Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Favorite Summer Snack - Cold Fresh Longans

Another favorite refreshing snack for summer, cold fresh longans.

I haven't found a way to work with longan as I found it best as is.
Have you done something with longan in sweet or savory dishes?
Do share your ideas.

Baby reaching for longans
Baby M, curious as always...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coffee Cream Soda Granita

Coffee Cream Soda Granita
You guys can probably smell my desperation to beat the heat this summer. I've been freezing everything I can get my hands on, including my caffeine :D

Back home in Indonesia, I used to love F&N's coffee cream soda, and it's too bad I can't get it here in Hong Kong. I am trying to recreate it and of course, transform it into a frozen form ^_^
Coffee Cream Soda Granita
It's super easy and I am very pleased with the result.
Some bitterness from the coffee, enough sweetness and a tinge of tang from the cream the form of ice!

Frozen coffee.

Oh yeah. My caffeine of choice.

- 4 heaping tsp of instant coffee (you can use your preferred coffee)
- 4 heaping tsp of caster sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- about 1 - 1&1/2 cup of cold cream soda (it's not creamy at all, it's just sweet)

Dissolve instant coffee and sugar in hot water, pour into a 24oz/3cups/700ml freezer friendly container, top with cold cream soda until about 3/4 full or add bit by bit to make sure that you don't lose the coffee flavor from adding too much soda. Place in freezer for two hours, stir well, put it back into the freezer and simply scrape the ice with fork before serving. After scraping with fork, you can keep the leftover in the freezer, ready for next consumption.

You can serve it topped with a bit of cream or whipped cream, but I prefer mine as is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Bastardized Sangria

Red Wine, Fruits & Soda Drink
I could really use some of this right now.
Red wine, diced strawberries, peaches, pears, sprite and ice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stir Fried Eggplant in Chinese Fermented Beans

Eggplant and Chinese Fermented Beans
My hat's off to SC's mom, who has been planning menu daily for over 30 years. She could make tasty and hearty dishes from the most humble ingredients! This dish is one of her brilliant ideas. It's really tasty, a little goes a long way with rice, I almost forgot that this dish doesn't even have any meat in it. It's that good, and it's so simple to make.

Eggplant and Chinese Fermented Beans
- 1 eggplant, cut into chunks
- Chinese fermented beans (min si), we bought a pack from the wet market
- spring onion, roughly chopped
- cooking oil, white pepper, corn starch dissolved in a bit of water to thicken the sauce (optional)

Saute eggplant chunks in a bit of oil until softened, add min si bit by bit to suit your taste, add white pepper, add chopped spring onion, thicken sauce with corn starch mixture if you wish, and serve with white rice.

This could be a side dish to your meat and carb, or this could be the star of the play when you fancy a meatless day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lunch at Lis, L'hotel Island South, Hong Kong & Baby M's Antics

Baby M's Antics
Look at that naughty face....

We brought baby M to lunch with a couple of friends to meet their lovely baby, and I was surprised to see such a stylish place in the middle of industrial buildings in Aberdeen.
Lunch at Lis

There were so many diners with their babies and kids there, and now I know why.
Lunch at Lis
Look at those stylish high chairs!

Lunch at Lis
They also provided plastic utensils for kids.

Baby M had a lot of fun wreaking a havoc on their comfy seats...
Baby M's Antics

Climbing up the seats to play with his diaper bag...
Baby M's Antics
Until he was finally safely seated on one of the high chair with a handful of baby biscuits.

Whew! Now papa and mama can hit the appetizer buffet.
Lunch at Lis

Baby M tried a bit of their corn soup, he liked it, but it's a tad too sweet for mama.
Mama loves the crispy and tasty bread though.
Lunch at Lis

It's a semi-buffet lunch, you get to pick and order the main course you like.
Lunch at Lis
The risotto has a nice bite, but it's a tad too creamy from the sauce. Too creamy for summer.

Lunch at Lis
The duck's juicy and tender, the sauce was delicious. I wish the skin's a bit crispier, but all in all, not bad.

What I love the most, was their dessert spread.
Lunch at Lis
Lovely croissant bread pudding and tiramisu.

Lunch at Lis
The blood orange jelly, raspberry chocolate mousse and deep fried taro were wonderful too. I like!

Lunch at Lis
There's a crepe station too! Yum!

As for baby M's antics...he went crazier after we fed him biscuits!
Baby M's Antics
Naturally, he wanted to sweep everything off the table...

