Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cooking: Tom Yum Soup and Pad Thai

Thai dinner for Friday night. I don't ever cook Thai except for the once or twice a year I make tom yum soup from a jar. That's as far as my Thai cooking experiences go. I realised I don't eat Thai very often either, probably only once or twice a year. However I do really like Pad Thai (how aussie of me), the sweet, sour and chilli goes so well with the rice noodles.

To make tom yum, by a jar of tom yum paste and follow the instructions.
For pad thai I followed trusty David Thompson's recipe I found in Gourmet Traveller (my fav magazine atm). Adjusted it a bit and added prawns and all that. Omitted a few things cos I didn't have them.
Serves 4
Ingredients: Prawns(shelled and deveined). 2 shallots sliced. 3 cloves garlic minced. 2 eggs. one pack of fresh rice stick noodles. 4 tbsp brown sugar (recipe used palm sugar which i did not have). couple of tbsp of tamarind water (to taste). Couple of tbsp of fish sauce. 2 handfuls of beansprouts (i didn't have any in mine, coles sells them for like $2 for a little bag compared to the $2 a kilo at asian supermarkets). 1/3 cup of crushed roasted peanuts. Garlic chives. Chilli Flakes.

Method: Mix sugar, tamarind water and fish sauce together, taste and adjust. Stir fry prawns until almost cooked in wok. Take out and set aside. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil. Throw in half the shallots and stir fry for 10secs add half the garlic. Add chilli flakes (about 1/4 tsp). Crack one egg into wok and stir until scrambled. Throw in half the noodles and break them up and stir fry. Once noodles have separated pour in half the sauce, half the beansprouts and half the prawns. Mix it all together. Add 2 tbsp of roasted peanuts and half the garlic chives. Mix in. Place onto serving plate. Repeat process with the rest of the ingredients.
Make in two batches so the high heat is maintained throughout the process. Also it is easier to mix the noodles together when there is less. Serve with a sprinkling of roasted peanuts, chilli flakes and a squeeze of lime.
My tom yum soup turned out very very bad. Used prawn stock so it turned out like a cross between tom yum and the malaysian har mee soup(prawn noodle soup). It was sooooo salty it was unbearable.
The pad thai was much much better. Tasted so very very nice. Probably not like what a pad thai should taste like but I liked it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eating Out: Malaysian Kitchen, 910-912 Doncaster Road Doncaster East

Been wanting to try out this place since it was renovating. Finally got to go there with mum for lunch today. Looks pretty decent on the outside, inside is pretty nice. However I seem to get this feeling like it's a bistro....I don't get why though. Took the waiter ages to figure out whether we should sit downstairs or upstairs...which was a bit awkward as we just stood there watching her look at the downstairs area and then look at the stairs a few times...
Lunch special is $10.80 with about 15 different choices and either a soft drink or coffee. I don't remember all the choices but there was Nasi Lemak, Curry Laksa, Wonton noodles, Fish head noodles, Assam Laksa, Hainanese/Roast Chicken Rice.
They have some pretty authentic stuff on their normal menu, serious not so famous hawker food. However if you aren't eating there at lunch a bowl/noodles will set you back about $12. I know that sounds pretty cheap but considering the prices of Malaysian food in Melbourne, that's starting to enter the higher price end.
Fish Head Noodle Soup $10.80 with drink (latte)
I'm not a fan of fish head, so many bones. I tried some of the soup and it was like really comforting, a little under seasoned by I think it's better that way. I wouldn't mind a bowl of that soup with noodles for when I'm sick.
Hainanese Chicken Rice Set with soft drink $10.80
I was rather disappointed with my lunch. The rice was almost a highlighter yellow, lacked chicken taste, the chilli sauce lacked garlic, there was so little chicken (don't be fooled by the picture) most of the chicken was bone. The pickled vegetables didn't seem to go that well in my opinion and the soup was pretty average.
Mum asked for Sambal to dip her noodles in. The sambal tasted very good, really good flavours except lacked one thing. It was not chilli AT ALL!!!??!!

Whilst ordering my drink, I asked whether they had Teh Tarik and got a puzzled face from the waitress. Asked her in Chinese and she replied "no, we don't have that".
Now what kind of authentic Malaysian Restaurant doesn't have Teh Tarik??

