Chili's Grill & Bar (Patnem, Goa)

This was our most frequented restaurant bar throughout our stay in Patnem. We loved the seating and service here. Too bad they did not have wi-fi otherwise we will be here most of the time. 

Chilis Grill & Bar Interior | The Trishaw
The awesome comfy seats to chill out. Of course, they have normal tables and chairs too.

Cocktails at Chilis | The Trishaw
Happy hour cocktails cost us £2 for 2! I got tipsy before sunset. Wink :D

Kingfish at Chilis | The Trishaw

We were recommended the masala grilled kingfish, served with salad and chips. Obviously we weren't told it'll be a giant fish!! It was so fresh and delicious, I had to scour the remains of the head too. M looked at me weird, eating off the fish head but it's really normal in Asia. Well, I usually have to fight for the fish head with dad when I'm home. Not when I'm with M of course. Hah!!
Kingfish head | The Trishaw
Is this scaring you? Kingfish with Piranha-like teeth!

Patnem sunset | The Trishaw

We were sat chilling out, drinking cocktails and watching the sunset. What a bliss. What more anyone could ask for.

Chilis Grill & Bar Entrance| The Trishaw

This is what Chilli's entrance look like at night. Everything is transformed into a romantic affair, lights and candles everywhere.

Chilis Grill & Bar Beach | The Trishaw

Fish | The Trishaw
Shark and barracuda waiting to be grilled.

Grilled Prawns | The Trishaw
Our freshly grilled prawns on the BBQ. Yum.

The Art of Dining : Eat Your Heart Out

I have been lucky enough to experience an intriguing Victorian dining in the heart of East London. It's a pop up, fresh and tremendously exciting. Pop up dining has been such a hit in London, it gives up and coming chefs the chance to impress and inspire us with their passion. In this post, I would like to briefly share my little Victorian food adventure.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/61541969]

A nice video by Ben Dawlatly to summarise the evening

Dining | The TrishawThe venue had Victorian themed decor, a pianist playing the  most beautiful music to the ears and free cocktail at the door. The ambience was beautifully set. Even all the staffs were in costumes.
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The beetroot and apple soup with feta and dill had pretty amusing flavours. I loved the addition of dill. It gave the soup a lift with an added dimension.
The sound of eating ox heart made me a little squeamish but this Vietnamese style BBQ ox heart salad was surprisingly tasty. Pat on chef Ellen's shoulder for serving ox heart so well.

Victorian | The Trishaw
The night of entertainment and performance was fantastic! The pianist played beautiful pieces and this couple did a great job of keeping everyone in smiles and laughters.

Bloody mary | The TrishawA little bottle of potent beetroot Bloody Mary

I generally like bloody mary and did not mind the tomato substituted with beetroot but I think it was over seasoned with Worcestershire sauce. If you have read my post about Nasty Mary I had in Mumbai, you will know that my experience with modified bloody mary hasn’t been great. At least this did not burn my throat.
Rhubarb Jelly with Mackerel pate | The TrishawRhubarb and rosemary jelly with mackerel and creme fraiche pate

The jelly was so beautifully wobbly that I think it is enough to entertain me just watching it jiggle around.

Table setting | The Trishaw
Confit duck leg | The TrishawConfit duck with walnuts and pomegranate was very delicious indeed. I finished this well portioned dish.

Cocktails | The Trishaw
Treacle Tart | The TrishawLoved the treacle tart and how the cream poured from those tiny glass bottles.

I really did eat my heart out and thoroughly enjoyed the tremendously well crafted evening. I would like to thank The Art of Dining for the theatrical culinary  experience.

THE ART OF DINING
A pop-up restaurant

Sambal Belacan (Chilli & dried prawn paste)

Sambal is a pungent paste made with chilli and dried prawn paste. It is a staple of many Nyonya and Malaysian cuisine so make enough for whenever needed. Make a big batch and store them in a jar in the fridge. Traditionally, sambal is made by pounding the ingredients on a pestle and mortar but with a blender, it takes only few minutes to make this.

