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Recreating Japanese hibachi-style cooking at home

My fiance is a huge fan of going out to Japanese steakhouses- you know, big table, one chef, lots of theatrics. I'd like to recreate this at home in some way. I was wondering if anyone had any tips to recreate this experience- I found a recipe for the infamous white sauce, as well as ginger dressing for the salad. However, does anyone have any ideas for the other preparations? I plan on making chicken, shrimp, the vegetables, and noodles. Does anyone know if the proteins are marinated or seasoned in any way prior to cooking? It also appears that the fat they use to cook with is primarily butter, but it looks like it's been infused with some sort of herbs. Are they simply using soy sauce to flavor the vegetables? And lastly, it seems that they use precooked noodles- does anyone know what kind of noodles they use? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

Aug 21, 2008
Luna4 in Home Cooking

Any good shabu-shabu places in Orlando?

Rangetsu on International Drive has both sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. It's a great place with good sushi and other Japanese cuisine as well. It's very touristy (consider the area) but the food quality is good.

Jul 09, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Good seafood place in Orlando to impress a couple New Englanders?

We have some company from New England that want to take us out for seafood tomorrow night. They asked us for recommendations. Since they are treating, I would prefer it be something reasonably priced, but with good quality and selection. Any recs around the Orlando area? I did a board search to varying results, but if possible I would prefer a place that specializes in seafood rather than a nice place that just has a few good seafood dishes.

Jul 05, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Ready-made dough for baking samosas?

Phyllo dough should be available in any typical grocery store in the frozen food section. We've never had a problem getting it. Good luck!

Jun 27, 2008
Luna4 in Home Cooking

Ready-made dough for baking samosas?

I like making samosas with phyllo dough. I know it's not traditional, but I like to bake them to keep them healthier, plus I like the flakiness of the phyllo. I did not use this for a filling recipe, but I did use their strategy for how to work with/bake them: http://www.tastyandmeatless.com/phyll...

Hope this helps!

Jun 26, 2008
Luna4 in Home Cooking

Your fave non-American breakfast food/meal?

I'm from the Middle East, and food there is such an integrated part of the culture. Breakfast is no different. As family and friends are so important there, breakfast tends to be a spread with many different options, so everyone can eat together. A typical breakfast where I am from may include some zaatar with olive oil, fried tomatoes and/or okra, eggs baked in pita bread, hummus, ful (mashed fava beans with spices and olive oil), local cheeses, tons of pita bread to eat it all with, and always, always, tea.

Jun 20, 2008
Luna4 in General Topics

Scared of sweetbreads! Any help?

Okay, so first Stephanie and Richard of Top Chef prepare two delicious looking (and sounding) sweetbread meals, and now I find out the restaurant I am going to tomorrow night offers them. To be specific, the dish is: Braised veal sweetbreads, morel mushrooms, braised carrots and rosemary au gratin potatoes. Now, I consider myself to be a very open-minded eater, and I will try almost anything once. But, for some reason thymus glands make me a little nervous. So tell me- are they worth the hype? This restaurant has AMAZING food- should I take a chance and pass up one of my fave dishes to try sweetbreads? What are they like? What is your favorite preparation?

Jun 18, 2008
Luna4 in General Topics

What would you make for a Danish dinner spread?

My fiance's aunt and uncle are visiting in a few days, and while the whole family is Danish, his uncle is particularly proud of his Danish heritage. We will be cooking most nights that they are here, and I thought doing a night of Danish classics or specialties would be a nice addition. I found a few websites with traditional Danish recipes, but as I'm not very familiar with the cuisine, I'm unsure of what goes with what and I really want everything to just taste good! Any ideas? Thank you!

Jun 17, 2008
Luna4 in Home Cooking

Fava Beans - How can I improve?

My favorite way to make them is typically eaten for breakfast in the Middle East (where I'm from). It's similar to hummus. Basically, you just boil the beans until they are soft. Add some tahnini (to your preferred consistency), a little olive oil, some lemon, salt and pepper, and mash it into a paste. (Some people add chopped tomatoes- I like it better without). Eat it with some warm pita bread. It's delicious and soo easy.

May 27, 2008
Luna4 in Home Cooking

Le Coq au Vin review AND...what's your fave (authentic) ethnic restaurant?

Oops- sorry! Central Florida, Orlando area.

May 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Le Coq au Vin review AND...what's your fave (authentic) ethnic restaurant?

