I-Mei Ice Bar Mania

I posted a while back about I-Mei Pudding Ice Cream Bar. There was a 2 for $7 sale a couple weeks ago, so I hopped on the chance on buying other flavors I haven’t tasted yet. My friend bought Pearl Milk Tea and Matcha Red Bean flavors (which I unfortunately forgot to take photos of), and I bought Melon and Mango.

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Mealtop

After eating dinner at Valley Fair’s food court with my friends, we went downstairs to try Mealtop, a South Korean shaved ice shop. According to my friend who has been to Korea, the shaved ice is exactly the same as the Mealtop in Korea. The menu is stripped of unnecessary items and focuses on the basics. The $4.95 shaved ice comes in Original Milk, Green Tea, Fruit, and Coffee. Each shaved ice comes with a cup of red bean and two chunks of mochi. You can replace red bean for fruit for $1.00, but who can pass up red bean?! Mealtop also offers drip coffee, bottled water, and soda. Like I said, very basic, which is also reflected in the interior design.

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My friend ordered Original Milk, which looks pretty in its white glory.

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My other friend and I shared Green Tea. The green tea flavor is delicious albeit on the sweet side, so I preferred eating it on its own. Nevertheless, the divine combination that is green tea/matcha and red bean cannot be denied entrance to one’s palate. The red bean complements the green tea shaved ice wonderfully that I wonder if the side topping will go well with other flavors. The texture is very light and soft, and melts in your mouth. However, since my family owns a shaved ice maker and the shaved ice it produces vaguely resembles Mealtop’s,(EDIT: After making shaved ice at home, I realized the incredible difference in texture and crossed out what I said) Mealtop’s shaved ice seemed somewhat pricey to me.

You definitely can eat one by yourself as the portion is on the small-medium side. I think the presentation is nice, and the ambiance makes me want to visit Korea even more. If you are ever around the area and you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, head over to Mealtop 🙂

I am still curious of the other flavors, so I might try them next time.

Siam Fine Thai Cuisine

My mom and I wanted to try something new, so we settled on Siam Fine Thai Cuisine, located across Valley Fair and a block away from Santana Row. The restaurant is super small but service was quick. I’m really grateful that we went on a day and hour when it wasn’t too busy.

We ordered Panang Curry and Pad See Ewe, both with chicken.

The curry isn’t anything to rave about, but I do like how it’s creamy. Unfortunately, if you want a bowl of rice with your curry, it costs $2.00. Maybe it’s a $1 and the waitress gave us two bowls worth of rice in one large bowl, but I think it would be better next time to order curry to-go as we have rice at home.

The Pad See Ewe is super delicious and a large portion. I really like how the flat rice noodles are flavored in some sort of sweet soy sauce; I’m not sure exactly what the flavoring is but it makes the dish very tasty.

panang curry
panang curry
pad see ewe
pad see ewe

I do want to go back again because I want to try the yellow curry as it has potatoes!! You can never refuse curry that has potatoes. Oh, the carbs…

Lisa’s Tea Treasures

I guess it’s becoming a tradition for to go somewhere we’ve never been before my brother has to go back to Los Angeles. My mom wanted something light and a place where we could chat, so my brother decided to take us to Lisa’s Tea Treasures, which is located in Campbell.

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We ordered Lady’s Respite with Earl Grey Floral, English Breakfast, and Blackberry Jasmine. You know you drink loads of tea when you are able to finish three pots of brewed tea. I think I may not sleep tonight. The finger food are very simple but it balances out the sweetness of the free biscuits/cookies provided. I think my favorite is the scone they offer, followed by the quiche.

Blackberry Jasmine tea
Blackberry Jasmine tea
Lady's Respite
Lady’s Respite
tea biscuits with lemon curd
tea biscuits with lemon curd

Blackberry Jasmine is quite tasty with or without milk. Earl Grey Floral has a strong lavender or some type of floral taste to it, which didn’t appeal to my palate. You can never go wrong with traditional black tea like English Breakfast.

Dessert we picked Raspberry Tart and Mango Panna Cotta. Both are incredibly delicious and not too sweet, so I think it’ll satisfy anyone’s tastebuds.

Raspberry Tart
Raspberry Tart
Mango Panna Cotta
Mango Panna Cotta

The ambiance is very over-the-top with its porcelain bells to call for the waitress (what), victorian chairs, floral wallpapers, and miscellaneous trinkets displayed on the side of the room.

