Enjoying. Holidaying. Eating!

Planned to meet my friend for an early breakfast at Cupping Room but got into a bit of delay due to a miscommunication. I thought there were only 2 Cupping Rooms, but apparently not so. She went to the one at Wan Chai, and realised I wasn’t there, and after a while, we found out that we were at different outlets – I was at the original Cupping Room in Sheung Wan. My bad.

We ordered our respective dosages of coffee, and a portion of egg white scrambled on sour dough to share. It was amazing! I love egg white scrambled, even if they are probably not as protein-packed as regular scrambled eggs, but as I don’t really like the ‘eggy’ taste of egg yolk that much, I find egg white scrambled easier on the palate somewhat. But it comes at a premium, always.After breakfast, we took a slow, long walk, and ended up at Pacific Place, where we each bought a pot of yogurt (which has become something we do all the time now) and looked for a next place to plonk ourselves at. We settled at Pret-A-Manger at a mall linked to Pacific Place, where my friend got herself a second coffee and I ordered a log cake, just because it’s Christmas and I have not had a single slice of log cake!
We didn’t finish this eventually because she didn’t seem to really like it and I certainly did not want to have it alone, so unfortunately it went to the wastelands.

We walked a lot more after that, strolling all the way to Wan Chai, where I spotted the Cupping Room she was at this morning, some other interesting cafes that I could consider visiting in the next trip perhaps, a local bakery that she frequents where we bought some buns and had it at the seating gallery overlooking a track and field, the Joel Buchon bistro where she bought some breads, and which had such a delectable array of baked stuff that I would totally want to have… then she had to leave, and I went to meet up with my friend, who had sadly, fallen ill. I walked back to Pacific Place where she was at, and we went to Simply Life bistro for a late lunch or early tea-break. One tea-time set costs about HKD58, which is pretty decent and value-for-money, because it was a rather substantial sandwich and coffee/tea. I got myself a long black and an open-faced sandwich, that also came with a serving of cajun fries! *big love* Check out that layer of melted cheese draped over the grilled mushrooms and spinach, on a slice of very chewy multi-grain/seed toast. I love this and finished every single thing, yes I know it’s a lot of carbohydrates and what I see is that females having the same thing just left the bread there or a good part of it. But! That’s the whole essence of this open-faced right? To me at least, the bread (and maybe the fries) were the highlights!
My friend had the quesadilla or flat-bread; I can’t remember what’s on the inside, but it came with the same cajun fries too.After so much eating, of course we need to do some walking right? So we hopped over to Kowloon for a small spot of sightseeing. I’m sorry to Kowloon dwellers, but I really do not enjoy being there. Although Hong Kong is known for being an overcrowded city not unlike Singapore, Kowloon seems to be more so than say, Central. Causeway Bay can also be a big mess of people, especially tourists who usually walk in haphazard fashion, but being in Kowloon never fails to give me a headache at some point and it makes me feel claustrophobic and frustrated.

We visited the heritage place in Tsim Sha Tsui, where not surprisingly, tonnes of tourists were packing the place and taking selfies.
It wasn’t dark enough for the lights to look pretty but then since it would probably take a while more for it to become dark, we went over to the harbour front area.  It was cloudy or foggy day despite that it didn’t start out as being very cold. In fact, it was a considerably warmer day as compared to the day before (i.e. winter solstice). We couldn’t even see much across to the other side.
The laser show was only scheduled to come on at about 8pm, which was really a bit too much waiting for us to do, so we headed back to Hong Kong island, and decided to have dinner at the Ukrainian restaurant that we spotted on Sunday near the Lebanese place we had dinner at that rainy night.

Our drinks – kefir. I totally love this because it’s a yogurt drink and it reminded me of the milky drink I had in Helsinki years back when I was there on a business trip. It was really quite filling but I could almost just bottoms-up the glass!We ordered a soup to share, a pumpkin soup that seemed a little too salty.
My friend ordered a stew – with lots of meat (chicken I think), mushrooms and carrots. It doesn’t seem like a huge pot but the serving was again quite substantial, and it came with a puff pastry covering it!  Close-up.
Compared to Sunday, this weekday night seemed so much busier. Perhaps we couldn’t really tell from the outside, but I suspected that Sundays are generally quieter in SOHO, or perhaps it was raining that night so the crowd was thin. We were lucky to get the last available table, as others had to wait, and the wait time for food to be served was also pretty long. However, the food quality was relatively good and looking at the menu, it resembled what I saw when I was in Moscow, which makes sense since they are so near to each other. But I remembered having the borscht soup and didn’t like it. But stuff like skewered meats (whites please) are ok with me!

This was the plate of grilled vegetables that I ordered, which were a little oily but on the whole, I really liked it too because it’s such a generous portion!We were totally stuffed by the end of the night that we couldn’t finish every single thing on the plates. Almost did. I guessed the kefir filled us up, at least for me it did, but it was quite a good meal and maybe in future I could consider coming again!

smile a little smile today

I am a pessimist by nature, and it’s just a trait of mankind to be so. Every day when we flip through the papers or read some news online, more often than not, we get more bad than good news. The financial turmoils, the rising prices, the natural disasters, things just seem to get worse. Yet in the midst of all these, we know that all is not lost, for we are still alive aren’t we? For me, I have lots to be thankful for, despite that there are also many challenges that I face in my day-to-day life. Sometimes, I wonder if perhaps these challenges and problems are not conjured up because I think too much. I should learn to let go, because only when I do can He work His miracles on me, and then I can start to receive.

