Hello Shiok: Asian Street Food!

Shiok: Asian Slang to express awesome, delicious, very tasty, cool, wow! It conveys a feeling of pleasure, happiness and pure satisfaction.

Shiok also happens to be the name of the new restaurant at Rolling Hills Plaza in Torrance, California. The new eatery is appropriately named as they bring to the South Bay some delightful and tasty eats!

Their menu is inspired by Asia’s legendary markets and among their offerings one can find bao, bahn mi and bowls.

I recently got a special sneak peak and was amazed with their bold and bright flavors.

Their baos are my new favorite!

I love the Cripsy Golden Bao.

The outside is a crisp golden brown bun and inside is steamed pork with egg. This is one tasty triple treat.

The Hot Fried Chicken Bao is another fabulous bao that I really enjoyed.

The Hot Fried Chicken Bao is a steamed bun filled with a gigantic piece of fried chicken smothered in sriracha. The fried chicken is topped with Asian slaw, cilantro and jalapeño. I loved the crisp chicken with a fiery kick. This was very fulfilling.

The Nightmarket Bao is another winner.

This savory bao has a large Kakuni-style braised pork belly topped with Taiwanese relish and roasted peanuts! I love how it has crisp roasted peanuts. It gives a nice, crunchy touch to the bao.

Aside from the baos; Shiok has other delights that are part of their “Cravables” menu.

The Veggie Crunch is a great starter that is perfect for vegetarians!

I have always been a fan of taro and this cravable has taro, yam, tofu, mushrooms in fried rice paper. It’s crunch and love at first bite.

Another good starter is their Shrimp Crisps.

Growing up in an Asian household; shrimp crisps were a favorite snack of mine to bring to school. Shiok’s Shrimp Crisps remind me of me of the delightful chips that were once part of my lunch bag. Shiok makes their own house fried shrimp chips and they are amazing!

All of Shiok’s cravables are great but make sure to save room for some of the entrees.

Shiok’s Signature Bahn Mi is a must try!

I tried the bahn mi with grilled lemongrass steak. The lemongrass steak combined with Bourbon pate, sriracha aioli, Asian slaw, cucumbers, pickled daikon, carrot, papaya and cilantro made for a tasty sandwich. This was paired with some Shrimp Crisps.

I also got to try some of their bowls. First up was the Asian Street Bowl.

For the Asian Street Bowl one can choose their protein. Among the choices are lemongrass steak, spicy satay chicken or soy ginger chicken. The protein then comes with peanut sauce, shallot ginger rice, baby lettuce, street side corn, Asian slaw, cucumbers, pickled daikon, carrot, papaya, cilantro and fried shallots. It’s an explosion of flavors in one healthy bowl.

The second bowl I tried here was the Zen Bowl.

The Zen bowl is a vegetarian delight consisting of bbq pulled jackfruit, coconut ginger chickpeas, shallot ginger rice, streetside corn, Asian slaw, pickled daikon-carrot-papaya, cucumbers, fresh shallots and cilantro. I love how the jackfruit is tender just like shredded chicken. The bowl is wonderfully healthy and truly does bring some zen ;).

Equal in deliciousness to the bowls is their drinks. They’ve got freshly made teas with fruits and boba. For the special private event; they had the Blue Lagoon and Boba Milk Tea.

I loved how colorful the Blue Lagoon was. It made me feel like I was in an Asian tropical island. The colorful blue and green floral tea was pure paradise. It has a refreshing and exquisite flavor.

The boba milk tea was a classic drink with soft honey boba pearls.

Shiok! I truly was saying Shiok by the end of my meal here.

Shiok: Asian Street Food will have it’s soft opening starting September 7, 2018 and they will have their grand opening on September 28, 2018.

For more smiles; please see my Yelp review on Shiok: Asian Street Food!

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Hello 7 Leaves Cafe Torrance!

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Gandi’s famous words are around the cups and it appears as well on a “eye chart” decoration at the newly opened 7 Leaves Cafe in Torrance.

7 Leaves Cafe indeed is making a change in the world; the boba world to be exact and I like it! The shop that first originated in Orange County has now hit the South Bay. What makes their drinks so unique is they chop, peel, cook, stir, and press by hand from raw ingredients in order to extract real flavors to use in their drinks.

I love my tea as well as my boba and 7 Leaves Cafe has the quality that I am looking for! My favorites so far include their House Coffee as well as their Mung Bean Tea.

The House Coffee is an authentic Vietnamese style coffee with hazelnut cream while the Mung Bean Tea is jasmine tea with mung bean and pandan leaves. Both drinks are true to their name and the flavor really comes out.

Aside from drinks; 7 Leaves also offers macarons and strawberry croissants! I enjoyed some strawberry croissants with my drink and enjoyed the buttery flaky crust of the croissant and the sweet cream that oozed out from the inside.

