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Ernest, San Francisco

Ernest, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Ernest is a hot restaurant in the Potrero Hill area not far from KQED. We had to set multiple alerts on Resy to get a reservation. They have outdoor seating in their courtyard, complete with heat lamps. We dine here twice, once inside and once outside.

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Star Noodle, Lahaina, Maui

Star Noodle, Lahaina, MauiWhy did we dine here? – Star Noodle is a popular Asian restaurant on Maui focusing on a variety of noodle dishes that originate from Japan through other Asian countries.  We have been here on all our recent Maui visits.

They moved to downtown Lahaina in November 2020, and are known as Star Noodle v2.  Star Noodle also does takeout but you need to call it in early. Parking lot is part of the new location!

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Singapore Restaurant Recommendations

Where does a San Francisco Foodie eat in the Singapore? Follow our journey and learn from our experiences.

Here is a compilation of more casual restaurants, snack places we visited during our 2019 Asia trip. Our goal was to find good eats at reasonable prices, primarily restaurants where locals go. We have no interest sampling cuisine that is done better at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is challenging on an expensive ‘island’, full of pricey tourist traps.

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Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Clipper Lounge Buffet

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Clipper Lounge Buffet

Gluttony in Hong Kong. We are lovers of high end buffets. Hong Kong is one of the top spots for pure gluttony with high end food options for Sunday Brunch. (Prime rib, Many raw seafood options, sushi/sashimi, Foie Gras and more) Past visits have seen us visit other top hotel buffets. We have methodically tried to dine at all the heavy hitters.

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Tamarine Restaurant Review, Palo Alto

Elegant Vietnamese in Palo Alto.

Tamarine Restaurant Review, Palo Alto

Tamarine is a popular Vietnamese contemporary restaurant in downtown Palo Alto on busy University Avenue. They focus on small plates and serve food family style. Tamarine features light, but flavor-intensive culinary delicacies of Vietnam. This place is similar to Slanted Door or Xanh in Mountain View. We find the food pretty accessible with many items for mainstream palates. The owners family runs the more traditional Vietnamese restaurant Vung Tau in San Jose and a more casual spot Tam Tam in Palo Alto. Our last visit was in 2020.

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Pine and Crane, Los Angeles

Pine and Crane Los Angeles Exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Pine & Crane is a fast casual Taiwanese Chinese restaurant in the hip Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. It has 4.5 stars on Yelp with almost 2000 reviews. We had to see what all the hype was all about.

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Top 5 Chicken Rice Dishes in Singapore

Last Update: December 2019

Chicken Rice is a legendary dish at Singapore’s food hawker centers. It consists of chicken cooked in pork and chicken stock, rice with chicken stock, and some vegetables. Dipping sauce is usually a hot chili dip or soy sauce with ginger. Occasionally they throw in a bowl of soup. We read several articles that state that this is the number 1 thing many people miss when they leave Singapore. Chicken Rice is a National dish for Singapore.

We arrive skeptics, but left believers.

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Hanoi Street Food Tour Review

Hanoi Vietnam is known for its dynamic street food scene.  The language and culture are definitely big barriers to going it on your own.  A street food tour was definitely a must.

We took our hotel’s Street Food tour to sample the local restaurants in the Hanoi Old Quarter. This was a fun and useful tour. We dined at several places that we would have been scared to approach ourselves. The guide explained the different types of local food and asked us about specific items we wanted. It lasted about 3 hours, cost $30/per person and included all food and drinks. Cheaper than other tours we saw.

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Cassia, Santa Monica

Cassia Santa Monica exterior decor

Sexy Asian in Snap Chat’s turf. Why did we dine here? – Cassia is a restaurant from the folks at Rustic Canyon and Spice Table. A new Metro station (eminent domain), caused the shuttering of The Spice Table. Cassia has dishes from across Asia: Singaporean, Vietnamese, Taiwan, etc..

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So Restaurant, San Francisco

So San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – So is a sister restaurant to San Tung and San Tung #2, run by James Chu. It sued to be located at Irving at 24th avenue. We were stuck in traffic, so it way more fun stopping to eat here! We have dined here in the past and love the fact that we can get the legendary wingz across from the SOMA Trader Joe’s complex, without schlepping out to the Sunset district.

