A Wholesome Egg and Cucumber Baguette

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-


Egg and Cucumber Baguette
Wholesome Egg and Cucumber Baguette

This wholesome egg and cucumber baguette is actually an inspiration from one of my favorite childhood party snacks.

Back then, one of the favourite snacks during the parties was skewered quill egg with cucumber. Which is actually a hard boiled quill egg sandwich between 2 slices of cucumber on a short bamboo skewer. For decorative purposes, a whole pineapple is used to hold a dozen or more skewers. It closely resembled a flower pot with white, yellow and green combo of flowers and leaves. There not only looked appealing, there tasted pretty good too as egg and cucumber is a match made in heaven.

Since quill eggs are high in cholesterol, I am going to feature a wholesome meal using egg instead.

These are the ingredients: A baguette, a hard-boiled egg, 1/4 of a cucumber (deseeded and diced to inch long size), 1 tbsp of honey mustard mayonnaise, some pepper to taste.

In a bowl, smash the hard-boiled egg using a folk. If you prefer chunkier texture, you may also dice the hard-boiled egg instead of smashing it by folk. Next, add in the diced cucumber, honey mustard mayonnaise, pepper and mix well.

Toast the baguette in oven for about 5-7 minutes. Use a bread knife to make a pouch on the baguette. Lastly, stuff in the egg, cucumber and mayo filling. That's it, a wholesome egg and cucumber baguette is done!

Egg and Cucumber Baguette
Complete meal
My hearty lunch, a freshly made wholesome egg and cucumber baguette, a bowl of tomato soup, cucumber pickles and some chips. I was totally stuffed that afternoon, plus fully satisfied too!

To make a perfect hard boiled egg, you may refer to my earlier post on How To Make The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg.

Kimchi Korean Restaurant @ The Hague

Monday, January 28, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-


Kimchi Korean Restaurant

After battling a week-long flu, I developed a deep craving for something spicy and sour. My first choice is a steaming hot bowl of Thai tomyum soup.

I recently discovered a Thai restaurant at the heart of Chinatown selling authentic Thai cuisine at affordable price. I quickly set a lunch date with Phoebe in the weekend and patiently counting down the days. We arrived at the restaurant around noon and
was totally disappointment as the restaurant only provide dinner service. With no plan B in mind, we wander around Chinatown with the hope to find an alternative to the hot and spicy tomyum soup.

We spotted this new Korean restaurant, Kimchi Korean Restaurant near the The Hague New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) located across the Stadhuis building. Since kimchi soup has the closest taste profile to tomyum soup, we quickly settled in for this plan B. For comparison sake, we ordered exactly the same dishes we had in Seoul Garden Korean restaurant which we patronized some time back, Beef Bibimbap and Spicy Kimchi soup.

The portion of the side dishes are slightly more generous when compared to Seoul Garden and you could expect more varieties too.

Kimchi Korean Restaurant
Kimchi side dishes

The beef bibimbap here is served in a hot stone pot. Gojujang, the famous fermented hot pepper chili paste is served together with the rice. Pretty unusual since it is normally served separately to enable you to adjust the level of spiciness. Besides the different assortment of green veggies, there was also a fresh egg instead of a sunny side-up topping the rice. The rice however was a bit too moist for my liking after all the ingredients were mixed-up.

Bibimbap

Bibimbap
Bibimbap, before (up) and after (bottom) mixing all the ingredients

We were surprised when the waiter served us spicy seafood tofu soup instead of our initial order of Kimchi tofu soup. There must be a mixed-up. Nevertheless, since it was still spicy and contained tofu, we happily dig in. The only downside for this dish is the pretty small portion size. You get what you paid for. 10 for a bowl of spicy seafood tofu soup with rice plus five types of side dishes. You certainly can't expect a big bowl of soup that can feed the entire village.

Spicy seafood tofu soup
Spicy seafood tofu soup

I personally prefer Seoul Garden Restaurant over Kimchi Korean Restaurant. Perhaps Seoul Garden is managed by native Koreans and hence the food tastes more authentic. Kimchi Korean Restaurant on the other hand has customized the taste of the food to suit local palate.

