[Food Review] Ladies Night at the Garden Hotel

I’ve been meaning to post this entry all day and finally have just gotten around to it before the sun has set! That is quite an achievement for a professional procrastinator such as me.

(I still can’t quite believe that no one else is using this name for a wordpress blog before me…, I was so sure that I would have to add in some number(s) after it when I signed up.)

Anyway, for this week’s Friday night post-work dinner, we decided to hit The Garden Hotel for their Ladies Night in The Connoisseur. Here is their menu.

The promotion is: “All ladies will enjoy a complimentary main course when ordering an appetizer / salad when you come with two or more ladies.” and “Ladies can also enjoy unlimited bubbles, wines, gin tonic and even your favorite martini till 22:30.” Every Tuesday – Saturday.

It is eye-catching, isn’t it?

This would be my and Kathy’s third time at their Ladies Night, while being the first for our other 3 friends. Here’s a bit of ‘background’ story.

The first time Kathy and I went there was in the beginning of December, before we broke off for Christmas holiday. Kathy found this promotion and we skipped going to the cinema to see Matt Damon in The Martian and ventured to Taojin instead.

We tried another pub, called the Gold Mango Bar (I think that is the name…) first because we always like to try new places in Guangzhou. However, that place was almost deserted so we crossed the road back to The Garden Hotel after one drink to try out the Ladies Night.

And boy, were we blown away. I didn’t expect much (and neither did Kathy I think) and so we were very impressed with the settings, the food and the service. Because there were only 2 of us, we had the smaller table with translucent curtain to give a more private atmosphere.

“I didn’t know that this was going to be a date.” I joked with Kathy.

Because we were so happy with the meal and experience then, we went again last week, this time on a Saturday night. Yes, Paulaner on Friday then The Garden Hotel on Saturday. It was one hell of a weekend ;D

And may be because the expectations were so high now, I felt like the dinner last Saturday was not as good as the first time around. The service was still impeccable (Kathy absolutely loves how they refill your wine glass without any prompts), it was the food itself that let me down slightly.

So being a scientist that I am, I proposed that we must go back again to try it for the third time for some a more reliable set of results.

And that led to our dinner last night.

So this review post will be slightly different than the others. There are a bit more dishes to talk about since we tried out quite a few things but there are some dishes too that were ordered several times. I will give out individual scores with details as well as an average for each dish so (hopefully) you all will have the whole picture.

Quick recap for the meaning behind each score:

1: Very Poor
2: Poor
3: Mediocre
4: Satisfactory
5: Good
6: Very Good
7: Excellent

Let the review commences!

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The decoration on the table from our first visit.

 

The complementary bread

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From our first visit

They would serve the bread first after we have ordered and I quite like the variety from our first visit. Kathy doesn’t like carbs in general so I ended up eating 3 out of 4 rolls…

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From our second visit

At first glance on our second visit, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of variety, not to mention the tear-and-share looked less impressive than the rolls.

However, the bread was warm and soft with a touch of sweetness that I like so I was happy. Again, I was the one who ate most of the bread while Kathy just enjoyed her sparkling wine.

Last night, we mentioned that the first we were there, there was a variety of different bread rolls and after we asked the staff, they brought us a one of the same from the first time as well as some pretzels which our friends enjoyed quite a bit.

 

The appetizer

Scallops
Wasabi potato puree, tempura sultanas

Left: from first visit

Right: from last night

Huh… I didn’t quite realised that the looks change a bit… The taste, however, was still as good as the first time. I think it’s fair to say that both Kathy and I were impressed with the scallops. I am a fan of this shellfish so to find a dish where they are cooked to almost perfection was a treat.

I was a bit reluctant about the wasabi potato puree at first because I am not a fan of wasabi at all (even though I love Japanese food to bits) but the taste and heat isn’t strong enough to put me off this dish.

The tempura sultanas work really well with the tender scallops too, I enjoyed this dish a lot for the two times I ordered it. Even one of our friends has commented that the scallops are better than the crab cakes she ordered, even though that was good too.

