Trader Joe’s Haul – Las Vegas, Nevada

A trip to the mainland and mean one thing and one thing only. Okay, one of two things. A must is always Trader Joe’s. Just gotta. Gotta get your own snacks and of course omiyage to bring home. On our second shopping trip, the cashier knew we were from Hawaii without even asking. Haha! Their mini cooler bags also came out while we were in Vegas but there was no way we were going to get one. The cashier told me they were sold out within minutes of opening – that’s crazy. I don’t need a mini cooler bag.

Anyway, since our hotel had a kitchenette, we bought some frozen foods to try! Yay, I finally get to try their ready made foods!

Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice | $4.49

Love me a good butter chicken and love basmati rice! Chan’s friend told us this one was good so we tried it! I am happy to report that it was good!

Steamed Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings | $3.49

Ehhh, wouldn’t get this again. This was exactly like the ones they sell here in Costco. Is it the bibigo brand? Exactly the same only this one doesn’t even come with the sauce on the side. Boo. Tastes fine but nothing special.

Kimbap | $3.99

Biggest bummer of the haul. I mean I knew it wouldn’t be good as fresh, how could it be right? Well, I followed instructions on how to heat it up and it was just awful. The rice was super hard and the taste wasn’t even good. What a bummer. No buy this. Just go to the Korean market and get the fresh ones! The one I got from Longs here was better.

Longs had this Japchae frozen kimbap on sale the other week for like $5.99 I think, it was pretty good to me! And heated up nicely so the roll was nice and soft. Still, I would just go to the Korean market to get fresh rolls. Glad to have tried, wouldn’t get it again.

Hell’s Kitchen – Las Vegas, Nevada

Always hear about how good Hell’s Kitchen is so I am happy to report that I finally got to try it. And I’ve always wanted to try beef wellington and sticky toffee pudding so where better to go?? It was hot as heck this day. I feel like I am burning just looking at this picture.

Hell’s Red Infusion (mocktail) | $12.95
apple, strawberry, rhubard puree, simple syrup, fever-tree ginger beer

This drink was as good as it sounds. I loved it! And I don’t know if you can see but the skewer holding the strawberries – what is that called? A devil’s staff? It was pretty cool.

Steak Tartare | $26.95
piedmontese beef, dijon mustard aioli, black truffle caviar, sous vide egg yolk

The steak tartare was delicious. The big pringle chips went well with it (lol)!

Lobster Risotto | $33.95
butter poached lobster tail, truffle risotto, crispy onions

This was Bryson’s dish but he shared a bit with us and it was delicious! Yum!

Pan Seared Scallops | $30.95
english pea puree, bacon lardons, pickled fennel, chicken jus

The scallops were cooked and seasoned well but I am not a big fan of pea purees. I am listing the ala carte prices but we actually ordered the HK Signature prix fixe menu so it was three courses for $105.95.

Beef Wellington | $73.95
potato puree, glazed root vegetables, red wine demi-glace

Look at how perfectly that meat is cooked. It was perfection. The meat is perfectly red and rare and tender encased in a buttery flaky pastry. I get the hype. And the mash potatoes? SO GOOD.

Sticky Toffee Pudding | $15.95
speculoos ice cream

OH-MY-GOD. I’ve seen this dessert on many British cooking shows and finally got to try it. It is so incredibly bad for you. I just know it. There is no way this could ever be a health food. But did I ask for health food? No. So good. I absolutely loved our meal here and would definitely demand a return visit. They were also so quick bringing out the food but even as quick as they were, the food quality was amazing. Great restaurant!

Mott 32 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Mott 32 was one of the most highly anticipated meals for Vegas. Chan knows my love for Roast Duck so we made a reservation here. It’s quite pricey and if you order the duck, you have to put in the order in advance. The restaurant is very fancy – almost felt weird eating Chinese food in such a fancy place (lol).

Fancy accompaniments for the Roast Duck. They swirl the sauce at the table, it’s pretty cool! I believe that’s sesame paste and hoisin sauce, hoisin sauce and then brown sugar at the bottom.

