Monday, 31 March 2014

A Very Chocolate Afternoon Tea

Months ago, I bought a Groupon voucher for the David Leslie Chocoholics Champagne Afternoon Tea for £39 to be enjoyed with my KDU buddy, Alyssa. The description that came along with the voucher was pretty impressive. Plus, it was on the 8th floor of the Penthouse and it has a view of the London skyline.

“Complimentary glass of champagne or berry cocktail
Mug of hot chocolate, made from real melted chocolate
Individual chocolate cakes
Macaroons with chocolate ganache or caramel fillings
Decorate your own truffles”

Sounds pretty impressive right?

Since the afternoon tea was held by session, booking was rather problematic. First, our preferred dates were not available. Then, the confirmed booking had to be cancelled because there was a problem with the venue. Finally, with some rather straight forward demands, I managed to get a booking confirmed.

Arriving at the 8th floor, we were seated in pretty comfortable seats and served with a choice of champagne, alcoholic or non-alcoholic berry cocktail. We chose the latter which is a sweet concoction with a hint of sourness of berries. Later, we were served with 2 slices of cakes, 4 chocolate dipped berries and 2 macaroons.

Berry Cocktail
Non-alcoholic berry cocktail

The only food for the afternoon tea:
4 strawberries with chocolate - heavenly combination as many would know
2 macaroons - well done with a soft filling of cream
Raspberry cake - victoria sponge cake with raspberry and cream; somewhat common
Chocolate cake - rich chocolate taste infused in the cake, cream and icing

After 15 to 20 minutes, everyone was gathered to make our own truffles. Well, technically it is only to fill the truffles. The mould had been prepared with tempered chocolate which forms the shape of the truffle. We were taught to fill it with chocolate cream and sealing the base with melted chocolate. The only thing we learnt was piping the chocolate. *how impressive*

Afternoon Tea- Alyssa
Alyssa getting her hands on truffle making
Truffle case
Truffle mould readily prepared. All we had to do was fill in the cream and sealed it off

Moments after we are finished, we were served with a glass of hot chocolate and finally, our truffles which we could choose to take them back.

Our very pretty truffle - looks as good as those on sale in chocolate boutiques right?
Well, i'm quite impressed although all I did was filling in the cream and sealing it off because most of the others in our session overfilled theirs and it wasn't standing flat like ours! :D
Decorated with some food glitter

Despite the impressive description on the voucher, the afternoon tea was less than impressive for its price. Originally priced at £80 for 2, buying the Groupon voucher made it much cheaper but even with the voucher, it was not really value for money. Though making truffles was quite an experience, the quality of food was merely average. Obviously, all pictures were for illustration purposely only as none of the food we had was anywhere close to the pictures on the website.

Food rating: 6/10
Service rating: 7/10
Ambience rating: 7.5/10
Overall rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Day of Free Food and A Memorable Selfie

Yesterday, I went for Singapore Day as a guest of one of my law classmate. It was an event open only for Singaporeans (both their citizens and PR i think). As a Malaysian, I had to be invited as a guest of a Singaporean and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to the event.

Facts new to me; Singapore Day is held annually on a rotation basis in different countries. This year it was in London! I suppose what makes it special to the Singaporeans living abroad is the reunion with their fellow Singaporeans and all the free food. Yes, everything is free within the grounds of the event. From drinks to every single plate of food. I was also told that the local Singaporean food are made by hawkers who are flown in from Singapore just for this event.

Arriving at about 11 am, the entrance to the grounds were crowded with long queues waiting to get through the security check. That 15 minutes queue was just the beginning of every single other queue throughout the day. Upon entering, we were given goodie bags and then it was really all about the food. Starting off with satay, followed by sup kambing, chicken rice and chwee kueh, more satay and finally, nasi lemak the queue for every single one of them took at least 30 minutes or more.

Endless queues everywhere
After hours in the queues, it was time for a break. While the Singapore premier was making his rounds along the booths and exhibitions, he was crowded by everyone who wanted a picture with him. Making our way through the crowd and bodyguards, my friend and I managed to get ourselves a selfie with Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore. I hardly take selfies and I’m should thank my lucky stars to be able to snap a perfect one in one shot.