Score: 6 for both times 

 

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From our first visit

U6 Prawn Cocktail
Cucumber mango slaw, cocktail sauce

Even on its own, this dish is just ok. When it was up against the scallops, it did not stand a chance.

The prawn was a bit overcooked from what I remembered, and the portion was so small. The only saving grace was the mango slaw but even that was tiny. I’m afraid it’s not going to be a good score.

Score: 3

 

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From our second visit

Rolled Caesar
Romaine hearts, crouton, parmesan espuma, roast garlic puree

Again, the portion is not big but the Romaine hearts were fresh, the cheese and the dressing was good. Though, I can’t give it a 4 because I don’t think this dish is worth 98RMB when you can get the scallops at the same price.

Score: 3 

 

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From our second visit

BLT
Bacon lardons, mixed baby lettuce, heirloom tomato

A variation of a classic sandwich, Kathy quite liked this dish. I did too, but again, 98RMB for a plate of salad with bacon can’t quite compete with the scallops.

Last night though, one of our friends who will now be known as The Angry Chef, didn’t quite read the description of the dish and was extremely annoyed when she realised that it was basically a plate of salad.

“I CAN MAKE THIS AT HOME!!! ARRRRGH!!!” The Angry Chef fumed (albeit quietly). And she totally can. It quite ruined the experience for her.

“You have to understand,” she said, “When you are hungry, you zoomed in on what you want to see. I only saw the first word, bacon, and just ordered that.” The Angry Chef snarled as she tore off more bread while we waited for our main course.

So even though I would personally give this dish a 4 (because I would order this dish if I want to feel healthy or in want of a salad), she would probably give this a 1.

The average score at the moment is 2.5, I’ll ask Kathy again what she would give this.

 

Crab Cakes
Lemongrass corn puree, roasted corn relish

One of our friends ordered this one last night and I tried out one of the crab cakes. I was quite impressed. It was crispy on the outside, soft and full of crab on the inside. The roasted corn was really nice and sweet, it complimented the cake very well.

Score: 5

 

Main 

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From our first time

Lamb Chops (2)
Grilled mushrooms, fondant potato, peas

Now this dish was very good, the star on the night in our first visit. The lamb was tender and full of great flavour. And even though I am not such a big fan of mint, roast lamb and mint sauce is a classic combination.

I think both Kathy and I gave this dish a 6 the first time around.

I’ve gone back to watch a clip we filmed after we finished our meal in December. (Yes, we’ve made a clip because we thought of starting a YouTube channel before, reviewing food with IB grades xD.) And I got the score slightly wrong.

Kathy was impressed with the lamb the first time but not as much as me. Kathy liked the lamb at Bosphorus more but my reason for the higher score is that because it was medium cooked and that I missed that.

Kathy’s score: 5

My score: 6 

However…

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From our second visit last week

Even from the look, it doesn’t quite match the first time around does it? When asked for how well I would like it cooked, I went for medium. The tenderness and flavour was still good, but it wasn’t as hot as it should have been. I think that tarnished the whole experience, lukewarm meat.

And so I’m afraid the second time around, the score is only 4.

(When we were asked by the staff, I couldn’t be honest and said I’d give a 5… may be I should have been less reluctant to be a nice and easily-pleased customer…)

Anyway, even though I did not order the lamb last night, 3 other people did.

Kathy said that last night’s lamb was a little too fatty for her so she would overall give this dish a 5 for inconsistency. She agrees with me that the first time was still the best and we both wondered whether we think that way because it was the unexpected factor or was it actually superior…

Anyway, our other friend gave it a 5 as well. Which bring us to…

The total average score: 5

 

Roasted Chicken Breast
Asparagus, duo of potato, basil emulsion, smoked jus

Left: From first visit

Right: from last night

This dish impressed me when I first tried it too. I am not normally a big fan of chicken breast, I think it’s usually too dry with not a lot of flavour.

This dish, however, managed to not be either of those. The chicken breast was both moist and full of flavour. The seasoning (mainly salt I think) was done beautifully and the skin crisp. The asparagus went very well with the chicken too.

