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Stephanie Ying Hawthorne

Stephanie

Stephanie

I adore the night time; when the rest of the world is asleep, I chat with the moon. Blogging about life and its lessons, with an occasional glimpse of things I love. ❀

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Hello again!

How are we doing this week? I was going to post earlier, but it’s still Tuesday! Plus, my eye started hurting earlier, probably from staring at my laptop screen for too long.

After some yummy Chick-fil-a with a caramel frosted coffee, I am healed! This is my second time getting the caramel frosted coffee since it’s relatively new, and it’s such a sweet treat that I love getting. They made this one a bit sweeter since the caramel taste is stronger.

Ramen Time!

Stephen had Friday off, so I worked a little bit, then we went to Otaku Ramen a second time. [The first time we went was in July in my Raleigh friends post.] I finally managed to take a picture of the outside because I wanted to get a picture of that cute little lizard[?] thing that looks like it’s ready to attack Stephen!

Since we went on a Friday around lunch time, the place was so packed, but we didn’t have to wait for a table. Although, the seating arrangement was all pretty close. If I extended my arms, I probably would’ve almost touched someone. You can’t help but eavesdrop on accident sometimes whenever you’re sitting close together!

Stephen ordered the same noodles that he did last time, the Shoyu ramen. I ate his eggie this time since he doesn’t like them in his noodles.

Stephen’s Shoyu ramen.

Now that I’m looking at the previous picture of Stephen’s ramen from last time, the pork belly is definitely more cooked than the previous time! It’s more appetizing in this one, and it doesn’t look raw like before. The presentation is a bit nicer too.

I decided to be adventurous and try a new dish this time since the last time, it wasn’t as filling for me. I ended up ordering the Szechuan Pork Miso ramen. Las time, I had the Spicy Miso. The Szechuan Pork was so much better, by far! Maybe it was because it was pork broth based or something, but it was tastier and spicier than the Spicy Miso – how funny. I appreciated the spice level of this dish, and I’m such a sucker for bean sprouts! I really liked this dish, and so did Stephen because he says he’ll probably get this the next time we go.

We then decided to go back to our apartment, but the fun didn’t stop there! We went to the grocery store that night, haha. Stephen dreads it, but I don’t mind going. I wrote up a grocery list, but I left it on my laptop desk, so that was useless. Luckily after I write something, I usually remember it. Plus, I’ve memorized Kroger enough to know which aisles I need to go to, so I’m not lollygagging for the heck of it, so it’s a little less painful for him.

Saturday Success

Since I haven’t seen Alexis in about 3 weeks at this time, we were having major friendship withdrawals! We decided to have a small girls’ day and find somewhere to eat and hang out for the day. I let Alexis decide on the type of food, and she was craving Asian. Heck yeah, who doesn’t!?

We searched for a new restaurant to try downtown that we both haven’t tried, and we stumbled upon Inchin’s Bamboo Garden. Let me just say, this is probably my new favorite restaurant. I’m planning to go back this weekend, so I’ll try to drag Stephen along so he can see what he’s missing out on!

Inchin is a combination of the words Indian and Chinese. This truly describes our cuisine.

The Story Behind Our Food

I honestly didn’t look up their story until writing this post, but I love the concept and restaurant even more for blending the names and serving both Indian and Chinese cuisine! Can you think of a better food combination? I think not.

I was actually craving some Indian food since I haven’t tried any in Nashville yet. There’s one in Clarksville that we really love and we’d been wanting to try one here, so I thought this was the best of both worlds for us to try!

I didn’t take great pictures of the restaurant, [I’ll do better next time,] but I loved how nicely it was set up and decorated aesthetically.

The menus were already on the table, and they had the Chinese Zodiac signs! It reminds me of a Chinese buffet from my hometown where they had these on the table.

We didn’t order any drinks, but this was their drinks menu. Notice how it’s set up. It’s definitely unique, and it has a more personal feel to it rather than the way drink lists and books that are typically printed in restaurants.

As for the food, we decided to order the Szechwan chicken dumplings and split them as an appetizer. There were three in one order, and we split the third one. Let me just say that the Szechwan sauce that’s drizzled over them was fantastic. I could have had that sauce on everything. It was spicy and just so flavorful.

We had a difficult time choosing what we wanted. We felt pretty conflicted with which food style to try for our first time.

Alexis ordered the Street Side Chow Mein with mixed meat: chicken, lamb, and shrimp. She’s a big chow mein/lo mein person. Maybe it was after taking a bite of mine then trying hers, but hers tasted a little plainer to me. They had a very mild flavor to them, but they were pretty good. You know me, I tend to go for the spicier dishes!

