Tag Archives: Food

Katsu San

During the pandemic, I remember all of us being sick of everything. We were having the same routine, food, and work every day and it felt good to do something different. One night I organized a fancy dinner, an excuse for us to get out of the house and go for a walk, dress up out of our PJs, and eat food other than what we usually were having. It was something to do in a time of nothingness.

When Katsu San opened up they were only doing take-out at the time, no dine-in (I mean no restaurant was doing dine-in, it was still the peak of covid). My dad had talked about this new place opening up and was very eager to order it. When placing our order we had no idea it would be SO busy, to pick it up there were tons of people outside waiting for their katsu sets. In their take-out options, you could either get Tonkatsu or Chicken Katsu, so pork or chicken katsu. Either of the options come with rice, cabbage, pickled vegetables, and miso soup almost all in compact packaging.

It’s funny, it doesn’t matter if it’s just me, just my brother, or even with the both of us, if our dad is left alone with us and doesn’t want to cook he always says “Let’s go to Katsu”. So, when our mom was headed on a flight to Manitoba for work, my dad texted me saying we are going to Katsu once I was done working. With some miscommunication, I ended up meeting the two of them at Katsu and waited about 30 to 40 minutes for a table for three. There were so many people inside and other people on the waiting list that every time a table was cleared, we thought it was for us (unfortunately it was not).

Once getting a table, we already knew what we were going to get. Aidan got the Chicken Katsu set, my dad the Tonkatsu set, and myself the Cheese Katsu Set. For reference, it is what we get every time (except for me because they don’t allow the Cheese Katsu Set for takeout I get the Tonkatsu set then). All orders, in person, come with miso soup, pickled vegetables as well as unlimited rice and cabbage. Since we had arrived and were seated pretty late, they did the last call for anything and my dad got extra cabbage.

Cheese Katsu Set with rice, miso soup, & cabbage

The actual food is so good, I love katsu. It’s basically just breaded meat like chicken nuggets or anything, but much better. I think it’s cause it actually tastes like meat rather than chicken nuggets that taste fake (as good as they are). Along with how almost everything else is unlimited it is great, you can snack on some cabbage and rice along with your meal. The Cheese Katsu is to DIE FOR, I absolutely love it. Being lactose intolerant, who doesn’t love cheese? Of course, something they can do is add more meat to the set so that the ratio of meat:cheese is perfect, but nonetheless it is still amazing. I give Katsu San a 5/5.

PLOG: Another Hotpot Session to Spice Up Your Life After Midterm!

Hi there, welcome back to another plog! Finally, got the chance to go out, eat hotpot and relax a bit after a midterm. This term had been quite draining with the workloads and bonuses. But it is almost there! Anyway, Read More

The post PLOG: Another Hotpot Session to Spice Up Your Life After Midterm! first appeared on Tmylife.

Coraline Cookies

I watched Coraline the other night while I was knitting. I’ve found recently that enjoying movies and music from my childhood helps with stress from adult-related things like school and work. Coraline, though absolutely and completely terrifying, is nostalgic for me. Then I remembered I saved a recipe on Pinterest for button cookies inspired by Coraline’s ‘other mother’, and my mum has been asking me for cookies for the past week, so there we go.

Image credit: Coraline (2009)

The original recipe by Bakerella calls for peanut butter cookies. I like peanut butter, but my favourites are chocolate cookies. I found a recipe for chocolate dough from Cafe Delites, which I realized may have been a mistake- they taste wonderful, but the chocolate chips weakened the structure of the already-tiny cookies, and made them a little cracked around the edges. Oh well, I prefer taste over looks anyway.

Unbaked chocolate cookie dough rolled into small balls on a baking sheet

Make sure you use a bottle cap to test the size of the dough balls, so they don’t become ginormous buttons. I used, as directed by Bakerella, a bottle cap (make sure it’s plastic, not metal, so you don’t burn off your fingertips) to make a circular indent in the middle of the buttons and then used a skewer to poke four holes in the middle to make the button shape.

