Simple Vegetable Curry Recipe With a Twist

Monday, December 30, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

vegetable curry Chinese style
A bowl of simple homemade veggie curry
I have been eating out for the past few days and my vegetable in the fridge were left untouched for almost a week. What to do with all these greens?

Emm ... let's do a pot of vegetable curry since aubergine (also known as brinjal or eggplant), cabbage and carrot are the ideal ingredients for Chinese style vegetable curry. Sounds like a great plan!

Curry paste is no longer an issue for me since I discovered the beauty of prepacked instant curry paste from the Asian grocers. Just follow these quick instructions below, you can enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade veggie curry at home just like me.

1 aubergine (cut into small chunks, with skin intact)
1 carrot (peeled and cut into small chunks) 
4 medium size of potatoes (peeled and cut into small chunks) 
1/4 of a round cabbage
1 pack of instant vegetable curry paste from Asian Home Gourmet
1 liter of water
100ml coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Step 1: Bring the water to boil in a big pot and add in the instant curry paste. Stir well until the paste disolved in the water
Step 2: Add in all the vegetable, salt and pepper. Simmer at medium heat for 45 minutes
Step 3: Reduce the heat and stir in the coconut milk and warm the curry for another 2 minutes

Just a simple 3 steps, the veggie curry is ready to be served.

For a fusion twist, I serve my veggie curry with slices of golden brown toasts fresh from the oven. The curry tastes extremely good, especially the aubergine. It is so flavorful as it soaks up the curry gravy and melts instantly into my mouth. The crispy golden toasts just goes well with the curry gravy. Not overly soggy after dipping into the curry. This is absolutely a great way to enjoy the veggie curry beside having it with plain rice.

Not only the greens do not go on waste, a bowl of spicy hot veggie curry helps to warmth my tummy on the chilled winter evening.

vegetable curry serves with gloden brown toasts
Simple veggie curry serves with slices of golden browned toasts

Tasty Okonomiyaki @ Genki Tei, The Hague

Thursday, December 26, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Genki Tei @ Den Haag
Gosh, I was on food spell again. I can't get my mind off of the Okonomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancake. Thank God I have my faithful pal cum foodies, Phoebe to tag along for my food quest.

We were delighted with our pick of Japanese restaurant, Genki Tei @ Den Haag as their okonomiyaki turned out to be awesomely good. Served in hot plate, the okonomiyaki was packed with shredded cabbage and seafood goodies mainly squids and shrimps. The amount of sweet sauce and mayonnaise is just right, not too empowering. Check out how generous the bonito flakes sprinkled on top of the okonomiyaki. What a real treat ... 100% satisfactory! 
Genki Tei @ Den Haag
The okonomiyaki was just the starter as we still have other main course ordered, the teriyaki chicken set and Bento Fish Box (my favourite).

The teriyaki chicken was good. I like the charred taste of the chicken piece. After being drizzled with the sweet sauce, it was a big YUM! Perfect dish to go with a bowl of fluffy rice.
Genki Tei @ Den Haag
My all-time-favourite, the Bento Fish Box. The tempura is what drove me to 'revisit' the bento over and over again. I like the crispy and crunchy batter, same old description - crispy outside, juicy inside. Other condiments were great too, the grilled salmon was fresh, the salad with yuzu dressing was refreshing and the fish cakes were 'Q' and springy.
Genki Tei @ Den Haag

The tangy yuzu tempura dipping sauce is the star of the dish. It instantly cut through the oily tempura after a dip. Lovin' it!
Genki Tei @ Den Haag

Umm .. umm, I am pretty sure I will be back for another okonomiyaki treat again!

Best Portuguese Egg Tart @ Pasteis de Belem Lisbon

Sunday, December 22, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon Portugal
Jay has been talking about the best egg-tart he had tried in Lisbon. I thought the KFC's custard egg-tart was good enough for me until I have tasted the real egg-tart from Pasteis de Belem Lisbon. It is in fact the best egg-tart I have ever tasted so far. Yes, you hear me right, the BEST!!

Crispy crust base from over a dozen a distinct pastry layers coupled with mouth watering and creamy egg custard, every bite is heavenly. The egg custard is just right in taste and consistency, not overly sweet either too hard or soft, it just melt instantly in your mouth.
Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon Portugal
It is so good and you could barely satisfied by just a single tart. There is no problem for the petite me to consume 3 in a row. This really tell how good it is.

Egg tart is usually best to enjoy hot. However, these tarts still remain good after being kept overnight even without reheating in the oven. The crust was still crunchy and crispy. I swept 4 the night before and kept 2 for breakfast the next day ... hehe
Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon Portugal

For best Portuguese egg-tart, then it got to be the famous egg-tart from Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon. You will expect to queue for the egg-tart but it is definitely worth waiting.

Sold at €1.05/pc but better to get 1/2 dozen for €6.

This is the egg-tart you will keep returning for!
Pasteis de Belem, Lisbon Portugal

Gerookte Paling Dutch Smoked Eel Sandwich

Saturday, December 21, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

I discovered Gerookte Paling: Dutch Smoked Eel through a Taiwanese travel program long before arriving in the Netherlands.In fact this delicacy is not too hard to find at all in NL. Usually, any of the herring stalls would have sell this delicacy too. Of course, those are the post-smoked ones which have turned cold.

Being influenced by the travel program hostess, I believe the freshly smoked gerookte paling would taste better since they are served pipping hot. Hence, gerookte paling sold over herring stalls would never be an option for me.

A short trip to 's-Hertogenbosch, southern Netherlands brought me a chance to get up-close with this delicacy, both gastronomical experience and the preparation process.

