Friday, July 18, 2008

Indian wedding vegetarians

I attended a friend's wedding last weekend. She is a Chinese Indian and married to an Indian husband. The beautiful wedding ceremony was held in one of the Hindu temples in town. The ceremony last for 2 hours and we were served with Indian style vegetarian buffet.

I would like to mention about this buffet because I still can't forget the taste of it. This vegetarian buffet served all vegetarian foods consist of vegetarian fish curry, vegetarian mutton curry, vegetarian chicken curry, potatoes in curry and many more. As curry is the main dish and very famous in our Indian food culture, it is very normal that they served curry in most of the dishes. Curry was cooked using many types of spices, different curry has different spices in it. The texture of the curry was very smooth, taste really delicious and not very spicy that night. This will suit the taste of most of the guests as some people might not able to take very spicy food. I love the potatoes so much when blend with the curry, I think they braised the potatoes with the curry and the curry taste all been absorb into the potatoes.

You must be thinking why vegetarian foods have fish, mutton and all kinds of meat there. In our country, it is very normal the find vegetarian meats. The ingredients of the meat are actually made of all the vegetarian eg. mushroom, beans, nuts, flours, etc. Of course the taste of the vegetarian meat is very near to the actual meat!! but less the fat or cholesterol (maybe). You must try it!!

I almost forgot about the drink. Initially I thought it was just plain water as I understand that after eating some spicy food it's normal to drink some plain cold water. I was quite surprise that some friends gave good remarks to this plain water. Finally we found out it was actually lime juice. We can't see it but we feel it when we drink it. It just so refreshing and not so sweet, I like it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hong Kong trip

I've been staying in this place for almost a year in 2003/2004. I enjoyed staying here as the public transportation is so convenient till we can easily hop in and hop off from one stop to another to reach our destiny. Hong Kong(HK) is a wonderful and beautiful city graced with the traditional, oriental and modern colours within. There is a beautiful name after this city which called 'Oriental Pearl'.

From traditional or modern Hong Kong style food to other continental cuisines and new fusion food can be found easily in this metropolitan city.

In this blog I would like to share with you some of my favourite foods in Hong Kong. Dim Sum is my first recommendation. 'Yum cha' literally translated means drinking tea and it is an important culture in HK. It has been practised since so long ago to maintain good relationship between family members and also friends while enjoying the 'yum cha' session. You can found Dim Sum in any 'yum cha' place in HK. The ingredients used are fresh and 'generous', for example you can find 2 fresh, big and complete prawns inside the 'har gau'. Compared with what I ate in my country before, the prawn was chopped into small pieces and some are not that fresh.

You will eat till you drop if you are a dim sum lover. If you want so save some money, you can choose to 'yum cha' after 2pm during weekdays at most of the 'yum cha' place as there will be some discounts on the dim sum. Some of my favourite dim sums are 'har gau', 'siew mai' (pork filling) and the sweet one would be egg tart. Yeah! Yum Yum... delicious! I'll prefer to drink Jasmine Tea to go along with my favourite Dim Sums. Maybe you would like to try that too!

Few years back there are some independent chefs cum entrepreneurs had opened some concept restaurants which they called 'Si Fong Choi' (means ownself unique recipes). Those restaurants will charged a fixed price per head and they will cook according to their daily menu. Customers have no chance to choose their dishes but the chef will determine it based on what are fresh and available in the market of the day.

I had been to those restaurant once in 2004 and I tried Shanghainese dishes for the first time that day. I had something like stew potatoes slices, some lotus root, and some other steam based food. I can't remember much but I think is a good experience for me ! I never have any Shanghainese food since then. Heard from some of my friends in HK saying that there are not many 'Si Fong Choi' restaurants left in HK nowaday. Maybe the demand is not as much as before.

Many more HK food I wanted to mentioned. There are Wanton noodles, Beef noodles, 'Cha Siew' (roasted pork)/'Siew Yok' (roasted pork with skin) to go with noodles or rice, various type of congee, various type of nicchin noodles, 'Yong Chow' (a place in China) fried rice, various type of claypot rice, 'Polo' bun (literally translated means pineapple bun), various egg tarts, steamed egg, steamed milk, various 'Tong Sui' (sweet soups), steam boats, milk tea and many many more for you to discover...

Unforgettable Hong Kong..... food...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Europe trip

It has been some time that I didn't update this blog as I was so busy with my 'business'. I thought I will publish this post before the Taiwan post but due to some technical reason, the Taiwan post was up before this post.

Since middle of April till May I was away with my hubby and friends. We were lucky enough to tour some of the Europe countries (Holland, Germany, Belgium and France). I decided to share with you some of my F&B experience during our free and easy vacation there. In fact, I can hardly see any Fusion restaurants/stalls in the countries we visited but foods are everywhere. We still can find some Asian cuisines besides the European cuisines eg. Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Malays, etc.


