“Oink Oink” Happy Chinese/Lunar Year 2019 – Year of the Pig

Today marks the start of Year of the Pig. The Lunar year is now 4717.

Hoping this year will be a bit lucky for me and for all the people surrounding me. This Geek is going to be a bit selfish for once and I’m going to make sure I do what’s best for me.

Go Geek!

Enjoy! (What I need right now is alcohol. Hahahahah). Going to look forward to this weekend.

p.s. I’ve finally learnt how to justify on WordPress. Phew!

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year 2018 – Year of the Dog

It’s the Year of the Dog 🐶 this year. It’s a bit late than usual, but the Lunar calendar says it’s in February this year. 😜 The Lunar calendar year is 4716. Actually quite fascinated that life has existed for so long and we’ve still not discovered alien existence. 😅 

Is there a Chinese/Lunar New Year story we could talk about this year? (I’ll say Lunar, as the new year is celebrated with other Asian countries like Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam). Well one story, which one of my Canadian friends reminded me about was the upside down Chinese character 福 (Canto: fuk (pronounced like foork… so don’t try and say the swear word!; Mando: fu). Here’s a short story I found on YouTube…

In short summary, during the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor was angry at the people who talked badly about him. His wife Empress Ma suggested that everyone should hang their 福 signs upside down to bring in happiness from the outside to the inside…

😉 Enjoy the holiday! Taking a day off on Monday. A well deserved break. 🐶🐕🐶🐕

Happy Chinese New Year 2017!!! The Year of the Rooster (Chicken)

Happy 5th Birthday to my blog (from 31st January. I completely forgot)… thanks for following, reading and adding comments. I do enjoy reading the comments, even if it’s to tell me off, and for those who like to puke at what I write, then so be it – I was not born to please everyone… And spammers are still not welcome!!. 

Is it too late to say Happy Chinese New Year – about 4 weeks down the line?

Yes it is. But I don’t care. 
This year is the year of the Rooster. In Chinese we say 雞年 (Canto: gai nin; Mando: ji nian) meaning “year of the chicken” not rooster. The character 雞 doesn’t refer to the chicken as being male or female but it is assumed (I’m guessing) that it is the male chicken the Chinese are referring to. It’s actually the same factor for all the Chinese Zodiacs and a debate I was having with Mr Games and Miss Money. What sex were the Chinese Zodiacs? Discuss! 

Dumplings are traditionally made on the first day of the Chinese New Year, but these were bought from frozen, fried and then “steamed”. Pork and Chinese chives flavour.

These are dried, flattened sharon fruit – often made just for Chinese New Year.

And I got two lucky red envelopes. If you follow me on Instagram, I asked the question if they had money inside. Yes, they did. ^_^

One of my colleagues just came back from China, he said he had a lucky envelope for me. I said in Cantonese “唔使啦” (m sai la), meaning “no need la” – because he’s kind of my age and not my boss… it didn’t feel right accepting! LOL!  ¥10 is equivalent to £1 by the way. >_<"

Anyway, celebrations are now over, although in China Town London you can still see the red lanterns around the area.

Snowy Mini Four Mooncakes 美心冰皮 – Mango Series 芒果熱情 (Part 2)

T_T I failed my Japanese exam… boohoo… I knew I would fail, but didn’t know it would be by just 1 point away from a possible pass! 😦 So sad… It makes me want to take the Chinese HSK exams… :p
Well, carrying on with the Snowy mooncakes.
This is the second box that I bought on the same day as the Angel and Devil flavours. This one is called the Mango Series 芒果熱情 (Canto: mong gwo yit ching; Mando: mang guo re qing). This literally means “mango passion”.
I’m sure I’ve tried out the mango flavours before, but I guess this is a new version. Might as well. ^_^

Unlike the Angel and Devil Snowy Minis, this came in a box of four different flavours.

Mango Chestnut came first.

But unfortunately when I tried to break it apart with my hands the outer layer fell apart and became all crumbly. Note: cut it with a knife. >_<" 
It tasted of very sweet mango, and the outer layer seemed to have overpowered the inner chestnut paste. Didn’t like this one.

This is the Mango Crunch.

Learnt my lesson from the previous mooncake. The outer layer was a chocolate base flavour. I couldn’t taste what was actually inside. Probably some mango sort of paste. An ok flavour.

