Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Kebabs

I was in the mood for some Chicken Kebabs, and somehow I was thinking Mediterranean style. It must have been the Couscous I had that inspired me to cook ala Mediterranean. At least I tried, by combining a few different spices into the marinate.

The verdict was some pretty darn good (so called?) Mediterranean inspired Chicken Kebabs. Both hubby and I really liked the dinner I made that night! And I even ate up the bell peppers. =). I bet this chicken kebab will taste awesome on the grill! I will try this on the grill when the weather is nice and warm (and rain free!). I’m getting tired off all the rain we’ve been getting in New England.




  • 2 Pcs of Chicken Breast
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Bell Pepper, Cut into Squares (Optional)


Clean and cut chicken breast into 6 (almost even) pieces per chicken breast. That will give you 12 pieces then. Mix onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, minced garlic and chopped cilantro into a bowl. Then add chicken breast and 1 tbsp olive oil. Let chicken marinate for 1-2 hours (or more).

Skewer chicken breasts, alternating with some bell peppers (or any other vegetables) if you like. Heat remaining oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry chicken kebabs, rotating it around every 2-3 minutes so that the chicken will cook evenly. Depending on how big your chicken kebab is, it might take 15-20 minutes to cook the chicken through. Cook until chicken juices run clear. You don’t want to consume uncooked chicken, nor do you want to eat over-cooked chicken! This will serve 2-3 people.

June’s Comments: Since this was a Mediterranean inspired kebab, I served it with some Couscous. Instant Couscous from Near East! It’s a great pantry item to have and yes, quite delicious and cooks within minutes! I also steamed some broccoli for a balanced meal. =)

ChickenKebab1 Couscous


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funny!! Don’t You Think?


I thought this picture of Brady was hilarious. This picture was taken when Brady was attempting hubby’s “turn around” command. He can sometimes turn while standing on two legs, sometimes he’ll turn standing on all four legs…..


Monday, March 29, 2010

Asparagus with Red Pepper Sauce

I’ve been teaching myself to appreciate bell peppers. One step at a time. =) I never liked bell peppers, but I wouldn’t mind them in a dish. I will use them in a dish but I will eat everything but the pepper (capsicum). These days, I’m incorporating peppers into my dish whenever I can. And yes, I’ve been eating them. Mommy will be proud of me! =)

This was one of the dish I made for my Tapas party. I love the contrast colors from the green asparagus and the red (orang-y) bell pepper. I separated the asparagus from the sauce so that it will look less messy. My guests will also have the option to eat the asparagus with or without the sauce.

This recipe is adapted from HERE. I made some changes to it, mostly in terms of reducing the sauce proportions. I did not want to drown the asparagus in too much sauce. =) This is quite easy to make and the sauce can definitely be made in advance! That will give you one less thing to make on the day of your party! =)




Part A (Roasted Asparagus)

  • 1 Lb Asparagus, Ends Trimmed
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Part B (Red Pepper Sauce)

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Deseeded & Chopped
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Basil /Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F. In a glass pan,drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus for about 15-20 minutes until asparagus are tender.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sautee garlic and red bell pepper until peppers softened. Once peppers are soft, turn off heat and let it cool. Empty entire mixture from the pan into a blender. Add red wine vinegar and basil (or parsley). Puree until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the red pepper sauce with the roasted asparagus.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Goodbye, My Beloved Grandma..

I receive the phone call I never wanted from my family….Grandma had passed away and gone to a better place. Grandma’s been sick for quite a few months and the doctors have warned us that she does not have much time left. I was hoping to be able to see my “Ah Ma” this year when we make a trip back. I guess it’s too late now and she’s probably looking at us from heaven right now.

I am devastated when I got the news. I was still praying and hoping for a miracle that grandma will pull thru and prove the specialists wrong. My occasional dreams of grandma recovering and is her healthy beaming self is just another dream now.

I will miss my Ah ma dearly. I will always remember the fond memories we share. I will miss her smile, her laughter and her presence. Goodbye, Grandma. I know you’re in a better place right now and will be watching us from heaven. I will always love you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Congee Hot Pot

Here’s another take on hotpot/steam boat, cooking the meat in rice congee. Rice congee is basically rice cooked in LOTS of water. I quickly pulsed my congee in the blender to just puree the rice a little when I prepared my Congee for my hotpot. I cooked my congee in some chicken broth to give it more flavor.


