Friday, March 31, 2006

Bitter Herbs and Biccies

Oh Wai Sikness (yep, it is fast becoming a sickness) is coming to a head.

Due to over consumption of "hot" foods, I am now incredibly "Eet Hei". Basically I have too much heat in my body which manifests itself in lots of ways such as sore throat, propensity to bite ones tongue (I am so not joking, you Westerners reading this. Trust me, a gaggle of Chinese people are now nodding their heads wisely. Yep, we Chinese are wise alright!), and small sores in the mouth.

The remedy? No more "heat" foods, lots of sleep and Chinese soups.

For the desperate (i.e. me), it is to the local Chinese herbal tea shop I go for a cup of hot "24 Herb".

This is a black, slightly mentholated and extremely bitter herbal drink made out of 24 Herbs (like you couldn't work that out for yourself). Very potent stuff, very good for you like all foul tasting stuff are.

So I downed a mug full yesterday and felt loads better upon waking this morning.

This morning, I woke up to find that my wunderbar boy bought me a salad for lunch! I unfortunately froze the thing half to death in my mini-bar of death at work.

So lunch went something like this:

1:07 - Yay, lunch time!! Woohoo!
1:09 - Go and nick the paper from the Regional office, get special key from hiding place and open senior management cabinet to nick fork
1:11 - Return to desk, spend precious hungry moments trying to prise plastic lid off stupid salad box
1:15 - Get lid off and shove cherry tomato in mouth while trying to prise stupid plastic lid off stupid tiny dressing tub while thinking that the cherry tomato was so very cold
1:17 - Get lid off and start dipping pieces of veg in
1:18 - Suddenly remember hard boiled egg, go to fridge to get egg, remove shell and place in salad
1:19 - Get the feeling that the boy got cheated as the leaves were very wilted and damp
1:25 - Half way through salad realize that half of salad is frozen solid and cannot be eaten
1:26 - Receive phone call from Thailand about "urgent" matter. Not urgent to me but urgent to them.
1:27 - Start to panic and madly call people up demanding answers
2:07 - Finish task, return to poke dejectedly at frozen salad
2:08 - Go out and buy 24 Herb
2:12 - Drink 24 Herb making obscene faces and grumbling the whole time to all colleagues within earshot
4:32 - Feel incredibly hungry and proceed to demolish 8 mini digestive cookies

Thursday, March 30, 2006

'nilla bean cream cone

My piece of chocolate today was the Vanilla Bean Cream Cone.

The Moonstruck Chocolate company market these as miniature works of art and I do have to agree.

However, breaking into the cone itself, the innards were a little disappointing. Not very vanilla-y. I was expecting rich pure vanilla flavaaaaaaaaaah but got mousse-y vaguely vanilla-esque creamy type filling.

Hmmm.... not one of my faves but pretty to look at and it's in my belly so honestly, can't be that bad!

That being said, due to the high amount of "heat" in my body, I just imbibed "24 Herbs", a black intensely bitter drink made with...24 herbs (*mock shock*) said to be good at re-balancing your body.....and that tasted just AWFUL. Unfortunately until my "heat" rebalances, its 24 Herbs for the next few days!

Choco loco

As mentioned yesterday, the boy is back! The boy is back! Yay!

Even more yay was what he bought me back from Chicago:

Yes, that's right people. Chocolate.

Moonstruck chocolates, to be exact, all hand picked by the boy for bittersweet-ness. And to be honest, they are absolutely gorgeous. So gorgeous, I'm tempted to give into my hoarding nature and not eat them ever but take them out for a look and a smell from time to time.

But alas, the boy threatened to eat the chocolates himself if I was not up to it so I had to bear the burden and you will too. I will post all chocolates consumed for your reading and viewing pleasure.

First up was the Raspberry Chambord Truffle. I tried to savor it by nibbling at it until the boy got fed up and took a huge bite before handing it back to me.

Thick coating of dark chocolate with Raspberry Chambord flavored melty chocolate inside.

Mmmmn. It was really good.

Can't wait to try the next one...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

loco tacos

The boy (after *finally* coming home) and I, decided to go for this taco buffet. I was quite excited....after all, it was TACOs and a BUFFET. How can you not get excited?

So with stars in my eyes and a hunger in my belly, off we went for an evening of corn tortilla wrapped delights.

To our absolute horror and abject disappointment, the taco "buffet" was in actuality a pathetic display of a total of two hot trays with what looked like dried out "fillings" and a table of half empty dishes of salsa, guacamole and other dips which looked like it had been out for hours. It was only the length of one table.

