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Indonesian Food Bazaar - San Jose - This Sunday 11/16

Anyone planning on going to the Indonesian Dutch Summer Bazaar in San Jose this Sunday, June 7? It's at Napredak Garden (Behind Napredak Hall Building), 770 Montague Expy, SJ.

From the Y! Funtips group:
Indonesian Dutch Summer Bazaar on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at
Napredak Garden (Behind Napredak Hall Building)
770 Montaque Expressway, San Jose, CA.
Open to Public from 10 AM to 3 PM.
Entrance donation: $3/adult. Children are free.

Lots of food vendors so you can fill up on Indonesian satay and rice plates like nasi kuning and otherr foods.
Also some vendors selling other things like purses and t-shirts and last year, plants for the garden (like kaffir lime trees)

Jun 04, 2009
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

The Mitsuwa store in SJ usually has people roasting the small chestnuts on site in the fall/winter. I was there today & they were selling the roasted chestnuts out front, but weren't roasting them on site. Also, today there was a sign saying they were Chinese Chestnuts, but they were the same small chestnuts they've had in previous years.

675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

Nov 16, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Hainen Chicken Rice down in Silicon Valley?

Layang Layang in SJ (near Cupertino) might have it. I've heard from friends that are Singaporean that the restaurant is pretty good/authentic.

Layang Layang
1480 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

Sep 29, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

OMG - George Morrone is back!

I was there last night w/ my husband & a couple of friends. I believe there's one night left in the series. However, we overheard that they're trying to extend it.

The dinner was so-so. There were some amazing dishes & some dishes that were "eh". The service was a bit lacking. Our server apologized after the soup for taking so long between courses. When they finally brought out the next course, one of our friends asked if it is normally served after the 2nd course listed on the menu. Turns out they had forgotten our 2nd course & took back the 3rd course so that we could eat the food in order.

Here's what we had:
Cream of mushroom soup w/ a chanterelle fritter & garlic custard - AMAZING! Easily the best dish of the night. The soup was incredible, and the fritter was light, not too greasy. The garlic custard sounded weird, but when paired w/ the soup, they worked well together. One of our friends kept asking for more soup anytime a server or George (very friendly!) asked if we needed anything. He asked so often, he George did send out some more soup (w/o the fritter & custard, but still excellent soup).

The next course was either gravlox or quail w/ roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar & something else. My husband thought the quail was just ok, nothing special. My friend's was a little too rare for her. She had to eat some bread w/ butter (which was delicious BTW), to get the bloody taste out of her mouth. The gravlox on the other hand, was very yummy. I can't remember what came w/ it, but it was excellent.

The third course (they brought out new ones) was either boneless lamb or alaskan black cod. The lamb looked good, but I think my husband thought the best part of the dish was the robuchon pureed potatoes (which were excellent). The black cod was waay too salty. It came w/ a chorizo broth, clams & small cubes of yummy potatoes which were good. But the baby leeks that came w/ it didn't really seem to go.

The desserts were great. I had the creme fraiche fritters w/ concord grape jam & a flavored creme anglaise. My friends preferred the creme anglaise w/ the fritters, but my husband & I both preferred the jam. The jam was so good, I scooped a spoonful & ate it when the fritters were gone. I should have asked for bread to go w/ it. Everyone else got the "German" chocolate cake w/ bi-rite toffee ice cream, chili oil & bits of coconut. This dessert was also excellent.

Going back to the service, I had gotten one of their sodas (very good)... they came by & asked if I wanted another one & I wasn't sure, I wanted to look at the menu again, and they cleared my drink away! I had one or two more sips left, but oh well. They also tried to clear the bread basket away but we asked for more. When we were done w/ dessert except for one lone bite of chocolate cake, a server tried to take it away too! She didn't ask if I was finished, but just tried to take it. I told her I wanted the last bit and grabbed my spoon, and the server HOVERED over me. Since the cake came w/ ice cream & chili oil, I wanted to get some of it on the last bite of cake, and she just turned her head away but continued to hover over me. It was really weird.

Overall the experience was ok, but they definitely need to work on their service. The atmosphere was nice, it's a cozy restaurant & it was nice seeing George checking on the tables. He was very friendly. He even enjoyed a glass of wine w/ one of the tables.

Sep 16, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Mul naengmyon near Mountain View?

I was at Seoul Gom Tang a few weeks ago in Santa Clara and the bibim naengmyon was awesome! I had to go back 5 days later to get it again. :-) They had mul naengmyon, too, which was the reason why we were there (my aunt requested it for her b-day meal). The oxtail soup they give you w/ the naengmyon was really good too.

Seoul Gom Tang
3028 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

Aug 10, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Business dinner Palo Alto

Cafe Torre in Cupertino is nice, not too fancy. Their spinach salad is wonderful. And if they have gnocchi on the menu, get it.

