Friday, 4 April 2014

Tony´s Ristorante - Pizzaria, San Remo

We would probably have drove all the way to Genova to taste the real pesto sauce if not for the fact that our trip was only a 3 night stay trip.  We could have actually, but since we are planning another trip towards that direction in few months time, we shall be a bit more patience.

Strangely, the pasta was slightly undercooked and not al-dente as expected.  Is this normal?  The pesto sauce was sublime.  The basil is indeed different from the ones we get here.

I opted for salad!  It must be the sunny weather down south that salad is the way to go.

This is the reward for being so disciplined with my lunch choice :-)  The melon gelato I had was out-of-this-world.  Every mouthful was bursting with melon flavour.  I guess I have found myself a new favourite gelato.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Da Nico Trattoria del Porto, San Remo

It was my intention to try the real seafood aglio oglio deal and fortunately, I found a Trattoria serving them while breezing through the town square one afternoon.  Hubby thought I was being a gluttony, seeing that we´ve got a four course meal dinner arranged every evening at our hotel, and the fact that breakfast was also a vast spread.  I´m on holiday!

You can take a german out of Germany, but you can never take Germany out of him.  He´s gotta have his meat.

The trattoria is located in a quiet square right smack in town centre but towards direction of old port.  The amount of restaurants and cafe here is mind-boggling, and it is not a surprise that restaurants owner oblige strange request from discerning customers, like us, who actually shared 1 set of a four course lunch.  Thankfully we shared.  The portions huge!

Another lovely thing about this square are the orange trees lining the courtyard.  How quaint!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Albatros Restaurant, Lindner Airport Hotel Dusseldorf

We checked into Lindner Airport Hotel Dusseldorf the night before our long, awaited anniversary trip.  Dinner was at local resident restaurant, which was not bad at all.  I had a small serving of Prosciutto Wrapped Melon while hubby zoomed straight into his main course!

Pasta was a bit overcooked, but the seafood tasted fresh.  I would have preferred by Aglio Oglio to come with more olive oil and not so dry, but having said that, the taste was spot on.

Hubby hardly eat beef and it seems that his choice of Beef Steak with Mustard Crust proved to be a blessing.  But there´s a story to this choice which I will blog about later ... :-)

The restaurant menu does not have any description of desserts, except that if you want a sweet ending, just order a Flying Dessert.  Its a surprise.  And so, with much anticipation from us and I reckon lots o diner in the restaurant, the flying dessert ends up to be a waiter bringing a tray for dessert right to your table for your selection.  Haha.  What a gimmick!  But, its reasonably priced and came with 5-6 selection, and perhaps its a good thing that one can see how attractive it looks before picking up onés choice?  I went for a Espresso Creme Brulee (its soooo good!) and hubby had their Dark Chocolate Mousse.

Service was pretty prompt in this restaurant.  Well, after all it should be a hotel service level.  Food wise was above average, but if you ask me if I would return, hmmmm .. I will explore other possibilities if I´m  not too tired to venture out.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Orange & Yellow Tulips (Sunkiss from Heaven)

Another busy week ahead.  We did a couple of things last week after our interesting weekend in Dortmund so again, no update from the kitchen front.  But I vow to myself to strike back after our holiday coming weekend as I´ve bookmarked some recipes that I´ve been itching to try. 

Last week, we had a fabulous albeit panicky weekend away with hubby´s brother and his girlfriend.  They took us to a lovely restaurant perched at the top floor of the new culture centre building, only to end abruptly with a fire alarm evacuation before our meal arrived.  We had to calmly walk seven floors down but god knows what was in everyone´s head.  Was it terrorist work, vandalism or negligence?  Funny thing is, some couple insist of using the lift although the announcement prohibits them.  These are germans and the announcement was in German too?! 

That aside, we checked out another fabulous, historical restaurant in town soon after, and then later ended the night with lots of chatting in the kitchen later.  The next morning, Karola prepared us a lovely breakfast before making our way to an art gallery opening.  It was indeed a lovely Sunday spent this way.  How I wish there´s more of such installment in where I live :-)

Anyway, gotta run because we´re hosting some lovely friends over this weekend and I´ve got an invite to attend to inbetween this hosting!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Top 10 Places in Europe (that I would like to visit soon)

When it comes to vacation time, living in Europe is a real blessing.

The choices are unlimited, and even if you´ve visited one favourite capital over and over again, time and energy rebuilts itself. Some locals here are happy with visiting the same spot for their summer vacation every single year but for us, we make it a point to visit at least 1 new destination every single year.

Prior to my work commitment, we were bless to be able to go on vacation almost every month. Some short days and then long ones during spring, summer, autumn and then winter breaks because Germans, are lucky people if I must say. They get a minimum of 30 paid work days a year and hubby gets more than that in addition to his extra hours filled up throughout the year. We use to have the luxury of going as and when we want, scouting the best deals in town but sadly, it had since stopped after I got myself a teaching job.

But we try and make the best out of the situation. Here´s what I personally would love see really soon! We are making plans already, and one being just a week away from today so I´m really, really excited! We got ourself a lovely historic hotel infront of the beach with lots of sun a few metres away, lots of flower in a city known for flowers :-) Not to mention, the food is reputable to be very good and our hotel arrangement comes with top notch cuisine arrangement! So woohoo!

Here´s the list ...

