Cookbookmaniac
  • Wagaya – Modern Japanese Izakaya
    Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Wagaya – Modern Japanese Izakaya
    I am part of a food-obsessed family. My father is a former Yum Cha Chef. My mother is an amazing home cook. All my sisters and I think nothing of opening the fridge at midnight to fry up a meal from scratch. We do not hesitate spending an entire day making dumplings in the kitchen. When I decided to start a food blog, it seemed like I had just announced I was slicing an apple. Gastronmic connoisseurs? Nope, we are foodlovers. We travel far and wide looking for a great bowl of noodles, we pay no attention to the time of day when we are hungry, we bicker about who-ate-what and didn't share it, we gossip about who-went-where and didn't get to go, we fly across the world just to eat and shop, we each have a friend that thinks we are crazy food geeks. Its Chinese New Year and we decide to have lunch at a restaurant my father once worked at. They must've had an off-day, because the food was bland, ordinary or overcooked. We were all seriously disappointed and it was the least that we had spent at Yum Cha. "Dad, is it the Head Chef's day off?" "He would rather be dead than not be in the kitchen. This is terrible." I am not satisfied. There is nothing like a disappointing meal to increase my appetite for the next one. "Hey, let's go out for dinner tonight to make up for this crap." "Where you wanna…
  • American Restaurant Reviews
    Magnolia Bakery – Greenwich Village, New York City
    If you didn't know already, I am a HUGE fan of Sex and the City. Its humour, clever writing, tongue-in-cheek fashion and witty characters, captivated my imagination and perhaps is a large influence in my writing today. When my sisters and I were arranging a trip to New York City, I was adamant that we go on the Sex and the City tour. They all agreed that it would be a lot of fun. We got to visit a few places that were featured in the TV Series. We bought a Manhattan drink at the place where they shot Steve and Aiden's bar. We walked past the stoop to Carrie's apartment (apparently Sarah Jessica Parker only lives down the street from there). We visited the sex shop where the girls bought Charlotte her infamous rabbit. The one place that we visited and left a lasting impression with me was the Magnolia Bakery. It sold old-fashioned cupcakes, layer cakes, puddings and cookies. From opening until closing time, there would be scores of people lining up around the block for this place. It is the only bakery that I know of that needs a bouncer! There is even restrictions on the amount of cupcakes people can buy per person. Yes, they really are that great! The first bite that I took changed my opinion of cupcakes forever. These were unlike any cupcake that I had eaten before. The vanilla bottom was very light and sweet, the butter cream was pillowy soft and…
  • Restaurant Reviews
    Lunar New Year – Tet Vietnamese Festival
    Vietnamese Lunar New Year falls on the same day as Chinese New Year. It was (and still is) my favourite time of the year as a young child. My sisters and I would eagerly wait for the auspicious red packets to be handed to us from our parents and our older relatives. They were considered lucky money and were given to young children and the elderly. We would always compete with each other on who got the most money and red envelopes by the end of the day. It was a lot of fun teasing the least successful recipient. What were we to do with all this money? Personally, I couldn't wait to spend it all on food, rides and games at the Tet Festival! The carnival was once held at a park in Cabramatta, during the suburbs troubled times. It was occasionally overrun by gangsters and I recall on one visit all the rides were shut off because the troublesome teens were dangerously interfering with the rides and swinging off the rafters. The festival eventually outgrew the park and moved to larger grounds at Warwick Farm. Cabramatta has since been ridden of these dirty scoundrels and is now a thriving, family-oriented, Vietnamese metropolis in Australia. Thus, the festival has seen fewer dramatic incidents ever since. Its been 9 years since my last visit. I have been begging Pizzaboy to come along with me in the last few years, so that I could show him my favourite past time. However,…