Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jade: Bitemyicecream

I've been craving ice cream for days now..none of that tooth-achingly sweet store bought stuff.
Doesn't help that I'm not a chocolate person at all so commercial ice creams hardly ever appeal
to me. No, I've been dreaming of something rich yet light..of gentle sweetness and bursts of flavour...all I needed was my trusty hand whisk;)


I know there are fancy ice cream makers and big shiny stand mixers; don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology. Far from it; I have one of said fancy ice cream churning machines at home- brilliant little thing....delectable ice cream in 15 minutes. But there is a lot to be said about a certain helplessness that I always feel when I pour my cream
mixture into the whirring machine...I can never be sure how it will turn out..what if the machine just stops?! It all boils down to control really..and I like to be in control. I like to know that I won't press the pause button 2 seconds too late and end up with cream that is past the soft peak stage. I enjoy watching my bowl of cream froth up and thicken ever so slowly. I like feeling my whisk getting heavier and thinking to myself, 2 more minutes...and when finally I lift the wire balloon, draped with thick ribbons of cream barely holding their form....oh I just cannot stop


And then there are the endless possibilities of flavours! No more limitations to phish food and chunky monkey...sophisticated as they may be *rolls eyes*.......I'm thinking tangy lemons, lovely
citrusy goodness from the zest and juice cutting through the richness of softly whipped cream....finished off with honey and a sprig of mint for the perfect end to a summer's day...And beautifully ripe mangoes, pureed just enough to streak the cream with the colour of sunshine, yet retaining some fleshy chunks to provide bursts of concentrated fruitiness...silky smooth with an ever so subtle whisper of sourness at the very end...I simply cannot understand why or how
anyone could go back to tub ice creams after this..


The first picture is an introduction to my new friends basil and mint. They live on my window sill. They don't pay rent but that's ok. They will soon be joined by other herbs so I can say I have a herb garden. I really hope my new friends dont die. Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sush: Yauatcha in Soho, London

My exams have been over for about a month now, and I'm still basking in the reality that I don't have to rush home and study after work in the evenings. We'll see how I feel in 3 weeks time though..

The weekend after my exams ended, I made my way to London immediately. ;) Enjoying the freedom and releasing after being away from the city for a good month.

I met up with a couple of my Warwick girlfriends and their other halves. Yes, I played 5th wheel. We made reservations at Yauatcha in Soho for lunch on Saturday. I've always wanted to try this place since most people having attended and eaten there rave about the food.
Yauatcha is a Chinese fusion restaurant, previously owned by Alan Yau, a Hong Kong-er who owns quite a lot of the big named restaurants in London. It earned its 1 Michelin star from serving its star-quality dim sum.

Most people who enjoy the authentic Chinese dim sum would argue that the dim sum served at Yauatcha is made for the 'ang mohs'. To me, made for the 'ang mohs' or not, each bite of each dish was simply savoury heaven and left me begging for more. I'll point out my favourites as I go along. ;)

Scallop Siu Mai with roe.
This was very juicy and delicate-melt-in-your-mouth.

Chive dumplings

Your usual pork and prawn siu mai.
The prawns in it were hugeee, which is the way it should be.

Spinach Cube.
This was marinated pork cooked in a broth and wrapped in spinach. Heavenly.

Sea bass dumplings.
I kinda expected more from this dish, although the sea bass was indeed very fresh.

One of my favourites ever in dim sum history. :)
Beancurd cheung fun.
Its beancurd with prawn filling inside it, and wrapped in the most delicate layer of cheung fun skin. What I really liked about this place was the way they got the cheung fun skin right. Most of the dim sum places in London just make them too thick and floury. Urgh.

This was equally good and after a bite, it just made you crave for more.
Mushroom cheung fun.
The issue with dim sum is that you have a lil' bit of everything, and we were all fighting for this dish!

Prawn toast
King prawn covered with batter and sesame seeds, deep fried. The sesame seeds give it that slight extra crunch texture.

Pandan chicken
Although the chicken portions are small, you can really taste the pandan in the chicken.

Venison puff.
My ultimate favourite of the entire meal. I think we ordered another portion just because it was SO DAMN GOOD. The pastry is light, yet rich and coupled with the venison meat, orgasmic in your mouth. Some might feel it a tad bit salty, but I am one who prefers more salt to less hence this was nyummers. :)

The damage done to our wallets.

The place isn't cheap at all, but definitely a dining experience if you have the dough to spend. :)


15-17 Broadwick Street

Soho, London


Tel: 020 7494 8888

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vic: BiteKai

Q: What takes away stress?
A: Good Food

Life is as simple as that.