...and without hesitation, he went on to "attack" his new cute friend with kisses.
Baby M's Antics
Oh, son! Please be gentle! You're scaring him! Aiya~!

The lunch costs HKD114 each for us. I wouldn't consider the food mind blowing, but I'd go back if we happen to be in the area, in need for a venue that's babies/kids friendly.

Podium, Level 3, L'hotel Island South
55 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
香港仔黃竹坑道55號南灣海景酒店 P3 (正門入口於塘邊徑)
Tel: +852 3968 8833

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Watermelon & Mint Popsicles for Baby M

Watermelon & Mint Popsicles
In an effort to beat the heat...
I made so many kinds of slurpee, popsicles, granitas, ice cubes, iced drinks, I basically iced everything, it's getting ridiculous!

Remember the watermelon and mint slurpee from yesterday?
Watermelon & Mint Popsicles
I also made it into popsicles for baby M to enjoy.

Did he like?
Watermelon & Mint Popsicle

Sweet, refreshing, homemade, no scary chemicals involved.
Watermelon & Mint Popsicle

Lick, lick, lick!
Watermelon & Mint Popsicle
He couldn't get enough of it :)

Happy weekend, y'all! Stay cool!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Watermelon and Mint Slurpee

Watermelon Mint Slurpee
Something easy and refreshing to slurp loudly while watching my late night bad TV after baby M went to bed. Watermelon and mint slurpee!

Simply throw some chunks of seedless watermelon (I used about a quarter of a watermelon), some fresh mint leaves, and a bit of honey (if needed) into food processor/blender, pulse/blend until smooth, add a splash of vodka if you want, pour into a plastic container, place in the freezer for about 90 minutes - 2 hours, and slurpppppp~!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Most Elegant Ramen Meal I've Ever Had - MIST, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Closed

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
The title says it all.
I've never thought a ramen meal could be this elegant. Normally, elegant is the #98763474 priority for me when it comes to food, and I always have this suspicion that elegance = pretentious =/= good. But I am so pleased to say that the food at MIST is super mega delicious!

SC and I ordered 1 set dinner (to share) + 1 additional bowl of ramen. It's the perfect amount of food for both of us.

The meal started with one spoon rahmen of sea urchin (the above picture) and chicken broth gelee with caviar.
MIST Ramen Hong Kong
Both absolutely delicious!

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
The lobster & crab meat tartare was sweet and refreshing. Lovely!

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
The smoked chicken thigh with black pepper sauce? Whew! Best black pepper sauce I've tasted in my life! It gave me quite a good kick, and the chicken meat was cooked to perfection. Wonderful!

Now...the ramen...look at how gorgeous this bowl of ramen is!
MIST Ramen Hong Kong
Karamiso Ramen.

The noodles had just the perfect amount of chewiness, the broth's super rich with flavor but not overwhelmingly greasy, the pork slices were melt-in-your-mouth tender.
MIST Ramen Hong Kong

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
Although I adore the richness of the karamiso ramen broth, surprisingly, I preferred this ume shio ramen.

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
Don't be tricked by its paler color. It's very flavorful, with a hint of sourness from the plum. Love it!

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
I am not a big fan of tofu desserts, but this one was so silky smooth, mildly sweet, lightly creamy with a lovely of something floral....I adore!

MIST Ramen Hong Kong
I ended my delicious meal with a cup of coffee.
Very satisfied.
It's so worth the elegant price tag.

A set dinner costs HK$428 and a bowl of ramen costs HK$120-140 (+10% service charge)
MIST (創作麵工房)
G/F, 4 Sun Wui Road, Causeway Bay

Tel: +852 2881 5006

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Honey Lemon Basil Chicken Pie

Honey Lemon Basil Chicken Pie
Underneath this dramatic exterior...there's something sweet trying to come out.

Honey Lemon Basil Chicken Pie
I asked for some ideas for summer-friendly savory pies on twitter, and it's so amazing how V, a food loving pal and I shared the same thought! We both thought of lemon chicken pie! Sweet, savory and tangy at the same time. It's perfect!

Honey Lemon Basil Chicken Pie
The filling is very easy to make and I used some leftover puff pastry I had in my fridge. If you want to make your own pie crust from scratch, you can use Jamie Oliver's recipe that I've tried before.

