Current Coffee Shop & Cafe Faves | March 2019

Hi all! Using the new year ( as in Lunar New Year) as the start of my year (and because I completely missed January and February, haha) I wanted to start a new series (hopefully) featuring my favorite food experiences each season and/or month! Some may have a theme, some may not. I'll be sharing old favorites and new places I've discovered and highlight dishes I'd recommend and I may sprinkle any new products from the grocery store. That way, I have a chance to share with you all my favorite foodie moments more frequently.

Seattle blogger green tea latte art kfclovesyou foodie
1. Atulea - I finally had a chance to stop by the ever-so-popular (and very Instagrammable) cafe located in Captiol Hill. The interior is super cute and clean with greenery around and a pink + green leaf patterned wall. I tried their Matcha Latte and loved how bold the flavor was along with not being sweet at all. A lot of times, matcha can be too sweet, but I love how you can add your own sweetness (with honey or brown sugar syrup) so you can control the sweetness all he way. Their cheese boba drinks were good too! This was my first time here and I'll definitely be back when I'm in the area.

Seattle Burien latte art seattle blogger foodie
Seattle Burien latte art seattle blogger
2. Moore Coffee Shop in Burien - Known for their cute latte art, Moore Coffee House opened a new location in Burien which is great news for my friends who live south of Seattle. Lines are minimal if any and they still have the great quality drinks on their menu, latte art included! I've tried their Taro, Matcha, Horchata, and Golden Milk ones and each of them were almost TOO cute to drink. My favorite is definitely the Golden Milk, but they're all pretty good though some could be sweet. My goal is to try at least each flavor once! 

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Seattle renton coffee shop blogger foodie
Renton seattle coffee shop cafe seattle foodie food blogger
3. Boon Boona Coffee - A favorite not only because of their amazing coffee, but because they are so close to the Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts (my home studio!) in Downtown Renton. The quality of their coffee is amazing; they're bold in flavor without being bitter and oh so smooth. They also offer a variety of syrups (Rose Cardamom is a favorite!) along with Oat milk as a substitution, and now matcha lattes as well! Their staff is great and you can find me here at least once a week! They also have some yummy baked goods from Macrina Bakery and delicious cookies from Lowrider Baking Company.

Seattle foodie blogger international district chinatown
4. Fuji Bakery - I've been to Fuji Bakery before, but honestly, it's been a couple of years. I go to the one in the ID/Chinatown since it is more convenient and happened to be in the area before I had a meeting. I decided on a couple of baked goods and a Hojicha (roasted tea) latte, a cheese danish pastry, and fried dango. The baked goods were nice, but the star was definitely this hojicha latte! The roasted tea flavor really paired well with the milk and the pastries. Fuji Bakery has tons of other sweet and savory baked goods. If you're in the area, definitely stop in to grab some to-go or to eat in there.

Seattle Capitol Hill coffee shop blogger foodie
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5. Ghost Note Coffee - After an appointment I had in the Cap Hill area, I decided to check out this spot based off their menu and not having been their previously. They do Signature Drinks that coffee based and honestly, some are even better than cocktails out there! I love their unique drink menu and seasonal items and will definitely be back to try their other available drinks. It also has a very simple yet clean setting with plenty of seating. I had their Sun Ship which consisted of Espresso, smoked grapefruit rosemary syrup, coconut water, sparkling water, and lime. The barista that made it took so much time and care into creating it, as if it were a real cocktail. 

Seattle chinatown international district foodie food blogger
Seattle chinatown international district foodie food blogger
Seattle chinatown international district foodie food blogger
Seattle chinatown international district foodie food blogger adidas fashion
6. Hood Famous Cafe + Bar - I've been a fan of Hood Famous cheesecakes so when I heard they were opening a cafe in the ID, I was super excited! I love the green house vibes you get from their interior and their popular Ube cheesecake. What was a total win for me were their Mochi Waffles, both savory and sweet versions. I can't wait to see if they'll expand their menu, but honestly I would go back just for those mochi waffles! You can also step in to buy their different flavored cheesecakes as well including, ube, calamansi, pandan, and my fave, durian!

seattle food foodie blogger
seattle food foodie blogger

7. Queen Bee Cafe - I've heard so many great things about Queen Bee Cafe from friends and I didn't get to make it here until last month. They're known for their crumpets and is great to go to if you don't want to fight traffic at Pike Place Market to go to 'The Crumpet Shop' there. We tried quite a few of their crumpets and the most value for your money are definitely the sandwiches since they also come with a side of salad or chips. My favorites were the smoked salmon and sausage and gravy ones. They also have coffee drinks that are served with of course, honey. I would ask for it on the side or with a lighter hand since it can be a bit too sweet, but the Spanish Honey Coffee was my favorite with the mix of spices.

