Bubble Tea in a Chinese Supermarket!

In Taiwan they are famous for their bubble tea which has suddenly become popular in London China Town. When I first tasted it in Hong Kong I think I had either a coffee or a tea version with these big pieces of jelly (tapioca pearls) and a big massive straw which is specially made for these drinks!
Well, as well as some café places in China Town which make them freshly for you, you can also get them in supermarkets!
I found these in Yang Guang Supermarket 阳光超市… Authentic bubble tea!! One vanilla and one that looked like coffee but was actually tea… There were only a few flavours available, but it also seems like they are trialling them out. They cost £2.80 each. A little bit expensive, but it’s worth the try! ^_^

One vanilla and one tea

Heheheh, I’ve just noticed that’s there’s a spelling mistake in their lid above. They’ve put “puality” instead of “quality”. ^.^

Big tapioca pearls!

 I actually almost choked trying to get those pearls up the straw!

Big straws for the pearls!

You can also get tea and coffee versions in cans, but they will have smaller tapioca pearls.

Update 21/07/2012

If you want a really fresh bubble tea, then go to this place Boba Jam on Shaftesbury Avenue. I have tried it before, and it’s great!

Update 09/08/2012

Here’s the can version…

Spicy Curry Fish Balls 咖喱辣魚蛋

Ah, I’ve been craving for Hong Kong street food for a few weeks. Especially spicy curry fish balls!! In this type of situation, you either fly back to Hong Kong and eat as much as you like or… as in my situation – you make your own… O_o Ok, so I’ve never made this before. I looked on YouTube for some simple recipes – and most of them are the same!

This week I bought these ingredients for a simple geeky meal…

Chilli fried fish balls for £2.60 at my local Asian store:

Expensive fish balls!! 

Morrison’s 23p curry sauce:

Cheap curry sauce

Single packet of udon noodles for 59p:

Udon noodles for 1 person 

And I had some chilli oil which I added in – free.

This is everything cooked all together. The udon noodles was cooked in some water first…

Udon and fishballs ^^

And this is the final dish… Although it doesn’t look like the original stuff from Hong Kong, I still enjoyed it! (Although I think the curry sauce was a bit sour).

Sorry for the messy bowl! 

My geeky rating (for my own food!!): 4/5 (it was the curry sauce that was disappointing…)

So here’s a short recipe for under £4!!!!

Chilli fried fish balls
Curry sauce (or curry paste if you prefer)
Fresh Udon noodles (optional)
Chilli oil
Cooking oil

How to cook (for one person):
1. Heat a frying pan and a teaspoon of cooking oil (olive or vegetable)… (You can boil them for a few minutes and drain if you prefer to be healthy!).
2. Lightly fry the fishballs for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add curry sauce – about half a jar if you are not adding noodles (be aware that it might splatter onto your clothes!!) and simmer for 3 minutes.
4. This part is optional: Whilst that is simmering, using a pot pan, boil some water (a cup) and heat the udon noodles. Heat for 2 minutes.
5. Drain noodles and add to the curry mixture.
6. Add chilli oil and mix well together.
7. Serve in a bowl.

Here’s also a picture of HK street food from two years ago…

HK street food in Mong Kok 

I miss you Hong Kong street food!!!! ^_^

Update 29/07/2012

Wanted to share this cartoon of McDull and fishballs… Heheheheh… It’s in Cantonese. McDull wants to eat fishballs and noodles but the waiter and McDull keep going round and round in circles as there’s no fishballs or noodles. Heheh ^^

Update 17/01/2013

I made curry fishballs again the other day. This time I used curry paste and tom yum flavoured fishballs, which weren’t spicy enough. So add chilli oil plus a bit of salt!!

