Monday, November 12, 2012

Fish Head Rice Noodle Soup 鱼头米饭

Lately I've been hit by desperate cravings for homely noodle soups. I'd like to think my desperation would make me unfussy, that hunger trumps putting myself through inconvenience. Wouldn't it just be fine to make up some soup through stock cubes, toss in noodles and fillings? Nope, that's not how us noodle lovers roll. I of course had to make everything from scratch and traipse around London for the "right" ingredients. But then I wouldn't have discovered some very interesting details about one of my childhood favourites, Fish Head Rice Noodle Soup.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pan Chai

Pan Chai opened in April this year to one of the world's retail meccas: Harrod's in Knightsbridge. The latest in the Mango Tree restaurant group, its menu bears similar characteristics to predecessors Awana and Mango Tree itself. We perch on booths in the famous Harrod's food hall underneath a wavy green "awning" and dive into the dishes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Food Photography Tips with David Griffen

In the latest September installment of Social Media Week London 2012 I attended a fun and informative workshop run by food photographer David Griffen and Great British Chefs providing food bloggers with tips for improving our food photo techniques. It was held at the immense and delightful Google London offices (yes the rumours are true, it's a working-playground in there) with food provided by Michelin-starred Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon fame.

Fabulous food photo tips & advice, delicious food and all in the company of fun people: for me these are ingredients of a great evening. Here are just some nuggets of wisdom which David shared with us:

1. Don't be afraid to get in real close: even if the context of the food isn't in the photo, it's lovely to capture the detailed textures.

Roquefort, Caramelised Onion & Sweet Potato Tart by Pascal Aussignac

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hungry Ghost Supper

August marks the 7th Month in the Chinese Lunar calendar where the Gates of Hell open and Hungry Ghosts roam the mortal world, seeking a place to feed their empty bellies. There are multiple rituals that accompany this Chinese tradition of seeking "approval" from dieties and spirits of the former living. It is in a sense a Chinese "All Souls Month" as joss-sticks are lit, prayer paper is burnt in remembrance of loved ones no longer with us. A large part of the occasion involves offering food to appease finicky ghosts.

That's where we come in. Two Hungry Girls were invited by our talented friends at Platform 65 to host a never-seen-before pop-up at a beautiful Marylebone townhouse for the Hungry Ghost Festival. A script regaling stories of Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors was performed by Cui & Ming, who also took guests on a tour around the house explaining the traditions and superstitions of this feast.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two Hungry Girls

Just several months ago I'd returned from my epic adventures in Beijing & China where I'd eaten the most mind-blowing food.  My foodie core had been shaken. I looked at my heritage and childhood culture with new eyes and decided upon my return to the UK I was on a mission to bring creative Chinese cuisine to London. And thankfully I'm not alone.

Five Spice & Sichuan Peppercorn Roast Duck

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Panda Panda: Deptford Banh Mi

Have I mentioned Vietnamese has infiltrated Deptford? This little outlet has been around for a while but having this good a Banh Mi close to work is well worth the plug.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Baozi Inn

Sigh. And that is saying something when one starts a blog post with a sigh. I did so much want Baozi Inn to help me recreate some of those Beijing highlights I had been fortunate to experience last year but alas. For a second I wondered if that was an unrealistic expectation though when somewhere says it serves real “Beijing Street Food” then they’ve talked the talk. Now wok the wok, I say.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Le Gia: The Growing Vietnamese Scene in Deptford

No need to list reasons why one would not venture into Deptford for well, anything. Unless of course one worked round the corner in Greenwich and was offered the chance of a lunch adventure to the local Vietnamese by a foodie colleague. Whilst Deptford is generally an adventure black hole it is strangely home to some quality and destination Vietnamese restaurants, the best known one in the area being Café East.
Colleague S seemed to have uncovered a little gem. Le Gia was very no-frills, harshly stark in fact and we were the only customers at that lunchtime service. Only. Which could have been slightly eerie but S AKA Tomatoes and Radio Wire and I were not once short of food stories to exchange. I always appreciate a spirited companion that is game for good food no matter the surroundings.
Though we were provided with what looked like an ample menu, we still lunged forward at Beef Pho Bo each and Beef Summer Rolls. Yes this was very one-track minded but S here needed an iron shot after giving blood the day before. And when it was this good, gimme that iron!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dumplings 饺子 & Hotpot 火锅: My kinda comfort food