Went to Le Coq au Vin last night for a graduation dinner. Was absolutely amazing! Was very crowded but we got seated right away (had a reservation). Their french bread was delicious, had a flavor that was very subtle and a perfectly crisp crust. I had the Soupe a L’Oignon (onion soup) as a starter, and it was perfect- just enough of everything and the flavors were amazing. My fiance had the Soufflé Au Fromage (cheese souffle), and again, it was excellent. Very light with great flavor. Four our entrees, we had half portions (a great deal if you're low on cash) of the Aubergine Bayou Teche (basically pieces of fried eggplant covered in crab meat and shrimp and smothered in a spicy cream sauce, some veggies) and the Fletan (roasted halibut with a delicious watermelon salad). Both were excellent- the eggplant was so good, I'm going to have to try and recreate it at home. For dessert, the chocolate raspberry souffle, of course! Not too rich, great texture, and a great end to the meal. HIGHLY recommend this place- we are definitely going back.

And on to my question- what are your favorite authentic ethnic restaurants in the area? We would like to try foods from any and all cuisines. Thanks!

May 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Your favorite cooking/food based fiction books?

I recently read and loved The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones. I really liked the amazing descriptions of traditional Chinese foods and cooking techniques intertwined with a pretty interesting story. Do you know of other books like this? They don't have to be about China- any cuisine or time period will do! Thanks.

Apr 15, 2008
Luna4 in Food Media & News

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Hey! You really have no idea how helpful this is. Just because I feel bad and don't want to take up the boards, would you mind giving me your e-mail address so I can ask you a few questions? I got a quote from Arthur's that was much more, AND didn't sound as delicious! Again, I really appreciate the help.

Apr 09, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much. I will definitely look into these options, and I appreciate you taking the time to write all of this out!

Apr 08, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

I would absolutely love more info! Anything you can provide would help- what were your favorite dishes from Arthur's? Were there any unexpected costs? ANY info you have would be helpful! Thanks :)

Apr 07, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Dinner at Le Coq Au Vin- Orlando

From what I could gather from various review sites online, they have smaller portions of all their dishes to make it easier to sample a variety of things- works out well for me since I would love to get a soup/appetizer AND dessert!

Mar 21, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Dinner at Le Coq Au Vin- Orlando

Hey all! Thinking about taking my fiance to Le Coq au Vin for his college graduation- I know it's gotten raves on this board and many accolades, but we have never had this type of French cuisine before and I am looking for some recs as to what's the best on the menu. They have a menu on their website that looks absolutely amazing! I'm very interested in getting the Steak Tartare for an appetizer- never had it and heard much about it. For an entree, has anyone tried the Aubergine Bayou Teche or Canard (I've only had duck one other time, at a Thai restaurant, and loved it)? I assume their Poulet “Coq Au Vin” is their trademark dish- anyone tried this? Here is their menu if anyone is interested: http://www.lecoqauvinrestaurant.com/d...

Thanks for any suggestions- I'm looking forward to an amazing meal!

Mar 21, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Need recommendation for party of 12 near Ritz Carlton Orlando

I completely agree. Roy's is one of my favorite restaurants. It is in the Dr. Philips area on Sand Lake Rd. Seafood is featured in so many creative and delicious ways- the food definitely resembles Japanese food, even with sushi as an appetizer sometimes, and the food is always fresh-tasting and elegantly plated. The atmosphere is also very beautiful. Highly recommended!

Mar 05, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Truuuuuust me, all advice is much appreciated. There's so much advice out there if you want the typical hotel wedding with a budget of $15K+, but that is not me! So I'm having to think outside of the box to get as close to what we want in an affordable way, and the personal experience of others is proving to be my best resource. I will definitely look into that catering company- Puf n' Stuf seems to be the overwhelming favorite of most reception sites in the area, so it's hard getting information on others. We are also looking into a room at a restaurant, it's just going to be sooo had to narrow it down to one type of cuisine! But you're right, it would be cheaper. Thanks so much!

Mar 05, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Thanks for your replies! The main reason Bok Sanctuary was on our list is because we got engaged there, it did seem like a pretty desolate area though in terms of food so I may reconsider that.
I absolutely LOVE your last two ideas though....I did not even consider a museum, and the Maitland Art Center seems very reasonably priced and looks really unique! I will have to check them out in person. Leu Gardens is still on the list, but we've never been there either, so I will have to see the areas in person. Thanks again for your suggestions!

Mar 05, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

What?? Hm, maybe that's why their website is so vague. All they had was a phone number. Guess I will have to call soon...thanks for the heads up!

Mar 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Desperate in Orlando

The area around Disney is FULL of restaurants. First, you gotta start with Disney itself...the resorts and even parks (particularly Epcot) have some reeeally good restaurants...check out http://www.allearsnet.com/din/dining.htm for all the menus...I just ate at Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was great!

You're also not that far from Sand Lake, which is full of great restaurants. I love Roy's, it is a chain but I love the food and atmosphere. I've also heard a lot of things about Fishbones and Timpano's, but I was not too impressed with Timpano's and have not been to Fishbone. If you just drive down that way, you'll find tons of places. Good luck!

