Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Sole Fish

Met up with WY and his family for dinner tonight at China Blue. Good to see a good pal back and to be able to meet his mum and dad. Dinners like this are always a journey of discovery to find out more about a person's background and that his influence his life. Indeed in many ways I can see resemblance between WY and his parents.

We ordered the same dishes at China blue but substituted the usual sea bass for a sole fish in stead. I never had a sole fish steamed in cantonese style before as most of the time mum would fry it. Also, this fish was huge at approximately 30cm wide and 45cm long. The texture was good as there was a feel of hard meat and soft gelatine. The downside was the fish wasn't super fresh resulting in a decline in natural sweetness that was compensated by soy sauce. One tip that I've learnt is that Fisherman do not go out to sea on sunday. Hence, there will be no fresh fish on monday = no fresh fish at restaurants. Not always true and I could be wrong. Anyone can verify?

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Pork Ribs

Been a long time since I had BBQ ribs. After seeing how J chowed down the rack of ribs at DiMag the other day, I couldn't resist buying some myself. Felt really satisfied finishing it up and licking my fingers off the sauce.

Ribs (10 ribs)
Tomato Ketchup
Heinz BBQ sauce (Smokey flavour)
Cracked pepper

Generously paint the ribs with tomato ketchup, BBQ sauce both sides. Sprinkle about 2 table spoon of sugar on each side of the rack. Alternatively use honey but drizzle approximately 15mins before its done or the honey will get burnt. Chop some garlic and sprinkle on the ribs along with some pepper. Leave to marinate for at least an hour. Overnight for best results
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roast for about 20 mins.
Pork Ribs, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Cafe Andaluz with the flatmates and Aa's Dad

Aa's Dad was up for the weekend to play at St Andrews and he was quite keen to have some tapas. I can't think of many places in Singapore that sells tapas. Do you? The reason maybe is because the portions are small and can't fill out buffet type appetites. On top of that, tapas isn't normally cheap. So small portions + expensive prices = bo hua ( not worth it).

Lucky me again because Aa is buying all of us dinner.

Cafe Andaluz has a couple branches in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh. The one we went to was on Creswell lane ( leading on to Ashton lane if you are walking towards the subway).

The place has a nice mediterrainean feel with comfy seat and bar top dining areas.

Moving on ... ...

Sangria to start off. I mean how can you not have Sangria when you have Spanish yah? Sangria tranlates as bloody but obviously we din't order the bloody version which is usually a wine punch with fruits and honey or sugar syrup. Instead, we had cava with some citrus juice and apple slices. Nice and refreshing and I hope to try the red version some other time.

Queso Manchego: Sliced aged manchego cheese. A nice semi hard cheese with some mango chutney on the side.

Tabla Iberico: A platter of serrano ham, aged iberico chorizo, lomo and manchego cheese. This was actually really nice, especially when you pair the cured meats and cheese in one mouth. Go for this over the monchego cheese alone.

Champinones: Grilled mushrooms in a light malaga Dulce sweet wine and garlic sauce. This is not cream of mushrooms with whole mushrooms in it. It was nicely infused with white wine and garlic flavours. Only wish there were more mushrooms and some extra bread to soak up the sauce.

Carne de Res Picante: Spicy beef on rockets with manchego cheese and chorizo dressing. The beef was very tender and well flavoured with a spicey peanut typey sauce. Unique Spanish taste is the best way to describe it.

Bomba Picante: Moroccan spiced minced lamb sandwiched between 2 layersof mashed potato covered with bread crumbs and deep fried. Think sherperd's pie with an additional bottom layer of mash and deep fried. A delightful grease bomb to neutralise the alcohol.

Chorizo Frito al Vino: Spicy chorizo sausage with a sweet red onion in red wine sauce. I am not too sure if this is what it is because it tasted really tomatey in flavour but I can't find anything on the menu that suggest that this thing has tomato in it. Oh well, it was good but not fantastic. I had too much chorizo by this time that this dish failed to shine. Still a safe dish to order.

Gambas Pil Pil: I love big prawns especially with garlic and chilli and olive oil. A satisfying choice with at least 7 succulent prawns.

Chipirones: Every beer lover's dish. You could just eat this non stop. Good as a snack and an appetiser.

Vleiras con Serrano: Seared king scallops with a basil creamed leek sauce topped with crisp serrano ham. As Borat will say .... "very nice..." Scallops were huge and perfectly seared. Would have prefered the sauce to be just a wee bit thinner but taste wise it was splendid.

