Friday, 29 June 2012

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...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

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

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

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! ^_^

Monday, 25 June 2012

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 ^_^

Saturday, 23 June 2012

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 ^_^...

Friday, 22 June 2012

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??? 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

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 :(

Monday, 18 June 2012

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

Sunday, 17 June 2012

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!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

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

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Frustrations of Shopping in ASDA

There's only one supermarket in the UK that I hate shopping in, and that's ASDA! It is the one UK supermarket that I dread to go in AT ALL TIMES! 
ASDA sign on the Old Kent Road
On Sunday I had to go in there (the one on the Old Kent Road) to look for some cheap groceries with Miss Pinky (not her local supermarket - we were just in the area), but so is everyone else who lives around the area. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

A Few Scenic Pictures Around London

Ok, as I keep saying I'm not a tourist, but an ordinary geeky Londoner who likes to take pictures of London and allsorts. Geeky, geeky, geeky!

I can understand why tourists like to take pictures of London, there are some scenes where you would just be blown away by what you see in front of you. So over the past few months from egg hunting to going to plays I have been taking a few pictures of London to show you what most Londoners see all the time and probably find quite fascinating! Well fascinating to me anyway ^_^
Big Ben at night - not a good pic with my Lumix TZ8 camera 
Tower of London using my Lumix TZ8 camera
Blocks of colourful flats off Tottenham Court Road - I think I used my Lumix TZ8 again 
Blackfriars Bridge being rebuilt for the Network Rail interlink,
very industrial-scenic-like from my point of view - I used my Olympus E-PL1 here  
A view of the Thames from The Globe Theatre
Hope to take more scenic pictures of London soon (when it's not raining!)... ^_^

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Olympics and its downfalls

With the Olympics coming up (and I'm really gung-ho about it but...) there's been a lot of controversy over the spending, the ticketing system, the logos and the mascots! There's been more controversy over what will happen with public transport too and how people will get to work etc. I have a few friends that travel via the tube and trains to work. One in fact has to use the tube a few times a day just to get to her clients. And another needs to travel across from South London to either the West or Central London. Such a menace! I think a lot of Londoners are going to take those couple of weeks off work just to avoid rush hour!

The ticketing system to me was a disaster, why couldn't they use Ticketmaster to sell their tickets? Why did we all have to have a Barclays Visa card? And why on Earth are they still selling tickets when they said they were sold out! Such ridicule to the ticketing system! And so expensive too - that's just to cover the costs of building the Olympic stadium I bet.

Don't get me started on the logo! Oh my god!! What on Earth was the designer thinking? It cost £400,000 to make this thing? I remembered at the time it was unveiled a lot of people were in disgust and people started pouring in their own designs to the media to show what the logo could've been. I think I could've made a better design as well to represent London! Oh well.

Taken a while back, when there were 185 days left! 
I'm not even sure about the mascots too... 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Japanese Kit Kat from Japan Centre London

I have been dying to try out these strange flavoured Kit Kat's for a while, a very long while! International Nestle did the right thing with these! I waited, and waited for a Japanese store in London to actually sell this stuff. And finally Japan Centre's online store started taking orders on Wednesday 30th May. I stupidly went to the store in Regent Street, Piccadily thinking they will be on sale over there! How wrong was I?!!  Argh! Not funny!! ¬_¬ (pouting mouth right now!). But I made the most of it by buying a sushi set, fried sweet potato chips, curry bread and an apricot drink...

When I got home (slightly disappointed) I found out online that it was ONLY online orders!!!!! Totally not funny. I then ordered four packs (sets) of the four different flavours they are selling for a special price only during that day for £3.99. I'm saving one set for a friend and the rest are for me to indulge in!!

They finally arrived on Saturday 2nd June via Royal Mail (first class post). It's unfortunate I had to pay extra for postage and packaging, otherwise I would've ordered more Kit Kat's! But you could never know, after tasting these I just might get some more.

Japanese Kit Kat!
Close up of Japanese Kit Kat ^_^
4 different flavours are available from Japan Centre, UK 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations

Ok, so I've been a bit lazy with taking pictures of the Jubilee Celebrations that are celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's reign of 60 years. Buuut... I went out to the West End for some confectionery in Japan Centre one evening - but realised they were selling it online (that will be in another post - as soon as I get them!). ^_^ The Union Jack is flying about on nearly every major street... Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square, and so like a London tourist I took a few pics to show how London has been celebrating for the past few weeks (which feels like months)!!