December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

Although quite unusual, it's been a wonderful and definitely summery one for us in here! After enjoying a gourmet 5-course dinner by the vines at Amisfield Bistro, Central Otago, last night, we decided on an active Christmas Day today - with a hike through magnificent scenery towards fascinating Rob Roy Glacier, in front of which we cheered with a simple yet very merry picnic..

December 23, 2011

Secret Melbourne

Locals say Melbourne is all about hidden gems. How true. Over just a couple of days here, we came across quite a few treasures where we would certainly not have expected them - some in narrow side lanes, some behind neglected facades or even completely unmarked doors..

December 10, 2011

Mutton Murtabak in Singapore

Two months have gone by already since Tom and I started our 'grand tour'. The good news is, we've got four more ahead of us. After three weeks at Balinese pace - read: very slow and unwinding - we stopped in Singapore on our way to Sydney for a few days. This turned out to be the perfect way to reacclimatize ourselves to the big city rhythm.

December 5, 2011

Back to basics in Bali

Denpasar international airport, Bali. We will soon be boarding our flight to Singapore, thus ending a deliciously relaxing couple of weeks in and around Bali. An extended stay all the more appreciated as the previous five weeks hopping around Indochina involved frequent transfers from one city or country to another and therefore many long and tiring journeys...

December 2, 2011

Cambodian fresh spring rolls

To conclude this Cambodian series, here is the last recipe which I learnt to prepare when we stayed in Siem Reap last October.

I loved these Cambodian fresh spring rolls even more than their Vietnamese counterparts, as they skip the rice vermicelli and are just packed with lots of crunchy herbs and veggies, making a super light and refreshing dish. Some crushed peanuts provide the sweet dipping sauce with a special twist too.

November 30, 2011

First Christmas cookies of the year, made in Bali

Now is about the time when my mother and I would usually spend an afternoon or two making Christmas cookies together - or 'Weihnachtsbredele' as we like to call them in Alsace - and despite all the fantastic things that this trip offers me to see and experience every day, I admit being a little sad to miss the tradition and more importantly the family gathering this year. However, a lovely surprise occurred today and definitely made up for my nostalgic moments...

November 28, 2011

Chiang Mai: a treat for market lovers

Looking back at our time in Chiang Mai, it seems like a good deal of it was spent wandering around the city's various markets. No wonder: Chiang Mai's markets burst with life, bright colours, sweet fragrances and cheerful local vendors..

November 22, 2011

Love at first bite: Khao Soi

Despite being a popular street dish in northern Thailand, Khaoi Soi is not frequently served in Thai restaurants abroad. Hence I had never tried it before our stay in Chiang Mai last week. Well, what a welcome surprise! Khao Soi - sometimes also called Chiang Mai Curry Noodles - consists of a mild thin coconut-based soup featuring hand cut egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime and chicken, and topped with deep-fried crispy egg noodles.

November 12, 2011

Cambodian mango sticky rice

Here is the second recipe of our Cambodian series: sticky rice with mango, a great conclusion to any Asian meal. Although similar to the well-known Thai version, the preparation method is slightly different here, as the rice finishes to cook with the coconut milk, and some thin slices of jackfruit are also integrated. Sticky rice is preferable, but it's still a great way to use any leftover jasmine rice.

November 10, 2011

Genuine Lao food in the rainforest

We just returned from a 3-day trek in the Luang Namtha province, northwestern Laos. Despite some rain on the second day and a lot of very annoying leeches, this trek was definitely the highlight of our stay in Laos, allowing us to explore the pristine Lao jungle and spend time with the Lanten hill tribe in Nam Khoi, a tiny village so remote that one can only reach it by foot or river...

November 3, 2011

The joys of Vietnamese street eats

Here comes the end of our time in Vietnam... Tomorrow morning, Tom and I will be on the plane, heading to the romantic city of Luang Prabang. I surely look forward to discovering the charms of Laos and its cuisine - which I don't recall ever sampling. But before that, let me tell you a bit about what aspect of Vietnamese food has fascinated me the most along our circuit through the country: street food...

October 27, 2011

Khmer seafood curry

I learnt to prepare this Cambodian seafood curry when I was in Siem Reap (check my previous post for more details about Khmer cooking).

This is the first of a series of three Khmer recipes, as two more will come soon... Meanwhile, I really hope you try your hand at Cambodian cooking and enjoy this delightful curry!

October 24, 2011

Amazing Cambodian markets

We left Cambodia three days ago, and I'm glad to now share with you my best pics taken on Siem Reap and Phnom Penh markets. I put together a couple of slideshows so you can just relax and enjoy...

October 22, 2011

First day in Vietnam...

We hit Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon for the locals) after a 7-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh, Cambodia yesterday, and already got to eat two of my favorite Vietnamese dishes today: Phở bò (rice noodle soup with raw beef) and Bánh xèo, or Saigon sizzling crepe (savoury pancake made of rice flour, tumeric and coconut milk, and filled with pork, shrimps and bean sprouts)... Both lived up to my expectations, can't wait to taste more along our route!

October 21, 2011

A delightful encounter with Khmer cooking

Leaving Cambodia without sharing a few impressions about the local cuisine would be a real shame. Although Cambodian food is little known abroad, I think it certainly deserves to be recognized as much as its Thai and Vietnamese neighbours.

October 17, 2011

Franco-Thai fusion at La Table de Tee, Bangkok

If you happen to be in Bangkok and in the mood for a fancy meal without breaking the bank, I can only recommend you to try La Table de Tee. Tucked in a small street near Lumpini Park, this little gem of Franco-Thai fusion serves a delicate five-course menu prepared by Tee, a discrete 26-year old Thai chef.

We had a great time there again last week, and a very nice chat with Tee himself, who came out of his kitchen to meet us after dinner. I should soon be able to share one of his original recipes on this blog, so you can try your hand at Franco-Thai cooking... In the meantime, I invite you to visit La Table de Tee's website to learn more about Tee's story and his weekly changing menu.

October 14, 2011

Jim Thompson's steamed coconut rice, Bangkok

Each one of my visits in Bangkok has to include a short stopover at the Jim Thompson's House. The famous silk items first drew me to it a few years ago. However it is more for the calm of the place and its restaurant's light cuisine that I come back every time now, especially since the green papaya salad I once ordered came accompanied by a simple yet unforgettable coconut flavoured rice...

October 9, 2011

First stop, first post: Hong Kong

I guess I could have skipped writing about Hong Kong. Because Hong Kong is not just the first stop of our big trip, but also the city in which Tom and I have been living in for the past five years. I was actually not planning on doing a post about Hong Kong in the first place. In my mind, the real adventure would start next week, after this first stop only, which was rather meant to sort out a few last administrative matters and say one more good bye to our family and friends here.