I realize they look like little poops before they’re baked. But they taste good, promise. They’re perfect alongside black tea or coffee if you, like me, need something strong and slightly bitter to offset sweet things.


Coraline Cookies by Bakerella

Best Fudgy Chocolate Brownie Cookies by Cafe Delites

Phnom Penh Restaurant (Food)

This is another classic that has stood the test of time and has emerged as one of the most successful restaurants in Vancouver. Unless you arrive once their doors open or right before they close, waiting for a table can take up to 90 minutes during peak lunch and dinner times. Phnom Penh has brought together Cambodian and Vietnamese flavors together and formed a true golden gem. The restaurant is family-owned, and staying true to their traditional roots is one of the many things that make them successful. No visit is complete their “golden trio” has been ordered, and I do just that at every visit.

#35 Filet Beef Luc Cac on Rice with Egg
Deliciously saucey meat served on top a bed of rice is one of the most comforting meals for anyone. First of all, this single dish sits at virtualy every table and has become a cornerstone item. Because of the sheer volume that this dish is being served, the restaurant is able to maintain a much higher quality of meat that is extremely fresh. For $10.95, this is virtually a bargain and a musttry for everyone that can eat beef.

#71 Marinated Butter Beef
Butter beef is really just a name for how smooth the meat is, rather than the preparation itself. A flat slice of beef is plated and topped with fried minced onions and an assortment of Asian green herbs. The marinade itself is probably made up of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and some sweetener like sugar or honey. Being another staple, This sells extremely well and would thus also ensure higher quality and freshness.

#78 Phnom Penh Deep-Fried Chicken Wings
Arguably the best chicken wings found in Vancouver, this lightly battered
crispy but flavourful dish has made many people rethink what it actually means. For starters, I am a believer that the oil used to fry to chicken wings have previously fried large amounts of shallots, garlic, ginger, and green onions. The chicken wings simply have a depth of flavor that is unachievable through marination alone. Seasoned perfectly, this dish is certainly friendly to anyone open to eating meat and is an absolute must.

Phnom Penh is one of my favorite restraints in Vancouver. The dining area is always loud and crowded which is very reminiscent of eating in a classical restaurant in Asia. Despite not being a very luxurious restraint, they more easily appeal to people with small and large wallets increasing their overall popularity.

The Hottest ‘Instagramable’ Restaurants in LA you can’t miss!

It comes as no surprise that Los Angeles is a famous food palace, you can always find worldwide cuisine and some unusual restaurants in this beautiful sunshine city, food choices would never be repeated here. Want to know which restaurants are the hottest on Instagram now? let’s have a look together!

1.The Ivy (LA)

Flowers, artistic and vintage, those are bright features of this popular LA restaurant-the Ivy. If you want to have an unforgettable lunch in a wonderful garden, I really recommend you to come. Recently it has become a new favorite of the ins-bloggers, tourists and celebrities, if you are lucky enough, you can enjoy the cuisine while takes a close look at them. I really like the building itself, like the restaurant introduced that-a prettily decorated country-cottage rooms, distinctly, it looks really like a beautiful pastoral house of the grandmother in the 70-80s countryside, you feel really warm, comfortable and relax in this amazing atmosphere.

When you walk inside, you can see a big fireplace and the light yellow walls hung with retro plates, but compare with indoor, the flowery outdoor terrace with cozy sofas is my real love. Another adorable thing which really attracts my eyes is that every table was decorated with fresh roses, how romantic is it! Speaking of the food, the price is a little bit high and most meals are beautifully laid out. Besides, the lobster pasta is the signature dish and almost every table must be ordered. By the way, the fresh juice in this restaurant is my personal recommendation, I really like the apple juice which tastes really well. Noticed that this restaurant also needs an appointment, you can use OpenTable or just called the phone.

