Tag Archives: Asian

Gado Gado – Dutch-Indonesian Cuisine in NE Portland

A friend of mine and I made a sudden plan to have dinner together tonight and her, never experiencing Indonesian food before, I suggested Gado Gado. I love Indonesian dishes which is a mixture of Oriental Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many similar spices and ingredients in that part of the world, plus the way dishes are prepped and cooked share common techniques.

Outside Gado Gado

Gado Gado in NE Portland is a casual and bustling place with dimmed light and soft decorations. The eatery boasts for their pan-Asian/Indo-Chinese & Dutch-Indonesian plates. There is an outdoor but shaded sitting option too. With friendly service and a couple of different menu options, this is one of the top Indonesian places to try out in Portland.

Inside Gado Gado

There are 2 ways you can order in Gado Gado. One is order from the a la carte. Second one, called Rice Table experience, is more exciting. With the Rice Table experience, you pay $85 per person but you get a family style feasting encounter, where everyone has to participate and your whole table will be filled with many items from appetizers all the way to desserts.

Chicken Satay with peanut sauce

Since it was only 2 of us, we ordered total 3 items from the menu. First came the chicken satay as an appetizer. They were beautifully charcoal grilled on skewers and served with peanut sauce on the side. Then came the main entrées. Charcoal grilled albacore with fermented turnips in a pool of coconut broth with tons of cilantro had a fabulous fresh scent of fresh lime/lemon leaves. Last one, “Sumatran Style Beef Rendang” was recommended by our server. The beef came with a side of scented coconut rice, boiled eggs, shrimp crisps, and sambal sauce. The beef was soft and almost looked like shredded/pulled beef with perfect amount of spices and a slight kick of chili.

Sumatran Style Beef Rendang

There dessert menu is not that great currently (only had one option – orange cardamom donuts). But if you want to get out of your comfort zone and try something not-so-popular cuisine, I can bet everyone will love Indonesian dishes. I’ve heard about Gado Gado from few different people and it definitely served my expectations.

Grilled albacore with fermented turnip in coconut gravy

La Rosé Pâtisserie in Beaverton

After coming back from Europe, I started to admire and respect local non-ordinary patisserie places with not-so-long menu of items but that has an elegant attitude towards fresh bakery. La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton, Oregon is one of those French/Asian patisserie spots that just showed up in my Google map when my friend and I were deciding where to go for some good pastries on a late Sunday afternoon.

La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton, Oregon

Opened recently in 2019, La Rose Patisserie’s owner and baker is a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. This is a small  shop where you can get freshly baked French baked breads, very uniquely designed custom cakes, macaroons, exquisite pastries, different flavors of bubble teas, and other hot/cold drinks. The sitting arrangements inside may not be ideal for a large group or even more than couple small groups.

La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton, Oregon


We picked up few different single-sized cakes, pastries, and macaroons.  While I personally didn’t try any macaroons, the way my friend’s kids almost finished the whole half a dozen macaroons box in just few minutes, tells me that they have to be very delicious.

Mango-mango in La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton, Oregon

Some of the pastries we picked and tried were witch’s heart, honey-lavender white chocolate cake, Belgian white chocolate with raspberry cake, rainbow crepe cake, and mango-mango cake. To be very honest, EACH of those pastries that we picked were delightful in their own way. And I am not exaggerating when I say that each of those pastries had perfect textures, flavors, and just the right amount of sweetness. I am not a big fan of too rich or too sugary desserts with too much dairy or flour. The creamy consistency of these cakes were perfect combination of everything which will just melt in your mouths.

Rainbow crepe layered cake in La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton, Oregon

I am eagerly waiting to take my kids here, I know they would go crazy looking at all the fancy shapes of cakes and delicacies that La Rose has to offer to their customers. Oh, and I can’t wait to order one of their custom made birthday cakes either…they all looked fabulously fantastic.

Duck House Chinese Restaurant

If you are looking for one of the best Szechuan style Chinese restaurants in PDX downtown, then look no more. Dinner at Duck House was a delectable treat from a friend and her husband last Friday night. We didn’t make any reservation and waited about 45 minutes to get a table. This place was packed and people were constantly coming in small groups. Little tip: try putting your in name in Yelp, so you don’t have to wait in the line.

Outside of Duck House Chinese Restaurant in Portland, OR downtown

This hot Chinese spot is located on 5th Ave near PSU campus, surrounded by many other small food-carts on the opposite street. Only street parking is available. Once you are inside, it’s a modern and buzzing eatery with a bar on one-side.

