Monday, November 22, 2010

Battle of the Cupcake: Cupcake Royalty?

I. Love. Cupcake. Yeah, that's an understatement. More than just being a food snob I am 100% a cupcake snob. It's a way of life. So by no means am I kidding when I say that I take my cupcakes VERY seriously. Let me enlighten you here. Frosting + Cake + Small Size + ZING! = Cupcake

The place: Seattle. The time: As long as I can remember. Challenger 1: Trophy Cupcakes & Party. Challenger 2: Cupcake Royale. Who will win the honor of Felicia's Favorite Cupcake Spot? BUM BUM BUM.

Challenger 1:

Cupcake Royale
Madrona, Capitol Hill, West Seattle, Ballard, Bellevue

My most favorite thing about Cupcake Royale isn't necessarily the cupcakes they bake but how creative they are with their seasonal flavors. Like a lot of Seattle eating establishments, they pay close attention to what's in season and what they can get in plentiful amounts from local farmers (+bonus points!). But most of all they're kookier than their more "sophisticated" counterpart, Trophy Cupcakes.

Bottom line: Cupcake Royale is the hipster chic friend you've always wanted in the form of a witty bakery.

Wild Huckleberry

Probably the most delicious cupcake I've had from Royale. It was light and fruity, and since I got it in the Spring, it was perfect. I would classify this as the fruit smoothies of cupcakes. Unfortunately, it was seasonal so all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that it comes back.


One of their most celebrated cupcakes, but I didn't really get the hype. It was kind of dry and the frosting was more vanilla than lavender to me.

Dance Party

Pink vanilla frosting on a vanilla cake. Classic, but only if you're into a really dense cake (which, unfortunately, I am not.)

My Friends Are Crazy Too

(clockwise from bottom left): Salted Caramel, Lemon Drop, Dance Party, Royal with Cheese, Peppermint Party, Classic

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Take My Word For It: Fave Thai

Araya Vegetarian Place
1121 NE 45th St

Before you go and make any rash decisions on this place because of the big bad "V" word, get rid of your preconceived notions because this is a hate free zone. Araya's is by far my favorite Thai place in the entire city let alone in the U-District. (And yeah, for your information, I have been to all of restaurants on the unbelievably long list of Thai places around campus. So I know what I'm talking about.) Before I go into why other places pale in comparison let's take a gander into my Araya gallery...

Tofu Satay
Skewered fried tofu served with a complementing peanut sauce and picked cucumbers for a little zing.

Phad See-iew
Your usual Thai restaurant fare, but for some reason it's especially delicious. I feel like it might be because they're a vegetarian/vegan restaurant so they make up for the lack of meat flavor with a special blend of herbs and spices. This unique blend creates a more complex (in a wonderful way) flavor that fully deserves my stamp of approval. It still tastes like Phad See-iew, so if you don't want to try something new (I disapprove), then have an especially delicious plate of Thai comfort food.

Pineapple Fried Rice
It's called Pineapple Fried Rice, but the rice to vegetable/tofu ratio is more equal than overpowering. I thought this was really refreshing because I know that if I wanted rice, I would've just ordered a bowl of rice. The sauce is a little sweeter than most fried rice dishes but it's always the nice blend of other flavors that makes this dish really stand out. I highly recommend this dish to anyone who's going to Araya's for the first time and may want to play it on the safe side.

Pumpkin Curry
(This picture sucks but it's the only one I have =[ )

This is my most highly recommended dish hands down. If you ask me face to face about this dish, I will start gushing. Be warned. The pumpkin is more like a starchy squash and it just works so well with the red curry. There are also soft & soft tofus and a variety of other soy-veggie meats that makes the curry really exciting to eat (for me anyway).
Sidenote: I get bored really easily. It's just a trait I've never been able to shake off. The reason I tell you this is because the fact that there isn't just pumpkin but other things in the curry as well is vital to my enjoyment. Simply put, I like my buffet in a bowl. I really, really do.

Not Pictured: Araya's Salad - If you're looking for something lighter, their salads are really good but this one is my favorite. The peanut sauce is so yummy and it goes so well with the tofu and fresh crispy veggies.

When ordering...

Remember to talk to the friendly wait staff! (Maybe I just really like talking to strangers, but still.) If you can't decide what to get they have great input and they really know their stuff. All the waiters/waitresses I've had have been really great about helping me decide and knowing exactly what's in each dish.

Why other places pale in comparison:
  • Thai Tom - This place is honestly so overrated. The food is delicious Thai food, but it's not really special to me. Not to mention the fact that the waiters aren't friendly, the place is cramped, and it's almost impossible to get a seat during normal dining hours.
  • Thaiger Room, Tara Thai (formerly known as AppeThai), Thai 65 - I could really do a separate entry for each restaurant but bottom line: They all. Taste. The same.
  • Banana Leaf - Banana Leaf doesn't taste the same as the others, but from what I've experienced it's a little too bitter for my taste. But their Thai Iced Tea is my favorite. Unfortunately, I had terrible service here the one and only time I've been. So I'm not going back. Who gets the same order wrong twice? Really?! Come on!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Bit Of Bad News

Much to my dismay a certain idiot someone lost my precious precious camera that I document my food adventures with. Lost were my excursions to a Korean taco truck, tofu soup in 80 degree weather, and (of course) cupcakes. =(

Why this matters to you: I'll only be able to continue writing about the few photos I can dig out of my hard drive. This means that whatever I write about won't be recent and it won't really be an update of my gluttonous life. On the plus side, think of it as a way for me to share my vast knowledge of eats with whoever is reading this and hopefully you can use it to your advantage on your own adventures into the edible world.