I stayed in Holland most of the time as my hubby was there for business trip. Being an Asian who always enjoy eating and trying new food, I still stick to Asian food for most of my main meals in Holland. However, I must admit that their ice cream is really super tasty!! The texture is so fine and smooth, the milky taste is so rich till it stays on my taste buds each time I had it. I must have at least a cone of ice cream everyday there. My favourite flavour is chocolate and strawberry. Of course there are many other flavours which we don't understand but no one bothers:-p Too bad that we were so happy to enjoy our ice cream till forgot to capture a picture of one of the famous ice cream shop in Den Haag. Another must eat in Holland is the fried potatoes chips, in Dutch is called 'Patat'. It has to be eaten with mayo or ketchup. Of course you can eat it plain if you like. This is my first time tasting such a delicious chips especially with mayo. The 'Patat' size is larger compared with what we had in Malaysia and the texture is so juicy and crispy .. slurp slurp.. delicious!!


Belgium is a small country and as we know, this is a country of chocolates. Chocolate lovers will definitely like this place. I can see a lot of shops selling chocolates, cookies and candies with beautiful packagings (so irresistable to buy,but thinking of the conversion rate I decided to be realistic:-) . Not only that, some of the shop outlook had attracted me as well. The designs and colours combination dragged me back to my childhood dream. I used to dream myself in the wonderland of Alice which full of colours, candies and lovely animals:-) I wished I was the Alice living happily there. Being a chocolate lover, I would not miss a chance to look for all types of Belgium chocolates products. For those who like to get some chocolates back home, you should try it at the supermarkets or sundry shops as the price is cheaper and more choices too.


Germany is famous of her beers and sausages. Though we were in Cologne for a day but we were lucky that we manage to find a famous restaurant (after checking with the locals) called 'Fruh' and tried their best and famous delicacies. The locally brewed beer tasted so different compared with Malaysia's one. To describe it, I would say is very smooth and light. I think the best is still the pork sausage! In term of size, is larger than what we normally eat in Malaysia. In term of taste, it's so delicious as the pork and other ingredients are so fresh. Due to that we need to chase for our train back to Holland that evening, we didn't manage to order more food. But we were satisfied with the beer, sausages and the services. We were also amazed with the cashier's system in the restaurant. Each of the waiter also bear a responsibility of a cashier. Great right? save time and effort. I definitely recommend this 'Fruh' restaurant if you would like to try some Germany dishes in Cologne.

Paris, France

I personally like to watch the 'Ratatouille' animation some time ago. I loved the little rat character and also it's passion with cooking and the way he appreciated all the ingredients. And all these was happened in the city of Paris!! Before I was in Paris I always imagine how romantic this place is but once I stepped down, I really can feel the romance in the air. The French people, the music played by the street artists, the paintings, the Eiffel towel, the Louvre museum, the canals, the pigeons mingle around the tourists spots and so many more have made Paris such a beautiful and romantic place to visit. One of our missions were to look for Ratatouille dish but .... unfortunately we couldn't find the place:( Afterall, we did try some pasta in one of the Italian restaurants near the Eiffel towel and is really not bad.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taiwan trip

Me and my friends had another free and easy trip to Taiwan end of March this year. The weather was still cooling and windy especially in the outskirt area. I have to admit that the country side view is very nice and soothing. The air is so cooling and fresh, the feeling is good and relaxing.

In term of food, Taiwan is famous of it's 'snack' food (means not main meals) or in Mandarin is called 'xiao chi'. I believed some of this 'xiao chi' are traditional and some are modern and fusion. Some of the 'xiao chi' which can be found in the night markets are rice noodle, onion pan cake, mochi, grilled maize, fried sausages, stinky tofus and many more. For the drink, I must recommend the pearl milk tea. You should not miss this drink as it's the best especially the pearl! The black in colour pearls with the diameter of 1 to 1.5 cm are made with some combination of flours and it taste so 'QQ' (QQ is a term used by Taiwanese to describe the elastically and crunchy texture of the food).

I have to say that most of the 'xiao chi' in Taiwan are very or extremely 'QQ' in texture and I personally think that it doesn't suit my taste. In fact we were craving for fast food after few days of eating 'QQ' stuffs including their noodles.

The most delicious meal we had in Taiwan was the Hakka (one of the chinese dialect) dishes in one of the Hakka restaurant located in 'San Yi' near the 'San Yi' wood museum. The ingredients that they used are fresh and home grown. Some of the dishes that we had were frying young green vegetables, braised pork with chinese pickles, steamed 'kampung' chicken and their soup. Our senses was truly and highly satisfied by this Hakka meal.

