Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hello from Croatia

Can't believe it's been three weeks into my trip in Eastern Europe. Since arriving in Istanbul, I have not had the chance to pause to rest and it's kinda taking a toll on my mental state.

Inching along... Well, inch-ing according to my phone. Lol. Hello #Croatia ! Bye #Hungary ! #train #travel #zagreb #budapest
Train ride from Budapest to Zagreb

I have moved from Turkey, through Romania, Hungary and now finishing up the last leg of my Croatia trip.

It has been such an amazing experience thus far for me but for some reasons because I kept meeting people along the way, I hardly have time for myself to breath, other than these two days which was truly a bliss for me, but also because these two days are the only days I have to myself in Dubrovnik, it's kind of stressful to want to squeeze in some catch up time with my friends and family online and also anything online, like my orders that haven't arrived and payment which were due and more personal problems back home I have to deal with via emails and other means.

And then suddenly I realised I don't even have time for my blog anymore. Normally I say that's a good thing but then blogging has become a sort of extra curricular activity for these few years. It's something I do when I want to relax, so that could only mean I have not enough time to just chill and laze around to even blog.

I did have some time to myself to read though, which was comforting. But even that I find it hard to finish the book because of the time I have in a day to finish up everything.

Tomorrow I have to wake up really early if I want to finish up what I intend to do here in Dubrovnik, like go up the cable car, and then a few museums and then head out to sea to see this little island not far from here.

Which can be proven a challenge considering it's winter now and everything closes too early and the sun sets too early and I can wrap up my days at around 3pm. Which leaves hardly any available time frame for me to do much. And I really dislike sight-seeing in the dark, simply because I can't take much good pictures in that sort of lighting.

Anyway after tomorrow I should be returning to Zagreb and hopefully then I will be able to put some decent postings here before I head off to Vienna, Australia. Looking forward to the best Christmas Market in Europe.

PS// Had the first opera experience a week ago and it was amazing! I loved it!
Hamlet was in play in Zagreb's theatre and I could not emphasize how much I enjoyed the performance. Three hours flew by in a glimpse.

Happily sitting in a box waiting for Hamlet to start. ❤ #opera #art #travel #croatia #zagreb
Happily sitting in my box waiting for Hamlet to start

Monday, November 19, 2012

Epicurious Brunch @ BSC

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Last month I visited the Epicurious Brunch at Bangsar Shopping Centre which was a gastronomical affair for all foodies. One get to sample all the rare jewels of food in Klang Valley area brought together under one roof and allow patrons to taste and sample each and every different oral orgasmic pleasure in one afternoon.

There were food stalls from Yay! Sammich, Andy's BBQ, Forty Licks, Swich Cafe, Craft Bakers, Hot Shots, Fat Blossom, The Potong, Jason Food Hall and many more, with baking classes, cooking demonstrations and best dressed Halloween costume for kids.

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no make up.

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Craft Bakers 'finger' sausage rolls

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Delicious brownies and salted caramel chocolate cakes from Swich Cafe

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the cakes were amazing and rich and I couldn't never refuse a good chocolate delight. If there weren't already so much food to try I would have ordered double for this. The salted caramel was a little bit of a let down, it was more of chocolate cake with a small swirl and caramel and some sea salt sprinkled on top.

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But I do love their soft shell crab pizza which was an explosion of flavour. Love it! The salted egg white and salted egg yolk sauce drizzled over the pizza were genius.

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French Toasts with Singapore style Chilli Crab sauce were mediocre, in my opinion. Perhaps it was the way it was made for this event, the toasts were like a bed to suck out all the oil from the chilli crab instead.

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Then I had some pressed panini with chicken and cranberry sauce from Yay! Sammich, which was a good and safe brunch to have in case you're hungry. The first item I went for in fact because I didn't have any breakfast that morning.

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Then I had some pressed buns from Andy's BBQ with beef brisket which was rich and flavourful. The beef was cooked to perfection, tender and juicy.

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Moving onto the Paulisima's Kitchen for some tacos, which in my opinion, was small in portion, pale in comparison for taste with the previous two stalls before it, and expensive.

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If I'm not mistaken, these two tiny taco was priced at RM14. Four bites and gone. The chicken was too dry. Can't remember much about the other one. Didn't finish it.

Back to Andy's BBQ for some dessert savoury dish, priced rather well at RM10 for two smoky chicken banana pancakes drizzled with gula melaka and served side with one fried egg.

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Not wanting to risk forgoing the rest of the desserts to come later, I opted for one pancake just to sample.