1. Tom Yum flavoured fishballs – fry them for one or two minutes then add a cup of water

2. This curry paste is quite popular – use one heaped teaspoon and add to the mixture of fishballs and water 

3. Boil the fishballs for a good 10 minutes and stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and chilli oil

4. Serve in a bowl – Yummy curry fishballs!!! ^^

Note: no messy bowl!! ^^

Check out the Laksa (extra spicy) version: http://asimplegeekylife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/laksa-curry-fishballs-really-very-spicy.html

Nuts about Koh-Kae

Back to food again! Ever since I was a kid I liked eating peanuts. My mum used to buy these strange peanut snacks made by Koh-Kae which you couldn’t find in an ordinary supermarket. The peanuts were coated in biscuit, and there were different flavours – original, coffee and something else that I can’t remember! Well, as I got older, I only ate them once in a while… On a couple of recent trips to New Loon Fung Supermarket (新龍鳳行) in China Town, I came across these new flavours from the same company Koh-Kae…

Wasabi, Tom Yum and Barbeque flavour. Wow!

Ate half of the Tom Yum flavour already!

I haven’t tasted the barbeque yet, but the best of two I have tasted so far is the Wasabi flavour… I seem to like anything made with wasabi!!

They cost about £1.30 for each tin. They are some awesome savoury snacks. I think pubs in the UK should consider serving these! ^_^

Origami Overload

Right. Time to stop posting about food for a tiny bit and onto something else!

I am a very bad person because I didn’t do any origami for a month with my 2008 calendar… However I did manage to catch up (for a short while ¬_¬” – I’m a week behind now)!!

Here’s just some of the latest pieces I have managed to fold… I’m afraid I did skip a few because some of the diagrams weren’t helpful! I tried to look for videos, but they weren’t that helpful too!!

Origami Butterfly
Origami Tote Bag ^_^

This one is in three parts… The divider was the hardest to make!

Origami Matsu box, divider and lid
Origami Picture Frame
Origami Owl
Origami Horse, I couldn’t fold the rider  – it was too hard! 😦 
Origami Russian Cicada
Origami Boomerang Airplane – I thought this didn’t work at
the beginning, but it actually worked in the end!
Origami Vase

If you want to try out, and you don’t mind being 6 months behind for 2012, you can still buy the calendar from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0761162968/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

West Coast Grill and Bar – London Surrey Quays

Miss Pinky just moved into the Rotherhithe area in South East London and if you have followed me on Twitter we went to see Rock of Ages the film at the Surrey Quays Odeon. But before that both of us were very hungry!!! We had three choices of restaurants – Pizza Hut, Frank and Benny’s or West Coast Grill and Bar. At first we decided Frank and Benny’s because Miss Pinky thought West Coast was closed down… She thought wrong! It was open and  we decided to go in their instead. 

West Coast Grill and Bar – Surrey Quays Branch

It was quiet for a Saturday afternoon (well it was about 4pm) but we seated ourselves near one of the windows. Since it’s an American style restaurant I was craving for steak! And I wanted starters too ^_^…

Inside and outside the Grill and Bar
The menu

First I ordered the garlic bread and mushrooms… They were so tasty and buttery. I can still taste them in my mouth (mouth watering!).

Extremely tasty mushrooms and garlic bread ^_^ 

Miss Pinky ordered the bourbon chicken wings, but after she tasted mine she wanted swap… uh no way! 

Yummy chicken wings… they tasted good!

We both ordered a steak. I ordered the 10oz rib eye which already comes with chips, onions rings, fried onions and tomatoes and some salad.

My 10oz steak… So big!

Miss Pinky ordered the 7oz bavette (she has a smaller appetite) and came with all the sides as me. She ordered the steak rare, but it came out medium!

A still sizzling 7oz steak

Both of us were astonished at the size of our meal. It was MASSIVE! I’m afraid we were both defeated and didn’t finish all of it 😦 … If I was given another half an hour, I think I could’ve but we had to catch a film!

What a waste… But I did almost finish my chips (my plate is the one on the left) 

I wish I could’ve had a dessert, but I was too full and the film was about to start! All together it cost around £53 for 2 people plus 4 drinks… So it was all worth it!!

My geeking rating:
 5/5 (friendly service and big portioned sized meals… plus it was quiet at the time we went)

Good points: 

  • Friendly service
  • Food served was very hot and tasty!
  • Big portions
  • Next to the cinema ^_^
Bad points:
None that I can think of!