I returned to our table sorely disappointed and wanting to go comfort myself in spicy Indian food. The boy also took one look and said that he could do a better taco buffet.

As it was late, we decided to order from the menu instead.

We had cheese empanadas, which I hadn't had before. It was quite nice, with a corn-y type "wrapper" and melty, stringy cheese. Actually, ANYthing with melty, stringy cheese is nice. I liked the green dip that came with it too but damned if I know what it was.

(ooooh, look at the melty, stringy cheese!)

The boy had beef enchiladas with rice and refried beans. Upon receiving this enchiladas, the boy announced that it smelled like armpits and lo and behold, it did. But in a nice way. It was good, both tasty and tangy but it was the kind of beef that got stuck in my teeth. Which meant half the meat got washed down the drain when I flossed.

I had the spicy pork burrito. It definitely did NOT have enough cheese and the pork wasn't spicy enough but it was saved by the huge dollop of sour cream and guacamole (which, channeling the magic like melty stringy cheese, makes everything taste better).

I was full and slightly regretful when I left the restaurant. Especially when I looked across the road at the other Mexican restaurant, who had a band playing and people salsa-ing. And whose burritos came covered in melty stringy cheese.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Another lovely photo. I do apologize to all vegetarians everywhere.'ll never guess what the eyes are.....
.... "ho see" - dried preserved oysters!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fried egg eyes

Trust me, this was a phenomenal salmon. Which just goes to show, looks aren't everything!

Medieval banquet

The boy just had his big 3 - 0 and as a good proper English lad, he decided to throw a big medieval banquet!

Woohoo, I thought to myself, a whole roast boar, Obelix style!!!

Unfortunately no roast boar. A bit disappointing but still, chin up, must soldier on!

So, instead, we imbibed mead and had a good old jolly time.

So, our first "remove" was Cawl y Castell which, in normal words is Castle Chicken and Leek Broth.

It was a little thick and goopy but I'm guessing that in the olden times they needed more hearty stuff. It was served with a huge chunk of wholewheat bread. No spoon was provided so we sipped from the bowl.

Our second "remove" was Asen oen Sawrus Mewn Sams (or something like that), which was Savoury Lamb Ribs in Sauce. It was actually quite yummy and baked with honey. Quite tasty but again, we were only given a rather pointy knife so we used our hands. It was fun but burning hot (as you can see from my rather steamy picture).

After that came a whole half a chicken with a huge potato, or, as it was called, Cym Jar Melys, Catms a Salad (Sweet Chicken, Potatotes and Seasonal Accompaniments). The picture looks a bit gross with the sauce being pink but it was actually a light brown mustardy color and tasted a little bit like sweet and sour sauce. and was made with honey. The potato was served with herbed butter and was fluffy and delicious! However, even I couldn't eat much of it after the lamb. So I picked off the juicy dark meat bits and left the dry white bits.

Finally it came to the the last "remove", the Cellmair Cariad or, as they not so amusingly called it, 'The Amusing Side of Love'. It was actually custard with sponge. Not as exciting as they made it out to be but tasted quite nice, especially nice for my custard-loving boy.

The very best part was the Castle cake that the boy's brother made! Grey icing but deliciously moist inside.........mmmmmmmmmmnnnnn, I must have had at least 4 slices!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why we get a bad rap...

Actually seen on a menu in Shanghai (not for the faint of heart):

That last one is awful...

Shanghai Uncle

I went to Shanghai for a business trip last week. I had some good food times and some bad food times.

Went to the restaurant, Shanghai Uncle for a bite to eat(ironically I actually do have an uncle who lives in Shanghai...who is Taiwanese!).

Seredipidously it would appear as I found the elusive "tang bao" (soup buns). These, unlike "xiao long bao" are huge buns about the size of a fist that is filled mostly with soup.

You actually use a straw to suck up the soup inside. Being an experience xiao long bao eater *ahem*, I know that the cheap ones usually are filled with oil rather than real soup. So of course, I poured some out to check and it was beautiful, filled with soup, with little oil on top.

Apparently what they do is the buns are actually filled with jellied soup which melts in the heat of the steaming process which turns it into rich stock. The meat that was inside was a bit mushy but the skin was delicate and thin but still sturdy and chewy enough for a good mouthfeel.

I had 2 other dishes as well, smoked fish and spicy dried beancurd roll stuffed with mushrooms but the buns definitely stole the show.