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I couldn't pen down if this was a savoury dish or a dessert, but the combination was amusing and quite delicious, in a funny but good way.

Took a break between meals with a hot cup of tea with Hot Shots.

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Very fascinating tea with a strong flavour of cinnamon and ginger and many other flavours. Not the usual tea you would get in markets but definitely something I can get used it. Brewed with 100 degree Celsius boiling water for a full 3-5 minutes.

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The dessert I looked forward the most was the Forty Licks ice cream.

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It was such a pity that Earl Grey has ran out but I didn't sample a small teaspoon and it was really nice. Not too sweet and really rich in Earl Grey flavour (my favourite tea). I'm going to order a pint of this one day, when I feel healthy enough to eat this much sin.

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So instead I had the Honey with Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Roasted White Chocolate.
Loved all three but the most addictive was the Honey with Chocolate (surprisingly), and one couldn't say no to Salted Caramel (though not as salty as I couldn't have liked it) while white chocolate lover will definitely love the roasted white chocolate ice cream.

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Got some cucpcakes from Fat Blossoms, didn't get to try the peanut butter flavour ones cause they were sold out by the time I got to it, so I settled for banoffee flavour and sticky dates.

Ended my amazing epicurious meal with a sparkling pop from The Potong.

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Chose 'sunny melon' potong to soak in fruity sparkling juice.

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This would be something really refreshing on a hot day. A light dessert and fun to try.

I ended the afternoon with a sweet note at Jason Food Hall, drooling and picking out the exquisite macaroons from the tray.

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My favourite of all had to be the Mojito macaroon (the only dual color macaroon presented), it really did taste like mojito, sweet mojito. Yumz~

And the dark green macaroon made with 25 years aged balsamic vinegar was really unforgettable.
I didn't like the caramel with sesame macaroons as much, simply because sesame seeds were never really my thing.
These macaroons were flown in from Pierre Ledent in Brussels, Belgium and cost RM10 per piece. Wow!

Their chocolate selection looked equally beautiful and too expensive to be eaten, I was tempted to try some but at the price of RM199 per box, I hesitated.

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Maybe one day, who knows. In the mean time, macaroons would have to do.

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Thanks for the amazing experience. I think epicurious should host more of these events and it was one of the most amazing brunch/lunch experiences I have had.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

St Paul's Cathedral @ London

I love St Paul's Cathedral, in fact I love all cathedrals and mosques and old churches and those big monumental temples.

On the first two times of my visits to London I've never did the touristy things of visiting the necessary places, so on the third time, I decided it was time to see St Paul's Cathedral.

St Paul's Cathedral
love this shot of a man standing in the middle of all gloriousness.

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ceiling decor of the cathedral

there's a section in the cathedral off the mezzanine area where you're not allowed to take photos. In this area there's a place called the whisper hall which is a massive dome shape corridor and wall, it's designed in a way that when you were to whisper on one end of the dome, the person situated on the furthest point on the other end will be able to hear you. It's really fun.

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beautiful cold London from above.

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all the shoppers down the streets

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

Found this really cool drink design that's fun and simple. Love it.

this water
makes you wanna open it and see if cloud would puff out of the bottle LOL

this water

this water
shake it!

this water
talk about being specific. Good to be specific. :p

this water

nicolekiss big cookie

I shall end this post with a large cookie as big as my face!
Yummeh~

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cooking Foie Gras

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This is a slab of Foie Gras I bought from a supermarket in France. Brought it back to England to have it cooked in winter over Christmas.

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Big fat juicy liver.

First, cut the liver, make sure it's a big fat thick slice, don't be stingy. Unlike in this photo.

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It should be cut thicker than this.

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You may choose to season it or not. But since this was going to be eaten without condiments or sauce pairings, seasoning it was.

Sear it. With the thickest slice first. Make sure the fire isn't too hot. Medium will be sufficient.

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Foie Gras is 90% fat so you do not need any oil when you cook it, the liver will melt and act as oil to further sear the pieces.

Take it off the pan and on again to make sure you don't burn the surface, flip and it will continue to cook in the pan and then flip the pan back onto the fire. Repeat as your like, but once or twice is good enough.

Enjoy a snow-filled while searing if you may.

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Lastly, don't be shocked to find the foie gras to have diminished considerably in size at the end of your searing. This is normal.

Although if it has reduced to a thin line despite the thick slice you have cut, you may have cooked it too long on a heat that's too high.

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This is a perfect example of an overcooked foie gras.

But hey, practice makes perfect.
Just remember to watch your waistline.