Food: 7/10 Nothing special, could have been better but it wasn't bad. Very ungenerous portion of chicken, very generous portion of chicken bone.
Service: 6/10 Didn't encounter a single Malaysian waiter/waitress. Okay they can't be faulted on that. The waitresses do not speak a common language, some mando, some canto, no fluent english. No drinks served until you ask. Waitresses did not know which table was which, serving food to random tables. For some reason an old man with a walking stick had to sit upstairs, absolute inconvenience, what were the waitresses thinking?! Halfway through the meal I saw the waitress turn into the dish the sight of all the customers. In short, I dislike their service. 
Environment: 6.5/10 Feels like a bistro. They have those little round bar tables up against the wall (out of the way). Noodles on the floor. Lack of lighting, only had natural light that was coming through shut blinds (which makes it very hard to take a decent pic of your food).

Verdict? Pretty average. It's not bad but it's definitely not good either. If I was given a choice, I think I probably would choose to go to Straits Cafe 3 mins down the road. Just my personal opinion.

Malaysian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies AGAIN =)

Sudden craving for warm chewy cookies whilst watching Masterchef on Wednesday. So I made 4 big warm chewy chocolate chip cookies whilst watching. Took about 30 mins to make whilst watching Masterchef. Put recipe up before.
I was very happy after eating this XD

Cooking: Mayo

Mum was cooking fish and didn't know what type of sauce to make for it. I wanted it with mayo so I made a mayo from scratch. I personally don't have anything against store bought mayo provided it is WHOLE EGG mayo and NEVER the reduced fat/light/99% fat free mayo(who knows what they put into that). Homemade mayo does taste pretty darn good but I still like my Bestfoods mayo best (that stuff is like heaven).

My asian mayo:
Ingredients: 1 egg yolk. pinch of salt. squeeze of lemon juice. 150ml-250ml vegetable oil (not olive oil). Lime/lemon juice. 1 Kaffir Lime leaf shredded. 1/4-1/2 tsp chilli flakes. Splash of fish sauce. 1/4 tsp ground garlic(paste).

Method: Whisk egg, salt and squeeze of lemon until combined. Add about a tablespoon of oil. Whisk like mad until incorporated. Add another tablespoon of oil and whisk madly again. Repeat this about 8-10 times. Then add a couple of tablespoons of oil at a time. Making sure each time you whisk until you cannot see liquid oil and you have a thick yellow mayo (EVERYTIME you add oil). Once you are happy with your mayo, mix in the rest of the ingredients and season to taste.

Try making your own mayo!!! Takes about 5 mins.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Eating Out: Nasi Lemak House, 115 Grattan Street Carlton.

Up at 7:30am on a Sunday morning. Why? To attend a 9:30am-5pm vce biology lecture at Melb Uni cos I'm a good girl....yeah....So after almost falling asleep numerous times and trying desperately to concentrate (not helped by my grumbling stomach of extreme hunger) it was finally lunch time. Met up with a friend who was also attending a lecture cos he's a good boy (he is actually a very good boy and very smart) and went to look for somewhere to eat lunch. Original plans were to go to trusty union house and get a good deal however it ain't so trusty on plan B was to go to KFC, you can't go wrong. However all the kids from the lectures also decided they wanted KFC so the line was insane, no chance for getting lunch on time. Kept walking to find another place, and saw a Jap restaurant with a sign out the front saying $7 however after walking to the sign it said from 3pm-10pm. Almost got tricked. Kept walking until we ended up in front of....NASI LEMAK HOUSE. Somewhere I've wanted to go since I read someone's blog review on it.
Seriously you wouldn't notice this place, it's pretty shabby and lets say not the brightest or cleanest place I've ever been to. The place is very small, probably seats about 15-20 people. Pretty much they specialise in Nasi Lemak (many different types)...which may possibly be the national dish of Malaysia if I am not mistaken. From my knowledge (or lack of knowledge as I have never been to Malaysia) Nasi Lemak should contain coconut rice, ikan bilis, peanuts, sambal. And possibly added meat curry or fried chicken. I think egg should fit in somewhere....
Nasi Lemak Traditional $9.40
(I always go for their signature as it should be their best and safest dish)
I enjoyed the dish, especially good since it was so cold. You could smell the coconut rice, however the taste was there but not overpowering. The prawn cracker like things were the best dipped in sambal. The fried egg super crispy but the yolk was very cooked. The ikan bilis was crunchy as were the peanuts. About a tbsp of each so i guess it was quite generous. The fried chicken drumstick was huge. I started to doubt whether it was actually a chicken drumstick due to its large size, looked like a turkey drumstick. But it tasted like chicken. The skin was crispy and spiced(plenty of it too =D). The meat moist (best dipped in sambal). The two slices of cucumber were definitely not enough to cool my tongue. Which brings me to the SAMBAL. I'm not the biggest fan of sambal due to it's extreme spiciness. It tastes so nice but it burns your tongue so badly. So I guess it's a love hate relationship. The sambal here is fragrant and delicious however very spicy and when placed next to the rice the oil seeps into the rice and makes the rice chilli as well. Last time I had sambal was at Old Town Kopitiam Mamak and it was very sweet and about equally as spicy, I didn't really like it. But I loved the sambal here and I wish I could take a jar home. Also they give you good COUPLE of tablespoons so you won't run out. However I'd like to see someone eat all of it with their dish.
Look at all that sambal =.="

