HOKO Milk Tea

Hoping to blog more about food and drinks this year. Well fingers crossed unless we’re taken over by Covid, or another lockdown (probably an unlikely event), or I get struck down with Covid again (let’s hope that doesn’t happen – I was just miserable).

I bought this tea back in November in Kiki and Miumiu, but became lazy to blog about it.

Have you ever tasted Hong Kong milk tea before? If not, this is probably a good introduction to the tea, because you’re not going to like the original one back home as they use very strong tea. HOKO Milk Tea, which is based in London is a new brand.

It’s all hand brewed as described on the back of the drink pack. They use ceylon tea, evaporated milk and sugar, and you can drink it hot or cold.

So what do I think? I think it tastes lighter than the original versions, mainly because of the amount of sugar used, and I think they use a bit more milk here… I guess it’s to suit the British taste, but British people like strong tea too… Although if HOKO made it to the exact original taste, I think people will turn away from it (I remember my first time drinking this tea (hot version) back in HK … my face grimaced, and the more sugar I added, it just started tasting weird. MummyGeek just got angry at me for wasting the tea and her money LOL … I’m used to the taste now).

I saw on Instagram that they’re making glass bottle versions! Hope they’ll be cheaper in price. Good luck HOKO!!

Cost: £3.49 (expensive!)

Size: 250ml

Website: https://www.hokolondon.co/

The Failings of Travelling during a Pandemic

This one Geek had it all prepared to go travelling during a pandemic.

I got jabbed twice with Pfizer. Made sure people around me were getting their jabs and wearing masks 😷.

Bought my plane ticket to Hong Kong (in May), booked my quarantine hotel for 21 days (then 14 days, and then back to 21 days … oh come on!), then booked my post-qurantine hotel … then s**t hit the fan. Hong Kong decided to ban all flights coming in from the UK from July 1st 2021. Grrrrr.

My flight was on July 1st. 🤬

My cousin text me to tell me to cancel my flight and hotels… Whatever!! I wasn’t going to lose my money… I waited for the airline to cancel my flight, which they did. (I bursted out crying in front of my manager during a Teams meeting… Sorry Boss!!).

Then it was time to contact Booking.com to get my money back from the quarantine hotels (two hotels – as the HK govenment changed the quarantine time back to 21 days, and I stupidly cancelled one hotel, and booked another). If the hotel admin were stressed out then I was extremely stressed! I wasn’t going to lose out on almost £2K. But thankfully, the hotels agreed to give me back my money. I’m sure they didn’t lose out, since other people coming from the UK would have needed to extend their stays. Thanks Booking.com! They are so patient!!

I decided to get a refund for my flight. It was easy… but I didn’t expect a £300 admin fee from Cathay Pacific. Wow. That’s so extreme from an airline. 😦

Total loss (excluding things I bought for the journey and the hotel quarantine – since I can still use these now and next time):

  • £300 from Cathay Pacific admin fee (not happy… 😤)
  • £180 for PCR swab kits (not even used 😖)

Think I need to work a little bit harder to gain this money back (or just not spend on anything drastic for the next few months).

Do I care about my status in Hong Kong now? Not at this very moment… I failed to go back in time to validate my HKID card. Oh well! Did I really want to go? Not really… My boss was understanding and would have let me worked from abroad if I had the chance to go… It was not meant to be! The Heavens told me not to go twice. 😇

Not to worry peeps. I cheered myself up in the past 3 weeks (in the time I would have been in quarantine)…

  1. I cooked sweetcorn with raclette cheese. I cheered up after eating this.

2. I bought an expensive keyboard from South Korea on eBay (which arrived just before I was aiming to go to Hong Kong). You can’t type Romaja on Western keyboards… You have to learn the Korean keyboard!!

3. I took a picture of a blimp that read “Good Year” on it… What good year?

4. I went out with my friend Mrs Hen (long awaited time out with her)… we went to eat at Nando’s at London Bridge… she was late, so I ended up stationery shopping in Paperchase, and I bought a book (Swing Time by Zadie Smith – still reading it). Then we sort of met with her colleagues in Vinegar Yard for an hour before they headed off to another pub).

5. Went out all the way to Tooting and met up with Miss Money and Miss LuTu… Was gardening tips, even though I don’t own a garden…

6. Why did I go out to Leicester Square during the Euro 2020 Finals? I was craving some Korean food, and I wanted to go to Oseyo for them … then I took the Tube back and saw some wild fans going up the escalator singing (there were wild England fans everywhere, I’m just glad I didn’t go into Leicester Square to the witness the chorus singing and see the mess they made).

7. A fox appeared at Herne Hill Station on my way home … It brightened my evening …

8. And finally today, it rained, like it has been all over the world. I expect some services to be disrupted later on.

Cheer up Everyone!!!

