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Archive for the ‘Snack’ Category

Encountering a sweet monster in Hong Kong

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Wandering Mong Kok, meandering through the market stands just opening up for business, walking in and out of the endless shoe stores, and perusing menus of all the restaurants lining the shopping avenues in the area, attention was grabbed immediately while passing a shop covered in cartoon monsters. Took a closer look and it was a soft-serve stand.

Amongst the bright colors and caricatures, there were a variety of toppings offered for, what appears to be, the standard delicious soft-serve ice cream.

Of course, with a soft spot for peanut butter, it was the first choice – did spend time going back and forth, but it is always good to stick with instincts.

Watched the attendant gather a healthy portion of ice cream into the cone, decorated with the shop’s monsters, followed by sprinkling on powdered peanut butter and garnishing with a pretzel, it looked exactly like the picture on the wall. There was no doubting how amazing it would be and it was exactly what was needed after hours of window-shopping.

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Peanut butter soft serve in the middle of Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Could eat gimbap every day

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Have been fan of gimbap, or kimbap, for years and have yet to have one that was not absolutely delicious. On the last trip to Seoul, had it on several occasions, in a restaurant as a side dish, grabbed some for takeout, and had some off a food cart in Myeongdong.

A longtime fan of sushi, gimbap is a completely different beast. Yes, they have similar looks but the taste couldn’t be more of a contrast and can literally have it nonstop for days – and thinking back, it feels like it may have happened whilst wandering Seoul.

Mostly enjoyed the ones filled with shredded vegetables and delicious bulgogi – probably one of the greatest preparation methods for beef. The ones from the street cart, literally threw those back like they were chips.

Enjoyed gimbap nearly every day in Seoul, it looks so simple, yet it is loaded with delicious flavor.

Enjoyed gimbap nearly every day in Seoul, it looks so simple, yet it is loaded with delicious flavor.

Been eyeing the frozen yogurt

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Stop by the J.Co location at The District-Ayala North Point mall every so often, they offer doughnuts that are very soft and light. Every time, reaching the cashier, always spot the frozen yogurt bar to the left and have always been curious.

As a huge Red Mango fan, had to make the comparison.

On a warm weekend, finally stopped by to give it a try. For one, and this is not an issue with J.Co itself, but moreso the inventory customs of the region, they only had about half of the full array of toppings available. Stop by a Pinkberry or Red Mango, they have every topping and are at the ready to refill when necessary. But, as said earlier, it’s not uncommon for a place to be without half of their menu, it’s a larger issue regarding responsible retail management.

Chose mango, kiwi, and kit kat bars to go with the frozen yogurt. The topping were slices very thin, unlike the chinks of fruit one gets elsewhere. Nonetheless, it looked great.

The yogurt is much sweeter and creamier than other places, am much more accustomed to the sour-y and icier variety other places offer. It did taste good, overall. Probably, if one were looking for frozen yogurt that tasted more like ice cream, rather than yogurt, it’s probably a good spot.

A much sweeter, creamier frozen yogurt variety.

A much sweeter, creamier frozen yogurt variety.

If only the toppings bar was better stocked.

Written by Paulo Loreto

May 29, 2016 at 6:35 AM

士林夜市

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Traveling around Taipei, a visit to one of the many markets around town is a necessity. Visiting during the day, they’re not call night markets for nothing; it’s a different world than the bustling walkways they become when the sun goes down.

When the sun is still up, there is a lot of space for walking and taking photos in the Shilin Market – although, a lot of the establishments stay closed, most likely from being open throughout the evening the previous night. In, what were mostly desolate streets, a striking sight was a long line forming outside one of the stands. Upon closer inspection, the stand was serving up huge slices of freshly baked sponge cake. These were huge cakes, the worker who removed them from the oven, went through a long process of holding the cake over his head multiple times, just to remove the tin and paper that was used in the baking process.

Once cleared and ready for consumption, the cake is sliced into eight pieces, each piece was about a foot long and eight inches deep.

Had to get in line and see what this was all about. Got a slice, it was still hot from the oven, the outside was firm and it smelled amazing, the inside had a bit of a jiggle and had almost a custardy texture. Overall, it was amazing – the best part, it was NT$60, about $1.80.

Shilin Sponge Cake

Written by Paulo Loreto

September 23, 2015 at 6:03 AM

Oyster Omelet in the Ximending

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Wandering around the bustling shopping district, passing through shops offering everything from clothing to electronic accessories, found a corner lined with little food shops. Each spot offered similar dishes, for similar cheap prices, settled on a spot and was given a menu and a sheet of paper to mark up for the cashier.

Ordered a selection of dishes, one being an oyster omelet. All the cooking is done in the front, when you enter, with turnip cakes being fried and oyster omelet being put together, it’s hard to ignore.

Had oyster omelet for the first time in Singapore, even had one a few days before in Taipei, the little shop in Ximending offered one of the tastiest version. The omelet wasn’t just delicious, it had a soft and chewy texture, and the sauce poured on top was just the right amount of sweet.

In the oyster omelet debate between Taiwan and Singapore, Taiwan takes this one easily.

Oyster Omelet

Written by Paulo Loreto

September 18, 2015 at 10:22 AM

Ideal

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Living just a few minutes from Silay City, it’s a quick drive to one of the most iconic restaurants and bakeshops in Negros Occidental, El Ideal. Since Bacolod City Airport relocated and became known as the Bacolod-Silay International Airport, it’s just down the road from El Ideal and the restaurant has become a stopover for travelers both leaving and arriving to the area. It’s been around for many years, still housed in an old Spanish-style building, and was even featured in the Peque Gallaga film, “Namets,” which focused on the diversity of Negrense cuisine.

El Ideal offers a full menu, shelves full of packaged merchandise, and fresh-baked goods.

On visits to the place, guapple and buko pie are available regularly. Buko, or young coconut, is a traditional pie that can be found at many establishments around the country. At El Ideal, the pie is served warm in a deliciously firm pie crust. Coated with sugar on top, it’s a scrumptiously sweet treat for either traveler or just going out for a midday snack.

The mango shake is cool and refreshing and goes well with the pie and coupled together, somehow, not an overload of sweetness.

The mango shake is cool and refreshing and goes well with the pie and coupled together, somehow, not an overload of sweetness.

Written by Paulo Loreto

September 11, 2015 at 1:09 AM

Cream Puffs at Grand Gateway 66

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Walking through Shanghai’s Grand Gateway 66 for the umpteenth time, the upper-level cream puff stand has repeatedly drawn attention with its diverse offerings of delicious sweets. Finally, the day came to approach the counter and order a cream puff. Thinking it was going to be the first of many visits, had to open with the basic cream puff. After some light-hearted back-and-forth, trying to overcome a language barrier, the friendly staff began work on preparing a basic cream puff.

The cream puff pastry is already set, soft and flaky. One of the ladies pulls up a metallic mechanism and sticks the spout of the apparatus into the empty pastry. After a couple pumps, she wraps it in wax paper and hands it over the window. In less than a minute, you have a freshly-stuffed cream puff, available to snack on for a decent price.

The pastry offered both sturdiness and a great consistency, and the cream was delicious. It was everything one would expect from a cream puff, especially one so large and freshly prepared.

Cream Puff

Written by Paulo Loreto

May 3, 2015 at 9:16 PM