Gambas Rebozadas: Tiger prawns coated in a coriander lemon batter with garlic mayonnaise dip. Superb. I'll be stuck having to choose between gambas pil pil and this. Both were equally good.

Salmon Rostizada: Roasted salmon with a red pepper, tomato & almond romesco sauce. 2 slices would have been perfect.

Paella Valenciana: As a tapas portion, I don't think they cook this upon order. Don't get me wrong as they do cook their paellas for 2 from scratch but as a tapas I suspected it was pre-cooked. Go for paella for 2 if you can stomach it.

Dessert time ... ...

Crema Catalana: Creme Brulee spanish style? Best dessert of the night. It was the cold version just the way I like it. Starting to get a feeling this is like a dan tart (egg tart) which it probably is, only more refinedly executed.

Trufa de chocolate: Oh my.. this was just too heavy. It was literally eating a giant chocolate truffle. Fortunately, there was a coffee flavoured cream to pair up with it. Certainly helped improved the smoothness and reduced the heaviness of it.

Raspberry Pavlova: Great combination. The meringue was sweet and crisp on the outside and had a nice marshmellowy centre.

Caramel Cheesecake: A very light cheesecake. I like my cheesecakes dense so this din't appeal to me much. Worth a try but go for the creme Brulee instead.

Overall, a very wonderful experience being able to sample so many different types of dishes. If you order through 5pm.co.uk, you get 3 tapas and 1 dessert for 11 pounds. For tapas above 4.95 pounds, you will be required to top up the difference. Tables to be back by 8pm.

Cafe Andaluz West End
2 Creswell Lane
Glasgow G12 8AA
Tel: 0141 339 1111

Friday, 26 June 2009

Asia Style Glasgow with the Flatmates

Hey Hey, I am back. This is going to be a long post and one which I should have done long ago. Asia style is the first AUTHENTIC chinese restaurant that I visited in Glasgow excluding the first Chinese restaurant that I went to on Byres Road with my parents. For the last 5 years, this has been my source of food whenever I have cravings for that Asian flavour and I believe it will continue to be my eternal source for the duration that I am in Glasgow.

Many Times, I have brought my juniors here as part of their orientation but on this occasion, C was giving Aa and I a treat. Woopie.

We decided to go for an individual dish each and top it up with a side. Pipa toufu is C's favourite dish and we thought it would be most polite to have it since she was treating. I like the texture and flavour of the fried toufu surface. The balls were really big as well. There was a starchy msg sauce to accompany the dish and Aa was delighted to mop it all up.

I choosed this dish initialy but changed my mind later so C took it in the end. Most of my friends find it difficult to understand why I like chicken rice so much and die die must eat whenever I am back home. The reason is that I miss chicken rice and you don't get chicken rice here like you get back home. Furthermore, the standard of chicken rice is so high in Singapore that there isn't a bad version to compare with. Luckily for me my palettes have not been sensitised, allowing me to savour the wonderful chicken escence of true Singapore Hainanese CHicken rice. Anyway, this chicken rice ain't so bad. The rice definately is less oily hence healthier but not entirely devoid of the chicken oil flavour. The chicken meat is less tender and instead of the usual sauce that you get back home, the version that you get here has a higher soya suace composition. I like how they provide chilli and minced ginger as condiments. Good stuff

Braised fish rice. Bet you've never heard it before. Well, me neither until 4 years ago and I recalled the first time eating it, I felt a surge of yummy yummy flavour that never existed in my taste vocabulary. A stew of deep fried fish ( Its called Ban Lan Yu in chinese), bamboo shoots, mushrooms, roast pork and Toufu poured over a plate of steaming rice is what this dish is all about. I don't think I have the capabilities to replicate this dish because the sauce is so unique. Difficult to describe and the only way to experience it is to savour it yourself.

Lastly, Prawn noodles which Aa took. The soup is very very good and better than some of the hawkers in Singapore. Its super red oily and full of UMAMI (haha I like that word) flavour. I don't know whether its due to a premix that they use or by their own efforts to deep fry tonnes of prawn shells. At the end of the day, the flavour was achieved so I am not really bother. You get 2 king prawns some pork slices, egg slices interestingly and a nice touch of kangkong and deep fried shallots. HIghly recommend this dish if you want something noodley and soupy.

