Friday, May 30, 2008

10 things to do in Switzerland...

yay~ just back from my trip and i'm missing the long coach rides, the below average european-chinese food(not really) and the scorching sun during the last two days in Rome!(definitely lying).. Anyways.. Europe is FUN FUN FUN! i didn't go to many countries in Europe but Switzerland and Italy is really 2 great places to visit! Italy was more of the shopping haven.. so i shall just blab on my Switzerland trip... Here are the things Meng Ni recommends when u're in Switzerland!

1. Chocolate shopping!

just look at how pretty they are..

wah lau.. chocolates damn nice lah... dunno what they feed their cows or how they grow their cocoa trees man.. i was popping chocolates every now and then.. and before i know it.. i finished two boxes of chocs that was meant for chris and nani.. muahaha~ sorry gals~ the pralines were calling out to me! i can converse with the chcocolates!! Anyway.. i went to Läderach .. according to my mum.. it's a famous and good-quality brand.. and yesh.. their chocs are really good..

2. Swiss-made Watch shopping

i didn't get any watches while i was there.. But without doubt, the swiss watch is suppose to cost a lot a lot less there.. brands like Rolex, Longines, Audemars Piguet .. still cost a bomb over there.. maybe a few hundreds cheaper? Anyways.. i was more interested in chocs, so i had not set aside money for the time pieces. i bought a swiss knife though.. with the least significance in my shopping list.. and i still got it.. because it has this cute little swarovski's crystal on it and more imporatantly i can't stand watching eric shop without spending some money myself... i gave it a cute engraving too~~

3. Visit Jungfrau.. Top of Europe

Highest mountain in Switzerland. or rather in the whole of Europe! i got to Jungfraujoch.. i think i would have to trek to the top to reach Jungfrau.. damn the scenery is nice.. breathtaking.. literally.. because the air is thinner up there. HAHA! Taking its tram up cost around 175 Fr. if u have the Euro pass. it'll be 110Fr. yep.. it's not cheap but definitely worth the $$.. how often can u be at the highest point in Europe right? unless u're on the plane...keke

4. Cheese fondue anyone?

Cheese fondue

For those who can't stand the smell of cheese.. my condolences to u.. it's sooo nice lah.. to me.. but i've heard many people didn't like the cheese fondue.. but should at least try right.. local food leh!! cannot have laksa and chiken rice everyday also mah...

5. Titisee aka "Black Forest"

It's not in Switzerland but it's next to Switzerland in Germany.. it's aka the black forest.. and guess what they are famous for.. black forest cake!! yum yum.. they are damn good man..and i tried their white choc drink!! nothing like the normal hot choc u get.. it's really nice and more refreshing.. i carried a whole tub of white choc powder back... do visit my place for some really good self-made choc drink.. heehee:)

6. Local food...

We actually visited this restaurant next to the casino in Switzerland... it's cheaper then what u get from other restarants.. and it's local food!! nice nice.. yum yum.. we actually saw the exact same menu in the hotel restaurant we stayed in that night.. damn costs twice as much leh.. and i don't think they are any nicer lor.. so do visit this restaurant if u're near the casino.. u may even try ur luck and win back ur trip's spendings!

7. Their bakeries

wah~ all their bakeries are excellent! i tried this ball like churros on my way back to the hotel in Zermatt.. lip-smacking.. i can't really remember it's name.. start with Q-something.. it looks like the banana bomb but definitely better than a banana bomb.. should try lor.. damn nice.. it's not heavy on the taste, i can actually munch down another 5 more balls if i'm back there now.

8.Cheap food

There's no cheap food there.. so u can forget about it.. if u're considereing fast food.. please don't! Mac meal is 12~13Fr. which is around SGD15? and u'll need to pay for their ketchup and other sauces. Sigh.. why not top up a few more dollars and have some nice local food/chocs/cheese man..

