[30 Day Writing Challenge] Day 5

Here’s the full list of this month’s writing challenge!

Ok, I feel like today’s challenge is really difficult. I’m going to try to do this without Google first, then use Google to help me xD

—–

Lollipop

Licorice

Lemon drops

Lychee candy

—–

Day 5 —Pick a letter of the alphabet.  Now imagine two aisles of your local supermarket.  List everything found in those two aisles that begin with that letter of the alphabet.

I asked Lune to give me a letter from the English alphabet and she gave me ‘L’!

I will confess, I could only think of ‘lollipop’ first so I have to stick to snacks/sweets aisle. There isn’t a local supermarket I used, I just made one up in my mind from all of the supermarkets I’ve usually shopped at. It’s Asian based with international products.

So the other three items, I’ve got them with the help of Google… thank you Google! xD

I already have an idea for tomorrow’s challenge, excited! So today really is a short one. Mind you, I’ve had the posting page up for hours and have just been procrastinating… The only productive thing I’ve done today is probably the laundry, lol.

Hope you are all having a great and relaxing Sunday!

 

With love,

From GZ

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[Food Review] Post-work Italian dinner at Ottimo

After that blogging spree, I seemed to have gone dark again, lol. It’s been one hell of a week at work last week. I’m partly to blame, I knew that quite a few deadlines were coming up and I thought I had it under control. I kind of did but I think the whole stressful atmosphere at work didn’t help. I might have panicked a little last Monday, wondering how on Earth was I going to finish everything in time.

I hadn’t been that close to bursting into tears at work since I was training in England, lol. Now that, brought back some memories.

Anyway, it’s all under control now and I cannot wait for the break next week. Whoop!

And today, when my stomach is aching (as it has been since morning), I finally found my blogging muse again.

I like doing thing chronologically because it’s easiest to keep track that way so I went through the photos on my phone to remember which place was up to a review next.

Introducing Ottimo, a small Italian restaurant around the north campus of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. I’ve had their pizza many times already and have visited the place 3 times (I think). This is the only time I’ve managed to get my phone out for a picture xD

Here is Kathy‘s order:

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I believe it was a fried chicken dish but Kathy’s asked for the side veg to be some sort of salad…?

We all had a bite (me had quite a few) and I think it was pretty good.

Score: 4

Will come back to update Kathy’s score.

Kathy’s score update: 5

 

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This was Lucey’s pumpkin soup I think. I forgot to take a photo until she was more than half way through the dish ^^” We joked about how I should make my photos on this blog ones after the meal xD

Didn’t taste this one so can’t give any score. I think Lucey’s mentioned that it was good but sweet? Will come back and update her score.

Score update: 4

 

And here is the star of the night.

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One’s for Lucey and one for me. I’m not greedy enough to order 2.

Large (11″) Calzone. I absolutely love calzone. I can’t remember when I first discovered it, must have been when I was studying in the UK and probably when I was still in my undergrad. I’ve always loved thick crust pizza (I know, that’s not a proper Italian pizza but what can I say) so a calzone is a perfect mix of true Italian taste with mine.

I didn’t think I would come across this gem in China so I was very excited when I first saw the calzone on the menu. I’ve never been able to order anything else for the past 3 times I’ve visited the restaurant.

(The other times I’ve had their pizzas were delivered.)

The other 2 times I went for a ‘small’ one and that was still 9″ and very filling. This time, I suggested to Lucey, whom ordered the same as me, that we should get the large, eat half and take the other half home.

We didn’t quite realise how big it really would be xD

Just half of the calzone was so very filling. The fillings were ham and salami I think. I don’t really like salami so I left them out on the side. The rest, was heavenly.

I also had enough for my second breakfast on the next day xD

(We went to this place almost 2 weeks ago now. I had evening duty so had to stay behind till 9pm hence going out for dinner.)

Score: 6 

Lucey’s score update: 5

 

Overall, it’s a great place to go to for dinner if we had to stay behind to do more work in the evening. I don’t think I can bring myself to order anything else other than the calzone either xD Though I try to avoid dinners on a weekday because my weight would definitely not appreciate it.

 

And that’s pretty much it for this entry. I’m starting to feel sleepy now and the stomach isn’t getting any better so I’m just going to go sulk. Or may be dry my hair and see if I want to call it a night since it’s nearly 8pm and all now.