Well that concludes my really long post on Asia style formally known as Swiss. Expect to queue for long half hour periods over the weekends because there are more and more Ang Mohs who are frequenting this place. Nevertheless, for a flavour of home the wait is worth it.

Asia Style
185–189 St George's Road
Glasgow, G3 6JD
Phone: 0141 332 8828
Website: www.asiastyle.co..uk

Braised Fish Rice, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

CHicken and Potatos

Getting abit of a chicken overdose here. A childhood favourite in my family.

CHicken and Potatos, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

CHIcken Chop mee

There was a huge excitement when I first discovered that you can find wanton mee type noodles here. They come in fresh packets of 40 pieces or u can get the dried versions which come in 12 pieces per pack. It makes more sense to get the latter considering I can't finsih 40 fresh portions of noodles in a short span of time.

I marinated some chicken chops in kikoman teriyaki marinate for about an hour before throwing them into the oven at 200 for 20 mins. In the mean time, I got some water boiling to cook the noodles and some nice chai xin which was freakishly expensive ... :( so much for healthy eating.

In addition, I made a simple sauce out of dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chicken oil and oyster sauce to drizzle over the noodles. Simply mix and match here to suit your taste.

CHIcken Chop mee, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Liquid Ship with J

Met up with J for lunch. We were hoping to go to coopers but it opens only at half 12. We couldn't wait so we ended going down great western road hoping to chance upon something else. Well, eventually it came down to this wee pub called liquid ship that sells mainly pizzas and tapas. It turned out that this place specialises in small spanish and italian dishes. I guess we weren't going to have a heavy meal then.

I don't normally go for sausages when having meals outside because it just seems bo hua (not worth it) but that day, I made an exception. This dish was called Mafasio Dog which consists of a homemade italian sausage over soem onions and melted chedder on top of a baguette with some cream potatos as a side.

The yellow mustard provided a nice highlight to the overall dullness of the dish. The sausage was well stuff with proper meat and the marinate that went into it tasted quite fiery. Together with the caramelized onions and cheese, a great combination was created. The potatos helped to neutralise the palette after each bite and made each mouthful feel as refreshing as the first.

This was really satisfying. If only it was bigger.

The Liquid Ship
171 Great Western Road
Glasgow, G4 9AW
Phone: 0141 331 1901

IMG_0942, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Dinner with PYi at Mussel Inn

Met up with PYi at Mussel Inn for a catch up. Good to know that things have gone well for her. I haven't been to mussel inn in ages and sad to say the standard as dropped.. The huge mussels have shrunked and the flavour just wasn't as intense as it used to be. We order 2 1kg pots: garlic sauce and morroccan spice. The morrocan pot was rather flavourful with all the spices thrown in but lacked the seafood taste that hits you like an umami storm.

The garlic pot on the other hand was a dissapointment and I expected much more from a seafood restaurant. What I had could have been found elsewhere in a non-seafood restaurant. At least there was lots of free crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Thanks to 5pm.co.uk, we managed to get a 25% discount off the bill which works out to about 8 quid each. It was more worth while for me cos I ate almost 3/4 of the whole lot of mussels.

Rightey, got to rush off to the toilet now lol

Mussel Inn
157 Hope Street
Glasgow G2 2UQ
0141 572 1405

Friday, 19 June 2009

Dinner at home with the flatmates

The flatmates have been working hard since returning from their holidays and will need some tonic to keep them going through the stresses of work. I used a packet of herbal chicken spice mix and added in some more herbs and shaoxing wine to boost its flavour. Turns out that i had to boil the herbs in a pot of water and pour the broth into the aluminium foil and steam it with the chicken. Instead, I ended up throwing the herbs into the aluminium foil without the boiling process. It tasted fine but I'll remember to do this step the next time.

Here's the rest of the frozen broccoli from the other day. I think I'll stick to fresh broccoli the next time even though its cheaper. The sweet taste of freshness fares so much better. Throw in some mushrooms for soaking up the gravy and some prawns to give it a tinge of seafood saltiness.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Rainbow trout

Rainbow trout is one of the members of the salmonidae family. Most people will be familliar with salmon which is also has a meat that turns pink when cooked. Taste wise I still prefer salmon butfor those that don't like the oily taste of salmon, trout might be an alternative for you .