Hotpot / steamboat  is one very popular concept  of cooking food in the Asian community. It is most fun when eating hotpot in a group. Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc have their versions of hotpot. Names maybe different and ingredients may differ from one country to another but the idea is the same, cooking food in broth. You can practically throw anything you want into the pot and let it cook. Bear in mind that if you’re throwing something raw (meat for instance), thinly slice it so that it will cook quickly. And you do want to make sure all raw food is properly cooked before consuming.

The idea of having a Congee hotpot/steam boat is not originally mine. I’ve had it in Malaysia and it is a different twist from the  the regular broth version. If you’re not familiar with hotpot or steamboat, think fondue. It’s slightly different from those cheese or chocolate fondue, but it’s the same concept as Fondue Bourguignonne; cooking food in oil! =)

I’ve heard that in places like Melting Pot (a chain fondue restaurant) have Court Bouillon (cooking food in broth) just like the Asian hotpot style. They however do not want patrons to drink the flavorful broth from cooking all the food. Hence they don’t give you a ladle or a spoon to deter you from drinking the flavorful soup and burnt your mouth/tongue! I guess it’s all about the liabilities that they do not want to mess with. That is like the best part in Asian hotpot; the broth after all those cooking!! Everyone would have a bowl of the soup eaten with noodles.


I prepared a little congee hotpot for the husband and I utilizing my electric fondue pot. We scooped some of the congee with the ingredients we dumped in and eat it in front of the telly. =) This fondue pot I received as a wedding gift is one of my favorite item! I’ve used it in almost all kind of fondue you can think of..cheese, chocolate, Bourguignonne, broth and the most recent; congee!


Have a electric fondue pot? Or a Hotpot / Steamboat kit…try cooking food in congee! Do make sure the congee is a little runny so that it cooks the food better and won’t burnt! =)


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Lentil @ Watertown, MA

The husband and I are never an all-vegetarian fan (or anything healthy). The word vegan sends a chill down our spine. I guess we tend to associate the words healthy/vegetarian/vegan to bland and flavorless. On several occasions, when we had vegetarian food we end up hungry a few hours later.

So, when our friend Crystal suggested that we try out Red Lentil, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant..we were skeptical. After looking through the menu, I was however super duper hyped about dining there. The menu looked so exotic and sounded really really good. Reviews were also great! I was very excited and decided to invite my friends Seyda and Rob to join us as well.


I called in about 30 minutes before we got there to make a reservation. We sort of got the time we wanted but it surely beats having to arrive at the restaurant without a reservation and waiting forever. We got seated quite soon after that as more patrons arrived and waited for a table. The restaurant was bright and buzzing with diners. It however does not offer too many seating; maybe 40 max (and that includes seating at the “bar'” overlooking the open kitchen concept).

Here’s what we ordered:

1) Butternut Squash Polenta @ $13.99 - Grilled polenta, oyster mushroom ragout, warmed sesame asparagus drizzled with cilantro sunflower seed pesto (Bottom Left). Crystal and I ordered this yummy and very filling dish. The magic words “mushrooms”, “polenta” and “cilantro” won me over. 2 big chunks of grilled polenta went very well with the oyster mushroom ragout which seem to be cooked in some tomato sauce perhaps? The grilled asparagus was heavenly. The portion for this was huge that I ALMOST has a tough time finishing it!

2) Eggplant Rollatini @ $16.99 – Eggplant stuffed with seitan, served with beans and some kind of sauce (Bottom Right). I forgot the exact name and description to this dish which was one of the Special for the night. Hubby ordered this dish and I thought the presentation was very nicely done. They took a lot of effort to make it look oh-so-pretty! Seitan is actually wheat gluten, made to look like meat. Although the portion somehow looked smaller than mine, the husband said it was very filling. I guess all the gluten and beans filled him up really well! He enjoyed his food.

 RedLentil2 RedLentil3

3) Sweet Potato Pizza @ $13.00 – Sweet Potatoes, onion on a crisp base (Bottom Left). This was another special for the night and I forgot how much this cost and what was in it. All I remember was sweet potatoes. This was Rob’s dish and it was apparently also very good as hefinished it. =)

4) Tropical Blend Smoothie @ $4.50 - Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and mango (Bottom Right). These are some of my favorite fruits and I had to order the smoothie when I saw it! It was really good. The blueberry flavors were probably the strongest and all other flavors were very subtle. I didn’t mind, coz it was thick, rich and GOOD!

