All posts by Nate

Nate is the Techie / Barbecue-y half of the House of Annie team. Born in Hawaii, his favorite hobby is surfing...WEB surfing that is. Visit my Google+ Profile

Maria Elena’s Mexican Restaurant, Alviso

Reading the obituary for Maria Elena Montellano, I am transported back a few years, to the day I visited her namesake restaurant.

maria elenas alviso sign

It was one of those gloriously crisp, clear Fall Saturdays in the Bay Area, with the bright sun shining down its warm rays upon a chilly South Bay. I had just dropped Annie off at a friend’s house in north San Jose, near 1st St and Hwy 237. (Annie was catering a bridal shower.) So there I was, alone with the kids and nothing to do.

I didn’t want to head back home – too boring. I also didn’t want to drive too far away, since I needed to be back in a few hours to fetch Annie. So I decided to keep heading North on 1st St and cross over Hwy 237 to the little town of Alviso. With no plan in mind, what would I find?

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Rider’s Café @ Bukit Timah Saddle Club, Singapore

I found the beef!

riders cafe bacon mushroom cheeseburger

Do you remember that old Wendy’s Hamburger commercial with the old lady yelling “Where’s the beef?!?” when she sees a pathetically tiny burger patty inside a huge bun? That’s what I feel like yelling whenever I see a burger here in Kuching. The hamburger patties aren’t miniscule, but they are not that big either, AND they aren’t 100% beef as well – there’s a lot of soy mixed in.

Suffice to say, I’ve really been craving a good beef burger. Doesn’t have to be grass-fed, local beef from the North Shore of Oahu like the one I had at Town Restaurant in Kaimuki. Even a Double-Double Animal Style from In-n-Out would be better than the “Two semi-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese…” Big Mac I can get at the Kuching Airport McDonald’s.

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Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Singapore

We share an excellent Peking duck meal with a popular food blogger in Singapore.

imperial treasure super peking duck restaurant singapore

Back when we were planning to come to Singapore, I reached out to a few Singaporean food bloggers that I wanted to meet in person. Unfortunately, they were going to be out of town that weekend that we were coming. I commented about this to our friend Mike, who told us to contact LK, the blogger behind the popular blog Food For Tots. LK happened to be a Malaysian from Penang, living in Singapore.

So I sent LK an email and, after a few rounds back and forth, arranged to meet up at the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant in the Paragon Mall on Orchard Road. We arrived there, not too many hours past our dim sum meal at Noble House. Though we had never met before, we did know what each other looked like from our respective About pages. (Aren’t About pages helpful? 😉 ) Then we entered the restaurant where we were shown to our table.

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Hibiki Restaurant, Singapore

We’ve been deprived.

hibiki restaurant singapore

In California and Hawaii, we’ve been spoiled for good sushi. Whether it was Tokkuri Tei in Honolulu, Akane in Los Altos, Sakae in Burlingame, or the inimitable Sushi-Man in San Francisco, we feel that we’ve experienced some of the best sushi around. Despite the fact that Kuching is known for its fresh seafood, however, it is not known for having good sushi restaurants.

Our friends Mike and CW both told us to bypass the local Kuching sushi restaurants and just wait until we get to KL or Singapore. Well, we made it to Singapore, we were looking for a place to have dinner after our trip on the Singapore Flyer, and we found the Hibiki Japanese Restaurant on the ground floor of the Singapore Flyer terminal. Let’s have some sushi!

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