Sunday, 28 December 2014

Brasserie am Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

We revisited Berlin last week. It was awesomeness to the max! Being our third trip to the capital, we have more or less worked out which quarter we liked best so that we could stick around it more besides being able to explore other hip and creative corner which we missed out last time.

Gendarmenmarkt which is located in Stadt Mitte is officially our favourite quarter. Not only that location is fantastically smacked in the middle which makes travelling to east and west side of the capital super easy, our favourite Christmas Market in the whole of Germany - Gendarmenmarkt is here too!

Well, that was our initial reasons until we explored further and look what we found.  A little gem in the form of this brasserie for a quick lunch.

Here´s what we had ...

Salade Brasserie mit Nordsee Krabben, Basilikum-Joghurt-Senfdressing

Kartoffelcremesuppe mit Rettichkresse, an Kartoffelstrudel

Brust und Keule von der Brandenburger Landente auf Majoranjus an Rotkohl mit Apfelchutney

Wiener Schnitzel an lauwarmem Kartoffel - Gurkensalat

Schokolade Pannacotta mit Früchten der Saison

It was reasonably priced to eat here.  Apart from the appetiser and dessert which cost 2.90Euro each, the main course ranges between 8-10 Euro bringing a total of not more than 16 euro per person for a 3 course lunch excluding drinks!  Service were top-notch, drink list is good.  And after a good meal, you are surrounded literarily by one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin ... :-)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Apples Restaurant, Park Hyatt Hamburg

Well, I did promise to treat myself more often once my little business takes off. One is up and I have another one more to go. It will be my little project for 2015 and not only am I super excited over it, my hubby who is usually pretty laid back and is always telling me to take things easy, no stress laaaa ... is super excited over it too! Totally unexpected because he himself had also embarked on a little `P´project and I never have guessed that he had anymore excitement left for mine :-)

So anyway, I recently caught up with some old friends up north in Hamburg for our yearly Christmas Market get-together. It was such a heart-warming gathering, filled with honesty, sincerity, and simplicity and am glad I made it this time versus last year where I decided to not proceed as weather forecast took a sudden turn, and it just felt unsettling then.

My treat while in Hamburg this round was ... a visit to Apples Restaurant in Park Hyatt.  Located not too far away from the train station (Hamburg Hauptbahnhof), it received pretty good reviews amongst the german speaking community in a few travel sites.

I had ...

Freshly baked focaccia bread and walnut bread.  It came with a fantastic fig reduction creme which I can´t get enough off.  I had to stop myself from finishing the bread as I wasn´t sure how big my 3 course meal order was.

Here´s my appetiser of Garnelen/gebraten - Pinienkern Panacotta, Grapefruit, Dill Vinaigrette.

Nothing to shout about if you ask me.  The prawns were succulent and fresh, expected of such establishment but I expected the flavour pairing of pinenut pannacotta, or grapefruit to be a bit more mind boggling and it is not.  It is done right, yes, but not spectacular.

Main of Mais Poularden Brust - Artischocken Crème, Schwarzwurzel, Bohnen

If there is one thing I am impress with, it is what lies beneath the succulent piece of corn-fed chicken.  What I first thought as a very well prepared potato mash underneath is, artichoke cream as I later found out.  The stacks on top of it which I originally thought were white asparagus turn out to be Salsify.  Sal what?  Yes, salsify.  It is a kind of black rooted vegetables with oystery, ocean-like taste to it but comes with a white asparagus texture.  Very interesting and very, very good.  Its something I would love to pick up one day and try to cook it.

And dessert of Feigen Tarte,  Blätterteig, Cassisreduktion, Vanilleeis

Last but not least was a very well made Fig tart.  The tart itself is almond base, a good base to pair with fig.  Reduction sauce were done well, with lovely syrupy thickness and yet not too sweet.  The vanilla ice cream were smooth and creamy, but yet, was serve in the right temperature thats not too cold.  Thankfully.  Vanilla pod in the ice cream were visable with each bite I put in my mouth ... so I would say this dessert is really faultless ... and is a perfect end to the meal.

I would love to return when I am in Hamburg again!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Lunch @ Dornröschenschloss Sababurg

Germany is a vast land with lots of nooks and corner still left unexplored by me.  But often enough, we will find ourself back to good old corner because it offers a bit more history and edge than other for example the Fairy Tale Route which spans across a few states and located not too far from where we live.  We were there two months ago for a short trip to visit the real castles and palaces which inspired today´s much love fairy tale stories such as Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, The Pipe Piper etc ...

