Saturday, 28 March 2015

Food update - week 4

Elmer's - Expensive breakfast IMO, $10+ for a set, tastes not bad though.
Dungeness Crab Egg Benedict - Elmer's
Ta Ra Rin - Supposedly best Thai in the area of Salem, place was not bad, food was OK.
Ta Ra Rin

Longbottom - Ate the bagel set, not too bad.

Portland City Grill - Awfully over priced fine dine place located at the 30th floor, right in the middle of Portland city.
Top sirloin with salmon - Portland City Grill

Chang's Mongolian Grill - An interesting experience where you pick up what you like and there is this big cooking plate operated by two chefs to cook on the spot for what you have chosen, eat all you can. Another interesting fact is this has nothing to do with Mongolia.

Banya - A random Japanese restaurant that we went after being rejected by Benihana, please continue reading to know more about Benihana. Food was OK.
Forgot what roll, this is also something unique in US - Banya

McCormick Fish & Grill- Another random Fish & Grill Bar that we bump into after the wrong information shown on Google on Koreana. Food was OK but is pricey.
Steak and Lobster - McCormick
A long list of wine - McCormick

Fogo de Chao - This was the best meal experience by far in The State. A Brazilian steak house, where they will bring the roasted meat in a whole, cut it right in front of you, if you are interested to have a bite. This will keep circulate until you are full, or they can serve as your order. Apart from the different experience, some of the steak was nice too. It was a full lunch.
This side to have the waiter serve you with food - Fogo de Chao
And this side to temporary stop if you need more time to finish what's on your plate - Fogo de Chao
Benihana - And immediately at the very same night, the best meal experience got overwritten by Benihana, which we had to make a reservation at 845pm, yet we are served to the table after 9pm, food was served after 10pm, left the restaurant at 11pm, the latest dinner I ever had - but, it was a total satisfactory. They call the chef table, where the chef cook right in front of you on top of something similar to the usual teppanyaki we are familiar of, but on top of that, part of the chef's responsibility was to entertain the customers, by doing tricks, making jokes.. I have seen some video clips on the internet, but have no idea where to find and even what keyword to search, but somehow got here by accident. The nice experience aside, the food were all fresh, not frozen, I can tell since it's cooked right in front of me. The first taste on the shrimp appetizer, I was overjoyed, I have never taste a mouthful of shrimp taste like that in the State, sorry bout the lack of descriptive words to use, in short, it was really nice. The appetizer made me anticipate for the main course for I ordered the seafood meal, with SHRIMP. But somehow the bigger shrimp on the main course wasn't so tasty as the appetizer one's, but in overall it was still very good. This is the restaurant I would really want to pay a second visit.

Koreana - Typical family style Korean restaurant, food was not too bad.
Steam pork belly - Koreana
Thai Bloom - Another high class Thai restaurant, food was OK, a little pricey.

Trip update - week 4



先在Oregon的首都Salem吃了比平常的午餐还要贵的早餐,顺便打包了午餐——到那种鸟不生蛋的郊外必须事先做的功课。再驾了一个小时半的车,到达了目的地Sweet Creek Falls。

沿着溪边走来回大概三英里的路程,溪边免不了有一些淤泥,对于我那双新鞋,我也看破了,就让它这样吧。但也只是很普通的平地行走,这里所谓的hike trail其实都只是在行走,目前为止让我觉得有一些挑战的只是Smith Rock,其他的就算是前两个星期的NeahKahNie被评为difficult,其实一点都不难。

这种creek walk其实很不错,可能照片上看不出,有些地方的水流还蛮急的,水流所造成的风也不容小觑,所以一路上都还蛮凉爽的。

过后到University of Oregon想要看有没有美眉,但那所谓的大学只是几个街角凑起来的,而且正逢春假,没什么人影。在五点多这种不上不下的时间,其实要再找东西来做什还蛮难的,这里的人都很悠闲,五点钟该关的关了,该开的还是关了。最后到个小公园随便走走,看看狗看看花,就到一个泰国餐厅解决晚餐。然后再花一个半小时回程。


过后就花了近两个小时在Portland一间很大间的书店,我走马看花地,都没把整间走完。也终于买了我想了很久的Lord of The Ring三部曲加上Hobbit,也不知几时才会读完。


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Food update - week 3

Einstein Bro Bagels - Yes I am back for the bagels, there are a lot of flavor to really try all of them. Cream cheese isn't that bad that I thought.

Onion with cream cheese, Everything - Einstein Bro Bagels
Bibimbap House - A Korean restaurant at Salem, an aunty with characteristic, food was not bad.

Sam Ge Tang - Bibimbap House
Complimentary fruit - Bibimbap House

Via Chicago - Chicago style pizza, was okay.