I don't usually take selfie, but when I do I make sure it is with someone important! :P
Despite the endless queues, it was satisfying to enjoy all the delicious food and taking a memorable selfie with Singapore’s Prime Minister. With all my energy drained from the endless queuing, I lost all motivations to take any photos and every time food is in my hands, it was gone before the thought of taking a photo of it comes about. Hence, all the lousy pictures are all I have.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Late Night Thoughts: Fuelling Anger

It has been 21 days since MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had been lost. Undoubtedly, the world has its eyes set on Malaysia in the entire search and rescue mission to find the missing flight. For many days, the mission was focused on the South China Sea off Vietnam, then, the search area expanded to the Straits of Malacca and Andaman Sea and finally the search area expanded to a massively huge Northern and Southern corridor. The unfruitful search thus far had taken toll on the families of those on board who are clinging on every hope possibly left and everyone is praying for the safe return of the 239 lives on board.

“the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts 
have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was
in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately
from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or
a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the
southern Indian ocean.”
– Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, 15 March 2014

“flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”
– Dato Seri Najib Razak, 24 March 2014

After the announcement that MH370 had ended in the Southern Indian Ocean, families especially those in Beijing were enraged and accusations of hidden truth behind the missing flight were made against every single Malaysian authority. Embroiled with emotions and losing their loved ones, it is understandable for the families to be angry, upset and in despair for the truth. Without the wreckage of the flight and bodies, the verdict that the plane had crashed into the ocean and beyond reasonable doubt there are survivors is a truth too difficult too swallow for many.

Such update was not anything anyone would have hoped for and the world grieves along with the families who had lost their loved ones on the flight. It is one thing to be empathetic for the families over the loss of their loved ones; but another to fuel anger towards Malaysia and Malaysians. Chinese celebrities like Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun and many others had called for a boycott of Malaysia; a boycott of our goods and visiting the country. Others had lashed out against Malaysian figures in China with some even cursing innocent lives like cursing Fish Leong and her unborn child. To have well known figure fuelling anger, I find it utterly despicable.

Theories after theories of conspiracy surrounded the issue of the missing flight. It is unavoidable that many would turn to believe such theories in the desperation for the truth. Those in anger had called for the Malaysian government to show evidence; to tell the truth; to stop hiding facts from them. To begin, what evidence that the truth had been deliberately hidden from them does those demanding for the truth have? In times of emotional turmoil, it is fair for the next of kin to be irrational, in denial of losing their families in this tragedy. But, does this mean Malaysia as a whole should suffer a boycott from China in an unprecedented tragedy that had caused Malaysians to lose their loved ones as well? Should these celebrities even be fuelling anger against Malaysians?

As a Malaysian, I find it unfair for these public figures to be passing off such remarks against Malaysia and the mass public to be critical of Malaysians abroad. Surely, we do not have the best and the most efficient government, a fact many Malaysians would agree. For years, our country have been tainted with high levels of corruption and oppression in the eyes of the world. It is difficult to say that the entire mission to recover the plan had been well executed with facts and data changing within days and search area moving from one to another. Yet, I believe with the international level of cooperation, other countries would not have continuous throw their support behind our backs if all these missions were just a cloak to hide the truth. With data being provided from IMMARSAT and AAIB, could it still be possible for the Malaysian government to tamper with them and hide the truth? Facts and figures provided not by Malaysia but countries of the West, those that the world had looked up to for the advancement of technology.

The lost of MH370 had for once in a very long time put the works of our government in international scrutiny. We might not have done things the best that could have been but effort had been poured into find the missing jetliner. For there to be calls that the Malaysian government were murderers; that the quest for truth was not respected; that Malaysians should be ashamed to be in China, it is totally uncalled for. If the government had murdered the 153 Chinese on board, then it has also killed the 50 Malaysians and many others on board. If 153 Chinese families had been through grief, so did the 50 Malaysian families and other families. If Chinese are in despair over the tragedy, Malaysia is in even greater despair with the government in international scrutiny, a deficit national airline facing yet another huge blow to its expenses with the tragedy.
For years, the diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia had been strongly established and the economic cooperation had been extensive as well. Our ties had not only been one that is diplomatic, it is also in the kinship which runs in the blood of many Malaysians. Finally, to equate the government as equivalent to its people, yet another foolish view towards Malaysians. A democratic country is ruled by the choice of the majority but that is not equivalent that the government represents all.

