Monday, March 22, 2010

Kaeng Kiew Wan with Goong


My Rating: *****
Components: Thai Green Curry with Tiger Prawns, thai fragrant white rice.
Location: Notting Hill, London. 

First of all, I don't know why my pictures have lost a little shine ever since my last post, might be the file type or something like that. 
Anyway, this post is not JUST about the dish itself. Green curry...such a typical Thai dish found in any Thai restaurant, yet this one will always be the most memorable one. 

As my friend and I were walking along the cute streets of Notting Hill after visiting the Museum of Advertising, Packaging and Labels, we started to get slightly hungry..yet all there was in this street was a pub. As we walked on the opposite side of the pub, however, a sign caught my eyes: "Thai Restaurant". To our surprise, the sign was located right above the Pub's main entrance. What a weird looking Thai restaurant...it didn't look Asian at all. 

Well, we went in to check and yes, it was a pub indeed and yes it was a Thai restaurant. The Thai bar tender greeted us with her English yet Asian accent and we chose to sit on one of the high tables next to the window. I was a craving a spicy rice dish, hence my choice of Green Curry. 

It was just such a contrast of settings, yet it created a interesting and new feeling. Surrounded by dark wooden chairs and dark brown leather, a full bar with dangling wine and beer bottles and certainly a more typical "pubish" decorations...my friend and I were sitting there eating: Thai food.

And oh what a Thai food it was. The Green curry was creamier than any other curries I had before...the consistency just made it so much better to eat it with the Thai rice..they kind of stick together in this sticky little mess and when you put one spoon full into your mouth, a blast of coconut milk, peppers and basil erupts simultaneously with a tinge of spice. It is important to eat the curry while hot, I feel like if it gets cold, it loses its special fire burn...something I really appreciate in food even though it makes me tear up and use up tons of paper napkins to blow my nose. 

So there I sat..mesmerized at this awesome Thai curry in a Pub, starring out the window looking at the little streets of Notting Hill - a little funny experience I decided to share. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Grand Thali


My Rating: ****
Components: two curries, indian canape, two vegetables, one dal, raita, kachumber (indian salad), papadum & chutney, wholeweat chapatti, rice. 
Location: Masala Zone 147 Earl's Court Road, London, SW5 9RQ, United Kingdom
Website: realindianfood.com

I don't understand much about Indian food, all I have ever had is Chicken Tikka Masala and a few different curries, so this was quite and experience for me. What I found most hard was to describe what I was tasting when I didn't know what it was. This just means I have to eat more Indian food and eventually know all the spices used in their culinary...sounds like a yummy plan to me :) 
With a mixture of distinct and very different spices, this platter is quite hard to describe. While the Chicken curry had a more sour and creamy feel, the Lamb curry had a unique taste coming from the lamb meat mixed with a light tomato essence. Both had a tinge of spice to it which would last pretty much throughout the entire meal.
For those who never had Indian food before, the curry is to be consumed either with the rice or the chapatti. I personally preferred the curry with the rice as the flavours would blend in better. With the chapatti, the taste of flour was sometimes stronger than the curry itself, two flavours which I think clash instead of mesh.
To ease the fire and the strong taste of spices, I found it really helpful to eat the chapatti with the yogurt side. The spices and strong taste of the curries would somehow neutralize and allow me to fully appreciate the other sides on the platter.
The papadum and chutney, each consumed separately with the kachumber created a nice blend. The pineapple chutney was definitely much sweater than any other dishes on the platter, hence it was a good “wow” of flavour if you know what I mean. The Papadum had much stronger taste. Not only it was spicy but sour and salty at the same time. It might sound a little disgusting but if consumed with the kachumber, a nice sweet, spicy, sour and salty blend was created ( I know its sounds a little complicated!).
I found the vegetable side dishes to have quite usual tastes. One of them was a side made of carrots, potatoes and peas, making the sauce really sweet and mild. The other vegetable was made of lentills and some kind of beans…the taste of lentills predominated the side dish and as I am not a fan, I didn't really touch it.
Altogether, the platter was quite a messy mixture of spices and flavours, however, I am pretty sure there is a traditional way to eat it in order to best savour the dish. I just need to know more about Indian food and learn HOW to eat it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Capricciosa Pizza