I may have failed to travel in the last two years, but I have tried to enjoy myself (and I did get most of my money back). LOL! 🤪

KiKi & MiuMiu Market – London, Walworth Road / Elephant & Castle

And we have another Asian supermarket in the Walworth Road and, Elephant and Castle area… Despite the Asian backlash, which I personally haven’t seen or have come across since the start of the pandemic. Maybe my body language says “backoff or I’ll do something to you”, LOL! ^_^ …

Kiki and MiuMiu Market opened in late April, I’ve already been in there twice. They have a variety of frozen foods, bakeries, some things that aren’t available in Longdan or Daily Fresh Supermarket in East St Market.

Comparing some of the prices, it is slightly cheaper – depending on what you buy…

They’ve tried to utilise the space, but it does feel a little cramp… you may have to wait for people to finish what they’re doing to get pass them… In a way, it’s better than going to China Town for the moment.

Address: 141 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RW

Website: https://kikimiumiu.co.uk/

Golden Tea 凰茶- London, Elephant and Castle

Howdy peeps! Hope everyone is staying safe as usual. 🤓

Third lockdown almost over but with other variants running around at the moment we will never know what will happen in June…

Haven’t blogged for a long time, just haven’t found anything much to blog about, so here’s something I found on my way home one afternoon after a long walk in February. So many things change if you don’t go out and have a look at your surroundings. Not sure when this opened, but Golden Tea is another bubble tea shop in London. There’s a lot of Chinese students living around the Elephant and Castle – maybe it’s become a new trend over there with new flats and new shops… and hopefully a new shopping centre (or new social housing). We will see!!

Golden Tea looks very decorative and pretty inside compared to the building it’s based in. LOL. 凰茶 (Mando: huang cha; Canto: wong cha) means Phoenix Tea rather than Golden Tea.

They have a variety of teas for you to choose from, and there’s something slightly expensive desserts that you could try.

I ordered a large and a medium cup of original tea with brown sugar (one for MummyGeek to try out). I wanted the large one to have more sugar, but when I tasted it, it didn’t have enough sugar… I was a little disappointed. MummyGeek wasn’t sure about it.

Hmmm, I think if you like bubble tea, it’s worth a try…

And if you live in the area, it might be worth ordering on Deliveroo.

https://deliveroo.co.uk/menu/london/kennington/golden-tea-elephant-and-castle

Address: Unit 13, 91-95 Newington Butts, London SE1 6SF

Bamboo Basket – Beef Brisket Noodle Soup 牛腩湯麵 (龍皇湯麵系列)

Hands up if you’re missing those xxx noodle soups from all those xxx Chinese restaurants? 🖐 Me, me, me!! I happened to be in China Town a few days ago, and MummyGeek spotted these in the freezer section in See Woo Supermarket. Wooow! There’s two rows of these noodles with beef brisket, duck, wonton, braised pork, and I can’t remember if there were anymore. The Bamboo Basket brand is not a brand I’ve heard of. Have you? It seems that they’re a UK brand. They probably made this because a lot of people are missing restaurant food… Mind you, it’s very convenient, so I hope this brand carries on selling these products after the lockdown.

I’ve eaten a lot of beef in the past few days… It’s one of those times when you just miss eating a certain type of meat, so when I had this, it was my third meal with beef in two days! 😬

I took a close up picture of the instructions. When I was making this, I got stuck on sentence 2. The soup base? Is that the water from the noodles or the already frozen beef sauce? I guessed that part…

Now to start cooking! Here’s the ingredients in its frozen state. As you can see, there’s no packets of soup like what you see in those packets of instant noodles. This is what you see in frozen meals BUT the difference here is that you don’t use a microwave!

First I heated up some water in a saucepan, then added the noodles. Cooked it for approximately 3 minutes, then scooped it out into a bowl leaving the boiling soup water in the saucepan.

Then, with the frozen beef brisket, I placed that into the sauce pan with the remaining water, and cooked for approximately 5 minutes… I added a bit more hot water, but I don’t think it was necessary… Afterwards, I poured over the beef brisket and soup into the bowl with the noodles, and voila!

Voila again! A slight close up of the noodles. The soup isn’t a clear broth, this one seems to be a darker broth from how the beef brisket was cooked. You can see here that they use ginger slices.

Now to start eating! The noodles were al-dente, so they weren’t too soft, and weren’t too firm. They were a bit like Japanese ramen noodles. Hmm. The beef brisket was soft and chewy. The soup was a little bland, but it still had a beefy taste … maybe I shouldn’t have added that extra water, need to do a re-test when I buy this again. So I added some chilli oil in to create some depth, and it sprung some life into the soup ^_^. It’s unfortunate there were no pieces of white radish, but considering the price, it is a simple meal for people who miss this type of food.

Well China Town is looking empty for the time being… hoping to see the crowds when Lockdown 3 is over!! Stay safe, take the vaccine when it’s being offered, and don’t break the frigging rules!!

Price of Bamboo Basket Beef Brisket Noodle Soup: £3.60 (at See Woo Supermarket)

Worth the price? – a definite yes! Defo need to try out the other flavours!

You can also buy them online if you’re in the London area (Zones 1 and 2 for the moment) on this website – just found it by chance… https://www.chinacentreuk.co.uk/product-category/soup-noodle-meals.