Also noticed that many customers ordered teh tarik. Looked very frothy, only weird thing was they served it in those polystyrene cups.

Food: 8.5/10 Pretty damn good.
Environment: 6/10 The place needs a vacuum, some better lighting, cleaner cups, and maybe not a self serve cutlery counter.
Service: 8/10 You order at the register, they give you a ticket (the ones you use for raffles), you sit down and the waiter will call out your number. Food came out within 5 mins of sitting down.

Verdict? Pretty decent place which is committed to their food. I would come here again on a cold day and if I was in the area. However there are also many other places in the area I want to try so I'm not sure when I'll next end up here. But definitely recommended if you like Nasi Lemak.

Sorry about the long post, got a bit too excited.

Nasi Lemak House on Urbanspoon

Cooking: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sudden craving for chocolate chip cookies afterschool on Friday. Recipe from Tiff =) Tad modified though.

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp margarine. 2 tbs sugar. 2 tbs condensed milk. 1/2 cup sifted self raising flour. couple of tablespoons of milk. Couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips.

Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cream margarine and sugar (use margarine because it's already soft :), how lazy) Add condensed milk.  Add in sifted flour. Mixture probably won't come together. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until it comes together like cookie dough should. Add chocolate chips and mix. Make into either small cookies or a couple of large ones. Bake for 12-15 mins for big ones. 10-12 for smaller ones.
Left mine in for too long and they got too dry and burnt. Don't try to keep an eye on cookies and make bolognese at the same time. One has to suffer, or both.

Cooking: Japanese Eggplant on Rice

Thursday night after coming home for the library. Mum was thinking of ideas for eggplant. Quick flick through a japanese cookbook I borrowed and decided to alter one of the recipes.

Ingredients: 1-2 large eggplants. approx 10 tbs minced pork per eggplant. 2 cups of dashi ( used instant dashi powder). 3 tbsp soy sauce. 2 tbsp mirin.

Method: Cut eggplants lengthwise. Place eggplant flat side down between 2 chopsticks. Slice down like you are cutting half moons however the chopsticks should prevent you from cutting all the way through. Mix 1 tbsp soy into the mince pork. (optional step: food process pork until it becomes a paste, makes it easier to spread). Open the slits in the pork carefully and spread a 1mm layer of pork into it. Repeat for each slit. Place eggplant flat side down in a saucepan. Pour over dashi, soy and mirin. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until eggplant is soft and the pork is cooked. Baste eggplant a few times times. Should end up with a sticky-ish thick sauce to drizzle over the eggplant and rice :)
Looks a tad weird but it tasted really really nice. 

Cooking: Pavlova

2nd time making this. And it's still failing. I whip the eggwhites like they should be done. I add sugar one spoon at a time. I don't think I bake it for long enough though....whoops, that might be my problem.
I'm too lazy to make a topping. Still trying to master the base.
Help please?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cooking: Mussels with Garlic, Shallot, Chilli and a special sauce

Parents bought some mussels at Vic Market after going to the Buddha Festival at Fed Square.

