Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mango Delight Dessert

This is the other dessert The Husband made yesterday.

There are 3 layers in this dessert - vanilla panna cotta at the bottom, mango cubes in the middle and mango mousse on the top.

My favourite is the panna cotta layer - silky smooth with real vanilla beans.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chocolate Almond Cookies

I had a girls day out today with some of my fellow blogger friends.

The Husband was at home and he mentioned that he'd be making some desserts.

One of them was a batch of these chocolate almond cookies. These look so delicate and classy. I liked how the silvers of sliced almonds contrast against the dark brown colour of the cookies. They taste pretty good too - crispy and not too sweet.

The Husband refuses to share his recipe so I'd just have to be contented with eating them. These would go great with a cup of cappuccino.

Duck Shing Ho Coconut Egg Rolls

These egg rolls are hard to get.


You either order them in advance (I hear the queue is about 2 weeks) or queue up for them from 9 am in the morning.

Dubbed by many as the "Best Egg Rolls" in Hong Kong, these egg rolls from Duck Shin Ho (德成號) are popular with both tourists and locals. A popular TV artiste and food critic in Hong Kong highly recommends this place and once said that she can finish an entire tin at one go whilst watching TV.

The Sister-in-law bought us a box last weekend. Duck Shing Ho sells 3 flavours - Original, butter and coconut. The coconut flavour is the most popular and is the flavour she got for us.

These egg rolls look very different from the Singapore/ Malaysia ones which are very crispy and thin. These are a lot thicker and hence more substantial. Crispy yet flaky, these aren't too sweet and taste very eggy, with a hint of coconut milk. The egg flavour is strong yet not too over powering. And it is not at all oily. I can understand why these egg rolls are so popular.

I won't say that these are the best egg rolls I've ever had (Sorry, I still prefer the ones my grandma made when I was young) but these are yummy and make great souvenirs for family and friends when visiting Hong Kong. See below for address and store hours.

德成號 Duck Shing Ho
G/F., 64 Java Raod, North Point
Tel: (+852) 2570 5529/2571 5049
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 930am to 700pm

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Block leave

I'm on block leave for the week.

In Singapore banks, block leave is mandated by the Central Bank. For some banks, it's mandatory to take at least 2 continuous weeks off every year. For the bank I work for, it's 1 week.

Thank God for the Monetary Authority of Singapore for this policy because this one week is so precious to me. During this one week, I'm not allowed to go in to work, log in from home, or basically do anything about work.

Which is a good thing because I have been feeling burnt out recently.

I have a million things I want to do this week.. which I know will end up spoiling my week off. So, I'm just going to take things slowly this week.. enjoy doing some of the things I like.

Like enjoying a soft cream in the mall on a weekday

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Rice Dumplings

 No one makes rice dumplings like my grandmother and my mum.

My grandmother's rice dumplings are out of this world... And my mum's the best in the world.

According to me, of course.

Some may feel that my mum's dumplings can be a bit too bland (she is very conservative with her salt) or that the meat is not fatty enough and hence too dry.

But I still think the world of her rice dumplings anyway.

Firstly because she does it out of love - it's a lot of work and she uses her rest day to make them for us.

Plus it has that familiar smell and taste to it I really like.

In our family, rice dumplings must contain chestnuts, mushrooms, pork and pounded dried shrimps. The filling is the same, but we'd have 2 kinds of dumplings - one with just plain glutinous rice and another with glutinous rice and red beans. The latter is my favourite - yum!

But it is a lot of hard work to make them though.

Due to work commitments and other reasons, we are late in making these rice dumplings this year.. but.. better late than never!

What goes inside the bak zhang

Friday, June 17, 2011

Late Nights and Take-Home Dinner

I have been feeling most unhealthy recently.

Since I came back from my business trip, I have been working rather long hours, eating dinner at late hours and not doing any exercise at all.

I feel tired, pale and flabby.

Not a good feeling.

Happily, this situation should end by next Friday and I'd be flying to Hong Kong for the weekend and then taking the rest of the following week off.

My plans for that week will be to go swimming, hit the gym and meet up with friends for high-tea. All very very healthy things to do.

In the meantime though, I'd have to stick to my take-home dinners. Mostly, the food hasn't been that bad. Tonight's dinner was hot and spicy noodles from Asian Kitchen and it is pretty good.

The noodles were cold and clumpy by the time I got home 
but the hot and spicy soup was very good

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sugar Sweet Alphonso Mangoes

I remember reading from The Travelling Hungryboy about these and when we saw some at Mustafa in Little India, we brought a box of 12 home. These were pretty small, inspite of the "King Size" label on the front of the box.

These Alphonso mangoes from India are the sweetest mangoes I've eaten.

They don't look very good, I must say. But the flesh looked promising once you cut them open. And they were so sweet and so juicy... and also milky.. you couldn't stop eating them. Which is a good thing because they do ripen very quickly

These are by far the best mangoes I've ever had.