I simply marinated it in olive oil, salt and garlic for a about half an hour before throwing it the oven at 220 degrees c to grill for about 15mins.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Dinner with the flatmates at China Blue

Aa and C are backed! After 7 days of a non-chinese diet, it wasn't difficult deciding what we were going to have for dinner. Its been a while since we last went to China blue especially now that the rest of the folks are back in Singapore and Malaysia for holidays.

We got free soup from the kitchen :) It was the standard Bah Ku (pork rib) soup with nicely stewed carrots in a msg overload broth. Pretty savoury and definately did the trick to start our palettes going.

This has become our favourite dish combining 2 of Aa's favourite dishes: Yam and Malacca Seafood. I actually appreciated this dish more this time because there's more yam to go around. Since young, I've never had a huge craving for deep fried yam much less orh nee (yam paste). This however was nicely deep fried with a hint of five spice and salt. I noticed that there was a significant increase in the proportion of prawns and a reduction in squid as well which is always good.

It was a suprise to find that they have a new menu. The bad thing was I wasn't able to decipher how most of the dishes were cook and as usual, my cantonese cannot make it. haha where's wy when you need him. Well, there were still some dishes that make some sense such as the Thai style toufu. We anticipated it would be like Thai style chicken and true enough it turned out to be that. It was a pretty light dish but in retrospect I would have gone with the chicken dish cos it just din make sense to pay 9 pounds for something like this when you could have gone for the chicken. Unless of course you really like it.

Lastly, we had chilli beef soup. It looks pretty similar to the beef hot pot that I had in Manchester but I can tell you it din't taste as good. The soup was too pepper such that you could not taste the flavour of the chilli oil. There was too little meat and a lack of body to the soup. I have no idea why they added tau geh (bean sprouts) in there because to me that just seem like a conflict of taste and texture. The one good thing about it was that it was spicy enough to give me a numb mouth .

Overall, a pretty nice meal though I wouldn't the last 2 dishes again. The best part was we got a 20% discount card that we could use the next time we are there. HOoray!

China Blue
96 Renfield Street
Glasgow, G2 1NH
Phone: 0141 333 1881

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Frozen and Deep Fried

I started getting accustomed to eating frozen food only when I came to Glasgow. Growing up with a mum who can cook means that you hardly get frozen food being thrown into the oven. Well.. when you are a student and have little time on hand (that's just an excuse for being lazy), you've got to rely on food from ICELAND who has recently made an 83% increase in profits. (talk about change in eating habits with recession haha).

What I have got here is spicy chicken drumlets from Iceland (3 pounds) and young's Scampi aka breaded prawns (2 pounds). Taste wise, it was acceptable but not fantastic. At least the chicken was real meat and the prawns came as a whole body.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Dinner at Big G's

I was invited over to Big G's place for dinner yesterday. First time in 5 years that I have managed to make my way to this big guy's bachelor hideout. His mum had marinated some chicken in the morning before leaving the house for work so all his sis had to do was pop it in the oven. I was amazed at the nicely roasted colours of the chicken that does not normally happen when I roast my chickens. Chicken drumsticks are my favourite parts of the chicken so BIg G kindly gave me 2 drums and 1 additional breast. Wah... overload man. I am guessing the marinate consisted of garlic and an oregon herb mix. Yummy.

ON top of the chicken we had some vegetables which Big G cooked and additional sausages to fill up any more empty spaces in the stomach. I was so full and now I know why Big G is so BIG!!!. (read not fat --> but BIG!!!)

Finally, my contribution. A Bramley appie pie from marks and sparks. Taste GooooOOODDD..

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Beef Stew in a Bread

One of the many dishes that I experimented with in first year during the cold winter months when u needed something warm to comfort the heart lol. Strangely enough, I am eating it during summer. Its been a while since I last made a beef dish so I kinda missed it. Quite tired of rice and potato so I guess there was only bread left as one of the few starchy options. The good thing about this dish is that I can keep it for days or freeze it and keep it for weeks.
The taste was pretty robust after letting the ingredients soak in the gravy overnight. The idea of stew in a bread is just a gimmick haha. I'll be happy just eating it in a bowl.