Mango with Pomelo Dessert… ^_^

From the smiley face above, this was my favourite out of the four. It had a mango outer layer and I could taste the paste which had a slight pomelo flavour… it even had pomelo bits inside! Yum yum!

And lastly this is the normal Mango flavour.

I thought this was going to be really sweet, but it turned out really nice, it had a subtle sweet mango flavour to it… and not as sweet as the other flavours,

Don’t think I will get this box of flavours again… The Devil Chocolate ones were my favourite!
With Brexit around the corner, will we ever see these again?!! 😦
Cost: £6.80 at Oriental Delight

Snowy Mini Four Mooncakes 美心冰皮 – Angel and Devil 天使魔鬼 (Part 1)

Poop. The summer bank holiday started off with a big stomach upset… I ate too much at Mr and Mrs Hen’s BBQ on Saturday. My stomach can’t handle too much food at one time anymore… 😦
But to lighten my stomach the next day I went out to China Town to buy noodles and also a few snacks. ¬_¬”” I’m actually looking for the Doll brand cheese flavoured noodles, so if anyone sees them, bell me! I also went out Pokémon Go hunting from China Town to Covent Garden, all the way up to St Paul’s Cathedral… and from there to Tower Bridge! What a walk it was lugging around a lot of noodles and these mini mooncakes. >.<" 
It’s coming up to the Mid-Autumn Festival! 
I’m surprised these Snowy Mini Four mooncakes 美心冰皮 (Canto: mei sam bing pei; Mando: mei xin bing pi) lasted during my long walk, well I did stop off at Starbucks just to coll down. 美心 mei sam is the name of the company. 冰皮 bing pei literally means “ice skin”. In general these mooncakes are called “snow skin mooncakes”. I had introduced them in an earlier post many years ago.
This year I bought two different boxes, the latter I will blog in another post. First box is called Angel and Devil 天使魔鬼 (Canto: tin si mo gwai; Mando: tian shi mo gui).
I tried out the “Devil” first. In English it’s called “Devil Dark Chocolate Crunch”
I understand why it’s called that. It has an indulgence of dark chocolate moulded into a mochi like sweet. Once opened you can smell the dark chocolate.
The crunch part is a tiny biscuit… The chocolate “paste” part just lingers into the mouth, whereas the skin mochi part sticks to your teeth.
It all tastes like an Oreo melting into my mouth. Yummy!
The “Angel” is called Angel Chocolate Crunch. I assume it’s to resemble white chocolate. The smell of it is not as intense as the Devil but has a soft almond like biscuit smell.
The paste and skin gives off a sweet vanilla sort of taste with a touch of almond. This makes you want to eat the mooncake a little more slowly so that you can try and indulge the flavours bit by bit.
The Devil tastes the best out of the two… if I have any money leftover in the next two weeks, I think I might by a couple more of the Devil ones.
Price: £6.80 at Oriental Delights (they sold in boxes of 2 as well as 4)

Tuen Ng Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) 2016

About a week and a half ago, on June 9th was Tuen Ng Festival in Asia. What’s Tuen Ng Festival? It’s called 端午節 (Canto: dyun m jit; Mando: Duān wǔ jié) literally meaning “end, noon, festival” but it means Dragon Boat Festival.
There’s various stories of it’s origin which I think you’ll need to look up because I can’t decide which one is a good one to tell!
As well as boat racing the Chinese will eat Zhong (pronounced: Jung) which is sticky rice with some meat and veggie filling and yellow beans wrapped in banana leaves and then are steamed. I bought lots on the day in China Town (after a really, really stressful day which ended in misery at work.  
‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚ – needed cheering up!!). 
This all cost me £31!!! OMG. So expensive. 

I bought 6 savoury ones and 2 sweet red bean ones (the smaller version) in a back street where they manufacture these and lots of other foods for the companies around China Town and London wide.

The savoury one smelled so nice!! It’s massive compared to the normal triangular version you would see in the supermarkets. There was a lot of yellow beans, some char siu and one piece of mushroom. Needed some salt! My parents had some and I had loads (finished the last one yesterday).

This is the smaller, sweet one. I didn’t really like this one. It wasn’t sweet enough. MummyGeek thinks even diabetics could have tried this one as there was hardly any sugar in it. Hahahahah. Anyway, to make it sweet, add syrup or some sugar on top methinks. 