Last night’s dish was as good as from our first visit so…

Score: 6

 

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From our second visit

180G Tenderloin
Zucchini, carrot, sweet potato

Kathy wanted to try a new dish on our second visit so she ordered the steak, medium. And I think she enjoyed it too. I didn’t try it because it’s beef (I don’t eat beef)…

I’m not sure what score she would give this so I’ll come back and edit it after.

Score update: 4

(And I quote, “4 for the steak, but then again I got it well done so it could be my fault.” Said Kathy, “Princess Kat does not like raw meat tho.”)

 

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Bunless Burger
Aged cheddar, truffle, panko egg, city fries, blueberry BBQ

This wasn’t part of the main course, instead it is from the Connoisseur Specials. It is not a part of Ladies Night but one of our friend is male and so he ordered this one.

(He has also started a blog! He’s an amazing writer so go check out his blog here.)

Again, it’s beef so I didn’t try it but I think the meat was particularly good.

Score: 5

 

Dessert

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From our first visit

Chocolate
Chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, chocolate pop rocks, white chocolate snow, raspberry jelly

This dessert drew my attention from the very beginning. I always check out the dessert menu because I have quite a sweet tooth and I am a chocoholic. This dessert sounded like it was made for me. So even though I was pretty full from food already, I still had to order it. This was back in December during our first Ladies Night.

(I had to go back and listen to the clip again to remind myself what score I gave this… I just remembered that it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.)

So the chocolate ice cream was melting a bit when it was served, so that was my first bite. My initial reaction was, “Oh this is good.” And I was tempted to give it a 6.

However, I then went on to try the other parts and the score went down after because the whole dish was very chocolatey.

The chocolate mousse was good. It was unexpectedly good so I gave that a 6 first then a sentence later I gave it a 7. Huh. It held against the other parts as well, which the ice cream didn’t… Though, now I don’t actually remember how good it was so I would have to go with 6 instead.

I then went on to try the chocolate cake, which isn’t included in the description… Anyway, the cake was a disappointment. It was dry and even though it was chocolatey, it was a 3.

I made a comment here about how the order in which you eat each part was important because they weren’t all up to the same standard. The chocolate cake might not have gotten such a low grade if I had that first but because I enjoyed the ice cream and mousse so much, the cake became a let down.

I had the chocolate pop rocks next. This one was quite cool and imaginative, being crispy on the outside because of some sort of batter and there was a melted chocolate lava on the inside. It was a solid 5.

Then I went back to the chocolate ice cream and I realised that the ice cream wasn’t as chocolatey as I thought so the final score for the ice cream is a 5.

I would say though that possibly, the star of the show was the raspberry jelly. I really like the contrast between the tartness of the raspberry against the backdrop of rich dark chocolate. I would give that a 7 because it has made a lasting impression till now.

Overall, the dessert was above average but it did not blew my mind. There was no foodgasm the way we did with the main course the first time around.

Total Score for the whole dessert: 5

 

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From our second visit

Grand Marnier Souffle
with vanilla sauce

Since the Chocolate dessert didn’t make a very good impression, I decided to try a new dessert dish the second time around. One of the staff recommended the souffle to us so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’d say this was the first time I’ve had a ‘proper’ souffle so I don’t have any frame of reference to work with. And to be honest, I wasn’t the keenest on vanilla based dessert either, being a chocoholic that I am.

However, I would say, this dessert didn’t do that badly considering how uninterested I was in it before it was recommended to me. (The staff actually recommended both the souffle and the chocolate dish but we all know how that chocolate dish went down…)

The souffle itself, the outside was good. There was a slight crispness to it as it had just come out of the oven. The outer layer was light and soft. The inside though, was too… egg-y for me. It reminded me of a comment about how you should be careful not to make scramble eggs… And the inside of the souffle kind of reminded me a little of scramble egg, which I hope isn’t what a good souffle should do…

Because of that, the souffle will only get a 4.

The vanilla sauce though was unexpectedly good. It went very well with the souffle so that is a 5.

