Monday, November 23, 2009
651 W Duarte Rd
Arcadia, CA 91007
After a revisit to Din Tai Fung, I had to make a stop at Sinbala again. My previous Sinbala post can be found here. Boyfriend and I were really full, so we just got some stuff to go. I ordered a sausage rice combination, an oyster pancake and their eight topping shaved ice.
The to go shaved ice came in two separate containers: one container with the ice, the other with all the toppings. This allows the shaved ice to last longer during the car ride, as the toppings tend to melt the ice quicker. Here is a quick picture of the toppings container:
Here is the sausage rice combination:
I enjoyed this a lot. I wish I had a better picture. The chinese sausage was good and there was a good amount of sausage in the combo. There was also some sauteed cabbage, corn, and tomato and egg.
Here's a close up of the sausage:
Finally, the oyster pancake:
A little too much sauce, but I thought this was a pretty decent version of oyster pancake. There was a good amount of egg and the sticky starch substance that is in oyster pancake. Sometimes restaurants make it so that the starch material is too much and there is barely any egg.
While I was paying for the food, I noticed that Sinbala also sells their delicious sausages, meatball and some other Taiwanese goodies uncooked. I think next time I'll get some meatballs and other items uncooked so I can bring it home and make it.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I have a bone to pick with Martha Stewart. Well, not really. But every time I use one of her recipes, it never seems to turn out right. Maybe it's because I don't have her great baking skills. I don't know what it is. But I've about given up with her recipes.
I found this recipe for Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies. On her site, they looked delicious. The cookies were big, and they crackled nicely. I followed the recipe exactly, but had quite a few problems in the presentation department.
The taste of the cookies came out great. But the large cookies flattened a lot and were really thin. They also burned around the edges. I had to cut down the bake time significantly and make my cookies smaller. A lot of my cookies still came out deformed. None of them looked quite like the ones pictured on her site. Next time I'll try a different recipe.
Boyfriend enjoyed the taste, and didn't mind stuffing on the deformed ones in his mouth. I liked how they tasted too. Very chocolate and fudgy. However next time, I hope to find a better recipe with prettier results
Chocolate Sugar Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, substitute 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used butter)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted
with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and
fluffy. Mix in shortening (or additional butter). Add egg and vanilla;
mix until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and
mix until just combined.
Drop golf ball sized dough onto baking sheets
lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until
edges are firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Din Tai Fung
1088 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 921007
Boyfriend really loved the pork soup dumplings (aka Xiao Long Bao) when I took him to Din Tai Fung previously. So he was totally up for another trip for these these juicy XLB. To mix things up, we decided to dine at the newer location. Din Tai Fung technically has two locations, though they are in the same place and share the same kitchen. They are connected like an "L" shape. The newer location actually has its own parking lot, but there's no other stores or anything else that shares the parking lot.
The newer restaurant is supposed to look more formal. The setting does seem to be a bit more formal, with the nice booths, different decor on the walls, and even the staff is dressed in red uniforms. The older location is a very simple setting. Simple wooden tables, simple chairs, very crowded. You are practically sitting at the same table as the group next to you. I thought I would enjoy the new location setting more, but I didn't. The restaurant has a long narrow space. So it's kind of like dining in a hallway. Our table was literally in front of the cashier, and the rest of the restaurant was blocked from our view by the wall divider. I much prefer the view of tons of tables with the staff flitting efficiently around.
I also noticed that the formal side seemed to attract a different crowd. Whereas on my visit to the older restaurant, the crowd had been predominantly chinese, with the staff speaking to us in chinese automatically, there were a lot of non-chinese on the new restaurant side, and the staff spoke to us in English.
The food, of course, is the same. We stuck with the pork dumplings.
They were served steaming hot and each morsel was as perfect as our first visit. We also ordered the pork chop fried rice again. I forgot to take a picture of it before devouring it. Here's a picture from our previous visit.
After my first visit, I got some recommendations to try the red bean dumplings, so I ordered those. They were tasty. I was surprised at how well the dumpling skin complimented the red bean filling.
Last time we ordered a few boxes of dumplings and fried rice to go. They actually held up pretty well and still tasted great after being reheated. So this time, we ordered some more to go, allowing me to also photograph them.