Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a bite...

Before I actually begin the trilogy of an El Bulli post, which is coming soon to a blog near you (three blogs actually but I digress...), I thought I'd give you a taster from London.

The boy took me to Portabello Road market to walk around, look at the people, fashions and have a nose around the antique stalls and stores along the way. Besides buying a toaster rack (I couldn't resist, I hate sweaty toast), we searched for sustenance along the way. So we took a little detour to find a shop selling some snacks when we came across a sweet little shop/cafe named Tom's. Inside we found Poilane bread (yipee) as well as a variety of imported snacks from all over Europe. The cafe was full but we only stopped in for a peek as well as to pick up some drinks. However, at the cashier, the boy spotted Scotch Eggs and couldn't resist picking one up.

Two steps outside of Tom's the boy eagerly took a huge bite into the Scotch egg, rolled his eyes, took another bite and ran a little bit away from me. A sign that it was good.

I had a look and eventually wheedled a bite out of him. Yep, it was a good one, with a molten yolk, good quality sausage meat lightly crumbed studded with onions, it was quite delicious.

The boy declared it the best Scotch egg he had ever had. A bold statement which he asked me to challenge you all to beat. I do suspect, however, that he simply wants to know where else to find good Scotch eggs.

226 Westbourne Grove
Notting Hill, London W11 2RH
Tel: 020 7221 8818

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ridiculous excuses

Yes, yet another ridiculous excuse instead of a proper post.

However, I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Apple and O2.

Switching computers with my Mom for a Mac might not have been a good idea before a massive life changing move....

And damn it, will O2 please deliver the broadband package as promised already???

Ah yes... El Bulli..... hmmmm.... initial thoughts is that he is an artist of food, absolutely beautiful..... I think I will have to divide the photos and my review (used in the loosest sense, of course) into a series of posts, once my computer and broadband kicks in.

Sitting in the basement of a smelly cafe with a constant whining sound and the wafting, ripe smell of sweaty armpit from the man next to me doesn't inspire me to write somehow....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

"Hoi Wei"

Sometimes in Shanghainese restaurants, you get given little dishes of pickled onions or pickled vegetables. As opposed to peanuts, which are designed to stave off that intense hunger that makes you bolt the first few dishes, leaving you less able to enjoy the rest of your meal, these are designed to make you hungrier.

That's right, hungrier. These sour, slightly tangy vegetables get the salivary glands going and are what we call "hoi wei". Or, in English, 'open your stomach', which should make you hungry for the dishes to come.

Which is exactly what this little post is. A small, tangy little bit that should make you hungry for more. But first, a bit of a drought because I'm off to Spain.

And which restaurant should be in Spain? Any hugely famous ones?

That's right kids, I'm going to El Bulli. This is thanks to a kind invite by a very, very well respected blogger. I'm also going with some other special people but I'll leave it up to them to "hoi" your "wei”.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

F-odd: Cornolate

Yes, I've been slacking off. You would too if you had to deal with the millions of utterly thankless exhausting tasks I've had to do lately. Or maybe you wouldn't. You wouldn't whinge, whine, stamp your feet and take deep, deep breaths to calm yourself down when faced with someone in the service industry whom you've waited in a long queue to see, turn down your perfectly reasonable request. All I know is that I am no saint and I don't like being told no.

What I do like is chocolate. And corn.

But corn chocolate? That's a different story.

As opposed to how corn is seen in France, us Asian peeps love the stuff. From soft serve sweet corn ice cream served at 7-11 (ick and so, so wrong), to hot steaming cups of buttered nibblets to keep you company while waiting in line for the bus, to just the little corn on the corb skewers they serve at the local KFC. This is definitely a place that doesn't believe that corn is only fit for animal consumption.

But this particular treat, the corn chocolate, first appeared on my radar about 6 years ago, when a colleague brought back a package from her trip to Hokkaido. I was given a single piece out of her stash. Since then, I've seen it appear from time to time wrapped in a box ready to be gifted (another thing us Asians like to do). But now, you can often find them in the large Japanese supermarkets in a foil packet. Expensive enough to hesitate over but not as expensive as the high end boxed chocolates.

Seeing how these are wrapped and how crazy my colleagues went over them, I'll be the first to admit. They ain't all that. Seriously. It's CORN chocolate for one thing. Not a flavor I associate with chocolate. Oh, and it's white chocolate. Not something I like anyways.

But this one smells cloyingly sweet when unwrapped, very milky and pale yellow, with clear nuggets of corn (kind of like firmer rice crispies), when tasting it, its very crunchy, not as sweet as it smells and tastes wrong. Like it was a salty puffed rice treat that had been accidentally dipped in a sugar coating. It has a fragrant corn taste to it, which I'm guessing is the draw. All I can say is, you can keep it. Give me and my cheap ass a Tolberone any day.

You can find more on Corn Chocolate here.