Friday, 9 January 2015

Shi Mai Vietnamese Restaurant, Berlin

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If you happen to be around Museum Insel in Berlin and am looking for a place to rest your feet and have a hot cuppa, I totally recommend you to try out Shi Mai. It is tucked away from the tourist heavy streets hence it is quiet.  But take a few steps off after your meal, and you will be greeted by Aquadom which happen to be the world's largest cylindrical aquarium and is located in Radisson Blu Berlin, right adjorning to this restaurant.

I love my coffee strong, and FAST but ordering a cuppa here reminded me to slow down.  Which is a good thing.  After all the walking in the morning, hubby can´t help slowing down too ... wake up loukung, stop day-dreaming! :-)

































The food here is prepared well, and is affordable.  This prawn spring roll here cost only 2.90 Euro per plate and it tasted really authentic. Love it.

































Grilled Chicken salad done right, with all the right spices. 

































My lunch of Bun Cha :-) Superbly executed!  Grilled pork were so tender, super juicy (how did they do that?!) and flavourful .. it was already good on its own! But the moment one mixes the cold noodle, the sourish spicy sauce and the salad cordiment - its outta this world comfort food.

Happy days :-)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Christmas Dinner At Home

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We changed our cooking plans this year.

Instead of who preparing what on which day, which can be mind-boggling and frustrating because we after all, share the same kitchen and the same utensils - we decided to go by day and not by task.  Hubby voluntered to cook on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I am in charge of dinner on 2nd day.  The cake and coffee session is Mama´s territory, but that did not stop my itchy hand from baking another cake! Well, that´s another story altogether ... :-)

So, on second day of Christmas, we had ...

Assorted Christmas Cookies.  Three of the five are homemade.  From the top, Lebkuchen (storebought of course, its crazy to make them oneself!), Almond Biscotti (homemade by hubby), Lemon and Poppyseed Stars (homemade by yours truly), Mini Stollen (store bought, yeah I know, I should have made these) and lastly, Florentiner (also by yours truly) ...

































Appetiser were Involtini.

A kind of seared meat with filings inside.  Since we´ve been stuffed to brim with German cooking past days, I decided to do Italian.  Simply because it is more colourful and it taste lighter.  Ahem, yes, compared to traditional german cooking ...

My involtini comes with Mozarella and Spinach stuffing.  They were serve on bed of Lamb Lettuce and drizzled with Balsamic Cream.

















I found some fresh italian chestnuts in the market so decided to poached them simply in salt water for 20 minutes.  They tasted fabulous this way!  Moist and slightly salty .. yum.

































Having had pork past days, fish is the chosen one then ...

Our main course were Italian Crusted Salmon Fillet serve with Seasonal Rooted Vegetables.  I made a simple white sauce to go with it but later, changed my mine and spiked them with tomato puree and assorted herbs so it ended up being Italian White Sauce? Hehe.

It went really well with the fish so I´m thoroughly very please.

































Sometimes, the simpliest is the yummiest.

We ended our meal with Affogatto which I quickly assembled in the kitchen by combining two scoops of pure vanilla ice cream and then later, pouring a think dose of italian espresso over.

If I´m not mistaken, eveyone sleep well that night which is quite in contrary to why we´ve been avoiding coffee after 5pm all this while.  Espresso, as oppose to normal cuppa has a totally different effect.

Strange.

































Here´s for the record of our 2014 Christmas dinner at home with a printed menu I prepared earlier for my guest ... I hope you all had a good one too!




Sunday, 4 January 2015

Michelin Two Experience @ Fischers Fritz Restaurant, Berlin

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Germany has a total of 11 three-stars, 37 two-stars, 226 one-stars, and 452 Bib Gourmands Michelin rated restaurants as of 2014. Which is quite a lot if you ask me, but I suspect more will come.  And we look forward to trying out more in 2015 :-)

Our first Michelin star restaurant experience in Germany took place in Berlin.  It was something I´ve bookmarked for a while and coincidently, it was just around the corner from the hotel we were staying in last month.

Fischer´s Fritz, a Michelin Two star restaurants is apparently well known in Berlin.  Located inside the legendary and opulent The Regent Hotel, Berlin - it is nothing short of perfection and luxury.

We had ...

A welcome bread basket of six variation, served with decadent salted butter - like how I eat my toast every morning, simply and delicious ...

































Amuse bouche of Crayfish and Saffron on Bed of Seasonal Root Vegetables ...

Fresh, slightly tangy with deep saffron flavour ... to open up the appetite.

















Next came our appetiser of ...

Crispy baked Onsen egg with black chanterelles, cauliflower purée with lemon salt and lobster bisque ...
(Knusprig gebackenes Onsenei mit Herbsttrompeten Püree von Blumenkohl mit Zitronensalz geschäumte Hummerbisque)

Sublime.

All the flavours were in harmony, chanterelle were smoky and yet, retaining its juice and slight chewiness.  Lobster bisque lent a wonderful, light foamy texture and onsen egg were marvelously fresh.  It was fried to perfection, golden in colour so breaking the egg was a feast to the eye :-)  It is a popular appetizer among guest and I can see why ...

































Hub who detest seafood or fish decided to do fish for main course!  That´s a first :-)

Steamed Fillet of sea bass with Escabèche vegetable. (Gedämpfter Wolfsbarsch Escabèchegemüse)

He was please with it, which is good ...  and I take it as well done sign from Fischers Fritz.

From visual point, it won me over 100%. 

































I, on the other hand had an ...

Iceland sea trout, chanterelles and green pea emulsion. (Island Lachsforelle, Trompetenpfifferlinge und Erbsenemulsion)

Perfectly cooked sea trout.  Moist and silky, warm, and fresh ... of course. Paired again with chanterelles like our first course and worked.  Green pea emulsion colour that appeases the eye with its contrast but more importantly, its subtle light taste paired well with the Iceland sea trout.

Fish and green pea are good friends ain´t it? :-)

































A sweet ending of something Christmassy was the perfect icing on the cake.

Thank you Fischers Fritz for the lovely Chestnut Sorbet, Hazelnut Spiced Syrup ... a spoonful of delectable deliciousness is all one need sometimes ...

















Our last visit to Michelin Star was around 2012 in Mallorca and it was for a 9-10 course tasting menu.  Hubby and I agree that our experience here in Fischers Fritz is more to our taste ... less courses that we could remember each and every one of them ...