Archive for September, 2009

I guess most people had never seen the inside of a Boeing 747-400 freighter plane.
我想真正看過波音747-400貨機內部的人應該不多吧…

I’d say, 85% of my flights are on cargo planes, which I prefer… For reasons that I can not tell… hehehe~
And no, it’s not because the company thinks I’m might endanger the hundreds of lives on a passenger flight, at least I don’t think that’s the reason… but because we do have a lot more cargo flights than passenger flights…
Anyway, most this was taken in LA, at LAX. Since it’s a cargo plane, we do not park at the passenger terminal. We park at the cargo ramp, for LAX, it’s we park at ICC5, short for Imperial Cargo Complex Spot 5. 
基本上我有85%的航班都是貨機, 不是因為公司不敢把幾百條人命交到我手上 (應該.. 不是八…), 而是我們的貨機的班次比客機多很多~ 而且, 我也比較喜歡飛貨機… 因為… 原因我不能說… 嘿嘿嘿…
這些照片咧是在洛杉磯國際機場的照的. 我們停機的地方是靠近Imperial Hwy的貨機坪第五號位子, 簡稱ICC5.

 

And since it’s not a passenger plane, we do not use air bridge, we have stairs… Yeah… how low tech for a 200 million jumbo jet…
既然不是客機, 當然沒有空橋啦~ 只有簡陋的樓梯… 一點都不高科技… 幾十億台幣的飛機.. 就用個梯子….
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After you walk in, to the left, it’s the nose of the plane, which actually opens up. To the right, you’ll see the rest of the plane, with tracks on the floor. More on that later…
爬上樓梯之後, 往左看就是機頭的部份, 機頭是可以打開的. 然後往右看就是貨艙啦~ 地上的就是移動貨盤的軌道.

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There are many stations on the side wall, each of those holes is one station.
整個貨倉裡面有很多的"站"…
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And each of the stations have some buttons and a joystick.
每個工作站咧就有些燈阿鈕的… 還有搖桿…
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The joysticks controls the little wheels on the floor, which would rotate and move the pallets. They can also be rotated in any direction, so the pallets can be turned around, or move sideways.
這些搖桿咧是用來控制地上那些看起來像輪子的東西. 貨盤也就是靠這個來移動的. 那個輪子咧, 可以旋轉用來把貨盤轉方向或者橫移之類的…

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OK, now let’s go upstairs. Yes, literally stairs…
As you walk up, to the left, you’ll see the cockpit, at the end. With the galley to the left, and another door to the right which is equipped with those rubber slides for evacuation. The galley has three chillers on the bottom, an oven and a coffee maker and a work bench/desk/table, whatever you want to call it…
那要怎麼上樓咧… 對, 又是梯子… 又要爬…
那上去了之後咧, 往左看到底就是架艙啦, 回來一點左邊有廚房, 右邊有逃生門(配有充氣橡皮溜滑梯)還有廁所.

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Right next to the emergency door, there’s also the lavatory. Nothing special…
廁所咧… 就沒什麼特別的…
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The cockpit. Equipped with 4 seats. Since I’m not flying today, I will be seating on the seat in the back to the right. Which can be moved to the center and then forward to be right behind the center console. There’s actually an escape hatch on top of the seat on the left (back row), but I forgot to take a picture of it…
駕駛艙裡面有四個座位. 這次因為我不用打工, 我就坐在後排右邊的位子. 那個椅子可以往左滑動然後再向前靠近.第二排左邊那個位子的上面有個逃生門, 說是門… 也就是一個洞可以爬出去…
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And to the right of the entry door, you’ll see 4 not so comfortable business class seats. There used to be 6, but due to some unknown reason, they took away 2 of them, and we now use that space to put bags, extra blankets, sheets and pillow cases.
上樓之後往右看咧, 就有四個極不舒服的商務艙椅子… 本來有六個, 但是因為不知的原因, 兩個被拆了. 那空出來的空間咧, 現在變成我們拿來放包包啊, 放多餘的毯子, 床單什麼的…
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The door at the end is the door to the bunk area. There are two bunks located inside, one to the right, and one to the left.
那最後面的那個門咧, 裡面有兩張床, 一左一右.
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It’s not the most comfortable bed, but it beats the hell out of sleeping on those ancient business class seats…
雖然這個"床"不是非常的舒服, 但是絕對比在椅子上睡得好就是了…

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This is just a brief tour of the plane. I figured I won’t bore you people with the emergency equipments, hatch, or the cabinets where we store bottle waters and instant noodles… So unless someone requests for a detailed photo tour… This is it for now…
這個只是個簡單的貨機導覽, 我想應該沒有人想知道飛機上有什麼緊急逃生器具, 也不會想看我們放礦泉水跟泡麵的地方吧… 所以除非有人有特別的要求… 就先這樣吧…

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09-09-18 KIX-LAX

Posted: September 17, 2009 in Food and drink, Japan, US

New route, Taipei – Kansei – LA, and it already became my favorite route!