Sadly, to call for an public embargo on Malaysia, that is something I could never find justifiable. Perhaps to flow with the sentiment of your countrymen who are in rage is the way to boost their celebrity status. But, on a personal note, I could never see them with respect like before.

Just my two cents.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

See Sushi

Japanese cuisine is one of my many favourites and Japanese food could be found in most part of the world. Being in a metropolitan like London, all of the world’s cuisines are easily found; Japanese being one of them.

A couple of months ago, Living Social sold vouchers which gives £30 worth of food for only £15 for 2 diners in See Sushi. Though having not heard of the restaurant before, my online search yield some good reviews about the place. So, it was worth a shot to give the voucher a try. Plus, the voucher only expires in April 2014 which gives me ample time to use it.

See Sushi had an extensive menu ranging from sushi and sashimi to bento boxes. The menu had a variety of hot dishes and sushi platters at a reasonable price. Hidden in a secluded corner off Edgware Road, it was an undiscovered gem. Interestingly, See Sushi is owned by the same corporate group which owns See Woo, the Asian grocery store which I usually get my cooking ingredients.

*the photos looks a little grainy as it was taken with my iPhone

Chuka Wakame
Chuka Wakame @ £3.00
Seasoned seaweed to kick start dinner
Soft Shell Crab in Breadcrumbs
Soft Shell Crab in Breadcrumbs @ £4.95
Coated in breadcrumbs, the soft shell crab is different from the conventional tempura coating. Crispy on the outside, the soft shell crab was absolutely mouth watering although I would personally still prefer the tempura coated deep fried soft shell crab.

Sushi platter with 5 different nigiri sushi and salmon maki roll. The nigiri sushi was topped with fresh sashimi. Although I am not a huge fan of sashimi, the nigiri sushi was delicious with generous fresh cuts of sashimi that satisfies the tastebuds.
Unfortunately, I could not remember the price of the sushi platter and I am unable to find the price anywhere online but I recall this to be between 
Kyoto (2)
Sushi heaven!
Spider roll
Spider roll @ £8.25
Like all my other favourite spider roll, the large sushi roll is stuffed with soft shell crab, avocado and cucumber in the middle. Wrapped with a layer of seaweed on the outside, followed by rice and soft shell crab plus other toppings, the spider roll is tightly rolled and garnished with a special soya sauce which tasted much like 'nitsume'. The soft shell crab is coated with breadcrumbs and therefore, giving the spider roll a different taste. Nevertheless, the spider roll was another heavenly delight.
Unagi @ £9.50
Eel in a sweet japanese soya sauce cooked to perfection. My favourite dish in See Sushi thus far. The unagi was well marinated with the typical soya sauce is soft and tender, close to melting in the mouth when eaten. For only £9.50, it was worthy of the price.

The waitresses though strangely consisted of Caucasians (I don’t mean it in a racist manner - most Japanese and Asian restaurants I frequented mostly consist of Asian service crew which I believes makes communication easier as the orders are written down in either Chinese or Japanese) were knowledgeable about the menu. Upon entering See Sushi, my friend and I were greeted by a friendly staff and was brought to our table and had our drinks order taken. The food service was prompt and empty plates were clearly swiftly. It was definitely an A+ for their service.

Generally, the food were tasty and reasonably priced. With the Living Social voucher, it was even more value for money. The down side is that the green tea served was not the authentic Japanese ocha. In fact it was just a teabag from China which taste nothing like real Japanese Green tea. Aside from that, the ambience of the restaurant was extremely relaxing. Decorated in a natural theme, the atmosphere was comfortable with instrumental music serenading the restaurant.


