Monday, April 23rd (I am officially an old fart now…)

9:50AM MIT Campus – Walking to Lab
1 chocolate drizzle flavored Special K cereal bar. Heh I start off my birthday by being late to lab and eating breakfast on the run. How typical of me :P

12:00PM Biology Undergraduate Lounge – Lunch from Goosebeary's food truck
Chicken in green curry with basil, on white rice with side of mixed greens. I only ate some of this lunch, since it was a bit more spicy than I could handle, and for some reason I wasn't that hungry. But hey that's okay, that means more room for dinner :) Usually the green curry from Goosebeary's is really good. I find that green curry has a lighter taste than yellow or red curry, and it has a bite that feels refreshing. I especially like the chunks of eggplant in this dish, which are cooked until soft, and completely embodying the flavor of the green curry.

8:00PM Chef Chang's Chinese Restaurant in Brookline
Whole peking duck, served in 2 courses: first a course of the traditional skin and meat wrapped in pancakes with hoisin sauce, cucumbers, and scallions, followed by a soup course made from the leftover duck skeleton, with tofu, napa, and vermicelli added. Those of you that know me well know that I am a peking duck fanatic. I was so excited to be getting a whole peking duck for just me and my boyfriend to share, since that meant more peking duck-ness all around :D Here I am, happy as a fish, right before they served us the duck:

The duck came out perfectly browned, and a chef went to work right in front of us and cut off pieces of the crispy duck skin that was practically falling off the duck. Then he cut off pieces of the duck meat from the breast and drumsticks, before taking the skeleton away for the soup. It's a feast for the eyes and the stomach! I unfortunately made the terrible mistake of not charging my camera batteries before going out, so I only snapped one picture of the duck before the camera died completely :/ But when I pull the pictures off of my boyfriend's cell phone camera, I will be sure to post them.

The soup that came out afterwards was also incredibly delicious. You could really taste the richness of the duck in the soup, and it didn't taste MSG-ish, which I liked. The soup was light but also went really well with our duck pancake rolls. Greg and I ordered the peking duck hoping that it would be enough for the both of us to eat for our whole dinner, but we ended up having tons of leftovers (guess we didn't realize just how much duckness is in a whole duck haha). The duck came with 10 pancake wraps, and between us we finished 6 of them. So we had 4 wraps plus tons of duck to take home, and the waitress was kind enough to pack up our soup too, of which we had 2 whole quarts left haha. It was a fantastic meal, yum! Chef Chang's supposedly has Boston's best peking duck, and though I don't have enough experience to confirm that, it sure was a good peking duck in my book. Not to mention everyone else at the restaurant was getting that dish. The only thing I would do differently is that next time I would order half a peking duck instead :)

11:45AM Dorm Room – Dessert from Japonaise
Before we went to Chef Chang's we stopped at a Japanese-French bakery called Japonaise right next door to grab some dessert and cake (the bakery closes at 8pm so we didn't want to miss it). I've heard tons of great things about this place, and when I walked in I instantly fell in love with all the beautiful desserts sitting behind the glass counter. Even the names were lovely: "African Queen, Mademoiselle, Chocolate Cointreau, etc". They have everything from special donuts (shaped like big teardrops), pre-made tea sandwiches with the crust cut off, melon pan, an pan, creme brulee, bread pudding, fruit tarts, Japanese cheesecakes, and much much more. Even though I was there at closing time, I was still impressed by the selection. The Japanese-French fusion was pretty well done, in my opinion. The only real downside? Well the prices are a bit extravagant. The cakes are priced at about $4-$5 per slice, and the buns were about $2 each. I would have loved to try a bunch of different desserts, but at $4 a pop, that's just a bit much. In the Chinese bakeries in Chinatown, such desserts would average between $1-$2 a piece. In which case you feel no guilt at all :P

As for what I got from there, I had heard raving reviews of the adzuki cream puffs and the green tea macha cake, so those were exactly what I picked from the display cake. I took one look at the adzuki cream puff and knew it would be absolutely divine hehe. It is a bun with a crispy croissant-like shell, dusted with powdered sugar, and filled with a layer of red bean paste and a layer of fresh cream. Hehe when I asked the cashier about the adzuki cream puff, he was trying to explain what red bean paste was (even though I am quite aware), and described it as tasting like chocolate. I wonder what the poor person who got it hoping it was chocolately ended up thinking haha. I am in love with this adzuki cream puff though, the combination of light fresh cream (Asian-style creams are almost not sweetened at all) with the sweetness of the red bean paste was just perfect, and the crispy croissant shell's texture and crunch really complimented the dreaminess of the filling. Aside from being a tiny bit messy to eat, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this dessert at all. I am craving one all over again just writing this :) And because I loved it so much, you get not one, but THREE pictures:

Next, the green tea macha cake. (I actually ate this on Tuesday the 24th, but I'm writing about it here for completeness). It looks innocent enough, cake with three shades of green. Two layers of green sponge cake, with green tea mousse between them, and topped with a thin layer of dark green gelatin dotted with bits of tea. The taste is unlike any Asian cake I have ever had before. My first bite seemed almost flavorless, until I chewed on it for a second and the subtle but definitely green-tea flavor of the cake became prominent, and it was a really refreshing taste. The green tea mouse is so light and airy it almost feels like whipped cream, and the sponge cake was very delicate, not too sweet at all. The gelatin on top gave the cake some texture contrast, which was nice too. I am so pleased with this cake, and incredibly happy that I chose it to try. What a wonderful new appreciation I have for green tea flavored foods!

Mmm what a hidden jewel Japonaise is! I definitely recommend going there, and choosing a dessert or two to enjoy on the tables outside the cafe on a breezy spring afternoon. I am already craving more, and I'm so curious to try their other delights!

Thanks Greg for taking me out to get all this wonderful food on my birthday! :) It was all so yummy and I had a lot of fun!


2 responses to “Monday, April 23rd (I am officially an old fart now…)

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