The Feeling of Being At Home

It’s been a few days since I have been back in Edinburgh – felt like I haven’t been in my family home for so long… but it’s so good to just sit down and be able to relax completely, thinking and worrying about nothing else in life right now! πŸ˜‚

One of my favourite things to do whilst here (especially in the summer if you have been following my past posts πŸ€ͺ) is to utilise the big freezer in my mum’s house to make some homemade ice cream. 🍨🍨 (The freezer at my London apartment is tiny and not really cold enough to freeze things.) And I decided to go full on restaurant-like this time πŸ˜›, also making a mango millefeuille with wholemeal filo pastry to accompany my mango ice cream! πŸ₯­πŸ₯­πŸ₯­ (Who doesn’t love mangoes lol?)

Listen to the crunch! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

I don’t usually watch much sports, but for the past week I have been watching the Tokyo Olympics obsessively, staying up at night tuning into all the fixtures! (I am a big Olympics fan! 😝) So glad to see it back on our screen again after the delay from last year. The last Olympics game in Rio was when I moved in to my first flat in London 5 years ago, and it’s crazy to think how much has happened since then. I wonder where I will be when Paris 2024 happens? πŸ€”

Also all these actions in Japan has made me really wanted to revisit the country again and craving Japanese food lol! 🀀 So, last night I made one of my childhood favourites – Chawanmushi, which is a savoury steamed Japanese egg custard. It was a little messy, but I jam-packed it with a lot of fillings and flavours (because I am greedy with fillings haha! 😬) Even my mum likes it and she is normally VERY critical! πŸ˜‚

Who else has also been enjoying the games like me? 😁

Day 4 & 5 in Newquay: High Up in the Blue Sky

Beautiful sight of Tolcarne Beach

Despite a potential forecast of rainfall, I was very lucky that my time throughout Newquay was blessed with amazing sunshine and comforting temperatures. Even after spending my first day here visiting all these incredible beaches, I just couldn’t get enough of it! So I decided to continue to head west, passing by Porth Beach again and journey beyond to Watergate Beach. πŸ–

🌼🌼🌼
Perfect weather for a day out!
Back to Porth Beach
🌊🌊
Perfect sunshine! β˜€οΈ

Watergate Beach is quite far out in Newquay – about a 30-minute walk from Porth Beach along the high cliffs on the coast, so I definitely did well in my step counts for the day! πŸ˜‚ On the way, I also passed by Whipsiderry Beach – a quiet, hidden little spot underneath the tall cliffs (possibly the tallest one out of them all I felt!) If you aren’t a fan of stairs, this place is definitely quite a β€˜journey’ to get to going down and back up. 😀 (At least it wasn’t like when I tried to climb the Eiffel Tower on foot two years ago…)

Giant rock over Whipsiderry Beach
Whipsiderry Beach
The beach hidden under the tall cliffs (after a VERY long flight of stairs… πŸ˜ͺ)
Getting down those cliffs to the beach felt like an adventure though!

Even though the stairs in Whipsiderry Beach completely wore me out, I finally managed to slowly made my way around the coast to Watergate Beach. It was a great spot for me to finally to sit down for some lunch! (Bought a salad meal deal from Tesco, along with my rocky road bar that I kept all this time from Penzance! πŸ˜‚)

Watergate Beach
Full view of Watergate Beach
Snacking on my rocky road bar on the beach 😬

Watergate beach was very busy which I wasn’t as much of a fan of, so I decided to head back to Porth beach (personally it was my favourite one out of all the beaches) to enjoy the sunshine! 😎

Taking a dip in the water πŸ’¦
Sunbathing on the low-tide Porth Beach πŸ˜ŽπŸ–
Flying high πŸͺ