500g beef
4 small carrots
2 large potatos
3 stalks of celeray
1 large onion
10 cloves of garlic
dried herbs
2 beef stock cubes

Fry the garlic cloves and onion in some oil till fragrant. Brown the beef cubes . Add in sufficient water to cover the beef. throw in 2 beef stock cubes. Add in the vegetables, pour more water so that it coveres all the ingredients. Boil and let it simmer for 1 hour before serving. Add in some dried herbs for added taste

P.S: the longer you simmer the soften the meat. Use red wine( Cheap ones of course) as a substitute to water to enhance the flavour.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

BFE at Rumours

Back at rumours again cos YR wanted to eat rice. lol. Thought it would be a good idea since I'll be catching star trek later on at cineworld. Its a good movie, worth watching. Anyway.. YR ordered Nasi Lemak over chicken rice. If you know her or seen her, you will realise rice is not of those things which she eats often. So I was pretty suprised when she wanted to eat it. I had a taste of it. It was excellent and looks more appealing than the one you get at Asia style. Its one those dishes that can't go wrong. I love the sambal chilli that came along with it.

I got a bit too adventurous today and ordered the fried udon in home made sauce. Home made sauce.... indeed it was homemade sauce because I cannot pinpoint what the makeup was. Totally unique to its own. Unfortunately, I din find the dish to be super appetising. It was alrite. It does not look as spicy as it appears to be and I felt the choice of udon might have been wrong as it made the dish too starchy. The sauce itself was overwhelmingly salty too. I am feeling abit biased in this case considering I had half a tub of Haagen daaz before I leave the house. Maybe I'll give the dish another chance sometime in the future.

OH and thank you to all my readers. Finally reached 1000 views lol!!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Dumplings!! Bah Chang!

LZ passed me some pork dumplings also known affectionately (aKaa*) as bah chang. Her mum made these and I being a good friend of hers (I choose to think so lOL) got some as a treat.. Well.. the truth is I traded it with some cheesecake haha just kidding. Thanks Lz Mama.

Lz came to Glasgow from Shanghai at the age of 3. Her dad's a lecturer at Edin uni and her mum's like a chee cheong fun specialist at one of the chinese restaurants. The chang is not your typical pyrimidal shape looking ones you get in Singapore. Rather, its like a packet drink packet twisted 90 degrees at the centre. haha.

This is what it looks like after removing the leaves. Nice soft glutinous rice and chunks of spiced meat. It tasted different from the ones back home but its mild resemblance was enough to strike memories of the wonderful changs that Ah ma used to make. I was so excited about it that I called home to tell my mum about it and how I "celebrated" the dumpling festival with some home made chang, only to find out that the dumpling festival was like some time back in May lol..

Thanks Lz. Looking forward to more shanghainese goodies in the future.
IMG_0306, originally uploaded by jiapui.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Aa's Birthday Walnut pie

Pie pastry, Overdose of maple syrup and raspberry vanilla icecream... A lazy afternoon indulgence....

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Dinner from the Tungs

A while ago, I treated the 2 sisters to a dinner at my place. So here's part 2 where they made me dinner.
I simply love dinners at my friend's place because its so unpredictable what you can get. You can get chinese and western dishes together which you think might clash but actually works really well together. SOmetimes, there's just too much vege and no meat and other times there's like one main dish and tonnes of desserts. The Tung sisters are local Chinese born and breed here whose mum is a chinese takeaway tychoon (I think lol). Unfortunately, I was told by the eldest not to expect any cuisine haha.

So for starters/appetiser, TungSister1 made a mackeral salad consisting of smoked mackeral, lettuce, potatos, olives and tomatos. It was rather fishy but the salad helped to balance out the taste and I thought it worked really really well.

We weren't heading for a western menu tonight because.... Tungsister4 made curry. Now... the curry is definately local in looks but modified to suit the local chinese taste. It didn't taste Indian or Singapore in flavour but more like a really savoury salty Jap curry. This is good and I suspect it was Auntie ML who taught her how to do it.

The last dish was a Beehoon that consisted of peppers, sausages and carrots. Interesting.. I guess everyone has their own style of beehoon . It was very well season and although the ingredients used were not typically what you find in chinese style beehoon, the beehoon tasted familliar.

I couldnt find a dish that stood out on its own but when you mix abit of everything together, everything was made right. A great sister act..

Oh ... this is good quality stuff made by Auntie ML. Its XO sauce made up of spring onions, dried shrimps, dried scallops and... hmm... I don know what else and it tasted so so so so goooooood.

Dessert was a lemon meringue pie from M and S. There were also chocolates, jaffa cakes, jelly and ice cream


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