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I definitely recommend going for the experience. Otherwise, I suggest you have afternoon tea in your backyard—like children who play tea parties with their (imaginary) tea set—because most of the finger food offered seemed like something a novice such as myself could make, and did not seem worth its ~$25 value.

Monterey Park Adventure

Before leaving for NorCal, my friends and I made a pit stop at Monterey Park for boba at Macchiato and Half n’ Half.

I saw my friend post on Instagram Macchiato’s potted milk tea a while back, and was quite curious of the taste. The presentation is absolutely beautiful, even when I ordered it to-go. The staff is lovely and the ambiance of the shop is cute and somewhat cozy. Despite all this, I had mixed feelings about the potted milk tea. The crushed oreo gives an interesting texture to the milk tea, but I felt the milk tea itself was lackluster. Probably because I am fond of my milk teas to be more on the tea side than sweet/milky side. Honestly, the drink tasted like the creamy center of an oreo, which if that floats your boat, then I definitely recommend buying the drink. Otherwise, I would not recommend buying it unless you are craving something sweet.

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As mentioned in my TRAVEL LOG: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, I was somewhat disappointed with the tea I ordered at Half n’ Half. This time I ordered their renowned milk with honey boba and egg pudding. Two words: TOO SWEET. I asked for less sugar too because I had a hunch the honey in the boba would make the drink really sweet, but it was still too much for my palate. However, the boba is quite delicious and chewy, and the egg pudding is HUUUGE. I love egg pudding, so it was a treat eating that much of it. I definitely would go back to Half n’ Half for the toppings. The wait this time was quite long, but their service is really quick. We waited in line for maybe five minutes, and then maybe three minutes for our drinks; the wait is definitely better than T-pumps.

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Turtle Tea

After day three at Anaheim convention center for vidcon my friends and I were craving boba, no surprise there. So my friend searched on yelp and came across Turtle Tea, and we decided to go there since it served food as well.

They recently opened so there was a lot of deals going on like getting a large drink for free if you order 12pcs of wings and getting one free topping.

First off, this is not your run-of-the-mill boba shop. Quickly’s and Verde has nothing on this place. Turtle Tea has jars of tea leaves sitting on shelves and the ambiance feels quite chic. When we entered, an employee asked us if we wanted to smell any of the tea. I’m not fond of fruity tea drinks, but there is no denying that the smell of black tea leaves mixed with various fruits is divine. The interior is quite spacious with interesting decor. Off to the side there is a shelf filled with board games, which is refreshing because usually these sort of places want quick turnovers, and I feel having board games suggest they want to give customers a place to hang out.

I ended up getting a traditional black tea drink: English Breakfast milk tea with aloe vera. It tastes like most milk teas I’ve had before, but I tried my friend’s drink, Earl Grey Lavender, and it’s really delicious.

I also bought a breakfast crepe (forgot the exact name) for about $5-$6, and the presentation is really pretty and it tastes pretty good too. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had eggs since we arrived in Anaheim, but I loved everything about it. If you order it, you have the option of having the eggs scrambled or sunny side. The fried food that my friends ordered are cheaper than my crepe and they look just as delicious.

What really makes Turtle Tea amazing is the customer service. I have never received such an amazing service at a boba shop before. We ended up giving them almost 20% tip cause the employees are just amazing!

I definitely recommend going there if you’re around Anaheim, especially now when there are awesome deals going on. Here are their yelp page and Facebook page if you’re curious to learn more.

the interior
the interior
the cool light fixtures
the cool light fixtures
our drinks
our drinks
12 pieces of wings that have 3 different sauces/seasonings
12 pieces of wings that have 3 different sauces/seasonings
Fried Calamari
Fried Calamari
crepe goodness
crepe goodness

Frozen Green Tea Bars with Sweet Azuki Bean

Before the semester begins, I want to share with y’all this treat I bought a while back.

the packaging
the packaging

I have always wanted to try these frozen bars/ice bars/what-should-I-even-call-them-bars ever since I combined green tea ice cream with an imagawayaki. It was like a revelation; I finally understood why desserts like these have this divine combination. I bought this when I saw it on sale because, regularly, it is surprisingly pricey. Each package comes with six bars that are relatively small.