There you have it, my current favorite coffee shops and cafes! I love that Seattle has new places popping up which just means more places for me to try! Stay tuned for my next foodie round up or restaurant review!

-Kirstie

7 Greater Seattle Restaurants to take your Valentine

Happy Friday! Today's post is an exciting one for me as I'm sharing my top restaurant picks to take your Valentine in Seattle (or greater Seattle area). Now if you're in Seattle now, you know a snow storm is on its way, but hopefully it doesn't last through the week so you can have a nice night out next week for Valentine's Day. I would recommend making a reservation for spots below (if they're not already fully booked), but would also say these would make great date night locations for any other time of the year! There's a range of cuisines and price points here and I'll definitely share my recommendations!

Miyabi Sushi

One of my favorite restaurants of all time and located in Tukwila, Miyabi has an excellent menu selection of Japanese food including Izakaya dishes, sushi, noodles, entrees, and more. They also have a great drink selection! What I also love about Miyabi is that they have monthly specials, and for February, they have some tasty specials including this Hotate (sea scallop) crudo!

seattle tukwilla blogger foodie sea scallopsTukwila seattle foodie blogger
I would recommend trying out any of their special dishes or drinks, but also suggest the following (depending on the mood you're in):
1. Omakase sushi to share
2. Salmon Sunrise or White Tiger rolls
3. Seattle Nabe for soup to warm you up
4. Miyabi Salad topped with fried squid legs. If squid isn't your thing, check out the Kinoko (mushroom) salad.
5. Zaru Soba/Udon
knolling seafood tukwilla seattle foodie blogger

You really can't go wrong with their selection and if you're here at night, you'll get a chance to catch a local guitar/accordian player!

FEBRUARY SPECIALS

Tamari Bar

I've only been here once, but the mood and food selection here is perfect for fun date night. They have specials here that are delicious and frequently change and dishes, such as the Sashimi Tower, that are perfect for sharing. If you also wanted something decadent, you'll have to try their Wagyu dishes as well, my favorite being the Wagyu and Uni (sea urchin) nigiri.
sushi japanese food capitol hill seattle foodie blogger
sea urchin foodie seattle blogger capitol hill

Coltiva Pizzeria e Barra*

I was recently invited to eat here and have to say I really enjoyed my time and meal here! This location is small but has tons of charm with Italian inspired decor, and a beautiful back bar and open pizza kitchen. It's cozy and perfect for a romantic evening out. They are a farm-to-table restaurant that sources from the owner's own farm in Oregon.
seattle queen anne foodie pizza blogger
Seattle Queen Anne foodie blogger
Drinks are strong and their pizza is delicious and often changes with the season. Their Burrata pizza is excellent as it is paired with a squash spread that adds a nice touch of sweetness and the burrata is just a rich, delicious layer added. Another delicious pie is the Figura as it is topped with nice and salty procuitto and sweetened with a balsamic reduction.

VALENTINE MENU

*I was invited to eat at Coltiva. This post is not sponsored and all thoughts are completely my own.

The Harvest Vine

This restaurant is located in the cutest little neighborhoods in the city, Madison, and the restaurant itself has a romantic quality to it with the nicey homey and initimate feel. They are a Basque kitchen serving Spanish foods with an excellent selection of wines. I highly recommend the Remolachas (red and golden beet salad), baked egg dishes, Foie de pato (seared foi gras), and really any of their seafood dishes.
spanish seattle madison valley

Opus Co.

If you enjoy tasting menus but ones that aren't too pricey, then you have check out Opus Co. This is another small restaurant that is very intimate. Another location that caters their menu dependent on the seasons, you can't go wrong with their Opus Feast where you let the kitchen take care of the selection for you. This is a fun way to experience their dishes and is defintitely enjoyable.
Check out my full dining experience at my blog post: Tasting Experience at Opus Co.
Fremont phinney ridge seattle blogger
Seattle Fremont Phinney Ridge foodie blogger
Phinney Ridge Seattle Fremond Foodie Blogger

Tarsan i Jane

If you're looking for something a bit more fancy and have a higher budget, I would definitely recommend checking out the Valencian dishes/tasting menu at Tarsan I Jane that is also influenced by the local ingredients of the PNW. The food is likely different now than when I went last Spring, but you'll definitely enjoy the wonderful experience, especially if you have a chance to experience the Chef's Table. You'll get to sit up close to the kitchen and see all the amazing work happening while the Chef explains each and every item. It truly is a wonderful experience.
Fremond Ballard valencian seattle foodie blogger
Fremont Ballart foodie seattle blogger

Peyrassol Cafe at Southport

This restaurant is located in Southport located in Renton and has been a favorite of mines for at least 5 years now. It's another small restaurant located by Lake Washington that has small, but delicious menu with Italian and French inspired foods. You can't go wrong with their pasta dishes, my favorite being the Pappardelle with a pork ragu. They also offer a special menu for seasonal dishes which can definitely have some amazing dishes on it. Share a cheese platter and a bottle of wine and you are set.
Renton Seattle foodie blogger
Renton Seattle foodie blogger
Renton Seattle foodie blogger