Ingredients: Mussels. 1 Shallot diced. 2-3 cloves Garlic sliced. 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes. 1/2 cup White wine. 1 tsp-tbsp Nandos sauce. Drizzle of cream. Squeeze of lemon/lime.
Method: Saute shallot, garlic, chilli flakes until translucent. Add nandos sauce (don't go too crazy). Add mussels then white wine. Cook for a couple of minutes lid on until mussels have opened. Take mussels out into serving bowl. Turn heat on high. Pour in cream. Taste and season (salt is not needed as mussels generally release salt water/juice). Pour the hot sauce over the mussels. Squeeze a little bit of lemon/lime juice over the top.
Sooooooo yummy. Make sure you have some crust bread to mop up all the sauce =)

This might be my last food post for a little while. Have to get my head down and study for mid year exams =S

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cooking: Creme Brulee Part 2 mini

Decided to make creme brulee again, hoping for better results.
This time I couldn't be bothered measuring everything and just went with what I thought was 100ml of cream and 1/24 cup of sugar. Baked for 35 mins, and it was set, slightly overcooked I think. I think it was probably because I use metal moulds(egg tart) with very little filling so I should have reduced the time.
Still finding it very hard to create the sugar topping with the grill. Just doesn't harden properly, somebody HELP?
Tasted like the custard filling of egg tarts. I think using the egg tart mould made it taste even more like it. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cooking: Creme Brulee

I was watching masterchef masterclass last night with a tummy full of lamb. The last dish they taught was creme brulee. I've never made this before and I don't think I've ever tasted it either (not a proper one anyways). Decided to make half portions right after watching it.

Masterchef Creme Brulee recipe

Encountered a few problems. They did not set particularly well because the egg yolks I used were TINY. I baked them for about 40 mins. Also I don't have a blow torch meaning I had to use the grill which is a perfectlygood substitute except that my creme brulee only went about 1-2 cm up the ramekin leaving about 5cm between the grill and the actual creme brulee. Turned out very very yummy.

Maybe I should make a pavlova with all that egg white leftover.

Cooking:Cauliflower Soup. Roast Lamb, Tandoori Lamb Cutlets, Grilled Lamb Cutlets, Scalloped Potatoes and Mint Sauce.

All for dinner =) So full afterwards.
Tried to make a 3 course dinner all by myself yesterday. Things didn't exactly go to plan and it ended up taking me 2 and a half hours to plate dinner up and I decided to scap dessert.

Cauliflower Soup: Recipe off except I forgot to add the cream at the end.
Roast Lamb: Simple roast lamb with just rosemary and no garlic (cos I couldn't be bothered)
Scalloped potatoes: Recipe also off Used the mandolin slicer to slice potatoes, way way way faster.
Grilled Lamb Cutlets: Simple salt, pepper, rosemary and oil. Then grilled on the griddle pan.
Tandoori Lamb Cutlets: Brush tandoori paste onto lamb, then grill. Use sparingly, maybe mix with a tiny bit of yoghurt as the paste by itself is quite salty.

Looks pretty bad yeah? Tasted better than it looked. The chilli really packed a punch.
Yummy lamb cutlets.

Lesson learnt from today. Too many dishes for my skill level. Gotta start off simple and master doing them all quickly before combining. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eating Out: Korean BBQ Seoulia Box Hill + Random

Went to an all you can eat Korean BBQ for Xiaowei's birthday on Saturday. Went to Seoulia on Whitehorse Road, Box Hill. The night didn't start off too well with the lady telling us we had to wait 15 mins for our table (reasonable right?) except that we ended up waiting for 45 mins outside in the cold instead. Finally got in and we got straight into it. Pretty much you pay $26.50 which includes a can of drink. Then you help yourself to the buffet counter which contains all the meat, seafood, vegies, kimchi, rice. It wasn't too bad, no expensive "good" meats and a pretty limited choice.
Yummy belly pork. After you have stuffed you're face with meat (and in our case only meat and no rice and very limited vegies) you can head to the all you can eat ice cream section for dessert. After 3 ice cream cones I was feeling pretty full.

