Sunday, April 27, 2008


ZenCha Tea Salon... the name drives me crazy, along with their okonomiyaki & fruity tea spring blend. Although I didn't picture it, make sure you hit up ZenCha brunch on weekends from 11 to 2PM ONLY, and go early, for their waffles & OKONOMIYAKI! It's my recent addiction. Savory pancakes, cabbage, onion, grilled chicken or seafood, kewpie mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (similar to tonkatsu). Very insanely addictive. ZenCha pleases me because their presentation is always spot on, appealing to the eye and the mouth. For me, for sure, a definite part of eating is the sensory detail. Plating is a big deal. You can make even horrible food "taste" better if you plate it nicely. Fortunately, they don't have that problem at ZenCha because most of their food is ALSO pretty tasty. Behold.

Venus- white choco genoise, berry & choco mousses

Don't remember.. don't hit me

Some sort of chocolate hazelnut thing...

Spring Blend Fruity Tea made w/ black tea

Smoked Salmon Salad

Fig and Parmesan Salad

Last but not least... DUMPLINGS!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A mad craving for dumplings.

Dragon art tea

Sometimes, quite inexplicably, I am struck with a rather intense desire for dumplings. I'm not sure what exactly it is about the little bundles of joy that I love best - perhaps the chewy skin, or the luscious fillings. I just know that from time to time, I would cut off my leg for some dumplings. Maybe I'm weird.

I've been on a quest to find some delicious dumplings in Columbus, and recently I've been hearing good things about Ying's Tea House & Yum Yum, in Clintonville. Seeing as how Clintonville is a mere 10 minute drive from our humble abode, and I was having one of my bouts inspired by Anthony Bourdain's trip into Shang Hai (oh god, soup dumplings... does anyone know of a place to procure good soup dumplings? Talk to me!), we made a trek down and enjoyed a lovely afternoon full of delicious dumpins!! Mmmm, Nom Nom Nom.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

I chose an assortment of dumplings - Steamed shrimp dumplings, San-xian dumplings, and steamed pork buns. They were all delicious, with perfect skin and supremely tasty fillings. Not to mention that Ying's is extremely adorable in every sense of the word- attractive oriental furnishings and lovely classical music playing attributed to a great dumpling experience.

San-Xian dumplings

And for the record, I also cannot resist a custard of any sort. From panna cotta, to creme brulee, to the humble Chinese egg-custard tart. When I realized that Ying's had these yummy morsels available, well, you can imagine my excitement. Dumplings AND egg-custard?! ZOMG!

Egg Custard Tart

These were quite good, in a standard probably previously frozen sort of way. Still, a nice way to finish off.

We had quite a nice lunch for less than $30 for the two of us, with Danny ordering sweet & sour chicken which he proclaimed to be better than average. I'd recommend this place for sure for those maddening dumpling cravings... I can't be the only one, can I?

Ying's Tea House & Yum Yum
4312 N High St
Clintonville, OH
11-8 M-F
11-9 S&S

Here's to half year anniversaries.

First and foremost, let me make a heartfelt apology for the recent lack of activity on my part. My grandpa has been in the hospital, and I've started college so I've been running short on the time department.

Secondly, let me just go ahead and raise a toast to celebrating half year anniversaries. Both my boyfriend and I have been drooling over the menu at Rosendale's every time we walk by, so he surprised me with flowers and a text message suggestion of "Rosendale's on the 27th?" last month. To be honest, I was really confused and trying to figure out if I missed an important event or something of that sort, but luckily I have a sappy and equally food oriented love who apparently likes to celebrate 4.5 year anniversaries. Yay!

So we dressed up real good and trott
ed off to Rosendale's post work on that very rainy evening in March, prepared to taste some pieces of heaven. We did not try the tasting menu, instead reserving judgement of this dinner to justify the expense later on. Let me say now, I'm itching to go back already. Here's our evening, in pictures.

le Popcorn

Romaine heart salad with creamy Goat Cheese emulsion, marinated Grape Tomatoes, Basil oil

Chef's soup - Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

48 hour Short Ribs, Crushed Parmesan Potatoes, Red Wine froth, Rosemary Steeped Beef Jus

Short Ribs, ver 2

Honey glaze Pork Loin, Southern fried Spoonbread, Braised Greens, Sweet Potato Puree, Crispy Pork Rinds, Smoky Pork Jus

Pork, ver 2

Lemon Curd with Ginger Ice Cream, Toasted Meringue, Crushed Raspberries, Almond Streusel

Everything we had was just insanely delicious. If any complaints, I'd say that the popcorn was a tad bit soggy as though it had been sitting there just a few minutes too long. The pork was also just a tiny bit dry, but other than those tiny details the whole meal was just really, really good. To be fair, I went in expecting to be less than impressed because of all the good reviews but I understand them. Richard Rosendale knows what he's doing.

My favorite part of the evening? That ridiculously delicious, ridiculously complex lemon curd. It was an explosion of flavor and texture with every mouthful, from the tart curd to the sweet, marshmallow-y meringue on top. It was sublime.