After a bit of a nap and sky-gazing, it was almost dinner time! Newquay really had given me a feel of the Mediterranean, so I was feeling a crave for tapas! πŸ˜‹ Unfortunately, two of the top-rated tapas bar were closed for the day, so I decided to try another recommended place called the Fish Bar. This place is a great value for money, offering a three-tapas tasting platter for only Β£15 in the bar area. (The main dining area of the restaurant was fully filled.) The food, especially the dessert, was absolutely delicious! So glad to have come to this place after all! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Which one to choose? πŸ€”
Incredible tapas tasting platter for £15! 🀀🀀 (In the end, I went with the Pescaito Frito, Gambas Pil Pil and Sesame Honey Chicken Sizzler.)
Spectacular dessert πŸ’›πŸ’›: Sicilian semifreddo ice cream bomb with a Limoncello core coated in crushed meringue
Incredible! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ’›πŸ€πŸ’›πŸ€

The next morning, I had some time to kill before my train around lunchtime, and headed to the Blue Reef Aquarium by Towan Beach. Like many other places now, bookings need to be made in advance online due to COVID restrictions. I booked my ticket two days ago when I arrived in Newquay – still places are limited, so do make sure you book ahead of time if you can. (I initially wanted to visit the day before, but all tickets were sold out within a day. It is half term break after all! πŸ˜›)

Kipper in the hotel’s breakfast
Visiting Blue Reef Aquarium 🐟🐟
Sharks over my head 🦈
Haven’t seen a lionfish in years!
I’ve never heard of a Unicorn tang until now
Scary piranhas 😟
πŸ¦žπŸ˜‹?
Hello again Nemo!
❀️❀️
Giant turtle 🐒
Omiros the giant turtle
The story of Omiros 😒❀️
He kept popping his head out from the water! It was cute! πŸ’š

After visit the aquarium, I took a walk down the town centre and got my belly filled before my long 5-hour train journey home. β˜ΊοΈπŸš‚

Brunch in Fore Street CafΓ© Bar before long train ride back to London πŸš‚ πŸŒƒ
Mad dash to the train station with my ice cream in hand! πŸ˜‚πŸ¨πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈUntil the next time!

Looking for Alaska

It’s obviously no secret that I love baking. One of the greatest joys I get from baking is allowing myself to being in the moment and feel accomplished in my finished product. Of course, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. (And that’s when my perfectionist self can get really disheartened and frustrated…) But I always remind myself that, ultimately like many things, it is a process of learning. ☺️

As my visit to family in Scotland is almost coming to an end (time really does fly), I thought I will make another ice cream dessert before returning to London! πŸ˜‹πŸ¨ Yesterday, I had my second attempt at making at a baked Alaska (after the big mess that was the first go. πŸ˜…) I made some adjustments this time including using a bowl and cling film to set and shape the ice cream beforehand, before covering it in an Italian meringue (not sure what I was thinking when I used the less stable French meringue last time… πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) The final result was a lot better than what I had last time! 😁

Tip the set ice cream from the bowl (this one is a strawberry flavoured ice cream) over the sponge cake
Cover and seal the ice cream completely inside the Italian meringue
Return to the oven briefly and use a torch to colour the meringue πŸ”₯
Ready to serve! πŸ“πŸ“

Hope everyone enjoy their final week of the holiday! πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

What I Need This Summer

I think I have been quite lucky escaping the heatwave by being in Edinburgh from the start of the month (since I don’t take heat very well πŸ₯΅πŸ˜‚.) We had it all this week with sunshine, clouds, rains and even a thunderstorm in the middle of the night! ⚑️ However, it is still summer after all, and I am sure to make full use of my mum’s freezer while staying here. (The freezer I have in my London apartment is nowhere near cold enough to freeze things properly.)

When one thinks of summer, ice cream is a must, so making homemade ice creams have become a bit of a habit of mine lately. But today, I also made my first attempt at making tuiles – which I was surprised how super easy they were to make! (This is the recipe I followed: https://chefiso.com/p/tuiles-recipe/) Not enough only were they perfect for my homemade rocky road ice cream, but they were also beautiful to look at! πŸ˜πŸ˜‹

Day 1 in Exeter: A New Outlook After Lockdown

It feel almost so surreal that many months have passed since the beginning of the pandemic. As lockdown begins to ease all over the country, I finally picked up the courage to go travelling again after months of staying firmly indoor. As much as I am excited to be out of London again, I am also telling myself to be extra cautious along the journey. Anyway, it was still exciting to be out on an adventure again! ❀️

Arrival at Exeter St Davids station πŸš‚

After a 3 and a half hours train journey (face mask on throughout 😷), I arrived at Exeter just around lunchtime. My hotel is very conveniently just right opposite the train station, so I was able to drop my luggage off in the room and then headed out to the city centre.

