Sumptuous Chinese Food in Rotterdam

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

20 for a dual set of Chinese mixed rice plus a pot of tea is considered pricey for me. Perhaps we were being ripped-off?
Stir fried long beans with prawns
Stir fried long beans with prawns and salted fish floss

stir fried vege with prawns
Curry chicken and stir fried long beans with prawns
The initial plan was to have Chinese Dim Sum in Rotterdam Chinatown. Blame it on my forever
in hunger state little tummy, it just couldn't wait for a mere 30 more minutes to be filled (dim sum restaurant opens only at 12 noon).

Due to the rather chill weather, anything to do with rice and noddles would just be fine for us. Hence, we settled in this little Asian food stall, few units away from Wah Nam Hong Rotterdam.

It is on mixed rice concept where you can choose dishes to accompany with rice or noodles. Fascinated with the salted-fish floss, I ordered a portion of it to go with my plain rice. The only veggie dishes of the day was the stir fried long beans with shrimps. So we both ordered the same veggie dish, but Phoebe opt for curry chicken as another side dish.

Seriously, the food tasted pretty good here. I was delighted with my choice, the salted-fish floss. This was my first time trying this and it tasted as good as it looked. Boneless and not too salty as i originally anticipated. Ideal dish to accompanied a steaming bowl of porridge.

The stir fried long bean with shrimps was not bad too. The long beans were crunchy in taste and with generous portion of shrimps. The portion of the curry chicken was huge too. The sauce was just nice to go with the dry plain rice. 

Quite a satisfying meal after all. Perhaps tasty food costs slightly more than average. Quality is quantifiable, do you agree?

Healthy Toasted Roti John Recipe

Sunday, May 26, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

roti john with carrot salad

Undeniably Roti John can be pretty greasy and oily, mainly because the breads are pan fried in butter or oil. I have been wondering whether there is a way to enjoy my favorite Roti John healthily and minus the guilt. Yes, I am glad to share finally I have found an answer. I could choose to TOAST it instead of pan fried the breads.

In this post, I would like to feature my healthy version of toasted Roti John recipe with anchovy sambal paste. This is the healthy version, hence I opt to go moderate with my ingredients especially with less oil and seasoning; wheat buns were used instead of white bun; one beaten egg for the spread of 2 halve hotdog buns instead of two.

Ingredients: 2 wheat hotdog bun, an egg (beaten with some light soy sauce and pepper), 1 tea spoon of olive oil, 1 table spoon of anchovy sambal paste.

First, spread the anchovy sambal paste evenly on the surface of the halved hotdog buns. Next, use a spoon to drizzle the beaten egg mixture onto the surface of the buns, follow by a few drops of olive oil. At the heat of 180c, toast the buns in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the buns turn golden brown.

Check out how crispy the bread is.
roti john
It tasted as good as the one which is pan fried, minus the layer of greasy oil. The breads were crispy and non eggy in taste. The spicy and slightly salty anchovy sambal paste infused a complex taste profile and extra kick to my Roti John. Top with some carrot salad, it tasted shockingly good! Crispy bread, spicy anchovy and egg filling plus the crunchy carrot, what a great texture and flavour!

Yeah ... now I can enjoy my favorite Roti John without the usual guilt of extra fat and cholesterol, definitely no extra inches on my waist!

Quick and Tasty Bite @ Bread! in Schiphol Airport

Thursday, May 23, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Ham sandwich
To beat the evening afterwork crowd, I decided to hit straight to the airport as early as 3pm even though my flight was scheduled for departure only at 8pm in the evening.

Since there was a 5 hours long waiting window, I know my little tummy won't be satisfied with merely biscuits and chocolate. I just need to get something solid before I board to the airplane.

I tried to avoid fast food as food high in trans fats and salt can also lead to fluid retention which in turns can cause heartburn and swollen feet. Instead, I opt for a healthier option, sandwich and juice at the Bread!.
Schiphol Airport Amsterdam

Schiphol Airport Amsterdam
Located at Lounge 3 in Schiphol Airport, the Bread! is hard to miss with it's gigantic BREAD logo. The Bread! serves a wide variety of sandwiches from €5. Travelers can either go for the pre-made selection (also refers as 'fast-lane') or the made-to-order menu.

My pick was the ham sandwich from the 'fast-lane' and the banana strawberry smoothies, while Pheobie opted the all-day-breakfast set from the made-to-order menu.