If you see this piece of paper on the wall in China Town (if it’s still there) you know which alleyway I went into. 😉

On that weekend when The Queen was celebrating her second birthday (which was also MummyGeek’s birthday – Happy Birthday Mother!) I saw the English doing their Dragon Boat race along the River Thames! Heheheheh… thankfully I didn’t take the Tube!! ^_^

p.s. Happy Father’s Day!!!!! DaddyChef is doing the cooking this afternoon though… hahahahahahah!!

Magical Lantern Festival @ Chiswick House and Gardens 2016

Ta-daaaa! I seem to be saying that a lot recently.
Time Out London had an offer I couldn’t resist! I paid for a cheaper ticket to go and see the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and Gardens. Might as well since you don’t get to see this too often in London.
So yesterday I went to get the train from London Waterloo and got off at Chiswick Station. Passed my old uni station and reminiscing about the past… It’s been more than a decade since I graduated! Anyway, I asked a lady (who was being cheeky) the way to Chiswick House and Gardens. She said go over the bridge and there’s a street called Park Street… keep walking for about 10 minutes and turn right. Note: there’s no sign for Park Street, you’ll just see a street of houses. Also note that there is a side entrance to the Gardens, don’t go into that if you’re there early, which is what I did >_<".

Because I got there early I managed to get a sneak peek before the lights went on. So if you can’t see them at night, go in the morning to have a look!

Monkey King is looking for a battle in Chiswick. >_<

Had to walk out of the park and get to the car park for the start of the festival. Queues were already forming. 1 queue for already bought tickets and the other for those who wanted to purchase… Anyway we all waited patiently….
Finally got in, but still had to wait to scan tickets in… Unfortunately my ticket didn’t have a scan thingy on it from my Time Out voucher… apparently I had to go to the Box Office on the side and get my hand stamped! Then go back! Luckily I didn’t have to re-queue, otherwise I would have been annoyed… Time Out voucher holders, make sure you get stamped at the Box Office!!!

Myself and a lot of other people entered into an alley of lights.

Then the show began! Here are just a few pictures, some came out fuzzy because of the lights (too bright for my camera) and rain. :p

Monkey King glows in the dark.

Love this lone mushroom. ^_^

Think they’re getting ready for the Valentine’s Day couples.

Well that’s it. The festival ends on March 6th, so if you get the chance to go then enjoy! It is about an hour’s walk around the gardens. The website suggests around 75 minutes – well only if you stop for food and drinks plus loo time. 

Address: Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 2RP

Website: http://www.magicallantern.uk/

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 2015!

Once again it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival to celebrate the full moon (using the Chinese moon calendar 8th month, 15th day 八月十五). As well as eating mooncakes most Asian countries will bring out paper or plastic lanterns and go out walking with them. The plastic lanterns are safe but we got a free paper lantern from See Woo Supermarket, so I started playing with it…

I didn’t have a small candle so I used a bigger candle and let the lantern sit on the table. >_<" Heheh.

Remember to take take care when using Chinese paper lanterns! And enjoy the festival!! ^_^ China Town is filled with lanterns once again!!

Happy Chinese New Year 2015

This year it’s the year of the ram/sheep/goat (whatever you want to call the animal) this year. In Chinese it’s only one word/character – 羊 (canto: yeung; mando: yang). It’s rather late this year!!
It’s the ram year! There is money in that red envelope by the way. ^_^
Lots of people still ask me what do we do during Chinese New Year. I always reply back that we go out and eat with friends, be at home with family and eat, dress up in new clothes or in red, get red envelopes from the elders (if you’re lucky), play with firecrackers (if you’re allowed in the UK) and just do things like you would do during Christmas… but we celebrate the coming of Spring instead of the birth of Jesus.
We use the Lunar calendar which is basically based on the moon cycle. Not sure how it was all calculated in ancient times but it seems very fascinating!
Well instead of me blabbing on as usual, here’s a video on some of the traditions of Chinese New Year.

And here’s a tiny emotional video on how the Chinese care during the celebrations. ^_^

Make sure to go out and celebrate in China Town on Sunday 22nd!! ^_____^

An update from today 21/02/2015…

The lion dance was taking place where they bless each Chinese business around China Town… I think I either forgot or didn’t know, but anyway, I took a few pics from today. I only wanted to buy cake today!!