However the plus points for Kimchi Korean Restaurant are:-
1) reservation is not necessary for lunch
2) spacious and good air ventilation
3) chic and clean interior

If you have a craving for Korean food for lunch, you may consider Kimchi Korean Restaurant.

menu
The menu

Interior
The interior of Kimchi Korean Restaurant @ The Hague

Kimchi Korean Restaurant 
Rabbijn Maarsenplein 22
2512HJ The Hague, Netherlands
Tel: 070 364 2192

Operation Hours
Lunch     12:00 - 15:30
Dinner    15:30 - 22:30
(kitchen closed at 21:30)




The Best Homemade Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

Friday, January 25, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-


Best homemade roasted chicken drumsticks
Succulent roasted chicken drumsticks with yummy baked potatoes

I am a huge fan of roasted chicken. Back home, Nando's Hot Peri-peri and Ayamas 'Percik' Roaster are my top picks. Especially the ever spicy Nando's, would featured prominently on my weekly menu. The fact is delivery service is just a call away and in 45minutes (sometimes even less), the aromatic roasted chicken accompanied by sumptuous side dishes will arrive at your door step. On the occasions when I ran out of cooking ideas for dinner or lunch, I will just drive to the nearby Ayamas shop for a half-bird of golden 'Percik' roaster.

It was so highly convenient to source for a great piece of roasted chicken back home until it never triggers any intention to roast my own chicken at home. However, after a few months without the tasty roasted chicken in the Netherlands, I decided the time is ripe to craft my very own roasted chicken.

Instead of getting a whole bird, I opted for some chicken drumsticks since it is easier to marinate. I am happy to share that preparing my very own roasted chicken was easier than I originally anticipated. The marinate is however the most important element to a piece of irresistible roasted chicken drumstick. Here is my successful roasted chicken recipe.

Ingredients
  • 6 pieces of chicken drumsticks
  • 4 tbsp of Madras curry powder
  • 4 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • some pepper
  • some honey

Instructions
Step 1: Marinate the chicken drumsticks with salt, light soy sauce, pepper and Madras curry powder. Cover the marinated drumsticks with cling wrap and marinate the drumsticks overnight in the fridge (Remember to defrost the marinated drumsticks to room temperature at least an hour before baking)
Step 2: Brush some cooking oil on the foil-lined baking tray and arrange the drumsticks on the baking tray. With spoon, drop a few drops of cooking oil on each piece of drumstick
Step 3: Pop the drumsticks into the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 195°C heat
Step 4: Turn over the drumsticks and bake for another 10 minutes
Step 5: Smear some honey on the surface of each drumstick and bake for additional 5 minutes

Lastly, finish your roasted chicken drumsticks with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve it with some baked potatoes.

Phoebe commented that the roasted chicken drumsticks tasted even better than the one from Ayamas. What a surprising compliment. The end product is perfect due to the crispy and savory chicken skin coupled with moist and slightly spicy meat that fell off the bone. I am totally proud of my homemade roasted chicken drumsticks!
Homemade roasted chicken drumsticks
Roasted chicken drumsticks with appealing color palette


Snelle Jelle Krachtige Koek: The No.1 Energy Cake Bar in NL

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

No. 1 Energy Cake bar in the Netherlands
Energy cake bar by Snelle Jelle

I always spot fellow passengers eating Snelle Jelle krachtige koek while boarding the public transport. This sparked my interest to try out this famous snack. Is it a cake or a bread? I am glad to share the answer after procuring a pack recently.

The krachtige koek, literally translated as powerful cake is actually an energy cake bar. This healthy snack has a faint gingerbread like taste and contains 30% less sugar and only 139 kcal per slice. It is not very sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste, gingery taste to be specified. It may look dry at first glance but the cake texture is actually pretty moist. If you like gingerbread, you will quickly fall in love with krachtige koek.

