Category Archives: Vegetarian

Burma Superstar

It was only during my last few weeks in the Bay Area that I got to explore Inner Richmond in San Francisco. Under many friends’ recommendations, I grabbed my birthday dinner at Burma Superstar! This birthday girl was fortunate because she was seated immediately but shortly after, a line developed outside the restaurant’s entrance. Tip: Go on a weekday before 6PM to beat the crowd.

The items on the menu weren’t any surprise to me because I have dined at a Burma Superstar in Oakland as well as a similar establishment in Berkeley called Rangoon Super Stars, both located along Telegraph Ave. I absolutely enjoyed the salads at both establishments and since my friends claimed that the ones here were better, I ended up ordering the same things.

Rainbow Salad

2014-05-29 17.38.34

Tea Leaf Salad

2014-05-29 17.40.37 copy

The Rainbow Salad consists of 22 food ingredients including fresh noodles, papaya, crispy wonton skins and tofu. The Tea Leaf Salad, as its name implies, has tea leafs in it and the flavor definitely stands out in a good way. I believe it was featured in the Food Network too. As you can probably tell from the pictures, they are more interesting and flavorful than your average spinach or kale salad. Personally, I preferred the Rainbow Salad but they were both excellent dishes. I would definitely recommend these dishes to anyone who hasn’t tried them before. Their coconut rice is pretty good too and it basically reminded me of the rice in nasi lemak in Brunei.

I asked the servers if they had any special treats for birthday girls and they brought out two scoops of lychee sorbet with a lit candle on top, yay! And as if that amount of sugar wasn’t enough for the day, I walked over to Schubert’s Bakery to get myself a slice of their popular Swedish Princess.

Beautiful cakes at Schubert’s Bakery

Schubert

No pictures of the actual slice that I got but the Swedish Princess is basically a layered cake with raspberry and custard filling, topped with icing that looked like fondant. It was definitely one of the best mousse cakes I have had but I still have a soft spot for the cakes at Masse’s Pastries in Berkeley.

Advertisements

Goes to Texas…

EATS VEGAN FOOD

Protein 2000 @ Veggie Heaven, Austin

20130607-224338.jpg

Trying out vegan food is always fun because I find it interesting to learn how good (if I am lucky) vegan food can be. Some vegetable proteins imitate the texture of meat pretty well. Protein 2000, which is made of soybeans and drenched in sweet garlicky sauce, is decent for fake meat. It is catered for American taste palates though. I was also intrigued by their brown rice because it came mixed with green peas I presume. Initially I thought it was strange but it started growing on me.

*

GOES TO TEXAS … EATS CHINESE BBQ

Roast Duck and Pork BBQ with Rice @ Din Ho Restaurant, Austin
20130607-224306.jpg

I have not had cravings for baby back ribs or briskets but I was really in the mood for some Chinese food. Yelp led me to Din Ho restaurant, supposedly one of the most authentic and best Chinese restaurants in Austin. My excitement was built up when I could smell the barbecued meat from across the parking lot after getting of the bus and walking towards the restaurant.  The items on the menu were more affordable than I expected since this restaurant was given a two dollar sign on Yelp (the Roast Duck and BBQ Pork with rice cost me less than $9). I thought the roast duck was okay but the BBQ Pork was good. I do not usually like eating Chinese BBQ Pork because I am quite particular with the odor of Chinese pork but I actually liked this one. The meat was juicy and the texture good. However, I do think that both the pork and the duck could be a little more savory. All in all, the barbecued meat was good and this meal beats a lot of Chinese meals I have had in Berkeley for its price.

Eat Clean

Last semester has seen me attempting to eat clean. I have been itching to try quinoa, which is a superfood packed with protein.  I finally got round to making lemony quinoa salads as my post-workout meal and I really enjoyed them!

20130607-223714.jpg

Also attempted to recreate Smart Alec’s Garden Delight Salad but ended up with something else. I decided to roast my mushrooms because after doing some online research, I discovered that it is not recommended to eat raw mushrooms as the digestive system is not really capable of digesting raw mushrooms and the nutrients are only released when cooked anyway.

20130607-223733.jpg

Dressing-lonely meals:

20130607-223748.jpg

20130607-223904.jpg

Stuffed with Salad

A few years ago, it used to be incomprehensible why people would ever order salad and consider it an actual meal. I used to be adamant about eating only cooked vegetables, such as stir fried bak choys or green beans. Fast forward to 2013 and here I am, ordering salads and even preparing my own for lunch. Never would I have thought that I would grow to appreciate salads.