Honey Lemon Basil Chicken Pie
- 1 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillet, cut into bite sized chunks
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- honey, salt, pepper, sugar, nutmeg, corn starch, water, cooking oil, butter
- fresh basil
Marinate chicken chunks in salt, pepper, sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest, a bit of lemon juice and corn starch for about 15 minutes. Saute garlic in a bit of butter and oil until fragrant, add chicken chunks, let cook for a bit, add honey, lemon juice, cook until the chicken's a bit caramelized, taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, add some chopped fresh basil, add corn starch which has been diluted in water to thicken the sauce, set aside.

Pie Crust
- Defrosted puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg
- butter/oil to grease pie pan
Preheat oven to 200C. On a lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry until it's about 2 mm thick and wide enough to cover the pie pan/pot, make two pieces, one for the bottom (bigger), one for the top (smaller).  Butter/grease the oven proof pie pan/pot, place rolled puff pastry gently, don't cut the excess yet, add filling, trim the excess pastry but leave about 1 cm. Brush the edges with beaten egg, place the topping, trim to fit the pan, seal with the excess pastry of the bottom, brush the top with beaten egg, poke a few holes, bake for about 40-50 minutes or until golden brown, serve with fresh basil.

You can skip the whole pie-making extravaganza and just make the filling and eat it with a carb of your choice ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Pasta Lunch at Bene Italian - Sha Tin - Hong Kong

Bene Italian - Sha Tin
I used to check out openrice for dining venues when I ventured out of my familiar districts in Hong Kong. But these days? I find that much less helpful. We "openriced" Sha Tin, and all we got were froyo, coffee shops, or bakery. Ahem...not what we're looking for.

We walked around a bit and decided to try this place. I love the cute decor, the color scheme, and the open kitchen. As for the food? We just hoped for the best :)

Since I had to take care of baby M, I didn't photograph the foccacia, tomato soup, and the caesar salad from the set lunch. But I remember liking them all.
Bene Italian - Sha Tin
SC ordered squid ink seafood pasta in white wine sauce. It's simple yet super flavorful! Perfectly cooked seafood and pasta. Light and simple but still tasty broth. It was perfect for the hot and sticky weather. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Bene Italian - Sha Tin
I ordered creamy mushroom, bacon and egg yolk pasta. A tad heavy for the weather, but I only had myself to blame for not being able to resist ordering something creamy. I love it. Again, perfectly cooked pasta with delicious sauce.

We decided to add a bit more dollars to get a dessert with coffee to share.
Bene Italian - Sha Tin
The caramel cake's lovely. Soft, moist, with just enough bitterness and tang from the raspberry and blueberry. The coffee's Lavazza and I like it (since it's served with cream on the side, I think I like cream more than coffee? hehehe).
A very lovely lunch, we'd definitely visit again when we're in Sha Tin.

The set lunch including bread, soup/salad, main course, dessert and coffee/tea costs HK128. It costs less without dessert and coffee, but since I am a horrible blogger, I can't remember how much is it ^_^' sorry!

Bene Italian
Shop 103A, 1/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1
Sha Tin

Tel: +852 2699 3939

After lunch, where did we go?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nasi Campur Food Stalls - Kuala Lumpur Hawker Center Yumminess

More drool-worthy yumminess from my Kuala Lumpur trip.
This time, they're from a random food centre near the stadium we held our event in (Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil).
Malaysian Food
I was surprised to find out that most of the nasi campur (mixed rice) stalls are run by....Indonesians! Aw!

I was tempted to pile everything onto my plate...but finally wisely selected stuff to form quite a well balanced meal. Veggies and eggs on rice, drenched in tasty spicy coconut-milky gravy. Yum!
Malaysian Food

Another day means another adventure...
Malaysian Food
Delicious Indonesian style fried chicken, including the tasty crispy bits.

Malaysian Food
You can imagine how refreshing this side dish is...perfect for the hot weather.

Malaysian Food
Quite a selection of veggies to choose from...

Malaysian Food
Fritters, side dishes and slices of oranges.

My yummy plate!
Malaysian Food

Malaysian Food
Roast chicken with chicken rice...too bad I didn't get to try it. Next time...

And the most impressive thing I've tried from this food center...
Malaysian Food
...these fritters!
They're like nothing I've tried before!

Malaysian Food
Super crispy exterior, sweet and soft ripe banana flesh interior..they're heavenly!
The perfect way to end a satisfying meal.

Malaysian Food
That, and a tall glass of iced coffee.
Can't wait to eat my way through KL again.

Click here for more KL food experiences.