The Shelle Jelle krachtige koek is so popular until it proudly displays the Number One energy cake bar in The Netherlands logo on every package. Next time when you crave for a slice of cake in between the main meals but worry about the calories, turn to Snelle Jelle krachtige koek. Or when you are on-the-go and would love to enjoy something different than the usual cereal or granular bars, Snelle Jelle krachtige koek could be a great alternative too.

Remember to opt for the less sugar version with the words Minder Suiker printed on the packaging. Do try out Snelle Jelle Krachtige Koek, the No 1 energy cake bar if you visit the the Netherlands.

energy cake car
Snelle Jelle krachtige koek (minder suiker)

Effortless Egg & Cheese Sesame Seed Bun

Sunday, January 20, 2013 4 Comments A+ a-


Egg & Cheese Sandwich
Egg & Cheese in Sesame Seed Bun

A Subway Egg White and Cheese Muffin Melt contains only 150 calories ... WOW!

Good piece of info from Yahoo. Check out the link below.
http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrition/photos/office-snacks-under-150-calories#6

My stomach was groaning while reading through this interesting article the night before. The tempting images of egg muffin kept flashing in my mind throughout the night. Thus, I decided to make one for breakfast the next morning.

I woke up earlier than usual and headed straight to my kitchen for preparation. An egg, 2 slices of cheese, olive oil and a bun were all I that needed for my version of yummy egg and cheese muffin. I substituted the English muffin bread with a sesame seed bun since it was what I have in my kitchen.

If you have a English muffin ring in your kitchen, please use it to cook a perfect round egg. Since I do not have one, I just made a sunny side-up straight on a heated pan. Set aside the egg once it is done.

Next, cut the bun into half and drizzle some olive oil on each slice. You may use butter instead of olive oil. I prefer olive oil as it is less fattening. In a heated pan, slightly brown the bun. The grease of the olive oil will make the bun easier to be browned to a crisp texture and appetizing color palette.

Then, place the cheese on top of the browned bun. With the cheese facing the surface of the heated pan, slightly press the bun so that the melted cheese can be evenly coated on the bun. Lastly, sandwich the egg in between the bun and the melted cheese.Voila ... mmm ... mmm my version of yummy and effortlessly done egg and cheese muffin is ready!

An effortless breakfast in only 15 minutes including the clean-up !! Definitely worth trying ...

Egg & Cheese Burger
Perfect runny yolk sunny side-up

Chicken & Pesto Mini Quiche @ Albert Heijn

Thursday, January 17, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

Year end shopping spree is something I would not miss every year. Rock bottom prices from super attractive discounts were the ultimate temptations for shopaholics like me. I would spend my time and hard-earned cash in different shopping malls. 

However, there was a slight difference in the past Christmas. Instead of bringing back pretty dresses, cosmetics, heels and bags from my shopping sprees; FOOD was the main focus of my shopping spree.  Retailers and super markets were throwing great discounts on a daily basis to spur the weakened European shoppers. Without realizing, I ended up with a fridge filled to the brim with food items such as cheeses, frozen pastries, candies, cold cuts, bread spreads, cookies, cakes, sauces etcs.

Most of the food, especially frozen pastries usually have a shorter life span. Hence, I have been diligently clearing my stocks for the past few weeks. ('...friends, this is the consequences of heavy shopping', confession of a shopaholic). Chicken & Pesto Mini Quiche from Albert Heijn was my featured lunch meal.

quiche
Chicken and Pesto Mini Quiche
I was a bit skeptical at first with this frozen quiche since it looked a bit pale and unappetizing. Perhaps to avoid over cooking it, the quiche was half-baked when it was packaged. After carefully reading the instructions on the box, I then popped the quiche into the oven for 15 minutes, at 180°C. While waiting, I constantly remind myself that it was just a mini quiche and it would not be a huge wastage if it later ended in in the dustbin.

After 15 minutes, the moment of truth has arrived. It smelled surprisingly good when I took it out from the oven. First bite and I was totally blown away. It tasted absolutely yummy where the crust was thin and crunchy, the 
filling (chicken, egg, tomato, onion, pesto, basil, garlic and Maasdam cheese) was fluffy and moist. There were generous portion of well seasoned chunky chicken pieces and tomatoes hidden underneath a layer of well baked cheese ... yum!