Cafe Torre
20343 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

Jul 17, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Peninsula afternoon tea recs?

If you really want to go to Lisa's Tea Treasurers, there's supposed to be one in Menlo Park.

Jul 17, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Good bakery in the South Bay area

I second Aki's. I ordered a cupcake cake from there about 2 yrs ago & it was a big hit w/ the kids.

May 05, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Thai food in and around Cupertino?

forgot to mention..."drive too far" (Cupertino to Krung Thai) = 10-15min w/o traffic & 20-35min w/ traffic. Post-kid, I've gotten too lazy/busy to drive that far for Thai food, and I used to drive an hour to get Ethiopian food when I was college.

May 05, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Thai food in and around Cupertino?

Another vote for Krung Thai. But if you don't want to drive too far, there's a couple of decent Thai places in/around Cupertino. Olarn Thai & Thai Delight are both in Cupertino & pretty good.

For Malaysian/Indonesian food, Layang Layang in SJ (on the Cupertino border) is yummy. I've noticed though that my Indonesian/Singaporean friends really like it here, but my Malaysian friends prefer Spice Islands in Mountain View.

May 05, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Bakeries: Sugar/Butter/Flour, La Patisserie, or Icing on the Cake?

Aki's is now open Sundays & Mondays.

from their website:
Our Store Hours Are:
Monday through Friday:
7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
7:30 AM to 5:30 PM
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Apr 19, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Dutch Processed Cocoa

Good to know! They had it in stock the last time I was there, but I had already purchased another box of Droste...m/b it's time for me to pick one up & try making 2 batches of brownies to see if there's a difference between the two...

Mar 24, 2008
smlee in General Topics

Dutch Processed Cocoa

Droste is sold at my local PW grocery store, which I bought a couple of weeks ago. Also, Peet's has a Dutch Cocoa. I haven't tried it yet, as the couple of times I wanted to buy it my local Peet's was out (around the holidays).

Mar 23, 2008
smlee in General Topics

South Bay - French Restaurant recommendations?

If you can up your price point to <$30 for entrees, Gervais Restaurant in downtown Saratoga is pretty good. The lobster bisque & asparagus soup were both delicious, as well as the foie gras - seared & terrine. My husband said the duck was ok, and I thought the quail was pretty good. The chocolate souffle was yummy as well! Be sure to order it w/ dinner if you want it, as it takes 20min.

They had a small private room that fit m/b 10 or so people... The restaurant is in an old Victorian house, so m/b you could one of the rooms for your party if the private room is too small.

Gervais Restaurant
14560 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
Phone: (408) 867-7017

Mar 17, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Clotted Cream

I've only ever had store-bought/jarred clotted cream (I'm so jealous of those that have had the real thing!). But I thought it was wonderful on scones w/ lemon curd or jam.

If there are places that do afternoon tea nearby, you may be able to order frozen scones from them. I ordered a bunch for a baby shower that I hosted, and it was so lovely to have warm-from-the-oven "fresh" scones w/ clotted cream & lemon curd. (Note: I've never made scones before, so I went w/ the frozen ones.) Whole Foods & Trader Joe's also sells scones, that I would pop in the toaster oven & eat w/ the cream/curd, but I thought the frozen ones that were baked fresh tasted better.

Feb 05, 2008
smlee in Home Cooking

can I make clotted cream?

Do you have any tea houses or fancy hotels that offer tea near you? Here in the SF Bay area, we have places that serve "afternoon tea" or "high tea" where you can purchase Devonshire cream/clotted cream. Some of our local grocery stores also sell Devonshire cream, either in the dairy section or in the international foods section, in glass jars next to the lemon curd.

I don't know how it compares to fresh clotted cream from England, but I thought they were yummy. I've never had anyone try to pass of whipped cream for clotted, but m/b because it's fairly easy to purchase here.

Feb 02, 2008
smlee in Home Cooking

Best korean bibimbap ingredients/toppings

I've been afraid to try the yuk hwe version, although I love yuk hwe & used to beg my mom for it when I was little. Something about not trusting a restaurant w/ raw beef...although, I'm funny & will trust them w/ raw fish.

My favorite is Hwe Dup Bab - sashimi (usually tuna & salmon), asian pear (or sometimes w/ fuji apples) and a bunch of other vegetables w/ a spicy, sweet, vinegary gochuchang sauce.

Feb 01, 2008
smlee in General Topics

Homemade waffle mix - how far can I go

I tried this recipe a few weeks ago & thought they were good. I only made a few waffles & refrigerated the batter w/o any problems. They were fine the next day, possibly even better...but that could have been b/c I was using real butter (vs. Earth Balance/Smart Balance on the waffle iron like I did the first day.

Jan 27, 2008
smlee in Home Cooking

Blue Cheese made with Penicillin mold?

I just bought some blue cheese from Trader Joe's and noticed that it listed Penicillium roquefortii as an ingredient.

