Fat Gringo Burger at Bukowski Grill | London

The London burger craze has been going on for a while now and seems like it is not dying down anytime soon,.. or ever! I’ve never really urged for burgers before, until the burger phenomena erupted. It made me queue an hour for finger licking greasy burger, and also sat through a well-staffed hotel brasserie for posh burger. But I have to say, Bukowski Grill is really something. There was no one to sit us on our table, no one to take orders from the table and no created controlled ambience, yet it was filled with people. Everything about this place was friendly and casual. It’s Boxpark at Shoreditch afterall. Expect a few long communal tables with benches to share with random people. Find an empty spot to seat and get a friend to queue at the counter to order, then wait for those stacked deliciousness to arrive at your table. When that happens, if you photograph your food, make sure you’re quick otherwise, your dear friends might be on to your burger once they are done with theirs.
Bukowski Grill Boxpark The TrishawCommunal table in the foreground and Bukowski grill in the background. Doesn't this look fun?!

Fat Gringo 2  The TrishawThe Fat Gringo Burgers!!

Fat Gringo 1  The TrishawAre you tempted by the juicy patties, gooey melted cheese and crispy bacon? Well, you should! Just remember to order their triple cooked chips and the coleslaw.

Normally, I will have more pictures but I couldn’t wait any longer cause seeing my dining partner dive into our shared chips and beautiful coleslaw makes me want to do the same. Yeah, Mr hungry was chomping on the fluffy crispy chips while I take pictures of the food. And when he finished his burger, he even attempted to hijack mine!! Don’t worry, they were well protected.
Shoreditch  The TrishawView of Shoreditch from Boxpark and a good spot to watch passers-by

Who knew that dinner at Boxpark would be so fun. It is a hip container full of interesting diversity. Highly recommended especially when the weather is as good as it has been. Cold beer, delicious burger and summer!!

Bukowski Grill

BOXPARK Unit 61
4-6 Bethnal Green Road
E1 6GY London, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7379 1432

Closest station: Shoreditch High Street (overground)

Bukowski Grill on Urbanspoon

'The Birth of Unexpected Seduction' , my chocolate sketch for TowerHotel

Create a chocolate recipe for Tower Hotel's Brasserie Restaurant?! I'm in!!

I recently found out about a competition organised by Guoman Hotel to create a chocolate recipe for one of their hotel restaurants. The winner will see his/her recipe be realised and featured on the restaurant menu for at least a month. And winner gets to create this dish alongside the head chef in his kitchen!
"To celebrate the stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (directed by Oscar winning director Sam Mendes) we’re offering you the chance to create a chocolate recipe for The Tower hotel’s Brasserie Restaurant menu and win a personal chocolate tutorial in a professional kitchen…"

More details about this creative competition is found here.

Ooze Squirt Burst

This is such an amazing opportunity that even with the slightest amount of time I have left, I came up with a chocolate trio. All three has its contrasting flavours that you probably think will never taste good together but actually works! I've tried some of these flavour combinations before, but not necessary in this form.

The Birth of Unexpected Seduction


I've named these trio of chocolate 'The Birth of Unexpected Seduction' because I think these are contrasting flavours that is a marriage of beautiful smooth juicy sweetness that explodes in your mouth. Opposite attracts. Also, they look like eggs and the yolk in this chocolate dessert is where the unexpected surprises you.

Assembly


The untested theory to make these three chocolate spheres:
  1. Pour the thyme and candy mixture into a spherical mould and let set in the fridge
  2. Stuff a mint leaf into a whole seedless lychee.
  3. On the second lychee, gently push a frozen raspberry into the the hollow section of the lychee.
  4. Place both the filled lychee into a container and let it freeze in the freezer.
  5. Prepare three separate chocolate ganache while the fruits are freezing.
  6. Once frozen, prepare the dark chocolate coating.
  7. Melt the chocolate on a bain-marie then dip the two lychees and thyme jelly ball into the melted chocolate. Set aside to let the chocolate set.
  8. Cover the coated fruits with the ganache and gently roll into round balls and dip into melted chocolate.
  9. Put aside until chocolate coating is set. Cut into halves and serve.

Presentation


The trio are made into spheres. Each spheres will be cut into halves to expose the beautiful interior with the flat section facing upwards or diagonally. As there is no flat base, it will be best to sit on dots of chocolate or fruity mousse so they don't roll about on the plate.

