Friday, August 29, 2014

English and Scottish culinary battle at Yorkshire pudding

On 18 Sept, the Scottish referendum will take place in which they will fight for independence away from United Kingdom.

In the run up to this, Yorkshire pudding will hold a culinary battle featuring the best of English and Scottish food from 1 - 30 Sept .

There are two menus to choose from:

English food menu:

Scottish food menu:

As a Brit, I am definitely tempted to choose the English menu, BUT you don't often see Scottish food being served at the Yorkshire pudding so I chose the Scottish food menu.

Some people chose the English food menu, hence the photos.

English Menu:
Prawn cocktail


Fish and chips

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

Eton mess

Scottish menu:
smoked salmon carpaccio and scotch quail egg

Scallops and black pudding

Dundee fruit cake

Chocolate shortbread

Sheepshaggers gold!

As a summary, the fish and chips were seriously good because the chips were crispy with a silky starchy middle drenched with lots of malt vinegar.
For the Scottish menu, I loved the salmon and the cute quail scotch eggs, followed by the always delicious black pudding.
I finished off with the Dundee fruit cake which tasted like a lighter version of Christmas pudding without the orange peel.
Yorkshire pudding:

Mandarin mooncakes 2014

My colleague got some mooncakes from FedEx hence I got to try them!!

Same as last year, they were delivered by another courier company and not FedEx themselves.

They were egg custard mooncakes.

After microwaving them for 20 seconds in the microwave, they were hot and delicious.
There was a fragrant egg custard smell and the pastry was lovely and buttery which went well with the egg custard filling.

Spicy hot Northern Thai cuisine

The food served at this restaurant is North Thailand cuisine.

Overall I found them too spicy for my tastebuds but there were a few dishes that were delicious and not spicy.

To start off I had the special young coconut drink which turned out to be the best young coconut drink I have ever had because it was thirst quenching and also acted as a cooler.
The young coconut was made into icy slush with young coconut meat making it tasty as well as cooling.

Then we started the meal with fiery Tom Yum Kung soups, there was chicken and fish

The next dish was interesting, it was finely chopped fried pork pieces accompanied with ginger, calamansi, peanuts, chilis and onions which were fillers for the lettuce wrap.

This was fun to eat while the calamansi and ginger added a fiery and refreshing note to the wrap.
For a spicier experience, add the green chilis as well.
Northeastern Thai style Grilled beef, papaya salad and glutinous rice:
泰東北燒牛扒青木瓜沙律配糯米飯 $168

The beef slices were meaty and juicy which paired nicely with the papaya salad.
The glutinous rice was fun to eat and presented in a cute woven box.

Northeastern Thai style grilled chicken:
泰東北燒雞扒 $148

The chicken was juicy and tasty with a fine charred aroma.
Spicy pork neck salad
香辣豬頸肉沙律 $78

I found this quite spicy and the pork neck slices were reasonably lean.
Prawns in Tamarind sauce
香炸虎蝦配酸子汁 $218

The prawns were springy and fresh but I felt that it needed more sauce.
Black pepper crab:
秘製黑椒炒蟹 $360

The crab was quite spicy, spiked with spices and black pepper.
Grilled fish with herbs:
泰式香草燒魚 $188

It was nice how the fish skin just lifted off leaving delicate fish beneath it.
The fish was soft and juicy which was further enhanced by the zesty sauce provided.
Lamb filet with mango
香芒炒羊仔柳 $118

I didn't try the mango but the pieces of lamb were juicy and tender.
Stir fried young chayote plant:
清炒佛手瓜苗 $78
I was glad to see this on the menu because normally people consume Chayotes but not the plant itself.

It had a lovely dry crisp texture which is similar to the sweetpea plant but it was not stringy and does not have a grassy taste.
[I wonder how long this will be on the menu because of demand and supply issues.]
Okra cooked in garlic:
蒜香炒毛茄 $78

The okra had a light taste and it had the usual viscous texture with a crunch.
seafood and pineapple fried rice:
鳳梨海鮮炒飯 $118

The fried rice was impressive, it was colourful and tasty with savoury notes and spices.
Pad Thai:
鲜蝦炒金邊粉 $88

The Pad Thai was a bit of a disappointment because it didn't really stand out in terms of taste.
甜品 泰式香芒椰汁糯米飯 $68

The purple glutinous rice was chewy and sticky.
It tasted really nice after more coconut sauce was added.
Soi 18 Thai Cuisine (Causeway Bay)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Taiwanese rustic dishes at Xiao Wang Beef Noodle

Time flies and there is now a fourth branch of Xiao Wang beef noodles conveniently located at the WTC.

Xiao Wang Beef Noodle is from Taiwan which has been established since 1973 by Mr. Wang Shih Chun, who is currently the Chairman of Cook’s Association of Kaohsiung City.
Xiao Wang Beef Noodle became a legend in the industry after clinching the dual championship in “Marketing Competition” and the“Most Popular Delicacy Award" in the 2008 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival.

Exclusively at this branch, there are rustic Taiwanese dishes and not just beef and noodles so there is a wide choice of homely cooked dishes on the menu.

Here was what we tried:

Four treasures soup:
herbal soup for all ages, wine added before i is served to give fragrance.

I found this light but delicious and nourishing. It gives you that feeling of drinking soup at home.
Three cup abalone:
Cooked with with soya sauce, sesame oil and shao xiang wine in casserole

The abalones were fragrant with an aromatic basil fragrance.
Loofah and clams in fish soup:

The loofah was lovely because it was flavoured by the fish soup and the clams were fresh and sweet.
Steamed fresh crab with glutinous rice:

The crab was fresh and springy with delicious hot sticky glutinous rice beneath it.
spicy king prawns with green peppercorn and chili:

These king prawns were springy and had a delicious touch of fiery green peppercorns and chili.
sesame oil chicken pot :

I didn't realize it was going to be soup but the chicken broth had a lovely gingery taste to it and the pieces of chicken were delicately infused with sesame oil.
This dish is meant to be good for woman who have just given birth.
stir fried kai lan with pork scraps:

The vegetables were crisp and tender with a fragrant pork lard taste.
fried bamboo shoot with sauteed sliced pork :

The pork was soft and gelatinous in delicious rich gravy with grassy peashoots beneath it.
Sitr fried hsin chu rice noodles Tainan style :

The noodles are similar to the rice vermicelli at Putien but these were al-dente with lots of julienne vegetables to give it an extra crunch.
Aiyu jelly with fruit and honey:

This was beautifully presented and you could smell the honey.
The aiyu jelly was sweet and cooling.
Mango snowflake ice:

The mango snowflake ice had a strong mango taste and it basically melts in your mouth.
Xiao Wang Beef Noodle
Shop P211B, 2/F, World Trade Center, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
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