Our appetizers: green onion pancakes (left) and vegetable dumplings (right)

The only disappointing dish we got that evening for appetizer was the green onion pancakes…it was nothing extraordinary and lacked flavors. We also ordered a plate of vegetable dumplings…they were big and green and good. They have lots of other options for dumplings (like with shrimp, egg, pork, beef, and even lamb) and pot stickers on their menu. Another mouth-watering teaser to order (if you like the texture) is their Wood Ear Fungus with pickled chili..spicy, crunchy, and perfectly cooked.

Wood Ear Fungus with pickled chili and Squid with Pickled Chili in Duck House in Portland, OR

But for the main dinner entrees, everything that we ordered…scored a big time. To begin with, we were all amazed how the shrimp fried rice tasted OHHH…SOOO good, which was simple and traditional. We also ordered this not-so-usual beef dish, called Beef Hot & Spicy Dried Pot (under Szechuan Hot and Spicy Dried Pot)…this is a unique beef dish that has absolutely no gravy and was sauted/cooked with vegetables. The only comment we had on this, that it could have used a bit more salt…but then again, it’s a people’s preference. For the dried pot, there were also few options of lamb, intestines, chicken wings, prawns, tofu, and mixed mushrooms. Now, for two of my most favorites from that night in Duck House were the Mongolian Chicken and Squid with Pickled Chili, which was, by the way, recommended by our waiter. Mongolian Chicken was perfectly seasoned with right amount of heat for us (we actually told our waiter to make it extra spicy) with little bit of gravy. Finally the Squid with Pickled Chili was something I’ve never had before and something any seafood lover would love.

Beef Hot & Spicy Dried Pot in Duck House in Portland, OR

Duck House is a both fancy and casual place to hang out with your friends or family or co-workers. This is a great place to even celebrate an occasion. But the quality of food they serve, I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes extra kick and spiciness in their food. And by the way, although it’s called Duck House, but you won’t find any duck in the menu.

Mongolian Chicken in Duck House in Portland, OR

9 Dang – Hillsboro

I’ve been to Dang Nine few times now, mostly for birthdays or to hang out with kids or other families. This is one of the best Thai places in Hillsboro or even in Portland. This place has never disappointed me and believe me I’ve tried many of their dishes from soups, to noodles, fried rices, seafood, meat dishes, and desserts.

Inside Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR
Inside Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR

On different occasions, I’ve had their egg rolls, golden calamari, coconut milk soup, spicy and sour soup, Pa-Naeng Curry, Volcano Beef, seafood delight or medley. Each of their dish is better than the other one and can be adjusted to your spice level. I am very fond of all of their cuisines, maybe except for their lamb dish…not a fan of oriental style lamb recipes. One of their best dishes that my kids love is the pad thai with chicken. Dang Nine’s drunken noodles is something you can’t complain about. But one thing I always order here with all my orders is their Spicy Basil Fried Rice. For desserts, Fried Ice Cream and anything to do with mango are perfect after all those spicy food. And finally, Thai Iced Tea is what I usually get and it’s very refreshing.

Few dish in Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR
Few dishes in Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR

Dang Nine is fabulously located in the prime location of Orenco Station in Hillsboro with few other restaurants and boutique shops. Parking is a bit tricky but nothing like downtown. This can be a pretty good place to celebrate some special events or come for a company lunch. This is where I would take my loved ones if they are in the mood for good Thai food…because I know for sure, Dang Nine’s cuisine is consistently very good and I know, it won’t let me down in front of my guests.

Some desserts in Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR
Some desserts in Dang Nine in Hillsboro, OR

Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot

Just couple blocks from my work in downtown, Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot is my go to place for spicy oriental noodles exactly that way I want. It’s a oriental buffet place near the water park which is great for any meal for any casual occasions.

Portland Mongolian Grill and Hot Pot
Portland Mongolian Grill and Hot Pot

From wide variety of fresh vegetables and proteins, the customers will fill up their bowls with items of their choices, pour all sorts of different flavors (like hot oil, garlic/ginger water, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and etc) on the ingredients and take it to the grilling area. The very friendly attendees will dump the whole bowl on the hot grill and cook it to perfection within few minutes. You can come back as many times as you want and fill your bowl and take it to the grilling station.

Fresh items to choose from in Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot
Fresh items to choose from in Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot

If you are there for the first time, my suggestion is that don’t fill up your bowls with too much noodles or other stuff. Try and see which sauce or flavored liquid you like and how much of it you like on top of your food. Since the cook won’t add anything to your food, it kind of depends on you how you are flavoring your dish. It may taste very bland for the first time if you don’t add enough herbs and sauces.

My bowl of raw ingredients ready to be cooked in Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot
My bowl of raw ingredients ready to be cooked in Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot

There are also soup and plain rice that comes with the buffet price. I have never tried it but Portland Mongolian Grill & Hot Pot also has hot pot items where you can cook your own items on your table in hot broth.

