4 weeks late. Part 1

December 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s taken me a while…ok, a very long while to write this post. I have a good reason, I promise.  WordPress is blocked in China; yes you read it, it’s BLOCKED, closed, shutdown and error on the screen if you try to open it. These are the joys of living in mainland. So, how did I manage to post this post? HAHA…!!

Anyway, this post is not supposed to be about blocked sites in China but about my wonderful 3 weeks in relax mode.

I was well looked after by the Sun Gods and Rain Gods, blessing me with perfect weather anyone could ask for.  I arrived just in time to catch the falling jacarandas; their lilac blossoms scatter the streets like a rolled out purple carpet to welcome me back to my lovely home in sunny South Africa.

I wrote a whole list of things that I wanted to do when I step foot on the African soil but mostly of what I did was pure relaxation. Waking up everyday with the rising sun, so excited to take walks in my garden; visiting the green peas and sweet pea bush for new treasures;  and having my two lovely dogs wag their tails as they follw my trail being curious as they are takes a nibble at the leaves…haha, I know my mom wouldn’t be too happy about that. I miss my dogs, I know they do too.

Meeting

October 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

A time,
A date,
A meeting place,

Warm, cuddly, tingle in the spine
Hand in hand, side by side,
A peck on the cheek,
Your eyes on mine.

Freeze the moment, savour every second,
The world with only YOU and ME,
Every step and move,
WE shall be together.

Tekila

October 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

There is a new restaurant opened in town and everyone seemed to be hyped about it. When a friend from HK  Ms C came to visit we (with Ms N) went there to check it out.

The decor was very colourful but it felt a bit empty or maybe I’ve gotten used to the crowed-ness of China. From what I understand about Mexican food is that they love salsa and guacamole, tortilla and nachos, ceviche  and ofcourse tekila. The menu did offer a varity of foods but much which didn’ have explainations so we were bit unsure what to expect.

I’ll just mention a couple of the dishes we ordered whic I found quite interesting.

This was a grilled chicken tortilla with a bit of lettuce served with a bit of salsa. It was a light refreshing dish. But portions were a bit small.

This next dish is a chicken green stew cooked with avocardos. On the menu it said it was cooked in ancient method, well honesty it the bowl did seem quite ancient some what like it was made of  molten lava rock. And the taste? Well, for me it was a bit watery but the flavours are quite good I would love to have it with rice but they didn’t seem to serve rice here so we ordered a basket of the fresh totillas instead and this was how it came…

Isn’t it pretty? I love this little basket so unqiue it was what brought the Mexican feeling to the feast. I love the bright colours too just the right combination to brighten a rainy day.

That night’s dinner was also a small celebration of my two friend’s birthday, because I know that we will not be in the same city on their special days so, I wish them a very happy birthday, Ms C and Ms N!!

Tekila (Authentic Mexican Food) Bar and Restaurant  特其拉西餐厅
Add: No.11 Second Floor Jianshe Liu Ma Lu
建设六马路11号二楼

South East Asia Inspired

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know I’ve probably mentioned this a gazillion times before, but I just love South East Asian food!!! It’s tangy, it’s salty, it’s sweet and it’s spicy all mixed together.

So, in the kitchen I’ve experimented with a couple of things.

From left to right, top to bottomwe have:

1) Chicken salad. In this salad I brought some shredded salty chicken from the supermarket from the cooked food section. I asked them to leave out the sauce and other condiments that usually goes with the chicken. Then at home, I thinly sliced some cabbage (red and white), thinly sliced red onion and grated some carrots. Then for the dressing, some rice vinegar, sugar, pinch of salt, fish sauce ( a must have) and a sprinkle of pepper. Mix everything together and adjusting to flavours to suit your taste.

2) Long beans with tomato. I had a Thai curry paste which I brought in Hong Kong. I cooked a curry fish (below) and with the left over sauce I cooked the beans until they softened. I love how green beans turn to this bright leafy green colour the minute they hit the heat.