The star of the dish, however, would have to be the fruit which might have been put on there as part of the decoration. I was so excited over that piece of fresh fig because it had felt like so long since I’ve had fresh figs. (I kind of fell in love with this fruit in Autumn of 2012, I tried it for the first time then and couldn’t get enough of it…)

The strawberry was sweet too as well as the cherry. So I think the fruit saved this dish, with a score of 6.

Total score for the whole dessert: 5

 

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From last night

Warm Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Since the last 2 dessert didn’t warrant a repeat performance, I am making my way through the dessert menu (lol). This time around, I went for the warm apple pie that have been catching my attention (though not as much as the chocolate or the souffle).

I wasn’t sure if I would like it that much at all because even though I am a fan of apple pies, I don’t like vanilla ice cream. However, I don’t think chocolate ice cream would have gone that well with it so I thought I should try it as it is.

I was a bit disappointed to see the ice cream already melted that much but it still tasted quite good. The crust of the pie was a bit crumbly but the apple with some sultanas I believe went well with the vanilla ice cream. The fruit gave the dish some freshness too.

If the pie was on its own, I would have probably give it a 4. Another 4 for the ice cream too. Together though, they just worked together.

Total score for the whole dessert: 5

 

Drink

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From last night

Kathy wanted to try and see what their martini was like so she ordered one. Apparently it was better than she expected (she normally hates martinis), very smooth. Our one male friend thought so too.

I’m not sure what score they would give the drink though so I’ll come back and update it then.

Score update: 6

 

And that, finally, wraps up the review for Ladies Night at The Garden Hotel. Kathy and I have already made plans to go back again since we do enjoy the fancy setting, the impeccable service and the Ladies Night deal. There are also a few more dessert I may like to try as well xD

Before I sign off, here are the final rating for the service and overall experience.

Service: 

Kathy’s score: 7 (Mainly because they kept topping up her wine glass without any prompt at all.)

My score: 7 

 

Overall experience: 

Kathy’s score: 6

The Angry Chef: below 4 (“You guys have to understand when one experience hunger, perspectives changes to a much much grayer scale.”)

Our gentleman friend: 4

My score: 6 

 

I am nodding off here (it’s past 11pm, had to pause writing this entry when I went out for dinner hence couldn’t finish it before the sun has set). We went to Starbucks then the Bar street after The Garden Hotel so I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Will make up for it now.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – It is finally warmer with the sun coming out today! So I did two loads of laundry xD It was great.

PPS – Went out to dinner with Kathy, her dad and her dad’s friends at a Hakka restaurant near our apartments today. The food was great. Kathy got the pictures and I think that is another review post waiting to be written.

PPPS – I finished watching the 2001: A Space Odyssey today. Man, that is one weird film. I felt like they could have told the story in about half a time, but I can kind of see why it was done that way after I’ve read a couple of reviews. The film’s music score was good but it was just way too long. Still, I’m glad I’ve watched it so I can tick it off the list.

 

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[Food Review] Birthday dinner at Paulaner Brauhaus

I’m starting to fall back on my procrastination tendency so this entry is a few days late…

My mantra, however, is that it’s better late than never.

(It’s always a wonder when I get anything done without a deadline looming.)

Anyway, for our latest Friday night’s partay, we decided to go to Paulaner Brauhaus at Taikoo-Hui (yes, there again).

I went with a group of friends but it was my and Princess Kathleen‘s first time. We were both impressed by the food.

Before we get into the knitty-gritty part of the review, here’s a reminder to how our ‘grading’ system works.

1: Very Poor
2: Poor
3: Mediocre
4: Satisfactory
5: Good
6: Very Good
7: Excellent

Cue pictures and individual grades.

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This pork knuckle was the star of the night for me. The meat was juicy and flavourful, the crackling, divine.

To cap it all off was the sauerkraut that came with it. The sourness of the cabbage went very well with the delicious pork for me. I needed something refreshing to cut the richness.