And it's cooked
And it’s cooked

I love this place for any quick lunch while I am at work (or get a take out box) or bring my kids for an informal dinner. If you have never tried a Mongolian grill place, this will be a very nice to start with.

What to Eat In Singapore: The Best Local Dishes and Our Recommended Spots to Try Them

Singapore is a marvelous place thanks to its rich culture, which is a result of people from different nations converging there. The blending of several cultures has brought about amazing architectural designs, heritage buildings, and most important of all, irresistible dishes.

The following are some must-try dishes that you cannot afford not to have on your menu while in the island state:

Nasi lemak

Nasi lemak, meaning “rich rice,” is a versatile dish that you can take for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The main component of this dish is the aromatic coconut rice that goes with different sides as per your preference. You can opt to take your rice with fried prawns, crunchy fried chicken, a fried egg and green beans, or ladyfingers so that you have a well balanced meal, but the choice is all yours when it comes to the sides. So where should you sample this mouth-watering dish? You can have nasi lemak at Hawkers Stall at a significantly low price per plate, or you can pop into the posh Coconut Club, where you will part with more cash, of course for a more luxurious treatment.

Beef Rendang

This wonderful beefy dish is a product of a lot of dedication, since it takes several hours of slow-cooking to end up with the thick, dry gravy. Should you attend any Malay family event, you can hardly miss a pot of beef rendang as the main meal. However, you can eat it any time you wish—not only during Malay celebrations—by checking yourself into Rumah Makan Minang Indonesian Restaurant. If you are not in Singapore, plan to tour the city-state and try out the beef rendang and other great dishes, and maybe even learn how to make them so you can do it back in your home country. As you plan your trip, you should work with a reliable agent to process your visa and for other travel needs, and you can easily find one at https://www.one-visa.com.

Traditional charcoal porridge

Are you wondering since when porridge became a food? Well, unlike the notion that porridge is food for the sick, you will be surprised to discover that it is great food for the soul. Porridge is meticulously cooked over a charcoal stove, resulting in a tasty meal with an unmatched smoothness. You can count on the traditional charcoal porridge on a rainy day and when fighting a hangover to do the magic. For this great meal, just head to Ah Chiang’s Porridge, which is situated in the historic Tiong Bahru district.


You cannot miss a good helping of thick rice noodles with a delicious spicy broth and a sizable share of prawns and cockles. This dish has so many versions, but the Singaporean rendition is just amazing, as it takes into account those who cannot use chopsticks by cutting the noddles into small pieces, which can thus be eaten with a spoon. For the best of laksa, head to 363 Katong Laksa, whose location is 29 Lorong Liput, Singapore 277740.

Pandan Cake

Although tea time is not a big affair in Singapore, they have some good treats like pandan cake to accompany your tea. Also, it perfectly blends with a steaming cup of Milo. You can have this awesome cake at any Bengawan Solo outlet.


The Tao of Tea – Inside Lan Su Garden

We are in the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland downtown this past week, taking one of my uncles to see the local Chinese members celebrating the year of the pig. We were there in the late afternoon, mainly to see the International Lion Dance. After the lion dance, we walked around this small but beautiful garden that is located in Old Town Chinatown, which is the official Chinatown of the Northwest section of Portland.

Inside The Tao of Tea in Lan Su Chinese Garden Portland
Inside The Tao of Tea in Lan Su Chinese Garden Portland

The Tao of Tea is int he middle of Lan Su Chinese Garden inside the Tower of Cosmic. You do have to buy ticket to the garden to go inside the tea-house. This is a very calm and peaceful place to enjoy hot traditional Chinese tea and snacks. With two levels of sitting area, this has a plenty of space to accommodate enough guests. I loved their heavily wooden interior decorated with tons of teapots and cups.

Decoration Inside The Tao of Tea
Decoration Inside The Tao of Tea

We ordered both spicy and roasted peanuts and two plates of vegetable dumplings for snacks.  For our tea, we had golden monkey (black tea), Eight Treasure (mixed of different herbs), and bamboo leaf tea. The teas were served individually in tiny teapots and cups with some rock sugars. The presentation was beautiful and the tea tasted perfect.

My spicy peanuts and Eight Treasures tea in The Tao of Tea
My spicy peanuts and Eight Treasures tea in The Tao of Tea

This is a unique place to enjoy hot beverage and will ask you at least to try this place once if you are inside the garden. If you don’t have time to sit-in for tea, buy some of their signature flavored teas and enjoy them at home.

Vegetable dumplings in The Tao of Tea
Vegetable dumplings in The Tao of Tea

Dragonwell Bistro – PDX Downtown

About a block away from my workplace and very close to the Portland downtown waterfront, Dragonwell Bistro is probably my new favorite Asian place for now (not that I’ve explored much of Asian restaurants in this area). This would definitely be my go-to place whenever I am craving Chinese/Thai/Mongolian food for lunch during weekdays.