Address: 113 N Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 USA

Phone: +1 310-274-8303 Hours: 08:00-21:30

2.BBCM-The Butcher, The Baker & The Cappuccino Maker Cafe

Have an amazing breakfast will cheer you up and bring a fresh new day! In my own view, this quote is definitely made for BBCM-the most popular restaurant in West Hollywood, LA. It opens daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, but the brunch and lunchtime are the busiest periods in a whole day, almost overcrowding! You can see a really long waiting line every day, which represents the popularity of BBCM, so try to avoid going there at weekends and vacation days! Also, making a reservation through bbcmcafe.com, OpenTable or phone call will help you to save time.

At first sight, all decoration of BBCM is based on white and designed in a modern simple style, which is totally different compared with the Ivy. The food is really really fresh and delicious, I believed the food placing is in a European style rather than American! My favorite is egg benedict and the smoked salmon croissant, Furthermore, the drinks are also nice and creative! I strongly recommend the specialty coffee beverages and craft cocktails, you will know that food is also the art when you see them!

color burst latte
Champagne flight

Address: 8653 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 USA

Phone: +1 310-360-6900 Hours: 08:00-22:00

3.The Living Room (The peninsula beverly hills)

If you are not much hungry, but want to have some food and chat with your friends, the living room in peninsula hotel (Beverly hills) can be your first choice in this situation. The afternoon tea offered in this hotel spreads fame the overseas, which attract many people to come and taste. It also served breakfast, dinner and some snacks, pianist will play the piano in the evening, and you can enjoy a lovely time with some cocktail in this romantic and exquisite room.

Accompanied by the music of a classical harpist, The Peninsula’s legendary Afternoon Tea start. There are two types of tea sets you can choose, an optional glass of Champagne and a tower of traditional high tea requisites; I order the Champagne including one, which is more fit for the atmosphere I think. For the tea menu, I do recommend the black tea and matcha, which are really rich and delicious. Moreover, from sandwiches to bite-sized pastries and scones, all the desserts in the selection are really tasteful, whole snacks inside the tea set are well-prepared and value for the price.

Address: 9882 Santa Monica blvd, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Phone: +1 310 975 2736

Live Like Joao

Live Like Joao
Food, Places and Everything About My Life

*Above image taken from Live Like Joao’s Blog


Live like Joao offers a personable and candid approach to food blogging. When it comes to creating his new blog, Joao’s honesty is refreshing; while this may be a daunting new task, Joao invites his audience into his inner thoughts as he navigates the unfamiliar waters of WordPress. According to the screenshots from Amanda‘s first peer review, Joao has implemented a lot of her recommendations and suggestions. Already, Live Like Joao is starting to have synchronicity between the website’s appearance and the content. To properly unpack the different design elements in this blog, I will be focusing on two important design umbrellas: user experience (UX) and User Interface (UI).

User Experience

Travis Gertz’s 2015 Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse explains the UX design as how the website works, as opposed to how it looks. A hyper-simplified breakdown of the UX design category would include layout, interaction, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, research, and testing. At first glance, Live Like Joao seems to work pretty cohesively and sensibly. There are subtle cues throughout the blog that indicate where I should look or click. For example, both the BLOG and POSIEL tab on the top righthand menu have a little downwards arrow to indicate a drop-down menu. These exemplify what Victor Kaptelinin describes as affordances in his article The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction.

The search function right above the categories list is a really helpful tool, especially when looking for a certain page or post that I particularly enjoyed, but was unable to retrace my steps. Since this blog is fairly new, I wasn’t lost in the content and it was easy to find my way back; however, once there are more entries and if Joao chooses to continue this blog post-PUB101, I suspect that this search function will become a really handy tool.

While there are affordances that create direction throughout the blog, I still seemed to have encountered some problems with Joao’s BLOG section. Firstly, I noticed that there is a category for “Blog” and “Blog Post”. This seems counter-intuitive, as these categories seem synonymous. Kaptelinin underlines that “Good designs are intuitive“; hence, I would always recommend going through the website fully – as a sort of informal audit – and paying extra attention to what is intuitive to you. What comes up when you click certain links? Does it take you where you would expect it to? This brings me to my second suggestions: make sure that  the information is stored in the right place. For example, when I click the BLOG POST on the drop down menu, the only post that is available is the “Short Essay 1”.