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Himawari Restaurant, San Mateo

Himawari San Mateo Outside

Himawari is a Japanese Ramen Noodle house located in downtown San Mateo. Every block down here has a Japanese restaurant. Their chief rival, a couple miles away, is the legendary Santa Ramen along with its sister Ramen restaurants. They have a broader menu than Santa Ramen, with Rice Bowls, lots of appetizers, and many ramen options. We came on hot day and noted no air conditioning, just ceiling fans cranked up. Last visit September 2017.

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Shihlin Night Market, Taipei Taiwan

Shilin Night Market Taipei entrance

The Shihlin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan is a must visit for food loving travelers. It is obviously located in the Shilin District of Taipei, just a couple blocks from the Jiantan MRT subway station. (Not Shihlin Station) This is the largest and most famous night market in the city and typically starts up around 4pm in the afternoon.

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Lanai Restaurant Reviews

Lanai has been on our must visit lists for a while. We finally got a chance to visit this tropical paradise in April 2014.
The easiest and cheapest way to arrive is by ferry from Maui.  The fare is a reasonable $60 round trip. Frankly we saw more dolphins, flying fish, and whales riding this ferry than we did on a whale watching tour!

There are two Four Seasons Resorts on the island along with a small Lanai Hotel. We stayed in the Four Season Manele Bay, right on the beach. (Why would you want to stay at the other one?) One beautiful resort and priced a couple hundred less than the Four Seasons Maui. Lanai City is a small plantation town in a timewarp to the 70’s. A tiny place with a small town square. Here are 3 places we ate in between all the chilling.
One Forty
1 Manele Bay Rd
Lanai City, HI 96763
(808) 565-2000

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Lot 10 Hutong Restaurant Review, Kuala Lumpur

Lot 10 Hutong Kuala Lumpur Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Lot 10 Hutong has more than 30 of the country’s best eateries in the ground floor of a Kuala Lumpur shopping center, right in the heart of the city. Each needs to have been around for at least 40 years. This is the only heritage hawker center of its kind in Malaysia.
After having dined at a fancy restaurant, Bijan, which was very good but full of tourists and business folks, we felt it would be fun to a place like this to try lots of different foods. No need to taxi and walk all over town to sample all sorts of food.

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I Made Joni Restaurant Review, Ubud, Bali

Bebek Joni Bali Exterior

Why did we dine here? – I Made Joni in Ubud, Bali is a touristy place, famous for their deep fried crispy duck. It is located near the center of the island in lush and beautiful Ubud, roughly 5 minutes from downtown Ubud. Our tour guide suggested we visit this restaurant for lunch. Apparently many tour guides come here. We had just came from a ‘mini’ lunch at famous Ibu Oka for roast pig, so we stopped in to try the duck. The pig at Ibu Oka was ok but far too small portion wise. The Trip Advisor ratings are very poor for this restaurant with a majority of terrible reviews. 2.5 out of 5 rating.

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Namu Gaji Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Namu Gaji San Francisco Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Namu Gaji succeeds Namu from the Richmond district. It is smaller and in a much hipper neighborhood. They have received some good press from many reviewers, so we felt it was time to give it a try. This expands this awesome Gourmet Ghetto block with Tartine Bakery, Bi-Rite, Delfina, and Pizzeria Delfina.

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Attic Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Attic San Mateo Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Attic is a Asian fusion restaurant in downtown San Mateo with an emphasize on Philipino cuisine. Tim Luym (Poleng Lounge) is their consulting chef. He previously ran restaurants in San Francisco. This restaurant has been here for about two years, so we figured it was worth a try.

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The Slanted Door Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Slanted Door San Francisco exterior decor

The Slanted Door is a famous modern Vietnamese restaurant located in San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Legendary chef Charles Phan’s empire includes several Out the Door restaurants and Hard Water. He failed at Heaven’s Dog and Wo Hing General Store. They use a lot of local, organic, sustainable ingredients and focus on essentially California cuisine with the Vietnamese influence.

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Ame Restaurant Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Ame San Francisco exterior decor

Ame Restaurant in San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel serves up seasonal New American cuisine, blending of flavors from southern France, northern Italy and especially Japan. No sushi here though. Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani are also chefs and co-owners of Terra Restaurant in St. Helena. They received One Michelin Star in 2010 and have been open since 2006.

