Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bourbon's Mochi Chocolat: Chocolate

Bourbon's Mochi Chocolat is a souvenir my Dad got me from his trip to Osaka a few weeks ago. For those of you who might not know what a mochi is, it is a popular traditional snack from Japan made out of rice. Traditionaly, the rice is cooked and pounded into paste, then shaped into round balls. Some mochi are usually filled with bean paste, or any kind of ingredients the maker favors, but some are left with no fillings. 

Bourbon's Mochi Chocolat

This particular mochi that my Dad bought me is filled with chocolate. I guess y'all figured it out already from reading the main title of this post. As you can see, the word "Mochi Chocolat" was written on the packaging, with pictures of three mochi and a pot of swirling chocolate. On the side of the box was a picture of the mochi's anatomy, along with the description of the layers. Unfortunately, I don't understand a single word because it was written in Japanese. Do I have any volunteer translator? 

Can anybody tell me what those words mean?

I opened the thin box and was welcomed with a couple of square-shaped chocolate packaging. They were thin and considered small as they somehow fit on my palms. I'm guessing that the mochi are contained inside those chocolate packaging. There is only one way to find out, right?

What you will find inside the box

Anybody care for a package, or two?

Tear 'em up like savages! Inside the petite packaging you will find two pairs of chocolate mochi. They were very small, very tiny, very unfulfilling for those who have monstrous appetite like me. Because I put the box in the refrigerator beforehand, the mochi were stiff and cold. Try to pinch it, and your thumb and index finger will ache. Been there, done that. 


The mochi was more like a stiff and cold chocolate covered in chocolate-flavored rice cake, instead of mochi with chocolate filling. Get the idea? Even though the whole treat itself was stiff and cold, the longer the mochi stays in a room-temperature area, the more gooey the rice cake skin gets. 

The Japanese snack was sweet from the chocolate. And instead of using milk chocolate, I think they used dark chocolate for the filling, judging from the slightly bitter aftertaste after taking a bite. The mochi came in three layers, chocolate rice cake, dark chocolate, and chocolate ganache. It was delicious and suitable to be consumed when one is bored. And instead of frozen mochi, I prefer to have them slightly melty and gooey. 

Very tiny, don't you think?

The inner sight of the chocolate mochi

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lenôtre Paris

This evening, I dined at Lenôtre Paris in Villaggio Mall with Tante Rosi and Nabila. As I expected from a French restaurant, the place is very luxurious and high-class-like. Black dominated the color of the dining place, nonetheless the lack of lighting emphasizes the rich atmosphere. Chairs and couches were available for those who have specific preference. The restaurant is very big, it even has its' own dessert display on the left side of the dining area. Good Lord, those petite cream puffs and cakes looked very beautiful and mouth-watering, and they were not-surprisingly expensive. 

Most of the waiter and waitresses are from the Philippines. They were very nice and polite when they served us, yet there were some who were not fluent in English, making in difficult for us to place our orders. 

Lenôtre Paris in Villaggio

Le dining area

Wide selection of sweet treats

I was going to order myself a glass of either Cafe Latte or Cappuccino, but I changed my mind and had a glass of sour Lemon Mint instead. Nabila had the same thirst-quenching beverage as me, while Tante Rosi had a bottle of mineral water. The Lemon Mint was super sour in a good way and it made me feel good about consuming it, because all of the fat that I ate will be washed away with a gulp or two.

A glass of refreshingly sour Lemon Mint

A bottle of Evian

The dishes were surprisingly served super fast! We only have to wait for around 10 minutes after we placed our orders for the food to be served on our table. The waiter gave us a complementary bakery basket set, consisted of 6 kinds of dinner rolls. The bakery basket was served with three different side toppings, which were Smoked Cheese, Fresh Tomato Sauce, and Garlic Butter. I love the butter the most, followed by the tomato, then the cheese. Combine those three all together in one toast and you will get a combination of unique flavor, just like how Remy from Disney's Ratatouille describe.