It was in Sleeping Beauty Castle that we got a chance to taste some of the finest local delicacy.  The bratwurst or sausages were from wild boar, possibly made fresh ... 

Zwei Reinhardswald Wildschweinbratwürstemit Preiselbeersauce,
Apfelrotkohl und Spätzle ...

Forellenfilet mit Sahnemeerrettich, Blattsalat, Baguette und Butter

And my trout tasted just as fresh ... and yummy.  Hubby was a bit concern if its enough to fill up my tummy but to me, thats a good excuse to explore a cafe to try out the local cakes!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Dinner @ Strandhaus No 12, Edersee

Returning back to continenal eating, here is a restaurant high on my list to visit during our recent weekend trip to Edersee.  I know hubby would be very please with its maritime theme decor with most seats taking in a gorgeous, unblocked view of Edersee. Our dinner was a simple two course, nothing too fancy usually when eating out in Germany as portions are usually huge and filling that one can´t go more than two course anyway.

To start off ... I had a glass of rose, and he, a weissbier.

The kitchen is known for serving homebread breads, dips and the likes.  The bread tasted fresh, healthy and light.  Perfect.

Something from the seasonal menu and its pumpkin.  Light, creamy with a hint of spice.  I enjoy the texture very much too, being not too chunky or too watery.

His tomato soup however looked like a can of tomato puree.  I was worried for him, but alas, he said it tasted homemade and decent. 

My schnitzel man and his beloved portion of pommes aka fries.  He is a happy camper with just the two but the chef like any good chef, wanted to keep the meal balance by introducing a decent portion of green. Haha.  Well .. its rude to not finish your plate hubby .. so eat up!

I went for a light Tomato and Rucola Flammkuchen.  It was a Monday so its vegetarian day for me.  The crust were amazingly light and crusty.  One of those kind where it might just get blown away if you eat them outdoor!

All and all, decent food for the fair price in such hotel category.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

White Curry Mee @ O´Penang, Ikano Power Centre

I´ve had my fair share of miss vs hit when choosing a place to eat in a shopping mall especially a neighbourhood mall such as Ikano Power Centre. But like the locals, try something new if you spot one and O´Penang that is!

The menu as I recall is not too bad.  From typical Penang offering such as Char Kuey Teow to Prawn Mee, it was pretty extensive if I remember correctly.  But one offering stood out and that is the Penang White Curry Mee which took Malaysian´s instant noodle world by storm.

I was quite appalled  by its pale appearance when it arrived.  It was white! And not in a good way.  A quick taste of the soup before mixing the killer chilli in proved to reconfirmed my initial reaction.  It was light, too light infact as I can´t detect much coconut milk flavour.  The chilli paste they provided elevated it a bit.  The spiciness is there, but I can´t help feeling sorry for all the tofupok, seeham, boiled egg, noodles and the likes because it could have been more flavourful.  Will I try them again? Perhaps not.  But, I will give their other dishes a try when I fly back in few months time.

Cendol is good though ...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Chilli Pan Mee @ Face to Face Noodle House Taman Mayang

The Great Grandfather of Face to Face Noodle House chain owner learned how to make noodles traditionally in Hong Kong before starting on his own in Sarawak later.  If I am the Great Grandfather, I would be very proud today of what his grandson/daughter have achieved.  Their noodles were done right.  It is a pity that the chain is so low profile.

Kin Kin made a name for herself with their Chilli Pan Mee.  While I have not tasted the real thing, I thought these were already good.  Apart from the noodle, the chilli plays such an important role and I really did wish that I could buy a bottle of it back to enjoy.  But no, they don´t sell them.

So lucky you Klang Valley folks ...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Typical Dutch Dinner @ Harlingen, Netherlands

This was taken few months back while holidaying at the North Coast of Europe.  Unlike in Asia where dinner is usually lavish, it is not surprising to see locals here having just a simple warm soup with bread slices accompanied by assorted antipasti.  In Germany, they call them Abendbrot although many families are moving away from it and instead is embracing simple but hot noodle or one pot dish.

