Good & Cheap Eats @ St. Anny in The Hague

Thursday, March 28, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Chinese fast food: economy rice or noodles with 4 sidelines
Fried noodles with 4 sidelines

Chinese Fast Food is commonly known as economy rice (经济饭) or mixed rice (杂饭) in Malaysia. It is in fact the quick and cheap meal option outside of home for most of the Malaysian Chinese community.

There are a few Chinese fast food outlets in the Hague. Similar in concept as the economy rice stalls back in Malaysia and Singapore, customers can choose any combination of dishes from a variety of cooked food including meat, vegetables, eggs, tofu and etcs to go with a portion of steamed white rice, fried rice or fried noodles. 

It was a cup of Taiwanese bubble tea which drew my attention to this little bakery stall, names St. Anny Dim Sum & Bakery in the Hague Chinatown. To my surprise, the shop offered more than bubble tea, dim sum, cakes and bakery. It also serves the familiar economy rice and roasted chicken and pork.

Pleasant setting and clean surrounding, we settled in for an quick afternoon bite and bubble teas. Phoebe's choice was the sate chicken with fried rice; whilst I opt for the fried noodles with 4 sidelines (combination of 2 types of meats and 2 types of veggies).

The noodles and beef rendang were extremely good. The noodles were moist and chewy; the beef were tender and flavorful. The sate chicken with fried rice, on the other hands was average only. The rice was a tad too dry and the chicken sates were a bit tasteless, perhaps not well marinated. We can't expect having the 5 stars restaurant standard of chicken sates by paying the hawker stall price.

Chicken Satay with fried rice and vegetable
Chicken Sate/Satay with fried rice and vegetable

Yupe, there comes my bubble tea. By the way, I am a big fan of Taiwanese bubble tea. Bubble tea stalls are like mushrooms after the thunderstorm in Malaysia. Steep competitions led to discounts and promotions. I was one of those who seize the opportunity to try out the myriad flavors offered by different bubble tea brands. But those lucky days were long gone. Now, this is the only option I have, the so called Taiwanese flavored bubble tea. Nevertheless, it is quite nice and I was happy with my mango bubble tea.
Taiwanese Mango bubble tea
Mango Bubble Tea

At a mere 15 for a meal including two bubble teas fit for two person is really a great deal in the Hague. I will return soon for the roasted chicken and dim sum, and to savour the yam flavor bubble tea.
Saint Anne Dim Sum and Bakery, the Hague
St. Anny Dim Sum & Bakery

St. Anny Dim Sum & Bakery 
Wagenstraat 77, 
2512 AR Den Haag 
Tel: +31(0)70-3657228

Tasty Homemade Roti John Recipe

Sunday, March 24, 2013 1 Comments A+ a-

Roti John Puteri Erra
Homemade Roti John
I never miss stopping-by the Burger & Roti John stall for a piece of my favorite Roti John every time I visit to pasar malam (night market). Roti John is essentially a Malaysian style savory French toast and  is extremely popular street snack in Malaysia.

There are many variations of roti john, from the choice of buns, the fillings, till the sauce to go with the bread. Of course, my homemade version of Roti John is inspired by Roti John Puteri Erra, from Malacca town with some of my own twists.

Roti John Puteri Erra
Roti John with cabbage, egg, tuna, mayo and chili sauce
Simple ingredients: 
  • soft hotdog buns
  • eggs
  • tuna flake
  • cabbage cut into stripes
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic chili sauce
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • soy sauce
  • margarine

First, beat the eggs with tuna flake, soy sauce, chili powder and pepper. Set aside for later use. Next, heat up the frying pan and melt the margarine in the pan. Pour in the egg mixture in the pan then place the halved hotdog bun on the egg mixture. Briefly pan-fried the bun until the egg is cooked and the bun turns crispy. Lastly, sandwich the cut cabbage stripes, mayonnaise and garlic chili sauce in the crisped bun. Voila, the piping hot Roti John is ready to be served.

Additional tips

a. you may opt for ice-burg lettuce instead of cabbage. But trust me, cabbage tastes better
b. Margarine is a better option than butter and oil as it brings in the light salty taste and appealing color to the buns
c. tuna flake and chili powder are optional. I added in tuna flake to enhance the texture and chili powder is for the kick. Spicy food is yummy!

I seriously like my homemade Roti John very much, but would experiment the other variations next time. Perhaps the Berkat Roti John’s version which serves with vinegar chili sauce and cucumber slices.

