BuildingMyBento's Profile

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If you dig makanan pedas and don't mind a fruit bat here and there, try Beautika (they have at least two branches- one by MONAS, and the other by Senayan). Their focus is food from Manado.


Japanese Raman: Do you mix the ingredients before eating?

First, I say "see you later" to the chashuu...

I never mix the ingredients.

Dumpling Galaxy - Dumplings and more

I first had them in Xi'an at one of the "dumpling banquets," and they were the highlight of the feast.

Maybe the folks behind Xi'an Famous or Biang could test the waters with a batch...

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Not sure about #2. Generally - although this goes on a tangent from the thread topic - when I'm eating at a non-Chinese restaurant in China, the staff is still eating braised fish, cooking oil-heavy vegetables and some type of noodle or rice.

Do you have a favorite fruit juice?

This is a tough question, but as of late, I rather enjoyed the gac I drank in Chiang Mai. Generally though, I aim for grapefruit or cherry.

Do you have a favorite fruit juice?

I had a delicious ginger, lime and sugarcane juice from a Lahore vendor. Good call on using the first two ingredients.

black burgers and other limited-edition and novelty items at fast-food establishments

No kurogoma?

I'd try both...without mayonnaise.

Sep 19, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Japan

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

This place in Upper Darby (Philadelphia) tries way too hard to bring 'em ALL in: http://buildingmybento.com/2014/04/20...

Kielbasa, spring rolls and chicken adobo?

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Except for chop suey, I've eaten all of that in Guangzhou.

Can't argue with your adjectives though...

Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

They aren't the majority, but there are certainly buffet-style restaurants in China serving various vegetable and meat dishes with soup. You might see 三菜/荤一汤, or three vegetable/meat (dishes) and one soup for ~US$1-1.50.
Definitely not AYCE-style though.

Though I don't generally eat at those types of places while in China - i.e. too busy searching for a Hunanese establishment - they can come in handy for trying local specialties. For example, Wuxi is known for lion's head meatballs, and I didn't find them to be a common menu item wherever I wandered, so a 三菜/荤一汤 did its part.


Signs of a NOT Authentic Chinese Restaurant

According to the blurry photo of Yangzhou chaofan I took in Yangzhou (http://buildingmybento.com/2012/04/18...), I'd say that particular dish is the Crayola of fried rice.

To add to this list, seeing "sushi" in tandem with "Chinese food."

Dumpling Galaxy - Dumplings and more

None of the dumplings came with frothing minced garlic?

When I'd order jiaozi in a Dongbei restaurant in China, they'd either come with cloves or the garlic froth.

In any event, if they have walnut dumplings and doujiang, I'm down.


Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures

I hear you with the Reese's chips and Reddi-Whip. I used to add chocolate and whipped cream to peanut butter...before learning (in China, no less) that Skippy produced a pb-chocolate combo).

Had no idea what Mocha Mix was, but it might find its way into a newfangled frozen yoghurt at some point.

As for more guilty pleasures, when I'm in a place where olive oil and bread are nonstandard products - again China, Indonesia - I'll have a loaf in one sitting. Tomatoes and sea salt are welcome accompaniments.

Also, I get carried away with pickles, only the full-sour varieties, when eating ful/burgers/pretty much anything savory. Turkey and El Salvador in particular know the score.


Does jet-lag affect your sense of taste?

This is why I try to fly to Hong Kong when I'm en route to SE Asia. There's nothing I really want there anyway...oh, and having the HK airport frequent traveler card helps too.

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

I'm surprised they haven't made it to NYC or Miami yet.

If you happen to be passing through Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok though...

Sep 05, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Chains

Anyone been to Denny's yet?

This is sad news.

But a Japanese Denny's opening up would be much less disappointing.

Sep 05, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

Unusual..but delicious...ice cream flavors

How about viper? (http://buildingmybento.com/2012/08/13...


There used to be a place called "Ice Cream Stadium" in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. There were numerous flavors sourced from throughout Japan (mostly Hokkaido and northern Honshu, epicenters of the Japanese dairy industry). Uni, wasabi, raw horse (basashi), corn, and many others made an appearance.

It was located in a theme park called Namjatown, and it may have been recently reopened, if downsized.

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

It's much more common in Guangdong (and possibly the Northeast, though I'm much more familiar with the former). Leizhou is apparently "the" city for 狗肉.

Spelling & grammar errors on menus

When some Chinese menus are translated into English, the resulting words are either egregiously uninformed, or particularly amusing: http://buildingmybento.com/2012/03/06....

Otherwise, yep, spelling errors bother me just a bit, though it's not offensive enough for me to leave the restaurant.

It's Christmas in August!

This may not surprise some, but during a visit to an Angeles City, Philippines department store in September a couple of years ago, I thought the same thing...well, at least they had a special deal on (what turned out to be awful) polvorón.

Who would you like to dine with?

Francis Ona, William Walker and Miyamoto Nobuko.

Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray could drop by as well, even though I've met the latter once before.


Iconic CT foods

Scamorza on pizzas in Bridgeport.

New incarnations of foods?

I make ful with avocados these days. To make it even more thrilling, I'd liberally add some Trader Joe's "Everyday Seasoning."

A few things to get off my chest ...

Clams and bacon was a regular order when I was able to get to Pepe's in New Haven.

I'd dig kimchi on hot dogs too, as long as it's not the kimchi drowning in its own (albeit delicious) juice.

Leave the gun, take the cannoli...

Only because, no matter what movie I typed in on Youku (China's Youtube, somewhat), it showed up, here's one from Under Siege:

"Get my pies out of the oven!"

Favorite Bread(s)

The cardamom-cinnamon one, is that semla?

Japanese food in Beijing

When I think of eating Japanese in China, Shanghai would be number one.

For Beijing, why not get Korean? I think Wudaokou (in Haidian district, where many universities are located) is known for that cuisine.


Do you like ramen?

How about Ohanajaya's (Tokyo) coffee ramen?: http://buildingmybento.com/2014/08/12...

Though, on a different note, I'm much more likely to eat ramen in Japan and China than in the US. It might be because I'm in NYC and many other cuisines are much easier to find here.

NYC's Underground Japanese Eats

The sushiya in Fukuoka was called "Gin." It was strategically placed in his favorite neighborhood...

Aug 12, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan

NYC's Underground Japanese Eats

A 60-something fellow in Fukuoka who wouldn't have been out of place in Goodfellas invited me to sushi and a スナック ("sunakku"- a place to chat with women while sipping mercilessly expensive tipple). In the sushiya, he kept uttering "unmei" (fate) to me and "garufurendo" (girlfriend) to the young woman at the neighboring table.

Before going to the スナック, we walked into a karaoke place. They didn't have the song he wanted, so he gave the guy the equivalent of 80 bucks and left.

This bizarre saga started at one of Fukuoka's famed nighttime yatai, or food carts.


Aug 10, 2014
BuildingMyBento in Manhattan