Monday, September 27, 2010

Broadway: where I spent my first

Our first time to go to school, our first time to fall in love, our first kiss, our first trip abroad...nothing beats the first.

I was blessed as I received my first hard earned euros!  And what's the best way to spend it?

HT hubbie and I didn't had difficulty in deciding how to spend my first.  We both agreed that we would go Broadway!

No...we didn't go to New York City (that's too much) nor we didn't go to a theatrical performance in London, but the ambiance kinda brought us to the theatre.
numerous spotlights, the waiting area was decorated like a stage theatre

All we want was to be carnivorous that day.  I've read about Broadway American Steakhouse in wikitravel and I made sure that this would be one of my first stops here.  And, to date, I've been here twice, once with hubby's sister and bro-in-law and now with HT hubbie himself.

We didn't make any reservation and as expected, they cannot give us a table until 21:30.  Since we conditioned ourselves to have dinner here, so HT hubbie used his convincing power and luckily, they allowed us to dine with a limited time...a little bit over an hour.  And we didn't let the opportunity passed by.

as a consequence, we have to share the table with a VIP (very important pet)

We knew we would indulge ourselves with their best seller so we didn't need more than 10 minutes to browse the menu. 

Ta dah!

Spicy Ribs (600+ grams) - wikitravel didn't fail us.  The ribs were tasty with a hint of spiciness.  The meat that we pull from the rib bones were very tender and not dry.  Look how the ribs were nicely glazed with bbq sauce that we can't help but lick the bones and our fingers...yum.  The serving is pretty big and good for sharing.  HT hubbie gave two thumbs up to this ribs plate and consider this as best ribs he had so far. 

Frenched racks - There were 6 pcs of lamb.  We ordered this just to have something different even though we were tempted to stuff ourselves with baby ribs.  Unfortunately, this was a bit disappointing.  The meat was overcooked making it dry.  And it could used more salt to make it not bland.

The time pressure made us eat fast and wiped off the plates in less than an hour.   (if we keep on doin' this, we might change our names to MIGHTY EATERS instead of HUNGRYTROTTERS). :D

WIth its guaranteed delicious ribs, laid back ambiance and affordable meals, this place is definitely worth re-visiting...with reservation, of course.

This place can never be missed just look down when you're passin' by Oudegracht (canal) below HEMA.

I love first's.  How about you?  What is your most unforgettable first?

Price Summary in Euros
Spicy Ribs : 15.50
Frenched Racks: 18.75

Broadway American Steak house
Oudegracht 139, Utrecht

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Utrecht, Netherlands: La Cubanita: Tapas

Hubby, being away from his home country for almost 4 years, was as ignorant as I am when we moved here a few months ago.  We spent a few days just walking around, familiarizing ourselves where to shop especially where to dine.  Suddenly, we stumbled into this tapas place which was pretty busy on weekends.  We decided to be part of that crowd one night.

We were lucky to secure a table by the window despite of not making reservations.  What caught our eyes were the free vandalism in every corner.  Check it out...

every year they re-paint the walls to write on...

even flower pot was not an exception

love the laid back way of ordering tapas...

hot tapas


Tapa Fria

We were very hungry that night as we prepared ourselves for this eat out.  Among the items we ordered, we like the albondigas y tomato, queso de cabra con miel and pan con aioli y tapenade.  We were a bit disappointed with the servings which were quite small and the tapas were just ok.   Nevertheless, it helped to ease our hunger and it's like bringing back our dining out escapades that were used to in Singapore.  We still consider it a great night of food, stories and laughters as HT couple.

Before we bid goodbye, we just can't help but...

exercise our freedom...

Adios amigos!

Price Summary (in euros)
per serving : 4€ - 8€ (50 tapas to choose from)

La Cubanita i Tapas y Mas
Oudkerkhof 44, Utrecht

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Autumn!

It was my first time to experience autumn, leaves are slowly falling from the trees, the green landscape that i was so fond of looking at everytime i go cycling is fading day by day.  Mushrooms are sprouting everywhere.

HT couple who's used to sunshine, autumn, temperature wise, is already winter for us.  And out of principle, we haven't switched on the heater.  (haha trying hard to get used to it).

And what do we do to compensate when the temperature is slowly going down?  We take care of our tummies!
Autumn beef stew

As most of my family and friends know how inexperience I am in the kitchen, definitely this is not an original recipe.  My past time right now, is looking up online on recipes and try making it in our kitchen.  And i would like to share my favorite kitchen blog, Kayotic Kitchen which was recommended by another famous blogger here in the Netherlands, thanks oranjeflamingoAside from the good photos which motivates me to do my own version, the recipes were easy to make. 

My Autumn beef stew was inspired by Kayotic kitchen's Winter cranberry beef stew. (check out the link for the full recipe).  It took me only 10 minutes to put everything in the pan but simmered it for 1 1/2 hours (the longer the better so the meat would be more tender). 