RedLentil4 RedLentil1

5) NIrvana Delight @ $13.99  An Ayurveda inspired meal, balanced with nutrition, flavor, texture, color and variety- Grilled Tandoori marinated tofu served with cold quinoa salad and spinach, topped with beet relish and cucumber yoghurt sauce. Seyda knew right off this was the dish she wanted and the tofu was apparently very good!! Too bad I forgot to take picture of her colorful and delicious dish!!

All of us thought the food were VERY GOOD and had wonderful flavors! Service was kinda iffy depending on the wait staff I guess. For starters, Seyda’s dish came last as the order apparently did not go through. We did not have to wait too long before they brought it out though. However, the same waiter also forgot about hubby’s Iced Tea. We had to ask different wait staff 2-3 times before it FINALLY came. I guess all the wait staff were overwhelmed with the many patrons dining and waiting? And one harassing diner who kept telling the wait  staff how to arrange the tables for her party did not help either =P.

With those 2 forgivable service glitch, the overall service was good. Water was filled very promptly and everyone was very friendly. We decided that this is one Vegetarian / Vegan place that we will patronize again!

There are ample metered street parking in the area. They take reservations for party more than 6 people. Since the premise is small, I would suggest keeping your parties small to avoid waiting too long for a table. 6 would be a good number, 4 the best! Check out their menu HERE. Oh, if you’re planning to go there for lunch, print out this money saving coupon HERE.

600 Mount Auburn Street
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 972-9188


Monday, March 22, 2010

Citrus Sangria

Sangria is one of my favorite drink @ Spanish restaurants. One liter of this yummy concoction will cost an average of $20 in restaurants. This will usually give 4-5 people a glass each. Now, making it at home will of course cost less (just like every other food you make yourself!).

There are many versions and many ways to make sangria. You can add almost any kind of fruits to this “punch” and it will still be good. There are even white wine versions of Sangria which are equally yummy. It’s all about your personal preference. Just be sure to serve it ice cold though! And don’t water it down too much! =)




  • 1 Large Bottle of Merlot (1.5 L), Chilled
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Orange, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Lime, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Lemon, Thinly Sliced
  • 2-3 Cups Ice (or more)


Put 1 Cup of water and sugar in a pot over medium high heat and let mixture cook until all sugar has dissolved. Set syrup aside and let it cool.

Empty a whole large bottle of merlot, orange juice, syrup (half or all) and fruit slices. Let mixture sit for about 30 minutes to an hour (or more) in the fridge. Add ice into the bowl  before serving.

June’s comments: I used Sutter Home’s Merlot which cost less than $10 for a large 1.5L bottle. Feel free to garnish your wine glass with a slice of citrus tucked at the rim of the glass for garnish! You don’t need to use all the syrup for the Sangria. This is up to you on how you like your Sangria, on the sweeter side or not. This large bowl of Sangria was enough for 5 people, about 2 glasses each.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tapas Party @ Home

Last weekend, the hubby and I had a somewhat spontaneous party and invited some friends over. Having a party motivates the both of us to clean up the house and making it guest worthy! I will usually take charge of the kitchen and cooking, while hubby has the whole house to himself…to clean that is!


We made everything about 3-4 hours before the guests arrived. The only thing I made the night before was the flan, which took FOREVER to cook (about 2 hours), thanks cooking the custard in a big and deep container!

Here’s what we served our guests:

1) Sangria (Bottom Left) -  What is a Tapas Party without some Sangria?  This was a concoction of merlot, syrup, orange juice and slices of lemon, lime and orange. I think all of us enjoyed this bowl of Sangria….not a drop left at the end of dinner! =)

2) Edamame Spread (Bottom Right) – Inspired by the ones served @ Solea’s, I made my own version. Pureed edamame, peppers, cheese, olive oil and seasoning. Served this with slices of baguette.


3) Stuffed Mussels (Bottom Left) – Chopped mussels with onion, pepper and seasoning in a béchamel sauce, topped with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

4) Garlic Mushrooms (Bottom Right) – Sautéed cremini mushrooms with garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.