Sambal belacan | The Trishaw
A very useful condiment in a Malaysian / Nyonya home. I will post some recipes that uses sambal belacan soon.

SAMBAL BELACAN RECIPE
Ingredients:
  • 8 red chillies
  • 1 tbs toasted belacan
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

Method:

1. Blend chillies and belacan until fine and combined. Add sugar and salt to taste.
2. Squeeze some lime juice to serve.
  

Yoga Tree on Patnem Beach | Goa

Patnem, located in South of Goa after Palolem is a very calm beach unlike its beach neighbours in the north which is busier and has lots of parties. Depends on how you want to spend your time on a Goan beach, there are places for everyone with different preferences. We thought the serene Patnem was perfect for our in between trip of the ever so noisy Mumbai.
Yoga tree | The TrishawThe yoga tree...

Here in Patnem, all there is to do is to bake yourself brown under the sun with a book and freshly squeezed juice. Watermelon juice was my absolute favourite, and the best thirst quencher. Of course there is more to do than just sun tanning. You can always go for a swim, get a massage, drop-in for yoga or venture into Palolem, the closest beach or other beaches by rickshaw, or rent a moped to discover the city.
Hatha yoga | The TrishawThe first yoga place we found, which only does Hatha yoga. This one is quite basic easy to find.

Since we were here to for some quiet and relaxing few days before returning to Mumbai, dropping-in to yoga classes would be ideal. What better place to practice yoga than in India! We found a few places along Patnem beach which I have listed below so you will have an idea of where to go to when you plan for your next trip to South Goa.



KRANTI YOGA


Just behind the Solitude Bar & Restaurant is where Kranti Yoga is hidden. On the right of solitude is a little alley with a hanging bed. Walk through it and as soon as you see a well, walk further in and you will be able to see the hidden yoga residence. Kranti Yoga offers drop-in classes, courses and teacher trainings. They even have very clean and well built cottage accomodations for people who would like to have a yoga based holiday. We instantly liked this place. The drop-in class we went was very good and we thoroughly enjoyed practicing yoga in an open space surrounded by trees. Remember to spray some mosquito repellent so you won't be disturbed during the session.

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Kranti Yoga 1 | The Trishaw

Kranti Yoga Hut | The TrishawCottages


SOLITUDE BAR & RESTAURANT


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At Solutide Bar & Restaurant, they have wifi and that fish soup on the far right was delicious een though it does not look very appetising. 


HARMONIC


Harmonic is located at the far end of the beach, behind the Sea Touch Bar & Restaurant. There is a broken yellow rickshaw right at the entrance where the stairs start. To reach the top where Harmonic sits, there are flights of stairs that get your thighs working but it is well worth it. The view from the top was stunning. Harmonic has yoga classes, massage, treatments and accommodation. Do check out their website for more details. We only found this place the night before we were bound to leave and wanted to go there for massage the next day but we were not able to make an appointment on that day as the receptionist was not in. If you are planning to have any treatments here, remember to pop in or call them to make an appointment at least a day ahead to avoid disappointment like we did.

Entrance of Harmonic

Harmonic common area | The Trishaw

Common area in front of the reception

View from harmonic | The TrishawView from Harmonic 

Harmonic Yoga Space | The Trishaw

Yotam Ottolenghi's NOPI

Yotam Ottolenghi's NOPI is glossy and golden, with long and spacious dining room; quite an adult compared to his little cosy cafes. The service was smooth, staffs were friendly and the food is true to his style.
Squash Hummus was very well flavoured
We were served this lively Squash Hummus as soon as we settled in to our seats.

It was smart to cook the quail with Miso and serve it with grapes to give it some juicy sweetness to the already perfectly cooked quail.

The quail was smartly cooked with Miso and served it with grapes to give it some juicy sweetness to the already perfectly cooked quail.

Thinly sliced seared beef was so tender.
The very thin and tender slices of seared beef.

Moist seabass with crispy skin and citrus was a very good combination.
Moist seabass with crispy skin and citrus was fresh and clean.

