Archives for category: Food & Drink

Ever since El Bulli was closed, all projects by the Adria brothers have created a lot of excitement. Albert Adria’s pop up restaurant at Hotel Cafe Royal, 50 Days, was quickly booked out. We initially only booked the cocktail menu but luckily managed to get a table through a last minute cancellation. Keeping asking helped!

The meal started with a cocktail at Cafe Royal’s Oscar Wilde Bar, which would look extremely OTT in bright lights but with dimmed lighting, it offered the perfect setting for the cocktails and snacks, which were the ”starters” of the tasting menu. It was followed by the main meal, which was served in the hotel’s restaurant Domino.

Some of Tickets‘s signature bar snacks were on offer to compliment the two cocktails: Elote and Ephimere. Ticket’s Olive beautifully became part of the ornamental decorations. It was a gem,  releasing intense flavour from 6 pressed olives. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is so busy at work these days, I decided that unless it is an amazing experience, I would not be bothered writing about it here. Aulis at Fera is certainly one worth spending the time for!

There have been too many chef’s table on offer in London lately and to be honest, I am not particularly excited eating in a busy kitchen. Aulis is different. It is a Chef’s table in a private kitchen within the professional kitchen at Fera at Claridges, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant famous for its creative and natural take on modern British cuisine. The chefs who prepared the meal are from the development team of Fera, and the dishes are yet to be offered in the menu of the restaurant outside. Yes, we are guinea pigs in that sense and what a pair of happy guinea pigs we have been!

Beautiful and glamorous as it is, Claridges always feel a bit too formal and restrained. The journey from its main entrance, through Fera’s reception, dining area hall, via the professional kitchen into the compact private kitchen full of gadgets set the scene to something more playful and experimental.


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The Fat Duck has been closed for 10 months when the team moved to Australia to allow for refurbishment on its restaurant and kitchen in Bray, UK. I was super excited to try out its new tasting menu again, revamped as ”The Itinerary”.

As it is a ”trip”, the ”ticket” needs to be purchased in advance just like one would do when you book a holiday. Yup, paying for the whole meal (£255 a head) in full before you can eat a thing. I do not know of any restaurant would dare to ask diners to do that. But it is Heston Blumenthal afterall- he makes his own rules. And to be fair, he does not ask diners to pay for the service beforehand as in UK, service charge is discretionary. At the time of booking, and 10 days prior to our reservation, we were also asked many questions related to our childhood memories, general and food related. We were curious how this would get incorporated into the food.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lovely lady outside the entrance and led into a small, dark glass box. It felt futuristic and mysterious. Another lady gave us an ”itinerary” (which was like a map) and a magnifying glass. She then opened a smooth sliding door, revealing the dining area.

Itinerary The Map

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Mid-Autumn Festival is near- time to have moon cakes! Traditionally they are made with lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolks. However, there are many variations of moon cakes as well as people in Hong Kong get bored easily. The most exclusive ones are allegedly made by Spring Moon 嘉麟樓 at the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. It is limited edition which means every year, people queue for hours and it is usually sold out way before the festival. The price has gone up by nearly double this year to HK$485 (GBP40) a box!

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So is it really worth the hype? Check here to see the answer >>

Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
After watching China winning  gold in 3m springboard synchronised diving, we were high in spirits when we stumbled upon a curious red and white pavilion. I suddenly recalled a friend telling me about the Coca Cola Beat Box– It has been built!

Unfortunately, the concept drawing looked a lot more interesting than in real life, as the mass of the core in the middle killed what was supposed to be light red and white interlocking panels (which produce special ‘beats’ when the sensors hidden in the panels are triggered). The beats are supposed to resemble that of Olympic disciplines but the narratives are too forced in my opinion. The best part of it is actually not the design of the pavilion, but what is waiting at the top……

Touch pad-Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012

Olympic torch photo opportunity  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Light installation  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Yes, you guessed it right! Check here to see the answer >>

The perfect Irish coffee
On a cold day like this, what could be better than having a nice and warm Irish Coffee? I found out how to make a perfect one from Daphne who works for Ballymaloe, the famous culinary destination in Cork, Ireland. Click here to check out the recipe >>

Winkle sizzling on an iron
A recent trip to a wedding in Cork, Ireland, led me to a lovely beach which has a bed of seaweed. To our delight, we discovered lots of winkles under the rocks.

Winkles in Ireland
We stayed in an amazing hotel called Ballymaloe, which has been run by TV chef, Rachel Allen’s family for decades. We were well fed with great food though could not stop feeling peckish looking at the freshly collected winkles.

We just HAD TO eat them!

The lady at the reception told us we could not have a kettle in the room so we could not cook them by boiling. We pretended we would like to have tea in the bedroom but were told there was no kitchen in our building- so blanching/poaching could not happen either.

Luckily, as hotel guests staying for a wedding, there was at least one allowable heat source- an iron!

Upside down iron = Hot plate for searing winkles? We decided to have an experiment…. Continue reading to see how we cooked the winkles on a hotel room iron >>

Cromer is a small traditional seaside town in North Norfolk, a 3 hour train journey away from London, famous for its crabs (photo below). We decided to investigate whether it is worth the travelling the distance to have a taste.

Dressed crab in Cromer
Beautiful sea in Sheringham
Like most famous seaside towns, e.g. Brighton, Cromer has its own pier. On a sunny day like when we went, it was full of people, all looking down. No, they were not trying to jump down- they were fishing/ checking out the crabs! Continue reading >>


The Corner Room, London
I am lazy. If it was not for my friends visiting from US, I probably would not be bothered to head East for food, especially when the destination was a restaurant that does not take bookings. In this case, my friends decided to head there early to get a table. When I arrived at 7pm, the place was still not full so at least it was not a frustrating start to the evening.

Corner Room is the breakfast room of a boutique hotel, which was converted from and named after The Town Hall in Bethnal Green. It is strange to see such a smart hotel in a scruffy neighbourhood like this. I think in modern terms, that is ‘hip’. Like its big sister Viajante, Corner room is also run by Chef Nuno Mendes.

Mackerel with melon, pistachio & gooseberry granita at Corner Room, London
The dining area was lovely- simple and full of light. There was a lot of seafood on the menu. We had Mackerel with melon, pistachio & gooseberry granita (photo above) and Stone bass ceviche & broad beans (2 photos down) as starters. They were fresh, firm and well-seasoned. Though the mackerel was served in a curious straight line, offset from the centre of the circular plate. I did not realise at the time, but it was actually a preview of the bizarre presentation style that was to continue throughout the whole meal. Continue to see more! >>

Heston Blumenthal's Chocolate and Rosemary ice-cream and Salted Caramel Popcorn ice-cream
Just in time for summer, Heston Blumenthal, chef of Fat Duck ( the 3 Michelin starred restaurant and one of the top 3 restaurants in the world) and Dinner (which explores ancient British recipes) collaborated with high- end supermarket Waitrose to create two special ice-creams- Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Caramel Popcorn (photo above). I decided to have a taste off – really just an excuse to have 2 tubs of ice-cream at the same time! So which one is better? Continue reading >>