5) Roasted Asparagus with Red Pepper Sauce (Bottom Left) – Asparagus doused with some salt, pepper and olive oil and roasted till tender. Sauce was red pepper pureed with a splash of red wine vinegar for some zing.

6) Tortilla Espanola (Bottom Right) – Spanish Potato Omelet. One of my favorite Spanish Tapas!

Tapas2 Tapas4

7) Hooters Style Chicken Wings (Bottom Left) – Deep fried wings coated with hot sauce and butter. This has become hubby’s signature dish. =)

8) Garlic Shrimp (Bottom Right) – Succulent shrimp sauteed in olive oil, butter, garlic and a sprinkle of chili flakes for a little kick!

Tapas5 Tapas6 

9) Spanish Flan (Bottom) – Custard cooked in a water bath. This is one of the easiest and yummiest desserts to make! Mental note to myself, bake the custard in smaller ramekins instead of a big container. Baking the custard in a big container took the custard about 2 hours to cook and set!! Ramekins only took about 1 hour or less.


On top of Sangria, we also had some yummy and somewhat pricey wine that our friends brought over! Good food, great wine, awesome company….it was a great way to end the week and lI guess look forward to the Monday blues? =p Will be posting recipes to the stuff I made at the party soon! =)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Lemon Grass @ Lexington, MA

LemonGrassWe met hubby’s friend from work for lunch last week and decided to do Thai food. We picked Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine @ Lexington downtown. Hubby said the place is pretty decent. When we arrived, the place was pretty busy and got a little busier after that. The interior is quite typical of a Thai restaurant with many decorative Thai wall hangings and (religious?) statues.

Here’re what we ordered:

1) Thai Iced Coffee @ $2.50 (Bottom Left). Delicious ice cold coffee, a must at Thai restaurants. This is not your Starbucks or Dunkin Donut Coffee. It’s different and it’s better. =) Well, I think it’s better and it tasted just like Malaysian Coffee I get at home too!

2) Tom Yum Goong @ $3.95 – The famous Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup, spiced with lemon grass, chili, lime juice and mushroom (Bottom Right). This is Thailand’s famous soup and the description describes the soup. There are 3 succulent shrimp in the soup with slices of raw mushrooms. The soup was good, spicy and sour just the way I like it. At certain restaurants, I ended up asking for extra lime/lemon so that I can increase the sourness. I do however wished they threw in more cilantro, rather than spring onions.


3) Pan Fried Dumpling @ $6.95 – Stuffed with minced chicken and vegetables, served with light soy sauce (Bottom Left). Steve ordered this and we tasted it. 5 pieces of perfectly fried dumpling for almost $7 is a bit on the pricey side. There weren’t as much meat in the filling, more vegetables but they were good. It was nice and refreshing to have more vegetables in the dumplings than meat.

4) Tamarind Duck @ $9.95 – Fried boneless roasted duck with snow peas, babycorns, and bamboo shoots in our house special spicy sauce. I bet it was good coz Steve remained quiet when he ate this lunch. =) I did not try his dish, but there surely are lots and lots of bamboo shoots in this dish.


5) Mango Curry @ $9.95 – Combination of shrimp and chicken with mangoes with mild yellow curry, assorted vegetables (Bottom Left). I ordered this dish so that hubby can try it as he couldn’t decide what we really wanted. There were a decent amount of chicken and shrimp covered underneath the mount of colorful vegetables. The curry is good. Not overly spicy and the mangoes cooked in the curry were very very tasty. Mangoes are thinly sliced here compared to some other places where they cube the mangoes.

6) Duck Choo Chee @ $9.95 – Fried boneless roasted duck in Thai’s popular Choo Chee curry and vegetables (Bottom Right). Hubby ordered this dish which is one of his usual at a Thai restaurant. Again, more vegetables piled on top of the fried piece of chicken. I am clueless as to why they described the meat as fried roasted duck…twice cooked? Anyway, the duck was quite generous and fried nicely. Hubby enjoyed his dish. I thought the curry wasn’t that good. I like my Mango curry better. Perhaps coz mine was a little on the sweeter side?


Overall, I will be back for lunch and or dinner. I like that the rice came with the curry without extra charges. Prices were overall very reasonable for lunch. Hopefully it’s the same for dinner. The staff was pretty friendly and quite attentive. Plates were cleared timely and glasses were topped off frequently.