Chargrilled Octopus With Morcilla
I really like the Mediterranean appearance  of this Chargrilled Octopus With Morcilla. It tasted good too.

I expected the galette to be a normal circular french galette but this was so much better! What seems like a simple dessert came out to be a fantastic end to the meal.

When we initially ordered the galette, we expected it to be a typical circular french galette but this was so much better! What seems like a simple dessert came out to be a fantastic end to the meal.

Smile..


Vibrant flavours and I really like the small plate concept as there is more varieties to try. Remember to visit the mirror maze of a restroom. It can be quite cool and fun unless of course you aren't able to wait any longer to find your way in.

Frown..


The small plates are really quite small so it can be pricey once you add them all up.

Will I return?


Yes. Highly recommended for the food and service.

NOPI

21-22 Warwick Street
London W1B 5NE
Tel: +44 (0)207 494 9584

Closest station: Oxford Circus (bakerloo & central)

NOPI on Urbanspoon

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Fruit Tart, beauty to the eyes and mouth

Fruit tart 1 | The Trishaw

Fruit tarts are so beautiful, it makes me want to get one every time I pass by a shop with them displayed at the window. It is one of those tarts you can't get enough of. This time, I made 'enough' to satisfy my craving.

Fruit tart 3 | The Trishaw

It seems enough wasn't enough after all. Flatmates loved them and M who was supposedly on a low sugar diet could not resist eating more. He found my secret stash!!
FRUIT TART RECIPE

adapted from Michel Roux's strawberry tart
makes 12

Ingredients:

For pâte sucrée:

  • 250g plain flour

  • 100g butter, cubed and softened

  • 50g icing sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

For crème patissière:

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 110g caster sugar

  • 40g plain flour

  • 500ml full fat milk

  • 1 vanilla pod / 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • little icing sugar

To finish:

  • raspberries

  • grapes, cut in half

  • 1 can of peach

To glaze:

  • 150g apricot jam

  • 2 tbs water water

Method:

  1. To make pastry, mix flour, icing sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add in the softened cubed butter and rub in with your fingers until mixture becomes grainy.

  2. Make a well and pour in the beaten eggs then work them into the flour with your hands until dough comes together.

  3. Wrap dough in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

  5. Remove dough from fridge and roll out pastry on a well floured surface to about 3-5mm thick.

  6. Cut the pastry into circles, bigger than the tart case. Carefully line the 10mm tartlet case and make sure it overlaps the edge. Use a rolling pin to roll over the case to cut off the excess pastry.

  7. Prick the bottom of the tart cases with a fork.

  8. Press a square of parchment paper into the tart case and fill it up with ceramic baking beans.

  9. Repeat steps 5 to 8 for remaining pastry.

  10. Bake the tart cases for about 15 minutes or until cooked through and crispy.

  11. Remove the baking beans and let cool on a wire rack.

  12. Set aside and start making the crème patissière.

  13. Pour the milk into a heavy based pot.

  14. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrap the seeds out. Put the seeds and pod into the milk, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let cool for about 30 seconds.

  15. In a bowl,whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow then whisk in the flour until combined.

  16. Slowly pour the hot milk in a small stream into the bowl while whisking.

  17. Pour them back into the pot and bring to boil on medium heat while whisking constantly for about 1 minute or until thickened.

  18. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. Sprinkle some icing sugar over the top to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.

  19. Spoon some cooled crème patissière into the tart cases and top with whatever fruits you like.

  20. To make apricot glaze, heat the jam and water until melted. Stir constantly. Strain to discard pulp, return back to saucepan and heat gently until thickened.

  21. Allow to cool lightly and brush the fruits carefully to give it a lovely shine.

** As you can see in the pictures, I did not glaze my tarts and should be shot but I ran out of jam so remember to check for jam in your pantry before making these beautiful tarts.

Tips:

  • Pâte sucrée and crème patissière can be made 2-3 days in advance, kept in the fridge.

  • Pâte sucrée can also be frozen up to 3 weeks.