Roti John
Crispy bun from inside out. Yum!

Julia's Pasta, La Place, Wok King & HEMA

Thursday, March 21, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

I wonder why I had such a huge appetite last weekend, blamed it on the chill weather.

Julia's Pasta:
My eating trail started from Julia's Pasta. Based on Pasta-to-go concept, pasta in Julia's is freshly prepared and packed in the box for take away or dine in. Given the option to choose my choice of pasta, pasta base and toppings, I went for simple arrabiata penne. I did not have to wait long to be served. For less than 10 minutes my order was done.

Quite a disappointment with the pasta. First the portion was rather small and there wasn't enough pasta sauce. It was further let down by a rather bland tasted pasta. In short, I felt like eating the penne from salted boiling  water. 
Overall rating: 4/10
penne arrabiata

La Place:
My next stop, the La Place sandwich counter. Coincide with the ongoing lunch promo, I had a great deal for my Tuna Panini. I felt a bit bizarre to find my tuna panini was actually a slice of thin flax seeds poach with tuna flakes and some green. Seriously, it was not the usual grilled panini which I expected. A mere €3 for a big piece of tuna sandwich, I have no complaint, just dug in happily.

Simple sandwich but tasted shocking good! The apple chucks in the tuna filling made a significant difference to the overall taste of the sandwich. The nuttiness of the flax seeds, the freshness of the ice-burg lettuce, the saltiness of the tuna flakes and the crunchiness of apple chunks made the sandwich tasted so addictive. 
Overall rating: 9/10
La Place

Wok King:
The chill weather made me crave for carbs. So, I made my third stop at Wok King, a Chinese fast food joint which serves fast food fresh (cook on the spot). My pick was fried noodle in Thai sauce.

Please do not mistaken it as spicy noodle soup although it may look like one from first glance. It was actually a bowl of fried noodle. I am a gravy person, so have no issue with the extra gravy.
Wok King, Leiden

By looking at the picture depicted, you may tell how generous the chef was. Half of the bowl was indeed packed with shrimps, tofu, mushroom and various greens. The spiciness of the Thai sauce really added a kick to the dish. I like it very much. A big mmm... mmm.... (sweat + smile)!! 
Overall rating: 8/10
Noodle in Thai sauce
Hema was my final stop of the day. Afraid I would get hungry in the train, I packed the chicken & bacon sandwich plus a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice with me for the return train ride.

The train was rather bumpy, hence no photo was taken for the sandwich. However, I did manage to catch a shot of the artistically packed Hema's teabags while queuing up.
Overall rating: 8/10
Hema, the Netherlands
Perhaps I am few kilograms heavier after these meals ...

Best Breakfast in The Hague @ Will's Pancake House

Sunday, March 17, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

I recently discovered the best breakfast place in the Hague. It is none other than the famous Will's Pancake House. From the famous Dutch pancake to Belgium waffle, any types of pancake or waffle if you can name it, is served here.

The Will's Pancake House, a familiar brand to the locals, has been serving the delicious home made pancakes and poffertjes (miniature pancakes) in the Hague since 1983. So, don't be surprise to find the locals packed the restaurant especially during the weekend.

Since this is our first visit, we ordered the savory Mushroom-and-Ham Pancake as the main course and end with the restaurant's signature poffertjes, the miniature pancakes as the sweet treat.
Will's Pancake House @ The Hague
Fruit cocktail poffertjes (miniature pancakes)

Will's Pancake House @ The Hague
Mushroom-and-Ham Pancake
The Mushroom-and-Ham pancake tastes good especially when serving hot. It tasted even better when you couple the pancake with a light dip of molasses syrup. The saltiness of the ham and well sauteed mushroom plus the sweet molasses syrup ... what a great combo!

Although the Mushroom-and-Ham pancake tastes good, my vote for the best-pancake-yet went to the fruit cocktail poffertjes (miniature pancakes)! I just like the magical taste of the powdered sugar coated, pipping hot bite-size miniature pancake paired with fruit slices. One phrase to describe - love at first bite!

Great great breakfast at Will's Pancake House. I will be back soon ......

Will's Pancake House @ The Hague
There are powdered sugar and molasses syrup offered on the table. Free flow ... do help yourself :)

Will's Pancake House
Gedempte Gracht 80
2512 KB Den Haag
Tel: 070-3639370

Tasty & Cheap Street Food @ Brussels, Belgium

Saturday, March 16, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

I just discovered this set of processed but unpublished photos while I was doing my routine PC home-keeping. These are actually a series of street food which I tasted during my last visit to Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Speak no more, let's get drooling over the tempting food photos.