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Tao Restaurant Restaurant Review, Las Vegas

Tao Restaurant Las Vegas Interior Decor 2

Tao Restaurant is a Asian fusion restaurant located in Las Vegas’ Venetian Resort. It opened in 2005 and is the #1 grossing restaurant in the United States. Tao has an outpost in New York City. This place is home to lots of celebrities. They focus on Hong Kong Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisines.

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Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Chinese Name: 官府菜

Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant Beijing China Exterior

Taiwan Hotel Imperial Restaurant is situated in the Wangfujing area, a busy downtown district, a block away from a popular shopping street and the Dong Huamen Specialty Food Market. It is situated in the basement of the Taiwan Hotel. This restaurant specializes in the cuisine eaten by royalty, Imperial Chinese Cuisine.

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Nan Men Hot Pot Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Chinese Name: 南门涮肉

Nan Men Hot Pot Beijing China Exterior

Nan Men Hot Pot is a popular Islamic hot pot restaurant in Beijing, with 8 locations. We ate at the Chaoyang District location that is across the street from Embassy row and a couple blocks from the Silk Market and subway station Guomao. The specialize in individualized ornate blue hot pots used to cook meat, seafood, and vegetables. They like to emphasize the health benefits of particular items and love to show off their ISO certifications.

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Lei Garden Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Lei Garden Beijing China Exterior

Lei Garden is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant based in Hong Kong, with serveral locations in China and Singapore. We loved their Hong Kong IFC location and had to visit them when in Beijing. They opened in 2006 and are located next to the Regent Hotel, on the 3rd floor right above a Ferrari dealer. They serve dim sum on the weekends and have waiters that understand English. We found the menu lacking some dishes present at their Hong Kong location like squab. There were some dishes missing from the menu that our server alerted us to.

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No. 16 Courtyard Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Chinese name: 后海16号美食会所

No 16 Courtyard Restaurant Beijing China Outside

No. 16 Courtyard Restaurant is a quaint little restaurant hidden in the touristy Hutong area most people tour on bike coaches. It is near Shisha Houhai lake, north of the Yundian bridge. The specialize in Imperial Chinese Cuisine, the best of all China. Tiny restaurant with only a couple tables, so reservations are a must. Be warned that tables usually have a minimum food charge. Our large table had a huge 3000RMB minimum. We happened to strolling at lunchtime without a reservation and lucked out in finding a table available. They host many private banquets.

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Jardin de Jade – Jade Garden – Su Zhe Hui Restaurant Review, Beijing, Shanghai, China

Jade Garden Beijing China Exterior

Jardin de Jade or Jade Garden Restaurant (Chinese Name: 苏浙汇 – Su Zhe Hui) serves Shanghai cuisine and has locations in Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and Beijing. They are part of King Mang Jade Garden Group’s high-end restaurant brand and launched in 1999. In the Summer of 2009, we visited the Beijing location for lunch, which was located in the Raycom Info Tech Park that is home to many technology companies. In the Summer of 2010, we had dinner at a Shanghai location near People’s Square, which was located above a Porsche dealership.

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Quan Jude Roast Duck Restaurant Review, Beijing, China

Chinese name: 全聚德烤鸭店

Quan Jude Roast Duck Restaurant Beijing China Exterior

Quan Jude Roast Duck is the oldest Peking Duck restaurant, having been started in 1864 and has many branches. Quanjude together implies perfection, union, and benevolence. The location we ate at, is one of the newest and is located in North-Sanhuan Haidian District of Beijing. We have been told that other locations are not as good. They have over 60 company-owned and franchised restaurants in China, Hong Kong, and Australia. The chain is closely affiliated with the government.

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Mingalaba Restaurant Review, Burlingame

Mingalaba Restaurant Burlingame_0021

Mingalaba Restaurant is a Burmese and Mandarin Chinese restaurant in downtown Burlingame in the Burlingame avenue shopping district. It has been open since late June 2008. They serve many Burmese dishes along with some standard Americanized Chinese fare. They have some good lunch combo deals at $6.95 – $9.95.

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Archie’s Wok Restaurant Review, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Archies Wok Puerto Vallarta Exterior

Archie’s Wok is one of the few Asian restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. It is located in the Romantic zone, half a block from the beach. They have Chinese, Thai, Filipino style dishes infused with local accents. English translations of the menu are available. The late Archie was the chef to John Houston at his hideaway for many years. Archie’s wife and family continue his legacy today.

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