Monday, May 31, 2010

Taiwanese Beef Noodles etc ...

One of the most famous Taiwanese dishes is their beef noodles. They even have an annual beef noodle festival here in Taipei! This is from a stall at Mitsukoshi Dept Store's food court - they supposedly won an award for their beef noodles, so we decided to try them ...

Also from the same food court, I saw lots of ppl ordering this set, and thought I'd try it - basically fried chicken chop (which was very nice and crispy) with dumpling soup and noodles.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sababa Pita Bar - Falafels!

We stumbled upon Sababa Pita Bar while we were at Yong Kang Street several weekends back, and I was so excited to find a restaurant serving falafels! They are one of my favorite foods! As it's basically vegetarian food, I feel healthy munching them down even if they are deep fried ... it's all in the mind :)

Anyway, after consuming that heavy meal at Ikki's, I thought maybe we should visit Sababa, and here it is ...

Isn't the decor charming? I really like the way the Taiwanese so creatively decorate their little boutiques and eateries. If I ever have a shop of my own one day, I'd like it to look as pretty as some of these in Taipei.

But back to the food - we ordered their "Hummus Tel Aviv", as recommended by our server ... it's basically a falafel on top of a platter of hummus and tomato salsa, served with pita bread...

And this is my "Pita Beirut", which apparently has everything - my fav falafel, baked chicken, hummus, egg, with tahini sauce in a pita bread ...

All I can say is DELISH! This really hit the spot! Am definitely returning whenever the craving for falafel hits! And next time, I'll be asking for their special hot sauce to be added to my falafel :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ikki 藝奇, Taipei

Hubby took me to this interesting restaurant - Ikki, near Ximending. They pride themselves in creative cuisine with a Japanese base. Apparently, it's pretty popular cos we had to make reservations, and while we were waiting for our table, some walk-in customers were told they'd have to wait an hour for a table!

The menu is basically a set 8-course (yes, 8!) menu with options for certain courses.

First up: Clam soup with chicken, fish and mushrooms
(charmingly served in a little teapot on a warmer - soup is poured into a little teacup)

1st Course/Appetiser:
Hubby's Choice: Fish Skin
(Personally, I'm aversed to fish skin as I'm not a fan of the texture, and it's usually pretty fishy. Surprisingly, this wasn't fishy at all! And it actually reminded me of those jelly fish dishes served in Chinese restaurants. Fascinating!)

My Choice: Seafood on a skewer with Papaya

2nd Course:
My Choice: Sashimi Platter

Hubby's Choice: Steamed Prawns with Loofah

Third Course: Hubby's Choice: Chawamushi
(the yellow bit on the top is actually the egg yolk! Certainly not the typical chawamushi we see in Jap restaurants)

My Choice: Deep fried codfish with grapefruit
(Surprisingly tasty combination!)

4th Course:
Mango Slushee to cleanse the palate for the main course

5th Course/Main Course:
Hubby's Choice: Lamb Chops
(The marinade was delicious! And it was oh-so-tender!)

My Choice: Stone-grilled Beef Slices

6th Course:
Hubby's Choice: Teriyaki Beef with Rice

My Choice: Salmon Miso with Rice

7th Course/Drinks:
Hubby's Choice: Ice Fruit Tea
(In Tpe, this is one of my fav drinks - they actually serve fresh fruits in the tea! Delish!)

My Choice: Camomile Tea
... together with my ...

8th Course/Dessert:
Fresh Fruits

Hubby's Choice:
Custard Pudding
(I noticed that the Taiwanese really love their custard puddings. If you look on the dessert shelves in the many 7-11s around Taiwan, you'll inevitably find custard pudding.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dress Down Pearls 2?

As mentioned in my previous post, I had tried a plain white tee with jeans to dress down my pearls, but the pearls dressed up the entire look, and since I was just going to the movies (Ironman 2 in case anyone's interested ... RDJ is soooo good!), I decided to swap out the pearls and accessorise with a belt fm a dear friend, and a floral bracelet cuff.

(J.Crew White Tee with White Flower Appliques,
Forever 21 floral bracelet cuff,
Belt - gift fm a dear friend,
Gap distressed jeans - these are super soft and comfy!
Gladiator Sandals worn here)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dress Down Pearls?