Jumbo Sausage Bun:
This jumbo sausage bun was a real hit. Three words to describe it - fresh, fresh and fresh! The sausage was freshly grilled over the barbeque grill, so did the bun, baked fresh from oven. In fact, I had two within the short span of 24 hours. Dinner for the first day and lunch for the next day. Very additive indeed when coupled with the caramelized onions and mustard sauce!
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Jumbo Sausage Bun with Caramelized Onions and Mustard
Belgian Fries:
Another addictive snack is the sinful Belgian Fries. Double fried to golden perfection in beef fat, the fluffy fries go well with any of the over 20 types of sauces on offer.
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Famous Belgian Fries

Fried noodles:
The fried noodle with an Asian twist. Not bad in taste. Although the portion was small, it was packed with chicken chunks and greens. Dig-in!!
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Asian Fried Noodles with Chicken

Falls under the same category as doughnut but lighter and crispier, Churros (sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut) tasted great when serve warm with generous sprinkle of powdered sugar or chocolate spread. One of my favorite dessert snacks.
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Spanish Churros
Hot dog bun and spiced mulled wine:
Nothing great about the hot dog bun. However, the winter spiced mulled wine was a delight. Served hot, the spiced mulled wine was rich in taste from cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and other secret ingredients. Indeed an ideal drink over the chilled winter. Love it!
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Winter spiced mulled wine with hot dog bun

Belgium Waffle:
A trip to Belgium will be incomplete without sampling the famous Belgium Waffle. Even with simple Nuttella chocolate spread topping, the waffle tasted extraordinary good with a fluffy batter and caramelized crispy outer layer. 
Tasty and cheap Brussels street food
Belgium Waffle with chocolate spread

Delicious Korean Pancake Recipe

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

Korean vegetable pancake with gochujang sauce
The gorgeous Instagram photos of Korean Kimchi Pancake really made me drool. I developed a sudden craving for a slice of spicy and crispy kimchi pancake.

After quick rummage through my kitchen and fridge, I located most of the ingredients required for kimchi pancake except the single most important which is... the KIMCHI !! If you face similar situation as me, crave for kimchi pancake yet with no trace of kimchi at home, please don't be panic as I have a solution for you. It works for me, it should work for you too!

The answer is none other than the famous Gochujang (Korean fermented hot pepper chili paste) which could save your day. Yes, yummy kimchi pancake can be made anytime even without kimchi. Surprise?

Korean vegetable pancake with gochujang sauce
This is how I made my kimchi pancake. Although by no means authentic, this simple Korean pancake recipe is really tasty.. :)

Ingredients: 90g plain flour, 100ml water, 1/2 tbsp of gochujang, salt to taste, cooking oil, few leaf of Chinese cabbage and 2 stalks of scallion (cut the veggies into stripes).

* It can be any green of your choice and I even added in some spinach as it is in season now.

Instructions: Combine the flour, salt, gochujang and water together to form the batter. Mix well until the batter reaches the desired consistency of typical pancake batter. Add in the veggies into the batter. Heat up the oil in a frying pan. Then, spread the veggie batter over the base of the pan to make a thin layer of pancake. Over medium heat, fry the pancake for few minutes until the top starts to set and the bottom layer turns golden brown. Flip the pancake over by using a spatula and fry till both side turn golden brown and crispy. Serve your pancake hot with your favorite dips. Mine is the concoction of light soy sauce and sesame seed oil.

My pancake turned out great with the look that not only matches a typical kimchi pancake, it tasted equally good as the one from typical Korean restaurant back home. The taste, the texture and the color was a hit - BINGO!

Spring is Coming to the Netherlands

Monday, March 11, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

City of Leiden, South Holland

Spring is around the corner I reckon based on the first sprout of flowers and green twigs bursting through the dried trees. The undeniable signs that Spring is fast approaching. Somehow, the mercury once again refuses to rise and today it snows again. What a long long winter.

This is my second winter in foreign land, but definitely the longest and coldest as compare to my previous encounter in Beijing and Shanghai, China.

I have a strong urge to find out when the unforgiving winter will finally end. A quick check on reviewed the magical date of the first day on Spring: 20th of Mar which is just a mere 8 days to go. Hurray!