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My first meal in Osaka~ Didn’t go downtown this time, and I’m too lazy to explain why… So I took the bus in front of the hotel to Aeon Mall to do my food hunting and shopping. There are actually quite a few places to choose from at the mall, and I want to have them all!!! But sadly, my stomach is only this big and I only have one day… *sigh*

Anyway, back to my first meal. I figured since I’m in Japan, I gotta have some nigiri sushi~ So here’s what I had~
Japanese beef nigiri with fried crispy garlic on top, and otoro – fatty tuna~ YUM!
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I also had squid and umm… some kind of umm… clam… shellfish… Both were quite good~
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Then… I have to have RAMEN!!!!!!!!! The ramen shop I went also have spots in Taipei, but the difference is… This is in Japan!! hahaha~ And being in Japan… You can SMOKE!!! I love Japan!!!  What I ordered was a new ramen debuted a week before I was there. What’s so special was the noodles are different, it’s more… slippery? they call it RYUMEN… The soup is not the milky white pork bone soup, I think it’s chicken and fish broth… with fried onions to stimulate your sense of smell as well as taste. It’s a good bowl of ramen~~ The gyoza are quite good too~ but I’ve had better~
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Oh, they actually have a little pamphlet that posts the dates that they will debut their special ramen, and are also outlined to show the time period that it will be offered. They actually have it scheduled to the year 2011… Amazing…
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For dinner, I went to the terminal to eat, and for 980 yen, I got the set dinner that has, chicken cutlet rice with egg and cold udon. Even though it’s a restaurant inside an airport terminal, it’s still very good! Unlike the food we have at the airport in Taiwan… So sad…

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This is the walkway from the airport to the hotel. I have no idea what it’s for… But each lantern is printed with a name of a Japanese company… Anyone know what it’s for? or just simply a decoration…
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I got this at Lawson’s, a convenient store downstairs from the hotel, it’s good stuff I tell you!!! The caramel is bitter, very bitter, which is perfect for what’s underneath it. Actually, underneath the caramel, it’s a think layer of white chocolate, then it’s the ice cream… Yum…
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This is the sandwich that we get on the plane. I didn’t think much until I realized the one on the side is not eggs, but pumpkin! It was very good too~~~ Why can’t the food at other stations be this good?!! WHY???!!!!!!
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That actually ends the Japan portion of the trip… I will post what I bought in Japan later I guess… I bought a lot…

So then, the second portion of this trip is LA. Sophia came to the hotel to pick me up after her work, and we headed straight to… Monterey Park for….. Japanese food! More Japanese food, YEAH~~~
She was still in her scrub’s uniform, yeah, she interns at hospital now~
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One thing I have to say about restaurants in LA, all of the “foreign” food, whether it’s Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Italian, are ALL better and more authentic than the ones in Taiwan… that’s one thing that really gets to me when I eat out in Taipei… though it’s improving, it’s still not good enough…

Alright, back to my dinner. I forgot the name of the restaurant, I will have to ask Sophia later. We ordered grilled chicken meatballs, gizzards, cartilage, cow tongue, quail eggs, and some I can’t remember… And we also had a tofu salad with ume sauce, and a chicken nabe that had a bunch of chicken meat balls and chicken meat in it. The soup was very very good~ thick and rich, just the way I like it~~ I also had a Calpico and of course beer to go with all this food~
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Second day, Grace came to pick up her eyeliners, all 10 of them… and she took me out to have some Mexican food~ As with all Mexican restaurants, free chips and salsa~~ I ordered a lemonade to go with my meal, which is a breakfast burrito. Stuffed with apple smoked bacon, eggs, beans, and cheese. Topped with a scoop of guacamole, some sour cream and green salsa~ It’s yum yum good, and it’s so big, I couldn’t finish it… Why isn’t there a decent Mexican restaurant in Taiwan?

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So, that’s my 4 day trip to Osaka and LA… I hope I get this route EVERY MONTH!!!

