Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My fried chicken wings

1. On the second day of CNY, my sisters'/brother's families and I had a dinner gathering and we ordered the "mixed food casserole (盤菜)" from Maxim's fast food. I couldn't comment on it as I didn't get a chance of trying it. According to my sisters, it is not so good.

2. From the inspiration of Grey Hound fried chicken wings, I tried this one. However, it's a failure to me. First, because of insufficient time of defrosting it, I couldn't let it defrost it on conducting room temperature. When I marinate it, it's not dry enough; so the fish sauce couldn't be absorbed into it well. I think next time I shall have done it better if I have more time to defrost the wings, and marinate it for at least 1-2 hours. BTW, cutting the wings in split is quite dangerous. So better be careful if you do it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Simply Life, IFC II, Central, Hong Kong

This shop used to be a Maxim's sub-brand outlet (forget the name) and now it has been changed to a pastry/sandwich cafe.

1/2. the shop looks quite clean with lots of variety of pastry and sandwich.
3. the shop is mainly in a black color tune - kind of remind me of Greyhound Cafe BKK. 4. The iced-chocolate is pretty good and it's not those ordinary chocolate. It's not that heavy but quite rich in a "nut" flavour but I can't figure out what that's it. Something between hazelnut and pecan nut. I was quite surprised the iced decaf coffee is quite aromatic and they use the Japanese thick cream. Both are at HK$26 (cheaper than Starbucks). Then next to it is Coffee Banofee (not sure the spelling). Though it's quite crispy, it doesn't have the coffee taste.

5/6. another view to the shop.

Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園 (HK style) tea restaurant

Again, I would try to avoid to trust what the others say "this is the best in town" from the general public. This restaurant has been so popular because of some stars went there. However, I hope those people treat stars are just normal people like any of us. It's not necessary to label things with any figure or entity. Just like those talk of the town - Michelin star rating. :)

1. the restaurant is in the food market near the Central Escalator. 2. When I first looked at this interesting combination. That ketchup color cornstarch sauce is called the shop's secret recipe "BBQ sauce". There are some scallion, onion, bell pepper...etc. I had a slight taste of it. It used some very heavy cornstarch to thicken it. Then the taste is nothing new - I believe any Michelin no-star housewives can do it, or even better than it. Another thing I really find it offensive is that people often use the Japanese renowned instant noodle 出前一丁 for dry noodle or fried noodle. Furthermore, that pork-like meat looks apparently it's not defrost in a proper way. I don't mind such a fast food shop defrosting frozen meat in this way but at least they should pan fried it a bit more to make it more aromatic. Think of boiling frozen meat with no taste - what do you think of such a meat-like stuff? Look at that cabbage - doesn't it look like a left over? What scared me the most is that there is some crushed ginger/scallion which is commonly used for going with eating steamed chicken. Imagine this goes with a sweet sour taste sauce on the side - extra ordinary fusion food. By the way, everything is about at a warmth of 40 degree celsius. For such a popular restaurant with such a massive customers flow, how can it be just slightly warm? I really hate food at this temperature. Well, this interesting dish with a drink is HK$37! Any similar restaurants may just charge HK$22-26 for this portion of fast food A, B, of C meal. Then they put the table and chairs like I found myself being in a kindergarten. I need to shrink my bones and muscles to take the meal. If you go there, you may wish to take a training course from a Beijing experienced "shrinking bone master" (縮骨功). A table with a diameter of 2.5 feet was seated with 8 people! There may be 1.5 feet distance among each table. Dear the owner of this restaurant, even any farm chicken owner wouldn't treat their chicken like that! Sorry if I am too blunt but frankly speaking they shouldn't put so many tables in the shop even if there are too many customers. Furthermore, if they can't cope with such a massive flow of customers, they shouldn't prepare the food at such a large quantity before the peak time. I certainly believe this shop was once pretty good. However, what they are doing now would just destroy their name. I may be wrong because some people would just follow what it is the talk of town. If they haven't been there, people would think they are out-dated. We have been already under stress from every aspect of life, why don't those people take a moment of being themselves. We are given good by our Creator and we should treasure food and make food "beautiful" to appreciate what our Creator give us.

3. this could be the most awlful omelette I have ever tried. It's about 30 degree celsius. They used some very cheap eggs - no taste of egg! $37 is somewhat over-priced for this eating environment and food level. 4. This so-called secret recipe pork chop bun really amazed me how they cooked pork chop. The pork chop was so oily and my taste buds don't get it as pork.

5. Ice milk tea - I think this can be something more of a restaurant standard. Well, it's not outstanding but just of a standard. 6. Hot milk tea.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

22nd Jan. 09, Paris

Spent a whole day walking around in Paris. Though it's too rainy and chilly, I still enjoyed checking this beautiful city.

1. There are lots of pastry or bread shops in Paris. That really tells how much French love these. 2. Not sure about what it is. It looks like a castle.