Here goes my chocolate creation to celebrate Sam Mendes's adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Guoman Hotel. Do share your thoughts about this creation and hopefully I will be able to make these trio into a reality.

Zhong-Xi Omelette for a brighter morning

There is something about eggs that makes breakfast complete. And if you have been having the same ol' fried eggs, soft boiled eggs or cheese and ham omelette, this fusion omelette might become your new morning favourite. It is a slightly different and refreshing omelette that will almost definitely make your morning brighter, through taste and colour. Of course, your morning cuppa comes with it too. If you want a more filling breakfast, serve it with some toasts. This omelette is fast and easy, and is here to impress. Try it and let me know how you you like it.
Zhong Xi omelette | The Trishaw
The East meets West omelette

ZHONG-XI OMELETTE


Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tbs peanut / vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic,  minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 3 whole red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 whole yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tbs chopped coriander leaves

Methods:

  1. Start off by beating the eggs with a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the pan on medium low heat with peanut oil and pour in the whisked eggs into the pan once oil is hot.
  3. Pull the cooked edge of the omelette into the middle and let the uncooked mixture run to the side. This will enable a more consistent cooking of the egg. Cook for a bout a minute or until the middle is almost cooked and soft.
  4. Fold the eggs in half and place omelette on a plate. The omelette is still cooking at this moment because the it is still hot so it is vital to not cook the eggs fully on the pan. Otherwise, the eggs will be overcooked while on the plate.
  5. With the same pan without washing, heat some oil and saute the garlic and ginger.
  6. Once garlic and ginger are fragrant, add in the sugar and let it melt.
  7. Next, add the halved tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute or until slightly soft.
  8. Pour in the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon. Mix them well and remove from heat.
  9. Pour the tomatoes and sauce over the omelette and garnish with coriander leaves.

Tips:

  • If you are making more than one omelette, repeat steps 1 to 4 before step 5. When continuing with step 5, double or triple the ingredients (depending on how many people you are cooking for) and cook accordingly to instructions. Portion the tomato and sauce on to each plate.


Malaysian 'Kopitiam' Supperclub by Chef Norman Musa | London

Chef Norman Musa is a well established and successful Malaysian chef here in the UK with many awards under his belt. He has appeared in many publications and TV in UK and Malaysia, including The Guardian, TimeOut and TV3. Originally from Penang, a renowned street food destination in Malaysia, he came to UK to further his studies as a quantity surveyor. He started off as a student who did not know how to cook but has since grown into a passion with which he had dreams to succeed in the catering industry.
Chef Ning & I | The Trishaw

With the lovely Chef Norman Musa

It is his love of food from home and vision of making Malaysian food be as popular as Chinese, Thai or Indian in the UK that has brought him to where he is now. I am definitely a keen supporter of his, after having met him and tasted his food. I would also like to do my small bit in popularising the ever so interesting and flavoursome Malaysian cuisine. For now, this blog is where it starts so do come back for more.

THE MALAYSIAN 'KOPITIAM' SUPPERCLUB BEGINS


'Kopitiam' means coffee shop, derived from the word 'kopi' which means coffee in Malay and 'tiam' which means shop in Hokkien. It is where coffee, tea, eggs and toasts are traditionally served but this depends on the size of the shop. Most of these 'kopitiam's now have many hawker stalls selling various types of food where you can order from a particular stall, go back to your table and pay as soon as your food or drink is served.
Canapes | The Trishaw

Canapés and drinks for guest arrivals so people can mingle and wait to be seated without getting hungry.

Whole durian | The Trishaw



"Londoners, this is where you'll get Malaysian hospitality and be fed until your jeans button pops :) !!"


Supperclub menu | The TrishawLook at the extensive menu and you know'll why I said that.

Chef Norman cooking | The TrishawChef Norman Musa and his assistant helping prepare our starters, fried soft shell crab and spring rolls.

Soft Shell Crab | The TrishawDeep-fried soft shell crabs

Pohpiah_Spring Roll | The TrishawPoh piah basah (Malaysian Spring Rolls)

These spring rolls are made with freshly made spring roll wraps made from scratch in the morning by the chef and rolled for us just before serving. The filling is very juicy and sweet form its ingredients of julienned jicama, carrots and dried shrimps.