7 Leaves is definitely making a change; a good change in bringing quality ingredients to bring out quality food and drinks! I’m happy to see this place now in the South Bay!

For more smiles; please check out my Yelp review on 7 Leaves Cafe Torrance.

Hello Newberry Coffee and Tea!

Coffee, Tea and Newberry!

There’s a new place in the South Bay to get a good cup of coffee for cold days  or an iced cold boba for chilly days.  Newberry Coffee and Tea just opened up this January 2019 in Torrance, CA! Newberry Coffee Roasters gets all their coffee beans from Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Panama, Guatemala and Hondura and they roast their coffee locally in Los Angeles weekly. Being a big coffee and boba fan, I had to check this place out.

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Since it was a rather warm day in Los Angeles, my eye was on their Favorite Blended menu. Two in particular caught my eye; the Caramel Frappe and the Taro Milk Molly

For those looking for a great day kickstart, the Caramel Frappe is one that I recommend! With espresso,  caramel, coffee jelly and oreo; it’s the perfect blend of coffee and sweet. I liked the hints of caramel within in the espresso. Typically espresso drinks can be a bit too strong for me but here they do it just right.

The Taro Milk Molly has milk, taro, panda boba and custard. This one is a classic boba drink for those who like simple and sweet.

The frappe and molly were just two of the drinks that I enjoyed. They have many more in their Favorite Blended menu but you can also customize and make your own!

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It’s always nice to see a nice new coffee shop. Newberry Coffee and Tea Company hits the spot for when craving some coffee or boba!

For more smiles, please my Yelp Review on Newberry Coffee and Tea Company!

Hello Hiccups! 

Hello Kitty has the Hiccups and it’s a good thing  😉).

There’s a new coffee/boba shop in town and it’s called Hiccups.

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This delightful drink spot recently opened up in Carson, California. It’s the second location for Hiccups, with the first location being in Lakewood, California.

It is always a treat for me to visit coffee/boba shops. From enjoying a quiet evening sipping a warm cup of tea to beating the heat on warm days with a slushie, drink shops are enjoyable.

Hiccups has an extensive menu of both hot and cold beverages for every Hello Kitty Foodie’s drinking pleasure. They have iced teas, iced milk teas, mojitos, coffee, slushies, smoothies, hot teas, hot lattes and soft drinks. Some of their  drinks even have some the cutest and kawaii names (Hello Kitty stamp of approval for that 😉). Some drink names that put a smile on my face included Pinch O’ Peach (peach raspberry green tea with real peach bits), Pink-A-Boo (strawberry peach blended with ice served with strawberry bits) and Fruity Booty (mango peach strawberry blended with ice served with peach bits).

Being the big mango fan that I am, I chose to get the Mango Mango!

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This is mango flavored green tea, hand shaken with ice. I really enjoyed this drink. It was very refreshing and the taste of mango was abundant. There were even bits of mango inside the drink.

One cannot live on drinks alone and thus alongside their delicious drinks, Hiccups offers up various appetizers, noodles, soups and rice dishes.

Being a big fan of egg rolls, Hiccup’s eggroll trio is one of my top choices for appetizers.

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They give a triple treat here of crispy egg rolls filled with ground pork,  veggies and vermicelli. Crispy and crunchy, they are great!

Another favorite appetizer of mine is their popcorn chicken!

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The popcorn chicken is delicious! They give so much tender, crispy chicken! It is perfect with any of their drinks.

Next up I tried the Garlic Noodle with Beef.

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When they served up this dish, the delicious aroma of garlic instantly hit the table. The aroma hypes up this dish right from the start and I am pleased to say the hype is real. Not only does this dish smelled good, it tasted good as well. The  garlic noodles was topped with lots of tender beef, flavorful onions and crispy bell peppers.

Not to be outdone by the noodles, is the rice dishes. The chicken fried rice was another winning entree in this foodie’s book.

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Similar to the noodles, the meat was abundant here. There were plenty of chicken slices along with carrots, peas and shrimp.

By the end of my meal, I was one happy camper with a smile on my face and with some…you guessed it some hiccups 😉. Yes, Hello Kitty has the hiccups and it is indeed a good thing ☺️.

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For more hiccups err smiles 😉 please see my Yelp review on Hiccups.

Hello Blue Basil Asian Cuisine!

It’s a new year and time for new discoveries and new eats! Just right after the holidays, was the grand opening of a new Asian eatery in the South Bay! Located in Torrance, California is the brand new Blue Basil Asian Cuisine!

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I am a big fan of Asian eats and was intrigued to find this place offers a gigantic smorgasbord of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai dishes. They also have American and Italian food! Looking at the menu there just seemed to be something for everyone!

I came during lunch time with my mom and we started off our meal with an appetizer via their Vietnamese egg roll.