I actually never had sauerkraut before, didn’t even know what it was until Friday. (It makes me feel very embarrassed, but I thought for the longest time that sauerkraut was something like sardines. I first heard it mentioned in an interview with Mila Kunis on the Ellen Show about her pregnancy cravings and my brain just works in its mysterious ways sometimes.)

One of our friends were gushing over how good the pork knuckle was before and it was delightful to have this dish surpassed my expectation.

Now, here’s a part where I disagree with Kathy. She doesn’t think that we should give out a 7 at all because 7 was a perfection and there is always room to improve. I quote, “We can’t give 7s because it will stop the advancement of human kind…”.

While I can agree with her that there is always room for improvement, I still think that I should give out a 7 when it is due since in our grading system, a 7 is ‘excellent’. And I believe that this pork knuckle that we had on Friday did deserve it. It really was the star of the night for me.

Score: 7 (to Kathy’s 6) 

 

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I can’t actually remember the name of this dish but I believe it’s sausages with fries and curry sauce.

The sauce wasn’t that curry-ish at all but it tasted good. I was, perhaps, expecting a bit more considering how well known German sausages are and the pork knuckle dish did eclipse the others so…

Score: 5 (to Kathy’s 6)

 

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This roast half-chicken, though, was very good too. The meat wasn’t dry and still got quite a bit of flavour to it. I didn’t need the sauce to enjoy this one, hence…

Score: 6 (Kathy didn’t try this one.) 

 

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And here’s Kathy’s chosen salad. It was very good, went very well with the rest of the meat dishes. The vinaigrette and the fresh vegetable lifted the meal up and made me enjoy everything else even more. And her, both Kathy and I agree on the score.

Score: a definite 6 

 

Kathy had a pint (or two) of beer which she rated 4. I had the ‘homemade lemonade‘ which went well with the meal. It wasn’t out of this world good but still a 5.

 

Last, but not least, dessert.

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It was my birthday on Friday and so the restaurant gave me a slice of cheesecake, on the house. They also wrote my name down with chocolate sauce too which I appreciate the personal touch.

The cheesecake was good, very rich. The tartness of the raspberry sauce was fantastic with it. Would have been lovely with a cup of tea. Alas, I must confess that I always find cheesecake a tad bit too heavy after about half a slice… so the I can’t quite give it a 6.

Score: 5 

 

The restaurant had a live band after 8pm and had them sing me a ‘Happy Birthday’ where the other patrons joined in. I was both a bit embarrassed with the attention but I believe I had quite a big grin stretched across my face too.

So my overall experience at Paulaner is a strong 6. Would definitely go back again.

 

That ends my food review section. Up next, my introspection of getting another year older.

Or rather, the day itself.

(Feel free to click away now that the rambling is about to start. You have been warned.)

For the past couple of years, I’ve been down playing my birthday a bit. I suppose, as I got older, I kind of feel like I shouldn’t make that much of a big deal over my birthdays. I didn’t want to make others feel like they have to make a big fuss over it or get me gifts. It is, after all, just another day. It’s not like we make one giant leap once a year only, we get older everyday, one day at a time.

However, I do think everyone would enjoy the attention they do get. And I do too. Last year, I carried on on my birthday like it was any other weekday with the exception of my two closest friends baking me a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing and drove half-way across Bangkok to come ‘surprise’ me with it. (I kind of suspected it because my ‘wife’ has asked me when I’d be free but they came so late that I thought they weren’t coming after all xD.) I was insanely happy over it all.

This year I know would be different, but I was still surprised at how much was given to me.

There were cards, gifts and wishes written and drawn on a whiteboard as well as cakes. So many people came up to say happy birthday to me, not to mentioned having the happy birthday song sang to me so many times. Possibly the biggest number of times I’ve ever had.

It has touched me deeply how and where life has led me. This time last year, I was in my hometown. This year, I’m here in a new city, heck a new country where I don’t speak any of their dialects, that I never thought I’d find myself in and a new job and despite all of the changes and challenges thrown my way, still surrounded by so much love.

That was what I felt on Friday, that I was loved. And it’s one of the best feelings in the world to feel on your birthday.