 

Hope you all are having a much better Monday than I am!

 

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – Went to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yesterday at an IMAX 3D cinema at Wanda Plaza. I didn’t see any trailer before at all and haven’t seen any of the other DC Comics films either… So I should really congratulate myself from not feeling too lost while watching the film xD It was all right I’m supposed. And I’m just happy that I got through another 3D film without getting a headache. It was actually pretty good in 3D, I can kind of see the appeal now… ish.

Some of the actions were good and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne. Man, that man all dressed up in a 3-piece suit, with his hair going grey around the temple. Mmmmmm When he suits up, he kind of looks like a fat Batman… >.> Sorry Ben. You’re too buff and the suit really packs on pounds. I always appreciate British actors and Henry Cavill was just lovely and righteous.

Though I think the film’s saving grace is their female characters. I absolutely love Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Amy Adams’s Lois Lane. Also, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther. Man, he only got on my nerves towards the end of the film xD I actually liked the character Lex Luther before he went bonkers.

Won’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone!

[Food Review] The long and overdue review for Bosphorus

I didn’t realise until half my way through my last review that I’ve completely forgotten about Bosphorus. We’ve been there many times now and I’ve never written a review for it.

And as I was going through my pictures, I realised that I don’t have that many pictures of food at Bosphorus at all… ^^” I wonder why is that…

We always order quite a bit but it seems like I’ve managed not to take pictures of most of them! ^^”

So this entry may be a bit short…

I must confessed that even though I love food, I haven’t really tried that many things or different cuisines in my life. Not from a fear of trying new things, I love trying new food. It’s just that I’m a creature of habit and I like to go to the same place over and over again.

(At least I don’t really order the same thing over and over again now. I quite like to try out new menus nowadays but this has only started when I went to uni.)

So the first time I’ve ever had Turkish food was at Bosphorus about 6 months ago. And it made one hell of an impression.

I love, love, love lamb and the lamb at Bosphorus has never disappointed me.

I think I’ve ordered the lamb skewers the first time I went there and possibly had foodgasm. Kathy ordered eggplant and onion salad I think which were very good. We also had bread and enjoyed their dip and pickled veg. (I love pickled vegetable.)

And I can’t quite believe that I didn’t take any photos!

 

Anyway, here’s one picture from another visit back in November 2015.

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Lamb chops

Since I like to try new menus these days, I went for lamb chops that time. Oh my goodness.

It, was divine. The lamb was cooked to perfection and spiced just right. I was in heaven with this plate.

Score: 7

(And I actually had to go back to the video clip Kathy and I filmed during our first visit to the Garden Hotel Ladies Night to check for the score. We made a comparison between the lamb chops at the Garden Hotel to the one in Bosphorus. And yeap, gave it a 7 back then.)

 

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Lamb kebab

This was from the latest time we went to Bosophorus just over 2 weeks ago. I didn’t feel like having rice and wanting to try another new dish but still want lamb. So a lamb kebab it is!

It was good but I wanted more lab… It was surprisingly filling though…

Score: 5

 

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This pudding though. Oh my goodness. This gorgeous, decadent, chocolate heaven in a single bite. It’s dark and creamy but not too sweet and the pistachio on top was just perfect with everything else.

If you like chocolate, then you must try this dessert.

Score: 7

 

And… that is it. *awkward smile* I told you that I didn’t have many photos at all… *looks sheepish*

I would highly recommend the Big B to anyone and everyone, the food is fantastic.

 

That’s pretty much it for me tonight. It’s getting warmer again in GZ which makes it slightly hard to decide what to wear since it’s still not warm enough to go short-sleeve yet but turtlenecks might be a bit too much… Decisions, decisions :p

Anyway, hope you are having a good week guys!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – a relatively old Thai song (I think it came out in 2008 or 2009?) came up on my iTunes today. Haven’t listened to the song properly in so long that it felt almost like I was listening to it the first time. It flashed me back to university days and there is one particular vivid scene I saw in my head. That brought back memories… may be I’ll share that here some days… If anyone’s curious, here’s the link to it.

PPS – the scheduling works! Yay! Bring on blogging the night before xD

 

[Food Review] 1920 Restaurant & Bar

It hasn’t been the most productive weekend. I got just a little bit of work done (boo -3-) and so I’m trying to make myself feel a bit more productive with blogging.