My Rating: *****
Ingredients: Tomato Sauce, Ham, Egg, Pepperoni Sausage, Mushrooms, Mozzarella, Olives.
Location: 15 Gloucester Rd, London SW7 4PP
Website:  http://www.damario.co.uk/#


Located in the second most expensive living areas of London (the cars around the neighbourhood show its status), Da Mario is quite the location to have a casual meal with friends. With a friendly and rather cheerful setting, the Italian restaurant offers a selection of Salads, Pastas and Individual Pizzas. Recommended by a friend to have the pizza instead of the pasta, I chose the Capricciosa, which caught my attention because it contained eggs. I guess it reminded me of the "Portguesa" pizza we have back in Brazil, one of my favourites. 


This Pizza is just delicious, with its VERY thin crust, it is very easy to handle with utensils. The blending of the tomato sauce together with Mozzarella's and Pepperoni's oil, creates an infusion of tomato with pepperoni essence, making the pizza slightly salty, yet it only takes a piece of the crust to create just the right balance of flavour. The egg, even though not spread out all over the pizza is always a surprise ingredient to have in one of your pizza bites. Since I don't like olives, I took them out before eating, but the oil and slight tinge of flavour it usually leaves behind is always part of eating experience. 


The pizza is pretty similar to the pizzas in Brazil, which opposite to the regular pizza's in the Unites States, contains a thinner crust, therefore absorbing less of the tomato sauce and making the pizza more juicy and tasty. Definitely a place to check out when visiting London. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flavoured Kit Kats!

Click me: Ad Age article on flavoured Kit Kats.


So in December while I was in Narita Airport, Tokyo I saw these irregular Kit Kat packages from afar. I wondered why they weren't the regular red you see around. As I got closer I was AMAZED to see that they were different falvoured Kit Kats! I bought two boxes of each flavour and stuffed my carry-on luggage. Well, the chocolates are obviously gone but I kept part of the packaging and glued it into my tickets collection booklet. Just thought it might be interesting for some of you guys to see it. Enjoy :)



The flavours they had in the region were Green Tea, Ginger Ale, Strawberry, Cheesecake, Milk Coffee (I think) and a special version with a different type of cookie inside. Notice how the packagings are extra colourful...makes the the regular Kit Kat pacakging look so lame and boring. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dubu Kimchi Jaeyook Bokum



First of all, I hope I wrote the name correctly, second: I MADE IT MYSELF! :) It was a slight failure as it came out a little to salty but I think I know what I have to do next time. The Kimchee taste wasn't too strong, so perhaps I should put it in first and let it stir fry till all the water comes out..hmmm. 


For the non asians, this is a Korean dish made with stir fried pork and Kimchee with tofu on the side. It is best with soft and silky tofu, but I had to deal with whatever I had in the fridge. 


Steps:


  1. Minced garlic and cut thin slices of onion.
  2. Took out some of the fat on the pork (there was far too much, but definitely have to leave some for taste and texture).
  3. Mixed it together in a container with Gojujang (Red Pepper paste) and let it sit there for a little.
  4. Put some oil in the pan (should I use sesame oil next time?)
  5. Tipped the juicy pork with gojujang, garlic and onions. (Maybe I should put the kimchee first next time?)
  6. Put a chunk of kimchee and started stirring. 
  7. To enhance flavor I added a tiny bit of salt, sugar, rice vinegar and a tiny bit of Dashida ( Beef stock?)
  8. Add some tofu slices on the side. I like tofu so I put extra, but usually when you order it outside, there are just a few slices and MUCH MORE pork and kimchee!
For professionals at this dish...please don't laugh if my ingredients are a little funny!! I cooked with my own instincts (and for the first time). If there is something missing...please let me know :)

Ok..back to studying for midterms.

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