Located in within a courtyard off Praed Street, See Sushi is within minutes walk from Edgware Road station and Paddington Station. Closed on Sundays.


Food rating: 8/10
Service rating: 9.5/10
Ambience rating: 8.5/10
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Thoughts: Being Poor is Not a Crime

Of recent, the news about how a Miss Singapore Universe finalist made fun of an uncle’s clothes in the MRT had been popping up on my Facebook newsfeed. Surely, such news would attract critical remarks by netizens towards the beauty queen wannabe. Poking fun at those who are less fortunate is definitely not something our society approves of but what provoked my thoughts are the progress of our society towards materialism and the segregation of class based on economic status.

For decades and century, social classes existed even amongst the finest Western civilisation. Of course in those times it was not just about wealth. Skin colour, gender and race played a role in defining where one belongs. Separation of classes seems to be something in the past, but the truth is it still exist. For a simple fact: for if there is no evil, how could one tell good apart. For if there is no poverty, how can one tell what wealth is. With the progression towards equality, race, skin colour and religion discrimination is buried away and wealth subsequently becomes the new ruler for segregation.

Today, in a society that cries for equality for all, we nevertheless fail to escape the trap of segregation. In growing economies, the gap between the rich and the poor inevitably comes to light. While the rich are capable of reinvesting their assets and growing their wealth, the poor are trapped by the inflation. The faster the economy grew, the more evident the gap becomes.

Everyone in the society is embedded in the chase for a better life, a bigger house, a luxury car and the list goes on. It is only normal for one to strive for more in life. That is the inborn greed in every single one of us. Amidst the rat race, have our society grew apart from each other? In the pursuit of material wealth, the spirit of community is slowly extinguished as each individual starts looking at everything with ‘What is in it for me?’. Selfishness slowly dominates over some especially those in large cities. For instance, how many of us know our neighbours like how our parents or grandparents knew theirs back in the days? How many of us even greet our neighbours? How many of us even keep a look out for each other in the neighbourhood?

While climbing the corporate ladder and growing our bank account, our society often forget the simplest things in life. From a tender age, children had lost their touch with simple things in life. Take a look around and you’ll see pre school kids playing with an iPad, iPhone or a tablet or smartphone. Playtime is no longer about the imaginative games of ‘masak masak’ (playing with plastic pots and pans pretending to be making food for others) or simple things like ‘batu seremban’ or ‘kalitoi’ (a simple game of hopping around boxes). Today, it is about the top games on the App store. With a smartphone or tablet, a child is no longer dependant on friends or classmates to have fun which then becomes the seed for growing individualism. What happens then to those less fortunate children that couldn’t afford the latest device? Ultimately they become the outcast because they are not in trend with the latest updates merely because it is not within their economic ability. Over time, this minute trait would manifest into a society that judges one from their economic status.

Perhaps it is time for our society to reflect on the values which we all once held onto. Despite the idea that all man are equal, everyone is born with different abilities, different traits and different background. Discrimination and segregation inevitably occur. But, it is within ourselves to draw the gap within our society closer. We should remember that there are those who are less fortunate; and instead of excluding them, insulting them and belittling them, an effort to understand their difficulties should be made and lend a helping hand when necessary. Let us not be so embroiled in the rat race for wealth and lose touch with our humanity.


On a personal note, I had a humble beginning, one which I am proud of. Growing up in council housing, life is mediocre with little luxuries. For instance, I never had a smartphone until studying abroad. Neither did I have the luxury of air conditioning, luxury bags or clothing for the first 18 or 19 years of my life. Despite all that, I found joy in the simplest things in life. As a kid, my happy times were playing ‘kalitoi’ and ‘Iceman’ with my schoolmates. As a teenager, my happiness derived from camping and building gadgets from ‘bakau’ trunks. Of course, like anyone else, I had wished for more in life but, ultimately life was comfortable and happy despite its simplicity.