I’m also going to try the ‘Schedule’ function too so fingers crossed.

We are back once more with a food review. I actually had to go back through my photos to remember which place to review next ^^”

Please allow me to introduce one of our favourite places to go for food and/or drinks: 1920 Restaurant & Bar

My first time there was just after the Chinese New Year holiday a month ago. We actually went to Tairyo at Wanda Plaza for some teppanyaki first (no review because I only have one measly clip of the whole experience… ^^”) and then venture out to Taojin for post-dinner chit-chat.

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I actually can’t remember what I’d ordered here. It’s one of the mocktails… might have been the fruit punch… And so because I don’t actually remember the drink or how it tasted, I can’t really give it a score… ^^”

(If it was the fruit punch, a score for that will come later from our latest visit. I definitely remember that).

We sat on the fifth floor patio and the atmosphere was great.

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My friends ordered this and I had a bite or two. It’s a 3-typed chocolate mousse/cake. I wasn’t really that impressed with it partly because I’m not the biggest mousse fan.

I do like rich, dark chocolate mousse but I find most chocolate mousse-based dessert too light and airy. Also, I think the menu said ‘cake’ and so I was expecting a 3-typed chocolate cake rather than mousse.

Score: 3

 

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After finishing my mocktail, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. Again, I haven’t been that impressed with chocolate drinks in GZ but this cup was all right.

Score: 4

 

So I suppose my first time there wasn’t that impressive in terms of food/drinks. However, the atmosphere was great and it was in Taojin area.

 

We went back again 2 weeks ago for an after dinner drinks again (we went to Bosphorus this time which is in the building right next to 1920).

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I tried another mocktail this time, I think it’s called Lychee Temptation and I must say that I quite liked it! It can be quite difficult getting the lychee flavour right if you don’t use the real fruit. I was pleased to find that the lychee taste wasn’t too artificial and overwhelming here.

I think they’ve used the canned lychee as their based which is a good choice. I’m a big fan of lychee so I would definitely order this drink again.

Score: 5

 

We didn’t order any food that time, considering how stuffed we all were after the dinner.

 

Which leads to our latest visit to 1920 on Friday. This time, we actually had dinner there. It was drizzling and the temperature has dropped in GZ at the end of last week so we opted for the indoor section on the 4th floor instead.

The atmosphere was very nice and we sat in the section where we could enjoy the Happy Hour!

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This was one of Kathy‘s orders. I’ll explain why it’s ‘one of’ later. The various vegetables were grilled and seasoned really well. I was surprised at how good it tasted. The portion was pretty small though…

My score: 5

Will come back and add in Katy’s score.

Kathy’s score update: 6 

 

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I definitely ordered the Berry Fruit Punch here. I remember looking through their Happy Hour mocktails list where the lychee drink I had before caught my eyes but I wanted to try something new. I, of course, had completely forgotten that I might have ordered the fruit punch the first time we went to 1920…

Ah well, since I didn’t actually remember that first time, it was a good thing I’d ordered the fruit punch here. I think it’s hard to find a glass of fruit punch that accommodates my taste. I like it quite citrus-y but still with a hint of syrup that I grew up with in Thailand.

(I actually have to google it up to see if 1.) it has an English name and 2.) whether it’s known outside of Thailand or not.

Found the English name but it seems to be a Thai product. It’s Hale’s Blue Boy Sala Flavored Syrup which I absolutely loved as a kid and still love now. Sala is a kind of Thai fruit. I’ve just found out that it can be called snake fruit in English, probably due to its prickly skin. Huh… Thank you Google and Wikipedia.)

Anyway, I was definitely happy with my choice here, would definitely order it again once I’ve made my way through the menu xD

Score: 6

 

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I was feeling like having some cheese so I ordered a starter of Camembert. I can’t remember what exactly is the name of the dish but they are pieces of Camembert cheese, covered with bread crumb.

They were crispy on the outside and soft and melt-y on the inside. The almond, berry sauce and mint leaf really, really complement the Camembert. Having the whole piece in one bit is like a small piece of heaven in your mouth.

I believe that this dish was a hit all around.

