Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mootone Sushi - Andover, MA

Andover is a very small affluent town, north of Boston, MA. It's not really known for anything.... unless you consider Jay Leno as a comodity that made Andover known, otherwise, it's not much of anything. It's like any other suburbia.

One thing, I think that is special about this town is Mootone Sushi. I adore this place. I have been a regular here since I was 18. As mentioned in a previous post, my cousin Karli and I went to a sushi place once and they brought us a cruise ship full of amazing makis and sashimis; that was an anecdote about Mootone.

I truly adore this place. I am there almost every month (on either a Tuesday or Wednesday).

Long are the days of me ordering my usual: Eel, cucumber and avocado maki, Shrimp with mango maki, and Philadelphia. All I use to have to say was "I'm ordering for pick up..." and they wouldn't even ask for my name and what I wanted. They use to just recite my order and give me the time.

I have evolved from those three rolls, but I still order them. Here are some of the other things I order from Mootone:

This is a pork gyoza. This is actually my first time trying this. It's pretty good.

Chicken Tempura with vegetables... don't even ask but we ordered this meal as well and none of us could finish the sushi we ordered.

From top to bottom: Philadelphia maki, Rainbow Maki, Eel with crabstick and spicy mayo, Dragon Maki, and Andover Maki. What's in an Andover Maki? it's scallop, and salmon cooked with the spicy tuna mayo topped with panko crumbs. Eating it is like Jesus coming down to give you a big hug (haha that's a quote from my boss, who I was with yesterday trying to finish this plate along with my previous boss. I love getting people to eat together. Eating fortifies relationships, especially when you eat sushi together.

Not only do they have sushi, they also have teppanyaki so if you are wanting to see a show and eat it after, you have that option as well.

Overall, I would give Mootone an 8 out of 10, 10 being the best. I will explain my rating system eventually. It's not consistent across all sushi places and locations.
I can go more in depth next time but that's the only 20 minutes I had to blog today.

If you ever find yourself in a little town called Andover, MA definitely visit Mootone.

15 Railroad Street
Andover, MA 01810-3516
(978) 623-8006

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New England Chocolate Company - Salisbury, MA

My boss once told me that a good chocolate boutique always offers you a box so that your chocolate won't be mushed in your bag (but I never really have that problem as I would probably finish that box in a minute after leaving the shop). One of the chocolate places I discovered lately was New England Chocolate Company in Salisbury, MA and they offer you a box for your chocolates, of course they had to be spectacular.

My boyfriend mentioned this place to me about a year ago since he drives by this place every time he goes surfing. He kept telling me he has been meaning to bring me some chocolate home; well, it was a year or so later that we finally did end up going.

I had a serious craving for chocolate about three weeks ago and we just had to stop there. I'm happy we did make the stop. We spent about $6 worth of chocolate and every penny was worth it.

The owner was friendly and exuded this pride on having such a scrumptuos quaint boutique in New England. We ended up having a conversation and I told her about this specific white Brazilian chocolate with dolce de leite inside. We ended the conversation with her telling us about this specific chocolate dish that she makes only on Valentine's day and Thanksgiving (or it could have been Christmas, I can't remember) in which customers have to get on the calling list. I had no idea what it was but I agreed to it. I'm always up for trying anything.

The master chocolatier herself, Jayne. She was concocting almond caramel turtles. Yum!

Finally, the owner called last week and told my boyfriend the specialty chocolate was ready. At that time we still had no idea what this specific chocolate was called until I picked it up yesterday. It is called Turona. Sounds exotic, I know. I only bought three pieces and I was highly disappointed at the fact that I didn't buy more as the turona was serious business. The two pieces I had (two because I was nice enough to offer one to my boyfriend) was just perfect.

So what is a turona? Well, the best way I can describe it is this smooth layering of goodness with creamy milk chocolate. I had to ask the owner exactly what was in it; it contains Belgian milk chocolate, pralines, and wafers and they are layered. So when you do try it, you will be biting into a divine piece of chocolate with a slight crunch!

