Monday, October 27, 2008

Ramen House Ryowa

Ramen House Ryowa
2068 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 883-0667


859 Villa Street
Mountain View, CA
(650) 965-8829

Ramen from Ryowa are super yummmy! Both Ryowa's offer the same ramen but some different entree items. Ryowa's noodle is thick and chewy. The soup is hot and rich, and it does not leave me thirsty right afterward like most ramen places. The chashus were thinly sliced but they give you a lot, and they were tender. The chashu was not overly salty nor overly fat. The ramen, depends on what you order, comes with lots of side stuff like fresh wakami as well as the dried one, green onions, bean sprout and half a boiled egg.

Buttercorn Ramen

Ryowa gives you huge portion. My friends and I are big eaters and we left with our bellies full. They also have a few condiments on the side, one being a jar of kimchee.
The service was okay at the Berkeley one, and the service at the Moutain View one was pretty good. The waiter from the Moutain View one kept refilling our barley tea, and when he didn't, he left a big jug of it in front of my friends and I, so we can pour more if we like. The place is pretty clean, with a shelf of comic.

So far I have tried the Buttercorn Ramen, which I highly recommend. I also tried the Shoyu Ramen and Vegetable Ramen, which is vegetarian and made with vegetable broth. I also recommend their Chicken Karaage, which is the best one I had so far out of all the ramen places. The mayo and the dipping sauce that comes with the Chicken Karaage are delicious. The cabbage salad that comes with the Chicken Karaage is very light and refreshing, which is a really great balance with the heavier fried chicken.

Chicken Karaage
I will go back to Ryowa again and again if I really want a hearty and carby bowl of Japanese ramen.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steamed Cabbage Chicken Wraps

3 whole leaves of napa cabbage
4 oz chicken breast, minced
3 wedges of tomato slices
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of chili pepper
3 toothpicks

1. Boil the napa cabbage leaves until soften. Drained out the water.
2. In a bowl, marinate the chicken breast with salt, pepper and chili.
3. Divide the chicken into three portions. Roll each into a ball.
4. Place cabbage flat on a plate. Place the chicken ball at the leaf end of the cabbage.
5. Roll the cabbage to cover the chicken ball. Tug in the side and roll the rest of the leaf up. Poke toothpick through the wrap to secure.
6. Place a tomato slice through the toothpick.
7. Boil a pot of water. Place the plate of cabbage chicken wraps in the pot. Steam for 15 minutes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Low Carb Chocolate Thin Bread

These cookies are great for a low carb as well as low calories diet. This recipe is same as making meringue but minus the cream of tartar. If you want to have a harder meringue-liked texture, just add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar to the recipe below.

Serving Size: 2 cookies
Serving per Recipe: 2 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 19 calories

2 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar substitute
2 tbsp cocoa unsweeten powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat 250 degree oven.
2. Whisk egg white and cream of tartar together with an electric mixer at high speed.
3. Once the egg whites form soft peaks and hold their shape when lift, add in sugar substitute.
4. When peaks form stiffly, whisk in cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
6. Fill a pastry bag with the mixture (if you don't have a pastry bag or pipe, use a regular zip lock bag and cut a corner at an angle). Pipe out 20 cookies onto the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until cookies are crisp and dry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baked Oyster Mushrooms in Foil

This recipe is great as a side dish as well as a topping over meat dishes. The sauce and texture of this mushroom recipe add some juicy touch to meat such as chicken breast and fish!

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins

3 oz. Oyster Mushroom (can use other varieties as well)
4 tsp Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 tsp Chicken Flavored Powder or 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
dash of Black Pepper
1/2 cup Water
butter (option)

1. Preheat oven at 350 degree.
2. Clean mushrooms with a damped cloth.
3. Combine terriyaki sauce, chicken flavored powder, black pepper and water together in a bowl.
4. Place mushroom in the bowl and mix well with the sauce.
5. Take a piece of foil (about 12 x 6 inches), fold it in half.
6. Fold in 3 sides of the foil in form a pocket. Place it on a tray.
7. Place mushrooms into the foil pocket, and pour the remaining sauce in it as well.
8. Enclose the pocket by folding in the opening.
9. Place in the oven along with tray, and bake for 25 minutes.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


1896 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA
(415) 674-4343

I came here with a bunch of friends for Dine About Town, but unfortunately, it did not serve dinner under Dine About Town, but we stayed anyways. Luella's menu consists of varieties of food. Since it's in the New American catagory of cuisine, nevertheless, it seems very fusion. The menu consists of tacos and pizza, as well as grilled steak and fish.

Artichoke Soup with Chive Oil - The soup tasted pretty creamy but I couldn't really taste the artichoke but there are artichoke pieces in there!

Crispy Polenta Fries with Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette - Before this dish, I never knew what polenta was. Boy, I want more! This was crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. What I really like is that the crispy crust was thin and it was warm, but when you bite into it, it was hot!

Ahi Tuna Tartare Tacos with Lime Binaigrette and Mango Salsa

Wild Mushroom Pizza

Grilled Local Halibut with Lemon Beurre Blanc, Asparagus and Farro Salad - I hate it when fish is overcooked because it gets dry. This one was cooked right! It was grilled enough such that the inside is juicy and tender. And as seen in the picture, they shaved the outter skin of the asparagus making it easier to soften when grilled, and easier on chewing also.

Seared beef "Wellington" in Puff Pastry with Horseradish Cream, Bone marrow Butter - Yes! Long name, which sounded very fancy, but when it was served onto the table, my friends and I could not hold our laughter. It definitely needs some work on its presentation as well as taste. The beef was a bit too "well" cooked, it was a little rough.

Yorkshire Pudding - This bread pudding came with the beef wellington above. It was eggy but good.

