Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Les Vacances - San Francisco

Been slacking a bit on the ol' blog updates, oops! Its been a busy few weeks.....I am currently on a break from my stage at the moment as the shop is closed for the month of August. After a weekend of chilling in Paris with friends, I headed back to the Emerald Isle to visit Ma and Pa Chan for a good week which was nice. It actually turned out to be a pretty busy week as I was mostly in the kitchen working out on a trial wedding cake that I will be making in September. It felt a little bit daunting at times as I had never made cakes that big before but in the end, they turned out pretty well. I made one chocolate cake sandwiched with chocolate ganache and one lemon cake sandwiched with lemon cream. I was happy enough with the way the cakes turned out taste and texture wise. As I am still debating how to decorate the cakes, I only iced them and placed them on a cake drum with some ribbon. They looked good but I will need to make sure that the royal icing for the real cakes is a bit stiffer - good to have this practice under my belt :)

As usual, the week at home flew by and before I knew it, it was back down to London to see JD, which was lovely as we hadn't seen each other in 4 weeks or more. Some last minute shopping for our holliers and then it was off on another plane, an 11 hour epic to San Francisco! Yep, am here in the US at the mo for a summer holiday with JD touring the west coast from SF to LA.

So far, we have spent a few days exploring SF. Then, we hired a car and crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County and spent a few days there seeing the sights. Foodwise, we have been pretty spoilt by the choice and quality of food; this applies mainly to SF and less so to Marin County.

Some of the places that we visited in SF include:

Farmer Brown - a funky restaurant on the edge of the Tenderloin District (not exactly the nicest part of town) which serves chic-looking soul food. This was our first meal in SF and we were not disappointed. As we were still slightly jetlagged, we just ordered mains of fried chicken and pork chop, both were mega-yummy, highly recommended.

Bocadillos -  a laid-back tapas bar which does a pretty good breakfast. Handy for us as it was only a few blocks away from our hotel in the Financial District.

Mifune - very famous Japanese noodle shop in Japantown - yummy noodles which I think they make themselves and generous portions, zaru udon and sushi set pictured above for peanuts! Japantown is a little out of the way but worth the trek once you get there!!

The House - small and busy Asian fusion restaurant on the edge of Little Italy and Chinatown. Their miso cod (made famous by Nobu) was the richest and most tender fish I have ever tasted. Unfortunately, the desserts weren't up to much; I ordered the mango tapioca expecting it to be like a tasty mango 西米露 but what I got instead was a bland, sugary mess - the classics should never be messed with :)

Taqueria San Francisco - a great little place that serves what is supposedly one of the best burritos in the city, it gets the thumbs up from JD! (I plumped for some tacos instead, see above)

A16 - megabusy Italian restaurant in the posh-ish Marina District recommended by a friend (a native San Franciscan!). The highlight of my meal was tonarelli cooked in squid ink but not all JD's choices were that great.

Cafe de la Presse - our last meal in SF was here before we picked up our rental car. Lovely French-style cafe which does great breakfast, can highly recommend their pain perdu :)  

Crumbs - have we REALLY eaten this much already?? Can feel the pounds piling on ;)    

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