I have to say, if I take pictures and write a blog on every restaurant I been to… I would have a lot more entries…

So, last night, Angela wanted to have spicy hot pot, so I dragged a few people to come along. Man Tang Hong (MTH from now on) is one of my favorite spicy hot pot places. For all you can eat spicy hot pot, MTH is usually our first choice, due to it’s excellent quality of beef they offer, and the bright and clean dinning environment. 天外天 and 十九香 are the two other choices, 太和殿 and 橋頭 would be my choices when we’re not in the mood to stuff ourselves~

Anyway, MTH used to have two locations, the original store was near the Sun-Yet-Sen Memorial Hall, and a second shop, their flagship restaurant, opened up next Ren-Ai Elementary School. Last year, they closed down the original shop, not because their business was bad, cuz they’re packed every night, even in summer! I guess it probably had something to do with the landlord raising the rent or local thugs trying to collect protection fees… hahaha~ Then, earlier this month, they opened up at a new location, on Song-Jiang Rd. next to Song-Jiang Cashbox.

We went to the new restaurant yesterday, not because we wanted to check out the new place, but it was because we coudn’t get a reservation at the old place… OK, the new place, the decor is exactly the same as the other shop, except with much more room between tables, actually, they are all booths. Food still the same, still have Haagen-Dazs and Meiji ice cream and lot’s of sodas to fill your tummy.

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For 499 plus 10% service charge, you get to stuff yourself with whatever you can fit in your stomach.

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MTH actually has a limited selection of stuff you can put in to the hotpot compare to some of the other all you can eat places. But, their beef is really why I like to dine at this excellent establishment. They offer 5 different cuts of beef, sirloin, rib-eye, belly, house cut, and low calorie cut. Yeah, “low calorie” cut… It’s all freshly cut after you order and they are all in big slices~ One other thing I have to mention is their corn. Their corn are very sweet, not as sweet as the sugar injected American corn, but they are a must-have item every time I go there. According to the manager, they order their corn from a contracted farm to ensure the quality of their corn. Nice~

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Of course, what’s a spicy hot pot without it’s most important ingredients, tofu and duck blood. I forgot to take pictures of them, but they are excellent too~ Both the tofu and the duck blood are flavored by stewing in the soup, and is in huge chunks! I have to take a picture of them next time I’m there, and yes, there will be a next time~

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Over all, MTH doesn’t have hundreds of ingredients you can throw in the pot, nor do they have lots of fruits and desserts to finish off your meal. What they do have are popular selections of items, though limited, customers love, and are all with great quality and freshness. I would recommend this place to anyone who are like me, who only care for the quality but not the quantity of stuff to choose from to throw in their hot pot. Oh, did I mention they have excellent beef and corn? Yeah, I guess I did… hehe~

09-09-15 Ramen Makoto-Ya 誠屋

Posted: September 15, 2009 in Food and drink, Taiwan

I love ramen!!! I can have ramen every day!!!!

I walked past this restaurant a few times before, but never went in to try their ramen. Cousin Wong told me about this place a couple of weeks ago, while I was in Anchorage… or was it Seattle… Anyway, turns out, this is a chain from Japan. So of course I have to try it!

This is actually my second time there. The first time I didn’t bring my camera, only had my iPhone with me, and that time, I had their special cha-shu ramen with a small fried rice set meal. Monday-Friday, you get a free drink. Their set menu is just their basic Beef Bone Soup Ramen, with a choice of either fried rice, cha-shu rice, fried chicken, or goyza. I’d steer away from their goyza… as they don’t have good reviews online, and the table next to us ordered it, they didn’t finish it, and didn’t look good either…

Anyway, here are the pictures. The special cha-shu ramen is just extra cha-shu in it. Soup base is made with beef bones, it’s not as rich as the pork bone soups, but it’s good when you feel like something lighter… The fried rice is pretty good too. This is the way it’s suppose to be!! Ramen plus fried rice!!! I don’t know about you, but lots of people like some rice or fried rice with their ramen, if you never tried before, try it next time!