While praying and hoping for the first day of Spring to arrive, I still have to go through another few rounds of snow. As fore-casted, 16 to 18-Mar will be snowing in the Hague. Thereafter, the much awaited spring will finally arrive.

New Sing Kee Cantonese Restaurant @ The Hague

Sunday, March 10, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

It was a Chinese New Year weekend and Phoebe suggested we go for lap-mei-fan (腊味饭), literally translated as preserved meat or Chinese waxed meat steamed rice.  Lap-mei refers to assorted Chinese waxed meat such as Chinese sausages, duck meat and pork meats are commonly eaten during Chinese New Year. It is also considered as an ideal gift during this festive celebration.

We know there are a few restaurants in the Hague serving lap-mei-fan. Somehow, we ended up in this corner little restaurant at the heart of Chinatown, names New Sing Kee Cantonese Restaurant 新胜记. We were totally delighted with the food served and promised to come back for more.

New Sing Kee Restaurant, The Hague
Chicken and mushroom steamed rice
New Sing Kee Restaurant, the Hague
Lap-mei-fan (steamed rice with assorted Chinese waxed meat)
New Sing Kee Restaurant, the Hague
Salted fish Meat patty with steamed rice

Operated by the Hong Kong Chinese, this restaurant serves authentic yet excellent Hong Kong cuisine. The lap-mei-fan and zhong-chai-fan (盅仔饭), refers as steamed rice in a pot are prepared fresh upon order. It is simply worth waiting for the 20 minutes for a bowl of hot and tasty streamed rice. Comes in two sizes, customer can either go for the regular or large at a affordable price.

Soft and fluffy rice topped with generous portion of waxed meat coupled with a dash of lap-mei sauce, the lap-mei-fan is indeed rich in flavour since the essence of the preserved meat has penetrated the rice during the steaming process. The thoughtful chef at new Sing Kee allows us to adjust the taste by serving the lap-mei sauce separately.

The chicken-and-mushroom steamed rice tasted equally good too. The chicken pieces are well-marinated and tender. The mushrooms are soft, juicy and offered little resistance when my teeth sinks in. Two thumbs-up !

The meat patty and salted fish steamed rice may look pale but it tasted shockingly good! The key actually lies on a piece of good quality salted fish. Flaky, soft and not overly salty, the salted fish significantly enhanced the flavor of the pork and shrimps patty.

Fried beef Hor Fun noodle
The fried hor fan noodle with beef is another well executed dish here. It is by far the best I have ever tasted, yes ... it tastes even better than the one I tried in Hong Kong. Simple ingredients (beef slices, red onion, bean sprouts and hor fan) yet it tasted sooo sooo good! I do believe it is the cooking technique by the chef that impart sufficient wok heat coupled with the use of superior dark soy sauce that makes the fried hor fan stands up from the rests. Good job, Mr. Chef!

Har gao at New Sing Kee Restaurant, The Hague
Fried shrimps dumpling
Wanton soup New Sing Kee Restaurant, The Hague
Wanton soup
New Sing Kee Restaurant, The Hague
Fish balls soup
The side dishes here are not bad at all, especially the fried shrimp dumplings and wanton soup, both are the MUST order dishes. The fried dumpling skin is crispy and the shrimp filling is fresh and succulent. A very promising dish and I can't be satisfied for only 1 piece per person. The wanton skin is silky soft and the minced pork filling is juicy and flavorful. Lovely! The fishball soup on the other hand  just normal. Sometimes, it is good to have some soup to go with the rice.

New Sing Kee Hong Kong Restaurant is absolutely my top choice for authentic Hong Kong cuisine. Guys, do try out the restaurant if you happen to be in the Hague.

New Sing Kee Cantonese Restaurant
Wagenstraat 63
2512 AP The Hague
Tel: 070 360 0653

Open daily from 12:00 - 22:30

Great coffee at Stads-Koffyhuis @ Delft

Friday, March 08, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

apple pie and coffee
Feeling tired and peckish after a long stroll at the Delft oldtown square? Looking for pit stop to recharge via hot coffee and a bite of yummy cake?

I know exactly the right place for you in Delft to grab a cup of coffee and a bite of good appeltaart for afternoon tea. Stads-Koffyhuis is the answer!