If you’re in town or feel like doing Thai, head over to Lemon Grass for some yummy Thai food. Check out there menu HERE. There are decent amount of parking in the area too.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Edamame Spread

This recipe is inspired by my trip to Solea’s and I got addicted with their bean spread that they brought out for us. I decided to recreate it and serve it at my party. The twist was using edamame  instead of red beans as described by the waiter at Solea’s. I had a bag of edamame sitting in my freezer and decided this would be a great way to free up some freezer space! My freezer is so packed, frozen stuff might come crashing on you when you open it!!

Edamame is very commonly served as appetizers in Japanese restaurants and are often boiled in salt water (sprinkle with more salt before serving) and served in their own pods (Bottom Left). To eat it, one would need to split open the pods to eat the “peas” inside. I usually stick the edamame into my mouth, holding it by the ends and using my teeth to squeeze out the peas. And for those of you who might now know about this….edamame is green soybeans!

EdamameSpread EdamameSpread1

The overall result of my edamame spread is quite satisfactory. At least my guests seem to enjoy it!There is certainly more room for improvement! Except for the taste of the parmesan cheese, the taste is slightly different than the ones served at Solea’s. Perhaps the beans used does make a big difference. I could I guess add a couple tablespoon more of bell peppers to the recipe in the future to see how the taste will change. This is however quite a healthy snack for those of you who’s health conscious. Here’s the recipe. EdamameSpread2



  • 1 Lb Edamame Pods
  • 3-4 Tbsp Chopped Bell Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper


In a pot, boil some water (enough to cover the edamame). Once water is boiling, add edamame pods and salt. Cook edamame for about 5-10 minutes. Drain, let cool and remove the peas from the pods. Discard the empty pods.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add chopped garlic and bell pepper. Sauté mixture until bell pepper is soft.

Add peeled edamame, bell pepper mixture, a pinch of salt, a few cracks of pepper and parmesan cheese in a food processor. Blend mixture until smooth while slowly pour in olive oil. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. If you want a runnier spread, you could add more olive oil. This will give you about a little over 1-1/2 cups of spread. Serve the edamame spread over crusty baguette or crisp crackers.

June’s Comments: I ended up with about 8.5 Oz of edamame beans (after shelling them).


Monday, March 15, 2010

Vanilla Cupcake with Red Bean

I forgot how I came across this recipe but it was definitely sometime last year when Seyda and I had a baking craze going on. Perhaps she was the one who found this awesome recipe! Anyway, I have made these yummilicious cupcakes occasionally since then. The red bean filling is so Asian, so different and definitely my cuppa “cake”! I made them both with and without frosting, depending on weather I’m feeding other people or not. If I’m just making it for my own consumption, I usually leave the cupcakes as is; frosting free. I’m not the biggest fan of frosting. As much as I love desserts, I find frostings most of the time too sweet for my palate.

The original baker whipped out a nice exotic Date-Pineapple Frosting to go with her Mooncake Cupcake. I decided to just pair the cupcake with a plain Cream Cheese Frosting. The baker also made her red bean paste filling from scratch. I find that store bought ones (the smooth paste kind) worked like magic and saves me time!! Here’s the recipe (I cut the recipes into half) of the divinely delicious Vanilla Cupcakes with Red Bean (Mooncake Cupcakes).




Part A (Cupcake):

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter @ Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1- 1/4 + 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • About 1/2 Cup Smooth Red Bean Paste Filling

Part B (Optional Frosting):

  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Sesame Seeds (White and/or Black)


This method and recipe will give you about 24-26 small cupcakes.

Refrigerate red bean paste to firm it up and roll them into about 1 tsp balls. Place them on a parchment paper and set aside (in the fridge) until ready to use.

Preheat oven @ 350F. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl. Add the milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.

Fill each cupcake paper about 1/4 full and make a little well in the batter. Gently press in a bean paste ball. Top with more batter until about 3/4 full. Smooth with the back of a spoon. Place cupcakes on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until skewers come up clean.

Let cupcakes cool before frosting! Spread cupcakes with frosting and roll frosted cupcakes onto sesame seeds. Or just sprinkle it!

June’s comments: I baked my cupcakes in individual small soufflé cups. With this baking cups, I can bake more cupcakes at once without using a cupcake pan. Feel free to use regular cupcake liners, but remember to use a cupcake pan to hold the shape!