12 hour overnight train journey from Mumbai to Goa

Train adventure to Goa 1 | The Trishaw

A single 12 hour journey on the train from Mumbai to Goa was our most adventurous moment in India. We were taken to the train station at Mumbai and as we arrived on the platform where our train departs, we were welcomed with a whiff of nasty stench and a cluster of flies relishing the patch of something they were obviously attracted to. All of us looked at each other with rather worried expressions. As we walked further into the platform and towards the mid carriage of the train to look for our names listed on the entrance of each carriage to find our booked seats, the stench slowly disappeared.

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We were a little skeptical about the very long journey on the train initially but the locals were very friendly, even shared snacks with us so we eased up. There were men walking along the aisles selling biryani, chai, drinks and all sorts of snacks. As much as I was tempted to get a box of biryani that smelled so good, I stuck to the dry biscuits as I did not want to risk upsetting the tummy on such a long journey. Everyone was sat together facing each other, so we got chatting to the locals who seems happy and intrigued to have met us. The two older men travelling with us were musicians on their way home to Kerala and some were students. We had a pretty good chat until it was time to sleep when everyone started folding the seats out into bunk beds. We were given pillows and blankets to keep warm from the air- conditioning. The entire journey turned out well, except that it got delayed for about two hours and we did not know which our stop was at 4am and in the dark. A few guys were very helpful and volunteered to prompt us. How nice.
Patnem Beach | The TrishawThe quite beach of Patnem, in South Goa.

Finally when we arrived, we had to make another trip on the cab to the south where we have booked our beach hut at Casa Fiesta. The journey was well worth it as we were blessed with sunshine, beach and bliss. And BREAKFAST!!
Casa Fiesta | The TrishawView from our Casa Fiesta beach hut.

The hut was very spacious, even has an extra separate room with a single bed inside. As the hut is solar powered, the water at night becomes less warm so we were advised to shower earlier if we needed warm water. When I was about to take a shower in the evening, I was greeted by a slimy toad on the shower knob !! Looks like the Toad Prince has been looking out for his princess for a kiss.

** More posts on Goa to follow.

Brunch at The Table, guaranteed satisfaction


The Table is so close to Tate Modern; I think it is the perfect place to meet up for breakfast or brunch before heading over to Tate for which ever interesting exhibition that is on.

It has an open kitchen, long wooden tables and benches which make it feel rather warm and welcoming. It used to have a stretch of surface on the side with displayed bread, magazines and flowers. The interior has changed by replacing this side counter with added high tables and seats to cope with the amount of people usually queuing up for their first cuppa and first bite of the day to tame the growling morning stomach.
img_2756Eggs Royale & Eggs Benedict (background)

IMG_4774The Borough Full English is definitely a proper breakfast with good quality ingredients. 

IMG_4776Buttermilk pancakes with crispy bacon, caramelised banana and maple syrup, is brunch heaven on a plate.


Smile..


Brunch here is always very satisfying, with guaranteed use of quality and local produce.

Frown..


Nothing to frown about.

Will I return?


Yes. This is one of my favourite brunch spots.

The Table


83 Southwark Street
London SE1 0HX
Tel: +44 (0)207 401 2760

Closest station: Southwark (jubilee)

The Table on Urbanspoon


Cock-a-leekie soup

Cock a leekie soup 1 | The Trishaw

When I saw Local Kitchen's post about 'Cock-a-leekie soup', I thought she made up the name. But it turns out that this is a Scottish soup dish with leeks and chicken stock. I find the name really amusing. The traditional version of this soup uses prunes but Kaela from Local Kitchen does not seem to be a fan of prunes so she swapped with preserved lemons instead which again, intrigued me. This was my first encounter of pickled lemon and was really not sure what it will taste like but it surprised me.

This soup reminds me of the chinese version of rice porridge or rice in broth which I absolutely love as the rice becomes soft, slightly broken and fluffy.The leeks in this chicken broth enhance the depth of flavour of the soup and the lemons lift it into a different dimension. I recommend you try this soon. You'll be surprised.