Food: 6/10 (limited range of food and octopus was extremely salty, however the ice cream was pretty nice)
Service: 6.5/10 (made us stand outside in the cold for way too long, buffet counter wasn't refilled often enough.)
Environment: 6/10 (Cramped as cramped can get which means you can't escape oil splatters. The hot plate is massive so there is almost no space for your bowl/plates. Decently ventilated but it was very hot in there and came home smelling like oily meat)

Verdict? Not extremely bad but if I had a choice I might choose another place next time. Even if it means forking out an extra couple of dollars. The lack of choice and cramped space was not enjoyable. 

Anyways I found this on my receipt from Friday.
Epic name. She was a very nice checkout chick though.

Ever wanted to know what it looks like through the eyes of someone short sighted (e.g me)? But you have to pretty short sighted for it to be this blurry. Way too bored of studying.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cooking: Mother's Day Brekky/Honkie Style Breakfast

Decided to make a Honkie Style breakfast for mum this mothers day. Honkie breakfasts have a Western influence to it. My mum's favourite is Macaroni in Soup, Scrambled eggs, Bacon, Buttered toast and a honkie milk tea. However breakfast turned into brunch due to two things. 1: It took a lot longer to cook than I expected, thought I could do it in 30 mins, ended up taking 1h 30 mins due to my poor time management. 2: got home at 1 last night and went to bed at 2, tried to wake up at 9 but failed, unwillingly got out of bed at 10 to make brekky.

HAHA, my fail chinese xD Hope it makes sense.

Bacon, Macaroni/Elbows (200-250g for 4 people), Eggs, 6 tea bags (lipton is fine, strings cut off, for 4 people)), 1 big can of asian chicken stock, bread, butter, condensed milk, evaporated milk, shredded ham (not shaved).

Method: (the way I should have done it)
Fry bacon a little bit under. Whilst bacon is frying, cook pasta according to packet. Put the 6 tea bags into a pot of boiling water and simmer until you're just about to serve breakfast (i know it sounds insane but u need it to be as dark as possible). Drain pasta. Reserve about 500ml of the pasta water. Pour the can of chicken stock into the pasta water and bring to boil. Cook eggs (however you want them). Add a tsp of condensed milk into each cup. Add about 1/4 of a cup of evaporated milk on top of the condensed milk. Stir to combine. Lightly toast the bread (honkie toast is always just toasted so it is barely even golden/yellow) and butter. Place pasta back into boiling stock. Place bacon back into pan to heat through. Ladle pasta and soup into bowls. Sprinkle with shredded ham. Place bacon, eggs and toast onto a plate. Take pot of tea and pour into cups through a strainer to catch any stray tea leaves. Serve all together.

I made a ham omelet instead. 
I like the idea of putting the milk into the cup first, whether it makes a difference I'm not sure. Just how some honkie people do it. Also evaporated milk makes so much of a difference. 

Unfortunately it didn't taste anywhere near as good as the breakfasts you get in HK and it was no where near as cheap. HK $20 can get you more than what I cooked. Thats about $3 aussie.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cooking: Tonkatsu and Udon in Dashi Broth

Japanese is probably my #1 favourite cuisine. Not just because of tastes but just the whole concept. Everything it so precise, so thought through, everything I'm not but I strive to achieve. So after deciding to make Japanese for dinner last night I dragged K仔 shopping with me for ingredients. Bought some udon and panko from Colonial Fresh Food Market (or what ever that place is called) at Doncaster Shoppingtown. They have an awesome asian section and an incredible Italian section + deli.

Finally learned the difference between Tonkatsu and Tonkotsu. Tonkatsu being the deep fried pork chop and Tonkotsu being my favourite rich creamy pork bone soup ramen.

Pork: Pork Chops, flour to dust, egg to coat, Panko breadcrumbs (these make the biggest difference, not going back to normal breadcrumbs again), oil to fry
Noodle Soup: Water. Dashi powder. Shitake mushrooms. Corn cobs. Egg (soft boiled). Vegetables. Carrot. Salt. Udon noodles.

Crumb pork chops by dipping into flour, then egg wash, then panko. Make sure you immediately fry the pork chops after coating with breadcrumbs so the breadcrumbs stay crisp and don't soak up the egg wash and become soggy. Whilst the pork chops are frying. Add dashi powder to boiling water. Add in mushrooms, corn and egg. Fish out eggs after 5 mins and cool. Cook udon noodles according to packet. Place into bowls ready to serve. Chuck in vegies to cook in the dashi broth. Drain pork chops on paper towel. Peel egg. Spoon broth(without the vegies) over noodles. Arrange vegies into bowl. Cut egg in half and place on top. Chop pork chop into strips. Serve.