I had posted about my baroque pearl necklace here not too long ago, and have been trying to find outfits to dress it down. I had no idea pearls looked so dressy till I tried them with various outfits. No matter whether I was wearing a plain white tee and jeans, the pearls simply dressed everything up. But my life isn't very dressed-up, so I started playing with outfits to find something to go with the pearls, and look casual yet polished. I came up with this outfit:

(From left to right: Baroque Pearls, Diane von Furstenburg Top, Banana Republic Shorts and Gladiator Sandals fm Tpe)

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fruit Tarts!

I had been wanting to try my aunt's recipe for fruit tarts ever since I had such wonderful success with her cheese biscuit recipe. So, here they are:

First up:
A mango and kiwi fruit tart
(in case you're wondering, these are the golden kiwis so they aren't as green as the usual ones)

Next up: Rustic Mango Tarts
(I had only 2 tartlette pans, so I used a muffin tray to bake the rest of the tart shells with a more rustic look. Couldn't quite figure out the prettiest way to arrange the mango slices though ... )

Monday, May 24, 2010

Anchovy Aglio Olio with Crabcakes

I had some leftover crabcakes, and was wondering what to have with them, when I suddenly remembered this Aglio Olio recipe from Rachel Ray which I'd seen here. As I had a little tin of anchovies in my cupboard, I whipped this up in no time ...

This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Music that Brightens My Day

The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson

Stupid For You by Marie Digby

Fallin' For You by Colbie Callait

Hauntingly Beautiful Music ...

Was watching Grey's Anatomy and heard this beautiful haunting song - Everywhere I Go by Lissie ...

I esp loved the thought that there are angels watching out for us. It'd have been a great song for the series Supernatural when Dean and Sam realise that angels do exist. But going back to Grey's ... or rather Grey's soundtrack, the producers really know how to pick the right music to set the mood ... other songs I've loved are:

Breathe by Anna Nalick

Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

While this song isn't fm Grey's Anatomy, I found it while searching for the music fm Grey's - Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Ever since I first tried crabcakes during Restaurant Week in NYC many many many years ago, I've always had a weakness for them. This is my attempt at recreating them ...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Around East District, Taipei

Whenever I'm around the East District, Taipei, I try to make it to this little street/alley as some of my favorite shops are located here ... see all the ppl crowding around the shops? That's where one of my fav shops is - they sell such beautiful clothes fm Korea albeit rather pricey esp when compared to the prices in Seoul.

(Btw, just so you're not misled, all the ppl waiting outside the shops are actually waiting for a table at the cafe on the second floor ...)

Diagonally opposite, we found a new shop selling frozen yoghurt ... Yofroyo ...

We tried the green tea (left) and mango (right) frozen yoghurts ...

Posh Homemade Burgers & Breakfast

We had walked past this little cafe at the East District in Taipei many times and it was usually very crowded, but today, we managed to get a table...

Blackberry juice with sparkling soda ...

Smoked duck breast with pesto sauce and linguine ... this was pretty yummy ...

Tandoori chicken burger ... the fries were really good!

In Pursuit of Perfection?

Being such an avid fashion (and I have to admit, tabloid) magazine reader, I've always wished I could look like these beautiful glamorous women in the pages of the magazines. And though I know everything has been photoshopped, and it's unrealistic and impossible to look as good as these women, I guess I never really understood till my friend, a psychologist, sent this video to me. Take a look, and get a body image readjustment, and most importantly, feel better about the way you look :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baking Up A Storm

During my trip to LA, I got myself some new toys (from Sur La Table) to play with in the kitchen, but I hadn't been able to find time to try them out till now ...

First up: My gorgeous shiny new egg beater!

While this is no KitchenAid, it definitely beats a whisk hands down! I remember helping my mom to bake cakes using this when I was little ... and given the different power voltages in the various places I've lived in, I decided against getting anything that need to be plugged-in till I found a permanent home. Besides, this new toy of mine needs only very little storage space - perfect for a small kitchen like mine!

Next up: My Potato Masher!

After bending my forks out-of-shape to mash my potatoes, I finally decided it was time to get a proper potato masher. And I must say that the Sur La Table staff were really wonderful in their recommendations. I told her I was looking for a potato masher, but a basic model cos I wouldn't use it on such a regular basis (we Chinese are afterall basically rice eaters), and she told me this was her favorite as it had a good grip - as evidenced by the brand "OXO Good Grips" :) Having tried it out mashing sweet potatoes AND whole canned tomatoes, I definitely second her recommendation! Excellent sales staff at Sur La Table, South Coast Plaza, California!

