Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring in Beijing - Itinerary

One of my best-est friends, let's call her W, has finally moved back to Asia. One of her last stops before Hong Kong was Beijing, and she was there for a conference in Beida (Peking University), so we decided to go and crash at her hotel. That's the story. Here's just a quick itinerary of what we did - it's partially for myself, so I don't forget. I'll be writing up some of the more interesting meals soon. Over six days, we had 2 Peking ducks, two mala meals, a lot of coffee and a fair bit of drinking, with some Yunnanese thrown into the mix. We were trying to avoid Sanlitun but gave in on our last day...

Stars for peanuts - Wing Lei, Wynn Macau

Wing Lei
We got to Macau at around lunchtime, and our first meal was here, at Wing Lei. (The second meal was dinner at Golden Flower, which I posted just before. Please see that post for an intro to why this trip was made). Wing Lei is the romanised pronunciation of Wynn's Cantonese name, and fittingly, it serves Cantonese food. If you're the star-chasing kind, you might also like to note that Wing Lei has 2 Michelin stars in the 2012 guide.

United Tastes of China - Golden Flower, Wynn Macau

Tea with tall "smelling" cup
I was lucky enough to have been invited* to Wynn Macau to try out a few of their restaurants, and agreed after I was assured that the chefs would be kept in the dark about my visits, and that I reserve the right to my opinion. I also had to go for work anyway, for which I needed to interview a chef at Golden Flower (coming later) and that happened after I ate there. I don't know about you, but I think it worked out quite well - work and play, easily combined - that's why I went freelance, folks! (I highly recommend it, haha).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day - Hong Kong is in on it!

This Saturday, May 19th!

Have you heard Jamie Oliver's TED Prize speech from back in 2010? This was soon after he finished "Food Revolution", his TV series in the United States, where he went to a town named Huntington in West Virginia, apparently the town with most people classified as "obese" in the US.

If you don't have 20 minutes to watch the whole thing, don't worry, I'm going to highlight a few key things for you, but please see those bits at least.

At the beginning of this video (around 02:22) he shows some stats - everyone reads so much and is so freaked out about homicide, but that's the last thing on the list that's killing people. The first few are largely preventable through diet - heart disease, diabetes, stroke.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to season a new wok - Things mom taught (and things I learned)

A new ceramic-coated 15" "haak gum gong" wok
From all the literature I've been reading about the science behind seasoning a wok, I'm pretty sure the "traditional" method of seasoning a wok that I was taught, with fatty pork and chives, is scientifically unsound, but I'm going to tell you the rationale behind my purchase and what I've learned anyway, for reference and in the interests of covering the different schools of thought out there.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shugetsu, more ramen in Hong Kong

I wrote a review for Time Out Hong Kong on another new-ish ramen place in town, Shugetsu. They make their noodles on site, and are known for their "dry" ramens (as opposed to soup). I tried the abura ramen and tsukemen. I won't repeat my thoughts about them here - simply go to the Time Out piece.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cooking class with the lan in Bo.lan - Part 2: Chicken relish and Eggnets

Chicken relish (rear) with fried fish
After the panang curry, we moved on to the other two dishes on the agenda - chicken relish and egg net rolls. I didn't properly transcribe Dylan's recipe or ingredients list, but hopefully the pics will give you a fair idea of what was going on.

Cooking class with the lan in Bo.lan - Part 1: Panang curry

Thai Panang Curry
I joined the Amateur Gourmet group on Meetup less than a year ago - they're a great bunch of foodies in Hong Kong who meet to go out and try new restaurants, do potlucks, food-oriented holidays and basically anything food-related and fun. The organiser, V, is super on-the-ball with what's on in the food scene, and had the great vision of bringing over Dylan Jones from the highly acclaimed Bangkok restaurant Bo.lan to guest chef for us foodies in Hong Kong. (He's the "lan" in Bo.lan" - Bo is his partner (in life and the restaurant) Duangporn Songvisava, aka "Bo").

Monday, May 07, 2012

Australians all let us rejoice! Cumulus Inc, Melbourne

Kitchen charcuterie selection
What makes you fall in love with a food or beverage outlet? Good food, servers who know your name, or a stool for your handbag? I can't pinpoint exactly what combination of things gets me excited, but I can tell you Cumulus Inc. has it.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Spare ribs, a numbers game, a recipe

I didn't have a wok...
The closest I've come to writing a recipe on this blog is at Margaret Xu's Detour event back in 2010, where she made tofu. I didn't really think I'd ever write about cooking (I'm not a great cook - not being humble - trust me), but since mid-last year, when I moved out of home (again), I found myself in a situation that I hadn't been in for about 6 years - having my own kitchen. And suddenly I've been cooking a lot more - baking, even (which is kind of how this blog started - can you believe it, I was blogging about baking) despite a tiny oven, so I will be documenting more cooking-related bits from now on. Plus, 10 months after moving in, I finally bought a wok today. I've also been joining some cool cooking classes recently, and have had no real outlet to talk about them - but duh, I have a food blog, why can't I post about cooking here?

So that was my very long explanation as to why I'm moving this recipe from my Tumblr blog (that no-one seems to read) to, well, here. I wrote this back in September 2011, you'll know why/what it was for as you read on. It's my mom's recipe - one of the dishes she almost always makes for guests, and which returning guests always ask for. Throughout the Internet, you'll find lots of similar recipes for this dish, which we call "12345 spare ribs" but is also more commonly known as "sugar vinegar spare ribs" / tong cho pai gwut / 糖醋排骨, but for some reason you'll see most of those with a very watery, light sauce. Ours is thick and sticky, like a super-dark toffee, and goes great with rice.