Korean Food at Vit Goel (Lighthouse Tofu)

I’m typically not a fan of Korean food. Previous experiences have ranged from too much garlic, to overly sweet bulgogi, to chewy and inedible grilled pork skin; and to emerging from poorly ventilated restaurants smelling musky of days-old food. I’m aware that my sentiment goes against the love for Korean food as shown by legions of fans, but sorry — or not — I just never got into it.

But at Lighthouse Tofu, also known as Vit Goel, I’m assured that I’ll never encounter the problems mentioned above. Atmosphere in the wood-paneled restaurant is quite a pleasant home feel, whilst servers are quick with recommending dishes and serving complimentary little saucers of kimchi and pickled vegetable appetizers. Continue reading

Izakaya Dinner at Kushi

Dinner at Kushi is one of the most delicious Japanese meals I’ve had in awhile. Special shout out goes to their mini rice bowl with salmon sashimi and roe — the fish glimmers with freshness and melts in your mouth like really fresh sashimi should; those little orange-red pearls of salmon roe burst when chewed, spreading delightfully rich and savoury goodness across the tastebuds. If heaven exists, I would hope I’ll be served this little bowl of gargantuan deliciousness thrice a week. Continue reading

Interview With LiveWorkTravelUSA

What’s it like to move one’s life to America? LiveWorkTravelUSA.com, an expat survival guide blog, recently interviewed me on my personal experiences with adjusting to a new home, cultural differences and what I like most about living in the States. If you’re curious to learn more in a nutshell, click the image to check out the rest of the interview! Continue reading

Where to Buy International Groceries in the D.C. Region

Yum…home made curry laksa.

You know you’ve had that issue before. The day when you had a craving for your mum’s home-made specialty dish. You emailed her for the recipe; she emailed back quickly and you got all fired up about making it. Except, you weren’t sure if you’d be able to find the ingredients in the regular stores. And sure enough, their “international aisle” was very limited.

The lovely thing about living in D.C. are the many ethnic grocery stores in neighbouring Maryland and Virginia suburbs. So many in fact that I’d never be able to do justice in compiling a full list of stores, so I’m giving you a selection of my personal favourites.

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Xiao Long Bao at Bob’s Shanghai 66 in Rockville

IMG_2684Everyone I know has been raving about the latest Chinese joint, Bob’s Shanghai 66 that opened in Rockville early this year. Their signature dish appears to be xiao long bao (steamed soup dumplings), hand-made, mini steamed buns with exploding soupy goodness. It’s won over everyone who’s been there, as I keep hearing people say it the best they’ve ever had. So when my friend Scott, who’d recently moved here from Ohio, said he was looking for some good Chinese food, I thought of this place. Continue reading

Armin Van Buuren at Echostage

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When Armin Van Buuren, the DJ king of trance music, comes to your neck of the woods, it’s not really an option for fans to miss his performance, so I bought my ticket a month before the date. Good thing I did too, because it sold out shortly after.

With an infectious smile and boundless enthusiasm, Armin spun original tracks from his collaboration with artists of other genres, ranging from rock to classical. It goes without saying of course, that he was fantastic in keeping the energy in the club going for the three and half hours that he was on stage. The early hours of the morning just seemed to fly by, as duller moments in the non-stop set list never lasted long enough for one to lose their dance momentum. Before I knew it, Continue reading

Gun Violence Isn’t Just an Article in the Papers

I suppose I should write some thoughts about the Navy Yard shootings. Because we’ve seen a spate of mass violence in public spaces so often in the past year, my immediate reaction was a heavy sigh of resignation, when I should have been more concerned it was happening in the region where I live and work.

The day had started off miserably with rain. My usual 20 minute commute doubled that day – no, not because of the rain or the shootings, but because of a serious accident involving a car and a motorbike along Montrose Road, just before the exits to the highway. Traffic was diverted, but I saw just enough to know that the wreckage was chilling. Amidst the glow of flashing emergency lights from police and fire vehicles, the charred gray remains of a motorbike lay on its side in the middle of the road. A dark suited man stood yards away from a black car, looking fearful and shaken, self-conscious of curious eyes in cars (including mine) that inched past the scene of the accident. I don’t know if or how he was involved, but his demeanour said enough. This was probably a fatal accident. Continue reading

You Say Tomaydo, I Say You Need To Adapt

From behind a glass screen, a young man in a grey green apron and baseball hat, in charge of putting together ingredients for my turkey sub (sandwich bread) asked what I wanted on my sandwich. “LeT-Tuce,” I said. But the response I received wasn’t quite what I expected. A blank stare, a couple of blinks and a moment of silence before he seemed to register what I said. People behind me looked on, waiting for a reaction. “OH. You mean leD-Duce,” he finally answered, shooting me an accusing look as if displeased that I’d put him in an awkward spot. Continue reading

Food Truck Culture in the District

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Queues can be long, but move fairly fast.

One of my very favourite little pleasures is being able to dine outdoors, and in the District, options for al fresco meals are even bigger thanks to the popularity of food trucks. In recent years, the number of food trucks have grown from a handful to a small army that traverse the busy parts of the city, peddling tasty grub from out of a window to hungry workers. Korean tacos, gyros, lobster rolls, cheesesteaks, pho, Indian curry, cupcakes, crepes, Italian ice — whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a food truck to suit it.

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