minh ky restaurant / city heights – san diego, ca

We went here because A) the place I originally wanted to go to was cash only and for the life of me, I could not remember my pin number that weekend and B) it had a fairly high rating of over 300+ reviews on Yelp. I’ve learn to take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt though, since people tend to rate with no rhyme or reason (“the parking sucks, 1 star” or “it looks dirty, I walked out and didn’t actually try any of the food, 1 star” or on the opposite end with highly overrated food and other shenanigans). We ended up here on kind of a whim, a second choice location, but as it turned out, it was a pretty good whim after all.

Parking here is actually pretty weird. There’s a tiny, almost unnavigable parking lot in front of the tiny strip mall and a sketchy parking lot in the back, behind the restaurant. We parked in the back since it was the only space we could find, though the area made me cringe with the obscene amount of trash littered about.

We went inside and saw a small, cozy, 12-table restaurant. Every table was full but we must have had a stroke of good luck since we didn’t have to wait long to be seated.

They have an enormous six page menu with over 200+ items on board. A little baffling, to say the least.

Menu Page 1 | Menu Page 2-3 | Menu Page 4-5 | Menu Page 6

There’s also a specials board on the right side, listing about 5 different specials. We decided to try the Shrimp Tempura and BBQ Pork.

[tempura shrimp + bbq pork – $5.50]

Since neither Jake or T like shrimp, I got to keep that all for myself. The shrimp are butterflied and flattened and have a thin coating on the batter with what seemed to be panko crumbs. There was a side of Thai sweet chili dipping sauce for both appetizers. I enjoyed the shrimp – the batter didn’t hide the flavor of the shrimp and the shrimp was nice and tender on the inside.

The BBQ pork was a tad dry but a few pieces were perfectly sweet and tender.

[dumplings and wonton lo mien – $5.75]

This dish actually surprised me since it came out in two bowls – one with the noodles and one with the broth and dumplings/wontons. Lo mien makes me think of noodle dishes, sans broth, and nothing like this.

Here’s the broth by itself – you can see the dumplings and pieces of char sui pork just under the surface with the scallions scattered over the top.

And a closeup of the noodles with a hint of a sauce just underneath the pile of noodles.

Jake started to eat them separately, but me – I put those two suckers together and had myself a little lo mien soup.

I loved the flavor of the broth – it wasn’t overpowering, very nicely seasoned with a good amount of flavor and (as you can see) oil. The noodles were tender and delicious as well and the meaty dumplings were really nice with the broth. I liked the pork pieces in this dish more than the ones we had as an appetizer – they were more tender and flavorful, perhaps a result of sitting in the broth? Continue reading “minh ky restaurant / city heights – san diego, ca”

new england style clam chowder / cast iron pot review

I recently received the opportunity to review one of Martha Stewart’s enameled cast iron pots. My dad helped me out with this one as he’s the one that made this really deliciously simply New England Style Clam Chowder. With just a few ingredients, this soup together comes together really easily and is super tasty.

The cast iron pot helped to keep this chowder warm for hours after it was made, too. Impressive!

I choose the smaller 3 quart enameled cast iron pot for its size and versatility. They also have 6 quart and 8 quarts pots and I can only imagine how hefty those suckers are. The smaller 3 quart is a perfect size – and not too heavy to lift.

The enameled surface creates a beautiful rich color (if you know anything about me, you’d know that I would of course pick a green cast iron pot. “Hmm, what color should I get? Is green available? Hells yeah!”). The coating also prevents rusting and you don’t need to season the pot like you do with traditional cast iron.

Besides the pretty green color, the cast iron pots are available in red, blue, orange, purple, white and yellow – all gorgeous colors!

Okay, enough talk about the pot – onto the chowder!

We’ve had this huge ass can of chopped sea clams for awhile now. It was high time that it get used. This is a 51 oz can of clams – you can get this at Costco (Dad says it comes in a two pack). You will need the whole can!

You’ll also need a couple of bay leaves. If you’re like us, you’ll just go out to your backyard and get a couple from your bay leaf tree.

What? You don’t have a bay leaf tree? You should get one.

Continue reading “new england style clam chowder / cast iron pot review”