Now I will write a review of the few salads I have tried in Berkeley so far. Currently, my to-go place for salad is Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food. I really like their Garden Chef Salad, which is packed with a lot of ingredients including edamemes, wheat berries, garbanzo beans and alfafa sprouts. Their balsamic vinaigrette is also great! This salad portion is large too but it is more expensive than salads elsewhere.

20130607-223426.jpg

When I am on the north side of campus around lunchtime, I would occasionally hit Northside Cafe. I have tried two of their salads to date — the NorthSide Salad and The Corner. The Northside Cafe as shown below consists of greens with citrusy chicken, almonds, cranberries and raisins. This sweet salad was bathed in balsamic vinaigrette, which I thought was too much, so I would recommend ordering this with the dressing on the side. Great salad to eat if you have a sweet tooth!

20130607-223447.jpg

The Corner, which I ordered because this was the only salad on the menu with boiled egg which I happened to be craving at the time, is pretty good too but had too much meat in my opinion but I obviously did not have to eat all the turkey and black forest ham they served.

The best salad deal in town that I have found has got to be at Cafe Mediterraneum down Telegraph Ave. Their simple green salad which comes with your typical mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and toast, costs only $2.75! The salad is very simple but this is my go to place when I am feeling a little parsimonious.

20130607-223601.jpg

Unhealthy Vegetarian for a Day

My appreciation for vegetarian and vegan food has grown a lot since I have been in California. If you think vegan equals super healthy and bland food, this picture may make you think twice…

Space Cowboy @ Saturn Cafe, Berkeley

20130324-161709.jpg

The Space Cowboy features a burger with veggie patty, onion rings, fake bacon, mayo and regular vegetables found in burgers like lettuce and tomatoes. The patty itself was good but I thought the fake bacon had a weird crumbly texture to it. Still a pretty good burger considering it is vegetarian, and it gave me the illusion that I was eating ‘healthy’ fast food.

Time to Gather

Nettle Pizza @  Gather, Berkeley

20130201-093855.jpg

Finally tried this nice looking restaurant in Berkeley that prides itself in seasonal and organic dishes. My previous attempt to dine here was unsuccessful because I lacked the foresight to make reservations and was too impatient to wait an hour to be seated. Fortunately there was not a line at all for lunch, probably also because of the fact that I went on a weekday.

My friend and I ordered a Nettle pizza with Hen of the Woods, potato, mozzarella, caramelized onions and San Joaquin Gold as toppings. Pretty good — I felt a little healthy eating this than I would a regular pizza. Their Pancetta pizza with egg as a topping looked pretty good too.

So how does this pizza fare? It is good pizza but I would still go for Cheeseboard, Sliver (new pizzeria similar to Cheeseboard but closer to campus!) or Bobby G if ambience were not too concerned about ambience.

Vegan Asian

Courtesy of my friend and Yelp, my first dinner in Palo Alto was a vegan dinner. Vegan food used to be synonymous to yucky back in the day when my only experience with vegan food was in my college dining commons. Ever since I lived in my own apartment, I started branching out of my dining options and discovered that soy meat and mock seafood don’t taste as bad as they sound and can be surprisingly good.

I was pretty excited to see what pleasant surprises Garden Fresh had in store for us. For our main entrees, we ordered honey walnut shrimp and Thai lemon chicken.

Garden Fresh @ Palo Alto, CA

20121126-174017.jpg

The texture of the honey walnut (soy) shrimp was nearly true to the real thing and the dish tasted very good. I was impressed.

20121126-174041.jpg

Thai lemon chicken was good but this one couldn’t fool us into thinking that the meat was legitly chicken.

Razan’s Organic Kitchen

The Jordanian Wrap, stuffed with falafel and cauliflower and lettuce and tomatoes and tahini and grilled onion, was simply delightful. I am always very impressed when an eatery manages to deliver  healthy vegetarian food that is appealing to the taste buds too. The other vegetarian options at Razan’s also looked very tempting, such as their Garden Burrito, Spinach Melt Burrito, Egyptian Wrap, Jerusalem Wrap, Lebanese Wrap and Mediterranean Plate. So many vegetarian food that I would order on my own volition!

I also had one of their non-vegetarian options, the Chicken Shish Kebab Wrap. It was deceivingly very savoury and contrasted quite greatly with the relatively light Jordanian Wrap I had earlier.

Regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or not, you will like what Razan’s Organic Kitchen has to offer!