Malaysia and Singapore!

>>  Friday, September 26, 2014

Hi everyone!

So sorry for the less-than-frequent postings recently! I just got back from a 2-week trip to Malaysia and Singapore. I had never been to Malaysia, and it's been over twenty years since I lasted visited Singapore, so it's pretty much like I was visiting for the first time.

It was an incredible trip. I was blown away by so many aspects of this region: the diverse cultural vibes of each city, the friendliness of the people, the unique tropical landscape, and (of course), the phenomenal food. It's really, really hard to condense and squeeze these two weeks into a manageable-sized "teaser" post, but I will try.

I will spend the next several weeks (or longer!) diving into the details of my trip - everything from making roti jala and curry from scratch and picking fresh mangosteens off of trees during a jungle hike in Malaysia to exploring Singapore's fantastic hawker stalls and being blown away by its dizzying array of excellent Chinese food. There will be recipes from a cooking class I took. And lots of food pictures, of course.

I honestly can't wait to share it all with you.

For now, here's a little peek of what's to come!

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Tasty Burger (Harvard Square)

>>  Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ask anyone who has the best burgers in Harvard Square and I guarantee you'll get different answers. It's a contentious topic, with different groups swearing by different burger places.

The most famous and historic burger is probably Mr. Bartley's, a family-owned burger place that has been open for over fifty years. In the summer, there always seems to be a line out the door. Many locals swear by Flat Patties, while other obsess about Shake Shack.

There are also several restaurants that serve pretty great burgers, like Alden & Harlow, whose burger made it into CNN's list of "10 Burgers you must eat this year", Russell House Tavern, who uses an English muffin bun, and many, many more.

Tasty Burger, a local favorite who first opened in the Fenway area, opened its first non-Boston restaurant in Harvard Square about two years ago. We'd heard some good things, but I still had never tried it. One recent Saturday, when Bryan said "I feel like a burger," I chose to try Tasty Burger partly because I'd never had it before.

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The Barking Crab

>>  Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is an ongoing series covering the Seaport District in Boston, which includes both Fort Point and Fan Pier. Some previous posts from the area: Morton's Steak House, Legal Harborside, Row 34, Tavern Road, Sportello, and Menton.

Every day this past summer on my commute to work, I walked by these little tent-like buildings. While the surrounding waterfront area has been quickly ballooning with massive skyscrapers, ultra luxury condos (we're talking upwards of $10 million a unit for some of these), and constant construction, this little single story "shack" remains - just the same as it was twenty years ago when it began.

Although I'd been in the Fan Pier area for over half a year, it wasn't until late into the summer that I finally had a chance to try this lively seafood shack right on the water in Fan Pier.

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Happy (belated) Mid Autumn Festival! Snow Skin Mooncakes

>>  Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Happy Belated Mid-Autumn Festival!

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two largest festivals that is celebrated in China every year. It's a time for people to celebrate the bountiful harvest from the summer, appreciate their loved ones, and gaze at the moon when it's at its biggest and brightest.

It always happens on the 15th day of the 8th month on the lunar calendar, which this year (2014) falls on September 8th (yesterday!). Typically, people celebrate by feasting, visiting family, and giving each other mooncakes.

What's a mooncake? A mooncake is traditionally a pastry (shaped a bit like a hockey puck) that is filled with lotus seed paste and optionally one (or more) salted egg yolks (meant to represent the moon). In more recent times, people have gotten pretty creative with mooncakes, and all different flavors and shapes have popped up, such as green tea (matcha) ones, snow-skin "mochi" ones, and even chocolate covered ice cream filled ones!

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East Somerville Foodie Crawl ticket winner is . . .

>>  Friday, September 05, 2014

Octopus dish at Sarma

Congratulations to Shannon G., who won two tickets to the upcoming East Somerville Foodie Crawl!

Shannon is a Boston based blogger and writes Tri To Cook, a reflection of her love of triathlons and cooking. Shannon chose Sarma as her restaurant of choice, which I fully agree is a great place to visit! My full write up about Sarma is here if you want to see more mouthwatering photos.

The East Somerville Foodie Crawl will be held on Tuesday, September 16th, featuring cuisine from many places around the world, like Haiti, Ethiopia, and El Salvador. You can buy tickets here ($20 regular; $15 for students) if you want to go.

Congrats Shannon!
Dessert at Sarma

Disclaimer: these tickets were provided by the East Somerville Foodie Crawl

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you can contact me at: jen[at]tinyurbankitchen[dot]com
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