This mini pesto quiche was unfortunately a little too mini for me. I later regret for not getting the regular size instead. Time to source for another batch of yummy chicken and pesto mini quiche?
 

Flax Seed Bread with Ham & Cheese plus ABC Soup

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-


ABC Soup
Flax Seed Bread with Ham & Cheese

It was a chilly Sunday again since the mercury refuse to rise. Although there was sunshine, with a 1°C outdoor temperature, I was just too lazy to venture out. I chose instead to stay indoor the entire Sunday by occupying myself with my favorite hobbies of cooking and reading.

Thinking of having something light for brunch, I made myself a ham and cheese sandwich and a bowl of ABC soup (soup with potato, onion, tomato and fish balls).



The sandwich: Flax Seed Bread with Ham & Cheese

Ham & Cheese Sandwich

A slice of ham, 2 slices of flax seed bread and a thick slice of yellow Gouda cheese. Sandwiched the ham and cheese in between the 2 slices of flax seed breads, pop into the oven (200°C heat) and toast for 7 minutes.

I simply adore the nutty texture of the crunchy flax seed breads. There are the perfect match with ham and melted cheese. Maybe the sandwich will taste even better with some green rocket and red cherry tomatoes.


The soup: Onion, Potato & Carrot (ABC)

Onion, Potato & Carrot Soup
ABC Soup
One yellow onion, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, all cut into bite size wedges.Throw in a cube of chicken soup and a pinch of salt into a liter of boiling water. Add in all the ingredients and bring the soup to gentle boil for 30 minutes until the onions are soften and translucent.

The soup was heart warming. The sweetness of the onion plus the tangy tomato was really refreshing too. Coupled with the firm bite of fluffy potatoes, it is simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Simple but hearty meal. What a way to start a relaxing Sunday!

First snow in the Hague

Monday, January 14, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The first snow of the year in the Hague for 2013!

I still remember a few days prior to ushering the new year, someone told me that we have already experienced the worst of winter season 2012-13. And how the coldest days were over and we should not be expecting any more snow in 2013.


Perhaps the person is wrong. We have just welcomed the very first snow for the year of 2013. It has been super cold for the past 2 days with temperature hovering around 0
°C. Without prior notification, many areas in the Hague are covered with around 5 cm of fresh white snow this afternoon.

Just a short 3 hours of snow transformed the roofs, cars and trees to be covered by a layer of brightly lit white linen. White Chirstmas feeling once again reverberated in my heart.


Time to have a cup of hot dark chocolate to warm my body and soul...


First snow for 2013

First snow of 2013

Authentic Korean Food at Seoul Garden in The Hague

Saturday, January 12, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Seoul Garden @ Den Haag
Kim-chi Soup
 
Seoul Garden @ Den Haag
Bibimbap
My first visit to Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant was almost 2 months ago. Without prior reservation, we were asked politely by the owner to return after an hour since the little restaurant was fully booked for that evening.

First impression implied that the food served in this tiny family owned restaurant must be authentic and good since majority of the patrons were Koreans. Alas we did not return that particular night. Nevertheless, I made a promise to return soon and be more prepared for my next visit.

My 'DO' List
1) Avoid weekend if possible as it is usually packed
2) Prior reservation is definitely necessary
3) Beat the crowd by taking the earliest available slot, 5.30pm. Korean food takes time to prepare. The main course might takes at least 20 minutes to be served after the order is taken.
4) Bring a perfume spray if possible as you may need it after the meal due to rather below par ventilation in the restaurant. I bet you would not want to smell like smoked BBQ ribs after walking out from the restaurant

Being the first customer for the day, we were taking our own sweet time to browse through the menu. Besides the Bulgogi grill meats, there are home-cook style Korean traditional meals to choose from. You may have it as Ala-cart or set meal. Set meals range from 13 to 19, a main course which served together with Korean pancakes, rice, soup, kimchi (pickled Chinese cabbage with red peppers, garlic and sea salt) and fresh seasonal vegetables.