The ambiance of this place is really nice. The restaurant has a big window, so natural light shines in when it's day time. I really like the decor as well as the layout of the restaurant. Seems high class and modern but fun. The food is just okay though, I would not go back on my own unless someone wants to go.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Santa Ramen

1944 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA (650) 344-5918

I reviewed the old Santa Ramen on Yelp before, and now I'm reviewing them again after they moved to their new location. I must say the experience at the new location was not the same as the old one. Even though the restaurant is so much bigger, brighter and cleaner, the service was not as good as the old one...maybe because it can fit more people now. Like the old one, there is a line for the wait, and as you get closer to the beginning of the line, the waitress begins to take your order.

Tonkatsu Ramen

Their menu is easier to navigate compared to the old place, and they added the "add on" section, and the add ons are pretty pricey. Like $2 for napa cabbage? And as always, they only make a certain amount of everything, so when they run out, they'll tell you when you order it. So far, it's been the case every time. They always run out of one or two of the broth. I have tried the shoyu, miso and pork (tonkatsu) flavor broth before. The soup was not as oily as before. I recommend the pork ramen because it is cloudy, which means a lot has gone into it. It is rich in pork flavor, which seems like it has been cooked for hours. The chashu that comes with the ramen is pretty tasty and tender. It is not overly salty or fatty at all. Even though a lot of the things are not the same as the old location, Santa Ramen's noodle still tastes home-made, and is still perfect in its thickness and chewiness. I also ordered the chicken karaage. I was not impressed by it because it just tasted like regular fried chicken with a l lot of batter. I don't recommend it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Kahoo Ramen

So I'm still very into this Japanese ramen phrase ever since my trip to Los Angeles in January. They have some really good, fresh and authentic ramen there that leaves me wanting more. So my boyfriend and I were in the San Jose area and found Kahoo Ramen after a day of shopping. Immediately I wanted to try it.

My boyfriend and I got seated near the bar. From the bar I could see the chefs and the kitchen, and whatever they are doing. The store is small and quite tight. We ordred gyoza and fried chicken for our appetitizers. I ordered a shoyu ramen, and my boyfriend ordered a miso ramen.

[Photo Courtesy of William Yan]

The gyoza was pretty tasty. Judging from how brown they were, I am guessing they are reusing the same oil from whatever they were frying before. The potsticker sauce was pretty good. It tasted different from other potsticker sauce I had.

Fried Chicken
[Photo Courtesy of William Yan]

The fried chicken are basically 3 chicken wings. I didn't like it because it didn't taste seasoned and also, it was quite soggy considering they were fried...not crunchy or crispy at all.

Shoyu Ramen
[Photo Courtesy of William Yan]

First off, so before the ramen were served, I was watching the chefs working in the kitchen. I saw them lay out some raw meat on a cutting board and then move it elsewhere. After that, I saw them placing shell-less hard boiled eggs onto the same cutting board to cut them into halves. At this point, I wish those eggs are not the ones that are in my ramen. Very unsanitary!

My shoyu ramen came with chashu, bamboo shoots, fried seaweed and half a marinated hard boiled egg. The egg is boiled perfectly because the yolk is still golden yellow and runny. The chashu was very different from other places in that instead of sliced pork, it was chunk of pork. Nevertheless, still very flavorful, tender but very fatty. I felt like I was eating a block of fat. The soup is a little watery and bland. The noodle are thin and eggy, taste homemade. Overall it was okay. The ramen left me very, very, VERY thirsty though. I drank so much water while I was at Kahoo, and I left the place wanting more water.

I don't know if I want to come back to Kahoo not because of what I saw with the raw meat and egg. I am guessing a lot of restaurants are like's just that we do not get to see it. What makes me considering about coming back is how thirsty I got after I was done with the ramen. MSG? No idea.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sweet Things

Sweet Things
3585 California Street, San Francisco, CA
(415) 221-8583

Sweet Things American Style Desserts is located inside Cal-Mart in the Laurel Height district of San Francisco. Yes, I think I would have missed it if I didn't go into Cal-Mart.

The counter of Sweet Things is loaded with cakes, coffe cakes, cupcakes, cookies, bars, petite fours, etc etc. I am overwhelmed! I came here for cupcakes but now I'm confused! I want cupcakes, but man, everything looks good. After contemplating for awhile, I decided to stick with my plan...of getting cupcakes!

When it comes to going to cupcake shop I never been to before, I always start with a Red Velvet. Red Velvet is a red chocolate cupcake made with buttermilk and topped with cream cheese frosting. It sounds easy but very difficult to make. And as always, I will always get another cupcake of different flavor or of specialty with it.

Red Velvet - The cake was moist and VERY chocolatey. I think the amount of cream cheese frosting is just right, enough to cover every bite. The frosting was creamy yet light, and not overwhelmly sweet. What makes this cupcake even better is the way it looks...covered with chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate heart...this is a signature Red Velvet from Sweet Things.

There were so many choices, so in the end, I decided to get...
From top left clockwise: Mini Carrot Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Mini Black and White, Mini Vanilla and Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Mini cupcakes are harder to make compared to regular sized ones. Since mini cupcake is smaller, baking time need to decrease in order for the cupcake to remain moist, and decorating it sure require some hand-eye coordination. Out of all these, the carrot one was the moistest.
The carrot flavor also tasted the best out of the rest. The chocolate one is delicioius too, very rich in chocolate flavors but too sweet for my taste. The vanilla one was okay, the flavor didn't really stand out comparatively.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

About Bits-M-Pieces

I am not a food critic, but a major food addicts! Food is gorgeous, the way they look, taste and smell!

I have a big stomach, head and heart for food! When I'm not working and studying, I am eating, cooking or thinking about food.

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