Geeky information:

Address: Mast Leisure Park, Surrey, Southwark SE16 1LL
Telephone: 0207 231 4888

Website: www.westcoastgrillandbar.com

Appalled at the bus strikes

Today 17 or 18 London bus companies decided to go on strike today, just because the drivers want an extra £500 bonus for the extra services they’ll be running during the Olympics. Fair enough. But if it disrupts other people and the people who pay for their bus fares (like me – who thinks London fares compared to international countries is freaking expensive) and also trying to earn a living, then it is extremely not fair. Fine, there is the tube and the trains, but that means paying extra.

To me buses are the cheapest mode of transport to get around London – as long as you plan enough time to get to your destination and have a bus pass. Singles fares are expensive! I hate the tube because it’s smelly and stuffy, and trains are just so-so. Buses are my mode of transport!

When I got this email last night from TfL (Transport for London), I thought well you guys and girls are definitely going on strike whether you have a court injunction or not! That’s not going to stop them completely…

My email of disappointment

Oh and so where’s my compensation for walking to work today – I’ve paid a big lump sum for these people’s salaries! Or at least they should give the public compensation for today’s disruptions i.e. free travel for the weekend! (Although I have a bus pass)… 

I wonder if the tube strikes are going to go ahead next week and in July too??? 

Yeo’s Soya Drinks

A few weeks ago when I went to China Town, I came across these drinks in New Loong Fung Supermarket 新龍鳳行 (san lung fung hong). They are soya bean drinks from Yeo’s, which I have never tasted before… And by the way I spell soya with an “a”, the word just doesn’t look right without an “a”… ^_^

Green bean and Black bean soy drinks

Have you ever tasted a black bean flavoured soya drink before?… Yes I have, but it was Korean, very tasty and alcoholic! The green bean soya didn’t taste that special (as I’m not a green bean fan anyway). 

I definitely recommend the black bean soya drink… I can’t remember the cost. But give it a go!

Update 23/06/2012 – they cost 39p per carton! There’s also a red bean one, but the supermarket ran out 😦

Hello Kitty Charms from Strapya World

I have been meaning to write this post for a long while, but just never got round to it  (lazy geek!).

Obsessed with Hello Kitty? Yes I was and I still am! ^_^

I have many Hello Kitty things – stationery, key-rings, stuff from Japan, China and Hong Kong… I can’t help it. Hello Kitty became an obsession when I was around 6 or 7 years old when my cousin bought me a stationery set with some glittery Hello Kitty origami paper. I still remember the red pencil rubber that smelt very sweet and exquisite, there was no other rubber 
like it in the whole of the UK at the time! ^_^

A few months ago (many months that I can remember), I ordered a set of 10 Hello Kitty lucky charms (plus there was 1 free one). If I just ordered one I would get a randomly picked one sent to me, which meant I couldn’t get the one I wanted… I think these are limited edition because I couldn’t find them on the website anymore. I remembered the parcel got here quite quickly, but it’s not until now that I have been able to take any pictures (being an absolutely lazy geek ¬_¬)… 

Here’s a lot of pictures of the pretty charms and the box it came in ^_^ …

Hello Kitty Lucky Charms

Side of the box

The other side of the box

Inside the box with 10 little packages 

One of the packages

A free sweet came with each charm

This is the one I wanted!!

The free one hanged on the box

In my next Hello Kitty post I will show you some of the Hello Kitty stuff that I get from all over!

Website: http://www.strapya-world.com/

Making and Trying Ddubokki

What is ddubokki? That’s what I wanted to know when I watched a number of Korean dramas! Well it’s Korean rice cake cooked in some spicy Korean paste and other ingredients. 

After a number of searches for recipes (there are quite a few), and a search for a small pack which I could try on (I found some in See Woo Supermarket 泗和行 (si wo hong) – in Lisle street)… I forgot the price, I think it was under £2.

Korean Rice Cake – ddubokki

I already had some of the main ingredients – Korean red chilli paste (unfortunately it had some mould on it – because I didn’t refridgerate it, but I used part of it that didn’t mould – the paste is in the bin now)… One recipe said you can use honey, but most use sugar.

So here’s a couple of pictures of my attempt to make ddubokki… I used half the packet of rice cakes. I used honey instead of sugar… And I also used a Japanese fishcake (because I forgot to buy the Chinese ones).