Appetizer & Soup
Our picks were a Kimchi Chige (spicy kimchi stew with pork and tofu) and a Bibimbab (rice with beef, various vegetables, sesame oil, red pepper paste). You may have your Bibimbab serves in a hotpot by topping an additional 1.

As expected, the dishes are really spot on with an authentic Korean home-cook taste. I especially like the spicy cucumber pickles side dish. It is crunchy and really flavorful. One spoonful of warm rice with a few slices of spicy cucumber pickles ... and I'm in cloud nine!

The spicy kimchi tofu stew really has got quite some kick to it. The sourness of the Chinese cabbage kimchi and the spicy broth blended in perfectly. The Bibimbab was not bad either. The beef slices were well marinated and tender.

Such a satisfying meal for the day. I shall definitely revisit Seoul Garden for more sumptuous home-cook Korean food!
Seoul Garden @ Den Haag
Interior Decor of Seoul Garden


Seoul Garden
Bagijnestraat 8
Den Haag
070 3250602

Operation Hours

Tue to Sat  5:30 - 22:30
Closed on Sun & Mon

3 Minutes Quick Snack: Classic Sweet Corn-in-Cup

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

3pm sharp and my little tummy started to make loads of growling noises. I know....I know,  tea time has arrived!

Tea time snacks have always been pretty lavish back home. The cafeteria in my old company always prepare a wide range of snacks everyday in order to cope with the great demand for afternoon tea time snack seekers like me. Fried banana fritters, fried sweet potato, spring roll, Indian bread (roti prata), fish crackers (keropok lekor), layered cake (kuih lapis) were some of the local delicacies you can get during tea break, Monday to Friday, from 2.30pm till 4.00pm.

If you noticed, most of the tea time snacks back home are prepared fresh and served warm. This explained my cravings for something pipping hot. However chocolate, cookies, biscuits and granular bars are what I have in my kitchen cabinet. I persisted and continue to dig through my cabinet for 'gold nuggets', suddenly I spotted this small tin of sweet corn sitting lonely in the deepest corner of my food cabinet. Why not have a cup of steaming hot sweet corn as my tea break snack today?
Sweet corn in a cup
Classic Sweet Corn-in-Cup

This quick snack only took me a mere 3 minutes to prepare. Just TWO simple steps, voila ... the sweet corn cup is done!

Ingredients
  • 1 small can of sweet corn
  • 1/2 tbs of butter (you may add more if you like extra buttery taste)
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions
Step 1: Heat up the sweet corn in microwave (900W setting) for 2 minutes
Step 2: Add in the butter and salt. Mix the sweet corn well until all the corn kernels are coated with butter and salt

My 3 minutes sweet corn in cup ... best enjoy while still warm! The combination of juicy and sweet corn kernels enriched with butter and seasoned with a light pinch of salt, may just be the irresistible snack for all time!                  

Top 10 Things To Do In Brussels On Tight Budget

Saturday, January 05, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

Is it possible to visit or experience Brussels, the capital of Belgium on a shoestring budget? The answer is a resounding yes. Read on for my list of top 10 things to visit or do in Brussels if you are on a shoestring budget. Most activities in my list are either free or cost less than 2.

My top tip for a hassle free Brussels trip is to pick a hotel nearby Brussels Central train station. This is because majority of the famous Brussels attractions are within walking distance from the central station. You can already save from the unnecessary public transportation cost. 

1. Grand Place (Grote Markt)
Let's start the list with the number 1 must visit tourist spot in Brussels: Grand Place or Grote Markt. As one of UNESCO's World Heritage site, Grand Place can certainly compete with the best central squares in Europe and maybe even the world. It boasts spectacular Gothic style buildings in the form of Townhall and City of Brussels Museum, full cobbler stone pavement, old guildhall buildings with over the top facade showcasing the European grandeur of yesteryear which will instantly transformed you back to the 15th century.
Grote Markt Brussels
The Stunning Grand Place or Grote Markt
It is certainly the 'Wow' moment in your Brussels trip. Try to arrive early in the morning for best photo opportunity before it gets too crowded.