Lor Kay Bak | The TrishawLor Kay Bak (Chicken rolled in tofu skin), a halal version of the typical street food, Lor Bak which is made with pork marinated with five spice.

Chicken Rice | The TrishawChicken rice

Chicken rice a very popular and typical street food in Malaysia. The rice is cooked in chicken broth and is served with marinated chicken, chicken broth and tangy garlic chilli.

Cucur Kodok | The TrishawCucur kodok (banana fritters)

Lollies | The Trishaw

Lots of refreshing lollies

Girls and lollies | The Trishaw

Lollies for the perfectly warm summer's day with Kristina K of Hot Courses Malaysia.

She will be publishing an article about Chef Norman on the website and I will update with link when she does. In the meantime, checkout her other well written articles.

Pulut Hitam | The TrishawVery authentic 'pulut hitam' (Black glutinous rice porridge)

Opening durian | The TrishawChef Norman flexing his muscles to split open the durian for the sake of our happiness and some people's nightmare.

Durian | The TrishawAs Malaysian durian is impossible to get in the UK, chef bought the Thai ones instead.

Durian flesh | The Trishaw

The first mouthful of the soft, squishy and creamy durian sweetness was one of my most memorable food experience in London. I was well surprised with the quality of durian as it was my first Thai durian experience, and my first durian experience in London! I have always been told that Thai durians are less flavourful but I could not tell the difference and is definitely as good. Just to be clear, the whole evening was a memorable one but due to my my lack of durian for the past 2 years, that first mouthful had made such an impression that it is so far my greatest food experience in London.

Happily eating durian | The TrishawHappily eating the very good durian. I waited all night for this!



"Supperclub is the way to dine in future. It is fun and exciting, it is like a big house party where everyone is friendly!"


**I would like to share a link to and interesting fusion recipe by Chef Norman Musa called Rendang Beef Wellington. Hope you like it and do let me know how you like this recipe.



NING SUPPERCLUB


secret venue in London

Limablas, a Nyonya addition at Changkat | Kuala Lumpur

Twin Tower | The TrishawPetronas Twin Towers so close to Limablas

A quaint little Nyonya restaurant hidden in the middle of KL city, quite close to the Petronas Twin Towers was quite a find. We managed to check out Limablas on their second month of business when I was in Malaysia. A dear friend who knows I like Nyonya food brought me here while I was in town. I can tell that lots of thought has gone in to set up this restaurant. Every item in the restaurant was meticulously placed. Each old glass jar, cabinet, chairs and calculator has been carefully chosen and added as part of the interior to create a nostalgic space of an old shop house.

Limablas exterior 3 | The Trishaw I have a thing for doors and windows. These ones, as simple as it looks, seems so beautiful to me especially the shabby looking turquoise door. 

Limablas interior 6 | The TrishawLimablas, the name of this restaurant means fifteen in Malay, therefore the number 15.

Limablas interior 7 | The TrishawBeautiful colour contrast

Limablas interior 2 | The Trishaw
Antique calculator | The TrishawThis antique calculator is apparently called the Jewish calculator but Simon, the co-owner has no idea why the name. I, as curious as he is, would like to find out why so please ping me if any of you know anything.

Limablas interior 4 | The Trishaw
Pie Tee 1 | The TrishawPie Tee

For those of you who does not know what pie tee is, it is a crispy case filled with cooked julienne vegetables and prawns, similar filling to those in spring rolls.

Sambal aubergine | The Trishaw
Sambal Aubergine

I must say that the sambal aubergine and sambal petai (below) were my favourite non-dessert dishes of the night. The sambal on both the aubergine and petai dishes are totally different. The aubergine was cooked with sambal heh bee.
Telur cincaluk | The TrishawTelur cincaluk (Omelette with fermented small shrimps)

Chap Chye (Mixed vegetables) | The Trishaw

Chap Chye (Mixed vegetables) is one of my favourite nyonya vegetable dishes. A typical nyonya chap chye will have ingredients such as dried lily buds, dried bean curd sticks, shiitake mushroom, black fungus and Chinese cabbage cooked with fermented soy bean paste but the ones we had here (pictured above) was different. It must be a modern take of the restaurant. 
Goreng Chilli Fish | The TrishawGoreng Chilli Fish

Ayam pongteh | The TrishawAyam Pongteh (Stewed chicken with potatoes) is one of those homey food where you flood your rice with gravy. It is that good. Also, I suggest you have it with the pungent sambal belacan.

