On a cold day like this, what could be better than having a nice and warm Irish Coffee? I found out how to make a perfect one from Daphne who works for Ballymaloe, the famous culinary destination in Cork, Ireland. Click here to check out the recipe >>
A recent trip to a wedding in Cork, Ireland, led me to a lovely beach which has a bed of seaweed. To our delight, we discovered lots of winkles under the rocks.
We stayed in an amazing hotel called Ballymaloe, which has been run by TV chef, Rachel Allen’s family for decades. We were well fed with great food though could not stop feeling peckish looking at the freshly collected winkles.
We just HAD TO eat them!
The lady at the reception told us we could not have a kettle in the room so we could not cook them by boiling. We pretended we would like to have tea in the bedroom but were told there was no kitchen in our building- so blanching/poaching could not happen either.
Luckily, as hotel guests staying for a wedding, there was at least one allowable heat source- an iron!
Upside down iron = Hot plate for searing winkles? We decided to have an experiment…. Continue reading to see how we cooked the winkles on a hotel room iron >>
Cromer is a small traditional seaside town in North Norfolk, a 3 hour train journey away from London, famous for its crabs (photo below). We decided to investigate whether it is worth the travelling the distance to have a taste.
Like most famous seaside towns, e.g. Brighton, Cromer has its own pier. On a sunny day like when we went, it was full of people, all looking down. No, they were not trying to jump down- they were fishing/ checking out the crabs! Continue reading >>
I am lazy. If it was not for my friends visiting from US, I probably would not be bothered to head East for food, especially when the destination was a restaurant that does not take bookings. In this case, my friends decided to head there early to get a table. When I arrived at 7pm, the place was still not full so at least it was not a frustrating start to the evening.
Corner Room is the breakfast room of a boutique hotel, which was converted from and named after The Town Hall in Bethnal Green. It is strange to see such a smart hotel in a scruffy neighbourhood like this. I think in modern terms, that is ‘hip’. Like its big sister Viajante, Corner room is also run by Chef Nuno Mendes.
The dining area was lovely- simple and full of light. There was a lot of seafood on the menu. We had Mackerel with melon, pistachio & gooseberry granita (photo above) and Stone bass ceviche & broad beans (2 photos down) as starters. They were fresh, firm and well-seasoned. Though the mackerel was served in a curious straight line, offset from the centre of the circular plate. I did not realise at the time, but it was actually a preview of the bizarre presentation style that was to continue throughout the whole meal. Continue to see more! >>
Just in time for summer, Heston Blumenthal, chef of Fat Duck ( the 3 Michelin starred restaurant and one of the top 3 restaurants in the world) and Dinner (which explores ancient British recipes) collaborated with high- end supermarket Waitrose to create two special ice-creams- Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Caramel Popcorn (photo above). I decided to have a taste off – really just an excuse to have 2 tubs of ice-cream at the same time! So which one is better? Continue reading >>
The Summer House is a pop-up restaurant near Little Venice. With tables by the canal, it was a great hit last summer. Back then, I went there with a group of friends and it was a lovely evening. It took me a month to arrange as it was so popular!
This year, the Summerhouse was the top of my list when I came up with this impulsive idea of meeting my friend E on the longest day of the year. I was surprised that I could still book a table with only a day’s notice. Though it did not take me long to understand why. Read the rest of this entry »
I went to check out the Selfridges sale and got distracted by the heritage inspired Coca Cola bottles! They are special editions to celebrate their 125th anniversary, sold at £1.99 each.
Some are straight long bottles called Hutchinson, which were first created in 1899. Others are classic curvy ones with the words ‘Coca Cola’ cast in the glass. They are sold in special white paper boxes at the Selfridges Food Hall or chilled at the Soda Bar on the Ground Floor, in the fashion department. It is manned by 50’s styled waiters and waitresses. Continue reading >>
Bonnie & Wild is a ‘part-time’ (they insisted that it is not ‘pop-up’!) restaurant named after Bonnie Gull Ltd and Wild Game Co. The former specialises in fresh Scottish seafood and the latter Highlands seasonal game. It is not hard to imagine what the menu of the Bonnie & Wild would be consisted of and I really looked forward to it.
It will open on Saturday evenings from July 2nd but we managed to get a preview meal!
The venue blew me away. It is at M.Manze’s in Chapel Market, Angel. Between 11am to 3pm, this 1905 Grade II Listed shop is a traditional English pie and mash shop. Apparently even David Beckham goes there!
Not much light was turned on the night we went. It kind of created an old English charm. We were led to one of the classic wooden booths in the middle of the hall, with seats that were not very deep- a bit like the pews you would find in old churches. As I am petite, I found it comfy. But I cannot imagine how anyone bigger than my size could squeeze in there! In fact, the seat bounced up and down when the diners behind tried to get in and out- kind of charming! Continue reading to see the food >>
Dui Ng Festival 端午節, better known as Dragon Boat Festival in English, takes place on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar on which the Chinese calendar is based. Around that day, we have bamboo leaf-wrapped sticky rice dumplings 糉子 (zong zi) and dragon boat racing. (Why? You can find out at the end of this article.)
Anyway, I am too lazy to do dragon boat racing but I love eating, so 糉子is my highlight around this time of the year. You can buy them in Chinatown or Chinese supermarkets but I prefer to make my own as I can put more of my favourite ingredient inside! Here is my grandma’s recipe:
INGREDIENTS (to make 21 dumplings):
1. Dry bamboo leaves (photo above)
~ 4 leaves per dumpling, get a few extra as some might split in the middle
~ available in big Chinese supermarkets, e.g. the ones in Chinatown.
~ pick the pack with larger leaves as it makes wrapping easier.
2. Salted duck egg yolks (photo above)
~ my favourite ingredient!! In fact, I decided to make my own 糉子 because Continue reading about how to make Chinese bamboo leaf-wrapped dumplings 糉子>>
I did not realise that I was surrounded by closet alphonso mango lovers until I happened to order a box of them while making an order online for my Lock & Lock airtight containers (curiously my suppliers of Lock & Lock containers also sell boxes of mangoes) . I started to get requests for add-on orders from my mango loving colleagues! And when the boxes of mangoes arrived, I received moans from others for not letting them know I was ordering in the first place. Apparently, alphonso mangoes are everyone’s secret favourite mangoes! (Ok, at least by those who sit around me in the office!)
What is so special about Alphonsos mangoes?
They are Continue reading >>