Most fortunately, I've been blessed with invaluable kinship and friendship. Through years, I’ve witness a society which is close knitted and full of human touch (人情味) which is now losing its place in our growing society. Today, my life has been blessed with more luxuries. Honestly, I’ve never escaped from chasing after material wealth (I believe very few could) but I hold on to the belief that the discrimination of one based on economic status is nevertheless despicable.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A French Affair - Café Rouge

One of the many chain restaurants in the UK, Café Rouge is one which serves French cuisine. After trips to Paris, French cuisine became one of my favourites especially the dish confit de canard (duck confit). Since Café Rouge is located almost everywhere in London, it became the first place to try satisfy my cravings.

My first visit is during Valentine’s Day (how cliché) with 2 of my KDU buddies. In conjunction with the special day, one of my friend and myself tried the special Valentine’s Day set menu with my choices being lobster bisque as starters, braised lamb shank as main course and crème brûlée as dessert. The set menu was priced at £18.99 which I find to be quite reasonable.

My friend's pick as starter - fresh prawns with chilli and garlic butter. The prawns were really fresh and tasty with the chilli and garlic butter though the hint of garlic could be much stronger.
Lamb Shank
Braised Lamb Shank
The lamb was extremely tender and well braised with herbs! The mash was extremely delicious as well. Unfortunately, this was part of the special menu and is not available on regular basis.
Creme Brulee
Crème brûlée
A heavenly custard with burnt layer of sugar on the top. The creme was smooth and not too sweet. Absolutely love the burnt layer of sugar.

On another visit to the Windsor outlet, I tried the fixed price menu (prix fixe menu) with the soup as my starter and the omelette as my main course. For £9.95, the price is somewhat reasonable although the food quality could definitely be improved.

Butternut Squash soup
Butternut Squash and Flame Pepper Soup
An extremely diluted soup, bland and lacks taste and texture. A similar soup was order by a friend on the third visit and it was different in colour and thickness. Definitely lacks consistency in the fixed price menu.
Omelette with Mushroom
Originally omelette with fries and a choice of mushrooms, cheese or ham, I requested for the fries to be replaced with salad. Instead, I was served with heaps of mushrooms. As a mushroom lover, there is nothing to complain. The omelettes were fluffy and the mushrooms are of generous portions.
Eglefin Fume
Eglefin Fume

My latest visit was some weeks ago with a bunch of KDU classmates and my lecturer visiting from Malaysia. Finally, it was time to have a fully French meal with French onion soup and duck confit. Ordering from an ala carte menu, it was a rather pricey meal. However, Café Rouge is part of the Gourmet Society and there is always an ongoing discount for members of the Gourmet Society. Greatly reducing the bill!

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
Tasted very much like thick onion gravy.  The soup was rather starchy and lacks an aromatic onion scent.
Confit de Canard
Confit de Canard
Tender duck meat served with a sweet cherry sauce. An interesting combination of sauce which brings out the flavour of the confit extremely well.
Beef Bourginon
Boeuf Bourguignon
As I do not consume beef, the comment from a friend about this dish is extremely positive.
Burger Cafe Rouge 
Tarte Tartin
Tarte Tartin

Generally, Café Rouge serves rather decent French cuisine thought it somewhat lacks authenticity. The wide variety of food choices is quite attractive as there is always something to try on each visit. While some dishes are really delectable, others are simply above average.

On all visits, the service was good and most of their service crew were very friendly. As my first and third visit to Café Rouge was to the same Covent Garden outlet, it was pleasing to know that the waitress could remember me and my friends from our previous visit. Well, either we made too much noise on the previous visit that we became unforgettable or the staff is doing an extremely good job in customer relations.

Though Café Rouge is just another common restaurant located all over UK, the food is above average in generally with some commendable dishes. Their service is definitely something that calls for praises. With low lightings and a relaxed atmosphere, all my dining experience had been enjoyable and it was lovely that the staff had never rushed us through our meal.

Food rating: 6/10
Service rating: 9/10
Ambience rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 7.5/10

Recipe: Watermelon Berries Smoothie


Aside from the Mango Orange Smoothie that I’ve previously posted about, my other favourite is watermelon berries smoothie. Made from fresh watermelon and a mixture of berries, I love the refreshing aftertaste of the smoothie. Simply the best for breakfast!