Stonecutters (Mocktail) | $12.00
passion fruit / miso honey / lemon verbena / plum

Ehh, this drink was just alright. Sounds better than it tasted.

Traditional Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings | $14.00

A nice starter! Can’t go wrong with XLB…

Signature Crispy Sugar-Coated Charcoal Pork Buns | $16.00

Look at how fancy these are. And the name of the dish – wowowow. But can I say something? It was worth the hype, these were so good. The sugar crust on top balanced the pork filling so well. I really enjoyed this dish!

Look at the red filling, reminds me of home!

Barbecue Iberico Pork, Yellow Mountain Honey | $68.00
Each cut of pork comes from top-grade Iberian pigs that are raised on a diet of acorns, grass and herbs, giving the meat a soft and succulent quality that is further emphasised by the traditional roasting methods employed by our barbecue chefs. A light glaze of Yellow Mountain Honey is brushed over the pork to finish, adding a final sweet and rich touch.

Okay, no look at the price. Yes, it’s basically char siu. Was it good? How can it not be? It was delicious! This is a limited daily dish so you have to pre-order it. Super good but was it worth $68? Hmm…

Apple Wood Roasted Peking Duck “Mott 32 Cut” | $128.00
Mott 32 has carefully sourced and selected the best ducks to create the most flavorful and perfectly crispy duck. Our Signature 42 day Apple Wood Roasted Peking Duck is carved using a unique technique developed by our Culinary Team that locks in all the juices making it a true feast fit for royalty as it was intended. It is served tableside with freshly steamed pancakes, thinly sliced cucumber, scallions, raw cane sugar, and house-made special hoisin sauce; the juicy cucumber will allow a refreshing lift as you bite into the crispy, moist, and smoky duck skin.

I had to paste their own description of the duck so you folks can look past the price tag lol. It’s a beautiful duck. They carve it for you table side and you get all the nice crackly skin and the tender meat morsels.

Freshly Steamed Pancakes

Duck Skin sprinked with Brown Sugar

No worries, it was much more than this plate. They just sliced off the best of the skin for us to make our peking buns with.

Minced Duck Fried Rice | $28.00

You also have the option for them to create a second course with the rest of the duck meat. Either a peking style spicy crispy duck rack or fried rice. We went with the fried rice. I’m not sure what the first style would be. The carcass deep fried? I don’t know. But this was good because it served as the carb for our meal.

Wok-fried Snow Pea Tips | $32.00
with minced garlic

Whew everything is expensive here. But snow pea tips are hard to find which also explains the price tag. Needed some greens to balance our all the meat! Was good!

Mott 32 was a good experience. Our waitress was a bit pushy, the guys still had their alcohol glasses half full and she kept trying to push for another drink. That soured the experience for us a little bit. Mott 32 is an international brand so I’m excited to try this place in Asia! I find that restaurant in Asia tend to be better. Yummy! For now, I am content with getting my roast duck and char siu fix from Chinatown.

Shang Artisan Noodle – Las Vegas, Nevada

Wanna hear a funny story? Well it’s kind of funny. I came to Vegas back in 2022 and went to a little Thai restaurant in this strip mall. It was right next to Shang Artisan Noodle but we ate at the Thai restaurant instead. Shang has since expanded into the Thai restaurant’s lot. It was funny because as we pulled into this lot, I kept saying how familiar this place looked. Crazy stuff huh? Chan said they have the best beef noodle soup so of course we had to come. And of course, I end up ordering something else. My noodles were good too but when I tasted Chan’s bowl, I knew I would have to get the beef noodle soup from here on out. They make their own noodles and the broth is so deep with flavor. No worries, we ended up going to Shang’s new location at the new Durango Casino and Resort at the end of our trip so I got my beef noodle soup!!!

Spicy Wonton | $8.97
pork wontons with spicy soy sauce, green onion

These spicy wontons were good! Look at them, they’re swimming in chili oil. It’s spicy! Take their word for it!!

Spicy Beef Dumpling | $9.25
minced beef, white onion, green onion, spicy soy sauce

Look at the fancy lace around the dumplings. Actually the lace for me is not needed. I do like my dumplings pan fried though. Sorry to folks who enjoy deep fried mandoo, it’s not my thing. These were good!

