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The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 13 August 2016

5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

I love simple and easy recipes, and when I came across a recipe for peanut butter freezer fudge, I knew I had little excuse not to make it. Only five ingredients, and I had them all on hand! This is quite healthy too (especially if you use a natural, unsalted and unsweetened nut butter), and it is easy to make variations with different nut butters. I wish I had a Wholefoods supermarket nearby so I can get DIY freshly ground nut butters and have fun trying the different kinds of freezer fudge! I used honey but this would be amazing with maple syrup too. It needs to be kept in the freezer to keep its shape, and it's such a nice icy cool treat to have without the guilt!


5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

Ingredients
1/2 cup (about 100g) natural nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew and sunflower seed butters would work well)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened or melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Method
1. Combine all of your ingredients into a bowl, and stir until well-combined. If the fudge is hard to mix, try microwaving the bowl for about 15 seconds.
2. Pour the fudge into a container lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. I used a plastic container, but a bread loaf pan would work well.
3. Place the container into the freezer and allow 30-40 minutes for the fudge to set.
4. After the fudge has completely hardened, remove from the freezer and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the fudge into squares (I made 12 small squares). Store in the freezer until ready to eat.



Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Restaurant Week lunch menu @ Harbour Grill, Hong Kong

Restaurant Week just finished up last Sunday, and we managed to try out one restaurant! It's so hard to make reservations for anything and hustle up all three kids to make the booking time, so I'm glad we managed to try one restaurant. Despite our best efforts, we were still 10 minutes late to our lunch booking at Harbour Grill. Though we had three rugrats in tow and we had not expected it to be a fine dining restaurant, the staff were friendly and gracious and gave us fantastic service. The Restaurant Week deal was a fantastic steal for this restaurant: a 3-course meal for only HK$198. I'm pretty sure a main course on the normal a-la-carte menu cost a minimum of HK$200. There were three choices for the appetiser and main courses, and we made it easy by ordering one of each. The portion sizes of three lunch sets was just right for sharing in our group of 2 adults and 2 children. The presentation was lovely, the food was delicious, and the service was highly commendable. Even though we were unprepared and under-dressed for such a nice restaurant, the staff treated us with excellent service.


Harbour view from the restaurant:

Warm freshly baked bread and toasted bagel thins. I loved the dark rye buns:

Appetisers

Pumpkin and carrot soup - was gorgeously thick and creamy and perfectly seasoned. Even the boy had a few spoons (the same one that is averse to both vegetables AND soups):

Prime beef & buffalo mozzarella cannelloni with tomato gazpacho, wild rocket. The mild creamy mozzarella offset the beef carpaccio nicely, and the wild rocket gave a nice peppery punch to the dish:

Sesame crusted tuna with nicoise salad. I really enjoyed this one, which was substantial enough to be a main course. Fresh crisp vegetables and delicious chunks of tuna:

Mains

Green asparagus risotto with shaved summer black truffle. The risotto was cooked correctly, with an al dente centre. Lovely creamy texture, but the truffle was very mild in flavour:

Pan-fried sea bream saltimbocca with vegetables ratatouille, baby spinach, white wine sauce. Juicy and flavourful fish, well balanced with the vegetables:

Roasted Japanese pork belly with pumpkin mash potato, rosemary jus. Very good, and I loved the mash:

Dessert

Raspberry chocolate tart with strawberry ice cream. Rich and decadent dessert that was not too sweet - perfect for chocolate lovers:

Coffee and tea were included (but the cappuccino was more like a latte):

[Prices quoted do not include the 10% service charge.]

Harbour Grill
Ground Floor
Harbour Grand Kowloon
20 Tak Fung Street
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2996 8433

Friday, 5 August 2016

Delicious Malaysian @ PappaRich [Carousel], Perth

Whenever we travel to Australia, I shamelessly fill up on good Malaysian food. The PappaRich brand in its own home country of Malaysia is considered pricey - and that is true because the same dishes are so easily available and very cheap on the street - hence it is not so popular with the locals. But in Australia, this is where we can get reliably good delicious Malaysian cuisine. I remember going to the very first PappaRich restaurant in Australia, shortly after it opened in 2012 in Melbourne. Since then, the franchise has proliferated throughout Australia. We tried one PappaRich restaurant in Sydney last year and loved it. When we were in Perth last month, we had the opportunity to dine at PappaRich in Carousel, after an impromptu playdate with a long-time Perth friend and her kids who were visiting Perth at the same time as us! It was the month of Ramadan at the time, and this is a very popular spot for iftar, also known in Malay and Indonesian as "buka puasa", which means to 'open the fast' at the end of the day. The place was packed, with Muslims (including my friend and her boys) having their first meal after a day of fasting, and non-Muslims just enjoying a Malaysian meal. Service was great - staff was friendly and efficient. The food was delicious! It was a fantastic first Malaysian meal of the trip!

This was at 5:30pm on a weekday:

Pappa Fried Rice Noodles, i.e. char kuey teow. Tasty fried noodles:

Pappa Chicken Rice with Steamed Chicken, i.e. Hainanese chicken rice, always a good choice for the kids:

Roti Canai with Beef Rendang - another delicious choice:

Friend ordered Pappa Fried Chicken Wings for the boys to share:

Satay is always good at PappaRich:

Hubby couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Ice Kacang with a scoop of ice cream on top!

Thumbs up! My family also frequently visit the PappaRich in Joondalup.

PappaRich [Carousel]
Shop 1173
Westfield Carousel
1382 Albany Hwy
Cannington WA 6107
Australia
Tel. +61 8 9458 7866

Papparich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 1 August 2016

Yum cha lunch @ Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine [iSQUARE], Hong Kong

Speaking of having dim sum in Australia. Recently we met up with some friends for a Sunday playdate, and we went to have yum cha at Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine. I'd never have guessed from its name that it served dim sum, and it turned out to be a very nice lunch. Of course, the great company had a lot to do with our enjoyable experience, but the food and service at Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine were pretty good. There are cheaper dim sum to be had elsewhere in Hong Kong, but I liked the convenient location, zero waiting time (friend had a booking), and comfortable setting - all very important when dining with kids (and the kids outnumbered the adults at the table, the youngest one only 6 weeks old at the time!). There's a great view of the city and harbour too. Our friends love hotpot, and they said they will definitely try the hotpot menu here.

Spacious interior:

Har Cheong (rice noodle roll with prawns):

Lo Bak Gou (turnip cake) :

Tripes, Char Siu Bao (barbecue pork bun), Har Gao (prawn dumpling), Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), chicken feet (one of my faves, but hubby is not so keen on it so I only get to enjoy it when we have yum cha with friends and family), and Lor Mai Kai (glutinous rice with chicken steamed in lotus leaves):

More dumplings:

Some kailan to offset the unhealthy eating:

Ma Lai Gao (steamed cake), super popular with the kids:

Thumbs up for Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine!

Budaoweng Hotpot Cuisine
23rd Floor
iSQUARE
63 Nathon Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2152 1166