What do you usually crave for when English skies send down the most annoying feathery raindrops, the type that doesn't stop you in your tracks but frizzes up the hairdo you worked so hard at getting right? This week I've had serious craving for hotpot huoguo 火锅 and my favourite thing to cook in them, home-made dumplings jiaozi 饺子.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Transit: Sichuan in Beijing that was so so fine

I cast my memory back to my "send off" meal I had in Beijing early this year. Almost an impossible gig to select a place which gives you the final flavour snapshots of an incredible journey. So I let my expectations down thinking that it was just hopeless to expect too much. And then, by some lovely workings of the universe I wasn't let down at all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beijing Memories: A Restaurant with No Name over the Houhai Lake

One of my favourite regional Chinese foods is Yunnanese. Why? Because it has the most unique and beguiling marriage of Chinese peppery spice and sweet, tangy, fruitiness. No wonder as the province borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. Chinese "fusion" has been going on for a long, long time.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two noodles I could eat all the time: Mee Pok & Chilly Pan Mee

Malaysian food-sickness. No, I mean Malaysian food-homesickness. Homesick for Malaysian food. Oh darnnit, I just want these two types of noodles!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Supperclub Challenge for Social Media Week London 2012: Craft Cakes meets Hungry Female

What a whirlwind week. I arrived back in the UK to find myself with only four days to plan for a Supperclub challenge hosted by the Great British Chefs in line with Social Media Week London 2012. The challenge was simple: host a supperclub or dinner party to raise money for Action Against Hunger's Love Food Give Food fundraising campaign. We needed to make at least two dishes from their suggested recipe list, blog about them and of course rally the troops to donate some dough.

I could only face such an undertaking with someone whom I knew was a maestro in the kitchen, who came in the form of Leigh Koh Peart, founder and owner of Craft Cakes. A talented and creative pastry chef hailing from (neighbour!) Singapore, we instantly agreed that we summon our South East Asian repertoires to bring a twist to the suggested recipes. 

The Menu
We are gluttons for punishment (pun intended). All we actually needed to do was produce a three course menu, using at least two recipes from the list. Our final menu was, erm, rather more elaborate...

Lychee Sangria & Nibbles

Tea-Soaked Eggs
Cucumber & Wood Ear Fungus Salad
Lemongrass Pork Skewers
Grilled Honey Soy Chicken Wings
Steamed Tofu topped with Crunchy Shallots
Asparagus & Prawns
served with Steamed Rice & Condiments

Tea & Coffee

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Malaysian Munching: Village Park for THAT Nasi Lemak

Remember when Madam Kwan's first arrived on the scene in KL? And how Nasi Bojari was the dish to have? Mainly because of that gorgeous chicken leg accompanied by the tasty mixed rice, sambal and acar combo. Come to think of it was a sorta version of Nasi Lemak. Well that heyday is well and truly over but have no fear because if there was ever a reinvention of the chicken leg, then Village Park in Damansara Uptown has done a Madonna.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bring Din Tai Fung to London!

Ahhh. It feels good to be back in London. So much is familiar but I've only been back for a while and already I know there are many exciting things to catch up on. And one exciting thing that I must tell you about is Mr. Noodles' ambitious campaign to bring Din Tai Fung to London. I'm thrilled!

Originating from Taiwan, DTF is an excellent restaurant chain famous for their Xiao Long Bao. A specialty dumpling, these are famous for a delicate skin (traditionally folded 18 times) carrying a little burst of soup next to a juicy stuffing. DTF also has many other tasty dishes and is an all-round champion for Taiwanese-style Chinese cuisine. 