Complimentary bakery basket set

Clock-wise: Fresh Tomato Sauce, Smoked Cheese, Garlic Butter

The Onion Rings tasted unexpected in a good way! I'm not a person who is fond of onion rings, but it turned out that the deep-fried rings were delicious. Instead of the usual frying-a-layer-of-onion-in-savory-batter, the chef grind the onion beforehand and mix it with other ingredients, shaped them similar to ear hoops, dipped them into a bowl of savory batter, and fried until golden brown in color. Those onion rings were crispy and savory, and it didn't taste like onion, nor reek like one at all.

Onion Rings

Tante Rosi had a plate of Sauteed Vegetables. Consisted of broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and snow peas, those greens had a balance flavor according to her. "The amount of salt that the chef used was perfect," she said, followed by, "Oh my, the snow peas are deliciously sweet!". 

Sauteed Vegetables

Nabila had a bowl of Baked Macaroni Chicken and Mushroom, while I had a set of Philadelphia Steak. We share our meal together, so technically I had both dishes for dinner. 

Nabila's Baked Macaroni Chicken and Mushroom was very delicious and creamy! Served sizzling hot, best eaten when it's still warm. The macaroni were nicely boiled, not too mushy, nor too stiff. Topped with cream sauce and melted cheese, the flavor is just amazing! Hating the mushroom, like always, thank God the flavor didn't blend with the entire dish.

Baked Macaroni Chicken & Mushroom

My Philadelphia Steak, on the other hand, was not as fantastic as I thought it would be. In the menu was written, "Sesame bread, beef filet, onion, capsicum, mushrooms, mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, salad, spiral potato". I was hoping for a couple of stiff European bread sandwiching a generous amount of shredded beef bathe in sweet sauce decorated with melted cheese. Instead, I got a warm puffy buns with less than a handful of sliced beef, a couple layers of cheese, and mixed sauce which flavors I could not distinguish. Don't get me wrong, the sandwich was tasty, but it was not as jaw-dropping and lip-smacking as I thought it would be.

Philadelphia Steak

Not as fantastic as I thought it would be

It was a great experience to dine at Lenôtre Paris. The food were great, the service was good, the ambience of the dining place was nice. All in all, I had a nice time at the French restaurant and is looking forward to pay another visit when I get the chance. 

P.S. make sure you bring an awful-lot of Riyals when you dine at this restaurant. Do you know how much does a box of Macaroons, with 20 pieces each, costs? 160 Riyals!

Lenôtre Paris
Villaggio Mall, High End Section

Phone: (+974) 4450 7255

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 8 AM - 11 PM

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Midnight Bacon-vaganza

Got the midnight hunger? Might as well fry a pack of bacon.

Midnight Bacon-vaganza

- bacon

Cooking Utensils:
- non-stick frying pan

How to Make:
- get yourself some bacon

- unwrap the bacon

- gaze at those beautiful bacon repeatedly

- turn the stove on to medium heat

- defrost the bacon 

Because Dad didn't defrost the bacon before he tear open the packaging, leaving Mom with the duty to heat them frozen bacons by placing them on the frying pan. That's right, that's how we roll! 

- when the bacons have defrosted, organize the bacon on the frying pan 

- fry all those beautiful fat strips 

Because one bacon is never enough.

- stir and flip those juicy bacon until they are evenly fried

- when the color of the bacons changed to dark brown, turn the stove off

- enjoy your bacon with any carbs available 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Asahi's Caramel and Fruits Biscuit

Another souvenir that Dad brought home after his trip to Osaka, Asahi's Caramel and Fruit Biscuit. This is, so far, the best Japanese snack I have ever eaten! 

Asahi's Caramel and Fruit Biscuit

The packaging is based in orange color. Very cute and adorable design. I mean, just look at those bunnies, and fruits, and bird, and Comic-sans-like Japanese writing! 

When you tear the packaging, you will find a couple of small packaging inside, in which contains a pair of biscuit sandwich each.