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So today I went back there again, this time I ordered the Spicy Minced Meat Ramen, and of course, a combination with Cha-shu Rice with Half Cooked Egg. The ramen, same, still good, the minced meat ball, is not very spicy, adds a bit more flavor to the soup. The cha-shu rice, oh yum~~ I especially like the half cooked egg, the yolk is still runny and you mix it all together~~~~~ YUM!
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The Butter Miso Ramen was also very good, the chunk of butter made the soup richer with flavor. The fried chicken is excellent too. They use meat from thigh and drumstick, and fry it without batter, it’s nice and crispy, and not very oily.
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They also have fried pork chop, oysters, and some other stuff that you can order on the side. Over all, I think this is a nice alternative from all the rich pork bone soup based ramen around Taipei. It’s also close to my house, so that’s another plus.. hahaha~

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Today was a cloudy day… Was suppose to rain, but never did… so it’s stuffy and humid… just horrible…

Jet called me around 5 to see if I want to do dinner with him and Ryan. I said as long as it’s not going to be at he usual 3 picks, then I’m in… So, obviously, this is not one of his usual picks.  He-Feng Restaurant is located near the Fu-Xing Ming-Chuan MRT Station, tucked in one of the back alleys, but not hard to find. The decor, well, I didn’t take pics of the place, but they do have a website, Google it…

OK, now to the important stuff, the food. This is suppose to be a Yun-Nan cuisine, but other than the usual dishes like rice vermicelli soups, and meat buns, they have a couple of interesting dishes. Oh, and by the way, all their flavors are on the lighter side, not like the heavy flavors of Si-Chuan and Hu-Nan cuisines. I guess it’s healthier and good for the elders. Having said that, I find the flavors to be just enough, it’s not bland and tasteless, a good alternative choice for what we usually have every day.

To start off, Jet got the owner to give us free plum drinks, I guess he comes here enough times to get it for free… Then the first dish, stewed beef in clear broth. It looks just like the beef soup my mom makes, and tastes like it too. The beef was cooked just right, I think they use the part of the beef that’s close to the belly, so even though it’s stewed, it didn’t become dry and chewy. I’m pretty sure they have ginger, star anise in it just like how we make it at home. I like it.
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OK, the seafood tofu in clay pot is pretty good too, nothing special, but it’s a solid dish. Then there’s the bamboo shoots simmered in chicken soup. It’s bamboo shoot season, and I believe we should always eat what’s in season~ The bamboo shoots were sweet, and the chicken soup gave it a bit more flavor. Both were nothing spectacular, but good.
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OK, this is one of the more interesting dish. Sweet and Sour Pork… Yes, it’s just sweet and sour pork, BUT!! If you look at it closely, the yellow chunk in the dish is air-dried pineapple, and the red chunks are tomatoes. What’s interesting is the texture of the pineapple and tomato chunks, if you ever had dried mango from the Philippines, it’s kinda like that~ I was never a fan of having cooked fruits in any dish, but I like this~ I actually enjoyed the pineapple and tomato more than the meat!
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Spicy Fried Chicken… Again, nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s good and we even finished the cucumber that used to garnish the plate… hahaha  Then, there’s the cabbage stewed with Yun-Nan ham. I like this too, cabbage absorbed the flavors of the ham and it was cook just right (to me it is) not too soft so it still retain some texture, good with rice~
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OK, another interesting dish. This was called… hmmm… Fried Pork with Leek and Chinese Cheese. I copied the name from their website… in Chinese it’s actually 荷風乳扇. Yeah, Chinese cheese. I never knew Chinese people made cheese, but, hey~ who cares? They fry this air-dried cheese strips, and then stir fry it with leeks (or Chinese chives) and pork. I thought this was a very interesting dish, since I never seen anything like this before~ At first when you bit into the cheese, it’s kinda like… 油條… or… 鱈魚香絲! (dried fish strip snacks) and then after you chew it for a bit, the flavors of the cheese comes out. This would make a good snack by itself, and would be a good companion with beer~ (which we also had a couple of bottles) I would definitly order it again next time I go back~
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Ok, for dessert, Yun-Nan style buns. I’m not exactly sure on how to explain the differences between Yun-Nan style and the regular buns… It’s… umm… ok, to put it this way, it’s kinda got layers… the skin is not just a solid piece of dough, it’s kind of like… a corssiant, it has layers, but denser than a crossiant… Nevermind… I give up… Just go try one yourself… It’s got two fillings, red bean and sesame. Both were good, not too sweet, and not oily like some places… (they usually add lard to the fillings) Oh, and they also gave us they home-made yogurt with Flaxseed. Yes, flaxseed. The yogurt is just plain yogurt (I’m pretty sure they added some sugar, cuz it’s not very sour), and flaxseed is tasteless, so it’s just plain yogurt… hahaha~ But I guess it’s good for your body~
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There’s also a cup of fruit & veggie juice. I have no idea what they put in it, but it tastes good, and again, good for you! haha~
Jet had the tea, it’s Jasmine tea from Fu-Jian. Jet thinks it’s very good, and very fragrant, I’ll just have to take his word for it…
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The owner also gave us a bag of nougat, which they made it right at the restaurant. The green one is green tea, and the dark colored one is dates. I only took a bit of the date, and it’s not bad, not too sweet, and it doesn’t stick to your teeth~
The ashtray, is a gift from David, cuz he just came back from BKK, and he went to Propaganda and got each of us a little something. I guess that’s the reason why I’m still friends with him… hahahah~
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Over all, I’d recommend this place to anyone who is going to bring their parents or grandparents to dinner. The service was very good also, all the waiters were polite and they keep your water glass filled at all times. It’s a good experience, and there will definitely be a next visit.

