Saturday, 29 August 2009

Visiting Trang

We've landed at Krabi on the 26th. Weather wise: Cloudy, hot & humid. After one and half hour airport transfer, we finally arrived at our sanctuary-Anantara Si Kao Resort
It was indeed a sanctuary for those looking for a place to just slow down and relax, embracing the the sound of wave, a seaview of picturesque looking limestone islet from your room, surrounded by lush greeneries..... so tranquil and serene. One could opt for spa treatment, or attend pilates/yoga session in the morning, or hop to Kho Kradan for a half day leisure on the Adaman sea. The staff at the resort is so polite, with smiles and helpful, service wise top notch none other can beat. A must for those seeking out a place just to relax and rejuvenate the body and soul ..... I called it a bliss.

As for me I did go for a half day stroll at Trang a little town 30minutes from Si Kao. I'm interested in how the local go about their daily life and of course trying out local food. Trang is well known for it's roasted pork. Having said that we nibble on some bits just to try, indeed it's lovely-juicy and with hint of char siew sweetness to the meat and perfect crisp on the skin. I took this picture of a typical roast pork seller on the Trang market, she is a willing party to have her photo taken although I'm aware of the big chopper and the pig's head just laying ahead of me :-) .

Of course not forgetting the little snacks that is popular in Thailand better known as Kanom Buang Thai (or mini Thai tacos to the farang). This popular snack is like a crispy pancake with shredded coconut and minced shrimp. It brings with it a flavor of sweet and saltiness and a mouthful of crispy pancake...delicious...for the price of 1Baht per piece ( around 1 pence) , how could I resist.
Of course not forgetting Pad Thai, a staple food for me if I'm in Thailand. I won't grow tired eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The trip would not be complete without it. Yum, yum.

For me Thailand is not only the land of smiles, but to foodie is a paradise.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Local food that I like - Singapore Part 1

Having just arrived back here after 13hours of long haul flights, I braced myself over the hot(note 34C) and humid weather of Singapore. I was sweating profusely the moment I step out of Changi Airport Terminal One. I started to miss the weather back in Cambridge....indeed a nice cool summer ~ 22C only. I guess on the good side of things it stay sunny here in Singapore and not forgetting the yummylicious food here.
One local dish that I really like here is Yong Tau Foo. This dish is of Hakka origin. It is made of fish paste stuffed into tofu, bean curd skin, vegetables-okra, brinjal and chillis etc. They're normally served with noodles, kway teow (thick rice noodle) , bee hoon(rice vermicelli) and rice too. You can either ask for dry or soupy version with sweet and hot chilli sauce. As usual I go with kway teow soup. Yummy, what can I say...craving satisfied. And a mere SGD3.50, less than 2 quid for a hearty meal.
So much constructions going on in the past 2years that I had not been back to Singapore. Shopping complexes sprouting here and there. One of the mega complex is VivoCity down at Harbour Front. Good selection of shops, well for me is just window shop :-).

I'm heading to Krabi soon for a short vacation. Stay tune for good food and whatever fancies me.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Restaurant Review : Xin Dim Sum Restaurant

We're out visiting the summer opening of Buckingham Palace last Sunday. It was really great to see the interior of The State Room. However no photography allowed within the interior of the palace. The grand decor, every details speak for itself. We spent almost 2.5hrs in the State Room viewing the exhibits. We didn't want to leave until our stomach protested that it's time for lunch.
We headed to Harrods which is just a stone throw away from the Palace. We went for the first restaurant we spotted on the Ground Floor of Harrods Knightbridge. It's known as Xin Dim Sum restaurant. We, each ordered a set lunch of delicate mouthful dim sum. It consists each of set of steam delicacies and bake/fry delicacies. In the steamer, it consists of shiu mai (minced pork dumpling), char siew bao (roasted pork bun), har gow (shrimp dumpling), xiao long bao (pork dumpling), mini he yea fan (lotus leaf rice), shui jin bao (lemon grass chicken crystal dumpling) meanwhile the bake/fry plate offers vegetable spring roll and char siew puff parcel.

Shiu Mai = The dumpling is well marinated and very juicy and moist.
Char Siew Bao = The bao skin is soft, however I find the roast pork a bit bland for my taste.
Har Gow= The shrimp is crunchy but the har gow skin is a bit on the unsatisfactory
Xiao Long Bao = Average
He Yea Fan = The taste is alright, however the glutinous rice I find a bit over steam to the point of being a bit too soggy.
Lemon grass chicken crystal dumpling= The mix of slight tanginess blend well with the skin, so it's a good dim sum.
Char Siew Puff Parcel = Excellent, the skin is flaky enough and just nicely sweet. The Char siew this time around is moist and brings out the hint of five spice powder after taste. Yummy, definitely top notch.
Vegetable spring roll= The skin a bit thick but crispy still. Just average though.

Overall I would rate 6.5/10 for the food. We paid GBP15.80 for the mouthful of delicacies.

Anyway enjoy this picture I took of the nice butterfly sucking nectar from dahlias.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Crispy Tofu

I wanted to post this recipes but somehow was rather busy last week that I totally forgotten all about it. I had some leftover silky egg tofu and decided to make a simple starter. If you're not a fan of tofu, I bet this simple crispy tofu dish will win you over.

Crispy Tofu
  • Silky egg tofu- cut into 2x1 inches rectangle
  • 2 tbsp of potato starch
  • 200 ml of cooking oil
  • some green salad and corriander for garnishing
  • some Thai sweet chilli sauce
  1. Coat the tofu with potato starch
  2. In a pan/wok, heat up the cooking oil till hot.
  3. Put in the coated tofu into hot oil and fry. Fry for about 5mins on each side till golden brown.
  4. Removed and drained with paper towel.
  5. Garnish and serve with Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Verdict: Soft inside and perfect crisp on the outside. Yummy.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Silky Egg Tofu

I bought a carton of unsweetened soya milk from supermarket some time ago and totally forgotten about it. So I thought why not turning these into homemade silky egg tofu. I reckon you should give it a try.

Silky Egg Tofu
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 250 ml of unsweetened soya milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Beat the egg lightly, add in the soya milk and salt and whisk lightly.
  2. Line a rectangular metal tray with cling wrap ( I use 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches baking tray) . Seive the mixture into the tray. Cover the top of the tray with cling wrap to prevent steaming water droplet dripping into the tofu.
  3. Steam on high heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and cool. Cut into pieces as per your liking.
  5. Then you can use different sauces to garnish or your can even coat it with potato starch to deep fry and served with Thai sweet chilli sauce.
For me I opted for healthier options : using black bean sauce .

Sauce :
  • 1 tbsp of black bean sauce
  • 1 tsp of chilli oil
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp shaoxing wine
  • 1-2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 shallot - finely chopped
  • some corn starch solution to thicken
  • some spring onion , sesame seed and chillis for garnishing
  1. Heat oil (cooking oil + chilli oil ) and fry the shallot till fragant.
  2. Add in black bean sauce, sugar, shaoxing wine, sesame oil and water and simmer for 1-2minutes.
  3. Add in corn starch solution to thicken the sauce.
  4. Pour the sauce over the egg tofu and garnish with spring onion, chopped chillis & sesame seeds.
  5. Served with rice.