The sandwich filling was pretty generous with cheese spread, rockets, roasted cherry tomatoes and ham slices. Oh ya, you may request the attendant to toast the bread for you before serving. I simply adore the banana strawberry smoothies. Prepared fresh, the smoothies was really refreshing and was an ideal drink to quench the thirst.
the Bread! Schiphol Airport

The all-day-breakfast set was slightly at the pricey side, but the portion was pretty substantial though. It came with a slice of white bread, scrambled egg, hash browns, 2 rashes of bacons and fresh tomato slices.
the Bread! Schiphol Airport
the Bread! Schiphol Airport Amsterdam

I wasn't WOW over by the food serve here, but it is definitely an above average and healthier alternative than the usual fast-food chains. Seriously, I wouldn't want to board the plane with bloated tummy for a 12hr long haul flight.

Maritime Musuem @ Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Monday, May 20, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Founded in the year 1873 by Prince Henry of the Netherlands, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam is a museum you should not miss if you happen to be in the city of Rotterdam.

Being one the world's top maritime museums and oldest maritime museum in the Netherlands, the museum sails you through the great naval history of the Netherlands.

From the 15th century West European ship model, so called Mataro Model to the top model ships, Maritime Museum Rotterdam has it all. There are more than 1500 model ships collected since it opened in 1874.
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam History ... sounds a bit too heavy for the young ones? Worry not as the museum is equipped with maritime related playground. Toy replica of equipments in a marine ships; how nature forces such as wind helps the ships to sail. There are a wide array of maritime activities which young children could experience in the museum.
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem RotterdamMaritime Musuem Rotterdam Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam The major attraction of the museum is the iconic 19th century ram ship HNLMS Buffel, the first ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy without sails but with a steam engine and dual propellers. The museum ship is docked outside of the museum with other ships on exhibition. Do feel free to strolled around the 'little harbour' outside of the museum. There are platforms connecting many ships together. If you are lucky, you may even witness the ship restoration work by the able technicians.
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem RotterdamMaritime Musuem Rotterdam
Maritime Musuem Rotterdam

The Maritime Museum Rotterdam is for sure an ideal hang out place for both kids and adults!

p/s: The HNLMS Buffel will soon move to Hellevoetsluis due to cost cutting. The ship was still there during my visit in last March.

Maritime Museum Rotterdam
Leuvehaven 1
3011 EA Rotterdam
Tel: 10-413 26 80

Opening hours
Tue - Sat        10:00 till 17:00
Sun and PH   11:00 till 17:00
Close on Mon

Admission charges
Adults               €7.50
Childen 4-16     €4.00

Superb Dim Sum Treat @ Full Moon Restaurant in The Hague

Friday, May 17, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, The Hague
The eve of Queen's day outdoor concert (The Life I Live Festival) would take another 3 hours to start. To pass time, Phoebe suggested we go for a quick dim sum break, where we could recharge and refill before the big party starts.

The Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown was our pick of the day due to it's convenient location, just a few streets away from the concert stage. For a dim sum treat for two, we go 'gentle' with the selections where only five dim sums were sampled.

1. Steam Rice Noodles Roll with Beef
Steam rice noodles roll with shrimp or char siew are pretty common, but this beef version is my first ever try. I was a bit skeptical at the first impression, but was totally wow-ed over by the taste. This is shockingly good! The steam rice noodle is silkily smooth, so does the filling. The filling is not chewy as I thought, but soft and moist, more akin to the texture of steamed fishcake. The beef filling is further enhanced with the minced coriander leaves and madarin orange peels. What a great combo of flavors!   
Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, the Hague

2. Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gao)
One can really tell how fresh the shrimps are by just a single bite. The moist and succulent shrimps instantly hooked me up with this shrimp dumplings. Not to mention, the translucent skin dough is thin and not overly chewy. Big thumbs up!
Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, The Hague

3.  Fried Taro Dumpling
I expect these fried taro or yam dumplings to be greasy but it turned out to be otherwise. Crunchy on the outside and juicy inside. The warmth and oozing minced meat and green peas filling instantly fill your palette after a bite. It is indeed a very well executed dish.
Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, The Hague

4. Fried Turnip Cake
This is another surprising dish. Unlike the turnip cakes back home which are mashed beyond recognition, you could easily discern the chunky shredded turnip and dried shrimps in every mouthful. It definitely tasted more authentic and 'natural'. Bear with me, I just dislike the artificial floury taste of run-of-the-mill turnip cake.
Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, The Hague

5. Char Siew Bao
This is by far the best char siew bao I have ever tasted. I dislike chunky pork fat in my char siew bao and to my surprise I hardly even find one piece in this char siew bao. The thinly sliced pork filling is flavorful in taste and the outer bun is both soft and fluffy. The filling and the bun are indeed match made in heaven. You will never go wrong with these char siew bao. Definitely a must-order dish!
Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant, The Hague
After sampling the dim sum in Full Moon Restaurant, I soon understand why the restaurant is always packed on weekend. It is the great food that draws the crowd. Despite the not so friendly service, I reckon I'll be back soon for more dim sum, perhaps on another weekday.

