Last weekend, my friends D&A hosted a Diwali party at their home. True to her Southern roots, D is an absolute hostess with the mostest, and cooked the most delicious home made Indian feast…while six months preggers! You can imagine how inadequate we all felt. Given my sweet tooth, the highlight of the meal was the chai spice cupcakes…basically two things I love combined into one. Genius!
Chicago Steakhouse Experience in Shanghai at Roosevelt Steakhouse
Last Tuesday was Joce’s birthday, and I dined with, her parents, and Andrea at Roosevelt Steakhouse. I had heard so much about this place from my steak loving friends (i.e. Eugene) and was excited to finally try it. I’m always a little hesitant when trying Western restaurants in Shanghai, but this place met my expectations and even exceeded them with a few standout dishes!
First off, the steak was delicious. We ordered a porterhouse and a NY Strip to share between the five of us, and the meat was juicy and flavourful, and perfectly cooked Medium Rare as we had requested.
The soups were also delicious. I had a lobster bisque while the others had the French onion soup.
The sides were also good, particularly the mac & cheese: creamy and not too cheesy. It had us reminiscing about mac & cheese from our college days - for me it was Annie’s mac & cheese while for Joce and Andrea it was all about Kraft’s (frighteningly orange and artificial-looking) mac & cheese! The creamed spinach was a little too creamy for my liking, and the bone marrow with foie gras was way too oily and rich.
We also ordered a tuna tartare which I thought was quite good.
These days, my current obsession is ice cream. When I was in NYC last month, I gorged on il laboratorio del gelato, Grom, and Je & Jo. The first two are old favourites while Je & Jo was a recent discovery, thanks to my friend PK who brought over some cardamom ice cream with snickerdoodle cookie bits for dinner one day. Absolutely delicious! Mixing in cookie bits elevates the ice cream to a whole new level. I’m hooked!
While in the Bay Area, I had Bi-Rite, Humphry-Slocombe, and Three Twins. I had heard about Bi-Rite from so many people and had to try it for myself. Coincidentally, it was just down the block from Bev’s place where I was staying. Bi-Rite is as good as people describe it, and I loved the salted caramel ice cream. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, then Humphry-Slocombe may be for you. Their flavours are unlike anything you’ve ever heard of (case in point - Jesus Juice Sorbet and Elvis the Fat Years) and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Weird but delicious! I had Three Twins ice cream at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa. I love everything about that market and Three Twins is no different. The Sea Salted Caramel and Strawberry Je Ne Sais Quoi ice cream were both rich, creamy, and delicious. My grandma enjoyed it too!
Now that I’m back in Shanghai, I’ve been indulging in MooMoo ChaCha ice cream, a brand new line of home made ice cream made by my friend Ev. Ev is Malaysian-Chinese and has created a line of ice cream with Southeast Asian-inspired flavours. Yes, that means pandan. And lemongrass. And mango sticky rice! My favourites are the lemongrass with candied ginger and the pandan with peanut brittle. Everyday I come home from work, make a beeline for the freezer, and treat myself to a bite or two or ten of MooMoo ChaCha. Because, as Ev says, the world needs more Cha Cha…
“Whenever you feel that creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices say you can’t make a difference, whenever somebody tells you to set your sights lower — the trajectory of this country should give you hope. Previous generations should give you hope. What young generations have done before should give you hope. Young folks who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat in, from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, didn’t just do it for themselves; they did it for other people.”—President Obama, 2012 Barnard Commencement Speech
Insightful article from The Atlantic by James Fallows which echoes some of my own observations, especially the following paragraph:
"At an individual level, and as an accumulation of daily interactions over the years, my experience is of the great permeability of Chinese culture. People are easy to meet, to get to know, to laugh or argue with. And in its vastness, today’s China contains people who belong to a variety of universalist faiths, including Islam, Christianity, Baha’i, and Buddhism. But in its international dealings as well as in most of its domestic operations, today’s China gives more weight to duties and ethics based on personal relations than on abstract principles of how people in general should be treated. It is too pat to put the ethical system the way one Chinese friend did: "Everything for my family and friends; nothing for anyone else." But a variant of these sentiments goes through many aspects of Chinese life."