User Interface

In contrast to the former, UI Design encompasses how the website looks as opposed to how it works. Gertz explains that typography, colour, forms, illustration, photography, and detail can all be found within this realm.

Caution: Do not read when hungry!

This blog does a wonderful job at capturing mouth-watering cuisine. From a UI design perspective, there is a great use of white space and visual contrast with images. Blog Post 1 does a good job of separating chunks of text and using different fonts, especially by bolding the Ingredients title. The other blog posts could benefit by following the great example from that first blog. For example, my eyes are yearning for more contrast in the text in the Blog Post 3. There is a beautiful photo of gorgeous cuts of meats – perhaps I should have waited until after dinner to write this review – followed by the restaurant’s information and a short review. To better accompany the bold image, I would make the text larger and create a small text box containing the restaurant’s pertinent information. Currently, the review is the smallest group of text on the image: all these small modifications would allow for the sections of the page to be more proportionate to each other, and allow the important information to stand out.

The beautiful rustic table of food that act as the blog’s cover page sets the tone for a visually-enticing food blog. Keeping this in mind, I would recommend continuing with this theme by adding more images throughout the blog: as we are unable to taste this food with our taste buds, we do so with our eyes. Therefore, it is important to describe or visually show these through images and videos, as is done in the first blog post. If at all possible, ensure that photos and videos are the same size or are complimentary to the overall page layout to allow for synchronicity and fluidity.

Overall, I enjoyed joining Joao on his adventures through WordPress and discovering exciting new restaurants around the Lower Mainland through his reviews. I look forward to seeing the progress and reading more content from Joao. The recipes, reviews, and personable tone leaves me  hungry for more!

Check out Live Like Joao here.

Anticipated Visits

Here are some places I plan to visit, but have not tried yet! Let me know if there are any here that you have been to and how you feel about their food.

I can’t wait!

The Chick Pea food truck: I have always wanted to try this place, it looks really healthy but so tasty at the same time…. fun fact: I did not know hummus was made of chickpeas for the LONGEST time.

The Frying Pan food truck: Of course there is another fried chicken craving…. But this has been really popular on Instagram and I definitely want to give it a try.

The Praguery food truck: This one has been LONG over due. I always walk by this but never get it because I already stuffed myself with too much food before dessert. Such a perfect festive munch especially for Christmas




Last China feature! Dimsum…who can say no to that.

Meatballs + Broccoli — tender and mixed with a lot of vegetables

Soup dumplings — some of them were lacking soup, but the ones that had soup were so juicy!

Spareribs — the softest meat I have ever had

Steamed buns with egg yolk — Perfectly round buns with the salty egg yolk that runs out after every bite

Sponge cake — made layer by layer, interesting texture but very moist

Durian custards — Alot of people do not like durian, but I loooooove durian. This pastry was not that strong and the outside crunch created a good texture. The oil that fried the crust was a bit old though

Overall rating:

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: Under $25 of everything in picture

Location: Taishan — not sure what name of restaurant was

Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

Dirt Baked Chicken [CHINA EDITION]

So I made a trip down to Guangzhou, China Mid-November and this had to be my favourite dish. I know this is not in Vancouver, but if you guys ever travel down there you NEED to give this a try.

We also god sweet potatoes (look how purple they are!!) — very soft and very creamy not dry at all. It complemented well with the oily chicken and the starch soaked up most of the grease.

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: (((forgot cause I did not pay 🙂 )) — probably less than $1



So this was how people baked their chickens back in the day when ovens did not exist. They would dig a hole in the ground and then bake it for 4-5 hours. This is probably not foodsafe in Canada, but trust me it was soooo good. I have never had such tender chicken in my life! Be sure to wear gloves and eat it with your hands for the full experience!

It is wrapped in tin foil which contacts the dirt and then leaves to keep the chicken juices in place. Be sanitary and enjoyyyyy!


Aesthetics: 5/5 — looks messy but thats the traditional way
Taste: 5/5 — can I give this a 6/5 ?
Price: Also not sure but probably less than $12 for a WHOLE chicken