So thank you. Thank you so much to everybody that has made that day special. I will not forget my 88th 27th birthday.

I am one damn lucky person.

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – It is freezing cold here today. Apparently, there was snow. I’m just glad that my laundry dry… Kathy and I tried to go to a cafe near by to get some work done but it was so cold that we both gave up and went home. Brrr…

PPS – And there goes my plan to sleep early for another week of work. I don’t know why but I always take so much time writing new blog posts… ^^”

 

 

A perfect Wednesday evening

I have been in bed for nearly an hour now and it’s just 8pm. I have my radiator on, I’m in my PJs with a laptop on my lap.

This is a perfect way to spend a mid-week night.

I haven’t been getting enough sleep for the last couple of days. It’s all because of a TV series (QAF US version). My friend introduced it to me and I’ve got my hands on all 5 seasons. They are all waiting for me on my desktop.

I’ve also developed a very bad habit of skim watching the episodes.

It started with me just checking out the pilot, which led to 4 episodes. I left it for a week or so and then on Sunday night, as a reward for finishing some of the work I’ve brought home, I started the Ep 5. Which led to me skim watching about half of Season 1.

I was reaching the point where I was becoming obsessed occupied with the series even when I wasn’t watching it that I came home on Monday and watched more. I got to about Ep 4 or 5 of Season 2 that night. Bearing in mind that I’m only skim-watching them. It is all I can spare do really with the amount of workload I have at the moment.

And so, on Monday night, I cracked and checked out the Wikipedia page for it just to get it out of my system. (I also found out that the writer of the original, British version was Russell T Davies. The man who brought Doctor Who back. Which means I need to get my hands on the UK one straightaway dammit.)

I rarely do this, I absolutely hate spoilers, but I knew that I wouldn’t be getting any rest if I don’t find out and it was starting to affect my health.

(I was right too because I felt like crap yesterday, my body contemplating whether it wants to be ill just because I was getting 7 hours of sleep rather than 8. And on Sunday, that was because I called my best and oldest friend up at 9.30 pm for a quick update which, of course, turned into an hour phone call in bed. I’ve started to recently refer to her, half-jokingly, as my ‘wife’ because I would seriously consider marrying her if I was into girls. But I digress. That can be another post entirely.)

Last night was another late night because I had to stay at work till 9 pm. A friend offered to swap the duty with me but I just wanted to get it done and over with so I don’t have to do it for another month.

Which led to how I’ve decided to be in bed at no later than 8.30 pm tonight.

I then thought better on my way back on the bus, why not just showered and get in bed as soon as I can?

Of course I got sidetrack a little once I turned on my laptop and I burned a bit of my left hand with boiling water. (Bao Fu Ling hurt so much when you first put it on. I got a bit worried and ask my mum and my best friend about it but that seems to be normal. It hurt on and off for an hour or so and now feel fine… Hmm….)

Anyway, this post has, yet again, turned into another ramble without any point. (You were warned.)  I was prompted to blog about my life in the UK and actually had an entry lined out yet that just didn’t happen.

A story for another day then.

For now, I think I might seriously considering just turning off my laptop and try to sleep. Can feel a headache coming and I can do with a 9 hours of sleep…

Yes, I have been told that I am an 88 years old lady trapped in a mid-twenties body.

I hope you are having a good week so far, only 2 more days till the weekend!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – It’s like Saturday all over again today. All misty and wet and grey. Like England except with pollution.

PPS – I’ve been wearing my knitted hat indoor because it’s cold and I don’t want to get sick. I like knitted hats. Knitted hats are cool. (Because they keep me warm.)

[Food Review] First time at Element Fresh

I went out with a friend last night for dinner (something we usually do for Friday and Saturday) so I thought I should do a quick review on the food last night.

Now, my friend has a brilliant idea of grading the food using the IB grading system.

For those of you who are not familiar with IB, it stands for The International Baccalaureate and it is a programme for the last 2 years of high school in many international schools around Asia.