Classic interior deco, great scenery overlooking the canals and Old Church, Stads-Koffyhuis provides the combo of cosy ambiance and fantastic food.
Delft, the Netherlands

What an enjoyment, a bite of pistachio coffee biscuit follows by a sip of smooth and creamy cappuccino. 
smooth and creamy cappuccino

A glass of hot Ceylon tea may taste normal, but the flavor is enhanced after a few drops of fresh lemon squeeze. Totally refreshing indeed! How thoughtful is the coffeehouse to provide the tea aficionados with a lemon squeezer.
Celyon tea with lemon

Being a huge fan of appeltaart or apple pie, I have to admit that Stads-Koffyhuis serves an excellent apple pie. The apple chunks and raisins filling tasted amazing and melt in my mouth. The lightly burned cakey crust retained it's crunchiness. Love it. 

Tasty Apple Tart

Please do not forget to bring along the check-out pass (afrekenpas) with you before heading to the counter to settle your bill.
Innovative bill settlement via smart card 'Afrekenpas'

I will definitely drop by Stads-Koffyhuis again on my next visit to Delft.

Oude Delft 133
Delft 2611 BE
Tel: 015-2124625

Check out the best bakery shop in Delft on my other post, Bakker Jaap @ Delft.

Quick & Easy 3 Steps Oven Baked Potato

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

20 minutes Oven Baked Potato
Simple Delicious Oven Baked Potato
Busy folks like us tend to prefer quick and easy ways to get our daily meals. I am not an exception too. With the lingering cloud of uncertainties surrounding the European economies, eating out every meal is no longer a viable option for the majority.

Hence, I would like to share to all an easy on the pocket while quick to prepare meal: 3 steps oven baked potato. By the way, it only take a mere of 20 minutes from start to finish. Here is the recipe.

Step 1: Cut the potatoes into cube form and spread them on an oven tray layered with aluminum foil
Step 2: Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the potatoes. Add in a spoonful of butter or olive oil
Step 3: Pop the potatoes into the oven heated to 200°c and simply bake for 20 minutes

There you go, the quick and simple 3-step instructions to prepare oven baked potatoes. You may serve the baked potatoes as a side dish for your steaks, pork chops or even fish fillet. As for me, I usually have it with a generous serving of baked beans and mixed green salad.


Famous Dutch Sausage Roll Saucijzenbroodjes @ Bakker Jaap in Delft

Saturday, March 02, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

bakery at Delft
Bakker Jaap @ Wijnhaven 5, Delft
Do let your little nose lead you to this famous bakery shop at the picturesque old Delft city.

If you are taking the main road along the tram line in the Delft, after passing the UNESCO building, turn right, appox 30sec walk, turn left and you will find Bakker Jaap, the famous household bakery in Delft since 1992. You could hardly miss the shop as the strong aroma from the freshly baked breads could be located as far as a hundred meters away.
bakery at Delft
Fresh breads, savory snacks and pastries
Open seven days a week, Bakker Jaap serves fresh breads, buns, savory snacks and pastries. Similar to other typical Dutch bakeries, Bakker Jaap focused on take-away concept. Of course, dine-in is allowed too as there are 4 small tables for customers to take a rest and enjoy their favorite pastries here.

Very popular among the locals, there are usually a long queue during lunch hour in the shop especially in the weekend. The three available counters can sometimes be insufficient to cope with the never ending walk-in customers.

The pastries are no doubt very tempting indeed especially their specialty Saucijzenbroodjes. Saucijzenbroodjes is actually Dutch sausage roll in puff pastry. The sausage-pastry-bun is fluffy inside and crispy outside. Unlike the frozen sausage, the sausage used are marinated minced meat which is rich in flavors.
Bakker Jaap @ Delft
Famous Saucijzenbroodjes

The spinach & feta danish is my favorite. Undeniably, the feta cheese and spinach is a match made in heaven. The cheese coated crispy crust coupled with soft and cheesy spinach filling tasted awesomely good! The danish has indeed made my day!
Savory spinach and feta danish
Savory spinach and feta danish

No hot beverages are serve here but there are a wide array of drinks from the cooler which you can choose from. For me, there is nothing better than having a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice to quench the thirst after the savory snacks.
Refreshing orange juice
Bakker Jaap and freshly squeezed orange juice
Bakker Jaap
Wijnhaven 5
2611 CR Delft
Tel: 015-2141128

Operational Hours
Mon - Fri    07:00 to 19:00
Sat             07:00 to 18:00
Sun            09:00 to 17:00

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