8th August 2014 marked my sixth year here.  I can say that I have adapted to some of the local customs.  Cooking really is a chore after a while so sometimes, it is quite tempting to just grab some bread to go.  Anyway back to this entry, we decided to order some assortment to share.  We are usually quite sceptical or cautious with Netherland´s meat produce due to their scandal past, but putting that aside, the charcuterie were tasty and moist.  I had a bowl of seafood soup.  I was expecting something more brothy and thick, but it came very light.  It is tasty nevertheless but I did wish for it to be in bigger portion.

In Netherland, it is not uncommon to see one ordering a coffee after dinner.

In France, they end their meal with cafe gourmand.  In Netherland, we simply had a dessert platter to share.  They tasted very homemade, which was good.  Very nice profiteroles (top right), orange sorbet was decent but a tad too sweet, and a small portion of their famous Tompouce.  It is essentially pastry and thin cake layer with strawberry cream filling.  Strawberry was in season, unfortunately it was sour and not so flavourful! I still prefer the ones in Germany!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Chee Cheong Fun @ Yap Hup Kee, Pudu

All it took was a genius to elevate a simple plate of Chee Cheong Fun to the next level.  With a toss of Dried Shrimps, which I believe perfected over the years - it is no wonder that one got to wait for an available table. 

Their other speciality is the black, ugly, squirmy thing you see here.  Unappetising to look at, but ...

SINFULLY good once you pop them into your mouth. I could not get enough of these caramalised, sweetish deep fried pig´s intestine.

My friends dragged me here one hot afternoon with me expecting smooth and thin chee cheong fun companied by freshly made fish paste filling for the yong tau foo stuffing.

Yap Hup Kee did exactly that, and more ...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Restaurant Kreta @ Bielefeld

I decided to drive down to Bielefeld one weekend to spent time with my bestie Nina.  It was a scorching hot day with no wind at all.  Being newbie in town and the fact that her new home is still under work in progress, we thought it was a good idea to eat out.  It is always lovely dining al-fresco in Europe where you not only feast on your stomach but with people passing by, one cannot help feasting with your eyes too.  We both coincidently love seafood so seafood it is.  Fischplatte @ 14.50Euro each which came with 2 pieces of calamari, a fish fillet, 2 pieces of prawn and all serve with a deliciously cooked tomato base rice but greeked up.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Berries Shortcake for Hubby´s 44th!

I wanted to keep the occassion as simple and fuss free as possible because thats how he likes it.  There wasn´t any baking which was good because it was scotching hot around 35C here.  The only thing I did was go pick up some fresh berries and ready made shortcake base, then proceed to whip up the cream.  My gift to him was also very straightforward.  Something self made which he will find useful when he start his dream project which we call The P Project.

Happy 44th Liebe Lou Kung!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Mama´s Kitchen @ Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

Three very hungry souls, and half an hour to spare before our coffee session in one of the coffee joints in this old but well respected neighbourhood.  Both my companion I and P knows the area well so off we hopped to Mama´s Kitchen for our late night snack!

Their Siew Yuk Wantan Mee was to die for! We ordered seconds in no-time.  Lots of garlic, dark soya sauce and sugar fried with Siew Yuk under high heat, it is a lethal combination

On the contrary, their signboard dish (chew pai dish) of Claypot Loh Shue Fan failed in comparison.  It tasted flat, especially so after the Siew Yuk dish with lots of wok hei.  I still prefer the one in Petaling Street.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Restaurant Zur Barriere

What a week it had been.  A week where the world witness air disasters one after another, and how esteem news agency  turn into a mere tabloid level news reporting with below par evidence to support their news.  That plus the war thats going on in Gaza, I hope it ends soon so that no more civillians get hurt or die.  It is at times like these that I feel blessed and thankful for being born and now residing in a stable free country which are also war and natural disaster free.  Life goes on as one says and never forget to cherish what is infront of us.

Back to my blog posting, our dinner last week to celebrate hubby´s birthday.  It was really funny because the sign board says it is Italian menu every Thursday but we found nothing italian at all here except for 3 varieties of pasta dishes hidden in their long menu.  The pasta did not even sound italian so we ordered what German chef does best : pork dishes.