Score: 6

 

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It was a tough decision, choosing my main dish. It was either the pork knuckle or a mix platter of sausages, both a well known German dish. I went for the pork knuckle this time and was not disappointed.

We were all a bit shock at the size of it, first of all. It was possibly as big as the one from Paulaner but less pricey. This dish was just a little bit over RMB 100.

The sauerkraut was fantastic and the meat, juicy. The crackling wasn’t as good as the one from Paulaner but it was one hell of a dish for its price.

Score: a very strong 6

 

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My friends order the cheesecake and I must say, it would definitely be a hit if I love cheesecake. The cheese was rich but everything else completed it very well.

My score: 5

One of our gentlemen-friends’ score: “Cheesecake…out of 7? Probably a cool million.” 

Will update if anyone else contributed to the score.

 

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I saw a new hot drink menu right from the beginning with a caramel and nut hot chocolate that caught my attention. So I ordered it after I’d polished off my pork knuckle.

Sadly, the hint of almond was just a tad too strong for me and it was super sweet. Not that I could taste that much caramel… The small bottle had more syrup for those who wanted it sweeter (o.O).

Score: 3

 

And these were all the pictures I’ve taken. We’ve tried the sausage platter, potato noodle and another plate of salad too, as well as numerous drinks.

The place got busier and busier as the night went on and the music was to our liking. However, the service was a bit too disorganised…

As mentioned earlier, Kathy ended up with 2 plates of salad instead of one. She switched the order while ordering but the waiter didn’t cancel the first one. We ended up sharing the other plate of salad.

I actually didn’t mind since I really like their food but it would have been bad if we didn’t have such a big appetite.

It was a good thing we arrived at about 6pm when it wasn’t busy at all or it might have been worse.

Aside from that, everything else was great! I’d love to go again and try new dishes 🙂

Hopefully this entry will be posted as plan. If so, I hope you had a great start to the week!

 

With love,

From GZ

 

Edit:

After reading Kathy’s comment, I realise that we had difficulties with the service the first night as well. One of our friends ordered a pint of beer and it took a couple of reminders before it got served. We were sitting up on the rooftop patio then.

I think it’possibly a common theme there that once the place gets busy, you have to be a bit patient with them….

Philavan – พิลาวัณย์

Finally, it’s time for a post about my flight back to GZ after the Chinese New Year holiday. (I know, it’s nearly a month late but again, better late than never xp)

I flew back to GZ on Saturday 13 Feb with Thai Airways. The flight time is quite early this time around, scheduled to take off before 10am. So I was up by about 6am and had some breakfast.

The good thing about flying with TG is that there were so many check-in counters so I didn’t really have to wait at all. I also had 30kg weight limit. Whoop whoop.

After that, I said good bye to my family then went on to the Security check and Immigration. I was inside by about 7.30am. To kill time, I made my way to the King Power Lounge for a second breakfast xD

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Congee and tea

I don’t normally like congee for breakfast but their congee was good. I’m getting hungry just looking at the picture now…

I had a bit to eat while waiting and just browsing on my phone. It was pretty relaxing 🙂 and free! ;D

Score: 5

 

I made my way to the Gate just before 9am and was greeted with a very nice surprise.

They upgraded me to Business Class because the flight was full.

:DDDDDDDDDDD

This would be my first in a very long time to sit in the Business Class. Needless to say, I was super excited!

I was among the first passengers to board the plane (for once) and couldn’t really keep the grin off my face as I sat down in my seat.

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There was definitely more leg room here xD

As I settled in, the flight attendant came around to serve us some drinks.

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Orange juice

The glass was definitely half full 😉

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The menu

Another flight attendant came around to give us the food and drinks menus. I was intrigue to see what kind of food they’d serve in Business Class.

Here are the menus if you feel like squinting slightly to read them.

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Food

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Drinks

After picking my choice of the main course, I looked around my seat to see what was available.

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There were a lot more buttons/functions to choose for the seat! The seat was bigger than in Economy class and it went further back. It was very comfy to lounge in.

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It was definitely a seat with a view :)))

After the Entertainment came online, I tried to find a film to watch. I was too excited to sleep and I didn’t want to waste my opportunity in Business Class.