Happy Lunar New Year | 8 Goals for 2019


Year of the big lunar new year amazon lucky money 2019 red envelope
 Happy Year of the Pig! Since I missed the traditional 'New Year' (January 1st) post, I thought with the start of Chinese New Year, I could take this time to share a few of my goals this year. I'll be breaking down 8 goals because 8 is a very good number in Chinese culture and it also happens to be a lucky number for me this year!
macarons lunar new year
chinese new year lunar new year
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knolling new year
Macarons by Macadons
1. Create more product/styling content

A big part of my Instagram start was in creating flat lays/knolling images, product styling, and I want to make an effort this year to do more. Last year, I created some but not as much as before and I really do miss the creativity and thought process behind these images! Here's to more #flatlays for 2019.

romeo and juliet couture
2. Consistent blog posts

Last year, I truly slacked on the blog post due to many reason including: being uninspired, procrastination, laziness, lack of time, etc. I have the ideas but execution for me last year was difficult so now, I making an effort to be more organized, actually taking time to sit and write my ideas out to bring them to fruition. My goal is to post at least 1x week or every other week, and who knows, maybe I'll even do more! I'd like to continue covering the topics I'm passionate about including food, fashion, and beauty with sprinkles of travel and other fun stuff here and there

3. Continue filming

I have tons of ideas for videos from mukbangs, asmr, beauty, travel, fashion, etc. but this is one where I probably lack the most accountability for. I have made some progress with IGTV as a base, but eventually, I want to be able to do full blown YouTube videos again. Filming and editing is probably the most time consuming but the goal is to develop a schedule to at least get some practice and editing in.

4. Share more food posts

If you follow me across the many handles I have, you know I love food, but I haven't done as much this past year with sharing them and I hope to do more this year! I've tried so many amazing places that I just haven't sat down to share them. This year, I'm making it a goal to include them in blog posts and Yelp reviews even more so than I have in the past.

5. Shoot more photography

With my blog and Instagram, I'm usually in front of the lens, but this year, I'd like to take my skills behind the lens to new levels, whether it is doing more photo shoots at the studio or taking baby/engagement/etc. photos. I've been improving my Photoshop and Lightroom skills and I hope to be able to finally nail down my style.

snow pnw seattle blogger
6. Making more time for friends and family and maintaining relationships

The second half of 2018 was crazy busy and this year will be no different. I want to be able to make more time for myself as well as making time for my friends and family even if it is for shorter visits. As we get older, time has been increasingly hard to come by, but with better time management and being organized with my calendars, I am making it a goal to see friends, both old and new and spending more time with them (and family).

lunar new year chinese new year seattle blogger gudetama
7. Be better with my money

This year, I'd like to make a conscious effort to save more in retirement accounts as well as personal savings. I'm not getting any younger and I have been itching at the idea of buying a house some time soon and in order to do so, I just need to be more mindful of spending including, eating out less, buying items I don't need, purchasing subscriptions that are less valuable, etc. 

8. Find new experiences

The last goal of mine is to get out of my comfort zone and perhaps do things or go places that are new to me. It's easy to get stuck and comfortable with the same things but I want to take a chance this year to try new things, meet new people, and go to new places. We'll see how this one goes!

And that's' it for my 2019/Year of the Pig goals for the New Year. What are your goals this year?

-Kirstie





Best 10 Bites of 2018

Happy 2019! I can't believe the new year is here already and we're already 1 week into 2019. I thought I'd start off my first blog post of the year by recapping the 10 Best Bites of 2018. This list was incredibly hard to come up with because 10 isn't enough, but I wanted to get this up here and share with you all. This is not limited to one location, so there are a few here from my travels. You'll also notice that is no ice cream here as that would likely require its own list! Note that these will be chronological order, so without further ado, let's get to it!

Uni dishes at Miyabi Uni

First up on my list is a set of items from Miyabi Uni. Honestly, there wasn't one particular dish I'm picking for this one because almost everything on the menu I ordered was a favorite! Uni is part of the restaurant name, so the fact that this restaurant specializes in sea urchin was already a favorite! I had the Uni Onsen Tamago, Uni and Kobe Beef roll, and the Uni and Foie Gras risotto and they were all amazing! You might be seeing a pattern here at what my favorites were... =P

Kaiseki at Wa'z

Not just one particular dish, but the whole experience at Wa'z was amazing, especially for Kaiseki style food in Seattle. I loved the seasonality of Kaiseki style food because they use what is fresh. It is definitely one where you take your time and enjoy the complete dining experience, especially if you get a seat to observe the kitchen! Everything from the precise plating, to the beautiful decor in each dish is an experience in itself. Highly recommend going here if you are in Seattle.