Lastly, my pastry cutter! Now, this isn't fm LA, but I had to post a pic of it, cos it really is quite wonderful for making cookies and tart crusts. This is a Japanese one which I'd mentioned here - it's from a little bakeware shop in Taipei.

What I made with my new toys:

Tiramisu! Using my brand new egg beater, I managed to beat my egg whites to soft peaks in less than half the time I took using my whisk! And managed to make this beautiful tiramisu :)

Was partly inspired to make this tiramisu cos I found a packet of half-chocolate ladyfingers at CitySuper - they really made the tiramisu soooo good!

And I also made a Sweet Potato Tart! I had seen some purple sweet potatoes at the market the other day, and wanted to find out if they tasted the same as other sweet potatoes, so I bought some. Initially, I'd wanted to put them in my teochew porridge, but decided against it, as I figured purple porridge may not look particularly appetising ... hahhaha .... so, I was wondering what to do with these sweet potatoes when I found a recipe in a cooking magazine "Taste". And here it is ... my Sweet Potato Tart!

Notice that the filling is purple? I only wish I had a deeper tart dish so I could heap more sweet potato filling in it :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bow-Ties and Meatballs

Hubby had been requesting for this dish - meatballs n pasta - for the longest time, and I normally make it with spaghetti, cos that's how it's commonly served. But this time, Hubby asked for bow-tie pasta ... hmmm ... then I suddenly remembered my friend D giving me a packet of bow-tie pasta (farfalle) before she moved back to the States, so here's my very pretty bow-tie pasta with meatballs!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Almond Jelly

So after we had the almond jelly near the fabric market (see my post here), we took a walk around there - Di Hua Jie - famous for selling all kinds of Chinese herbs and dried goods. And I found a packet of almond powder, which is essentially ground-up almond. A lot of Taiwanese and Chinese use this to make drinks as it's supposedly good for the lungs/dry coughs. When I saw it, I was seized with inspiration! Why not use this to make almond jelly?

And voila! Here's the almond jelly I made with the almond powder ...

The top layer which looks milky is actually where all the almond powder kinda condensed - it gives the jelly a bit of grit/crunch ... but maybe next time, I'll try to sieve that out. Meanwhile, I'm happy with my lil experiment :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quirky Conservative?

I was watching 500 Days of Summer yesterday, and was admiring Zooey Deschanel's look in the movie. Her co-star called her look "retro 60s" - not quite the immaculate Mad Men's 60s fashion, but a modern day quirky conservative/60s look I think. Then, coincidentally, I was checking out this blog - liebemarlene vintage - and she reminded me so much of Zooey Deschanel! All this started me thinking that I'd like to dress like this now and then!

While I'm generally pretty conservative, quirky I don't think I am. That said, I do like to have different looks ... sometimes I want to look more edgy, or glamorous, or in this instance, quirky ... so I wonder if I could pull this look off, without looking too old-fashioned/frumpy/schoolmarm-ish ...

This is taken fm liebermarlene vintage's blog...

And here are some shots of Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer ...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You've Got Mail ...

For some reason or other, recently, everytime I flip to HBO, they're showing You've Got Mail, and everytime I'm more than happy to watch it again. So that got me thinking ... here's my list of romantic comedies that never fail to make me feel good :)

1. You've Got Mail (of course!)
2. Something's Gotta Give
3. As Good As It Gets
4. Love Actually
(love love love the Hugh Grant dancing scene!)
5. Four Weddings and a Funeral
6. Bridget Jones' Diary
7. Some Kind of Wonderful
8. When Harry Met Sally
9. 50 First Dates
10. Legally Blonde
11. Miss Congeniality
12. Two Weeks' Notice
13. Run, Fat Boy, Run
14. Roman Holiday
15. Dirty Dancing
(is that counted even if it isn't quite a comedy?)
16. Music & Lyrics
17. Romancing the Stone

What are your fav romantic comedies?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Holang Spring Collection!

Holang's Spring Collection is available now!

This collection includes my finds from Taipei (made in HK/Korea), as well as a special few items I picked up in USA from the Liberty for Target line. While I was drawn to the colourful floral prints, there are also some nautical influences (namely wearable stripes) and classic solids/graphic prints with a contemporary/modern twist. Perfect for Spring 2010!

Please check them out at Holang.

I hope you'll enjoy this collection as much as I've enjoyed putting them together!
Do let me know if you're interested in any of these items!

Happy Browsing!

Posted by Picasa