Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three Not So Ordinary Breakfasts.. Part Two

Taking another break from my usual breakfasts..

Although my first Not So Ordinary Breakfast post came together randomly and rather easily, this second one was going to require some research. For me that usually just means a quick Wikipedia look up but I also came across this L.A. food blog post about traditional Chinese breakfasts that I mentioned in my previous Sheng Jian Bao post.

While the Onion/Scallion Pancakes and the calzone-like "Leek Box" interested me very much I came across a Rice Porridge with Century Eggs dish at Tan Ky Mi Gia in Rolando.

1000 Year Egg & Pork Porridge ($4.50).

Wow I didn't expect such a large portion.
Unfortunately the Eggs were sunken into the hot porridge when it came but the chopped Scallions, Cilantro and almost artful dollop of golden Sesame Oil made for a simple and lovely presentation. :)

Quite brave of me to try these Preserved Eggs which I've known them in Japan as the Pitan. The last time I had was with large quantities of Beer at some random Chinese restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo of all places.

To describe the Century Eggs for me (even when sober this time) is a bit difficult but I'll try. If I closed my eyes, I can almost convince myself it were a regular lightly salted boiled egg. Almost. The "Whites" are more jelly-fied while the Yolk was creamier and would occasionally hit me with a mildly pungent flavor when I would let my guard down (the moment I thought I had conquered it).

Tried to take close-ups but not much to see perhaps. To the left is the "White" of the egg and the right, the cheesy Yolk. It was only my second try with the rice masking the flavor somewhat so all I can really say is that it was definitely an acquired taste.

I was most afraid though that the Rice Porridge would seriously lack flavor like Japanese Okayu.

But I found it quite good (probably made with their tasty soup stock?). The bits of lean Ground Pork seemed to only contribute to texture for the most part but I appreciated its presence especially when I felt the need to take a break from the Eggs. With occasional reinforcements of many condiments to choose from, I didn't have too much trouble finishing.

I'll need to do another post for Tan Ky Mi Gia again for I've been here a few times and tried some other dishes which I enjoyed. As Kirk of MMM-YOSO mentions, their name is confusing because although the sign outside says Tan Ky Mi Gia, the menu inside reads Hinh Ky Mi Gia. I'm using the former for this post because they seemed to have taken down the banner with the latter.

Tan Ky Mi Gia, 5237 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

A revisit to Leilani's for the intriguing Da Teri Omelet was due.
While trying out all new places for this part two was tempting, it would only be my second visit to Leilani's Cafe and maybe this time I'll have a chance to take a longer look at their menu. (Darn I forgot to ask for a take-out menu again!)

Da Teri Omelet.. ($6.50)

I'm not sure if this is a common dish that can be found in Hawaii or if it is a Leilani's original. While the actual Teri Omelet was much tamer than what my sometimes wildly imaginative head had made it up to be, I found it simply tasty.

A Fluffy Omelet filled with chunks of Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Veggies and Cheese. The two scoops of rice had a drizzle of Teriyaki sauce as you can see.

I also had a Manapua ($2.50) on the side. Right out of the steamer and too hot to hold for a few seconds.. :)

While it didn't seem to have the local flare like the ones I've seen on OnoKineGrindz I liked how it wasn't overly sweet as some of the Char Siu Bao I would find at 99 Ranch.

Another nice experience I had this day at Leilani's Cafe and I still need to try the Hilo Style Loco Moco that Kirk mentioned he enjoyed so another revisit won't be far away.

Leilani's Cafe, 5109 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109

My final not so ordinary breakfast for this post is the Idli Sambhar dish I had at Surati Farsan Mart. This also came about through my casual researching phase.
I also had ordered my most favorite Chole Samosa. I'd be honest and say this was a bit of cheating on my part because when I asked the gentleman at the cashier if it would be a dish considered typical Indian breakfast, his answer was an ambiguous, "Sure, why not.." :)

Idli Sambhar ($3.50) and Chole Samosa ($3.50).

The puffy steamed ground lentil and rice cakes, Idli. I read usually eaten with Chutney and at some places even served with pure Ghee. So I asked for this Indian Purified Butter on the side (free of charge).

Mmm, a perfectly nice alternative to say.. an English Muffin. I think a person would enjoy the Idli if they also liked Grits or Oatmeal for breakfast (a tiny pancake version of course). I'm not the biggest fan of either but munching on an Idli with a bit of Ghee and Coconut Chutney was definitely a pleasurable experience. The highlight though was the spicy Sambhar Vegetable Stew which was off the hook good! I am ill-qualified to explain it any further so I will leave it at that.

While the Idli would take some adjusting for me to have on a daily basis, the Chole Samosa, I would not at all..

Maybe because it consists of something Fried, haha, but the two golden crispy vegetable Samosas are savory enough to satisfy a bacon-n-eggs lover like me. When topped with spicy vegetables, chick peas, chutney, cilantro and onions.. It is So Good I wouldn't want to change a thing.

I've had few other dishes at Surati Farsan which I'm sure I'll be writing about sooner or later. While I've found not everything offered here is exactly my cup of tea, what I do enjoy I do a lot. There are many more I would like to try, especially after finding their menu (with pictures) here.

Surati Farsan Mart, 9494 Black Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92126

Final thoughts are that I like the smell Curry and Teriyaki in the morning.. Maybe an occasional 1000 Year Egg too.. Maybe.


KirkK said...

Hi Dennis - You sure are a regular at Leilani's in PB, aren't you? ;o) BTW, we enjoyed much of what we had a Surati Farsan.....

Dennis said...

Hi Kirk, I'm still finding my way through Surati Farsan's menu but I found some tasty stuff as well. It was my second visit to Leilani's but I can definitely see myself becoming a regular of that charming cottage in PB. I better join a gym while I'm at it too! ;)