Cleaned eels are skewered and air dry on the rack before sending for smoking.
Gerookte Paling, Dutch Smoked Eel Sandwich
The eels are then sent to this little box for the smoking. The process takes hours and the end produce would be the golden browned and charred gerookte paling. The color really looks appealing, plus the greasy coat at the outer layer (fish fat extracted during the smoking process)  and there is no way you could resist it.
Gerookte Paling, Dutch Smoked Eel

The freshly smoked gerookte paling are then being 'harvested' and arranged in a metal tray. Gerookte paling is sold as a whole fish by itself or you can have it as sandwich. I opted for a sandwich as it is inconvenience to enjoy the whole eel at the food stall without proper utensils and table.
Dutch Smoked Eel Sandwich
My first taste of gerookte paling, Dutch smoked eel sandwich. Smokey, creamy and fresh on which the eel instantly melted into my mouth. Unlike the grilled eel which is flaky, the smoked eel preserved the texture of fresh fish. Quite an exquisite taste and if you are fond of sashimi, you gonna love this!

Lekker, gerookte paling!
Gerookte Paling

Affordable and tasty food @ Manor Food court in Basel City, Switzerland.

Friday, December 20, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

We have been looking for a 'market place' concept restaurant or rather a food court like La Place and HEMA food court in Basel city, Switzerland. We finally found one on the final day of our trip: the Manor Food court @ Basel City.

Situated at the top floor of Manor Shopping Mall, the food court is the locals' favorite lunching paradise. The food court is packed with lunch crowds from the nearby financial district on the weekdays.

There are wide variety of options here. Pasta, soup, pizza, fried & grilled stuffs, drinks, assorted desserts are all at your pick. The price range is about the same as La Place in NL but comparing with local Swiss standards, dining here is comparatively affordable.

Baked fish fillet in breadcrumb and 3 sidelines for less than €10. Quite a deal!
Manor Foodcourt @ Basel City

The baked potatoes were really yummy while the fish fillet was slightly lack of seasoning. However the taste could be improved with a sprinkle of sea salt. But I would prefer some tomato ketchup to go with it.
Manor Foodcourt @ Basel City
The little baked cheese casserole pot with bacon, assorted veggie, mushroom and pasta. If you like cheesy and creamy staffs, this could be dish that fit your bill.
Manor Foodcourt @ Basel City

The grapes tart with almond flakes was the dessert to end our meal. I like the fruity taste of baked grapes. The natural sweetness of the caramelized grapes coupled with the nutty taste of almond flaked plus the thin layer of crispy pastry as the base, every bite was full with satisfaction.
Manor Foodcourt @ Basel City

Do give Manor Food court a try if you happen to be in Basel city, Switzerland.

Amazing Pork Knuckles @ La Fontaine Luxembourg

Thursday, December 19, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Clock struck 6pm, I was completely starving after hours of airplane plus train ride from the Netherlands to Luxembourg (Note: by air from Amsterdam to Basel, then by train from Basel to Luxembourg).

Right after checking in to the hotel, I left very little energy for my dinner hunting. What I really need at that moment was a filling meal at any of the restaurant close vincinity to Mercure Hotel Luxembourg. With a hungry tummy, we passed by the La Fontaine restaurant which serve decent local cuisine with fair price. With no second thought, we just grabbed a seat and started ordering.

Roasted Pork Knuckle and Sauerkraut
La Fontaine, Luxembourge
The pork knuckle was really good. The meat was juicy and practically fell off the bone. The sauerkraut added the soul to the overall dish. Savory meat coupled with tangy sauerkraut made the dish so irresistible.There is nothing best to enjoy the meal than a glass of local beer. A big Mmmm...

La Fontaine, Luxembourge
This sinful pork knuckle was huge. We really struggled to finish the dish despite our great hunger. 

Chicken Pasta A'la Creme
La Fontaine, Luxembourge
I was pleased that we actually ordered the pasta. The pasta was rather plain in taste but paired really well with the pork knuckle. Another plus point for the pasta was it was not overly creamy and the decorative paprika powder sprinkled around the plate added the extra kick. Somehow, both dishes we ordered blended in perfectly!

The food portion being served was rather generous and left us with no room for dessert. I was originally targeting the pipping hot crepes with strawberries and chocolate sauce but in the end was simply too full for it. Perhaps next time.

We thoroughly enjoyed the both the food and ambiance at La Fontaine restaurant. Alfresco dining is simply perfect for summer.

La Fontaine Restaurant 
25, Place de Paris,  
Luxembourg City L-2314, Luxembourg

Kinderdijk the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Monday, December 16, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Herriage Site
Keen to discover more about the ancient windmill based water management system in the Netherlands? Do drop by the world famous and well preserved site at Kinderdijk.

The windmills of Kinderdijk has been a  UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. With 19 windmills, Kinderdijk has the largest concentration of  of old windmills in the Netherlands. This windmill based water management system was built around 1740 with the main function of draining excess water from the area.
Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Herriage Site

Unknown to many, windmill actually serves more 1 purpose. It is also a shelter and communication channel in the days before the availability of modern telecommunications. How the windmill windmills' blades are positioned indicate different meanings i.e. mills were working or offline. A breath taking view from the window pane of one of the windmill.
Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Herriage Site

Windmills are framed by tall grass.
Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Herriage Site
You may access to Kinderdijk via waterbus at Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam (direction Dordrecht Merwekade). Transfer at De Schans, Ridderkerk, another 5 minutes boat ride directly to town area with a fee of €1.5 per trip. Lastly a 6 minutes walk by foot to the main entrance of Kinderdijk village.
Kinderdijk, UNESCO World Herriage Site

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