Saturday, 28 February 2015

My birthday | Ping Pong

Where I ate:
Ping Pong, Westfield Stratford, London

The day after my London birthday celebrations, Laura and I decided to have another mooch around Westfield (how many people get there before anything opens on a Sunday, btw – Costa was mental!) and we met Mariah for all-you-can-eat DimSum at Ping Pong. Or as they call it, DimSumdays.

We hadn’t booked a table but managed to get seated straight away and prepared ourselves for the feast that was in store. DimSumdays is priced at £21.95 a head and every member of the party has to have it. Unfortunately it doesn’t include specials (seasonal or regular), meaning no soft-shell crab for me, as well as desserts and drinks. I don’t think I managed to eat my monies worth, although we all gave it a good go.
 So what did we order?
·         1 portion mixed vegetable spring rolls
·         2 portions duck spring rolls
·         1 portion beef & chilli parcels
·         3 portions roast pork puffs
·         1 portion vegetable sticky rice
·         1 portion king prawn & scallop sticky rice
·         2 portions char sui buns
·         2 portions chicken & cashew nut dumplings
·         1 portion monkfish & lime dumplings
·         1 portion beef fillet dumplings
·         1 portion prawn crackers
Rather than sharing dishes, we all chose our own plates, hence the three lots of roast pork puffs! I chose a few of my favourites, including the seafood sticky rice, chicken & cashew nut dumplings and duck spring rolls. I also chose a couple of dishes I hadn’t tried before – both dumplings: beef fillet and monkfish & lime. The beef ones were incredible, with chunky steak and spinach encased within a vibrant spinach green parcel; the monkfish ones were also nice, with a fresh, aromatic flavour. I didn’t have room for a char sui bun but Mariah said they’re amazing – and one of her favourites.

Drinks-wise, it was too early for cocktails, but the strawberry & vanilla iced tea was amazing. The Asian basil seeds were unusual but I loved them – the texture was really bubbly.

Like my last visit (the South Bank branch, read here), the service wasn’t great, especially as it wasn’t busy. But the food is always spot on, cooked fresh and brought to the table straight away. I know where I’ll be going when I’m next at Westfield.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Tag | Wanderlust

I think everyone knows how much I love to travel and fulfil my quota of over five holidays a year. Working in travel means I’m exposed to some of the most beautiful and sought-after destinations in the world which only fuels my love for adventure. When I saw Olivia had done this tag, I knew I had to answer it too!
Beautiful Segovia
Where have you travelled to and would you like to go again?
When Jake and I went to Madrid, my Auntie and Uncle took us for a meal in Segovia. I’d love to go back there during the day to discover more. It’s home to the castle that inspired 
the Cinderella castle, so say no more!

Where was your first plane journey to?
I was only six months old when I went to Spain with my parents for the first time. Obviously I remember nothing. I think we went to Estepona or L'Estartit.

You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no object – where would you go?
Definitely Tahiti in French Polynesia, or cruising the Galapagos Islands. Both are places I can only dream of.

Preferred method of travel: plane, train or car?
I love flying and I love people watching at the airport. But I do love the Eurostar too – I get great deals for it which is always a bonus!

Top three travel items?
My phone, a book and sunglasses. I always take my ClaireaBella bag as hand luggage.
Favourite travel website?
Trip Advisor. I love using it – we’ve found so many great hidden restaurants on holidays. I’m a little bit obsessed with documenting my experiences on there too... only the positive ones! People that use it to just criticise, make me cringe.

Where would you travel to just to eat the food?
I’d love to go to Vietnam. The cuisine is amazing. We’re doing a lot of Asia River Cruise stuff at work at the minute and it’s making me SO jealous. I’d love to experience that.

Is there a place you would never go again?
I don’t think I’ve ever been to anywhere that was really bad.

Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

Do you prefer middle, window or aisle seat?
I love sitting by the window, even though I don’t look out of it. I just don’t like having to sit in the other two seats and have to get up for people that need the toilet or to stretch their legs.

How do you pass time on a plane?
I always read. If I’m with Jake, we’ll play random games on his iPad and I’ll generally annoy him. Ha. When I used to go on holiday with family, mum and I would do puzzles books (yup, I’m a geek).

I tag everyone that loves travelling to answer this post – and if you’ve already posted the tag, leave your links below so I can read your answers.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I Quit Sugar | Chai apple crumble muesli

I’m forever looking for interesting ideas for breakfast and brunch, as a bowl of cereal or slice of toast simply doesn’t cut it. This recipe combines breakfast with dessert and is a sugar-free variation on a favourite of mine, the traditional apple crumble. This could easily serve six, but I had five portions – one for every week day.
·         3 apples, peeled and chopped
·         160ml water
·         6 tsp cinnamon
·         3 tsp  ginger
·         1 ½ tsp nutmeg
·         30g chopped nuts
·         135g rolled oats
·         3 tbs butter

·         Put the water, apple and spices in a saucepan and simmer until softened
·         Rub together the oats and butter to form a crumble
·         Place the apple in an oven proof fish and pour the oat crumble on top. Top with the nuts
·         Bake in the oven on gas mark 4 for 20 minutes
I served this with natural set yogurt, adding extra cinnamon, but you can have this with almond or coconut milk, like muesli. If you’re going for milk, I’d suggest 20ml per serving. The spices make this dish so warming and it’s like having comfort food for breakfast – perfect!