Address: Grote Markt, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free 

2. The Everard 't Serclaes monument 
At a small arcade near to Grand Place is the monument of Everard 't Serclaes, a local hero that helped to recover Brussels from foreign occupation. Legend has it that rubbing the wrist of this monument may bring you good luck or even bring you back to Brussels in the future.
The monument @ Star Arcade Brussels
Golden monument to Everard 't Serclaes
Address: Off Grote Markt, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free 

3. Manneken Pis
Are you sure I am at the right place? Why is it so small? Don't be surprised by the miniature size of this iconic Brussels landmark. Sculpted by Jerome Duquesnoy back in 1619, this tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating into a pool uniquely symbolise Brussels's free spirit.

Peeing Kid Statue of Brussels
The Most Famous Peeing Kid: Manneken Pis


Address: Rue de l'Etuve, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Opening hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free


4. St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral (Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule)
My second Brussels travel tip is to visit as many Churches as you can. This is because most of the Gothic styles churches are at least a couple of centuries old and offer free entry. My top pick will be St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral, which is right next to the central train station. Witness the incredibly beautiful sight when the sunlight breaks through the amazing stained-glass window.

Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule
St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral (Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule)
Address: Parvis St. Gudule, Treurenberg Hill, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 217 8345
Open hours: daily
Admission: free


5. Brussels Meeting Centre Square
The Brussels Meeting Centre Square offers stunning view of Brussels and the comfort of a small park that you can relax and catch your breath after some serious foot exploration around the Grand Place. 
The Square
Brussels Meeting Centre Square
Address: Intersection of Kunstberg, Mont ses Art, Brussels, BE
Open hours: daily
Admission: free
 


6. Royal Palace / National Palace (Palais Royal)
Once the official Royal residence for Belgian monarchy, now it is merely meant for ceremonies and receptions. Nevertherless, still worth visiting to admire the 18th century built Royal Palace of Brussels.
Palais Royal
National Palace Brussels

Address: Place de Palais, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium
Opening hours: only in summer
Admission: free

7. Place du Petit Sablon Kleine Zavel Park
Indeed a mouthful to pronounce, the Place du Petit Sablon Kleine Zavel Park is highly recommended. Hidden among many tall and new building is this beautiful and romantic garden. It is undoubtedly the hidden gem with pretty fountains, giant statues of famous people and sculptures.
Place du Petit Sablon
Place du Petit Sablon Kleine Zavel Park
Address: Place du Petit Sablon Kleine Zavel, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium
Open hours: daily - exterior only
Admission: free 


8.  Belgium waffles
Onward to food, glorious food since your tummy will be practically screaming at you after an entire day of exploration on foot.

Belgian Tourist Waffles
Famous Belgian Waffles
First up is Waffles, which are huge in Brussels, you can get it at practically every corner of the street. Try the original Brussels waffle, which is squarish and served with powder sugar on top. Do not pay more than 2 for a piece of of caramelized, warm and fluffy waffles. 

9. Belgian Fries
Belgian Fries is undoubtedly one of the national food of Belgium. It is sold everywhere in Brussels from brightly lid and catchy road-side stalls. The Belgians have always claimed that they have invited the crunchy, salty & addictive fried sticks of potato instead of their Southern neighbor: France.
Belgian Fries
Belgian Fries
The Belgian fries are fried to golden perfection, crunchy on the outside while soft and fluffy inside. Apparently the secret lies within the liberal usage of Beef fat and double frying at varying temperatures.

Best of all, it only cost around
2 for a serving. Huge variety of sauces could be added at €0.50 a pop.

10. Chocolates
Before we sign-off, another top Brussels travel tip is to avoid the obvious Chocolate tourist traps setup like mushrooms after the thunderstorm.