Alexis’ Street Side Chow Mein noodles.

After I saw the Asian dishes, and thought long and hard about them, I just had to try them first. I ordered the vegetable Chili Garlic noodles.

My Chili Garlic noodles.

As it turns out, the sauce for the noodles tasted similar to the sauce that was on the dumplings! I’m not sure if they were the same sauces, but they tasted pretty similar to me, so maybe? I loved, loved the heat level of this dish. They were the perfect ratio of hot enough for me, but not hot to where they diminish the dish’s overall taste.

As you can see when I finished the meal, there was still plenty enough for me to take home, and it looks like I hardly ate any of it!

I was absolutely pleased with the service we had from the staff. They were so attentive with keeping our waters refilled, and these portion sizes were amazing. A restaurant that provides reasonable prices and also have meals with leftovers to take home set a high bar.

Also, look how cute their takeout boxes are! I love their logo and design.

What’s so funny was around the time that we were finishing our meal, I mentioned to Alexis how I was craving strawberry ice cream, so I bought some from Kroger the previous night. The next thing we know, our waiter came to our table and brought us a scoop of ice cream that was on the house!

How crazy awesome was that? It hit just the right spot to complete our meal. Another reason that Inchin’s Bamboo Garden is a new favorite restaurant of mine.

I promise to try an Indian dish next time, but there’s so many dishes to choose from. I was looking at the Oriental Biriyani rice or a curry dish, but I guess we’ll see this weekend with what I go for.

Lastly, we opened our fortune cookies. I’ve had so many ideas lately, that if this isn’t a sign, then I don’t know what it! The future is looking pretty exciting, right?

After we finished our meal, we had originally planned to go to Printer’s Alley that’s located further in the city, but we didn’t think about games and events going on in the midst of it, so we headed to a coffee shop after getting out of downtown mess. It was about time for a coffee break anyways. It was also starting to rain, so we’ll have to visit the next time it’s sunny out!

We dropped off our leftovers at the apartment. I planned to make my homemade Orange Chicken because Alexis loves it so much, [and it’s a recipe that I’m super excited to share with you all in a few weeks!] I’m a bit proud of rookie me making this dish. Although, it’s not even difficult to make, but it is time-consuming.

I prepped the chicken to marinate while we were gone to the coffee shop. Stephen was at home hanging out and playing games, just having a nice day to himself! He went to a car show type thing earlier, so he had a little fun of his own.

The Well Coffeehouse is such a lovely coffee shop to catch up with a friend or do some work. It’s also close to my apartment and slightly increases the temptation to go more often. Then again, Dunkin’ is even closer to me. We are in the perfect location, haha.

I ordered the seasonal drink, New Pralines. I forgot to say I wanted the iced one, but it was too late to change my mind. That’s okay, I take my coffee at any temperature.

We spent a couple hours here just talking more – you’d think we’d run out of things to say! Haha. Guess the power of coffee just constantly fuels us.

Once we headed back to the apartment, we were getting a bit hungry, so I made the Orange Chicken and paired it with some rice!

To officially wind down the day of excitement of great food and coffee, we found a movie on Netflix to watch. We decided on The Invitation. It’s a psychological thriller type movie. Have you seen it? Man, crazy stuff happens in that!

This Week

As for Sunday, we had a super lazy day. I actually made homemade potato chips because I was in one of those moods to make them. I haven’t shared that with you all either, but here’s the time-consuming, but rewarding results:

I thought I took a regular picture of the chips, so don’t mind my Instagram pun on the second picture. After that, I took a very much needed nap. I’m not sure why I was so tired.

As for yesterday, [Monday,] Stephen started his new job, and I was a little worker bee. Also, my mother-in-law bought me another sweater that I shared in my last post! It was so sweet of her. She ordered the green color for me, so I’m excited to wear it soon!

Currently, we are watching the Nashville Predators game against Anaheim, and we’re winning as of now, yay! The score’s 0-4, so this game looks like a promising win for us.

Questions:

  • Would you have chosen an Indian or Chinese dish at Inchin’s?
  • What’s your Chinese zodiac animal? I’m a pig/boar, whatever you wanna go with.
  • Do you have a favorite hockey team?

Which also reminds me, has anyone watched Fruits Basket? I’m watching the remade one, and they sure go from normal to screaming and rage in .2 seconds! I don’t remember them doing that on the old one, but it’s been a handful of years since I’ve watched the original[?] one.