KAI Mayfair (to the rescue!)
The Michelin Star
Michelin Guide Great Britain 2009

Best Chinese Restaurant in London
-Harden's Restaurant Guide 2009
-The Zagat Survey

Critics' Choice
-Time Out Eating & Drinking Guide

Sounds impressive? (It was!)


A little something from the chef

Main Course:
South China Sea Tiger prawns, milk & butter crumble, Kai-Lan leaves
(the milk & butter crumble - fattening but BRILLIANT)

Wok Grilled pork fillet, oriental barbeque sauce, choi sum & soya sauce
(yum yum~)

Ostrich fillet, 3 chilli styles, spinach in garlic
(wahaha joycry eyeing)

Szechuan miso broth


Assorted Fruits with sorbet


Jade: Bitemycookies

I can't sit still. I officially moved into my new room this morning..and after 2 days of dragging trolley after trolley of stuff, who the hell needs 20 scarves and 5 mixing bowls, pray tell...the owner is clearly demented...I suddenly found myself at a loss...I had nothing to do. I briefly considered asking to move again....but even I am not that sadistic. And so as always, when in doubt, I turned to my kitchen.


Butterscotch buttons ( adapted from some book my mum has, it's not very helpful, i know)

125g butter ( cookbooks always call for unsalted,
but I love a bit of salt in my sweets so I use salted)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
70g brown sugar ( original recipe said 110g...i say diabetes much)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp golden syrup ( lightly grease the spoon you're using, helps the syrup slide right off without getting it all over yourself)
1 1/4 cup self raising flour
1. Preheat oven to 150"C
2. Cream butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and syrup
3. Gently stir in flour
** This recipe gives a very soft and fiddly dough so I like to pop it in the fridge for about 5 minutes to firm up a bit. Gives me time to do the washing up as well.
4. Roll into little balls and press down with a lightly floured fork
5. You can either bake straight away, or if you're like me and don't like your dainty little buttons to spread into pathetic lumps in the oven, put it back into the fridge for about 5 minutes.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until beautifully golden.
7. Enjoy the smell of warm butterscotch wafting through your house....and if you are that way inclined, this would be a perfect time to invite the in-laws over to show them you are good for
something other than racking up a healthy credit card bill;)


And because I have a pitiful attention span, 20 minutes to spare while waiting for my buttons and bits of leftover veg-----A healthy omelette with red peppers, mushrooms and Brie, topped with onion jam and drizzled with honey mustard dressing.
Did I mention I love Sundays:)

P.S: Mars, there you go. Butterscotch buttons. After years of pestering me...and all those times you broke into my cupboard..this is beginning to sound more like a rap sheet than a trip down memory lane.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jade: Bitemypeppers

It's cold outside. Woolly university hoodies and the most unattractively thick track bottoms are barely keeping me warm. I flip through my collection of cookbooks to distract myself...It's not working...I am now cold AND hungry. I head to the kitchen, turn on the oven and leave the door ajar...It's not safe I know, but I'm freeeezzziinggg. I need something hot and hearty, slightly spicy, very savoury. I spy bright red peppers and jumbo garlic. The oven's already preheated in my bid to keep warm. Macam fate hor?


The kitchen fills with the earthy fragrance of roast vegetables...The garlic is now gorgeously gooey..the peppers smooth and slippery...I sautee some onions, it's almost hypnotic how they turn translucent and then slowly take on a golden hue.
I add the peppers, some roughly chopped sundried tomatoes, and a pinch of oregano. It's beginning to feel like summer again.


In go the canned tomatoes and stock...a quick whizz with my trusty stick blender, a little salt and freshly ground beautiful soup is bubbling away gently...but something's missing. I toast a seeded baguette, smoosh some roast garlic on it...I rummage for cheese...sticky stinky Brie...lovely..generous pat on the garlic....back on the heat. The bottom of the baguette is slightly scorched but I don't really care. All that matters is the melted brie running down the sides..


Crunchy garlicky crouton, velvety cheese, piping hot soup packed with flavour...mmm...I'm finally warm :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jade: Bitemyprunes

I love prunes. I love the fudgy texture, their natural sweetness and the faint alcoholic undertones you get with it; better than chocolate, and much healthier. I'm not normally a cake person, but growing up, there was one cake my mum made that I could never resist. Prune and horlicks. It sounds like a bizzare combination...until you've tried it, then you wonder why the stuff doesn't come in a jar, ready to be spooned up and slathered over everything.

Mars, you'll remember this:) or at least you should, considering you used to break into my locked cupboard to get to it. pfft.

I've been wanting to make this for years. There's something about how the kitchen fills with a
buttery malty perfume that wraps around you like a fuzzy blanket. Takes me right back to my childhood....I used to get a chair and sit in front of the oven..didn't matter how long it took for the cake to bake, I would sit there, taking in the beautiful smell, waiting for the top of the cake to turn the perfect shade of brown.

