Sheridan Su

Monday, July 26, 2010

Restaurante Takenoya, Polanco

Chefs preparing dumplings behind a glass enclosed kitchen.

Shanghai Steamed Pork Dumplings - Xiao Long Bao

Chef waiting for a customer's order

Takenoya, in Polanco, was a pleasant discovery. A few days ago, I read about this restaurant on MidwesternerinMexico. Takenoya is a Pan Chinese and Japanese restaurant. It features a variety of mainstream dishes from both countries, such as potstickers, xiao long bao, har gow, tempura, as well as featuring a full sushi bar and teppenyaki tables. The xiao long bao is obviously its signature dish, as every table had an order of it. Its farce was a bit fattier and didn't hold as much broth as the dumplings I grew up eating. However, I'm not complaining, because I'm glad this restaurant exists here in DF. The xiao long bao's flavors were spot on with what I've eaten in Shanghai, China and (my home) Monterey Park, CA.

Moliere 313, Col. Polanco

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pissed off about Mexican sashimi!!

There are just too many restaurants that try to be everything to everyone. Much more often than not, the results are a disappointing, ugly, diluted version of what the dish should be. Here is my personal philosophy for cooking: Keep it simple, stick with what you know best, and then do it better than everyone else.

For example, take this Kona Kanpachi dish (below) from a popular seafood restaurant in Santa Fe. It has a huge menu with over 200 items. The server informed me that they just added a sushi menu to their raw bar. So I review their menu: tuna, octopus, snapper, scallop, and then I see kanpachi. I ordered it: Kona Kanpachi Sashimi with a salad made up of nori, shiso, bamboo shoots, and rice. Then they confirmed my worst fear. The fish was no bueno. I should have stuck with the basics: shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, stone crab claws, etc. Now back to the kanpachi: I removed 2 pinbones from my first bite into the sashimi!! To add to the disaster, the kanpachi was barely fresh enough to serve. It was dry and the fish was pretty much hacked into. (Notice how the slices of fish on the left side are torn instead of sliced?) Then, they placed Mexican rice underneath the salad. It's not a bad thing, but the rice wasn't cooked today. Old and cold crystalized rice will never pass my test.

This was all I could take, 2 SLICES! Now, I'm a chef. I don't like returning dishes back to the kitchen, and usually try to finish off my plates. However, for the first time here in DF, I just politely asked to have it taken off the check. To give this establishment some cred, the complementary shellfish broth they served me, was delicious. This restaurant is actually one of the busier ones in town. Because of their reputation, I would like to go back to give it another shot. However, I'm going to stick with the dishes that they are known for.
This is what sashimi should look like.
(above is a great example of how sashimi should appear. courtesy of social house las vegas)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

La Mascota Cantina (as seen on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations)

(exactly what my vision looked like after several drinks)

Inspired by Anthony Bourdain's drunken Mexico taping of his show, No Reservations, me and my sous, Aldo, decided to seek out La Mascota. Located by the Salto de Agua metro station, sits the historic Cantina La Mascota, on Calle Mesones, 20 (BolĂ­var). Opened in 1941, this is one of many places to drink and experience Mexican culture in Centro Historico. When you start drinking, servers start bringing out tapas (free of charge). The rule of thumb here is: The more you drink, the more they'll feed you. On this afternoon, the tapas menu included satisfying items like: Barbacoa, Rico Pozole, Pollo, Chile Relleno, Chiccarron con salsa verde, Quesadilla con papa, and several others totaling 8 or 9 dishes. The cantina is packed most days during lunch hours and live entertainment is always jamming. The band rocked some Beatles hits, along with other popular Mexican rock songs. A shot of 30-30, a pina colada and sangria, couple Coronas, and a lot of food later, I was finished. It was quite the lunch.

(Barbacoa w/ consomme)

(bottom: Quesadillas con papa; top: Chicken con salsa rojo)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Redondo Beach, CA

One of the greatest pleasures in life is spending time at a beach.

Santa Monica, Venice, Miami, or Cabo, wherever beach you may be at, there is no way you can not love life, and the god who created these "wonders" for us to appreciate. Thank you.

Xiao Long Bao in DF? Could it be true?

I recently came across a blog, Midwesterner in Mexico, who reported her steamed dumpling experience in DF. I can't wait, and will be hunting this place down in the very near future!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Supermercado Asiatica + Follow Social House on Facebook and Twitter

Jenny just found Kokeshi market in Coyoacan, specializing in imported Asian products. The prices are better here than Mikasa and Super Oriental, but not as big of a selection. What a great find!

On another note, if you haven't done so yet, follow Social House Mexico City on Facebook and Twitter, where I will do my best to chronicle the opening, the struggles, and the process of being involved with the opening of an Asian restaurant in DF.

Las Vegas + Los Angeles Trip

I just returned to Mexico City after visiting Las Vegas and Los Angeles with Jenn. The trip was way too short, as always. I saw friends and family, ate amazing food, and returned to a life that was normal to me... (being able to drink tap water, driving a car, and good Chinese food!!!!!).

Las Vegas:
HK Star - Claypot rice!
Quickly - Boba!
Social House - Excellent food, drinks @ City Center. Crispy Pata, baby!
Greek Island Cafe - gyro

Los Angeles:
Church and State (downtown) - Fried Pig's Ear, Charcuterie Board, Mussels
Eileen and Michael's house - Springroll dinner and good company
New Capital (San Gabriel) - Dim Sum
ABC Cafe (Monterey Park) - Wonton Noodle Soup, $2.99
Fosselman's Ice Cream (Alhambra) - in business for more than 90 years!
Cha for Tea (Alhambra) - Taiwanese fried chicken w/ boba
Mama's Lu Dumplings*Mama's Lu is not a typo* (Monterey Park) - Shao Long Bao
Quality Seafoods (Redondo Beach) - Live Uni, Steamed Crab
Mama Liang's (San Gabriel) - Beef Noodle Soup, Beef Pancake

Left without being able to see all my friends. Left too early, left craving Hainan Chicken and Dai Ho's Beef Noodle Soup.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Casa Social" Mexico City...under construction

@ Social House Santa Fe, Paragon Business and Residential Suites

lobby @ Paragon

inside Social House "kitchen"

@ Social House Masaryk-Polanco
Located in a historic colonial mansion, this location will offer a great contrast in design with a
modern interior setting.

Zen of Dumplings

"Dumpling Manifesto", from Slate Magazine. Great writing that inspired me to make some Potstickers. :)