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09-09-07 Mixx Grill, Anchorage

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Food and drink, US

Did I mention the restaurant downstairs from our Hotel is actually pretty good?

So far, I’ve only had burgers there, about… three different kinds of burger, and this time, I decided to try something new… Mushroom cheesecake with fried leeks and blue cheese… Yeah… sounds weird… and it’s not a dessert, it’s an appetizer. It’s not sweet at all, it’s more like a… ummm… very very soft and creamy and fluffy omelet… ummm… no… kinda like a quiche… it’s… quite different, and most importantly, I like it~ But, next time, I’m gonna have to either find someone to share it with, or save half for later… cuz… otherwise I can’t finish my burger… hahahaha~~  The burger this time is cheese stuffed burger. It’s got caramelized onions, mushrooms, provolone cheese, and some cheesy sauce. As usual, YUM~

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OK, after discovering that the little fridge can actually keep your ice cream in its frozen solid state, I went out to buy a frozen yogurt from Haagen Dazs. It doesn’t taste like frozen yogurt at all… It’s still creamy like it’s cousin… Hmm…  The Orville Redenbocher’s popcorn is one of my fav snack, and this time I saw caramel flavored. I’m not sure if this is new… and it was after I bought it and back at the hotel that I realized… It comes with packets of caramel, and you have to melt it and pour it on the popcorn and mix it and wait till it cools…. Man.. so much work…

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09-08-31 Angela’s Birthday

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Food and drink, Taiwan

I thought I posted this already… but apparently I didn’t…

OK, this is suppose to be a lounge/hot pot restaurant… It’s located next to Taiwan University.  The decor is.. well, not exactly lounge, it’s just… better lighting, and they have a bar. Yes, a bar. For 49nt per person, you get to drink as many alcoholic drinks as you want… they have beer, cocktails, Japanese sour cocktails as well as non-alcoholic drinks. I’m not exactly sure if they have shots…

After we arrived, we ordered beer even before we all sat down…
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The beer was suppose to be freshly brewed “German” beer on tap… I also ordered a whiskey coke… or was it 2… or 3… Can’t remember…
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OK, the hot pot itself was not bad, and the crab & shrimp pot was not bad either. The crabs and shrimps were deep fried first, then, it was suppose to be quickly cooked in their special spicy wine sauce… But I think the pot wasn’t hot enough, so it was more like stewed in the sauce… and the crabs and shrimps were not part of the all you can eat thing, you can order fresh shrimps but not the deep fried ones… As for the taste, well… it’s not as special as they claim to be… it’s not bad, but nothing that would surprise you…
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I didn’t take pictures of the other stuff that we ordered to put in the pots, cuz they were nothing out of the ordinary…  There is one thing I have to mention though… Even though the day we went was their “Grand Opening”, but they had their soft opening for a while, which means, they been running this restaurant for a little while… So everything “should” go smoothly right? No… Our first orders of beef didn’t come till like half an hour later… and we had 9 people and they only brought over 10 slices of meat… Actually, through out our entire 2-hour meal (there is a 2-hour limit), I only saw beef maybe 3 times… The waitress kept on apologizing and brought over a couple of “special” cocktails from the bar, but… I want my BEEF!!! One upside to this was that the drinks actually all came relatively fast…

Anyway, I hope they will sort out their problems in the kitchen, otherwise…

Ok, so it was Angela’s birthday, and no, the cake did not look like this on purpose… I’m not sure if it was tilted on the way to the restaurant, or did the restaurant did this… but it was still edible… and since we were all loaded on alcohol, it didn’t matter… hahahahaha~
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OK, I have to say, I wasn’t really happy or satisfied with their food this time… but I might give it another try some time in the future, when they really have everything up and running… so I’m not gonna rate this place, for now…