9.Bucherie at Berne

We (Eric et moi) were happily strolling when we saw this nice little house that has the name "Bucherie" on it.. it's french but i really couldn't recall what it meant.. anyways.. we thought it was some butcher thing and thought we could get salami or something. Turns out that it's a restaurant and when you open their main door you will be welcomed by a wall full of awards. We didn't get to lunch there which i pretty much regret now(the coach was waiting for us).. Anyways... i'm still very very very curious of that place.. anyone visiting switz soon? go there and tell me how is the food can?!

10. Visit your friend who is studying/staying/married there

Rory and Eric

muahaha~ yep.. our good old friend all the way from sec sch.. RORY.. with that.. let's have a minute of silence for the demise of eric's camera.. may it rest in peace.. Amen...

i just realized my blog for swiss is 80% on food.. i like to eat! which explains my never thin size..everytime i succeed in a diet/exercise scheme i'll balloon right after.. anyways.. eating is fun and being hungry is definitely not a nice experience.. with that in mind.. let's not forget about out fellow chinese in sichuan and please do whatever we can do to help.. donating money can help the associations to get more maggie mees.. or if u would prefer.. u can donate can-foods.. Here

Friday, May 16, 2008


One last post before i fly all the way to another continent!! "Daifuku" otherwise known as XL mochi.. Easy to make and delectable! The Strawberries that i used were a teeny sour though, but it is completely covered by the sweetness of the red bean paste! Damn! i'm sooo getting fat with the constant attempts to make fattening foods..

Anyways.. Daifuku are selling at $2~$3 at japanese cafes/supermarkets like ISETAN. In my opinion.. it's way to expensive for a japanese confection that uses cheap ingredients and have relatively fast preparation time.. so i would suggest making daifuku yourself to go with your afternoon tea/coffee? Best if you have girlfriends coming.. it's sweet, presentable and definitely yummy when eaten fresh!..

Oh! a side note.. Marsudi/Max/Mitch (he has many many identities.. i suggest asking him personally.. it's very funny *laughing while typing*..) made a pasta appetizer this morning for xuexin, eric, himself and of cos meng ni! Seriously it's really good, it's healthy, tasty and presentable.. my camera went flat when i reach his place.. so photos of his creation will only be updated after i return from my trip or if marsudi/max/mitch decides to email me the photos straight away.. like this millisecond!

Okay back to MY daifuku..

Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (belly) and Fuku (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions.

This is the perfect snack to make before i board the plane later tonight.. i sure need lotsa luck! Bon voyage to myself! And Now.. I shall pack my luggage.. i've learnt the art of last minute packing from our dear Jeannie BTW.. Credits to you gal!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Xiao Long Bao

Nani: So which xiao long bao do you like better?
Me: You mean do i prefer 鼎泰丰's or some other places one huh?
Nani: Yup:)
Me: [PAUSES] * i was in a deeep thought *
Nani: *Giving meng ni the "what is taking her so long? Is she okay?" look*
Me: I prefer Crystal Jade ones
Nani: huh?! *Giving meng ni that look again*

Yesh i agree that 鼎泰丰 is famous for their 'xiao long bao'. And double yesh.. their xiao long bao is delicious. But having first tried the ORIGINAL 鼎泰丰(and i do mean the very first store) in Taiwan, it was sooooooo much better than the ones in Singapore .. I can't really point out what the problem is.. i always see the chefs weighing every single dough pieces so there must definitely be some kind of QC going on. Probably it's the stock, you know how most of the old restaurants have pots of broth/stock that has been cooking for the past 20 years? And since 鼎泰丰 is relatively young in Singapore, so maybe their broth/stock hasn't age enough yet?!? hmmm..

Anyways, Crystal jade ones are definitely delicious too:) I don't know if they are better than 鼎泰丰's (i'm biased in some sense)

So, i tried making my own xiao long bao. I shall call it "Hii Inc's Xiao Long Bao"-HIXLB in short. The whole process took 2 days! Day 1 is to prepare the aspic, which is the jelly-like thing that gives the " soup oozing out " effect. *SLURPS*. It took freaking 5 hours to get the concentrated stock from constant simmering Pig's skin, chicken bones and chicken feet in water. (I need to check my cholesterol level after this)

The jelly-like aspic

2nd day;today, is the mixing of all the fillings and making the dough, it's definitely less hassle than making the aspic except for the part when i really have no idea how to make pretty xiao long baos like the ones i see in the restaurants, probably a year of training in shao ling temple's kitchen might help. oh wait do they accept females?