Why the big fuss about getting them to London? Because London deserves awesome Xiao Long Bao from an expert maker. And so far, I regret to say us Londoners have been denied this privilege. There are some that try but somehow just miss the mark. DTF is across China, South East Asia and with branches in Australia and the United States so it ain't fair. 

If there's fire (and an appetite) in your belly for great-quality dim sum and authentic Chinese food, please add a comment to Mr. Noodles' blog campaign here! You deserve to have these exquisite treats available to you!

Mr. Noodles is the jovial owner of Eat Noodles Love Noodles who lives in London and adores (guess what?) his noodles and dumplings. Hungry Female has indulged in the pleasures of DTF in Malaysia and Beijing  so knows that this crusade is worth it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Matchbox Cafe in Hong Kong 喜喜冰室在香港

I was lucky enough to spend the crossing of 2011 into 2012 with my closest girfriends and my man in the effervescent city that is Hong Kong. Much charm, mystique and elegance all in such small geography.

Food in Hong Kong needs no introduction. Just when we thought we'd played all our cards (Under Bridge Spicy CrabYung Kee for Roast GooseAlan Yau's Betty's Kitschen for the NYE blast-off itself and legendary dim sum at City Hall Maxim's Place), Matchbox Cafe in Causeway Bay topped off our foodie flush. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My heart is still in 798 & "Noodle" 我的心还在七九八 & “面”

A cheeky side-step from food for a little moment: from the moment I walked into the 798 Art District in Beijing I was obsessed. These former electronic components factories often draws very mixed response from its visitors. Some find it bizarre, others don't understand. Most are often just amazed at the sheer scale of their quirky and provocative gargantuan sculptures. I just wanted more and more.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Malaysian Midnight Eating: Restoran Damansara Hokkien Mee

I interrupt my Beijing broadcast to bask in the glory of finding black gold in nearby Damansara Uptown. Old to the other residents but new to me, and a find is still a find!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Karaiya Spice House: Hoowah to Hunan!

The bright lights of Sanlitun Village (or "Saannliturrrrr" as per our beloved Beijing taxi drivers) at first seemed tacky to me. I love old buildings, small lanes and charms of a former world. Home to everything mainstream trendy and designer, I quickly wrote off the area as worthwhile for a quality bite. But Asia is different like that: the shiny malls often have the restaurants worth visiting. As each weekend passed, I found myself down at the Village (as coined by my fellow laowai 老外, foreigners) and frequenting the obvious spots (Nali Patio, Apothecary, 1949 and D Lounge nearby. Uh-huh I'm only human too).

(image from Sanlitun Village)

Like many others within the Village, Karaiya Spice House's food lives up to it's good looks. And it's very good-looking. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And I also love Jiao Zi 我也爱饺子

Don't we all love watching how jiao zi 饺子 go from random dough shapes, to....

...soft, plump mouthfuls of goodness? I love all forms of dumplings, and in Beijing grew to love the boiled ones the best.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Love Bao Zi 我爱包子

I had completely underestimated the Great Chinese Firewall. A few months later and I'm now only able to post on food I had ages ago. I do apologise, for anyone who's been kind enough to stop by, I'm back!

So my adventure in Beijing was nothing short of fantastic.Words can't describe how blown away I was by the Chinese language, culture and of course the food. My eyes have been opened, my palate expanded. I will try to relay the incredible discoveries I made over the last few months. 

So rewind. I reminisce the humble looking though nonetheless much-loved staple food, the bao zi 包子. It's plain, puffy white exterior often belies the warm and wholesome filling which can be made of almost anything. Anything tasty of course. Bao zi's are always made fresh, steamed in bamboo trays that are stacked high. During my frosty Beijing mornings the billowing steam clouds rising from their vessels was a comforting sight.