Hommage to my beloved deceased camera:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pa Pa Pa Pokka Face

Pokka Cafe
(Mongkok shop)

Bottom Line: This place is so damn delicious that I was full to the point of explosion and couldn't resist continuing to eat because the food was so tasty...dessert hadn't even arrived yet. YUM.

Tomato & Mushroom Spaghetti

Sesame St. Sundae
Jelly layered with a light milky cream, a scoop of sesame ice cream, sprinkled with nuts, and accompanied by two sesame filled mochi balls.

Crispy Custard
Chunks of cubed, perfectly toasted toast smothered in caramel sauce, light milky cream, nuts, and accompanied with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Tiramisu Crunchy Dessert
Chunks of cubed, perfectly toasted toast smothered in light, fluffy, milky cream, accompanied with two scoops of tiramisu ice cream, and dusted with a layer of tiramisu powder.

My pasta alone was already very up to par, the dessert was an inexplicable level of expectation exceeded. The Tiramisu Crunchy Dessert could possibly be someone's reason for existence if it isn't already mine. It's THAT good. Describing the taste in mere mortal words seems demeaning to the dessert itself but imagine a swirl of warmth blended with a cool vanilla cream that's combined with the perfect texture of something like really thick French Toast. Yeah, I think I'm in Love.

The only downside is that this restaurant is kind of pricey. Worth it. But pricey.

Sushi Eclipse of the Heart

Sushi One Plus
(Mongkok shop)

Fact: Sushi is really cheap in Hong Kong. Really REALLY cheap.

The Hard Part: Deciding which of the infinite amount of Japanese restaurants to go to.

Answer: You can't really go wrong with place mats like these... :D

Tofu Salad

Shrimp Tempura Roll

Salmon Skin California Roll

Soft Shell Crab Fried Rice

The soft shell crab fried rice was by far my favorite but the best part about this restaurant was that you ordered in letters and numbers and that there were accompanying pictures for everything on the menu. Guesswork: ELIMINATED. This is especially good for my foreign friends who don't speak Canto or forget how to say the number 2 in Canto for instance. =D Because after all, as good as Hong Kong people claim their English is, in the end it will always come down to your ability to adapt and speak Engrish.

Friday, June 25, 2010

In Case of 98% Humidity... HELLA ice cream...

Mango Snowflake @ Rainbow Desserts (Hong Kong)
Mango ice cream in thickened sweet mango juice w/ tapioca and soft tofu

One word really sums this up well and if you can't guess what it is we may have a problem: Mango-y. It's good and the tofu flower makes for an interesting combination but it's not something I would have ordered. As much as I love me some mango, it was kind of redundant. Similar to saying "I'm eating Mango Snowflake" outloud while you're watching me eat Mango Snowflake...

Star War @ Da Dolce (Hong Kong)
coconut gelato on white cake surrounded by 3 chocolate cookies + fruit
(looks like random planets, yes? =])

I only had a bite of this since it's what my sister ordered but isn't it super cute? From what I could tell, the gelato wasn't amazing. You can get more delicious gelato elsewhere but isn't it SUPER cute?

Peach Slushie @ Four Seas Inernational House (ShenZhen)
Self explanatory.

This was really, really refreshing. It tasted like the sweet plum/peach japanese candies they sell in asian stores...but in slushie form. A-maze-ing. Especially when the humidity is almost that of a swimming pool. The only downside is that this was found at a pricey buffet so it'll be really hard to find again if i crave it. *sigh* It's like opening Pandora's refrigerator...

Puppy Love @ Da Dolce (Hong Kong)
Green tea ice cream on soft tofu on red beans.

It seems like a good idea to mix all three together since they're basically asian dessert staples but I'm not sure how I feel about the taste altogether. The gelato wasn't top notch to begin with and the soft tofu was mostly all I could taste as long as the red bean texture didn't overpower everything. BUT it's super super cute, so I was still soo happy when I ate it.c:

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Big and it Banged

Welcome! Come with me on an amazing journey through the twists and turns of my amazing food adventure. I promise to upload photographs of food so delectable you'll want to hate me, describe in detail how the flavors swirled around in my mouth so that you can experience them too, and maybe add my two-cents and a snarky comment here and there.

Basically, I'll be heading off to the motherland soon and thought that this would be a good way to share with everyone what is preoccupying most of my time: FOOOOOD. I'll update as often as possible so be sure to check back soon! With that I'll leave you with a little present...

.. I basically just said DELICIOUS in 5000 words...