Dragonwell Bistro in PDX Downtown

Plan to park at a nearby garage or find a street parking if you want to dine in Dragonwell Bistro. Once you are inside and seated, it is a nice place to sit down, relax, and enjoy the downtown atmosphere. This would also be a great place to bring your friends or family to hangout or celebrate an occasion. The price is reasonable and the restaurant has wide variety of options from soups, curries, vegetarian plates, seafood, meat, gluten-free, and spicy dishes. Their dinner menu definitely has more items than the lunch menu.

Inside Dragonwell Bistro in PDX Downtown

My first time at Dragonwell Bistro, for lunch, I had scallop in spicy tangy sauce with white rice. I received the perfect portion of rice with scallop and mixed veges. To be honest, this was one of the best scallops I had in an Asian restaurant for a long time. I could feel the crunchiness outside of each scallop and tender/juicy bite inside it. It was perfectly seasoned with little bit of thick gravy mixed in with different kinds of vegetables.

Scallop in spicy tangy sauce in Dragonwell Bistron in Portland Downtown

As I mentioned before, I would go back there again to try some of their other dishes, like Mongolian spicy beef or miso soup. If you are in downtown and looking for a reasonably priced yet beautifully decorated Chinese/Mandarin place to eat, I would recommend to check this place out. Finally, my waiter was awesome and very friendly, although can’t say the same for the guy at the cashier. But overall it was a good run for me and I could go there, sit down, order food, and finish my food…all in half an hour, perfect to get back to my work right on time.


Gandhi Restaurant

Gandhi Restaurant is about a block or two walk from my work. It’s a popular place and a fairly crowded during lunch time on weekdays. The days I don’t bring lunch are the best time for me to look around downtown and taste different places.

Gandhi Restaurant in Portland Downtown
Gandhi Restaurant in Portland Downtown

This is a Panda Express style Indian fast-food place. They don’t have buffet or menu items. You have the option to choose from chicken, lamb, or different kinds of vegetable dishes. I had spicy chicken with eggplant curry. The amount of rice, curries, and naan I got for $9 is amazing. I walked over to the chutney/raita place to add some on my plate.

Dishes in Gandhi Restaurant in Portland Downtown
Dishes in Gandhi Restaurant in Portland Downtown

Both chicken and eggplant tasted nice for the first few bites. Then I kind of lost the appetite. I started feeling like I am just eating very mediocre type Indian food made for people who never had gourmet or good quality Indian food. The rice was completely buried and got mushy under all the gravy from chicken. Half way thru, I didn’t even feel like packing the rest of my food to bring it home, because I knew I wouldn’t eat it anymore.

I haven’t tried the other items here at Gandhi Restaurant but I doubt if I will ever go back there again. The customer service is great here and couple people at my work actually recommended this place…just not my type of Indian food.

Portland Food Hall

Since I’ve started working in Portland Downtown area, one of my exploring points has been checking out the restaurants here. There are tons of restaurants within half mile from my work place and I’m planning to taste all of those out one by one.

Portland Food Hall is about 2 minutes walk from my workplace. It’s more like a food-court in the malls with only fast-food style restaurants. I didn’t explore much but looked like it has 5/6 different restaurants from Mexican to Asian to NY Style pizza/subs, and a bar. There are plenty of sitting options including some shared tables. The place is very neat and clean. I will be buying lunches from all of these places eventually and will list them here.

Aiko Ramen: This was my place in Portland Food Hall. The menu was pretty short without much options but you can customize it to satisfy your own taste buds. I ordered a miso soup soft boiled eggs for $11. Service is pretty fast and friendly too.

Aiko Ramen in Portland Food Hall
Aiko Ramen in Portland Food Hall

Now, about my bowl of miso soup with egg. It’s a nice big portion with a bit bland flavors when I started eating, even after adding some chili sauce. But half way thru my soup, I was done with the soup. I couldn’t take the broth or the noodles without much vegetables anymore. I requested them to pack my food and came out. Does that give you some idea about their food? I like spicy food but at the same time I’ve had good tasting miso soup too. But after my first time there, all I know that I won’t be going back there again.

Miso soup with soft boiled egg in Aiko Ramen (Portland Food Hall)
Miso soup with soft boiled egg in Aiko Ramen (Portland Food Hall)

Few weeks later I went back to the Food Hall, next place I tried in the Food Hall was the Mexican eatery, called Aprisa. This is more like a Chipotle style…make your own bowl kind of place. I had a burrito bowl with rice, beans, vegetables, chicken, guacamole, and salsa verde. Unlike the other one I tried in the Food Hall, Aprisa served me some good food. I loved that burrito bowl and will go back again for more.

Burrito Bowl in Aprisa inside Portland Food Hall