I usually don't read the ingredient list on cheeses, so I don't know if the other blue cheeses we've bought had penicillium roquefortii, too.

Jan 27, 2008
smlee in Cheese

i bought blue cheese (and almost gagged) what?

I heartily dislike blue cheese myself, but my husband loves it. As part of cheese course, at a restaurant recently, they gave us some honey & told us to try it w/ the blue cheese. It was amazing! I was able to eat some of the blue cheese w/ honey & grapes, when I usually hate even the smell of it. However, I'm not familiar w/ Danish blue cheeses, and from the other comments, it may be too strong even w/ the honey...

Jan 27, 2008
smlee in Home Cooking

Vegan child!

This website might be helpful- The blogger also wrote a cookbook The Vegan Lunch Box, based on the vegan lunch recipes she made for her son. She has several of her recipes on her blog, too.

Jan 26, 2008
smlee in General Topics

How To Achieve the Thick Consistency of Peet's In-Store Drip Coffee? [Moved from San Francisco Bay Area board]

Not all burr grinders, filters & drip makers are equal. We grind our coffee very fine (almost espresso) grind in our Gaggia burr grinder (if you get it ground at Peet's, get it ground to "7").

We have a Capresso drip coffee maker, which makes a HUGE difference in the quality of coffee that comes out. And it has a special setting for making 3-5 cups that slows down the water or something. My husband uses it even when we make 7+ cups, because he says it makes it better tasting coffee.

We use the unbleached paper filter...found it was better than the Swiss Gold filter. (The paper filter was recommended by a barista at Peet's.) The Gaggia grinder & the Capresso coffee maker are both sold at Peet's & were highly ranked on

We use bottled 'drinking' water instead of filtered water. The water in our area has a funky taste, even after being filtered, and it does affect the taste of the coffee.

And as others have mentioned, make sure you're using enough coffee - between 1.5-2 Tbs of grinds for every 6oz cup.

Jan 25, 2008
smlee in General Topics

new to south bay - where do single people go to eat?

Try Santana Row (across the street from Valley Fair) in SJ. It's usually packed w/ single people. Left Bank, Straits, Rosie McCann's, etc., they all seem pretty full of single people in the evenings. I stopped going for dinner because of the crowds & it seemed a bit like a meat market.... My single co-workers all love hanging out & getting drinks after work there.

Jan 25, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Sushi Monster Devours Peninsula: The Big List v. 3.0

Sushi Maru-Sunnyvale, has apparently moved to Milpitas. Most of the Sunnyvale Town & Country center has been bull-dozed recently.

I find it surprising that Sushi Maru ranked so high, but I guess I've been ordering more of the cooked dishes vs. the nigiri. Being a cheap sushi-boat place, I had avoided most of the sushi there...

Oh well, I'm in Cupertino, so I have Sushi Kuni & Kitsho still.

Jan 25, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

Prawns with Walnuts that are pecans

I'm also in the SF Bay Area (South Bay), m/b the pecans, instead of walnuts is a SBay thing? Most of the Chinese restaurants that I've had this dish uses candied pecans. And I do prefer the pecans over the sometimes bitter walnuts.

Jan 17, 2008
smlee in General Topics

South Bay Bakeries: Sugar/Butter/Flour, La Patisserie, or Icing on the Cake?

If it's not too inconvenient, you or someone in your party, can pick up the cake Sat. & keep it refrigerated 'til Sunday. That's what we usually do, and I've never noticed a loss in flavor or texture.

Jan 15, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Bakeries: Sugar/Butter/Flour, La Patisserie, or Icing on the Cake?

no, but their custard horns are good

Jan 14, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area

South Bay Bakeries: Sugar/Butter/Flour, La Patisserie, or Icing on the Cake?

South Bay native here, if it's not too far, I'd recommend Aki's Bakery (it's close to downtown SJ, but pretty close to Hwy 280). It's under new ownership (as of last year), but they got the recipes from the original owners (a local Japanese family). My family's been getting our cakes (incl. my wedding cake) there for over 2 decades.

Their Guava cake is one of their specialties, but their chocolate, custard, pretty much any cake are delicious. You can custom order a cake or order one of their 'dessert cakes'. The Guava, Mocha or Chocolate Delight cakes are all delicious, as is the Aki's Special, Chocolate Dobash, Choclate Decadence (for a richer cake).

Their cakes are lighter, but not spongey like the Sogo/Sheng Kee cakes, but lighter than La Patisserie or Icing on the Cake (IMO over-rated & overly dense - I've never been able to finish a slice & I LOVE cake). I haven't tried Sugar, Butter Flour...

Aki's Bakery
355 Meridian Avenue
San Jose, Ca 95126
Tel (408)-287-5404
Fax (408) 287-0660

Jan 14, 2008
smlee in San Francisco Bay Area