Mar 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Wow, again, thanks everyone for your great replies. We are thinking we may get married at either the Harry P Leu Gardens in Orlando, or at the Bok Sanctuary in Lake Wales. I was looking into reception sites in Orlando, but we don't want to get married in a hotel (usually expensive anyway), so I am awaiting a quote from the Ballroom on Church Street...will prob be too much but the pictures looked nice online. Any other suggestions? Thanks again for all your help!

Mar 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Thank you for this reply! I would prefer to have a sit down dinner, and depending on price, maybe some apps while we take pictures post-ceremony (although maybe this would be overkill)? For the entire wedding, we are probably looking at 5-7 K....yes, I know, not much, but my fiance and I are fresh outta college and are paying for it ourselves. However, food (aside from the actual marriage part!) is my number one priority in terms of what I want to spend on. We're going to have very simple centerpieces, have the reception in a very simple location (or a restaurant, depending) etc., simply because I feel providing my loved ones with a good meal that reflects our personalities is much more important. I will check out the places you have mentioned...thank you!

Mar 04, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Catering for wedding reception in Central Florida

Hi all. I'm getting married late summer/fall and one of my main priorities for the wedding is great food. Unfortunately, I'm on a tight budget. Any ideas for great caterers or even restaurants that would be good for a wedding reception in Central Florida for around 50 people? Any past experience would be very helpful. We like pretty much all kinds of food, except I cannot eat pork. Thanks in advance!

Mar 03, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Orlando Thoughts

My fave BBQ place is Fat Boys- as far as I know it's only in Kissimmee, but it beats other places I've tried. I also LOVE Falafel Cafe, and think it's such a hidden treasure in this area. 5 Guys- yes, a chain, but the best burgers around, and if you think you can eat a lot of fries, this will put you to the test!

Feb 17, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Recs near Didney Wurld?

Many of the Disney parks, particularly Epcot, as well as the resorts have excellent food at a decent price- surprising for Disney! The world showcase at Epcot obviously has most of the ethnic varieties covered, but the resorts are not to be overlooked- check out allearsnet.com for a full menu listing of all the Disney hotels. I know you said you wanted to avoid hotels, but these are worth a try. I just had Jiko and loved it. I've heard great things about Boma (also in AK Lodge), as well as Citrico's, Narcoosee's, and bluezoo.

Feb 17, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

Jiko review and question about Lac Viet- Orlando

Went to Jiko at WDW in the Animal Kingdom Lodge for Valentine's Day- had read lots of positive reviews and was NOT disappointed!!

For the appetizer, I got the Taste of Africa, a sample of three dips, including a kalamata olive hummus that was my personal favorite, and three different types of breads. Very good and flavorful. My fiance had the seared tuna, which was delicious, if a little on the small side. The tuna was done well, and there was what seemed like a wasabi dipping sauce that complimented it nicely. Complimentary bread was brought out, which was good but a bit of bread overkill after the Taste of Africa. For my main course, I had the shrimp dish, was was spicy and delicious. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the rice and peas that accompanied the dish were excellent. My fiance had the sturgeon, which neither of us had ever tried. It was DELICIOUS. The fish was breaded and was absolutely succulent and delicious...moist and just amazing. The sauce that accompanied it...wow. If they packaged it, I would buy it immediately. It was a tomato butter sauce that just went with the fish (and pretty much everything else) perfectly. For dessert we shared a lemon tart-type dish with pomegranate sauce and cream. I liked this more than my fiance did, but we both enjoyed it. The Tusker beer is highly recommended as well, and we are currently on the lookout for it in central Florida. Service started out slow, but the server was very knowledgeable about the food and the pacing worked out well. All in all, a great meal set in a appropriately themed restaurant- yes, it's in a Disney hotel, but you forget about that quickly as the food is served. If you'd like to see their full menu, or any menu in the WDW complex for that matter, check out: allearsnet.com.

On to my question! I want to try Lac Viet bistro off Colonial in a few weeks. I've read lots of reviews about it and am excited to try it. Any specific recs, if not for Lac Viet, but for Vietnamese in general? Am sad to say I've never tried Vietnamese...thanks for any help!

Feb 17, 2008
Luna4 in Florida

New member (hi!)- Jiko for Valentine's Day...recs?

Hello! First off, this is my first post here after a few weeks of lurking...I love food and love to eat, but just graduated college and am...well, kinda broke, so I have to pick and choose my culinary indulgences carefully. I depend greatly on recommendations and reviews from fellow food lovers and have found this site to be a great resource!

Okay- on to my question. My fiance and I are going to Jiko for V-day (in the Animal Kingdom Lodge in WDW). I checked out the menu at http://allearsnet.com/ (a great resource for Disney restaurants- has current menus, reviews, etc.), but was wondering if anyone here had any specific recommendations that I MUST try? I love spicy, will eat anything except pork, so I'm open to all recs. Thanks in advance!

Feb 05, 2008
Luna4 in Florida