Ended up watching Hero (2015), a Japanese film based on a J-series of the same name. It also stars Kimura Takuya, one of the most popular actors in Japan.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of J-Pop so I’m pretty familiar with the entertainment business in Japan. Kimura Takuya, commonly known as KimuTaku, is also in a boy-band called SMAP. SMAP is arguably one of the most famous acts in Japan at the moment, having officially been in the business for more than 25 years.

Anyway, here’s a trailer for the film I’ve watched. It was pretty good actually.

While I was watching the film, the flight attendants started serving our food.

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Almonds and orange juice to get our appetite going.

Then they came around with a white cloth which acted as a table cloth. Fancy…

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Starter

Grilled US Scallop wrapped with leek ribbon

Duck Liver Mousse with Apple

I love scallop but I was never a fan of duck liver… I quite enjoyed this dish but I have to say, what impressed me the most was the green vegetable in the middle. I think it was celery but seasoned well with raisins or something sweet and fruity. I was happily munching it away.

Score: 5

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Main course

Baked Chicken Thigh in Pandan Leaf Sauce

Steamed Thai Hom Mali Rice

Chiang Mai Vegetables 

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit surprised to see the food in the same container as what I would get in Economy class. I was half expecting it to come in a dish like the Starter.

However, I was upgraded so I won’t complain xD The chicken was tender and went well with the rice.

Score: 4

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Dessert

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Apricot Jelly, Almond Crunch and Armagnac Caramel Chocolate Truffle

Stuffed Rice Flour with Coconut and Caramel Covered with Sesame seeds

A pretty long description for a pretty small portion. I wasn’t so impressed with the dessert either, partly because neither the chocolate truffle nor the Thai dessert was to my taste. I tried both and ate all of the apricot jelly (xD that was nice and tangy). The fruit was good though, with apple, grapes and papaya.

Sadly, they didn’t have black tea so I had a cup of Oolong instead.

Score: 3

 

Even though the food didn’t quite impress me that much, the overall experience was still fantastic. Especially since it was a free upgrade ;D I was so sad that the flight was only 3 hours, I would have loved to enjoy the seat for longer. I also forgot to try out the massage option on the seat! >< Will definitely have to try that if I ever find myself in Business Class again ;D

 

Overall experience score: 6

 

It is nearly 9pm now, bed time for me. Just need to dry my hair and then sleep~ Didn’t sleep that well last night I think so felt bad this morning. Thankfully, I felt better in the afternoon. Have another busy day ahead of me tomorrow, eeps.

Hope you are all having a good week!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – It’s been warm for about a week or so but it’s finally rained today and the temperature is dropping. I’m glad for the rain, the air quality was getting very bad and you can see it when you go outside. But hopefully, it won’t be too freezing.

PPS – I went to see Zootopia with Kathy on Sunday and IT WAS AMAZING. We loved it so much!! Just like what Lune said, it was so gooddddddddddd.

[Food Review] RICCI Creative Eats

Since I’m on a blogging spree(?) and that the internet seems to be somewhat working, I better get on with this long and overdue blog entry.

I first went to RICCI Creative Eats back in August when I have just moved to GZ. It had made a great impression back then and hasn’t failed to satisfy us every time since. Most of the photos I have are from the second to last time I went to celebrate Chinese New Year Holiday/the end of Semester 1 but I do have 1 other photo from the time before that.

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From the second time at RICCI

I actually can’t find an official website to RICCI so don’t have the names/descriptions of the dishes so you are all stuck with my memory/creativity xp

This was a salmon burger dish. I was feeling like burger that day and I think this was one of their special menu. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to the expectation. I didn’t particularly like the salmon patty. The rest of the burger was good, loved the pickles and the buns, but the salmon was supposed to be the star of the show so the whole dish kind of flopped.

Score: 3

 

Moving on to last month’s visit.

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Blueberry, banana, yoghurt and honey smoothie (I think)

One of the things that is well known at RICCI is their smoothies. I always get one when I can and have learned to go for the big size rather than the small. I also try to get a different one each time but I actually can’t quite remember now which ones I have had before… ^^”

This glass didn’t disappoint and because of the big size, it lasted the whole meal! I was actually very full by the end… ^^”

Score: 5

 

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Moroccan Eggplant humus

This one was pretty good to, especially to share, and healthy as well!