Mine was Schwein Medallion with French Sauce.  Hubby had their Schnitzel with Gourmet Mushroom Sauce.  You can never go wrong with pork dishes in Germany so, yeah, we came back with a happy tummy.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Uma Balinese Restaurant - The Strand @ Kota Damansara

Chinese Food - Checked
Indian Food - Checked
Malay Food - Checked
Nyonya - Checked
Thai Food - Checked
Japanese Food - Checked
Korean Food - Checked
Taiwanese Food - Checked

What´s left?

Balinese Food!  And The Uma at the Strand does a pretty decent one ...

Seen here, Bebek Betutu with accompanying side dishes.  Portions were too huge for lone luncher like me one fine week day.  I simply could not finish them, but lets not be mistaken that the food is not on par.  On contrary, it is one of the best Balinese in this side of town.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Fürstenberg Bräustüble @ Donaueschingen

Hubby and I loveeee exploring brewery or winery kind of restaurants whenever we travel around this region.  Not only are they applenty, the food serve up are usually top-notch and what´s even better are the superb, fresh beer or selected wine that comes with it.  During our recent trip to Black Forest region, we have been fortunate to try not only one but two fantastic brewery cum restaurant.

Fürstenberg, which was incorporated back in 1283 survived the test of time with not only an impressive beer brewed here, my Braumeister-Pfannle or translated loosely to Brewmaster´s Pan (17.50 euro) was superb indeed.  Small succulent pieces of Schweine Medallions (I loveee this cut and would order it defaultly whenever I am in a German restaurant) were top notch.  The matching of gourmet mushrooms, possibly freshly harvested from this region were sublime.

Hubby´s Schwarzbierbraten (13.50 euro) arrived soon after and it looked every bit just as glorious.  I can tell that the pork had been tenderly cooked and the black beer sauce, oh wow ... I could just drink it up!  I am usually not a fan of Rotkraut or red cabbage but I guess, I have not been eating the good ones, and these I was told, tasted home made and balance.  

In Germany, it is very common to just order a main course plus a drink for dinner as their portions don´t come small.  But Fürstenberg restaurant is what I classify as in between brewery portion (hugeee) and restaurant portion (small) hence we´ve got room for some sweet ending of ice cream, some local strawberries and cream.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Mosterdsoep @ Terscheling Island, Netherlands

Having a bowl of soup for lunch is a very common practise in Netherlands.  It is usually pretty heavy, with cream and all, and in this case, it was topped with slices of goey cheese.  There were also complimentary bread, flavoured butter and some slices of tomatos and fresh corn bites to go with it too.  For a warm weather around 25C last week on an island, its perfect.

I asked what is the soup of the day and the waiter mumbled something like Mosselsoep or Mussel Soup.  It was music to my ear.  I love seafood.  As it turns out, it is actually Mosterdsoep or Mustard Soup!

Mosselsoep, Mosterdsoep
Mosselsoep, Mosterdsoep
Mosselsoep, Mosterdsoep
Mosselsoep, Mosterdsoep
Mosselsoep, Mosterdsoep
... go figure!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Thai Cuisine @ Serisik, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

If fiery hot tomyum is what you crave for, I would totally recommend you to head to Serisik in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.  They make a mean version which makes you grasping for air or water, and be warned ... it might even upset your stomach if you can´t control yourself from downing the whole bowl.  Yes, my friend H did just that and soon enough, it turned into misery.

I know my limits.  Especially so after living away from my birthhome for so many years and am now being surrounded by milder tasting, and stringently controlled food processing and cooking method here in Germany.  But sometimes I do throw in my towel and give my dun-give-a-hood-attitude!  For these sweet, sour, spicy Pomelo Salad, it is worth it!  There were very good.  The magic lies in the sauce balance and they seem to do it very well here in Serisik.

Much to my dissapointment, Serisik does not offer fish cakes but instead, has a substitute of Prawn Cakes.  It ain´t the same of course, but it was deep fried very well.  However, I do not remember the distinct Kaffir Lime Leave in it so, to me ... this is a mediocre.

A good chicken marinade, wrapped in pandan leave and deep fried to perfectly never fail to tantalise my tastebud.  More so if the meat is sprouting with juice when one bites into them.  Oh yum!