Shang Beef Noodle (Spicy) | $14.97
beef & chicken broth (brown), braised beef brisket, veggies, green onion

That is comfort in a bowl. And they make their noodles in house, I believe Chan gets this dish with their hand pulled noodles. Yum! As an FYI, the original location has three noodle options: hand pulled noodles, knife-shaved noodles and plain noodles. The Durango location only has two options – no plain noodles.

Dan Dan Noodle | $13.97
minced pork, preserved veggie, spicy soy sauce, green onion

Look at how I take care of you folks. I even did a noodle pull! I guess in the 100-something degree weather, I wasn’t really feeling like a big bowl of hot soup and noodles you know? So I opted for the cold noodle option – I got my dish with knife-cut noodles. Been on a knife-cut noodles kick. It was good! But once again, I would order the beef noodle soup the next time around. Actually what am I doing? Here’s what we got on our final visit lol…

My beef noodle bowl! Yum yum! Tasted great and the same at both locations!

Wonton Soup | $12.97
Add noodles | $3.00

pork & chicken broth (white), house-made wonton, egg, seaweed, green onion

Chan’s wonton noodle soup! He likes to eat a bit lighter on days of travel so this is his dish. He enjoyed it! I’m sure if we weren’t flying out that day, he would have gotten the beef noodle soup again!

Wakuda – Las Vegas, Nevada

Another night of gluttony and alcohol. Okay just gluttony for me! Tonight is Wakuda and the cuisine is fancy Japanese food, they are located at the Palazzo Lobby at The Venetian Resort!

Big Eye Tuna Sashimi Toast | $30.00
toasted bread, wasabi butter, shallots, avruga caviar

Great start to the meal! Can’t go wrong with tuna and caviar and butter and shallots…I mean come on!

King Salmon Nigiri | $13.00 (per piece, 2 pc minimum)

Good but expected, nothing special you know?

Tobanyaki Japanese Scallops | $30.00
garlic yuzu butter, japanese mushrooms

Oh yum, this was so good. The scallops were cooked perfect, so nice and tender. Give me a bowl of rice so I can pour this over…mm…

New Zealand Lamb | $55.00
mustard miso

Lamb lamb lamb! I love char-grilled lamb. They served these little red berries with the lamb. Gosh, we asked the waiter what they were and he told us and I forgot already! You’re supposed to eat the berry after the lamb to cleanse your pallet. They look like peppers but is more like…a crunchy tomato texture!

Grilled Octopus | $30.00
spicy sudachi vinaigrette, kabocha miso puree, squid ink tapioca cracker, seaweed, radish

Fancy looking dish! I did try a piece of octopus but I think I was too into the other dishes to truly savor this dish. Chan and Bryson enjoyed it!

Seabass Miso | $65.00
patagonian toothfish marinatede in original saikyo miso from kyoto

Yikes, a bit pricey. I just noticed! But was it good? Yes. I don’t know if you can tell but it was a pretty big piece of fish and it was cooked to perfection. Moist and it flaked beautifully.

Foie Gras | $45.00
cassis, sudachi puree

Very interesting dish! The purees help cut into the richeness of the foie gras. Yum!

Otoro / Supreme-Fat Tuna Belly | $28.00 (per piece, 2 pc minimum)

Meh. I’ve had better otoro elsewhere, I don’t think this was worth it.

Wagyu Gyoza | $35.00
spicy ponzu sauce

Wagyu gyoza! Okay sorry, it was good but I don’t think it was worth it. When something is made into gyoza filling, I don’t feel like super high quality meat should be used, you know? No can tell it was wagyu. Delicious but not worth it.

Nope, I didn’t double post the same picture. We got this dish twice and I ate two pieces from this order lol. I love lamb. It was so good!!

WAKUDA’s House Special | $14.00
soft-serve miso ice cream

Fancy yeah with the gold? I’m not a big fan of vanilla ice cream but I had to try their take on miso ice cream! It’s actually very good, a nice blend of miso and vanilla. If you enjoy a nice vanilla ice cream, get this!