Have a fantastic rest of the week, everyone!

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9 comments on “Noodles, Noodles, and Coffee – What More Could You Need?

  1. Omg that lizard is tooo cute, how adorable hehe! Sounds like such a fun weekend / start to this week hun! I love that they brought you out FREE strawberry ice cream, that’s amazing, especially after you were just mentioning how much you were craving it! So wonderful! 😍😍 and even though I don’t eat meat, I have to say your orange chicken looks gorgeous 😍 so yummy!!! Oh… and I love how that restaurant does both Indian and Chinese dishes. I really don’t know what I’d go for though I have to say, I do enjoy a good vegan curry so if they did something like that then it would have to be that! I struggle finding a good Chinese veggie option other than noodles with beansprouts (YUM) and egg fried rice. I only just found out prawn crackers aren’t vegetarian LOL! Boo 😦 anyway thanks for sharing hun! Loved this fun foodie post ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie says:

      Oh, it absolutely was a weekend filled with some yummy foods and good company! It’s so weird how I brought up the ice cream and they gave us some, definitely earning some brownie points with me! Haha.

      Ahh, I didn’t know you didn’t eat meat! Gosh, I love some curry too. I haven’t had any in so long. I don’t think I’m familiar with prawn crackers, so I had to look them up; I would never know they weren’t vegetarian! That’s disappointing to not be able to find a yummy Chinese veggie option, but I know people are probably concocting a recipe for you to try someday!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment! Have a fabulous day, Jennie! Hope your week is going great!! ♥️

      Like

  2. Cordelia. says:

    Omg, please share your potato chip recipe!!! I am curious!!! And since I am chinese and eat chinese food ALL THE TIME, I wanna say Indian, I love Indian food, but the names are always daunting. My zodiac animal is actually a rat hehe. And no, I don’t watch hockey sadly.

    Like

    1. Stephanie says:

      I shouldn’t necessarily say it’s a recipe since I’m not fancy with it! I’ll definitely share the simple way that I make them though. They’re gone now, so they don’t last long!

      I have to sneak and look up some of the Indian food online to see, but I’m always willing to try a meal! I’m Chinese too, but I just have a terrible addiction to eating Chinese food at all opportunities! Haha, maybe I’ll need to order two meals! Ahh, the signs are so interesting to me, so that means you’re a year younger than I am if I’m correct!?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cordelia. says:

        Mmmm yaas! Although I’m gonna have to buy one of those grinders!
        HAHAHA RIGHT, when i go, i always gotta research first!
        Chinese food is freaking amazing and its got so many types like teochew, szechuan, hokkien and cantonese etc!
        Either that or I’m 12 years older HAHAHA! but yess im 23 this year!

        Like

        1. Stephanie says:

          I absolutely hate the slicer, so I make my husband use it due to some trauma I had with one! But mainly you just need a sliver, some potato’s, oil to fry it in, and a pot or container to fry them! Plus salt and pepper and other seasonings!

          Haha, well if you’re 12, you’re well behind your age!! How nifty!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Cordelia. says:

            Ooof thank you so much!!!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Hunida says:

    Lol love that lizard on the door at Otaku! The closeup of the noods is making me drool… & the fact that it was perfectly spicy, yum! I personally prefer when the chashu isn’t super charred like that because it melts in your mouth more though. 😛

    Inchin looks absolutely amazing! The zodiac placemats & drink menu are both so cool. They really gave you guys such generous portions, too! Cannot wait til I get to your Orange Chicken recipe! Those potato chips look absolutely fantastic, too!

    The Invitation is such a good film! I’ve never heard of Fruits Baskets though. I’ll have to look it up lol. Sounds strange.

    I think I would have def chose a Chinese dish at the restaurant & I’m also a boar! I don’t care for sports much but I saw our Minnesota college hockey team is doing great this year lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stephanie says:

      Ah, I see! I’ve never tried the chashu in my ramen, but it sounds savory! I finally managed to get around to sharing the Orange Chicken recipe after being so behind! Haha. Thank you!

      I just loved the twist of The invitation! I didn’t see any of that coming. Fruits Basket is just something, haha. Interesting concept and characters! That’s awesome about the real at least! Haha. I dont watch many, but I do sit down to watch a hockey game or gymnastics meet whenever it’s on!

      Hope you are having a wonderful week! Go year of the boar! Haha. Thanks for reading, Hunida. 💙

      Like

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