Best Decision Ever.

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Restaurant: Yume Wo Katare

Address: 1923 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

Type: Japanese

Foodie Mate: Pearl (a spontaneous venture on a gloomy, wet, cold Friday night after work)

Ambience: It’s a casual establishment with an odd sense of pressure. Maybe it’s being in such tight space with the chef and staff. Or maybe it’s the hungry glares of awaiting customers. It instills a sense of discipline and respect. Everyone’s just focused on enjoying and finishing the huge bowl of ramen in front of them.

The Ramen: There’s only two options at Yume Wo Katare: Ramen with 2 slices of pork ($12) or with 4 slices of pork ($14). It’s basically $10 for the ramen & broth, plus an additional $1 for each slice of pork. Additional toppings are free (more pork fat, more bean sprouts, or more garlic). It’s the greasiest, richest, fattiest and most dense broth I’ve had yet. Ramen is handmade every morning that are thicker than usual. I highly recommend the garlic addition, as it provides a nice pungent break from all the grease. The portion is a bit daunting, but just eat and enjoy. You’ll be surprised when it’s all gone.

Fun Facts about Yume Wo Katare:

  • Name translates to: Tell me your Dreams. “Yume” means dreams in Japanese, and “Katare” is tell. 
  • Owner’s all about encouraging people to pursue their dreams. You’ll see people’s dreams written up and framed all around the restaurant. Pay $10 to display your dream for a month; $30 for 3 months; all the way up to $10,000 for 10 years.
  • Chef asks each and every customer, “Ninniku iremasuka? (do you want garlic?)” It’s nervous waiting for your turn.
  • No takeout/boxing up your leftovers option, so come hungry.
  • There’s a sign that says “Do your best to finish your bowl” and if you do, you get a smiley “good job” from the Chef and all the staff. Worth it? Definitely.

The Verdict: Is it worth all the hype? I think so. A meal at Yume Wo Katare transports you to another world. It’s a at-least-try-it-once sort of place. Come on a day with crappy weather and the usual hour+ wait will be reduced to less than 5 minutes. The elation you’ll feel when your ramen is served will be even more memorable.

Coca Cola’s “Chock Chok” Mobile Campaign

Coke’s recent “Chock Chok” campaign demonstrated the immense potential of mobile marketing. The innovative quality is impressive. They created great incentives with various discounts that were easily attainable. They furthered their reach by bringing it the experience into movie theaters.

Watch the video and see for yourself!

Beans for #Breakfast = #Entrepreneurial Success

Beans for #Breakfast = #Entrepreneurial Success

I’m sure you’ve heard this before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But what many people don’t realize is, certain breakfasts are better than others.

This article suggests four categories to keep in mind when preparing a healthy breakfast: healthy carbohydrates, low-fat protein, fruit smoothie and dairy alternatives.

My key takeaways:
– Try beans for breakfast.
– Replace your daily coffee with a morning fruit smoothies. It’ll give you the energy boost, minus the midday collapse.

Photo link:

Stories behind Shōjō Boston

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What a memorable first time at Shōjō. The great service and innovative cocktails were more than sufficient for a 5-star Yelp review. Yet a conversation with Brandon, one of the restaurant’s co-owners, added a very meaningful dimension to our experience.

One of the first things you’ll see as you walk into Shōjō  is the colorful wall mural that depicts a monkey in various scenes of nature. Why a monkey, you may ask? This is the story of Shōjō that Brandon kindly passed on to us: Shōjō was a mythical half-man/ half-orangutan creature with an insatiable love for alcohol. Thus one day when he ran out of alcohol, he went on a search for an endless river of sake. The restaurant/bar was thus named Shōjō with a purpose to become its customer’s “endless river of sake/alcohol.”

The second story of the night came with thee Cold Tea for Two, a drink made of oolong infused vodka, peach de vigne, sweet syrup and lemon. As we sipped on the dangerously delicious cold tea, Brandon told us the reason why the drink was called “cold tea” Apparently, since Boston’s establishment aren’t allowed to serve alcohol past 2am, Chinese restaurants started using the code “cold tea,” referring to a request for alcohol in the teapots in replacement of hot tea. Served in a typical Chinese teapot and poured into the innocent-looking ceramic cups, the code worked for awhile. Eventually though, the cops did catch on. Thus the reason why we don’t hear that code around as much anymore.

So that’s two Shōjō stories that are great to share with your companion when visiting for the first time. A cool fact about the bar: they’re constantly refreshing their menu with new drinks. But the awesome thing is, even as the old drinks are cycled out, you can always order it by an off-menu request. As we finished our cold tea, Brandon informed us that he was working on cocktail recipes with a spicy kick and offered us a taste. Let me say, this Thai chili pepper infused vodka with coconut milk was very delicious. It was like a dessert at times and a spicy surprise at others. Hopefully it’ll make it to the next menu!

I’m looking forward to more visits here (their food menu looks bomb!) and more Shōjō stories. Stay tuned!

A six-hour adventure in Boston’s Chinatown

This was a night of new experiences and a night of utter gluttony. Here’s an overview of the night with Yelp review links for more detail:

7pm: Dinner at Hong Kong Eatery

8:30-10pm: Karaoke at Golden Leaf

10pm-12:30am: Drinks at Shōjō

12:30-1:00am: Late night at Jade Garden

I love nights like these. Just when I feel like I’ve seen all of Boston, my enthusiasm for more exploration is reignited. Thanks to a go-with-the-flow attitude and a spontaneous good friend.


My frozen red bean #kitchen #experiment

My frozen red bean #kitchen #experiment

So remember how I poured soy milk into some of my leftover red bean soup and then froze it? Well, I’m here to tell you: IT’S ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS.

I defrosted it for about 30 seconds, then dove in. The soy milk was a necessary touch to make it creamier. This would definitely be a great popsicle recipe during the summer.

The picture doesn’t do it justice, especially with that white sheet of ice on top, but trust me on this one!

Chinese Red Bean Soup- #Taiwan #comfortfood

Chinese Red Bean Soup- #Taiwan #comfortfood

I was obessed with red bean soup during my trip to Taiwan this past December. Had it almost everyday over the 10 days I was visiting. After I returned to the States, I totally forgot about it.

Up until a couple days ago when my sisters mentioned it to me. I figured, why not try to make it? So I did.

It’s a little time-consuming, but the steps are simple.
1) Soak the red beans overnight.
2) Drain out the water. Put drained beans and water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3) Let it boil for about 90 minutes or until the beans are slightly falling apart. (I continuously added water throughout the time.)
4. Once it’s to the firmness of your liking, add the sugar!

Simple right?

I had quite a bit left over so I decided to try a little experiment. I added some soy milk to the red bean soup and put it in the freezer. We’ll see how that goes!