Just for information, there is an on-going dim sum promotion on the weekdays (from 12 noon to 5pm), where dim sum is sold at a very reasonable price of  €2.95 per dish. Pretty good value for money!

Full Moon Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant
Gedempte Burgwal 24-26
2512 BV Den Haag
Tel: 070-3653889

Operation hours
Daily  12:00 till 01:00

Simple, Quick & Tasty Chinese Vegetarian Dish

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

vegetarian mock meat with cucumber, carrot and pineapple cubes
Home cook food is indeed the best cure to homesickness.

I miss mom's cooking terribly and decided to replicate her signature dish to ease my homesickness. Mom's homecook dishes can be very elaborate but there is this vegetarian dish which is very simple to make. It requires minimal effort yet taste absolutely great.

Check out my simple recipe.

  • a tin of vegetarian mock meat, 
  • cucumber
  • carrot cut into slices (0.5cm thick) 
  • a canned of pineapple. You may use fresh pineapple instead.
* no additional cooking oil is required since the canned mock meat already contained sufficient oil. 

Stir fry the vegetarian mock meat in medium high heat. Once the mock meat starts to bubble, add in the carrot slices, cucumber and pineapple cubes. Stir fry the vegetables and mock meat. Simmer for 5 minutes to marry all the flavors.  Plate out and serve the vegetarian dish with a bowl of fluffy white rice.

Check out the vibrant color of the dish. Tempting and mouth watering! I really had a huge appetite for this dish, 2 bowls of rice in a go...
vegetarian mock abalone

Additional tips
a. You could easily buy canned mock meat from most Asian grocers. It comes with a few flavors such as mock duck, chop-suey, sweet and sour pork etc. For me, I prefer the vegetarian mock abalone version.
b. The canned mock meat is pre-cooked and you can eat straight from the can. It is flavorful and no additional seasoning is required when preparing the dish.

Spare Rib Express - Convenient, Cheap and Delicious!

Friday, May 10, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The best home delivery restaurant in the Netherlands
A complete Spare Ribs Menu with 650 gram of ribs, a baked jacket potato, a salad and two type of sauces for a mere €17 and is delivered to your doorstep without any additional delivery charges. This is truly value for money!

This is in fact a single portion menu, however, the portion is huge enough to easily feed two adults.
Spare Ribs Express

Being cheap doesn't mean the quality has been compromised. The ribs are well marinated, tender and moist. Coupled with the sauces, they tasted lip-smackingly good. Unlike the ribs served in the restaurant, these ribs are less salty so that you can enjoy the ribs with the sauces without thirsting yourself. Credits to the chef!

Besides the classic flavor, you can also have the ribs marinated in hot, sweet or BBQ flavor. In terms of extra sauce to go with the ribs, you can opt for shaslicksaus (I guess this is their in-house specialty sauce), garlic, whiskey, curry or peanut sauce.
Spare Ribs Express

Spare Ribs Express

This tangy tasting salad is indeed a highlight, pickled cucumbers are used instead of the common fresh cucumbers. The creaminess and sourness of the salad is just perfect to harmonize the whole set meal.
Spare Ribs Express

There comes the huge baked jacket potato. The garlic butter cream is packed separatedly. Before digging in, just spread the garlic butter cream over and sprinkle some salt on top (salt sachet is also provided). If garlic is not your liking, you may eat it with the tangy salad. Trust me, it tastes good!!
Spare Ribs Express

The Spare Rib Express is perhaps the cheapest in town. Next time when you crave for spare ribs but worried about burning a hole in your wallet, why not opt for the home delivery service from Spare Rib Express. Anyway, it is just a call or a click away. Convenient, cheap and delicious!

Spare Rib Express
Phone: 079-3317788

Spring in Japanese Garden @ Clingendael Park

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

The Hague's Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park (Japanse Tuin Clingendael) is finally reopened to the public this Spring.

To commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the garden, a huge red Torii or Japanese arch is set-up right at the main entrance of the Clingendael Park to give a warmth welcome to all visitors.

This small but utterly beautiful Japanese garden is very well preserved and maintained. The garden exudes a strong Japanese feel, and instantly flashes me back to the Ginkaku-ji garden in Kyoto the moment I stepped into the garden.

The sculptures, little bridges, water cask, plants and etcs in the garden were painstakingly shipped from Japan back in 20th century. To read more about the history of Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park, check out this link

The Hague's Japanese Garden

The Hague's Japanese Garden

The magnificent views in the garden - cherry blossom and magnolia flowers in full bloom.
Japanse Tuin, Clingendael Park

The Hague's Japanese Garden

Admission to this beautiful Japanese garden is free. However, the garden is only opened for a short period each year, 6 weeks in Spring and 2 weeks in Autumn. Don't miss it!
The Hague's Japanese Garden

Delectable & Simple Singaporean Laksa Recipe

Saturday, May 04, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Tasty and yummy Laksa
Now everyone can cook a bowl of delicious Singaporean laksa!

Thanks to Mei who brought me this ready-to-cook Laksa sauce from Prima Taste (a Singapore product) during her recent visit to the Hague. I soon realize how easy it is to make a delectable bowl of Laksa at home that tastes as good as the one served in the restaurants.

The ready-to-cook kit came with clear instruction and three packages of pre-mix sauce - sambal chili sauce, the curry laksa paste and coconut milk powder.

Here is the quick instruction on how to prepare the Laksa gravy. Firstly, bring a pot of 600ml water to boil and pour in the coconut milk powder. Once the powder is fully dissolved, add in the curry paste and stir well. Lastly add in the fish cake or shrimps to the gravy. Cook for another 5 minutes until the  gravy is thick and rich.

With the Laksa gravy in place, I just need to prepare the basic condiments such as vermicelli (boiled in water for 3 minutes), cucumber and hard-boiled egg to complete a bowl of Laksa.

Ladle the gravy over the cooked vermicelli and top the vermicelli with cucumber shreds, hard-boiled egg (cut into slices) and fried shallots. There you go, a bowl of steaming hot Laksa is ready to be served.  
Tasty and yummy Laksa

The spiciness of the Laksa gravy is just perfect. For an extra kick, you may enjoy your Laksa with the sambal chili paste. The taste of the dried shrimps in the sambal elevated the overall taste profile tremendously.

It is truly a great invention ... the Prima Taste's ready-to-cook Laksa sauce. This cooking kit has indeed make our live easier. Lovin' it!!
Prima Taste Laksa Paste: Ready to Cook

Additional tips
a. Besides fish cakes, you can add-in any condiments of your choice into the gravy, such as chicken pieces, shrimps, fried bean curbs or squids
b. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice helps to provide the acidity to cut through the oiliness of the Laksa gravy

Queen’s Fair & The Life I Live Festival @ The Hague

Thursday, May 02, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

It is indeed an eventful month of April in the Netherlands. From Easter to the coronation of the new king, King Willem-Alexander, almost every week is filled with great celebration activities. 

Every year without miss, the Queen's Day is celebrated with great fanfare.  There is no exception this year but to be even grander since it coincides with the coronation of the new Dutch King. An array of great activities took place in the city of The Hague from 19-Apr to 30-Apr. 

19Apr - The Queen’s Fair (Koninginnekermis)
The Lange Vijverberg, Buitenhof and Frederik Hendrikplein area have been transformed to the 80s fairground. Young and old are totally spoilt with choices as there are more than 60 rides and attractions such as Funhouse, exciting spinning Turbo Polyp, Thriller, etcs up to be tried out. 

The Hague
Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
 Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague

Queen's Fair 2013, the Hague
29Apr - The eve of Queen’s Day - The Life I Live Festival
Multiple stages were set up in various squares around the city of The Hague where free concerts were held. Locals and tourist dressed up and accessorized in everything orange and gathered together to enjoy the superb live performances across multiple genres from school band, Indies, Jazz, Pop Rock to Alternative music.

Queen's Night 2013
Queen's Night 2013
Queen's Day 2013
 Queen's Night 2013

30Apr – Live broadcast of the Coronation of King Willem-Alexander Coronation Event
Big screen was set up at Grote Markt square to air the live broadcast of the actual Coronation event.

Grote Markt, the Hague
 the Hague
 Queen's Day
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