I eagerly took a bite out of the frozen treat and was met with a lackluster taste of matcha and an overwhelming sweetness of red bean. I could literally taste the corn syrup that encompassed the frozen bar’s core as I took another bite. The icy exterior was nothing I imagined as well. I should have suspected it would not be creamy by its name, but I was blinded by the divine combination that was shown on the package (seriously, I recommend everyone to try an imagawayaki with a scoop of green tea ice cream on top). That is not to say that the green shell was nasty. When there was no more azuki bean filling and I was nearing the end of the bar, I could taste the green tea. Finally. I think that area is the best part.

Rating: 3/5.

one bite in
one bite in and I was filled with a millisecond of happiness

I-Mei Pudding Ice Cream Bar

What is I-Mei?
I-Mei, or I-Mei Foods, is a Taiwanese food company that is known in Taiwan for providing the highest quality of food to customers. Products they sell range from confectionaries to frozen food, and their packaging is quite unique. More info about I-Mei can be found at their website: click here

Pudding Ice Cream Bar
Popsicle. Ice lolly. Ice cream bar. Whatever you want to call it, this tasty morsel is not your typical Jell-o pudding, but rather custard pudding flavored, which is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in Japan.

I-Mei does not disappoint. It looks and tastes exactly like pudding. The yellow part is creamy and rich in vanilla flavor, while the brown part is icy, sweet caramel goodness. The difference in texture makes it quite addicting to gobble the ice cream bar in one go. When you eat or lick both sides of it, the flavors harmonize and it feels like you’re eating a cold custard pudding. Granted sometimes the caramel flavor overpowers the vanilla/pudding flavor.

Considering it’s summer, I definitely recommend buying a pack of I-Mei ice cream bar, this or some other flavor.

Rating: 5/5

front of the box
front of the box
wrapper
wrapper
ice cream bar - yellow: vanilla/custard part, brown: caramel
ice cream bar – yellow: vanilla/pudding, brown: caramel

Ben & Jerry’s Pineapple Passionfruit

left: carton right: close up
left: carton, right: close up

Another informal review here! Since the weather is becoming warmer here, my mom and I decided to go buy ice cream one fine Sunday. After trying Ben & Jerry’s Liz Lemon, we decided to buy Pineapple Passionfruit because these new flavors were on sale at Safeway.

I definitely recommend these to anyone who is a fan of greek yogurt and/or Ben and Jerry’s. I won’t go into detail of Liz Lemon in this post, but here is a description of Pineapple Passionfruit: Pineapple Greek Frozen Yogurt with Chunks of Pineapple & a Passion Fruit Swirl. Pretty self-explanatory.

Each spoonful of Pineapple Passionfruit takes me to the tropical islands where I’m drinking some cool, refreshing pineapple beverage.

The texture of the frozen yogurt is a bit fluffy and creamy. It’s not as tangy as regular greek yogurt, but there’s a decent balance of tartness and sweetness because of the blend of passionfruit and pineapple. I think it’s interesting to combine tropical fruits with greek yogurt (unless that’s what they do in Greece), and I think it’s quite successful. I do admit, it is more on the sweet side than I would like it to be; nonetheless, it’s still delicious to eat, especially on a sunny day.

GGE Wheat Crackers

Last week while I was displaying these at work, I noticed that they changed their packaging design. On a whim, I decided that I was going to try out all the flavors available.

GGE, short of Good Good Eat, Wheat Crackers are products of Taiwan (or is it Japanese as well?) and have an array of flavors. I think these were inspired from crushing dried instant ramen, mixing in the flavor packet, and eating the crushed flavored bits like chips. Who used to do that; just me and the rest of the kids at my Chinese school? These have no preservatives and no trans fat. GGE’s mascot is a big head Asian girl who changes her outfit depending on the flavor. Each pack is $1.18USD and is about 2.75-3.75oz. I tried googling for more information but nothing else came up.

Happy eating!

original
Original
Nutritional Facts: Calories-150, Calories From Fat-70, Total Fat-7g/11%, Saturated Fat-3g/15%, Sodium-370mg/15%, Total Carbohydrate-29g/6%, Sugar-<1g, Protein-3g
Smell: 4/5
Taste: 5/5
feel: 4.5/5
The smell is like baked potato chips but there isn’t any fragrance or luring smell that entices you to eat it. The taste is not salty and doesn’t have any overbearing flavor, which actually makes it quite enjoyable to eat (unlike some of the other flavors). I like how they’re skinny chopped up strands, but it is unsatisfying if you only grab and eat one strand at a time, which is why I gave the “feel” a 4.5.

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