Cooking: Tandoori Fish

Idea came from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food cookbook. I really like the concept behind this book, of teaching others how to cook.

Ingredients: Piece of fish. Tandoori paste.
Methods: Spread a little tandoori paste all over the fish. (no need for yoghurt). Let it marinate if you want. Pan fry as per usual. However the tandoori paste does do something to the fish and makes it really soft and flaky so it falls apart really really easily. Simple
Looks a tad burnt and unappetising...but it tasted nice =)

Cooking: Awesome prawns

Went grocery shopping on Monday with mum at Safeway and saw that the prawns were on sale. The plan was to make garlic butter prawns but the outcome was quite different to what I had in mind.

My Awesome Prawns:
Ingredients: 16 large prawns, oil, butter, sliced garlic, sliced chilli, finely diced shallot, salt.
Method: Wash prawns. Snip all the legs off. Lay on chopping board and cut through under the legs lenghwise but don't cut the back shell (do not peel prawns especially the heads, it's where most of the flavour is). Push the prawn flat by spreading the two sides you just cut out and crack the back shells. The prawn should stay flat.
Heat a little oil in the pan and place the prawns cut side down holding it down for 5 secs to make sure they don't curl up. Fit as many prawns as you can into the pan. Cook until prawns are almost cooked though. Set aside and cook remaining prawns. After frying up all the prawns you should be left with a pan with lots of burn/stuck on bits. Heat some oil in the pan and add garlic, chilli and shallot. Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes to release flavour into oil. Add butter turn it up and then add prawns. Tossing to coat. Serve.
It turned out to be more like Prawn XO sauce Prawns with extra XO Sauce on side. Except it wasn't actualy XO sauce.
Taken with phone camera so it looks pretty bad.

Tasted unbelievable though. The heads were the best. Sucking on them, slightly chilli. Too good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

CHHHHIIIIINNNNNAAAA (Shunde) + 100th post

This post is long overdue. WAYYYY overdue. Started it almost 6 months ago and yet I still haven't finished it (decided to finish it for my 100th post). So pretty much this was after a 2 day food trip to Shunde, Guangdong, China. So 6 months on, I better finish it off. I hope I can remember all the flavours of the food I ate.

This place should be called Crazy Land. Everything is crazy. But back to food, so it was a 2 day trip to Shunde in Guangdong province. This is the city where my grandpa was from. I visited this city 4 years ago, nothing much has changed from what I see.
First day lunch
Another first. Ever tried congee hot pot? Sounds outrageous right? They firstly put a plate of chicken pieces and abalone into boiling congee, wait for it to cook and then you eat all the congee. Tasted pretty good, chicken was a bit tough, possibly because it was cooked at such a high heat. The abalone was tasteless but what can you expect.
Then they put a new pot of congee on the fire and they non stop pour food into the pot of congee. And then the waitress keeps scooping the food into your bowl. Seriously non stop scooping, you can't keep up with her.
See anything weird about this prawn? Don't get to see it very often. It's filled with eggs, it wasn't my prawn so I didn't get to taste it.

Afternoon Tea:
This is a speciality in Shunde. 双皮奶 literal translation double skinned milk. It's made my pouring some warmed milk into a bowl, then letting a skin form on the top. Then poking a hole in the skin and pouring all the milk out. Wait for the milk to cool back down, then mix in some egg whites and sugar with the milk, then steam?(i think steam) it until set. It's served either hot or cold. I like mine cold. Tastes like cold white chocolate custard...really really yummy.

Deep fried milk? The milk is mixed with a bit of flour then wrapped in some pastry and deep fried. End result is crunchy on the outside, sweet and chewy on the inside. Pretty weird taste.

After walking around a random village with a crazy tour guide we finally arrived at the restaurant. Way too much food.