Kakigori with Candy Floss | $25.00
kanazawa shaved ice, seasoned fruit puree, seasonal sorbet, milk syrup, citrus & berries

What a sight! Look at this cotton candy cloud on top of the shave ice. And the ice was supposedly from Japan? Ho da fancy! It was delicious too. I really enjoyed this dessert!!

Aloha Kitchen – Las Vegas, Nevada

Oh boy did this trip prove how Asian I am. I needed rice the morning after we landed. I wasn’t even 24 hours out of Hawaii yet. We did a water run at Target and I looked up a place to grab breakfast and found Aloha Kitchen. No regrets!!!

Longanisa and Spam Breakfast Platter | $16.29

Chan’s breakfast, two scoop rice and scrambled eggs. Kind of pricey for the plate but they actually give choke!

Portuguese Sausage & Longanisa Platter | $16.29

My platter! I wanted my pocho sausage. The sausage was just alright. I like to get my eggs over medium. Great portions! We had enough leftover for another day of breakfast. Thankfully our room had a little kitchenette!

Side Order Tater Tots | $5.29

LOL, what you want me to say. It’s like mini hash browns okay!

Kind of a double post, anytime I go mainland, I have to go Bambu! Since it closed down in Hawaii, I haven’t been able to get my number 10 dessert fix.

Almost forgot to take a picture, it is too hot outside to do anything so I took one in the car. Was it good? Uh, yeah! Should have got another one of these during the trip. Along with playing more games of craps!!!!

Sparrow + Wolf – Las Vegas, Nevada

I’m back and ready to post! Chan and I had a wonderful trip to Vegas, hung out with his friend Bryson and boy oh boy, cruising with two foodies made such a difference in our meals. We went all out during dinners and it’s some of the best food I ever had! I apologize that I do not partake in alcohol – I don’t have much to share on that end, but I will say they enjoyed their alcohol pairings. Sparrow + Wolf is a restaurant Chan tried before and that Bryson is a regular at so we had EXCELLENT service. The food, service and drinks were *chef’s kiss*. I would call their menu…neo-American and Asian fusion style? Didn’t have a single bad dish!

Sage Me From Myself (proofless) | $10.00
cold pressed blueberry, raspberry, pineapple, and fennel bulb

You will however get to check out all the non-alcoholic drinks I tried! I was told that they have like an $11,000 juicer in the kitchen which is why this drink is so so so good. He was right. I drank two of them. Yum!

Grass fed Beef Tartare | $22.00
grass fed beef tartare, confit egg yolk, grilled sourdough

All our orders were at the recommendation of our awesome server, we did no ordering on our own. They matched the foods perfectly to Chan and Bryson’s drinks. The foods all matched my tummy’s needs. 🙂 This dish looks interesting and not like your typical tartare, I was like, why they bringing out imitation crab salad? Haha! No worries, you mix it up and eat it with the bread and it is just really good beef tartare!

Kanpachi | $23.00
kanpachi tiradito blood orange aji amarillo, olive oil

Nice bite! Was it the most memorable dish of the night? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good! Blood orange with kanpachi, who would’ve thunk it?

Spring Onion Cappalletti | $28.00
ramps, calamansi, garlic flower, miso

OKAY YUM. It’s a really interesting dish, calamansi is a strong flavor of it but it also had a nice buttery miso taste to it. I can’t explain it! It was so good! Frothy pasta shell, sounds weird but tasted great!!

Bánh Cuốn | $20.00
ground duck, wood ear mushroom, habanero, coconut

Bánh Cuốn is vietnamese rice rolls. I would call this dish like Bánh Cuốn deconstructed, there were strips of rice paper around the dish with the “innards”, very soupy as you can see but delicious! And isn’t it pretty?

Black Pepper Honey Pork Secreto | $38.00
sweet potato banana puree, peanut nuoc cham

Another winners dish. Super tender slices of pork and wonderfully seasoned. I love vietnamese flavors in dishes so it was a winner!!!