Thanks to the sweetness of the watermelon, the smoothie is sweet with a hint of sourness from the strawberries. The berries are replaceable with other type of berries like raspberry and blackberry. However, both raspberry and blackberry have large amount of tiny seeds which is something I don’t quite fancy.

Here’s the recipe:

Watermelon Berries Smoothie (serves 1)

300 g     watermelon (flesh only)
5            strawberry
30 g       blueberry

1. Cut the strawberries into slices. Freeze the strawberries, blueberries and half of the watermelon. Chill the rest of the watermelon.

2. Blend the chilled watermelon and then add the frozen berries and watermelon and continue to blend until a smooth mixture is formed. Add 2-3 tablespoon of water if the smoothie is too thick.
TIP: Thaw the berries and the watermelon for about 15-30 minutes if there is difficulty blending frozen fruits.

3. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dim Sum @ Gerrard’s Corner

One of things I’ve missed studying abroad is the widespread of dim sum easily available around Penang. Staying in London, I’m thankful to be blessed with numerous Chinese restaurants all over London with some serving dim sum which are as good or even better than those at home. Although dim sum in London is 5 times more expensive than those back home due to currency exchange, at times some cravings simply can’t be repressed.

Gerrard’s Corner is one of the few places I would frequent for dim sum as it is the only restaurant that I know of to serve 流沙包 (liu sha bao) or melting custard bun. Among the dim sum that I frequently order when dining with my friends are the common pork dumpling (siew mai), prawn dumpling (har gao) and barbecued pork bun as well as the 流沙包 and a variety of others.

Pork dumpling with crabmeat
Pork dumpling with crabmeat
Juicy, soft and tender; I couldn't taste any crabmeat though.
King Prawn Dumpling
King Prawn Dumpling
Filled with large chunks of prawns; the thickness of the skin of the dumpling is just nice
Shanghai Steamed Pork and Crabmeat Dumpling
Shanghai Steamed Pork and Crabmeat Dumpling
Tender minced pork as the fillings - lacking the taste of crabmeat. However, the xiao long bao lacks juiciness. Often xiao long bao has a spoonful of 'juice' when broken open, here the xiao long bao has a juicy filling without any extra juice.
Spare ribs in black bean sauce
Spare ribs in black bean sauce
Well seasoned with black bean sauce but lacks tenderness
Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun
Standard char siew bao taste and texture
Steamed Melting Custard Bun
Melting custard bun
Warm flowy custard enclosed in a soft and fluffy bun. The melting custard is a blend of sweetness of custard and fragrance of salted egg yolk. Not the best I've tried before but good enough to satisfy any cravings
Melting Custard Bun
Warm melting custard!!!
Pork and Preserved Egg Congee
Pork and Preserved Egg Congee
Smooth congee with generous preserved egg (century egg) hidden in the bottom of the congee. No idea where the pork is hiding though.
Prawn Cheung Fun
Prawn cheung fun
Large prawns enveloped in thin layers of cheung fun. The cheung fun sauce here which is a perfect blend of sweetness and saltiness is one of my favourite.
Deep Fried Squid
Deep fried squid
Crispy batter on squid rings. Nothing to shout about.
Seafood Croquette with Salad Cream
Seafood Croquette
A typical deep fried seafood dumpling. A generous amount of filling, but nothing much to be excited about
Vietnamese Style Spring Roll
Vietnamese Style Spring Roll
Not sure how Vietnamese is this but the paper skin is crispy with a generous seafood filling. The accompanying sauce goes extremely well with the spring roll
Pan Fried Turnip Paste with XO sauce
Pan Fried Turnip Paste with XO sauce
The closest I could get to my favourite hawker 'Char Koay Kak'. The turnip paste is filled with dried shrimps and well pan fried over high heat, giving off a fragrant mixture of XO sauce and fresh eggs. 
Crispy BBQ Pork Puff Pastry
Crispy BBQ Pork Puff Pastry
The puff pastry lacks crispiness and is less flaky than most other restaurants. The BBQ pork filling is delicious but the puff pastry could definitely be much better
Like any typical Chinese restaurants, customer service is not the top of their priorities. The service in Gerrard’s Corner is rather good. At least, they have never pressured us to leave when we are done eating. On my last visit, one of the waiter even told us to take our time and enjoy the dim sum. In general, the dim sum is above average and 流沙包 is the main reason I would choose Gerrard’s Corner over other restaurants.