3) Thai curry fish. I first lightly pan fried the two sides of the fish to seal in the fish flavours as it cooks in the curry.  To the Thai curry paste I added some chopped tomatoes then propped the fish in the curry mixture and simmer for about 10-15mins or until the fish is cooked.  When it’s done, add a bit of sugar to taste and check if the flavours in harmony. (The instructions on the curry packet askes for cocnut milk, I didn’t have that at hand so I skipped it out, I think adding the coconut milk will make a big difference though)

4) Lemon grass pork. Lemon grass, need I say more? I love the smell and taste of lemom grass. FULL STOP! So anything that has lemon grass is bound to taste good. So I made these lemon grass pork chops, oh so gooooooood!! I preepared the meat over night so that the lemon grass flavours can sink ight into the meat. Adding a bit of chopped onions and seasoning with salt, pepper and soy then pop in to the fridge and let it do its magical. When ready to use, pan fry till meat is browned and cooked.

I still have a tom-yum paste, which I’m dying to attempt to make. Just need to search for a proper  kitchen and volunteers to try out my creation….=P

Dumplings-Shanghai style

July 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

The first time I went to Shanghai, I didn’t recall having “Xiao long bao” or maybe I just don’t remember but 10 years+ down the line in this little city I found a little “xiao long bao” shop which I’m pretty sure it can measure up to the ones in Shanghai.  Just near the Nong Jiang Sou Metro station on line one, this little shop with an open kitchen for 4-5 chefs. One is kneading the dough, another is rolling out the paper thin skins, then two lady chef takes over filling in the wraps and neatly pleats the little bao, giving it that signature swirl  and then the final chef takes it to the steamers for 10-15 mins and they ready to eat. This transparent kitchen not only demonstrates their business ethics and compliance with health regulations but I guess its also a marketing strategy. Whatever the case, the truth lie within the tasting…

Being so impatient and an idiot, I took a bite and oozying out was hot steaming juice …aiya…burnt my tongue a bit, silly me. That didn’t ruin my appetite for the other bao’s puffing with heat looking at me telling me to eat them.  One after the other, down they go…go…gone. Mushroom with pork and plain pork bao’s dipped in the pink vinegar, a match made in heaven!!

You should go try it out, or let me know if there are other good dumplings places out there too.

Xiao Long bao
Add: Zhongshan san lu and De Zheng Lu Intersection or Metro Nong Jiang Sou exit A/B, GZ
中山三路和德政路交界 或地铁农讲所 A/B 出口, GZ

KAFKA CAFÉ!!

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tucked away in the bushes lies a quiet white house, warm, inviting and nothing like the building which stand tall round it. I’ve walked passed it countless times, yet I have not stopped to really notice it, even though at the back of my mind I knew of its existence. This is not your typical house next door.

One special night, I decide to pay her a visit. With a friend at my side, pacing in doubt and fearing the fear of uncertainty. We approached a small welcome sign on the side walk, still thinking it might just be a bad idea we stepped foot on the pebbled stone path that led us right up to the door. One side of the white wooden double doors was opened. Silence. Empty. We stepped in.

Like an amateur voyeur that didn’t know much better, we took a few mores steps, closer and deeper into her heart and soul. I gently ran my fingers on the rack of cloths that hung on the side of the entrance. Dim lights. Warm and intriguing. A few tables and sofa chairs laid in stillness of the twilight. We spotted a table by the bar where two old fashion checked cushion sofas, a floral table cloth and a vintage lamp waited. The bar was lined with empty bottles and half full glasses, the book shelves by the fireplace stood humble but neglected.

We sat down and opened the menu. Certainly this was not the place to try out top chef meals, however from the little that the menu offered we managed to pick out the pasta and pizza, as well as the chocolate smoothies. Sounds pretty mediocre? We thought so too, but were a bit surprised how much it tasted like “home”. Pasta served on a ceramic plate and garnished with confetti lettuce pieces, then neatly shaped into a circle. Thick crust pizza, it had no resemblance it came from Italy but it looked like something from my own kitchen (if I had one now). Verdict for the smoothie? Well, lets just say it was more like slush with a pitch of chocolate flavour.

Don’t get me wrong though, I will be coming here again, maybe not for their culinary skills but more for its homely-ness and cozy-ness that my place right now lacks of.

It is unforgivably strange that not many dare to discover hidden beauties, like this café. So tucked away in the mist of high rise buildings. Many of us  don’t take the time to realize the hidden treasures laid right before our eyes.

KAFKA CAFÉ
Add: 天河北路倚云阁旁

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