The grades are given as a number where 1 is the lowest and 7 is the highest. My friend has written a description of what these numbers mean like this:

1: Very Poor
2: Poor
3: Mediocre
4: Satisfactory
5: Good
6: Very Good
7: Excellent

And so we will try this out for the food reviews on this blog.

Back to where we went last night, it was my first time at Element Fresh. We’ve been talking about going there for a few months now so I was looking forward to trying it out for the first time.

The one we went to was in Taikoo-Hui, which is probably the most high-end mall in Guangzhou. Element Fresh is on the 4th floor I think, and you have to go outdoor first. There are seats both indoor and outdoor for all restaurants in that area.

It must have been after 6pm when we arrived and even though there was a queue, we only had to wait for no longer than 5 minutes to get a table for 2.

After much consideration, I went for the Laffa Bread Salad which is one of their signature salad dishes and a Cinderella drink.

Cue pictures and scores.

Laffa Bread Salad

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Here’s the description of it from the menu:

“Grilled chicken breast with goat cheese over mixed lettuce, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, topped with onion and sliced green olives. All served on laffa bread with miso-yogurt dressing.”

For those of you who didn’t know what laffa bread is (like me last night), it’s ‘an Iraqi pita that is of medium thickness, slightly chewy, doesn’t tear easily, and is mostly used to wrap shawarma in food stands. It is popular in Israel, where it is common at bakeries and food stands’ (credit Wikipedia under Taboon bread page).

The dish itself was really good, my friend recommended this one to me and it delivered. The ‘miso-yogurt’ dressing was really good, though I didn’t really register any miso taste, it went well with everything on this plate. The whole dish was hearty too with the chicken breast and laffa bread. The bread itself was indeed chewy and didn’t tear easily but it still went well with the rest of the dish.

Score: 6

 

The Cinderella mocktail

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Description from the menu:

“Fresh orange, pineapple and lemon juice, a dash of grenadine and a splash of soda.”

The combination of orange, pineapple and lemon is definitely up my alley and this drink actually exceeded my expectation. It was a citrus version of a fruit punch. I love citrus fruit and fruit punch so definitely a winner.

Score: 7

 

My friend went for the Warm Spinach Salad with Salmon Fillet.

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“Flash sauteed fresh spinach, carrots, edamame, green lentils and yellow bell peppers with seared salmon (90 grams) finished with grilled cucumber flowers and lemon-tarragon dressing.”

Now, the picture on the menu made the dish look creamy but as you can see, it wasn’t… Neither my friend nor I was impressed with the dish.

From a few bites that I had, I’d probably give this dish a 3 or 4 but will wait for my friend to say her score.

Update, my friend’s score: 3 

 

She also had a glass of white wine too which she gives a score of 4.

 

All in all, I had a great time at Element Fresh last night. It was slightly pricey though and we weren’t all impressed with every dish, so…

Overall score: 5 

 

Extra: 

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Dessert! Dark chocolate gelato from Venchi.

Now, this brand of gelato blew me away in Hong Kong. I first had it in May last year and it was, easily, one of the best chocolate ice-creams I’ve ever had in my life. It made such a big impression on me that I’d hop on a train to Hong Kong just to get my hands on it.

So imagine my delight when I saw that Venchi was going to be opened at Taikoo-Hui!

And I’ll be honest, the ones I’ve had so far here didn’t quite gave me the foodgasm that the one in Hong Kong did. I’m not sure whether it’s because the bar is so high now that it just can’t reach it anymore or what… but it’s still a good indulgence from time to time.

It is, however, one expensive scoop of ice-cream so it didn’t make the cut to have a score of 6 this time.

Score: 5 

 

My friend also had an ice-cream cone but she went for the vanilla soft serve from Burger King. There was a promotion, 2 for 5 RMB but there was no one else to share the second one with her… (one cone was 3 RMB).

Score: 5

 

Huh, this turns out to be a not-so-quick review after all… ^^” Ah well, I hope I can keep this up considering we go out for dinner pretty often here in GZ. Let’s see.

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – Weather here yesterday reminded me of England except the mist/fog/drizzles in disguised wasn’t too bad. I’d have been wet if I was walking in England last night but I remained relatively dry here, thank goodness.