Amaebi from Mashiko

I absolutely love amaebi aka sweet shrimp, especially when they serve it with the deep friend head! I've had it at many places, but the best is definitely at Mashiko in West Seattle. Their other omakase (try the Honkaku) is great too, but is a bit pricey for what you get, so if you just want to stop there for amazing sushi, and amaebi at that, then you must go here.


Stone Clams at Neptune Oyster

This last June was the very first time I ever went to Boston. I know Boston has tons of amazing Seafood that we don't get or often find here in the PNW so I had to take advantage and try as much as possible. A must go (recommended by almost everyone when you tell them you're going to Boston) is Neptune Oyster. I know I already love oysters and we have an amazing selection here, but what I never had before were raw Cherrystone Clams! It was something new that I had never seen before so I had to order a few, and that was one of the best things I've had in Boston and this entire year. They were incredibly fresh with succulent meat and a nice sweet briney flavor! Literally would go back to Boston just to eat those. 

Tasting Experience at Quince

Another amazing experience that consisted of many dishes was flying to San Francisco to eat at Quince for their tasting menu. It was a decadent evening with amazing service and food, but the one dish that really stuck with me even to this day was their caviar tasting - this inevitably started my obsession with excellent quality caviar. I've had different kinds of caviar before and they were all fine, nothing mindblowing, but it wasn't until I experienced high quality caviar in this tasting that I got hooked. Yes, it is expensive, but sometimes, you just have to treat yourself!

Durian in Malaysia

This post wouldn't be complete without giving the fruits in Malaysia a mention. I had amazing pineapple, passionfruit, mangosteen, and so much more, but the star of the trip was definitely, Durian! The King of Fruit that can be stinky to some, but delicious to others, is found in abundance in Kota Kinabalu (where my family lives). We had it multiple times during my stay and each time, there was always too much to eat! You get so tired of eating it when you're there because there is just so much of it, but when I left, I instantly craved it! There are tons of varieties of Durian with different scents, flavors, and textures, and I can't wait to eat more when I go back this year!

Foie Gras at Teppansou in Kyoto

One of the first meals in Kyoto was probably the best meal of the entire trip, or better yet, the entire year. Teppansou is a teppanyaki (grill/cook in front of you) dining experience that had amazing dishes included wagyu beef, abalone, shrimp, and the dish above, foie gras. We were served a generous portion and it was cooked absolutely perfectly with the best tasting reduction paired with it. Foie gras is a favorite dish of mine and this was the best I've had this whole year.

Fluffy pancakes at Cafe & Dining Fleur in Kyoto

On my bucket list of foods while in Japan last year as definitely trying the infamous fluffy pancakes. This souffle style pancake has been popular for awhile and takes at least 20 minutes to cook/prepare which causes long wait times at different restaurants. Fleur was located by Kyoto Station and we waited around 30 minutes for a seat. We ordered a set of the pancakes in addition to an egg omlette dish (also amazing btw), so we could eat something while we waited for the pancakes to be ordered. Let me tell you how excited and happy I was to eat these fluffy piles of goodness! They were light and soft to the touch, airy and cooked perfectly. What makes these so good is just the texture and how it is a unique breakfast experience becaues of how fluffy these pancakes were. This is a must when yo go to Japan.

Fresh Warabi Mochi in Arashiyama

Another and final dish from Kyoto that was the best of the year is this Fresh Warabi Mochi set from Hourando Togetsukyo Honten located in Arashiyama, also right next to the Ryokan we stayed at. Warabi mochi, I believe, is a Kyoto specialty, or maybe more so in Arashiyama as it seemd like there were many shops that carried this particular mochi. What makes this one so differnt than what most people are used to is the soft, jelly like texture that stays like that only for a short time (very perishable). This particular set came with three different flavors, kinako (soybean pownder), matcha (green tea powder), and kuro goma (black sesame) along with a cup of warm matcha. The warabi mochi is sweet in itself, but come swith a brown sugar syrup on the side to enhance and add even more sweetness. They had other items there too that we tried as well, but this dish in particular was so amazing, we actually came here twice in one day!

Uni from Japan

Here's another photo of uni/sea urchin that made the list and I had to give this a shout out in general. While in Japan, I had uni multiple times, trying to find the best and honestly had a few great experiences, especially while I was in Tokyo. You can always tend to find Hokkaido Uni which are these smaller ones you see above, and they are always so delicious: sweet, creamy, with a light sea flavor. Uni is probably top 3 on my all-time favorite food items, and Japan has the best uni, hands down!

That's it for my Best Bites of 2018! I hope you had an amazing food-filled year. I can't wait to try all the foods this upcoming year!

-Kirstie
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