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Six crunchy pieces of Vietnamese egg rolls packed with meat and veggies was presented to us! I loved the wrapping that they used for the crispiness did not go away during the whole meal. It was fresh tasting all throughout. They were also very generous with the filling.

For our main courses, we chose to do their lunch special which is served with seamed rice and a daily soup. The soup of the day was a nice egg flower soup. It was good for a chilly day like today.

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The first of our lunch entrees was the Fried Chicken with Basil.

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An abundance of flavorful basil leaves was mixed in with tender pieces of chicken and red chiles for a delicious and slightly spicy stir-fry that was perfect on top of white rice.

Our other entree was the Beef with Vermicelli in Satay Sauce.

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Tender pieces of beef along with crunchy bell peppers and sweet pineapples were tossed on top of long, soft, silky vermicelli noodles. This noodle dish made for a light and tasty entree.

The deliciousness of this place does not end with their appetizers and entrees because equally impressive is their drink menu that consists of various milk teas, fresh fruit drinks and ice milk drinks. I chose to get a strawberry, pudding and boba ice milk drink.

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When my drink came out, I was happily surprised with the large concoction in front of me. The large drink consisted of sweet milk and lots of strawberry, pudding and boba inside. It was a perfect pairing to all the savory dishes we had above.

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Blue Basil Asian Cuisine is one nice addition to the South Bay! Offering a variety of Asian dishes, it is one place that every one can enjoy. I know that I will be back here for sure this year.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Blue Basil Asian Cuisine.

Hello polka dot party ready for the New Year!

Polka dots!

There are several New Year’s traditions around the world but one that I remember from when I was a kid is about polka dots for the new year. In the Philippines, they say to wear polka dots on New Year’s Eve to bring prosperity and wealth for the next twelve months. This is because polka dots are shaped like a coin.

Now, I like polka dots. For me, there is simply something that just brings a happy vibe with all the circles. Circles = upward motion = like a smile :). Not sure if many of you noticed but on the web the design on the top of my Hello Kitty Foodie blog is a combo of polka dots and pink (my two favorites). (By the way, they say pink is the color for 2014! Yay! Happy me!)

When I noticed some tapioca pearls/boba at an Asian market recently, I thought of how perfect this would be for a New Year’s Eve…boba = polka dots ;). Fast forward to today, with me in my pink polka dot attire drinking some polka dot/homemade boba milk tea.

Making this little New Year’s treat is actually quite simple

Ingredients: Tapioca pearls (can be found at your local Asian market), milk tea

Boil 10 cups of water for 1 cup of tapioca pearls into a large pot.

Once the water is boiling, slowly pour 1 cup of tapioca pearls into the pot.

Stir softly and the tapioca will soon become plump in size.

Once you have plump tapioca pearls, turn the heat to medium and cover the pot for five minutes.

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In parallel to cooking the tapioca pearls, I had prepared a cup of milk tea on the side. Once the tea was brewed and the tapioca pearls were cooked, I simply scooped the boba and added into my ready made tea. Polka dot party ready!

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I hope you enjoyed my little trivia about polka dots as well as my little post about a simple New Year’s treat! Happy New Year everyone!

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Hello and hi ;) Honeyboba!

Hi.

Two letters. One simple word. It all started with “hi.” 😉

Today I said hi. I said hi to the newest Honeyboba location and it was indeed the start of many smiles.

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I’ve been introduced to Honeyboba before. Awhile back I went to the Lomita location and anyone who read my Yelp review then knew I instantly developed a Honeyboba crush. The pink booths, chandeliers and their taro smoothie with honeyboba simply won me over.

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Aside from the Lomita location, Honeyboba can be found in Arcadia and Rosemead. Those places are a bit too far from me however.

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I was therefore super happy to learn about another South Bay location. Just recently their newest location in Gardena opened! I got to try this place today.
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Just seeing the big “Open” sign made me giddy with happiness.

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Maybe it was the chandeliers all over, the pink border lights and the bright and sunny yellow booths.

It could be the extensive menu consisting of fresh brewed classics, infused ice teas, royal milk tea, mountain oolong milk teas, ice crystal drinks, creamy smoothies, frosted signature milky drinks, crystal teas, fresh fruit juices and yogurt lush.

It may be all the different flavors from Ghiradelli chocolate to Blushing Peach to Almond Coffee.

Maybe it was all of the above but once again I was smitten with Honeyboba.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one with a boba crush. It was a fairly chilly night but nonetheless there was a pretty significant line of folks waiting for boba.

My chosen drink was the strawberry + pudding + honey boba frosted signature milky.

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Lots of honey boba and soft egg pudding swirled around and filled this strawberry based drink. So cute! So sweet! It’s no wonder, I love this place.

Today I said hi.
Hi, Honeyboba! You made me smile today.

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For more smiles, please read my Yelp review on the newly opened Gardena location.