Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thai Basil

Among 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, there are meals that exciting and full of surprises but there are many that are plain boring. I feel bored even writing the review myself. Therefore, I am creating a new label / category named Boring Meal. Less description will be provided because they will be boring anyhow but I don't want to waste the pictures I have taken and deprive reader's

A semi-open kitchen approach but seemed like a semi-fast food counter to me from the speed of serving the dishes, both hot and cold.

Valuable real estate here hence the packed arrangement of tables in my opinion

Refreshing Pomelo Salad but a boring dish.

Thai Prawn Cakes were nice with or without the sauce. The sauce was a bit ... too sour for me to be honest.

Ywannn .... didn't I tell you that it is boring?? Sauteed Spinach leaves was a bit too salty, other than that it tasted like another sauteed spinach leaves everywhere.

Char-grilled cod fish was rather interesting. It was curry broth instead of thick curry. The fish was nice but not of optimal temperature unfortunately.

Char-grilled satay platter was unexpectedly pleasant. Soft and tender beef plus pork skewers. At least they were hot!

Char-grilled Duck Breast wok fried Hokkien Noodles was a bit too greasy and too moist for my liking.

  • Casual atmosphere
  • Rather pleasant Char-grilled satay platter
  • Can be quite noisy
  • Food pacing was pretty fast
  • Sauteed Spinach leaves was a bit too salty
Avg Spending: HKD 100 - 200 per person

Thai Basil
Shop 001, Basement, Pacific Place,
88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2537 4682

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Banana Muffins at 10:30pm

There is nothing wrong with baking muffins at 10:30pm! I was bored so I baked, time was not of importance! I hate bananas but I love all kinds of banana by-products such as banana pudding, banana muffins or even banana shakes. Most recipes are for 12 muffins so being the lazy person that I am, I decided to make 6 muffins and 3 mini loaves! My recipe was a combination of these two from Cat Can Cook and Joy of Baking. I like mine less sweet and with strong banana flavor.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taipei March 2010 - Day 4 (More Food and Cuties Spotted!)

On Day 1 I went to bed with a full stomach.
On Day 2 I went to bed thinking about the huge uni I had for during lunch
On Day 3 I went to bed realizing that I might have 3 (or perhaps 4) stomachs!
On Day 4 ... I ... I went to bed wishing I have 2 more stomachs!

Our flight back to Hong Kong was scheduled to depart around 8pm so we got a whole day ahead of us! More sightseeing? More food? Why not both! We headed for 九份 Jiufen, located in the 瑞芳鎮 Ruifang township 瑞芳鎮, used to be a major mining destination and was once a very prosperous community. Currently it is a very popular tourist attraction for the buildings' unique architectural designs, or so it claims. Many of the buildings are built along the mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One thing for certain, the buildings seem to remain relatively unchanged for the past several decades and there is only one road that leads to this hillside community.

One of the major stopovers was the old street of 九份 Jiufen which was very similar to Hong Kong's Stanley market but with a lot more street food - and honestly more varieties than the night market. I prefer this historical destination than the night market

Within 20 steps from the entrance, I already spotted some food to eat! Deep Fried Shrimp Balls! Yum!

Food was all around me once again! Another 20 steps forward we found another place selling fish balls in soup! We walked in while I was still chewing on the Shrimp Balls!

It was a Monday morning and the place was already so packed with locals and tourists! We took the seats inside with the little stools.

Appetizer was smoked duck and it was better than I expected from a touristy street food vendor. It was rich in flavors and the thin fatty layer between the meat and skin gave it a wonderful texture!

The main item was the varying sizes of fish balls!!! Look at that HUGE fish balls? I think they were called Fuzhou Fish Balls. Did I mention they were FILLED???

Oh my, one has to be very careful when eating this, the fillings were pretty hot and liquid with strong meaty flavors. Yum! (Thanks to Andrew's info, I am learning new things everyday! The traditional kind of Fuzhou Fish Balls have fillings made of shark meats but I personally was not able to distinguish that on the spot because the flavor was rather strong. Then again, just another reason for me to return again to try it out and ask!)

Alright it was time to walk it off, been eating too fast too much in the last 15 minutes. Another 30 steps of walk should do it right? So many to see and wonderful aroma everywhere!

Actually 25 steps were all I took after the Fish Balls meal because I spotted this Ice Cream Peanut Wrap!

It looked like a normal wrap but when you take a bite you will be surprised. Not from the cold ice cream or the peanuts, but the that little green thing! They added Chinese parsley / Coriander in it. Interesting indeed and certainly gave it a very unique taste / flavor.

Before going onto more food sighting I would like you to pay attention to the next food stop which sells 油蔥棵 (Rice Cake in English I suppose)

Not only was it interesting looking, it tasted wonderful as well. The texture resemble that of Chinese turnip cake only softer. The sauce and the fried garlic on top gave it most of the flavors. I liked it very much!

Why did I take so many picture of this particular store? Because the girl selling it is pretty! Don't you agree with me?? (*wink wink* if you are reading this 'pretty girl from 郵局前油蔥棵, care to join me for dinner? Can you teach me how to make this Rice Cake? ... email me please! ^^)

Alright I better move along because otherwise I would have bought the WHOLE thing! This lady selling sausage was just too scary!

One huge sheet of peanut toffee!

I am still not sure what there are, looked interesting though. Like I said, more food varieties here compared with the night market!

Wow, HUGE mushroom! I ordered a cup right away!

O Yum! Less sauce would do just fine!

Cute doggy running around :)

Hello MR! What are you doing? Brushing Teeth???

After walking and eating for about an hour we got tired and we picked this tea house for a little break.

The place was nice with all wooden decor including the tables and chairs, but it was the view that topped everything else! Did I mention it was the Pacific Ocean we were looking at?

Drink some fruit tea overlooking the Pacific Ocean somewhere up the mountain was definitely the highlight of the day!

Our day did not stop here, we continued out journey further up the hills and even went pass a little hole in the ground which used to be an mining entrance.

I don't like stairs! After a short walk up and down, I felt hungry already so time for more food! It was time for some sweets! We stopped by this dessert place which sell 芋圓 which resemble and similar to Italian Gnocchi in terms of shape and texture. There were many flavors and were placed in sweet soup for consumption.

We also went to the nearby gold / mining museum (Gold Ecological Park) whereby a Japanese prince once stayed during the period when Taiwan was still a colony

The museum was closed on a Monday so we can only walk around the garden and the surroundings. Almost all buildings were built or reconstructed in Japanese style perhaps to fit the historical background of this location / region.

There were so many stairs! I think I had enough stairs for this day! Good that this was out last stop before the airport so I can really take a nap! But after all these exercise, I was getting a bit hungry again ... I guess my food venture must continue back in Hong Kong.

I will be back Taipei! Wait for me!

Day 1 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 1 (Eat, Eat and ... Eat)
Day 2 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 2 (More Food please ... )
Day 3 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 3 (I have a 3rd Stomach!)
Day 4 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 4 (More Food and Cuties Spotted!)

- End of Day 4 -
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