I'd be going by again to buy a box of Jumbo ones (9 instead of 12 in a box). Both kinds cost about S$20 a box. Apparently these are in season in April and May so if I don't hurry, I'd have to wait til next year.

Colourful M&Ms

This is one of my favourite buys from New York - a bag of M&Ms!

In fact, I always buy some of these different coloured M&Ms whenever I travel to the US.

In the US, you can even go online and customise your own M&Ms. You can select from 20+ colours and print your own messages on these M&Ms.

Cool huh?

I got hooked the first time I saw these about 10 years ago.

I always like pink ones. What colour would you like your M&Ms in?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Random Shots around London

Some random shots I took around London. I'd let the photos do most of the talking for this post.

Bus in a park

Guard at Buckingham palace

The red telephone booth - I am reminded of Superman and the Matrix

Downing Street - too bad I didn't see any Prime Minister but I was watching out for rats! 
(Remember the CNN video with a rat dashing across the front door of the Prime Minister's office?)

A gate to an English garden. I feel mysterious already.. 
Will I spot a rabbit with a vest?

British museum - A fascinating place to visit

A residential block near Oxford street. 
Check out the unit with those blooming roses on the third floor!

Sunset in spring

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oxford - A Picturesque Town

Oxford is a famous university town about 2 hours by train away from London. Even if you have never heard about the famous university, you'd have heard of Oxford English Dictionary.

A few colleagues and I did a day trip to Oxford on a Saturday. We opted for the easy way out - we took a hop-on-hop-off bus around town and got off at a few stops to explore the beautiful English town. The weather was great that day so the whole town was swamped with tourists.

I found Oxford, with its multiple campuses - big and small, a very pretty and photogenic town.

Christchurch - apparently the dining hall here is the inspiration for the dining hall in 
Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

The beautiful manicured lawn of Queen's College

My favourite shop in Oxford - Alice's shop!

Neat looking streets! 

It was a beautiful day for the great outdoors!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Long Days and Dinner at 9

Sometimes, I wonder if living in a country with 4 distinct seasons is a good thing.

In Singapore, the temperature hovers from around 28 deg C to 32 deg C mostly. 27 would be "cold" in Singapore, 34 or 35 would be "too hot". And the Mr sun rises at about the same time every morning here.. and retires to bed about the same time as well.

The weather in Singapore suits me fine since I don't like winters. But there are some seasons I like.

For example, I think spring is a pretty nice season. This trip in London, I experienced the nicest English weather. Bright and sunny with just the right temperature outdoors for picnics.

And it's great to have the sun set at 9:30pm. The sky is bright after work.. still bright after some drinks.. and right after dinner at 9pm, the sun starts to set in the horizon.

The long days put me in a very good mood all week in London, in spite of work. Somehow it feels that I have got more than 24 hours in my day.. and that feels like a steal!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gordon Ramsey's The Narrow

The Narrow is a pub cum restaurant at Limehouse, a place about 1 DLR (light rail) station away from Canary Wharf.

I wanted to go there for a meal when I found out that Gordon Ramsey owns this place. Of course, he owns many other restaurants which I'd love to go to as well.. but this place is so near where I stayed in London I felt I have to go.

The Narrow is a pretty popular place and it can get really quite crowded during the weekends. Overall, I wouldn't say the food there is particularly amazing.

I was there on Sunday for dinner so I tried their Roast Chicken with potatoes fried in goose fat. The potatoes were sinfully good but the roast chicken was very passe. The skin was crispy and sauce was great but the meat just wasn't tender enough for me.

Dessert was good too but really nothing to shout about - we tried brownies with vanilla ice-cream and bread and butter pudding with walnut ice-cream.

I did enjoy the Pear cider a lot though - and a great view of Thames River as the sun is setting.

The Narrow
44 Narrow Street
London E14 8DP
Tel: (44) 020-7592-7950

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Long Flights

I never liked flying too much. Long flights are especially nasty.

On my first long haul flight to Australia as a teenager, I threw up 9 times on the 9 hour flight.

Man is made to roam on the ground, not in the air, I think.

Flying SQ business class though does make it a lot easier to endure long haul flights.

But still - the humming noise on the plane, the weird smell of the aircraft and the horrid tasting orange juice (which for some reason inevitably taste odd in an aircraft) - even SQ couldn't take those away.

I flew SQ Business from Singapore to London this time, and from New York to Singapore.

Between the 2, I must say I liked the flight originating from Singapore a lot better. The food was better, I thought - they served satay as snacks instead of the usual peanuts or pretzels. And the appetizers and desserts were pretty good too. I never liked mains on flights - there is always some sort of "microwave smell" about them.

Satay - something I always look forward to

Prawns with pomelo - not too bad

Mango and crabmeat salad - this one is really yummy

Ben and Jerry ice-cream is always good