After dinner | The TrishawEmpty plates means happy belly. What happy belly needs will be desserts.

Cendol | The TrishawThis Cendol was yummy, as was the other two we had that did not make it in the pictures; ais kacang and sago gula melaka. They were obviously too yummy and no one wants a shaved ice dessert to end up being cold liquid dessert. Cendol and ais kacang are the must haves in such hot weather.

Tapai | The TrishawTapai is fermented rice and was the first time I tried this. It is definitely an acquired taste and so far, not my kind of dessert but my friend seems to like it. Very subjective, it seems.

Salter weigh | The Trishaw

Smile..


Great decor & ambience, very friendly service and good Malaccan Nyonya food.

Frown..


Nothing to frown about.

Will I return?


This will probably become one of my usual hangout when I crave for Nyonya food in KL but too bad, I live 7,000 miles away.

LIMABLAS


No 15 Jalan Mesui,
Off Changkat Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(beside No Black Tie)
Tel: +603 2110 1289


Learn Polish Language in 4 weeks

I have been telling myself that I need to improve on my French after the course I did a few years back. Besides loving French patisserie and food, I really think the language itself is beautiful. For example, crème patissiere sounds more elegant than pastry cream or custard, and French music seems to put me in a good mood. With all these very good reasons, I signed up for French beginner's course at Institut Français. Although I did learn some French after the course, I realised that even after paying through my nose for supposedly one of the best professionally taught French courses in London, I was still unable to structure a sentence properly and have a simple conversation in French. I am not saying that the course was bad. It was a good course, but I find it less effective for me.

FOUR WEEKS CHALLENGE

Recently, some friends came up with the idea of a 'Four Week Challenge'. The key to this is to learn a skill smartly and efficiently in four weeks. Of course, four weeks will not get us to an advance level of whatever each of us are trying to learn, but we have to set a learning plan and goal we would like to achieve in four weeks and work towards it.
"Set a goal and work towards it."

WHAT AM I LEARNING

After an introduction about wanting to improve my French, I will be taking up Polish language instead. You must be thinking why am I learning Polish instead of brushing up my French, one with which I have some basics already. I would like to use this challenge to learn a language from scratch and experiment with it. If this plan is successful, I can apply it to any other languages.
"My challenge is to learn Polish in four weeks."

MOTIVATION


I have a good reason to learn Polish cause my boyfriend is Polish and his mum does not speak English. Although I do not see her that often, it is still nice to be able to converse. We tried communicating with each other over tea but to no avail,  hand gestures was not very helpful. We ended up flipping through a Polish-English dictionary to communicate. It was a really funny experience but I hope that will be last of our dictionary word pointing conversation.
"... to communicate without having to flip through dual Polish-English dictionary over tea."

WHAT IS MY GOAL

At the moment, the extend of my Polish saying Happy Birthday, Good Morning, Good Evening, How are you, Thank you and Goodbye. So that's pretty much all I know. Oh actually, I know 'Dzik' is 'wild boar' and that 'Jestem głodna' is 'I am hungry' in Polish. That las sentence is very helpful indeed. At the end of the first four weeks, I would like to be able to:

  • construct sentences and have simple conversation in Polish
  • read and understand a Polish food blog and to cook from the recipes
The reason why I chose food as part of my goal is because I love food and that I write a food blog, so this is something I am passionate about and that I can relate to. Personally, I think linking goals to something that we are passionate about, will excite us more and will assist in a excelling at a quicker pace. This will make learning more efficient.

"The goal is to read and understand Polish food blog and cook from the recipes. In 3 months time, the target is to be able to write a dual language blog post about Polish food."

HOW TO ACHIEVE MY GOAL

The learning plan is very important in achieving your goal so spend some time in structuring the plan. In this instance, my plan will be to:
    listen to Michel Thomas's audiobook

    • The Michel Thomas Method is a very effective way of learning language with no books, no writing and no memorising
    • I first came across this through recommendation of Jakub, a fellow 'four weeks challenge' participant

    make new sentences in Polish everyday
    • It will be useful to construct sentences you use daily
    • Write a list of topics and construct about 5 to 10 sentences on one topic each day
"Come learn Polish with me or follow my progress here. If you are interested in tracking the progress and challenges of other participants, check out the 'Four Weeks Challenge blog'."