because most of the time I’m sharing the order with my mom.