Cock a leekie soup 2 | The Trishaw

Cock-a-leekie Soup

adapted from Local Kitchen
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 20g butter
  • 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (vegetable cube if vegetarian)
  • 1 litre water
  • 50g white rice
  • 200g cooked chicken meat (omit if vegetarian)
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, use the rind only, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • big handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
  • salt & pepper to tast

Method:

  1. Heat a pot with butter and cook the leeks until slightly softened then add the carrots and saute for a minute.
  2. Add rice into the pot and stir for a minute on medium heat.
  3. Add in water and chicken bouillon. Let boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until rice becomes tender.
  4. Add chicken, lemon and paprika. Bring to boil and simmer again, for about 15 minutes so the chicken warms through and the flavours develop.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve while hot and garnish with chopped chillies and parsley.

Assemble:

  1. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable bouillon instead and omit the chicken meat.
  2. If you have homemade chicken or vegetable stock, use them instead.

Copper Chimney Restaurant

We came here for a post wedding dinner with the bride and groom and their family members. This was another one of those nice restaurants which was hidden. A foreigner will probably not know there is a restaurant above a car show room unless told.

Copper Chimney Interior | The Trishaw

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Our starter was one interesting roti, very thin and crisp served with green chutney and masala. It's a crispy version of masala rumali roti. This is very similar to roti tisu we have in Malaysia but instead of it being savoury, the one we have back home is sweet with condensed milk and granulated sugar.

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Naan with mixed dry fruits, now my favourite naan. As always throughout our stay in Mumbai, we have been surprised by the many varieties of delicious vegetarian food. I thought the corn curry was simple yet flavourful with its natural sweetness.
Copper Chimney Dessert | The TrishawMuzzafar (front) & Ras Malai, a Kolkata signature dessert (behind)

Copper Chimney Restaurant

101, 1st Floor, Fortune Classic,
Opposite Gabana Showroom, Khar,
Mumbai, Maharastra, 400052
Tel: +91 22 2492 5353

Daskalidès cafe, a chocolate gem

Daskalides cafe | The Trishaw

Somehow, I have a special magnetic field to chocolate. The store filled with chocolates sucked me towards its shop window and upon browsing through the very tempting chocolates and nougats, we saw a staircase with a sign that says Daskalidès Cafe downstairs. Looks like we found an almost hidden gem.

Daskalides cafe interior 2 | The Trishaw

Daskalidès is a Belgian chocolatier and has stores around the world. This is their London flagship store and cafe, also their first store in UK which just opened in June 2012. The store owner mentioned we will be embraced with more stores. This rather new cafe was so pleasant to be in; calm and light, also chic with the bright chartreuse yellow sofa and hanging copper pendant lights.
Daskalides cafe interior | The TrishawA small brick wall arch section in the cafe with boxes of chocolates on display and other goodies.

Daskalides chocolate fondue | The TrishawDark chocolate fondue with marshmallows and cookies; Before

Daskalides Chocolate Fondue 2 | The TrishawChocolate fondue; During.

As much as I like marshmallows, I preferred the rolled cookies as a light sinking of teeth makes it crumble and melts with the warm chocolate. It gets better when eaten with the sugar toasted hazelnuts.

Daskalides dessert | The TrishawVery decadent chocolate fondue and chocolate moelleux (in the midst) with soft gooey centre.

Daskalides hot chocolate | The TrishawThe smooth hot chocolate is their speciality so remember to have this when you drop in. They have dark or milk hot chocolate to cater for your liking. There is even spiced hot chocolate with cinnamon or chilli, or with cream and marshmallows for when you feel naughty.


Smile..

Decadent and lovely ambience, even has free wifi. They even serve breakfast here, with Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame on the menu.
Frown..

The books on the shelves are purely for decorative purposes. They are only book covers and are stuck together, so not readable.
Will I return?

Who will say no to chocolate decadence!!?

Daskalidès


76 Long Acre
London WC2E 9JS
Tel: +44 (0)207 3544 4036

Closest station: Covent Garden