3. There are a number of art pieces almost in every corner of the city. 4. Guess what? It's a restaurant.

5/6. Seine River.

9. it's a subway entrance.
10. It's a sale season. 11. Hotel de Ville

12. this little pigeon was stalking me from one end to the other. 13. at night.

14. Lafayette Department Store. Actually shopping in Paris isn't fun to me, as I don't like they turn on too much heat indoor, making me suffocate. So how can I just spend a few minutes for shopping. 15. Societie General - for those who are in finance, it isn't a strange name.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Domaine de Lintillac, Paris 75002, France

My friend Miki brought me to this very very nice Duck restaurant. I let her decide to order the food for me, and it was such a pleasant surprise and made my trip with some very nice good memory. Thank you Miki for such a wonderful dinner and I would name it as one of the top ten meals I have ever had! Besides, Staying in the Opera/Lourve area will be a must for me in my future trips in Paris. Lots of good restaurants and nice attractions around! Wanna come back here in a warmer season, at least I can wear like what I can wear in Bangkok. :)
1. I don't drink wine but with such a nice meal, why not with a small glass of red wine to go with the meal. 2. Note there is a toaster for toasting your bread to accompany with your Foie Gras. 3. While taking the meal, my eyes keep staring at these cans. For sure I will get some of these after the meal.
4. the restaurant inside and it was 7:30pm but later on it was full house. You need to make a phone call for advance booking. 5. The restaurant is close to Opera House on St. Augustin Road. This area with the St. Anne street is with quite many different types of restaurants.
6. Pan fried Foie Gras - think this is the best I have ever tried. The Chef chose some very nice Foie Gras and it wasn't with those "fat" smell taste at all. It just smelt in your mouth right away and the Chef just made it only 30-40% done with a burnt outside and juicy sweet inside. 7. Miki taught me 2 years ago about how to eat Foie Gras. First put it on a bread or toast. Then put some jam or preserved fruit (this time it's prune - remember earlier posted on my last Dec. trip at Lord Jim's: we put mango) on it and sprinkle very little salt. It came out so nice!
8. Miki probably took quite many of her friends to this restaurant and she really wanna have a diet; so she choose a salad for the main course since she also took Foie Gras for the Appetizer. 9. Pan fried duck breast - think this is the best duck breast I have ever tried. The restaurant chose some very nice duck. The meat tasted so sweet and tender. Besides, the Chef pan fried it on a very heat for probably around 1-2 minutes. So the outside was burnt and the inside was so juicy. Note there is some little white spot on the breast. It's some sea salt coated with some garlic pan fried with duck fat. I noticed this salt was specially treated but didn't realise it's with some duck fat until the waiter told us as I wanna buy this salt from them! Of course, it's a secret recipe. Then the potato was pan fried with duck fat too. Once in a while, I need to put aside my health consciousness and took it one by one. I also find the French potatoes very sweet and I can say it's almost as sweet as yam. Miki told me in some French supermarket, they would ask you how you would cook the potatoes and they would tell you which one to get.

10. Chocolate mousse to round up the meal! 11. How can I forget buying some Foie Gras pate back and I am going to share one jar with my bro/sis families on the 2nd day of CNY next Tuesday!

12/13. the restaurant inside.

14. Cafe Decaf. long cup. 15. Cafe Decaf. I notice Coffee does help my stomach feel good after such a nice meal and I immediately feel sleepy. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hotel I stay in Paris

Stayed in this hotel for the 4th time already, because of the central location in the Lourve area and Opera House for getting on Roissy Bus to CDG Airport. The room is clean and quite cheap at Euros 105 (HK$1,150 - most common hotels charge around Euros 150-300 in this area) and I don't expect much for European hotels. It's not necessary to stay in a luxury hotel while I spend my whole day out for photo and checking around.

1. this time I have been put to a room with bath tub and a bigger bed room for Euros 105. I used to pay for Euros 75 for a single bath smaller room. 2. BTW, they have upgraded the TV to Digital.
3. the bed - I don't like this red color actually but somehow I feel asleep quite well every time I stay in this hotel - kind of a feeling of Adelphi Suites of Soi 8 Sukhumvit in Bangkok. Same feeling that I can let go of my stress and sleep. Interesting! 4. The cons of this hotel is that they don't have an elevator; so if you stay on a 3rd floor, gotta be prepared for some exercises for carrying your luggage.
5. the hotel is on a side street next to St. Roch in adjacent to Rue St. Honore. What we so called "quiet in the busy area".

Nice, Southern France

1. Every time I saw Nice Airport, it made me feel so warm - sunny, breezy and by the sea. Really links me to this blog title, in the sea, in the sky and in the sun!
2. Leaving Nice Airport and a bit further up is Nice Downtown. Shall go there next year for a day.
3. the French Alps.