Belgian Chocolate Fountain
Belgian Chocolate
Please try to avoid the chocolate shops around the famous tourist area such as Grand place etc. My recommendation is to buy it from the many supermarkets in town. You can get the exactly the same medium range varieties for a fraction of the price off those so call specialty chocolate shops.
 

My top 10 things to do in Brussels on a tight budget. Do you have other tips or ideas to share? 

For more information, visit:
http://www.brussels.be
http://wikitravel.org/en/Brussels


Brussels Park
Parc de Bruxelles
Rue De La Loi
Brussels Parliament Building
Palace Royale Koningsplein Brussels
Palace Royale Koningsplein


Oliebollen, The Traditional Dutch Winter Food

Thursday, January 03, 2013 3 Comments A+ a-

Oliebollen, literally translated as 'Oil Balls' is also known as Dutch Doughnut. Oliebollen is a traditional Dutch delicacy eaten during winter. This small fried doughnut balls are made from simple ingredients of flour, eggs, milk and yeast. Normally enjoy warm with some sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.

It has been a custom for Dutch to have oliebollen on the new year eve which explained the extra long queues at most of the oliebollen mobile stalls setup on various spots around the city. It typically cost less than 1 Euro per piece and with discount if you purchase in bulk.


I first spotted the oliebollen mobile stalls at the Saturday market in Haarlem. Out of curiosity, I bought these Dutch doughnuts for a try. As the name suggested (Dutch doughnut), they tasted exactly like doughnut except for their unusual baseball shape. For those who prefer something different,  you may opt for the raisin or sultana filled oliebollen. The raisins contribute to different texture and additional tartness
to the normal doughnut.

Dutch eat Oliebollen on the new year eve whilst Chinese eat tang-yuen, 汤圆 on the first day of Winter Solstice when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest.

I had my Oliebollen on the new year eve, how about you?

Appelbeignets
Oliebollen & Appelbeignets
Oliebollen Mobile Stall
Oliebollen Mobile Stall

Hong Kong Cuisine @ Wing Kee Restaurant in The Hague

Tuesday, January 01, 2013 3 Comments A+ a-


Wing Kee Restaurant @ The Hague
Wan Ton Noodle @ Wing Kee

Wing Kee Restaurant @ The Hague
Roasted Chicken Rice @ Wing Kee

It was this attractive advert in local Chinese press that drawn my interest to Wing Kee Restaurant, a restaurant that specialized in Hong Kong style cuisine such as the iconic roasted pork, chickens and ducks. Located just adjacent to the famous Wah Nam Hong Supermarket 华南行超市 at the The Hague Chinatown, Wing Kee restaurant is definitely easy to spot.

The restaurant was apparently closed for renovation when we were in Chinatown two weeks ago. Truly tempted by the vivid photos on the advert, we determined to give this restaurant another try this week. To our delight, the restaurant is finally opened for business.

We were warmly greeted when stepping into the restaurant in local Hong Kong dialect of Cantonese. Perhaps take-way business is their main focus, the interior decor is hardly emphasize. To be honest, the exterior of the restaurant is way more appealing than its interior. Blame it on the furniture as they are a bit dated and bulky. Anyway, it was the food that drove us here, hence would not elaborate more about the interior.

Wing Kee's signature Hong Kong dish is non other than the wanton noodle soup or dumpling noodle soup, so it was the first in our order list that day. The wanton (dumpling) was indeed the highlight. The texture of the marinated pork and shrimp filling was pretty good as the ingredients used were fresh. The wanton wraps were thin and smooth without the dreaded floury smell. It is definitely a recommended dish.

Our next order was the roasted chicken with rice. The generous portion of chicken thigh served was pretty lean as there was no trace of chicken fat found under the skin. For those who has a heavy palette like me may find the chicken was a bit under marinated. But this can be easily salvageable via a dash of chili oil.

All in a complete meal for two, with free Chinese tea that costs less than 15, I have no complaint to return soon!


Wing Kee Restaurant 荣记烧味餐厅
Gedempte Burgwal 41
Den Haag
Tel: 070 3644930
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