For the longest time, I have always walked around in Isetan supermarket when they are having a special fair of sorts, and on-and-off there will be yummy-looking and nice-smelling snacks being sold. One of these items that never fail to attract me are the small bite-sized dorayaki, the aroma of baked buttery goodness wafting in the air that just arrests my olfactory senses completely. But I have only actually bought them a few times, because they don’t come cheap. In the past, I remember that prices start at maybe S$7.50 for 16 pieces, and this has risen steadily, until now it costs S$9 for 16 pieces. First of all, $9 for 16 pieces is expensive for a snack, and 16 pieces is too much for one person. There aren’t many for me to share this around with since my brother isn’t a big fan of such snacks. But I decided to give in to temptation one day and get them anyhow; I ended up finishing most of it on my own, with my mum helping a little.  20131017-094333.jpg

Don’t you think the fish-shaped spongey cakes help to brighten up one’s day? And they taste great too, for a pastry-lover like me. The only downside is that the fillings inside are quite pathetic, and there were even some that came without! I thought they all had fillings so I asked for a mixture of everything, so I was a little miffed when I bit into a couple that were effectively “kosong”. They have the usual flavours like red bean, custard, chocolate (or was it nutella) and the likes, but I think there was also a strawberry-flavoured version I had which was good, and the best of all was the black sesame!

just can’t stop eating

Perhaps due to the need to always be constantly engaged in activities of some form, I realised that wherenever I am not doing something, for instance, sitting in front of the television idling time away and not exactly paying attention to what is being shown, I would feel peckish. It’s probably some kind of condition, and that I need to find better ways to engage my brain usefully and productively, like ead something, yet I just feel lazy to read even though I really want to go through the daily papers or the books that I had bought years ago.

I don’t think that the need or the desire to want to eat frequently stems from the amount that I eat because sometimes I do think the portion is pretty sizeable already and the feeling of wanting to eat isn’t due to hunger, unless I am not noticing the hunger pangs that are in some other ways transmitted to my brain to trigger the desire.

Anyway, I decided to snap a shot of what I had for breakfast some days ago, the very first meal of the day and which is also the first half of my breakfast, yogurt with fruit and chia seeds. You can’t see the fruit that has been completely covered by the yogurt but in this picture, a green kiwi lies beneath. A little of the green is visible in the right edges. Anyhow, kiwi is my usual choice of fruit to go along with yogurt because the combination of sour on sour is so refreshing and I really enjoy the sourness. Most other days I substitute bananas for kiwis though, because of the greater satiation from bananas and because I also love eating bananas. The dried apricot is a treat for that day, just to add some colour and cheer for the morning!  20131007-090439.jpg

I said this was the first half because I eat fairly early in the mornings, and this definitely doesn’t last me all the way through to lunch time. Also, I don’t generally want to or like having my meal at one sitting; because circumstances permit, I prefer to space out my eating, which is also possibly the reason for the development of the habit to eat frequently, or rather all the time. My second half of breakfast happens around some people’s usual breakfast time, or maybe tea-break, and consists of something more substantial in the form of carbs and coffee. I love my carbs, despite how it is not so well-received by many because it can be a huge contributory factor to weight gain!

I happened to take a photo of something I asked my mum to steam for one of my night snack last week. It doesn’t look that fantastic, and obviously it goes to show how I am not the go-to person for plating or well-thought-up/orchestrated food arrangements. Whatever that is called. I just take and eat. Perhaps if I put some effort into dressing up the food that I am eating, it can extend my enjoyment further, both in the satisfaction from eating, and literally the time taken to consume the food.20131007-090522.jpg

This is pumpkin, and I have come to appreciate it and love it! Whether it is its taste or texture, steamed, grilled, roasted or stewed, I think it tastes wonderful. The ones that I have bought so far are always the ones with dark green skin, but I have seen some with orangey/yellow skin called squash, possibly another variant of this thing that I used to only associate with Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween. One of these days, I have to get some butternut squash to try and see if I like them as much as the green pumpkins!

i’ve got my heart set on anywhere but here

My giant curry puff.

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Food and everything else is so expensive in Switzerland. I think especially so in Zurich maybe, or at least that was what I was told. No, this isn’t a curry puff, it’s a calzone that I had last week, and also today at lunch. It’s pretty heavy to have something like this for lunch not just because it is really ginormous (if you would just compare the size of the regular-sized cutlery placed next to it), but also because it’s filled with so much mozzarella cheese and ingredients I think I almost choked on it. But it was good. Maybe not the best calzone I had but still good. I preferred the version I had last week though, which was more tomato-based and not oozing with cheese like today’s. I have been eating way too much here, and exercising too little. Aside from cllimbing the stairs to the second-level office each day, I can’t even think of what other exercise I do. Maybe exercising my mouth, talking to people and also eating. The office here scores on hospitality; almost on a daily basis they will stock our room with coffee and cookies. So… you can just imagine the carbo-overload. Oh well, carbo is supposed to be happy food and we really needed that for these 2 weeks.

Last night, a major storm passed the office. While we sat in the office at one end of the building the rest of the office and corridors were dark from the overcast sky outside. It rained so heavily and the winds were so strong that it reminded me of typhoon in Tokyo years ago. Thankfully it didn’t last long, after maybe about 30 to 45 minutes it slowed to a drizzle so we were able to get to the car to drive back to the hotel. Weather these couple of days has been much nicer, if only the weather was as cool then I would have had a nicer time. I am not really enjoying this trip as much as what perhaps most would think. It’s been a difficult 2 weeks and since last week I have been nursing a suspected-TMJ that is making me wince each time I move my jaw, sometimes even while swallowing saliva. I hope there is some cure for this when I get back.

Not looking forward to the humidity and heat that everyone is lamenting about online, but at least I can get back into my so-called fitness regime. I miss yoga practice and also sweating it out at the gym! That is probably the first anyone has ever heard of me complaining about not being able to sweat. I will qualify that the only time I want to perspire is when I am exercising, i.e. meant to sweat it out.