Charred Brocollini | $16.00
green goddess, black garlic, fines herbes crumb

I don’t know if this is vegan or not but I assume it is and I would be dang happy to eat this as an entree if I was! I love brocollini so much and they charred it perfectly, great dish!

Kalbi Eye of Rib | $59.00
chili lobster gratin, thai basil, lime, garlic breadcrumb

HELLO. This was a great ender for the meal! Lobster and rib eye? No can go wrong brada! So good and cooked perfectly. By the way, all dishes are served family style.

Chocolate Ganache Torte | $12.00
pistachio gelato, toasted coconut

Nice little dessert to share at the end of the meal. Very rich chocolate ganache torte, maybe a bit much for me since we had choke food. I still helped myself to a few bites hehe. It was good especially if you love chocolate.

Tenfusa – Toyosu, Japan

Ah yes, my super belated Japan posts continue. Well, there’s actually not much more to share so it will probably be in bits and pieces. This is one of our last outings of the Japan trip before coming home. Tenfusa is located in the Toyosu Market, Chan’s friend Daisuke was nice enough to pick us up early in the morning to bring us to this restaurant. Thank God he did, all the menus are in Japanese. There was a line for the Daiwa Sushi next door but this restaurant seemed to be filled with locals (maybe fishermen).

Appetizer Menu (Well I consider it the appetizer menu!)

Maguro | ¥900

Scallop Sashimi | ¥850

Shirasu | ¥400

Whale Meat (Raw) | ¥700

This is my first time trying whale. This may be the last time I am trying whale. Look at the color! It looks like raw beef. It tastes kind of like raw beef too. I didn’t enjoy the taste. Glad I tried so I can say I tried it but I am good in the future.

Tempura Teishoku

Tendon

Chan and I had the Tendon. Gosh, I was so like…full from this trip already. And we got choke appetizers. By the time the main entrees came, I was already stuffed. But the tempura was super good. Perfectly cooked seafood. The pieces of fish were so tender and fried light and crispy. I was very happy to have tried Tenfusa!

Mixed Plate Friday

One of the many gifts Kat gave us! I finally cracked open the Japanese Sriracha, I didn’t even know they had one! And you know we had that shortage for a while so it as hard to even get a hold of a bottle. And then people were saying it doesn’t taste the same anymore? I think they started using different chili peppers, boy oh boy. I was able to get a new bottle and I guess I agree that it tastes a little different but not awful. Sorry, got off-track. So how was the Japanese one? I liked it! Good balance of garlic and heat with a nice sweetness to it. I enjoy it a lot!! Thank you again Kat!

This was a gift from Chan’s friend and I had no idea what it was. I honestly thought it was like a biscuit or senbei. That was until we asked a coworker and was told it was miso soup!! I had to try it immediately and oh my goodness, it was delicious and look!

It is stuffed with all these great veggies and cute fishcake…what a great miso soup! I definitely have to look for this next time I am in Japan!!

Tanto Tonkotsu Black Ramen | $18.00 (includes 5 pieces of Tanto Gyoza)

Don’t have enough for a full post but Tanto Gyoza and Ramen Bar is located in Puck’s Alley in Manoa. They specialize in gyoza (yes, the gyoza is good) and the ramen is good too! But I think I need to try another broth, this one might be too rich for me so I get tummy ache. I think I get tummy ache from plenty foods…hmm…anyway, worth a try!

Chuka Soba Aoba – Ikebukuro, Japan

Located in the Sunshine Mall, Chuka Soba Aoba is just a small little chinese noodles soup that we tried. I actually think this was the first real bowl of ramen we had during the whole trip. It was a nice fill up – nothing too fancy or frou frou. The line was constant and they had a good system of seating. Singles were seated at the bar between the partitions and parties of 2 or more got seated at a table.

Super busy place and actually mostly locals which is a good sign right?

Chan got the tsukemen

I got the regular ramen. I gotta admit, it was the egg in the picture of the mall directory that got me. I just love Japan eggs so much and look at how bright deep orange these yolks are. What I was served looked exactly like the directory photo. Delicious! By the way, this is all they have. Ramen or tsukemen, nothing else. No gyoza, no side dishes, just noodles.