PPS – Tiyu Xilu station is the place to go if you’d like to work on the art of pushing/shoving your way into/out of the train.

A proper first post

Considering that my previous (and first ever) post was just a post-for-making-a-post sake (I do that more often that I should…), I thought I’d sit down today and write a proper post.

Except I’m not sure how I want my first ‘proper’ post to be for this brand new blog.

And like all things new and shiny, I will be super pumped about posting blog entries every single day for about a month (a wild guess here since it can be as short as a week or as long as 3 years). And then the initial excitement will die down before it becomes another blog of mine that got abandoned.

Never quite forgotten though, those old blogs. It’s one of a favourite procrastinating activities of mine, going through and reading the old blog entries.

It is like travelling back in time, now that I’ve come to think about it, it’s probably what going into a Pensieve is like and more. (And to those that get my reference without the help of Google, let’s be friends if we’re not already.)

I can almost see the person I was at that time, how her mind worked and what made her ticked. Sometimes, I see that I’m still very similar to that person. And other times, I realise how much I’ve changed.

There is one thing though that always put a smile on my face. It’s when I read through entries where I overcame my laziness and procrastinating tendency, and actually got substantial things down into words.

If I was a different, less lazy person, there would be many more blog entries about things that I really want to write about. There are lists and half finished blog entries everywhere.

But then again, that wouldn’t be me.

Back to the first ‘proper’ post.

After toying with many ideas (though the big one being a whole entry to pay tribute to Alan Rickman), I decide to just go with my fingers.

I do that a lot, just start writing things as my mind chatters and my fingers trying to keep up with it.

(I’ve been told that I can type pretty fast, and it is way faster than when I write, but still no where near as fast as my thoughts. I sometimes find myself missing out a quarter of a sentence because I was so caught up with my thought that my fingers just type out the word in my brain.)

I also tend to ramble a lot. You can probably tell from this whole post so far. I am not the most concise person in the world. I think I’m much better now but who knows.

And really, as this topic came up in the conversation last night between my friends and I (the ones that led to the creation of this blog), who’s going to read this blog? It’s most likely going to be me and a couple of close friends.

So I do enjoy reading my own rambling, since it’s still, well, me. I’ll just let my thoughts and fingers roam free here.

Which brings us to the second (or third? Or tenth? Who’s keeping count?) point of this post, what this blog going to be about.

I did toy with the idea of having a particular theme for the blog. Food is the first thing that comes to mind, or trying to be a hardcore fan and write meta-analysis over a character/book/TV episode/movie.

Except, I am quite fickle and looses interests/motivations to do work quite easily so I think I’ll stick to the thing I’ve done before when I semi-kept up with blogging.

This is going to be a journal of my life now, a collections of things that matters to me at the moment. There will be food-related posts (because I love food), fangirling going around (that used to be my get-go mode when I used to blog) and any other random things that come up because isn’t that what happens in real life?

Considering I really didn’t have a plan other than do the first introductory-ish post, I have written one long entry. That is most likely going to be a trend. I ramble. And rant. A lot. Also, my Mind Palace is a maze so what can you say. (If you also got that reference, we are likely to fangirl over at least one common fandom so let’s be friends if we’re not already.)

I also find it difficult to end a post without sounding to abrupt. But then again, it’s most likely going to be just me reading this so I suppose that is it…

Happy weekend!

With love,

From GZ

PS – There seems to be a pretty thick fog around my flat so not the liveliest Saturday I’ve experienced here… Still, a Saturday is still a Saturday. You won’t find me complaining about days off 😉

Why, hello there.

This is what I’m doing instead of all of the work I’ve brought home.

Story of my life, that is.

My friends and I have been talking about starting a blog for what seems like months now (probably an exaggeration, but hey, literary device…?) so I thought I should just do it.

So here’s the first entry. I really shouldn’t be doing this right now so I will sign off here but I will try my best to make my other posts longer.

Happy Thursday! Thursdays are cool.

With love,

From GZ