Friday, April 15, 2016

HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)

Humphry Slocombe
Ferry Building
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
www.humphryslocombe.com
Tel: 415.550.6971
$ (under $15)
Cuisine: Ice Cream
     (5 Piglets)



Smooth. Rich. Creamy. Interesting. Those are all adjectives that describe the epitome of Humphry Slocombe's deliciously authentic ice cream. Named after characters from the British sitcom "Are You Being Served?," the founders Jake Godby and Sean Vahey wanted to create a frozen dessert that would be delicious and bizarre. They make everything from scratch, including their toppings. Their mission is to devise a formula that would capture the essence of the flavors that are in the ice cream, i.e. make sure the bacon ice cream actually tastes like bacon!

A little bit about their history

The flavors

TWO SCOOPS ($6.50): Pepper and Mint Chip-cubeb pepper, mint and dark chocolate chips. Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple. The pepper and mint chip is an interesting combination. It was good and something different than the usual mint chip. A little spicy but with the fresh mint taste. My favorite out of the two was the Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple. You literally taste the peanut butter and the fudge. I mean, look at the ripples of fudge in the picture! Together, I probably didn't pick the best combination.


TWO SCOOPS ($6.50): MY FAVORITE FLAVOR: Secret Breakfast-Bourbon and Cornflakes. Malted Milk Chocolate. The secret breakfast was so good. Who would've thought cornflakes and bourbon would be a good combination. The bourbon was a nice smoky touch as an after taste and the cornflakes added a crunch to the creaminess. The malted milk chocolate had a deliciously chocolate flavor. I like this flavor as it wasn't crazy sweet.

Overall, Humphry Slocombe is an ice cream shop able to withhold its motto of delivering fresh ice cream with profound flavors. You definitely taste every bit of each ingredient put into this creamy deliciousness. There are currently two stores offering this dessert in the Bay Area. The one I visited had a long line, so expect a wait! It's worth every penny and time in the queue.



Notable flavors: Secret Breakfast and Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)

Blue Bottle Coffee
Tasting Room
1 Ferry Building
Kiosk #4, Suite 56
San Francisco, CA 94111
www.bluebottlecoffee.com
$ (under $15)
Cuisine: Coffee
Sat, 03/26/2016, 3:00pm walk-in
     (4.5 Piglets)




A little over 10 years ago in the Northern California city of Oakland stood a guy who was passionate about his coffee. He vowed to serve delicious coffee within 48 hours of the beans being roasted. With this vow, James Freeman (the founder) was able to elicit the freshest coffee to his customers.

These days, the Oakland based coffee shop has expanded throughout California, New York and Tokyo. Blue Bottle offers everything from pour-over coffee to espresso drinks and beans to brew your own coffee at home. Pastries and other baked goods are sold, individualized to each shop. And you can bet there is a wait at every Blue Bottle you visit...



Ready to make some brew


They sell coffee in a carton!


Or if you much prefer...in a can!


MY FAVORITE DRINK. COLD BREW NEW ORLEANS ($4.00): Milk, Roasted Chicory, Cane Sugar. Extremely delicious. It's a cold brew, strong, yet rich with a smooth finish. The sugar added the necessary sweetness to make it one of those tasty milky coffee drinks that everyone so desires. The chicory wasn't overpowering.


COFFEE TASTING ($7.00): ROTATING MENU OF FOUR COFFEES BREWED IN AN AEROPRESS. You know it's good coffee when you don't have to add a ton of sugar and milk/creamer to your coffee. The four different coffee tastings ranged from lightest bodied to bold and they were all delicious. I was able to drink it straight as is. The coffee was smooth and not at all bitter. If you want to taste good coffee straight, this is the way to do it.


Another view...
The Regulo was my favorite.
This was the strongest out of the four


Overall, Blue Bottle is one of those coffee shops where you can actually drink the coffee black. The coffee has a slightly naturally sweetened taste. It isn't bitter, which I appreciate. Thank goodness they opened up one in LA! I can now conveniently have a cup or two whenever I want!


Notable drinks: Cold Brew New Orleans

Saturday, April 2, 2016

YANK SING (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St
San Francisco, CA
www.yanksing.com
Tel: 415.541.4949
$$$ ($30-$45)
Cuisine: Dim Sum/Chinese
Sat, 03/26/2016, 1:30pm Walk-in
    (3.5 Piglets)




I love dim sum. I grew up eating dim sum nearly every weekend since I was a kid. It was something I looked forward to with my parents and something I still look forward to this day.

San Francisco is known to have good dim sum. Yank Sing, a James Beard Award winning restaurant is a very popular dim sum spot with two locations in SF, both in the Financial District. It is traditional in the sense that the Chinese ladies still push those carts filled with amazing little bites of food but modern due to the d├ęcor.

Yank Sing offers traditional dim sum dishes that range from feng Zhao (chicken feet) to siu mai (shrimp dumplings). Additionally, Yank Sing's employees speak English, which is a huge plus for those who don't speak Cantonese.


The push carts


Carts of delicious bites



Our fancy teapot!


SWEET RICE DUMPLING (4 PIECES-$11.00): Four delicious dumplings, fried crisp and filled with a slightly sweet and savory filling. There were sweet notes of cinnamon and licorice flavor like star anise. I thoroughly enjoyed the exterior as it was crisp and not overly sweet. 


A closer look at the interior


MY FAVORITE DISH. CHICKEN FEET ($5.50): I grew up eating these delectable little feet since I was a kid. I'm very particular when it comes to my chicken feet. I don't like it overly cartilage-y or fat skin (although that's what you basically eat). This feng zhao is actually pretty darn good. The sweet, bbq-like sauce coats every nook and cranny of the foot. I could eat these all day.


A closer look at the feng zhao


I basically ate the whole thing cause my friend wasn't interested in trying it! 


PEKING DUCK (BY THE SLICE) WITH BUN (1 ORDER-$6.55): I actually thought this was pretty good. It was quite small for $6.55, but the duck was delicious with a crisp skin that went well with the hoisen sauce. The bun was light and fluffy. A pretty good dish overall. 


CURRIED CHICKEN TURNOVER (2 FOR $5.50): This was probably my least favorite dish. The bun was pretty good and the bottom was fried crisp, but the filling was not my cup of tea. A simple savory chicken filling that was not very spectacular. I probably wouldn't order this dish again nor would my friend. 


SHANGHAI KUROBUTA PORK DUMPLING (6 FOR $14.00): The best kind of dumplings: xiao long bao. These were not that great. The texture was a bit off and the wrapping wasn't as chewy as I would have liked. If I want some xiao long bao, I'll just get some at Din Tai Fung. I believe they are opening one up in NorCal...


HONEY BAKED SEABASS ($20.55): So this is the most expensive dim sum item on the menu. It's good but the portion is quite small for $20. The fish was cooked perfectly, not overly done and definitely flaky. I did enjoy the flavors: a bit sweet from the honey with a caramelized undertone. If you wanna splurge, this is a good choice. 

Overall, Yank Sing is decent for dim sum but a bit overpriced for the dishes. It doesn't taste as authentic as other places I've tried. I appreciate the modernization and the variety of dishes that cannot be found at traditional dim sum spots. Considering the location and the cleanliness of the establishment, you get what you pay for.

Notable dishes: Chicken Feet, Peking Duck and Honey Baked Seabass