Lunch at Eat the Bird Exeter
Yummy!! πŸ€€πŸ˜‹

I chose to have my lunch at Eat the Bird Exeter after seeing it being recommended online. (Plus, I was oddly craving for a fried chicken burger! πŸ˜‚) I like the idea of ticking off the orders on the menu (reminds me of how we always used to do that in Chinese dim sum places haha.) It was nice to see how many restaurants are taking very nice approaches in dealing with the Covid-19 situation (such as staff wearing masks/visors and asking customers to leaving names and phone numbers to allow contact trace in the event of an outbreak), which really assures me and made me feel at ease about being outside. The food certainly didn’t disappoint! πŸ˜‹ I ordered their Double Dip fried chicken burger which was drenched in a rich gravy – absolutely love the crispness of the chicken! ❀️ But, for me, the highlight was that delicious mac and cheese (especially when drizzled with that spicy hot buffalo sauce! Yum! 😍🀀)

After a very filling lunch, it was time for me to explore the city. πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ But the first bump hit quick when I discovered the iconic Underground Passages (the place I was most looking forward to visiting) was indefinitely closed due to the pandemic. 😒

☹️☹️☹️

Nevertheless, my exploration of the city continued… πŸ˜…

Exeter Cathedral – the place is only opened to service today so will be back here again tomorrow
Perfect dessert after my lunch πŸ’› – until a seagull flew straight into it when I was about halfway through… πŸ’”πŸ’”
City bank
There are a lot of ruins dotted around the city – it’s so fascinating
Beautiful rainbow 🌈🌈🌈
Love the street art ❀️
Northernhay Gardens – FYI the seagull sitting at the top is not part of the memorial πŸ˜‚

After a brief nap back in the hotel, I visited the beautiful Exeter Quayside in the evening to finish the day. ❀️

Exeter Quayside
Walking into the sunset πŸŒ… with another ice cream in hand

All I Want For Christmas Is Kulfi!

So I heard it was Thanksgiving this week. 😊 (Just to clarify, being British, I am normally totally unaware of it! πŸ˜‚) But I just want to use this opportunity to say thank you for those of you who keep on following me on my blog and allowing me to share many of my memories and love of baking and food here! ❀️ I started this blog as a β€˜getaway’ from my daily life as I was at a point where I wasn’t sure where to go in life, feeling unhappy and stressed out at my job. I never knew if I will even get a single reader, but seeing the regular comments and likes here really do make me smile.☺️ In the past month or so, I am feeling much more relaxed and happy with what I am doing at work and outside of work, and I do feel I owe it partly to the community here to make me feel more confident about myself.

For those of you who read my last posts, you may remember that I went on a city getaway trip to Canterbury last weekend. That mango Kulfi I had in Ambrette there was just so delicious, I couldn’t resist the urge of trying to make it at home after finding a recipe online. πŸ˜‹

The flavours of this Kulfi are mango and pistachio. (Here is the link to the recipe I used: https://www.196flavors.com/india-mango-kulfi/) The recipe is in cups, so I did have to look up conversions and it was still very easy to follow. I couldn’t be bothered buying saffron or cardamom so I ended up throwing in about a teaspoon of the mixed spice I had in it. πŸ˜‚ It was still really delicious though! (And a perfect dessert after coming back from the cinema watching Frozen 2. ⛄️❄️) I got a large batch still left in my freezer to finish, so any volunteers are welcomed! 🀣

Hope you all have a good weekend ahead of you! πŸ˜‰

A Hot Pot of Warmth

Winter has most certainly descended here in London now, and I am still getting used to waking up and walking to work in the cold. (Summer seems such a far dream now lol.πŸ‘‹) Nonetheless, my week began on a high after celebrating my birthday in the weekend. (Thank you for all of you who commented and liked my birthday post. ❀️❀️) But, honestly, the high did hit some bumps this week, but when is life truly a smooth sailing?

