Sunday, January 11, 2015

Coconut Chia Pudding

Coconut Chia Pudding: Serving

Recent trips to Fashion Island have introduced us to a tasty application of chia seeds: coconut chia pudding, which we spotted at True Food Kitchen as well as Le Pain Quotidien. True Food Kitchen adorned theirs with banana and coconut chips, and Le Pain Quotidien used a seasonal fruit compote as topping, as well as seasoning the chia seeds with lemon, mango, and agave syrup. Given that our sample of True Food Kitchen's rendition was quite tasty, we thought, why not make this at home?

Coconut Chia Pudding: Ingredients

So that's what we ended up doing. In the process of purchasing coconut milk, we ran into a cool ingredient--coconut nectar--and decided to use that as sweetener instead of sugars or syrups. The Big Tree Farms Organic Amber Coconut Nectar is a decadent ingredient-- it has a very condensed, dark, roasted, and rich coconut flavor which provides great depth of flavor to whatever you're adding it to.

Coconut Chia Pudding: Chia Seeds

Making the chia pudding was very simple. First, start off with chia seeds.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cathay Pacific CX 391: PEK - HKG Premium Economy

Cathay Pacific CX 391 (PEK- HKG): B-LBB 1000th A330

After some time in Beijing, I moved onto a visit to Hong Kong, given that I hadn't visited in several years. Time has flown so fast that I haven't even been able to post about lots of the restaurants I visited in Hong Kong last time!

Beijing Capital Airport (Beijing, China): Terminal 3

Check-in for Cathay Pacific is done at Terminal 3. This flight in particular was also a Air China codeshare flight, but check-in was was preferably only done at Cathay Pacific.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Santa Monica Seafood- Costa Mesa, CA

Santa Monica Seafood- Costa Mesa, CA: Exterior

We heard about Santa Monica Seafood as a reputable place to not just buy fish, but also to eat, and thus visited Santa Monica Seafood during a trip to Orange County.

Santa Monica Seafood- Costa Mesa, CA: Bread and Butter

During our first visit, the cafe had just opened (11 AM), and being one of the first customers, they were very attentive, immediately requesting drink orders and introducing us to their daily specials. Bread and butter were available on request after ordering, and it was quite delicious-- fresh, crusty sourdough bread with a tender interior coupled with soft, unsalted butter! We had plenty of this.

Santa Monica Seafood- Costa Mesa, CA: New England Clam Chowder (Large)

We wanted a smaller lunch, and so we went for soup and oysters. First, we ordered the large New England Clam Chowder (8 USD), a highly recommended item according to our waitress.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Asiana Airlines OZ 333: ICN - PEK Travel Class

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333 A330

After an eventful seven hours at Incheon International Airport, it was time to go on-board my next flight to go to Beijing.

Asiana Airlines Flight OZ 333
June 3, 2014
Service from Incheon International Airport (ICN) nonstop to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Travel Class (Economy)

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333

The cabin of this Asiana Airlines A330 actually happened to be slightly newer than that of the Boeing 777 I traveled on earlier.

 Asiana Airlines OZ 333: A330 Economy Seat 

Seats in this case did have an adjustable headrest. Furthermore, there was an in-flight entertainment remote that guided the Audio Video on Demand system, which did have a good selection of movies, music, and games on offer. The entertainment screens may have looked the same, but you could do a lot more with this system.

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333 Lunch

One option was available for lunch: a beef and pepper stir-fry with sweet and sour pork with rice. What was special was that an aloe drink was on offer as a beverage--this was nicely sweet, with a light grape flavor as well. All varieties of drinks--alcoholic, as well as juices, sodas, tea, and coffee--were available on offer. More Korean drinks, however, were available, given the departure airport being ICN.

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333 Salad

The salad was served with an extremely yellow colored dressing and bacon bits, but was decent.

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333 Beef and Sweet and Sour Pork Entree

The entree's sweet and sour pork was not very flavorful, and the beef sauteed with pepper was quite meaty in flavor. Lots of passengers added some of the provided hot pepper paste to the dish-- interesting touch.

Asiana Airlines ICN-PEK: OZ 333 Chocolate Mousse Cake

The chocolate mousse cake was slightly gelatinous but otherwise smooth, milky, and chocolatey-- a good way to end lunch. The bread was also quite tasty; though not heated, it was at room temperature, soft, and went well with the supplied New Zealand butter.

After the meal service, there wasn't much time until the plane had to prepare for landing. This is a short flight--about one hour and 30 minutes--so I partially watched a movie until landing.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) - Beijing, China: Terminal 3

Upon landing at Beijing, our plane happened to get a far gate away from customs, and thus everyone had to walk quite a distance through people movers. 

We also had to use a tram to get to the terminal 3 entry area, given our far away distance. However, as it was a busy time, the tram could not handle all the passengers coming in--people ended up squeezing into the tram until there was no space left between passengers. Yet, there were still lots of passengers waiting even after the tram was completely filled up!

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) - Beijing, China: Terminal 3

Overall, this short flight was good--comfortable seating, a decent, if not excellent meal, and plenty of entertainment options. Service was just as friendly and professional as my first flight on Asiana.

Other posts on this flight sequence:
Transferring at Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea
Asiana Airlines OZ 203: LAX- ICN Travel Class

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Transferring at Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea

Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea
Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea

After disembarking from the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777, it was time for the next step in my journey: a seven hour layover in Seoul Incheon International Airport!

Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea

Prior to beginning the trip, I had read about how Seoul Incheon International Airport fuses culture for all passengers through various tours and programs. As I disembarked the plane, this became quickly evident, with large poster boards displaying delicious Korean cuisine and picturesque landscapes.

Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)- Incheon, South Korea: Transfer Entrance

Walking down the walkway, a transfer sign then directed me to the next step in the transfer process: a quick security screening. Given that the Asiana flight arrived so early in the morning (around 5 AM), there were barely any passengers other than those on my flight, and as I was one of the last to disembark, I barely even had to wait! A looser screening took place-- no need to remove belts and shoes, and no full x-ray scan-- and I was off to explore the airport.

*Note: If you wanted to go on one of the many transfer tours offered by Incheon International Airport, you would not continue onto the transfer section; rather, you would stay on the same level and find the corresponding bus for the tour. I didn't partake on any of the tours as the timing was not ideal for my connecting flight (most of the longer tours occur mid-day/ afternoon), and that it was also raining when I was in Incheon.