Daman's Bar & Grill
May 20th, 2010 by sovicki

Last night, we’ve got some crazy Seattle weather, aka, strong wind, rain, thunderstorm. The drive home especially around the Everett-Bothell area convergent zone on 405 took me forever. It is not until Kirkland, I can finally drive the normal highway speed. But I guess that’s just the price that we had to pay for the beautiful weather the past weekend, and again today. 😀

We found this little tavern last night, it is probably the closest tavern around Microsoft. I’ve been passing by this place the past several years, and just never thought of it.

It is sorta a hidden gem, since it really is somewhat hidden. It is on the side of the what used to be Jeem, now, the Mandarin Buffet, building. At 6pm, the parking in front is full, good sign. We parked in the back, and walked around the place to get to the front door, only to realize that later there is a little latch door on the balcony.

When we entered, the place is about 80% full already, with what seems like mostly Microsoft employees, and some grandpa, grandma. Three full-sized pool tables were unoccupied, and pretty much stayed that way the whole night. There is a giant flat screen TV playing the western NBA final round 2. Speaking of the grandma, she was there reading a book, and was already on her second round of beer when I noticed her. Pretty interesting to see at a tavern. 😀

We went in seated ourselves, not sure if we suppose to wait. There seem to be only one waitress, not especially warm, and fuzzy type of personality, but that’s alright.

We noticed that from 4-6pm there is happy hour, which is 50cents off beer, well drinks, etc. Not that great of a deal. I order a glass of Cab, and the glass is probably the smallest that I have seen in American, reminded me of the stand up bar that we went to in Venice. Don’t get me wrong, they fill the small glass pretty well. Half a glass down, I was already tipsy. Priced at $5.25 a glass, it is alright.

Then the burger came. My BBQ Charbroiled Chicken from their favorite section of the menu is pretty good, only the fries were a little soggy. The regular berger is a little too dry in my opinion. But hey, it is only $8.

All in all, it is a good place to hang out and watch the game, food is not bad, and not pricey. Not gourmet by any means, but not bad.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
May 19th, 2010 by sovicki

One of our favorite thing to do after a good hearty Thai meal is to order their coconut ice cream with mango sticky rice. However, a good coconut ice cream is not always easy to find. We really liked the one from a small restaurant called Noodle Land around Redmond Town Center. We liked it so much, a friend asked the owner for their supplier’s phone number. I was willing to order more than I can ever eat from their wholesale supplier, sadly, when I called, the supplier no longer carry it. I went there couple times afterward, and it is not bad, just not the same. Not the rich, creamy, with shred coconut pieces inside.

Being in the Northwest, especially around Seattle area, we are spoiled with the amount of authentic Thai restaurant selection. Even though, I still haven’t able to find the lovely coconut ice cream that I once had.

This homemade coconut ice cream recipe comes fairly close, I’ve made a little modification when I made it the first time over the weekend. I think I’ll maybe try with some fresh baby coconut next time.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
Tools: cookie sheet, sauce pan, strainer, ice cream maker


1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place in the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the coconut turns a light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

NOTE: be very careful, my coconut turned dark brown the first time after 4 minutes in the oven, and burned 2nd time after 2 minutes, the 3rd time, I turned the temperature down to 250, and kept it in the oven for about 3 minutes with frequent checks. Not sure if it is my oven, so just make sure you keep an eye on it.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs with a hand held mixer until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

Combine the half-and-half with the coconut milk in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and slowly beat the hot liquid into the eggs and sugar. Briefly rinse your saucepan and rub dry with paper towel or cloth. Pour the eggs, sugar, etc mixture back into the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. (I used double boiler for this, and it might not be necessary. I figure it’s good to be safe than sorry.) Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, about five minutes, then stir in the toasted coconut, heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold (about 5 hours) or overnight. (This step is very important.)

Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 3 hours. (We froze ours overnight and had perfect, scoopable ice cream the next evening.)

This delicious recipe is from: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More by Bruce Weinstein. The ice cream was made with a Cuisinart ICE-20 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, and Sorbet Maker.

Shun Knives
May 17th, 2010 by sovicki

 Shun 7-3/4-Inch Stainless Steel Chinese Chef's Knife
Shun is a brand that my chef teacher used when I was taking a course at the AI (The Art Institute of Seattle). I bought this Chinese Cleaver when it was on sale on Amazon for around $90 with tax, a little less than $100. It is very light and sharpest knife that I own. It is very sharp right out of the box, so be careful! I’ve had couple incidents where let’s just say good thing that I have long finger nails. I had fear to purchase this all metal cleaver without the traditional handle, that it might be slippery with water or grease, however, i had no problem with it. It is very ergonomically designed.

I like it so much, that I bought this Alton Brown Shun Steel Angled 6-Inch Utility Knife It is the best prep knife that I’ve got. The tilted angle make cutting vegetable so much easier and so effortless. It really is a must have in the kitchen.