Santorini, Greece

Seville, Spain

Provence, France

Edinburg, Scotland

Cinque Terre, Italy

Rome, Italy

Lisbon, Portugal


Vienna, Austria

and ...

gorgeous Tuscany in Italy!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Flower Bulb Potting Craze

I´m in flower arrangement/potting craze now.  I think as off last week, I´ve potted more than 5 assortments in total?!  Ideas are applenty this time of the year everywhere you see, and it really does not make any sense when the bulbs are cheap, the pots are laying around the house  that one need not pick them up from garden centre which cost possibly few folds more.  Unless it is for gifts for example, and here, the locals do find whatever opportunity to give you something green and lovely.  More to come :-)

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Food post will be missing in action this week as I will be taking time off the kitchen to work in the garden.  The meteorologist here says that winter is officially behind us, yay! And we can safely welcome spring. 

So as of early this week, I have been moving our patio furnitures out, trimmed away the overgrown foliage of my grape hyacinthe (well, she does need a yearly haircut), and cleared away some dried leaves which fell from the nearby maple tree.  My seedings are doing well too and I had been tending to them religiously and I can´t wait to show you all what I have been seeding. 

I´ve also been shopping around for interesting container flowers and boy, there surely are lots of new varieties and hybrids available!  What I´m looking for is, easy to care, looks attractive and easy on the wallet.  I´ve also potted some spring arrangements in varieties of containers and vases to be placed around the house (picture above) and has been buying tulips weekly and placing them next to our breakfast table so that we could enjoy them first thing in the morning when we have breakfast.  Garden magazines? Checked.  Easter decorations? Getting there too! And the list goes on. 

I´m so excited because its spring and its one of my favourite season of the year!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Yellow Daffodils

It is only mid February but the spring bulbs are already sprouting out from the soil!  And I am more than please because I´ve planted in lots of very interesting spring bulbs last Autumn and if the weather continues this way, I might be able to catch a glimpse of it before I depart off to Malaysia early April :-) 

Here´s a shot of my Daffodils which I´ve learned to love just two years ago.  When I got started with gardening, yellow flowers would be my last choice in my flower bed, but now, it is invading every corner of our home. Ha.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Hakka Pork Roll (Chuen Kuen)

Chinese New Year finally comes to an end with the celebration of Chap Goh Meh.  It falls on the fiftenth day of the first month in Chinese Solar Calendar and coincidently, its on 14 February this year which coincides with Valentines Day.  The chinese also has a tradition of throwing mandarin oranges to nearby lakes with their contact number written on it hoping to meet their future spouse during this period so I reckon this February 14th is a good start to merge both chinese and western tradition?!

Me and hub are old school people.  My hubby nor me believes in celebrating Valentines Day the commercial way.  We feel that we should not just take this day to show affection and our love for each other but should instead be a constant effort every single day.  I love pampering my hubby whenever I can so although we shyed away in the past, I was in the mood to surprise him this year.

I woke up very early today to bake us a moist, dark, Varlhrona Chocolate Cake.  I also picked up a kilo of very juicy looking strawberries.  Later mid afternoon, I made us an appetiser of Hakka Pork Rolls as seen above.  Dinner is still under works as I am writing this.  I guess my slice of the chocolate cake got on the way and I´m way too stuff to think of dinner now, but will see ...

Happy Valentine´s Day everyone and Happy Chap Goh Meh to all those celebrating!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Tong Sui

Something sweet, but light to wrap up a meal.  Chinese in my opinion aren´t very good at desserts as how the westerners do or even the south east asians.  Having a dessert ending which resembles a drink is not uncommon. But since I´m insisting to go traditional, this is it. A simple tong sui to wrap up my Chinese New Year cooking series which ends on 14th February 2014.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tofu with Mince Pork Sauce

Recently, I came across a youtube video of a Malaysian girl base in Germany who cooks really well.  Her name is Grace, a very young girl judging from her look but had since done some collaboration with some companies in producing pretty good Malaysian and Nyonya recipes.  One of the dishes I got smitten with was this Steam Tofu with Mince Pork Sauce.  Very simple and homely cooking if you ask me, but nevertheless delicious.  I have this knick of adding Xiao Shing Wine in my cooking lately due to my addiction in watching from Taiwanese cooking programme lately, and indeed, the wine does make a difference in elevating a lot of dishes to a deeper level. 

My tofu here got a kick start first.  It was given a quick steam for 5 minutes.  But really, you can make do with less depending on what kind of tofu you use.  I then proceeded in making the mince meat sauce with chopped garlic and dried mushrooms.  And thats it apart from the seasoning from soya sauce, dark soya sauce, Xiao Shing Wine, oyster sauce and then later thickening agent corn flour to bind the sauce together.  This was my lunch and I could not be more please.  Tomorrow is the last day of Chinese New Year it seems and not Saturday, so I will be rushing off to some shopping later to create the last Chinese New Year meal of the year.  So, stay tune!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Steamed Pomfret

A reunion dinner without a fish dish on the table is a big NO-NO.  It plays such a big significance due to its longevity signification that the cook of the house, usually the mother, would fuss over many aspect of dish.  From the type of fish selected, the size of it, how fresh is the fish, is the whole and intact with glowy gleaming skin, eyes are clear, the gills are red still and lastly, how to best prepare them.  But the last is very closely related to how fresh is the fish. 

If the fish is fresh, Chinese mother´s love steaming them to taste its delicateness.  If it is not fresh, frying or camouflaging them with sauces is the way to go.  But of course, it is not always the case as some families have moved away from traditional way of preparation and has instead embraced whatever style they fancy with the freshest of fish.

Its been a couple of months since I last had Steamed Fish.  Getting them whole and fresh is quite a challenge where I live, but due to the occassion, I made it a point to cross over to the border´s weekend market to grab these lovely pomfret.  It befits the special occassion, the fish whole with head and tail intact, possibly not the freshest but passable and its delicious when steamed right.