Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Roll Factory Delivers in Fresh Sushi and Great Value

Being Shota's fairly new baby sister restaurant, I knew Roll Factory was going to be super fresh and tasty. Plus I bought a coupon online ($5 for $10 worth) so I really couldn't go wrong with this. Their combos are fantastic in that they include one specialty roll, a choice of your salad and miso soup. In our case, we also finished off lunch with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with mango syrup included in the coupon. Here you see my absolute most favorite, The Maple Roll. Spicy white tuna mixed with tempura bits (the bits make such a big difference, adds a nice crunch), topped with spicy sockeye salmon and masago. And of course, the sweetness from the maple sauce mixed in, is the cherry on top of this unique roll. I usually prefer a wakame salad but this time opted for the ebi sunomono which was equally as good.

Regularly priced at $8.99, this combo for lunch leaves you satisfied and energized to finish off that work afternoon. Support this restaurant readers, as this resto belongs to a dear friend of mine MH. Watch out for a later post on Shota, where my family and I literally tried all of their specialty rolls!

I just also wanted to include that I appreciated their cute and clean tea cups. Most Japanese places have the usual old looking off green/brown cups and this was refreshing to see and drink out of.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes Done Right: My Ultimate Favorite Side Dish

One of my favorite side/carb dishes ever is my sister's scalloped potatoes. The simple yet perfect blend of cheeses, butter and thin slices of potatoes bubbling in the oven is my idea of the best comfort food. I'm told that it depends on the sharpness of the mandolin (LC uses an Asian brand purchased from Ming Wo) that truly makes this dish. Whatever it is, I always go back for a second helping, no matter how BULL I am! So, from her kitchen to yours, here's the recipe:

  • 4 large potatoes (russet or Yukon), thinly sliced
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Butter, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Milk
Cooking Instructions:

To assemble, begin by layering the ingredients in a square pan starting with potatoes, butter, S&P and cheddar cheese. Repeat until you reach close to top of pan. Then pour milk about 1/4 of the way up the pan (about 2 cups). Top with Parmesan cheese. Tightly wrap foil around edges and bake in 375 F. oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes at 400 F. until golden brown. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve in squares. Yum!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

'Charmed' by Thai Tea Ice Cream

Wow, just look at this beauty. Our ingenious (and piggy) idea of combining two desserts created this breathless moment.

My lovely pregnant sister LC and I met up at Charm Modern Thai in Yaletown for a quick lunch and wanted something sweet to finish up our meal. We decided to have their deep fried banana dipped in vanilla sauce with a side of their homemade Thai tea ice cream. LC is usually quite a 'phan' of Thai iced teas so this intrigued her. Unlike the common heavily battered deep fried whole bananas from other Thai restaurants, Charm's lighter version is a mixture of tiny pieces of half mashed bananas, wrapped in a thin skin and dipped in a creamy vanilla sauce. GREAT IDEA! And their Thai tea ice cream was so refreshing and delicious that we asked if they sold them by the pints but the server advised us that it was a homemade secret recipe by their in-house chef. Sweet and savory at its best people. This Phan fave is another must-try!