Thanks to Pim, I have discovered a couple of new tasty food blogs:
Ms. Glaze's Pommes d'Amour - the French write a lot of food blogs, but luckily for me this one is written in English. Ms. Glaze is an ex-teacher who now graces the kitchens of a 3-star restaurant in Paris. She has some fascinating stories from behind the scenes and the recipes are pretty good too.
Foodbeam - a beautifully stylish and girly baking blog, again from France (the Cote d'Azur this time) but written in English.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thanks to Pim, I have discovered a couple of new tasty food blogs:
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The Ebury in Chelsea has a new summer lunch menu. I really like this place...great food and only a stone's throw from London Victoria. Unfortunately the lunch menu doesn't include the divine chocolate fondant with peanut ice cream and honeycomb that I have previously sampled there, but it looks pretty good all the same! I will definitely be paying a visit when I'm back in Blighty.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I promised you a recipe, so here it is! At Martha's cooking school last weekend I learnt a delicious Tom Yam Koong recipe which I'd like to share with you. This is the traditional recipe with no cheeky short cuts. Did you know that the reason the restaurant version is often milky rather than clear is because they add milk to disguise the bitter taste from the herbs where the soup has been made too long in advance? No such shenanigans at Martha's class - her recipe is the real deal.
This makes enough for 2 large bowls.
2.5 cups water
150g fresh button mushrooms (or straw mushrooms if you can get them), halved
3 tblspoons fish sauce
2.5 tblspoons lime juice
2 large stalks of lemongrass
2 large coriander roots
5 individual kaffir lime leaves
20g galengal (similar to ginger but a more subtle flavour)
10 whole fresh birds eye chillies
225g shrimps with shells
Coriander leaves to garnish
Start by crushing and roughly chopping the lemongrass, crushing the coriander root, tearing the lime leaves into a few pieces, crushing and slicing the galengal and bruising the chillies. Martha used a meat tenderising hammer to do this - it looked very satisfying indeed! Take that! And that! You should start smelling some delicious aromas.
Next, the shrimps. Martha recommended buying these live, then putting them in the freezer to die. Once they've snuffed it, twist off their heads! Yes, this is a violent recipe, perfect if you've had a tough day at the office. Leave the tails on as they help the shrimps to stay together whilst cooking. Don't forget to devein - we don't want all that nasty stuff in our soup. That's all our ingredients prepared.
In a saucepan, bring the water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lemon grass, galengal, coriander root and lime leaves then let it boil for one minute.
Add the shrimps and the mushrooms and submerge in the soup - don't stir. You should see the
shrimps turning nice and pink. Once the soup has come to the boil again add the fish sauce and chillies. Remove from the heat straight away and add the lime juice.
Now we're ready to eat. Just in case (like me) you don't realise, you only actually eat the prawns, mushrooms and the broth itself - all the herbs are just for flavour! Delicously hot yet fresh and healthy tasting.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I am exhausted, wiped out, knackered. You see, I'm still recovering from a hard day's chopping, pounding and stir frying with Martha Sherpa.
Martha also whipped up a couple of fish dishes. Coco and I quivered as we helped to fry one of the unlucky pisceans in a wok full of boiling oil! Still not sure whether I would try this one at home, but the sweet and sticky 3 favour sauce it came with would definitely work for dipping fish or crab cakes. I will be posting a recipe for this one once I've experimented a bit!
Lunchtime was spent tucking in to Martha's freshly made delicacies. Then, armed with huge machetes, it was our turn to do the cooking.
It was our 1st anniversary this week so we decided to splash out and try the tasting menu at Gaddi's. The dining room was similar to Toscana at the Ritz-Carlton, very traditional and glitzy, with the addition of a sultry jazz singer and band. The ambience was just perfect, the music lovely but unobtrusive, the service attentive without being obsequious. I was already impressed and so far we had only tasted the water and bread selection...
We started off with an amuse-bouche of tuna tartare on a bed of fresh vegetables. This isn't the sort of thing I would usually choose but I can say I have definitely been converted. The fish was beautifully tender, almost melting in the mouth. The tomatoes and beans provided a contrasting fresh crunch.
Our starter came next - foie gras with cubes of rhubarb jelly and a rhubarb puree. My two absolute favourite things in one dish! I have never seen foie gras served with rhubarb before but they tasted very good together. Unlike my experience at Spoon, I had just the right amount of crisp but yielding brioche to go with. A sweet white wine set this dish off perfectly.
I'm afraid I gave up on photo taking after the starter, I was just too interested in focussing on eating...
The first course was some pork belly served with a crisp, wafer thin piece of bacon, poached apple slices and black pudding. Quite a traditional combination but nonetheless delicious.
Next we moved on to salmon poached at 55 degrees in olive oil, with asparagus and a fennel sauce. This was categorically the most beautiful salmon I have ever tasted. Interestingly, the wine choice for this course was a red, but a deliciously soft and light one.
Our final main was roasted pigeon. I can't remember what this was served with - the four glasses of wine must have been doing their job!
For dessert, something I wouldn't normally choose, passionfruit sorbet with nougat. I was overwhelmed by this dish - the sorbet was fresh and fruity and contrasted well with the more solid sweet flavours of the nougat.
For me, the best thing about tasting menus is that it forces you to try new things and you often find them to be delicious. Otherwise I always end up plumping for chocolate fondant with red cherries wherever I go! This meal wasn't cheap at HK$1700 each including wine, if that isn't extravagant enough for you there is also a more ambitious ten course version...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Mains digested and we were off to the dessert buffet. I sampled a tiny chocolatey fresh fruit tart, raspberries with cream and a blackberry pudding with beautifully speckled vanilla custard.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
I am so looking forward to an intensive one-day Thai cooking course at Martha Sherpa's cooking school. Watch this space for some recipes and tips once I emerge as a newly-minted Thai cookery goddess! Such delicacies as Pad Thai, Tom Yang Koong (that's hot and sour shrimp soup to the rest of us) and green chicken curry are all part of the package.
Welcome to my blog! I don't know what else to say really, I've been meaning to get around to this for ages.
I'm a British girl living in Hong Kong, and hating it so much that the only thing that can cheer me up is to sample the delights of Hong Kong's high-end restaurants. So far I have been to Felix (I seem to like this a lot more than other people do), Spoon (somewhat disappointing from a 9 Michelin starred chef), Hutong (more on this later - I have to go again), M at the Fringe (ditto!). This weekend it's lunch at Toscana...mmm can't wait.
Posted by Alex English at 5:04 AM