Score: 4

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Fries with 3 different sauces

The first time I saw the Thai sweet chilies sauce, I might have squealed quietly in excitement. I forget sometimes that I’m in China, not England, and that the Thai’s influence is much stronger here at times, lol.

Still, I didn’t think there are many people out there that have similar tastes like me. I love dipping my fries in the Thai sweet chilies sauce. I actually like mixing the Thai sweet chilies sauce with tomato ketchup ;P

There’s also some sort of soy sauce mayonnaise dip too that was fascinating. So this fries dish was definitely intriguing.

Score: 5

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Chicken and Pesto Pasta

Onto my main course, I saw that they have a pesto pasta dish so of course I had to try it xD

It didn’t disappoint either! It was creamy and full of pesto flavour with mushrooms and chicken. Very filling. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be big enough, turned out that I struggled to finish the whole dish! I was very surprised at that. I was starving by the time dinner was served so to struggle to finish the whole serving was odd for me.

I was actually so full I ended up feeling nauseous that night. I think I’ve mentioned it in this post before about how I ended up feeling quite sick after pigging out. So yes, it was mainly because of this plate of pasta xD

It was still a good plate of pasta though.

Score: 5

 

Here are some other dishes that other people ordered. I don’t think anybody would have remember the score they would give to their dishes now so I’ll just post the pics with a brief description (if I can think of any)…

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This one was The Angry Chef’s dish. Rice with Thai style chicken I think. I believe she was happy with her selection.

Score update: 5

 

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This is the flat bread with salmon and avocado, ordered by The Angry Chef’s husband. Good too I believe.

 

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I believe this is a beef dish with either curry rice or couscous…?

 

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And here is Ice Man’s salad. I think it might be beef as well…?

 

I think every body was happy with their choices. Sorry I couldn’t give the score to every dishes… ^^”

I wouldn’t mind going back to RICCI sometimes soon. It’s right opposite of Ikea at the Guangzhou East Railway Station, Line 3 on Metro too. And there’s a pretty big Aeon supermarket very close by as well as Daiso. It’s a very good place to go on a weekend to shop.

Well, I hope you all had a great Thursday. It’s Friday tomorrow! Woohoo!

With love,

From GZ

 

PS – I’ve actually written this post yesterday after I realised that I should have just open the web in a new tab to get everything working again… Trying the scheduling option as well. Let’s see if it’ll work or not xD

PPS – The 3rd of March is the Hinamatsuri in Japan, so happy Girl’s Day! I love the ornament dolls, they are all beautiful and elaborate! Not to mention expensive too… lol.

 

[Food+Films review] A fun day out

Good evening everyone,

It seems like I’m ignoring my name sake and is trying to post for 3 days straight! Well, it has been a very fun day today 🙂

It started with one of my absolute favourite dish for breakfast, khao man gai. It’s Thailand’s very own version of the Hainanese chicken rice. I forgot to take my mobile phone down with me to snap a picture so I’m afraid I don’t have any image to show off. However, I can definitely give a score.

Score: 7 (Yes, it is that good to me.)

For lunch, my family went out to eat with my mum’s friend and her husband. We went to a Western style BBQ restaurant that is very well known in Thailand called Sizzler at Central World. (Central World being one of the best shopping centres in Bangkok. Possibly my favourite too.)

I’ve ordered the BBQ Pork Boston (you’ll need to scroll down to see the pic so you can compare that to my picture).

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Please ignore my finger at the bottom left… I didn’t actually see it until about 6 hours later… >.>

It actually looked quite similar to the picture in the menu and tasted delicious to me. The BBQ sauce is on the sweet side but I loved that and the peach was a fantastic addition. The pork shoulder was tender and full of flavour too.

I was very happy with this dish and felt like I might have found a new favourite dish for this restaurant. (I haven’t had a favourite dish at Sizzler before hence the high score.)

Score: 6 

 

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Sizzler also provides you with a salad bar where you can eat as much as you like. I really love their cream mushroom soup ❤

Score: 5

(It’s not a 6 because I know it’s not the best for your health or weight…)

 

After lunch, I met up with my best-friend-slash-wife, Lune. (I just thought it’d be easier to give her a name xp)

I went with her to KFC where she had her lunch and then we went on a search for our usual, post-lunch dessert. We would have gone to ‘Bake a wish’, one of my favourite dessert places in Bangkok but my family and my mum’s friends were still there so may be next time….