You can make these cupcakes as regular/standard size cupcakes. This will then yield you about 12 regular cupcakes. Increase the size of the red bean paste to about 3/4” balls to get more red bean in your cupcake! Standard size cupcakes will take about 20-25 minutes to bake.




  • 1/4 Cup Butter @ Room Temperature
  • 4 Oz Cream Cheese @ Room Temperature
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.

Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

June’s Comments: I hade enough frosting to spread onto my small cupcakes. Double the frosting if you need more!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Solea Tapas @ Waltham, MA

We were planning to dine at Solea’s back in February and finally managed to do lunch there 2 weeks ago. The husband has brought up this Tapas place to me and I’ve been wanting to try it since then. Since we’ve been meaning to try out their Tapas there for quite a while, we went all out from sangria, tapas, paella to dessert on our maiden trip there.

Solea is located in somewhat an eclectic downtown Waltham on Moody Street. There were many ethnic stores and restaurants as well as interesting shops on this street. Solea’s establishment is surprisingly bigger than I expected. The interior is quite decently decorated. I do love the whimsical pendant lights at the bar. There weren’t much people in there at lunch hour. I forgot what time we arrived. But, maybe we were seated at the quieter side of the dining area. Like I mentioned, Solea’s premises is bigger than I expected.


We skimmed through the menu and already knew what we wanted to order. We ordered a pitcher of Sangria @ $20 for the two of us. =) A basket of cold crusty bread (Bottom Left) arrived along with an amazingly addictive spread. It was so good, I couldn’t stop eating it. The husband had to hide it from me. I later found out that the spread was made from a mixture of red beans (I wonder if it was red lentil, actually), parmesan, pepper and spices. SO GOOD!!!!!

Here’re the 3 tapas (Bottom Right) we ordered to share (while waiting for the paella to arrive):

1) Patatas Bravas - Wild, Hot & Spicy Potatoes @ $5.00 (Right). The garlic sauce and the spicy sauce were so good! The potatoes were tender. It would have been nicer if they were crispier on the outside. But these were definitely better than the ones we had in Tasca.

2) Camarao Piri Piri - Grilled Shrimp with Piri Piri Sauce @ $7.00 (Left). The succulent shrimp was slightly charred and that gave the shrimp a nice smoky flavor. The Piri Piri sauce on the other hand was just ok. It was spicy and to me there weren’t much flavors to it.

3) Pato Braseado, Roasted Duckling with Berry Sauce @ $8.50 (Center). This is absolutely divinely delicious!!!!!!! The duck leg was (fried or roasted…I forgot) perfectly. The meat wasn’t very gamey and very moist in the inside. The berry sauce definitely goes well with the duck.

Solea2 Solea3

And then came one of the thing we missed most after our trip to Europe; Paella! We ordered their Paella Valenciana - Chorizo, Pork Sausage, Chicken, Shrimp, Squid, Scallops, Clams & Mussels cooked in Saffron Rice @ $24.00 (Bottom Left). It came so beautifully assembled in a Paella pan. It was truly food art! Colors were amazing! There were so much seafood that you hardly see the rice. Seafood were generous, fresh and tasty. The paella was overall good. I did not care for the huge chunks of artichokes though.

For dessert, we ordered their Vanilla Flan @ $6.00 (Bottom Right). This unfortunately was very disappointing. The flan wasn’t smooth. It had so much air bubbles that it felt like eating sponge (not that I’ve eaten it before). It’s shameful that I could make better ones than this. And this not very yummy flan cost us $6. Boo! I would have sent this back if they waiter were to asked me how was dessert.=p

Solea4 Solea5

Overall, I will be back! I will drag the husband back for tapas, paella, sangria and anything but their flan! Service that day was impeccable! They were very attentive (I hope this remains true even when they are swamped!) and they even gave us new sets of plates, silverware and napkins just before our paella came.  Flamenco played in the background throughout our meal which gave the whole dining experience even more Spanish like! Their prices may be a little higher (compared to Tasca’s), but the quality of food (and service) compensates for their higher prices!

What are you waiting for?? Grab your friends for some yummy Sangria and tapas!! There are public metered parking (and quite affordable) available behind the shops. Check out their menu HERE. Here’s their location:

388 Moody Street
Waltham, MA 02453-5204
(781) 894-1805


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