For all it's dense richness and almost caramelly flavour, with the occasional fruity hit from the prunes, my favourite part of the cake is the outer crust. My mum used a square pan, and I would nibble away at the slightly burnt corners. I used a round doesn't give you gives you an entire outer ring of crunchy goodness;)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jade: Bitemysandwich

I used to be able to walk out in the middle of winter wearing nothing but a thin t-shirt. It was 25 degrees today, complete with a blazing sun, and I was the only clown in town (oooh look at me i made a rhyme) clinging to my pashmina for dear life. I used to be able to shop in stilettoes for 12 hours straight; I strolled along the highstreet in flat sandals for 2 hours today. All I wanted to do when I got home was soak my feet and curl up in bed. It's disgraceful I know. I think I'm getting old :(

And all I felt up for come dinnertime, was something light and comforting. Enter a warm toasted sandwich and a steaming bowl of sweet corn chowder. Lightly toasted baguette topped liberally with homemade onion jam and chunks of herbed goats cheese. I absolutely love the idea
of combining sweet and savoury so the sweetness of the caramelised onions and the salty creaminess of the cheese was, to me, a marriage made in heaven. And then there's my corn chowder, delicate honeyed notes from the corn with a hint of thyme, making it the perfect counter to the rather strong flavours of the sandwich.

This is all getting a bit out of hand though..first, soup for dinner. Next stop hello me:(

* Recipe for corn chowder adapted from Nigella Express. I want to be like her when I grow up thankyouplease.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jade: Bitemyfridayafternoon

Cooking makes me happy. Baking makes me happy.Some people go for a run to clear their heads; I rummage through my pantry and root desperately for ingredients to throw together. Failing that, some people go to church in search of inner peace; I head to Waitrose and take my time strolling down every aisle, finding comfort in the neatly arranged bottles of truffle oil, feeling a wave of calm wash over me as I stop and admire the pretty jars of flavoured sugars. Only Waitrose though. Asda gives me a headache. I'm a snob. Bite me.

{Top to bottom: Onion jam; Tau Sar P'neah; Mung bean soup with gula melaka.}

These made me happy today:)

P.S: Su-Hsien, the Tau Sar P'neah is for about your craving. recipe to follow;) x

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vic: BiteGordonRamsay

ALOHA, people~

This is my first time blogging about food, and this is actually VERY difficult. I guess this is due to the fact that I really (really really really) enjoy "crappy food". For example, "crappy Chinese food" - Chinese food that comes in a box! [Don't Judge Me.]

Anyway - for a change, my housemate and I decided to eat at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay - Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London.

Here is what I had:
Salt cod brandade with Noir de Bigorre ham, poached quail’s eggs, chargrilled red peppers
and rocket salad

Main courses
Fillet of daurade royale with navet, carrots, radish, baby gem lettuce and artichokes barigoule

Lemon meringue and almond tart with fromage frais sorbet

My housemate had:

Saffron risotto with clams, mussels, langoustines, chorizo and tomatoes, 'paella style'

Main courses

Confit milk-fed Suffolk pork belly, caramelised endive, apples, grelot onions and Madeira jus

Rum baba with Gariguette strawberries, lemon balm and vanilla cream

I had quite a few "joycry" moments during the meal. But guess what, the only food I was thinking about was "caramel chicken" from the crappy Chinese food place at Leicester Square~ the irony of it~

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jade: Bitemyonion

My mum makes these amazing noodles, a cross between sarawak kolok mee and kl wantan mee. Simple stuff, takes all of 5 minutes to throw together, THE ULTIMATE comfort food. For years, I've been trying to replicate it but somehow something was just not right. I played with proportions, different seasonings, never quite got there. See the key to all that flavour in an otherwise unremarkable plate of noodles tossed in soy sauce, is the OIL. Shallot oil, born of hours of slaving over a hot stove, gently simmering thinly sliced shallots until an entire wokful of oil is infused with the subtle aroma of the sweet little bulbs.

Since shallots are fairly pricey over here, [translate: since i'd rather spend my money on clothes
than bits of onion that end up fried, eaten and therefore cannot be passed on to my children], I fried up some leftover spring onions that I found at the back of my fridge and half an onion that I found at the back of my cupboard. I'm disgusting i know, but i'd like to think I sound very Nigella right now.
It takes a while, but the possibilities are endless.......homemade wantan mee, a light drizzle over steaming hot porridge, sprinkled over hearty broth, extra dimension to a simple stir fry.....

There is no other way to describe it. This, to me, is liquid gold.