There is also something which I must not forget to mention - strawberries. There is a place called 'Da Hu' near 'San Yi' which is famous of strawberries plantations. We are lucky that we were there during the strawberries season. Besides fresh strawberries, there are many side products of strawberries eg. strawberries ice cream, tartlet, jam, mochi, alcohol and others.

We also came across a funny concept restaurant. Their concept is using water closet (WC) as their theme to decorate the restaurant and also serving the food.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hanoi Tomato Tofu Soup

Me and hubby just came back from Hanoi, Vietnam last week for a vacation. We like to travel around especially to those developing countries as we can see the different sides of the countries.

As usual, eating is the most important agenda in our traveling schedule. We always like to try the local delicacies of the country as we like to understand more about the local people food and eating cultures. During the first 2 days we found a lot of street stalls opened after the working hours in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. The street stalls are mostly operated by the local woman with few tiny plastic tables and tiny plastic stools in front of the shop lot . Foods sold are normally the rice noodle (pho) soup with variety of beef, pork or chicken, Hanoi salads made from green papaya, carrot and etc, grilled cuttle fish, fruits and etc. We thought that those street stall food maybe the most authentic one but we were bit disappointed as the food was just tasted like MSG . Since then we started to search for restaurants based on the Lonely Planet guide book.

We went to 'Little Hanoi' restaurant on one of the days and ordered a tomato tofu soup. We really like it and found the taste is quite similar with the Chinese style tomatoes and eggs soup.
I would like to share the recipe so that you can make this simple, delicious and nutritious soup.

Tomato Tofu Soup Recipe:

  • 2 half riped medium size tomatoes (hard and bit green and red in colour)
  • 2 fully riped medium size tomatoes (soft and very red in colour)
  • 1 to 2 blocks Chinese tofus
  • 1 eggs
  • 8 stalks of green onions, only use the bulb part (cut into 3 cm each)
  • Some chicken fillet cut into slices (optional)
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some salt
  • Some fish sauce/soy sauce
How to make the soup? (3 to 4 persons portion)
  1. Boil water using a medium clay pot.
  2. Cut tomatoes into 8 slices each and dump it into the clay pot.
  3. Cut the tofus into cubes (about 2cmx2cmx2cm) and deep fried the tofu till it turn to golden colour. Wipe off excessive oil on the tofus surface, put it aside and to use later.
  4. Boil the soup for about 10 minutes till the soup turned red.
  5. Put the deep fried tofus and chicken fillet (optional) into the soup and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Break an egg into the soup and stir it immediately to create egg flower* ('dan hua' in Chinese).
  7. Add some sesame oil, salt, fish/soy sauce and the green onion bulb into the soup.
  8. Boil for a while and off the fire.
  9. Pour into a Chinese soup bowl and serve.
* egg flower is translated literally from Chinese, it means that the egg has been stirred in the hot liquid immediately after it was poured in and the results is it looks like many flower petals in the liquid.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fusion Food & Me

Fusion food or cuisine is a general term for combination of various forms of cookery (eg. Chinese, Indian, Thais, Malays, Westerns and etc). The concept can take several forms which are:
  • regional fusion that combines the cuisine of a region or sub-region into a single eating experience.
  • featuring original dishes using varieties of ingredients from various cuisines and regions and combining them.
  • uses foods with a form based on one cuisine, but prepared using ingredients and flavours
    inherent to another cuisine or cuisines.
It was 2003 when I had a total understanding on this term. I was in Hong Kong then. There were lots of contemporary fusion restaurants over this small island when I was there for more than half a year. After trying out some of those fusion foods I realised that I was a fusion person!! I meant cooking fusion person! I've been cooking those food since very young and I didn't realise that it was fusion foods! To me, is just blending all kinds of ingredients and cook your 'special' meals and I thought it was creative!!

Apparently, I need to cook since I was a 11 year old girl due to some reasons. Since then, cooking daily dinner for my family had been my second responsibility besides studying hard. I learnt how to cook meals from my parents and discovered more and more about the food textures, colours, taste, freshness, etc. To me, cooking is interesting and fun and I started to fell in love with it since then and created some 'funny' recipes after receiving some compliments from my family on my dishes. Not bad one!

During my varsity days, I have been stopped cooking for few years and I thought maybe I won't like to cook anymore. Fortunately the cooking blood is still with me and I found it along my self discovery journey and this is also the reason I started this blog.

I wish that I can share with all the visitors of this blog my experience/way of cooking by mixing and matching some of the ingredients. Everyone can do this as it can be real easy and fun too!! You will feel good especially when your loved ones are raising their thumbs up after tasting your cooking.