5 different flavor - Via Chicago
Salt & Straw - I thought the sea salt caramel ice-cream I had was weird enough, apparently I underestimate the innovation of human. Out of the 7 flavors we had, only the pear was normal, the others all beh jiak.
Tasting flight - Salt & Straw
Local Ocean - Was expecting nice seafood, but it was all overpriced not nice food.
Shrimp salad - Local Ocean
Flavor Of India - First Indian meal here, the taste is closer to what I am used to, except the spicy level isn't really means anything.
Chicken tikka kebab - Flavor Of India
Swagat - Buffet Indian lunch, not many choices, but the taste was not bad.

Mio Sushi - Nice little Japanese shop. Food was not bad.

Chirashi - Mio Sushi
Red Lobster - Catch up with the lobster feast to get some nice lobster.
Ultimate feast with lobster and snow crab - Red Lobster
PF Chang - Famous higher class Chinese restaurant chain, expensive and not nice at all.

Vivi - One of my best last year, still very satisfy with the Pho.

Siam Thai - Another good Thai restaurant that has been well recommended, wasn't too bad but will have to becareful on what to order. Honey crispy chicken was awful, coconut curry was not bad.

Platter - Siam Thai
Coconut curry - Siam Thai
Duh Kuh Bee - Was well rated online, small shop, long queue, but food was not as expected.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Trip update - week 3

My first rainy day in Oregon since 2 weeks, it's pretty amazing with what I heard from a local Oregonian today "Rain! a prove that we are in Oregon!". Well, since the weather is bad, the original plan of going all the way to University of Washington for sakura was called off, instead, we went for a nearer option, Salem State Capitol Park. It wasn't a bad decision at all.

I was here last year, but I think I did not catch the full blossom time, and it was packed with people - it was a sunny day. It wasn't so bad after all, having to stand in the rain, at least we got the peacefulness.

Believe me, the obnoxious tick wasn't the intention
It looks better in real, and it feels a lot better in real
Last year - with blue sky
Had lunch at a Korean restaurant at Salem - Bibimbap House, ordered Sam Ge Tang, it was quite nice.

Spent some time walking around in the city, I hasn't really had any casual loiter around in The State, it was quite an experience seeing the streets and some interesting shops, should do this more.

Nothing much in the itinerary, headed back to Portland, stopped by at Woodburn Premium Outlet on the journey, had pizza and weird-tasted ice-cream for dinner.

And the rain continues to day-2.
I have been enjoying the small little walk in the town, hence has decided to travel west to Newport to continue the city adventure. Did a quick check on weather on the road, rain was expected, but "high wind alert" isn't something that we have faced before. And we got that information loud and clear as soon as we reach the coast.

Trees and signboards were shaking, wind was howling, even our car was drifted slightly due to the wind. We stopped by at a beach at Lincoln City. The wind was crashing against our body and jacket as long as we leave the car. Sands had been hitting on our faces and exposed skin. Even the seagulls were standing still on the ground to fight against the strong wind. It's crazy, but it's fun too.

Look at the sand trail, it's like sandstorm

Had a rather disappointing lunch at Newport before starting our city adventure. It didn't last long due to the rain and strong wind resulting to extremely cold weather. Did able to see some sea lions.

They have been growling non-stop
Headed back to Lincoln City for shopping before having Indian dinner.

This wasn't the type of travelling itinerary where you jam as many sight seeing places as you can into one day to make full use of the travel, but this kind of relaxing schedule is actually the best way of living the life of the locals. And it is only possible during this short term stay here, and I appreciate it.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Food update - week 2

Einstein Bro Bagels - Bagels, varieties of bagels with optional toppings. I ordered pretzel and six cheese, without any topping. Pretzel was salty, six cheese was OK. In overall wasn't too bad.
Pretzel and Six Cheese Bagels - Einstein Bro Bagels

Voodoo Doughnut - A famous doughnut store in Portland for whatever reason it is, to me they are just doughnut, sugar coated flour.
The keh leh one is the signature doughnut made with reference of the logo - Voodoo Doughnut

Food truck - Another famous food in Portland is the food trucks. There were few choices but wasn't attracted by most of them, picked the Egyptian Gyro. For five bucks it was cheap, taste wasn't too bad but the lamb meat was disappointing.
Lamb gyro - Portland Food Truck

Jin Wah - Not a strange restaurant to us, but this time we are ordering something different. Was aiming for crab but unfortunately it was out of stock. Eventually ordered sea bass, not a fish lover, but it's hard to be able to find a whole fish here, so I am satisfy.
Sea bass - Jin Wah

Norma's - Found this nice restaurant at Seaside, fulfilled our wish of getting crab. The King Crab was ridiculously nice, the snow crab I ate last year was nothing near to this. Had some nice oysters as well.
King Crab - Norma's

Gustav's - A German restaurant, I completely forgot that I been to this restaurant until I see the menu. Ordered sausage fondue and Reinland (pork cordon bleu, sausage and beef). Some of the side dishes tasted weird, not ngam our taste I would say.

Sausage fondue - Gustav's
Reinland - Gustav's

Yuzu - Always been a long queue, waited 30 min for our turn. Nothing too fancy, except the ramen noodle is not the maggie noodle as the other restaurants are serving.