HIXLB may look ugly and uh.. 70% of the xiao long bao actually broke after steaming.. but it still taste good.. especially the ones where the soup is "retained". heehee:)

number of xiao long baos: 50
money spent: definitely less than $50 but i'm not sure how much
number of days spent: 2

Conclusion: I think i'll go crystal jade when i wanna have my dose of XLB. Unless i want to gobble all 50 XLB all at once.

Friday, May 9, 2008

L'heureux Fleur

Oui. L'heureux Fleur, a direct translation would be " The Happy/Fortunate Flower" LHF, if read carefully, has the same initials as Liang Huifang! muahhaha~ Happy Birthday girl! This cake is named after you! (pardon the tacky name.. that's the best i could come up with my very very rusty french.)

My original plan was: bake the cake (it's actually an angel food cake) in the morning and deliver it to HF somewhat in the afternoon.. BUT! guess what! my first batch literally went down the dustbin!.

1. It tasted "Bluh-eeeeeh"
2. It's not edible even if i dip the whole cake in a pool of chocolate.. nothing can save it!

so having done a year long project, it has really taught us "STUDENTS" (not free labor) to understand why the reaction fails in the first place..

So i went back and tasted all my ingredients and it was obvious.. it's the cream of tartar.. with a closer look.. it has long expired.. 2 years to be exact.. and it was bought just THIS AFTERNOON from the minimart! what the ****! i should have suspected it when the plastic tab was broken when i first used it.. *sigh* i felt so stupid.. if only my brain could process what i saw faster then i wouldn't have wasted all the effort and time..

And VOILA! no surprise for dear HF.. muahha~ i continued to slack till late late evening when i decided to make a trip to parkway to get my fresh batch of cream of tartar.. and there~ the angel food cake aka "L'heureux fleur" done and out of the oven at 9pm singapore time, and the next scene is meng ni gorging down the pretty and "un-bluh-eehh" creation.. sorry HF~ you can imagine and lick the cake off from your screen. It was too late to look for you after all the bluh-ehhing

p/s. don't worry huifang, i have another gift for you that i think you will prefer MORE than the bluh-ehh cake..

p/p/s. dear chris, i've uploaded ur bdae pics by the time you see this msg, i know i'm a slow poke, but u must understand that i'm not as tall as you and thus have shorter legs than urs. it'll take me 1.2X the time needed for an average person..heehee:)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bdae Cakee

yeah~ BIRTHDAY CAKE for my cousin. Happy birthday GIO! and let's not forget our dear christine's birthday too~ we were havocking last night.. spending our $$ on alcohol that seems never to end.. BUT we all enjoyed ourselves i guess:) It's also the first time i visited clinic at clarke quay.. eh.. didn't turn out the way i thought it would be.. it's just another pub with funny "containers". Anyways.. we continued the night @ dlO ( i think that's what i saw) .. okay.. we did have lotsa of drinks~ but i was still sober enough to wash my face and do the daily routine of toner, lotion, essence and eye cream.. wah~ i think i'm good! peng san after that..

So woke up real early the next day (or the same morning) to bake my favourite little cousin a birthday cake.. it didn't turn out the way i designed it to be in my head.. probably due to the still high alcoholic content in my blood.. i can't seem to cut a perfect square! DAMN!

*side view*

I made choc cake btw and covered it with marshmallow fondaunt.. did a little decoration.. my target was to make it as sweet as possible.. BUT! it still didn't turn out the way i wanted it to be. i wanted to add more colours to it.. but was too lazy and tired to knead in other colours..(yesh i'm sluggish the whole morning) muahhaha~ I did give her some fondaunt to play with.. and she did.. shaped something out.. *please scroll down*

We had fun, and a terrible headache..

So i'm now here blogging on my lastest creation.. not fantastic to me.. i need more birthdays to practice my deco skills! And i really need that collagen drink from shufang to compensate my skin from that crazy nite :(

Gio's Prof. Teddy