Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck has been making its way up and down California, in preparation for the opening of a Hello Kitty Cafe location in the US.

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Being the avid Hello Kitty fan I am, I tracked the truck along California until it made its way to the Bay Area. The first time they came around, in April, I actually got the dates mixed up and missed it. So I made sure to be able to come to this one.

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Dandelion Chocolate

740 Valencia St

San Francisco, CA, 94110

http://www.dandelionchocolate.com/

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Dandelion Chocolate is a chocolate shop located in the Mission District of San Francisco, right next to Craftsman & Wolves. They also have a stand inside the Ferry Building.

What Dandelion is doing is really unique. They use only two ingredients in their chocolate: cocoa beans and sugar. It’s sort of like single origin coffee, where you’re allowed to really taste the differences from each of the beans.

 

At the front is their little cafe type area. You can order chocolate based drinks or desserts. The back is where all the magic happens. It’s an open space where you can watch them make the chocolate. Watching the big machines make chocolate right in front of you from bean to bar is really something astonishing.

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Nine Thirty by Awfully Chocolate

K11 Art Mall, 300 Huaihai Zhong Lu

Shanghai, China

http://www.awfullychocolate.com/

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Awfully Chocolate is a dessert cafe from Singapore that has several locations throughout China. I went to their Nine Thirty location, where they not only sell their classic chocolate desserts but a few savory options as well.

 

From 2 PM – 5 PM, they also have an afternoon tea set. It’s a three tier set of mini sweets that they provide. I came here with two friends a little before 5, and there was quite a line to be seated. If you choose an item from their glass case of desserts, you can take your item in a box to go. However, we were pretty tired from walking a lot that day and wanted to sit down.

 

There were so many beautiful items, all of which were chocolate, that I wanted to get. Cakes, brownies, cupcakes, truffles, ice cream, tarts…

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Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

28 6th St

San Francisco, CA, 94103

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There are several brunch places in San Fran, one of them being Dottie’s. Many of them, maybe all, don’t accept reservations. The only way to get in is either get up at absurd hours of the morning or wait in line for an hour.

 

My mom and I chose the former. We got up early and drove to San Francisco so we could eat here. At 7:50 AM, there was already a line forming out the door. They opened at 7:30! Luckily, since we were a party of 2, we were able to be seated at a larger table among other individual diners or parties of 2.

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Pepples Donuts

1 Ferry Building

San Francisco, CA, 94111

http://www.pepplesdonuts.com/

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Pepples Donuts, formerly known as People’s Donuts, is a doughnuttery based in Oakland that makes vegan and organic cake doughnuts. While they are based in Oakland, they also have a small stand located at the end of Ferry Building in San Francisco, opposite of the end where Gott’s Roadside and Blue Bottle Coffee is. They also sell their doughnuts at a coffee shop in Berkeley.

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The stand is there every day, not only when the farmer’s market is there. They have quite the selection of cake doughnuts with a good variety of glazes. I believe they also have a handful of seasonal flavors offered. Their display was small and cute, and the man behind the counter was friendly as well.

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Fog Harbor Fish House

Pier 39

San Francisco, CA, 94133

http://fogharbor.com/

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I recently took a trip to San Francisco to show my family, who was visiting from Hong Kong and Shanghai. We made sure to visit all the tourist attractions, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Pier 39.

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Fog Harbor Fish House is located on the second floor right at the entrance of Pier 39. It’s got a great view of the ocean, and because of that many tourists will come here to eat. However, we decided to sit at the bar since we were in a hurry to see as much as we could in the city.

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The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

4269 El Camino Real

Palo Alto, CA, 94306

http://www.theseausa.com/

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I have recently had the fortune of dining at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse when several of my relatives came to visit. They all love either seafood or steak, so this was the perfect spot.

 

I’ve been to Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino before. They also have┬álocations in Pasadena, San Francisco, and Taipei, as well as a Patisserie in downtown Mountain View. They were given a Michelin Star a few years in a row but I’ve heard that this year they didn’t earn one.

 

I’ve also been to The Sea before. This restaurant has no Michelin Stars to show off, however I’m not the biggest fan of steak so I personally prefer this one.

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Seesaw Cafe

433 Yuyuan Road, Jing’an

Shanghai, China

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What a wonderful find this was in the city of Shanghai! I’m used to more Asian only things, but recently I’ve been discovering several Western style places and shops there. One of the first ones was Seesaw.

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It was very modern. I loved the interior. Even though it was a cloudy day, light still came through the skylight and made the whole place very bright. It’s located on the bottom floor of an office building, so there are stairs going up. The way it was decorated was very hipster, with the bike hanging on the wall. They also had a display of their beans and mugs, the latter of which were for sale.

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Glazed Chocolate Cake with Black Sesame Buttercream

A moist, tender cake full of chocolatey flavor!

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I spent the weekend and eating so many different chocolate cakes. Making and testing recipes, toying around with ratios, all working towards the perfect chocolate cake.

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I’ll be honest, cake is not my favorite dessert. It’s usually either too light, dry, or flavorless with a frosting that’s overwhelmingly sweet. But this cake is anything but that. It’s super moist, light but not too airy, and the frosting is smooth and sweet without giving you cavities.

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