It's official! I'm back from the abyss of the lack of digital pictures to share. Whoopee! Anyways, I've been enamored with a few Chinese pop stars rcently. I saw "Curse of the Golden Flower" a few weeks ago and found out at the end that Jay Chou, a super popular Chinese singer plays one of the main characters! He's pretty cute in the movie and I liked his character, so I proceeded to find out more about his music. Along the way, I raided my sis' music collection and found another popular Chinese singer with a wonderful voice, David Tao. So I've been listening to their songs (mostly just their love ballads) non-stop (... I'll probably get sick of it soon *hah*). Check out my playlist if you have some time.
Now, on to less frivolous stuff: FOOD! As I mentioned previously, I did quite a lot of travelling in the past few weeks: one for my sis' graduation in Boston and another trip to LV with the family. Boston was quite hectic because not only did I stay merely for the weekend, my parents and I helped my sis pack up her shit load of stuff. Of course, despite the busy-ness, we found time to get bubble tea and have some much-needed girl talk!
And yes, my little sister graduated cum laude (whatever that means) from the BC school of management! I'm so very proud of her and so are my parents!
After the graduation ceremony, we went for lunch at a South End spot that supposedly has pretty good seafood, B&G Oysters. The restaurant belongs to same group as No. 9 Park, a posh Boston restaurant that has been rated to be in the top 10 American restaurants by Gourmet magazine. Here are what we had.
My father had the monkfish over a bed of veggies and asparagus, which was pretty well-cooked but lacked any exciting flavor.
I had their beautifully-plated lobster roll with some pretty damn good fries and stringy coleslaw-like thing (which I didn't touch, I have a thing against coleslaw). The lobster was slightly overcooked, giving it a rubbery texture but the mayo:meat ratio was pretty low, which is good in my books. I just hate soggy mayo salads! The roll was just a hot dog roll bought off the shelves of supermarkets, which was a tad disappointing. I was hoping for some freshly-baked demi-baguette but maybe that's just the foodiva in my talking *winkz*
My mum had the halibut with an olive consomme and tomatoes. It is a very appealing plate but the flavor was lacking.
My sister's friend had this cioppino-like stew. I didn't get a taste because it would've been plain rude to impose my fork/spoon on an innocent stranger's lunch!
My sister ordered a delicious-sounding dish with diver scallops, gnocchi, peas, lardon and truffle emulsion. Her dish was actually the one I was most excited about but it disappointed. The gnocchi was quite good: pillowy, chewy and tasty. The truffle flavor was quite exquisite also. but the star of the dish, the scallops, were way overcooked and were rubbery! I suppose we should've ordered some oysters because it is what they're known for. But really, what special skills does it take to just buy the freshest oysters out there and serve them raw? Based on our lunch there, it's not really worth a return trip. Most of the cooked seafood disappointed and their price point isn't even that great (that's the cheapskate in me!).
Due to the lack of adventurous eating in Boston, we more than made up for it in Las Vegas. LV is my aunt Elly's favorite place ever, it seems. In recent times, she hasn't failed to make a pilgrimage to LV every year. When I was little, I used to travel with her family and LV was one of the destinations. It had been a few years since I had been back to LV and boy, what a transformation it has been! Some of the older hotels are gone and there are many flashy, new ones mushrooming on or near The Strip. Everything about LV was so opulent, rich, garish and overpriced! However, most of the time, the food was pretty fresh and delicious. I guess it better be at that price!
The first meal I had in LV was at "Okada", a Japanese fusion restaurant in the Wynn hotel.
We started with a salad and sauteed mushrooms, which combined to yield a very delicious flavor!
We also shared a lobster roll and a spider roll. I didn't (and still don't) think that lobster should be served with rice at all. Without any accoutrements, it's pretty plain and the joy in eating lobster, in my opinion, is enjoying its smooth texture with maybe a dipping of butter and a bite of bread. The lobster maki roll turned out to be just ok even with the sauce on top of it but the spider roll was pretty awesome. I mean really, what deep-fried food isn't?
The entree I ordered was a broiled cod with soy sauce. It was perfectly cooked and had a succulent, almost creamy texture, which I found very unusual for fish!
My sis had a fish + foie gras dish that was also delicious. I've only had foie gras once, when my cooking whiz of a cousin, Helen, shoved it down my throat one Thanksgiving. It was a bit strange but I enjoyed it. So I thought the whole fish + foie grad combo was a bit odd, but the combination was actually quite good. The simplicity of the fish and the richness of the foie gras made good partnership.
My mum, as usual, stuck with her favorite Japanese restaurant staple, salmon teriyaki. The one at Okada was slightly overcooked for my taste but had a nice teriyaki flavor.
My father had some beef bowl thing that he thoroughly enjoyed.
We also had breakfast at one of the cafes in the Wynn hotel. The breakfast menu is simple and straightforward, offering breakfast standards such as eggs, granola and cereals. I had a crab omelette that was just ok. The crab was obviously canned and it wasn't even enveloped in the eggs, like an omelette should! The eggs were slightly overcooked and wasn't seasoned enough.
My sister's eggs benedict though, was top notch. The eggs were nicely poached, the ham was delicious and the muffin was toasted well. To top it off, the hollandaise was very tasty.
My father had the strawberry waffle. The name was slightly midleading because I thought the strawberries would be incorporated in the batter. It turned out to be plain waffle with a huge, fresh pile of ripe strawberries! I absolutely adore berries. I should've had the strawberry waffle instead!
Our cousin ordered the yogurt granola bowl that also had berries (I'm jealous!) drizzled with honey. It was very refreshing and beautiful!
I really enjoyed hanging out with my family in LV. Besides engaging in pure gluttony, we caught a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, and grand it was! The Grand Canyon was just 100% majesty and stark beauty. It would've been more awesome if we had savored the sight during sunrise or sunset when the lighting would've been more dramatic. It would've been better also if the helicopter ride wasn't so nauseating. My sis and I almost threw up our breakfast after the choppy ride there! In addition, we were able to catch the Cirque du Soleil show based on the Beatles lives and work, Love. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I loved the dancers' expressiveness and pure energy. I find LV to be a city of not only sin but also of excess and opulence. Although I had fun visiting the city of sin, I don't think I can live there. I wouldn't be able to bear the heat! And how on Earth can I cook if it's so hot out? Here are more decadent pics of my Vegas adventure!