After work today, I was definitely craving for a hearty dinner and the first thing that came to my mind was a good, old hot pot. A hot pot is a Chinese cooking method where individuals cook raw ingredients such as meat and vegetables in a simmering pot of broth. It is a very prominent thing in family gatherings, and I grew up being used to my family surrounding a hot pot every winter.

The ingredients on the conveyor belt
All set!

My favourite hot pot place in London is a restaurant called Shuang Shuang in Chinatown (located above the ramen shop that I visited a couple of weeks ago). The restaurant is different to many traditional hot pot places in that every customers has one pot to themselves, instead of sharing one. And the raw ingredients are transported around through a conveyor belt, where the customers can pick up their selections like in a sushi bar. Not going to lie, initially I was quite sceptical the first time I visited the restaurant, but now this place has become one of my favourites in town. πŸ˜‹

Mixing a dipping sauce is my favourite thing to do in every hot pot lol πŸ˜‚
The House prawn ball – which is my favourite thing to order here.
πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

A standard procedure of mine every hot pot is to create my own dipping sauce. My favourite is a hefty amount of sesame sauce topped with lots of spring onions and coriander, with a bit of chilli sauce. For me, a good dipping sauce is always the soul of a delicious hot pot! ❀️ And I did get carried away picking lots of food from the conveyor belt lol.

But I wont’t fall to a food coma yet until I finished the evening with my favourite ice creams. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜˜

Egg Custard Tart and Strawberry Pocky Stick Ice Creams

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Short But Sweet

Having been swamped by work this week, I, like a lot of people, can find it difficult to truly relax and separate myself from the stress and business of work life. This also unfortunately kept me away from blogging in the past week, but I am determined to hopefully balance between two and continue to update here whenever I can. πŸ’ͺ Honestly, this Friday feeling could not have come sooner! 😝

For me, autumn is the season of beginnings. Whether starting a new school, new college or new job, this time of year signifies the turning of a fresh page in many people’s chapters. As the weather becomes chillier after the long heat wave that was last month, I always craved for something warm and hearty. And, for me, no other food is better than a proper bowl of Japanese ramen in that retrospective. πŸ˜‹

Tonkatsu Ramen

It’s a short and sweet moment of comfort which we all need in this busy time. And, speaking of sweet, I also dropped by to my favourite ice cream shop in London. πŸ˜‰ (I wrote a post about the place months ago which you can see hereπŸ‘‰ https://tangosbaking.home.blog/2019/05/29/its-never-too-cold-for-ice-cream/) If you’re looking for some unique, new or Asian-inspired ice cream flavours, do pay this place a visit if you happen to be in London!I promise you would not be disappointed! 😁

Lychee-Raspberry Sorbet and Sweetcorn Ice Cream

As I enjoy every spoonful of my sweet treat in the bright street of Central London, I wish you all the best in the weeks to come! πŸ˜‰

One Ice Cream a Day Keeps the Hot Weather Away

As we are now firmly in the month of August, the warm weather here in the UK might be approaching to its end (now I might just have jinxed myself with the unpredictability of British weather lol.) With the scorching hot weather, I have completely lost count with the number of ice creams I had eaten in the past months. πŸ˜›πŸ¦πŸ¦πŸ¦ But, have you ever tried to make your own ice cream at home? With homemade ice creams, you are free to create any flavours you can imagine and the sky is the limit!

Ice cream is essentially a flavoured, frozen custard, and it is actually a lot more straightforward and easy to make than one may think otherwise (at least in my case lol.) All you really need is a plastic box and a freezer, alongside some stirrings to do and a bit of patience. The first flavour I made is one of my absolute favourite – mango! πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹ You can check out my recipe below, and it is also adaptable for other ice cream flavours!