I just love Chocolate Day aka Valentine's Day!

Without further adieu, here are the decadent confectionaries:

Happy Chocolate Day indeed!

This is what I bought. The little cute cubes on the left are the Turonas, in the center are peanut butter cups, one dark and one milk, above right are chocolate covered pretzels (my other favorites), and below the pretzels are chocolate truffles (better than Lindor!)

I know, its difficult not to have a craving after seeing all the chocolate goodness. If you want to try Jayne's chocolate and find out about her story, check out her website at or check out her chocolate heaven at:

New England Chocolate Company Inc.
123 Lafayette Road
Salisbury, Massachusetts 01952

You missed the turonas but I promise there are other greatness in her boutique to enjoy.

Valentine's Day = Happy Chocolate Day!

Valentine's day = love, kisses, heartbreak, and deliciousness

If it weren't for chocolate, I think Valentine's day would just be another boring holiday and even more boring because you actually don't even have the day off from work if it falls in as a weekday.

I spent some time in a little chocolate place in Salisbury, MA yesterday. I want to do a quick blog on them in a little bit, but this is what I got:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guess this food game

If you can guess this food and where it's from, I will cook for you next time I see you.

Been a bit busy at work to write a blog, but I have some recipes and restaurant reviews coming next week.

Oh, and I'm also busy for the next three weeks as I will be moving into a condo! Woohooo I'm an adult now... I think...

Here's the rough agenda of what's coming up.

- Restaurant review for Irish Cottage, Ebenezer's Pub, and Dali's Tapas
- Sushi in Boston - not sure where yet, but I'm sure its sometime in March around my birthday
- Pasta - since I haven't had any sort of pasta post
- Logo - I am working with a show de bola friend that is designing my branding. I haven't told him specifically what I want, but it will come to life soon.

Ok that's it. Foreign recipe blog tomorrow (by foreign I mean my mom made up this recipe and I adopted it and made it my own but this definition of foreign recipe won't always hold true, it will get redefined again and again).

Your hungry traveling foodie

Monday, February 8, 2010

Newburyport, MA - my home

Newburyport, MA - port city, tourists, water view, and my home.

No blog yesterday as it was Superbowl Sunday. I didn't really watch the game since I was too busy cooking. And what was I cooking? Pancit. What's pancit you ask? Well, its a traditional filipino dish made up of rice noodles (you can actually make it with egg noodles as well but I prefer vermicelli), chicken, shrimp, cabbage, carrots, celery, and green beans. It's seasoned with soy sauce.

I keep getting asked to cook this so I ended up cooking two versions as one of my "customers" is a pescetarian (n. a person that only eats vegetables and seafood). So the first one I made had chicken and shrimp in it. Normally I put pork in there as well, but I wanted to keep this one simple. The second one was the pescetarian version. You can seriously even make it vegetarian if you wanted.

There's some sort of noodle dish like this in pretty much every Asian nationality. Pancit would be more of a combination of Chinese and Spanish cooking.

Anyway, it took me about 2 hours just chopping up the vegetables and peeling the shrimp and shredding the boiled chicken. My arms are still pretty sore and feels like I have been lifting weights.

Here are the colorful ingredients:

Green beans(cut diagonally and thin, not quite sure what that slicing method is called), carrots (julienned), and I almost forgot, one medium onion diced and four cloves of garlic (I love garlic)


Snow peas cut in half diagonally and peeled whole shrimp (about half a pound)

Boiled chicken shredded by hand

Vermicelli - rice noodles and soy sauce (low sodium of course)

Here's the quick recipe:

Sautee the onions and garlic in 2 tbps vegetable oil (medium heat); once they are translucent, add the chicken and shrimp (or just shrimp for the pescetarian version). Once the shrimp is pinkish (which means its cooked), add about 3 tbps soy sauce (more if you want). Keep mixing them until the soy sauce is well infused with the ingredients. Add in about 3 cups of chicken stock and simmer for 2 minutes (to add more flavor, I usually add in chicken bouillon cube or powder). Then add in cabbage, green beans, snow peas, carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are tender. I kinda like my veggies crispy, so I cook them for about 3-5 minutes in medium heat. Then finally add in and cook the noodles until all the liquids are absorbed by the noodles. I promise it is a fantastic recipe. It's my first favorite noodle dish next to chap chae, a sweet Korean noodle dish. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quincy, Massachusetts - Kam Man International Market

Quincy - beaches, clam shacks, Blue Hills, and a shit load of Asians

Lucy, a British Filipina friend, introduced me to Kam Man International Market. When you walk in there, you feel like you're in China town. It's a massive super market that houses pretty much anything you need. They have a bank in there, a shop with herbs, bubble tea, DVD/CD store, utilities store, and the actual super market. It literally is a Super Market.

I'm a bit hungover today and I figured this place would be perfect to nourish me with all the food they have. I ate so much I actually feel a little sicker. But the food is nonetheless amazing.

Before I go into detail about today, let's re-visit last night and the cause of my hangover. My friend Puerto (that's not really her name, but that's what we call her since she's Dominican) and I decided that we should have a diva night in lieu of the diva playlist she put together (diva playlist consisted of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Beyonce etc). We love themes so we referred to last night as diva night. The order of business was dinner, movie and drinks. So she came over with champagne, Pomegranate pucker, popcorn, chips, and salsa. We watched Hangover and drank the whole champagne proceeded to finish a bottle of Robert Mondavi Chardonnay. Drunk as skunks indeed. We laughed all night because the movie was hilarious and we couldn't stop cackling about this penguin getting assaulted by a seal (I know its supposed to be serious but come on, a confused pre-pubescent seal trying to have sex with a penguin is hilarious):

Oh, I forgot, we had girl scout cookies as well.

Back to Kam Man, first order of business was the hotdog wrapped in this sweet bun. Amazing indeed. Then I proceeded to eat a sesame ball with this sticky mung paste inside. Then I ordered white rice, sauteed garlic green beans, and fried fish. Everything else was good except for the fish.

Kam Man is a serious super market with:

Desserts and Pastries

Too cute to eat!

Roast Duck

A plethora of cooked dishes

Feet - you can get any type of feet you want like chicken feet or pigs hooves


Fresh Produce

Lastly, I bought myself a meat cleaver (a whopping $10 meat cleaver, great price!) today to open the fresh coconuts I bought from Kam Man. I went to and found an instructional video of how to open a coconut with a meat cleaver under five seconds. Well, it took me a good five minutes and it was messier than I expected but it was worth it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

London (circa January 2008)

London - city of sex, dancing, shopping, style, and drugs

What an intro! What more can you ask for. Not much of a post today as I barely took pictures of food while I was there. And more importantly, I didn't even try any of the local cuisines. I know, lame but I'm sure I'll be back there soon and I will for surely try the local food next time.

In the meantime, I am missing everything in London today. I'm sure it's cold there right now, but I miss the people, the shopping (although its super expensive), and the style. It's my second favorite city in the world!

If you ever visit, I bet you would miss these too:

Tracey Neull - great shoe display. Too bad everything in there was more than 300 pounds...

Camden - the punkish area of London. My friend said you don't want to go there at night by yourself, but during the day, this place is just fun.

People of London - As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, a part of my job is to seek trends in the global market place. London was a perfect place for it. People loved to get their pictures taken. The people I captured in my camera had this innate attitude that they are IT. They own the city because they look good.

This guy was the most interesting guy I took a picture of. When I asked him if I could take his photo, he said only if I pay him. I said no. Then he let me take his picture then asked "will you get tea with me?" in which I replied by thanking him and walking away.

Lastly, this is the only shot I got of food.

Tapas!!! Not sure what the place is called but it was on/near Marylbone High. It was amazing to say the least.

Maybe next time I go to the UK I will have myself a spotted dick...