The sight of the smaller packaging

Tear open the small packaging and, voila!, a pair of Caramel and Fruit Biscuits reporting for duty! I was not disappointed by how the biscuits turned out to be, because they look very similar to the ones printed on the packaging. Them biscuits had a very strong and delicious caramel scent. You can even smell them from an arm-long distance. Not many biscuits have such forte, right? 

The biscuits are soft brown in color, and dried fruits can be found on the surfaces. Between them is a thick layer of creme-colored caramel cream. The biscuits were heavy and solid, unlike the fragile chocolate chip cookies that you can find in the grocery store.

Fancy a biscuit or two?

Spotted those delicious caramel cream?

At first bite, I was at bed of roses! These Caramel and Fruit Biscuits were beyond delicious and delectable. The biscuit was dry, but it was not airy at all. The savory biscuit shattered into fragments of delicious crumbs. The flavor combination of the biscuit was perfect, not too sweet, nor too plain! 

As much as I want to keep the biscuits to myself, I need to tell the people in the house about how good the snack is. So, I decided to open both packs, break the biscuits into parts, and share them with the six of us. There were Mom, Dad, and I, and three of Dad's friends. The six of us came back with great reviews for the biscuits! 

When you get to Japan, make sure you don't forget to buy this particular snack. Buy dozens if you have to, for souvenirs and for your monthly stock of snack. You can never get enough of Asahi's Caramel and Fruit Biscuits, trust me!

The biscuit is compacted with each other


Hula Hoops: Cheese and Onion

I found this handy snack at Family Food Centre in Doha, Qatar. The small packaging, even though smaller than the size of an adult's palm, caught my attention the minute I stepped my foot by the snack aisle. "No Artificial. No Added MSG. Made with 100% Sunflower Oil." was written at the upper part of the packaging, but I didn't believe that for a second. 

The Hula Hoops were shaped like rings, but wider and thicker. Even though it was written in the packaging "Cheese and Onion flavor", them hoops didn't taste like cheese, nor onion, at all. They were savory and salty, and floury nonetheless. Not bad to sought solace in! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Breakfast at Zaatar W Zeit

A day begin with me trying to move my butt to the bathroom in order to get ready for a walk at Souq Waqif. It was 9 in the morning, and Tante Rosi and Tante Tika were in the living room, just arrived to pick my Mom and I up. It took me no longer than 15 minutes to get ready, all clean and dressed up, with my camera bag on my right shoulder. With no further ado, the four of us hopped into the car and drove away from Matar Qadeem. 

After a 10-minute-drive, we finally arrived at the heart of Doha. Souq Waqif, a standing market which reminds you of a scene in Disney's Aladdin, where Princess Jasmine strolls around at the market in Agrabah in which was crowded with sellers and products. The thing with Souq Waqif is just that the environment here is a lot more modern, judging from the fact that the place also has numerous cafe and restaurant, instead of just merchants selling traditional Middle eastern goods. They even have a Haägen-Dazs Cafe here!

Fancy some rugs?

Cute Qatar magnets

Fancy some colorful fabric?

A dress or two, maybe?

Police patrols at Souq Waqif

Don't this reminds you of a scene in Aladdin?

Don't these teapots look nice?


The reason why we came to the Souq is to have breakfast at a restaurant named Zaatar W Zeit. Tante Rosi told me that she has dined at the restaurant before, and that the restaurant serves great food in her opinion. It took us a while to find the restaurant because of all the alleys and small streets. When we finally arrived at the restaurant, it was a bit surprising to see the outdoor tables were occupied even though it was still early in the morning.

Zataar W Zeit

We started the day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I was going to order myself some Hot Chocolate before, but I was a bit nauseous that morning, so I had to drink something fresh and juicy to make the uneasy feeling go away. It turned out, my decision was right to pick the orange juice, because it really was fresh and thirst-quenching. It was really really sour, the orange juice, but in a good way.