What is your favourite ice cream flavour? πŸ˜‰

Mango Ice Cream

Ingredients:

300g single cream

100g caster sugar

350g mango puree

250g double cream

1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Heat single cream at a lot heat, the stir in sugar until it has completely dissolved.
  2. Pour the cream in a container, then add in the mango puree, double cream and lemon juice. Mix using a whisk until well-combined.
  3. Place the ice cream in the freezer for about 3 hours, or until semi-frozen. Use a fork to fold the ice cream evenly, starting from the edges.
  4. Place it back to the freezer to freeze overnight, or until it is completely frozen before serving.

Day 1 in Glasgow: Road Trip in the Rain

In the Hobbit, Gandalf said to Bilbo Baggins, β€˜The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.’ There is something about travelling to different places that is vastly different and so much more exciting than simply seeing or hearing about them on TV and on the internet. Compare to the old me who preferred the comfort of staying at home, I now often find myself not being able to stay still on the same spot!

Hence, yesterday, my mum and I headed out for a brief 2-day trip to Glasgow by taking a bus from home. (It was quite last minute as we only decided for sure a few days ago.) The weather, however, was not on our side as the roads were all drenched by the heavy rain all day. But we still made sure that we made the most of it after we arrived.

In Glasgow… 🌧🌧

Marching our way through the rain β˜”οΈ , we dropped by Lychee Oriental for lunch. It is a renowned Chinese restaurant in the area run by Jimmy Lee who once appeared in the Great British Menu on BBC. The restaurant offer a nice two-course lunch every day for a very reasonable price of Β£11.90. No surprises here except it was a nice, rustic, homey meal that quickly filled us up for the day. (I personally quite liked the chicken satay and the fried noodles.)

Lunch in Lychee Oriental

The weather though really wasn’t appealing enough for us to stay any longer outside, so we decided to check into the hotel and rest a bit first before the evening.

easyHotel (on the right) where we stayed

We stayed at easyHotel which was a very cheap stay, costing under Β£44 for a twin room for one night. When we arrived though, we were still an hour too early for the official check-in time (3pm). This meant we ended up wondering some more in the rain before hiding inside the hotel opposite to it for the time to pass! πŸ˜‚

Though the room was generally pleasant and very clean, the shower was very tiny (there was no actual cubicle and the curtains kept sticking to me as I was showering πŸ˜…), and also annoyingly (which I only noticed after booking…) WiFi and even the TV are all extra charges. However, for those of you who may be just looking for a quick night of sleep, this is the ideal place for it!

Dinner in Ichiban

While I was napping, my mum was looking at the tourist information leaflet she got from the hotel reception and found this Japanese restaurant called Ichiban. We decided to head there for dinner, squeezing together under one umbrella β˜‚ (the rain was even worse at that time… πŸ˜“πŸ˜“) We ordered the signature ramen and a mixed sushi platter, plus some char siu (roasted pork) on the side. The ramen was good with a hefty portion and a good broth, and the sushi was also well-made. The char siu though we found was a touch too salty.

Yee Kwan Ice Creams πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

It would be unlike me (or rather us lol) that we didn’t have some desserts after meal. The restaurant also offers Yee Kwan ice creams on their menu (which I knew before from watching Dragons’ Den πŸ˜‚ ). We ordered the black sesame seed ice cream and pink guava & passion fruit sorbet. The sorbet was perfect with its lightness and sweetness with a slight tang, and the black sesame was very flavourful with the nuttiness from the seeds. (My mum was loving them both lol.) If you see these ice creams for sales anywhere, I would strongly recommend you to grab one! πŸ˜‹ πŸ˜‚

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel just as the rain thankfully died down. My mum especially was ready for bed after a long day, but it seemed that our day was not over yet when we discovered there was no hot water in the shower… πŸ˜“βŒβŒ (P.S. we ended up moving to the room next door. πŸ˜›)