La Mulata (Cartagena, Colombia)

La Mulata was recommended to us by a local friend of ours.  It’s located on an unassuming street within the walled city.  La Mulata’s decor is quirky and fun.  The menu is etched on a thin wood board, which I found very clever.  My wife and I ordered the ceviche, shrimp in garlic sauce and the Cartagena style braised beef.  To drink I had a beer and my wife had the coconut limeade.  The ceviche was amazing!  It was made with large chunks of local sea bass tossed with citrus, chilies and red onion.  The ceviche is only lightly cured in the marinade so it is essentially raw.





Shrimp in garlic sauce.

Cartagena Style braised beef.


Check cover


Dining al fresco at Cafe San Pedro (Cartagena, Colombia)

I arrived in Cartagena Saturday afternoon and met up with some colleagues for an alfresco dinner at Cafe San Pedro.  The restaurant sits in front of the San Pedro Claver church.  I ordered Sea Bass with shellfish in a coconut broth.  The dish came with a side of coconut rice which is a staple here in Cartagena.  The food was delicious and the setting amazing.

Cafe San Pedro Claver

View of San Pedro Claver Church from our table.

Sea Bass with shellfish in coconut broth.

Eva’s Jamaican Kitchen

I’m currently in Florida visiting my mom and getting ready for a trip to Cartagena Colombia.  I decided to take my mom to a small Jamaican restaurant in Jacksonville.  Eva’s Jamaican Kitchen is a small, no frills place that serves good, honest Jamaican food.  We ordered jerk chicken, braised oxtails, curry goat and ackee with salt fish.  All entrees came with rice & peas and plantains.  I got a side of braised cabbage with my curry goat.  Everything was delicious, but the ackee with salt fish was a revelation.  I had heard of the dish, but had never tried it.  The ackee fruit looks like scrambled eggs and has an egglike texture, but the flavor comes from the salt cod and peppers.  The rice & peas, which are rice mixed with red beans had coconut milk which gave them a unique flavor.  I washed everything down with a Jamaican ginger beer.  


Ackee with salt fish

Jerk chicken

Braised oxtails

Curry goat

Ginger beer

Pre-Theater Dinner on Kuanzhai Ancient Street

We had tickets to the 8pm show at the Opera House Chengdu, so we stopped into a random noodle shop on Kuanzhai Ancient Street.  I ordered the spicy beef rice noodle soup and the pork dumplings.  The soup was delicious, but the dumplings in Chengdu are on another level.  The Opera House Chengdu show was a lot of fun.




Spicy beef rice noodle soup


Pork dumplings


Opera House Chengdu


Vegan tasting menu at Light & Happiness Restaurant

We were invited to a vegan tasting menu by our hosts here in Chengdu.  It was a surprising and wonderful experience.  There was no menu so I had to decipher each course by taste only.



Mushroom ball in broth


Black mushroom & rice shu mai


Warm tomato soup with sesame biscuit


Salad with wasabi dressing and small bites


Mushroom & bamboo shoots with chilies and corn cake


Sweet pumpkin soup with tapioca


Eggplant fritter with sweet chili sauce


Sticky rice with mushroom and pumpkin-rice broth


Table setting

Beef Noodle Soup & Pandas

After spending a few hours at the world’s largest panda reserve and breeding center, I headed back to my favorite noodle shop by my hotel.  I finally had someone translate the the name on the sign out front which reads “Sister Liu’s Noodle Shop”.  This time around I ordered the beef noodle soup.  It wasn’t too spicy and had a fragrant star anise flavor.  There were a few chunks of braised beef shank and shards of cabbage in the soup.  

Sichuan Hot Pot

Do you enjoy cooking random animal parts in a bubbling caldron of stock and chili oil laced with Sichuan peppercorns?  If so, then Sichuan hot pot is for you.  Hot pot is a very interactive  way of eating where various meats and vegetables are dropped into the boiling liquid and you fish them out at random.  You then dip your item in a mixture of sesame oil  and black vinegar seasoned with cilantro and msg.  You actually get a choice of msg, plain or chicken flavored (I’m a chicken msg guy myself).  Here’s a list of all the goodies that came with our hot pot: pork belly, pork throat, pork sausage, crispy fried pork, meatballs, duck intestines, duck feet, duck kidneys, beef tripe, baby catfish, black tofu, tofu skin, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, potato, winter melon, casava root, lotus root and noodles.

msg selections

duck intestines