Serisik is rated highly on my list for good Thai Food.  I do hope that they keep up the good work so that I would be able to enjoy them again in few months time!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Käsespätzle + Kalbsschnitzel @Alemannen\Hof Boutique Hotel, Titisee

Parking at the centre of Titisee during our recent holiday was a real nightmare.  Not only were they scarce, it  either cost way too much for a two hour period or they were about to close for the day, and mind you, it was not even dinner time yet.  Hubby decided to try his luck further up the strench, away from the tourist buses.  And we found a gem, slightly hidden but the moment you walk near, you are greated with a view!  But a few step closer, I realise that it is actually the much talked about Alemannen Hof from the tripsadvisor threads I´ve read.  It seems that this place offer fine dining only so I was very sceptical if we should even go it.  But soon, it got me excited upon noticing that they do offer ´Menu of the Day`which was more reasonable priced! Hooray!

Needless to say, all the lovely seats at the verandah with the gorgeous view overlooking the Black Forest Hills were fully taken.  It was a spontaneous decision to come here so, we shouldn´t be complaining really.  The restaurant was running at full capacity.  And it was a week day.  I take it as a good sign that their food is good but, it also means ... more waiting time. And our tummies were rumbling.

In any circumstances, who likes waiting.  But Alemannen Hof, a boutique hotel did live up to its reputation by serving us with two, and not one complimentary starter whlie we waited.  We had a refreshing cucumber soup with tint of spice in it, served with a generous portion of freshly baked bread, and next to it were a petit serving of tomato salsa.  Very simple, but truly enjoyable because it is done right.

The staff were very apologetic when our food were still nowhere to be seen.  I was not looking at the clock really because we were after all in a holiday mood, and are both simply too mesmerised by the view around us.  Before knowing it, a palate cleanser arrive on our table.  I am not accustom to being serve a palate cleanser before starting our main, but it is a neat gesture nevertheless.

Our main arrived immediately after our palate cleanser were cleared.  That was fast, because we did finish it up in less than 5 minutes.  Our main course must have been waiting for us?  Anyway, as the saying goes, eat local when you travel is my motto, and thats what I did.  The speciality of the area is Käsespätzle and I have been wanting to try them.  It was delish.  Very cream, bordering heart-attack sinful kinda creamy but who cares.  I savour each single bite, relishing in the cheese flavour but towards the end, I struggled a little to finish them up.  That is the thing with cheese base dishes.  It is very filling and having them during summer really does fill you up quickly.

Hubby is a meat man so naturally, he was drawn into the Schnitzel list.  Schnitzel as many knows originates from Vienna and are made from Calb, so in a way it is not eating local.  But the daily menu list is short and this is the one that caught hubby´s fancy.

In Black Forest area, one cannot help but order Black Forest everything for all meals.  From Black Forest Cake to Black Forest Ice Cream to Black Forest Sundae. Its inevitable.  But be warn!  The locals here can get pretty heavy handed with their Kirschwässer or Cherry Liquor.  So when you order a Black Forest Sundae like us, do expect a Black Forest Cocktail instead!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Nasi Dagang + Soft Shell Crab Linguine @ Plan B, Ipoh

Under the intense heat of tropical sun, we cannot help but escaped to a cafe instead of hitting the local non-airconditioned kopitiam for lunch.  It´s a shame, I know.  With all the glorious food found abundantly all over Ipoh.  But yes, there is a but.  One of the reason why we decided to check Ipoh out this time round too was precisely for this reason.  The cafe culture!  Alas, it was back to something Klang Valley has (and again, I´m ashame to admit this and blame it on my jetlag for my misadventure!) Plan B that is.

My lunch was Nasi Dagang, I think.  I am not very sure but it looked every bit like it.  It was as I recall, a much better version than Myth Cafe we had just a day earlier.  It came with flavourful rice, a good portion of chicken thigh cooked in a thick, creamy, rendang sauce.  A fiery red dollop of sambal sauce as you can see here, and some other condiment hidden behind, of which I can´t remember, sorry!  Oh yes, there´s keropok too! The plate is filled to the brim. Lovely and I can´t be more please with it.

My sister apparently made a very good choice.  It seems that her Soft Shell Crab Linguine is quite well known dish to order whenever one dines in Plan B.  I didn´t know that until a few of my friends started recommending me this exact dish whenever I mention I plan to visit Plan B.  And I totally understand why.  Creamy butter-like sauce with chilli padi AND curry leaf. It is a winning combo, and to top with chunks of fleshy Soft Shell Crab.  This is a winner in Plan B!

We wanted to have more, to kill time as it started to pour as I remember it, but we were too stuffed.