A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to start the day

The Orange Juice was very sour in a refreshing way

We decided to order some dishes and share them, instead of having one dish for each person. For appetizer, we had ourselves a bowl of Simply Caesar Salad, a bowl of fresh and crispy Romaine Lettuce, garnished with Parmesan Cheese and Oven-baked Croutons, coated with delicious mayonnaise. The Italian cheese had a nutty flavor for some reason, while the Croutons were toasty and delicious. The greens were crunchy and juicy, and they made me feel good for consuming them! 

Simply Caesar Salad

Very juicy and crispy leafs 

Our breakfast was then continued with a pan of Traditional Pizza and BBQ Steak Wrapz. Both dishes was delicious as heck! The pizza was thin, yet very stomach-fulling. It was decorated with tomato sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, ham, Oregano, and mushroom. I hardly spotted any Oregano in the pizza, but maybe they were contained under the ham, or under the melted Mozzarella cheese. Cheesy, doughy, floury, and delicious describe the pizza perfectly! The only thing that destroyed the pizza was the mushroom. I seriously tried to love mushroom, but I just can't seem to find anything delicious about it. So, I hereby declare that I dislike mushroom and that it doesn't go well with anything!

BBQ Steak Wrapz is the second thing we had as main course. The tortilla was soft and slightly fluffy, yet also crunchy. Inside, you can find a handful of beef with barbeque sauce, along with red and green bell pepper, and also onion. All in all, the beef wrap was delicious, but I love the pizza more even though it had mushroom on it. I actually ate three slices of pizza and a couple of beef wraps. 

Traditional Pizza

Delicious melted Mozzarella and ham!

BBQ Steak Wrapz

Stuffed with sweet and savory barbequed beef

What's a meal without some dessert, right? The four of us decided to order two kinds of dessert to share with. They were a bowl of Chocolate Chip Brownies and a cup of Strawberry Cheese Cake. 

Chocolate Chip Brownies are three bars of chilly brownies, served with chocolate syrup. I thought I would have an encounter with some sweet chocolate chips, but I stand corrected. The chocolate bars were not fudgy, they were a slightly dry and airy. Them brownies tasted sweet and quite delicious.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

A very nice dessert to begin with

Unfortunately, the Strawberry Cheese Cake was not as delicious as the brownies. They were painfully hard to swallow. The strawberry jam on top was beyond sweet and nauseating, it tasted like cherry-flavored cough syrup. Underneath it was a blob of, what it's supposed to be, cream cheese.. which tasted as excruciating as the jam! It didn't taste like cream cheese at all, it was milky and agonizingly sweet. At the bottom of the cup was very very few cake crumbs, which taste savory and nice, yet the cream completely destroyed it. I do not recommend you this particular dessert at all!

A cup of not delicious Strawberry Cheese Cake

After breakfast has ended, we stroll around the market. Tante Rosi and Tante Tika was planning on buying some Abaya, so we made a few pit stops to some Abaya shop to fit and bargain. It took us a while to find the perfect Abaya, along with the perfect size and price. I have to tell you, some of them were really attractive and beautiful, despite the fact that they only come in one color!

After some fitting and bargaining, Tante Rosi and Tante Tika finally got the Abaya that they love. We had breakfast, we shopped, we took some pictures, and we went home with a big joy. It was a nice morning at the Souq! 

So, for those of you who happen to life in Doha, you should definitely go to the Souq and dine at Zaatar W Zeit. Great food, good service, and free WiFi! But, watch out for the chief-in-charge, he likes to make jokes about toilet at the wrong time. Been there, done that! 

Black Abayas to die for!

Introducing, Mom, who rather shoot some flash than fit some Abayas!

Tante Tika and her Abaya

Tante Rosi and her Abaya

470 Qatar Riyal for one Abaya

Zaatar W Zeit
Souq Waqif, between Musherib and Al Rayyan Road
Doha, Qatar

Phone: +974 4431 5224

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday : 24 Hours