We settled at Pancake Cafe because I wanted tea. (Had a bit of a headache which might have been from not having any tea at all since morning… I didn’t think my body would crave it this much during the holiday.)

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So I ordered a whole pot of Dilma’s Darjeeling. It was loverly ❤

Score: 6

 

The tea also went very well with my pancake.

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Pancake Cafe allows you to make your own pancake dish and I went with this particular combination today: a small, banana pancake, with peach, chocolate chips toppings and whipped butter.

I wasn’t sure before this arrived if going for chocolate chips was a good idea. It was after the first bite. Many of the chocolate chips were melting from the warm pancake and it went very well with the banana in it. The whipped butter and maple syrup was a classing combination and I just really like peaches ;D

Score: 6

 

After dessert, another friend came by to deliver goodies from Japan which I may rave about in later entries. We had a fun time chatting about Japan and their idols ;)))

 

And then, it was time for a film!

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay money to go see Pride and Prejudice and Zombie at first. Partly because I absolutely love the original book, Pride and Prejudice, and I did recoil (quite violently, internally) the first time I saw the Zombie AU fanfiction book of it.

Because it is a fanfiction. It’s just gotten published.

Lune was pretty keen on seeing the film though. She is also a fan of the original work like me. We still flail over Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy together. Lily James also looks quite good as Elizabeth Bennett (she looks much better than in Cinderella) and it has Matt Smith in it. I am a huge Doctor Who fan and Eleven is my Doctor. And it is, after all, a Pride and Prejudice work… so I thought I’d give it a go.

I am so glad we did.

The film was funny and entertaining and Mr Colonel Darcy in that leather coat. That. Freaking. Leather coat.

I didn’t really notice it until half way through the film may be, but when I finally did. I couldn’t stop. Man… And I realised towards the end too that the actor playing Colonel/Mr Darcy is Sam Riley or the Raven from Maleficent (Diaval). Man, I loved him as Diaval and I really do like him as a ruthless, Zombie-killing, Colonel Darcy.

He couldn’t quite compete with Colin Firth’s Darcy (no one can. Period.) but he is a pretty close second. The man’s voice though. I’m not sure if it’s his natural voice or he’s made it that raspy for this film. Must go back and watch Maleficent again to see.

Anyway, Matt Smith is hilarious in the film. (I see traces of Eleven in there.) And the adaptation to England full of zombie but with lines from the original work was oddly endearing. I kept wanting to squee when I recognised the lines from the original book.

And this film has made me curious about the Pride and Prejudice and Zombie book. I may actually give it a go…

Which leads to the score (because, yes, of course, I will from now on give an IB grade to all films I’ve seen).

Score: 6 (which is higher than I thought I would ever give it but it surprised me with strong female characters who can fight zombies, Matt Smith and Colonel Darcy in that leather coat. That. Freaking. Leather coat. Oh, and the katana too.)

 

And here is where Lune and I might have gone a bit crazy. Another close friend of ours couldn’t make it for dinner and Lune wanted to see The Danish Girl in the cinema and I’ve seen the trailer, Eddie Redmayne shouldn’t look that good as a girl, and Ben Whishaw is in part of it, so we thought, why not? Let’s go see another film!

Which was what we did. xD

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We had about an hour between the two films which was nice since we needed a bit of time to re calibrate our brain from Pride and Prejudice and Zombie to The Danish Girl.

Eddie Redmayne has proven, once again, why he has won the Academy Awards for Best Leading Actor last year. I would give him another one this year too. I think this film should win several Oscars.

I don’t want to talk about it too much in fear of spoiling everyone. And yes, there is a bit less for me to flail about. Seeing Ben Whishaw in this was slightly disconcerting since the last time I saw him on the big screen was in Spectre as Q (who I absolutely love).

Score: 5

 

All in all, it has been a really fun and wonderful day. (It always is when I meet up with Lune ^^) I hope we can do it again very soon!

Lune’s kindly dropped me off at home and I am now ready to sleep. A tad bit hungry but I think it was the right idea to see a second film instead of having dinner. Will be out all day tomorrow so probably won’t be able to post an entry but may be Monday. We shall see.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

With love,

From BKK

 

[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.

 

[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… ^^”

 

 

[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.