Rice cakes are cooking in hot paste, water and honey with some added Japanese fishcake 

Here’s the final dish. I didn’t cover it with all the sauce because I was afraid of food poisoning myself from the paste! Yeek!

It was nice – can’t say it was spectacular!

In the end did I like it? Well… It was ok I guess. It isn’t the best type of food I have had in the world… Or maybe because I wasn’t hungry when I ate it.

Update 28/06/2012 – forgot to put the recipe on here…

Packet of ddubokki (Korean rice cakes)
Korean chilli paste
Honey or sugar
Fishcake (optional)

How to cook:

Here I improvised by reviewing a few recipes online…
1. Add water (about 2 cups) into a pan and bring to boil
2. Add the ddubokki into the water (amount is up to you!)
3. Add 2 teaspoons of Korean chilli paste (I used a new tub in my second attempt)…
4. A teaspoon of honey (I drizzled mine in – so I didn’t really use a spoon!)
5. Add fishcake if you want, in my 2nd attempt I added frozen veg – but that’s just me being geeky! ^_^
5. Simmer for 5-10 minutes
6. Serve in a bowl (In my second attempt I enjoyed it a lot!!)

Forgot to give myself a rating too:

My geeky rating (for my own cooking): 3.5/5 – rice cakes could have been softer on first attempt and I need to make sure I refridgerate the paste in future!

Hung’s Chinese Restaurant 美食軒 – London China Town

On one early Monday morning I had to run an errand with my mother in London China Town. Since it was so early, and I had to get back to work later, I had no lunch on me and I had no breakfast! 😦 A grown up like me who doesn’t often eat breakfast is a bad person… (but at least I had a coffee ^_^). So with an empty stomach we ended up going to one of the only Chinese restaurants that opens before 12pm – Hung’s Chinese Restaurant 美食軒 (mei sik hin) which means ‘fine food restaurant’. 

Outside Hung’s Chinese Restaurant 美食軒

Inside Hung’s 美食軒
One of the cooks who serves the congee, soup noodles
and chops all those meats that hang at the window
My mother introduced me to this restaurant only a few years back, so I never really noticed it before. If you go to this restaurant in the morning you will have many options to choose from, but most of the people (mainly Chinese) will order congee 粥 (juk) or noodle soups 湯麵 (tong min). (By the way, congee is easy to make – it’s rice made with an extra few cups of water and simmered for 30 minutes or longer plus some added meat and optional toppings like squid, peanuts and spring onions… It’s just porridge made with rice instead of oats! And there’s loads of recipes online).

Both my mother and I ordered the braised beef noodle soup 牛腩湯麵 (ngau naam tong min). I seem to order this every time I go there! I forgot to look at the price, but I think it’s between £4 and £6 per bowl. 

Braised beef and noodle soup – how it’s served
Usually I get a few pieces of beef and a Chinese leaf (likely Chinese broccoli 芥蘭菜), but this time I got loads of braised beef and no Chinese leaf with the noodle soup! I forgot about it until my mother mentioned it later… I didn’t mind at all! By the way, for those who are dieting or trying not to gain too much weight, be aware of some fatty pieces!

Another picture of my food – just showing you what the noodles look like ^_^ 
They have loads of seating upstairs, so if the ground floor gets too crowded they’ll tell you to go upstairs (1st floor and I think 2nd floor too or was it 3rd… Ah! I can’t remember!). I’ve read a few comments on the Internet about this restaurant, and there are mixed views about this place. However the best thing is to do try it out yourself before making a decision…

My geeky rating: 5/5 (see points below), not biased at all!

Good points:
  • Friendly service (English, Cantonese and Mandarin)
  • Food is ALWAYS hot (I had to take my glasses off, because there was so much steam coming from the soup!)
  • Opens early (like they do in South East Asia! – well not that early) – 10am is opening time
Bad points:
Can’t think of any!

Geeky Information:
Address: 27 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PR
Tel: 0207 287 6578

View Larger Map

Update 07/08/2012
Woah… I went out today and ate at Hung’s again… I had this wonderful Prawn Dumpling Noodle Soup! (^_^)b YUMMY!! Sorry for the bad picture…! The dumplings were massive ^_^ and the soup was hot… an extra 5/5!!!