Located on Wardour Street off the corner of Gerrard Street in London’s Chinatown, Gerrard’s Corner is about 5 minutes walk from Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus station and numerous bus stops. Their dim sum is served daily until 5pm.


Food rating: 6.5/10
Service rating: 7/10
Ambience rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 6.5/10

Recipe: Mango Orange Smoothie

Mango orange smoothie

As mentioned in my post on weight loss, mango and orange smoothie is one of my favourite for breakfast. Back home where I have a juicer in the house, I would make fresh juices for breakfast on the clean-eating days. However, being in London, I can’t possibly have every single kitchen appliance. Making do with a blender, I’d learnt a thing or two from my friend about making fruit smoothies and here’s one of the best replacement for fresh juices as breakfast.

Here’s the recipe.

Mango Orange Smoothie (serves 1)

200g     mango chunks
1           orange

1. Keep the mango chunk in the freezer for at least a couple hours until it is completely frozen.

2. Peel the skin of the orange and cut into large slices.
TIP: Make cuts on the skin of the orange with the end of lines meeting at the bottom. Peel the skin from the bottom. (something I learnt from working part time back in the days)

Notice the lines formed from cutting the skin of the orange

3. Blend the peeled orange and mango until it forms a smooth texture. If the smoothie is too thick, add 2 tablespoons of water.
TIP: If the blender comes with instructions to avoid blending ice cube (a cheap blender like mine), remove the mango chunks from the freezer for about 30 minutes to thaw it slightly.

4. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!


Monday, 17 March 2014

Curry Mee @ Chulia Street

Thinking about home, I had a sudden craving for a bowl of warm and spicy curry mee. Curry mee as I’ve explained before is a bowl of rice vermicille and yellow noodles with bean sprouts in spiced curry broth; topped with cockles, dried tofu, prawns, cuttlefish and hardened pig blood. One of the best curry mee I’ve tasted is in Chulia Street; the same place the best wantan mee I’ve had is (this place is amazing for supper).

Curry Mee
Curry Mee in Chulia Street

A bowl of curry mee here comes with an additional topping of fish ball. The noodles are soaked in a curry broth which has a strong kick of spices and at the same time, a fragrant scent of coconut milk which gives a slightly creamy (lemak) texture to the broth. Although I often find the noodles a little overcooked and soft, the noodles were probably soaking in the broth for a bit too long when I eat them. The toppings consist only of cuttlefish, dried tofu, cockles, harden pig blood and a fish ball. The toppings are definitely not very generous but the extremely delicious curry broth makes up to it. Often the key to a good bowl of noodles lies in the broth.

Find this stall for a gastronomical satisfaction

Being extremely popular and famous, this stall is not one which customers can request for additional toppings or ask for some things to be removed. Often all the extra demands are just ignored completely. As usual, be ready for a 10-15 minutes wait and reminding the seller if they forget the orders.

Open from about 7.30 pm and closed on Mondays.

The stall is located just right beside the wantan mee stall which I previously blogged about. Location information can be found here.

Food rating: 9/10
Service rating: 6/10

Don’t touch your phone – UNICEF TAP Project

I’ve just came across this very meaning project by UNICEF to provide clean water access to 768 million people around the world. All you have to do is do not touch your phone for 10 minutes and the generous sponsor, Giorgio Armani fragrance will donate $1 to UNICEF. The longer you last the more money is donated.

In the world where we are all obsessed with our phones, perhaps it is time to put it away for awhile for something meaning. Get started by going to UNICEFTAPPROJECT.ORG on your phone and follow the instructions. Then put your phone aside for as long as possible. It is that simple!