One of the amazing things about most Asian countries is the street food. I recently came back from a trip out to Hong Kong and just had to share with you some of my favourite places.
Every time I visit this country one of the things I crave is the ability to walk around the city and find little hidden gems. Most of these are in the form of food stalls and often you will find me on the streets with food in my mouth or on a B-line towards the next food stall. Whether its the many types of freshly baked breads, dumplings, sweets or the popular curried fish balls and siu mai; there’s something for everyone and enough for the adventurous to step out a bit . Two of my favorite spots to date are around the New Territory town of Tai Po and on the bustling streets in Mong Kok, however you will pretty much find stalls selling food almost anywhere you go in Hong Kong.
Here are some of my current favourites:
Octopus Balls – These are light and fluffy balls of batter filled with Octopus tentacles and cabbage topped with Japanese mayo, Teriyaki sauce and dried shaved shallots.
Curried Fish balls and Street Siu Mai – always a big street food in Hong Kong sold almost anywhere and by the catering load to the hundreds of people that flood towards the wonderful smell. The traditional Pork filled siu mai are replaced with fish paste in this street version, however this does not detract from the enjoyment of these amazing treats. With a bit of soy or curry sauce, they go down a cheap treat.
Little egg waffles – these are similar to the run off the mill waffles however though they use a similar sweet batter, however the mould is different. The result; many hollow egg shaped tear off pieces of crisp waffle goodness.
Dumplings – There is one chain stall that I go back to time and time again. their dumplings are just fantastic and simple with just enough thickness and moisture in the skin and generous amounts of filling. all at a very reasonable price. They do meal deals that include one of my favourite beverages – “bubble tea”, which is ice cold milk tea in which are glutinous black tapioca beads that add a bit of novelty and texture to the tea.
Ja Leung – Chinese ‘fried bread’ rolled in rice noodle sheets covered with a mixture of peanut sauce, Hoi sin sauce, topped with sesame seeds
So there you go, make sure you give it a shot if you are ever out that way.
“Located in Heathrow Terminal 3 Airside, Oriel is a French Grande Brasserie offering a premium selection of classic French food with a modern twist. Serving breakfast throughout the day, main courses including coq au vin and rib eye steak, and a wide selection of wines and Champagnes to accompany, Oriel is the perfect spot to relax before you fly.” (ref. Website)
I decided to come here for breakfast as the look of the shop front drew me towards it. I was greeted at the door and was quickly seated.
The restaurant was quiet with plenty of staff on. The look and feel was smart and bright with some nice delicate touches to the decor. The different types of clocks and traditional framed pictures looked nice with the marble and cast ion tables and the leather padded chairs. Just as you would expect a brasserie should look.
I ordered the Eggs Royale [£7.75] and Green Tea [£2]. The eggs Royal came with two poached eggs on smoked salmon and muffins topped with hollandaise sauce.The smoked salmon was on the thin side, hollandaise sauce was nice and the eggs were cooked perfectly. The green Tea was served in a clean pot (which is not always the case).
Service was also nice and friendly. Our polish waiter was brief, attentive and friendly. She gave good advice when I was stuck for choice.
The Eggs Royal was not enough for me to come back to this particular restaurant but the full English (served on another table) looked slightly more appealing for price, for which I would happily return to try.
Being nit picky, the cutlery seemed a bit small too making it harder to use.
The bill came quickly and was processed in extremely good time.
On leaving the restaurant we were seen off with a friendly goodbye.
Overall experience 6/10
I love the many thousands of things one can do to potatoes. One evening led me to experimenting with potato leading to some quite pretty results. These are Saute potato cubes with a parmesan mash at a kumara chip. The textures and the marriage of simple flavours makes this little number a mouthful of delight.
The large Maris Piper potatoes were cut-up into 1 inch cubes, the off cuts were put into a pot of boiling water to start the mash. The kumara (sweet potato) was shaved into fine strips using a peeler ready to be fried off.
The potato cubes were then fried in hot oil and turned as they browned on the outsides. The kumara was shallow fried for a couple of minutes (or less) to crisp up. As the potato cubes became ready, they were transferred into a bowl where I tossed them in flaked sea salt, pepper and a touch of cayenne chilli powder.
The mash was made with the skin on potatoes, a generous shaving of parmesan, a touch of cream, butter, salt and pepper. To finish the kumara, I refried it quickly in the hot oil to give it an extra crisp.
On the plate
Plating these potatoes were easy, though you need to do them quickly if you are doing many as they cool fast. Heating the plate before hand helps a little.
On top of the cubes is a teaspoon of the parmesan mash and it is finished with the kumara chip.
I found this recipe originally whilst browsing someone’s Facebook. There was so much banter about someone making them that I decided to take on the challenge. These cupcakes are perfect for any mad Nutella lovers out there! In fact they are just great for anyone who has a tad fancy for chocolate. I love the sponge mix that gives the cake such a light texture. The fact that there is two Ferraro Rochers in each cake adds to the incredible eloquence and richness of the overall look and taste. The recipe is not mine I got it from a site called cupcakes and cardio but it’s too good not to share.
-this recipe will make around 24 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (180g)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300g)
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (~75g)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (~8mL)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (~3mL)
3/4 teaspoon salt (~3mL)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (45mL)
3/4 cup buttermilk (180mL)
3/4 cup warm water (180mL)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5mL)
24 Ferraro Rochers
Preheat oven to 350F/170C. Using a stand mixer, combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and mix. Turn mixer to low and add eggs, vanilla, oil, water and buttermilk. Mix until combined. Line muffin/cupcake pan with liners and place a tablespoon of batter in the bottom of the well. Place a Ferraro Rocher in the center, and top with another tablespoon of batter. Repeat until all wells are filled and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (240g)
2 cups icing sugar (200g)
3/4 cup Nutella (180mL)
3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk (45mL)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (10mL)
chopped hazelnuts for decorating
In bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and combine. Add vanilla, Nutella and cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
*Once cupcakes are cool, pipe buttercream onto cupcake and coat sides with hazelnuts.
*Pipe additional Nutella on top of buttercream to add colour.
Theres something about heart warming roasted veggies in the winter. So easy to prepare, cook and present and they taste delicious! In this recipe, theres a hint of sweetness from the veggies and the roasted garlic that is balanced by the zing of the balsamic vinegar. The fresh crunch of the cos lettuce balances the mouth melting fragrant vegetables.
I used two parsnips, a sweet potato, one whole garlic, one red onion and a few cos lettuce leaves at the end to garnish.
I chopped the root veges as in the picture, quartered the Red onion and opened up the garlic but left the individual casing intact and tossed it all into an oven pan with a good helping of olive oil, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of chilli powder, parsley and a good helping of dried mixed herbs.
40 mins in a fan oven at 180°C
On the plate
I took out the roasted garlic and made it into a simple paste that I smeared onto the plate.
finish with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.