Stanford - Aiming right at the filet mignon to compare with the one ate at Cheesecake Factory, ordered a fisherman stew soup of the day as well. The soup was well filled with seafood, tasted not bad as well. As for filet mignon, not too bad, but not as good.
Filet mignon - Stanford

Shogun - The ramen tasted not bad although the fact that the noodle is maggie mee.
Chanpan Spicy Ramen - Shogun

Jang Choong Dong - Must be one of the most satisfy meal I had over here. Generally everything is pretty good, order pork belly, Galbi and beef soup. The only drawback is that it is slow. I wasn't really a patience person, especially to wait for food, I would say I can always find somewhere better. But I might consider revisiting this place, it was really THAT good.
Galbi - Jang Choong Dong

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Trip update - week 2

Decided to do some shopping today, to make use of this luxury trip. Mission of the day was to get a jacket, my personal preference to get something that at least I can still wear back at Malaysia, so the moderate cold resistance is good enough for me.

After 2-3 hours of browsing through shops at Woodburn Premium Outlet, I still find the jacket I saw at Washington Square few days earlier suits me more, hence I left without buying anything of my initial plan, instead bought a few kitchenware that I am sure my mum will like them.

Headed back to Portland for lunch at 2-ish, decided to finally try the famous Portland food truck. There were few stalls there, some selling angmo food like burger and sandwich, some Thai food, some Mediterranean food. Needless to say the angmo food is getting the most crowd, with the angmo's acceptance level to foreign food. I picked the Egypt stall and ordered lamb Gyro. It was big for $5, taste was OK.

Lamb Gyro
Found out that the ever famous Voodoo doughnut was just few blocks away, since we have paid for the $6 parking, we have decided to explore around the area. The queue for doughnut is as crazy as before, we waited more than 30 minutes for our turn, under the hot sun. Yes, it's winter but the sun at 4 pm still deliver some degree of warmness, that I do not feel comfortable about it. About the doughnut, they are just doughnut, it's crazy how people would be willing to queue for it.

Voodoo doughnut

Crossed over the street to the Saturday Market. It was more lively that what I remembered last year when I was here, probably due to the better weather. Managed to saw some early blossom of sakura by the river. Next week or the week after should be ready for a full blossom view.

Cherry blossom at Portland waterfront
Next, towards the Pittock Mansion by the hill. The Pittock family was the founder of Portland City, the mansion located at the hill where it overlook the Portland Downtown area from top. It was getting cold as the night is closing, but there were still some number of people up there, some waiting for the city night view shots, some were modelling, some were just strolling around.

The Pittock Mansion
As it was getting cold and we weren't prepare to wait until the day light goes off, we headed back for dinner. It was a bit of disappointment without able to order the crab that was the initial hunt for food, nevertheless had a decent dinner as well.

That's the end of day-1.

Started day-2 with one hour lesser due to the daylight saving thing that I still could not comprehend. Had a healthy quinoa oatmeal as breakfast while taking away a panini for lunch. Well, you know how it tastes for healthy food.

Healthy quinoa oatmeal - Panera Bread

First stop was the NeahKahNie trail. Yes that sounded very weird to me as well, didn't really read through the history, I think it was some Indian word (I am guessing Red Indian instead of the Bollywood Indian). It was rated Moderate, but it was pretty simply IMO, more of a trail walking than hike, there were people jogging through the jungle that's probably the best evident. It was a short 70~80 min drive, with some fog encountered during the journey.

~10 min of foggy drive
The North trail head of NeahKahNie
We took slightly more than an hour to reach the summit, with some random stop and shoot along the jungle path. Weather wasn't too bad, it was chilling under the shade. The summit was a space of bald rock. It was ~1230 noon, the sun was right above our head. We as the typical Malaysians, couldn't withstand the heat and decided to walk back down to a more spacious and shaded place for dinner (I am trying to avoid saying the angmo being crazy about sun since we are the alien here).

From the summit
Initially we planned to go for Astoria Column since it's just less than an hour drive, but an outlet store at Seaside had us took a detour for an hour. Dropped Astoria since it's really nothing there, decided to head for Fort Steven instead.

Had a rough search on Fort Steven and its famous spot seems to be a shipwreck, and so we go for the shipwreck. It was cold by the beach, but the relaxing feel was really good.

The shipwreck by Fort Steven
Something about the wreck

Went back to Seaside for the seafood that I have been longing. It was a great discovery of the Seaside town street, it has quite some unique shop that worth a visit, unfortunately most shop were closed. The shops in The State close pretty early, some closes at 4 pm. It was crazy seeing the day was still bright but all the shops are closed down, this is especially ridiculous during summer when the day light goes off at 9 pm.

Anyway, went to Norma's for dinner, ordered King Crab and seafood platter together with oyster as appetizer. I have been search for crab, and I am totally satisfy with what I got here, although I just had a small taste of my colleague's plate. This is the first shop that makes me feel like paying a revisit.
King Crab - Norma's

Head back to Hillsboro at 8, meet a little traffic and reached by 10.

That's a wrap for week-2.