7/5/10-Picking up from where i left off.
 So we were walking through the weird village. Didn't finish everything for dinner, the amount of food was just crazy.
First up was this milky looking soup. It was made from fish. It was sooo nice to finally get to drink a decent bowl of soup after two weeks of eating out. (Yes I am very honkie and I like to drink soup). The soup was sweet from all the fish bones and had a very clean taste. Good start to dinner.

Next was stuffed fish. Yes stuffed fish, pretty much fish paste is stuffed back into an intact fish skin. How they managed that I have no clue but showed amazing skill. Unfortunately the taste wasn't as awesome as the idea. But it wasn't bad, pretty average.

Can't remember what this was exactly. Some sort of soya chicken. I think it was quite good but I can't exactly remember. But chicken in China tastes very good, why? I don't think I want to know and neither do you.

They also gave us a little jug of prune alcohol drink. I think it was something like that. Tasted very strongly of prunes and had the feeling of vodka. The warm feeling you get going down your throat.
Hehe, I totally don't drink XD

This dish was loved by the parents. It brought back memories of their childhood. Looks nice yeah? It's braised POMELO SKIN. Which is a lot like orange skin just thicker and not orange flavoured. I must say I did not like this dish, the skin had a very weird taste to it. The parents insisted all the kids try it.

Another interesting creation. They look a bit like Shao Mai but its actually little straw mushrooms that have been split open and stuffed. The egg in the middle looked pretty cool but I'm not sure what it's purpose was other than presentation. Taste wise it was pretty average.

Another specialty of the area. It's fishballs I think. The fish in this area is really good and theres lots of it. Although most of the time it tastes really average, it's something you can't get here in Aus, something that should be treasured.

Char Xiu Bao was overrated. The tour guide made it sound like it would be really good. But actually I've had way better ones here. Stuffed my face with them just so they wouldn't go to waste. The ultimate Char Xiu Bao is at Tim Ho Wun in Mongkok. THE BEST ONE EVER.

So after dinner we were taken back to our hotel. Which happened to be next to a "nightclub" 夜总会. And nightclubs in more rural China ain't exactly the same as our nightclubs, not that I've been to either. So the "nightclub" was actually part of the hotel. And from the lobby of the hotel they had a massive clear wall looking into the nightclub side, and all you see it a staircase with Chinese girls all lined up dressed nicely waiting...

So this was our room for the night. Have you ever seen anything like it? Actually I have from my previous trip to China 3 years ago. What's with the clear window from the room into the bathroom? AWKWARD

The next day we set off to have the BIGGEST buffet I've ever had in my life. ONLY IN CHINA seriously. It was the size of about 6-8 basketball courts. Biggest range of food. Where I ate sea urchin for the first time, I know probably strongly not advised to eat live seafood in China but I did it. The sea urchin tasted pretty bland with a hint of the sea. Also the first time I'd had rabbit, tasted a bit like chicken. First time I've seen bugs actually as a dish at a buffet or any restaurant for that matter. Parents were excited over them as it was also a childhood delicacy. A childhood horror for me. Also the first time I've lined up for 30 mins just for four oysters which weren't even that great. Also the first time I've seen a champagne fountain....that was open for kids as well. It was a great experience.

So after 2 days of stuffing ourselves the tour concluded.
HA, that's not the end. My foodie uncle took us to this restaurant in Shenzhen which we ended up going to another 2 times during the course of our trip. The restaurant is higher class but the prices are like DIRT CHEAP in Aus terms.
The cheapest and possibly the tastiest roast pigeon I've ever had. At like AUD$2 each it was like AMAZING. So succulent and juice, the skin just perfect. Everything was just perfect about it.

Chicken Feet. EWWWWW, something I haven't eaten in about 10 years and I don't want to eat. It didn't look too bad but I just can't make myself eat it.

Might be a bit hard to see but it's peking duck. Wasn't the best peking duck every but it was pretty good. Loads of crispy skin, cucumber, spring onion, sauce and a thin crepe. Just missing something, not sure what but it just wasn't outstanding. Not to mention it was epically cheap, like AUD$5-10 for like 15-20 serves.

Some chinese vegetable which looks a bit like bak choy but all yellow...I didn't like this dish, not many people did. It was also pretty chilli. The flavours just didn't go.

So the day ended there. Where we took a train from Lo Wu home.
This post it finally done =)
Wouldn't mind a bowl of cold 双皮奶 right now.