For Spring break, I flew to Bay Area. I met up with some friends and ate some great food. If you’re ever in the area, check some of these places out!
My birthday had just passed and I wanted to celebrate again
(I mean, you can never have too much cake right?) with some more cake. There’s a bakery that I really like in the bay that does a really great guava cake. In the past, you had to place an order on it but now, you can just go in and buy it.
They also changed their packaging. How cute is that?
If you like guava, you will definitely like this cake.
If you’re ever around downtown San Mateo area, you need to stop by Suruki Supermarket. It’s a small Japanese supermarket located on 4th street of downtown San Mateo and carries Japanese products–but most importantly, it sells sashimi-grade fish. That’s right, you can come here and buy a platter of delicious sashimi to take home and maybe pick up some sake while you’re there.
The fish department is located all the way at the back of the supermarket and you order by telling them what fish you want and how much in total you would like to spend on the platter. We got a $30 mixed platter of salmon, tuna, squid, and yellowtail. We also got uni (sea urchin) as an add-on that was not part of the $30. They offer two varieties of uni: one from Boston and one from Japan. The one from Japan is a lot more expensive but tastes a whole lot better than the Boston one. The Boston one is kind of bitter in my opinion.
The store of course carries a variety of other things so be sure to check it out while you wait for your fish to be sliced and prepared.
I bought a yuzu-flavored matcha powder that actually tastes pretty great. I mix in with warmed-up almond milk (it has a difficult time dissolving in cold drinks) and you can really taste the citrus flavor of yuzu in it.
So after about a 15 minute wait, our order was ready and we were more than ready to go home and eat! We also picked up some yuzu-flavored sake.
The $30 platter we order can feed about 2-3 people so we might order a little bit more next time. The sake was also really nice. If you like citrus-flavored things, you will like this yuzu sake. Now for some drool-worthy pictures to convince you to go.
Gen Korean BBQ
A friend of mine wanted to meet up while I was in the Bay Area and so what better way to catch up than over grilling meat? It’s been a while since the last time I have been to Gen and so I didn’t mind going to KBBQ again even though I went right before I left San Diego.
We came on a Sunday for lunch and apparently that is a dinner all day menu.
One new thing I did get to try is the wine-soaked pork belly (the purple one). With the first bite, you can really taste the wine it was soaked in and dipped in some sesame oil and salt, it is heaven on Earth for sure!
Some things have changed in the Gen since the last time I visited. Their side dishes have become more Americanized. They use to make Korean style popcorn chicken but now it tastes a little bit more like something you would find at Panda Express. Don’t get me wrong, I love Panda Express but it’s not something I would pay $20 for. We also ordered the spicy rice cakes, something that I love to death, and we got this weird, crunchy thing? I’m not quite sure what it was except it was not the same dish that we ordered last time. The dishes are still good but expect a touch of Asian-fusion when you order them–especially the glass noodles and the popcorn chicken.
Din Ding Dumpling House
It was my last day in the Bay Area and so I managed to get lunch with a friend before catching my flight in the evening. I am a huge fan of Xiao Long Bao. I’ve been a fan ever since I had the first bite on the back of mother’s motorcycle almost 10 years ago. For those who don’t know, XLBs are delicious soup dumplings.
Din Ding is known for their XLB so we decided to order two of them: the regular pork and the crab and pork flavor. We also ordered a tofu puff with thin noodle soup in case the dumplings weren’t enough.
These XLB are jammed packed with hot soup so be careful not to burn yourself. A good way is to bite through the top of the dumpling and suck all of the soup out that way.
I know a Din Tai Fung has opened in the Bay Area recently. My recommendation is to skip the lines at the mall and come here instead. These XLBs here beat Din Tai Fung’s any day.