After sautéing onions and bacon bits, i just mix salt, paprika, pepper, the beef cubes, beef stock, tomato paste and of course the key ingredients, a cup or red wine and 3 tbsp. of molasses which gave out the balance taste of this dish.  Drop a few bay leaves for more aroma.

And to give an asian hint on this dish, i put a few slices of chilies. 

Voila!  HT hubbie loved it!

Homemade Burritos

We cheated on this dish and got ready made soft tortilla and pre-mixed sauces (you know when lazy days kicked in).  We used chicken as our source of protein and loaded ourselves with more carbohydrates by adding a big serving of rice and overdosage of cheeseOf course, chilies (again) were added in this dish.

And last but not the least...
HT hubbie's apple pie!

I visited friends in another city and when I came home, HT hubbie surprised me with this wonderful yummy, rich-in-vitamins pie! 

Spicy food, delicious meals and well-fed tummies, we're definitely ready for the winter!

How about you?  What food do you fancy when it's cold?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One of the worst cases that could happen to a blogger....


courtesy of

is when the laptop died...sniff. sniff. sniff. 

I'll be back in a few days.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Orleans, France: French cooking, dining and drinking

"asia-sickness", a condition where you miss tom yum, bak kut teh, adobo, sashimi, ramen, dimsum and chili crabs. 

To overcome this condition from getting severe, HT hubbie made sure that we always do my second next love from eating i.e. travelling.

One of the advantages of living in Europe is that travel is so accessible.  It's easy and convenient especially going to the not-so-usual tourist cities.

This time, we were fortunate to join our friends in their hometown Orleans France.  And I was amazed how beautiful the city is.  And less tourist-y of course.
the Cathedral of St. Croix with roadwork (they're building trams)

almost all houses are these big and pretty.  There is a Dutch saying "Leven als God in Frankrijk"  (living like gods in France)

the famous Loire River - a UNESCO World Heritage and the longest river in France (wikipedia)

the area is known for their beautiful chateaux (Chateau de Chambord)

Of course, sightseeing wouldn't be fun without exploring local food!
spices and dried fruits being sold by grams in Friday market in the square just like in NL (Utrecht market)

French are known to be producing one of the best wines in the world.  Nope, this is not a winery or a wine shop, but a self-made cellar of our French host!  800 bottles (now down too 790 after drinking 10 bottles in 3 days).  His stories about his collection was so interesting.   He would buy 3-4 euro (6-8 sgd) bottles of wine and would keep it in his cellar for years.  Check out this 1985 wine bottle.  This would costs 10x as much as the time he bought it. His wine collection is for personal consumption and he haven't sold a bottle and have no plans to.  He even created a spreadsheet, containing columns and rows of his cellar, year, wine area, so that it's easy to pick the bottle he fancies on certain days.   (well with 800 bottles, it would be a pain checking one by one!)

at the corner of their basement, I just can't help looking at this dried sausage that has been hanging there for 7 months!  Amazingly, it didn't give out bad odor in the room.

HT hubbie had the most of it (his favorite)

Aside from the dried sausage slices, we had these as appetizers...caviar on small pancakes, sweet, fresh cherry tomatoes (they go to a big farm having all types of fruits and veggies, and hand pick them personally.  Usually it takes them 3-4 hours to do their shopping in the field) and small packs of herb-flavored cheeses.

And for main course, we had seafood galore!  A huge chunk of tuna that we shared, pieces of grilled prawns and a typical french dish, ratatouille (it was soo good!).  She taught HT hubbie how to make an authentic one!  Can't wait for the Dutch version :)

We wouldn't consider our dinner done without this homemade dessert.  This egg pie with freshly picked berries in the garden was very delicious! (who cares about extra kilos at that moment?)

We were lucky to experience Loire Festival which runs every September.  We went to another city Montargis, where the festival starts and had fun with the locals.  Aside from exhibits and watching kids having fun, food stalls were present to bring more joy to this festivity.  The caramel blocks were so addictive and we brought back some cheese with us in NL.  Livarot is one of the oldest cheese in France according to our friends.

A famous chocolate shop in the area, Mazet De Montargis, showcased their well-known treats.  We bought a few items but HT hubby and I have both agreed that we stick our love for chocolates in Belgium.

After a long day in the festival, we proved to ourselves of being carnivorous on our dinner table. Nicely grilled steak (no sauce needed, the meat was juicy and tasty itself) and different flavorful sausages...ahh, it felt like heaven!

With almost overflowing meal for 2 days, we decided to keep our last meal quick and simple before we leave Orleans.
until Au suggested to have duck confit, which according to her was easy to make but I had a doubt at first (As I can only get this in a formal restaurant where it takes at least an hour to prepare this mains).  But here in France, You can get it in cans!  She came out holding this huge can containing 4 legs of  duck confit.  She mentioned the process of fattening ducks by force feeding them through a funnel which provides fatty liver that we get in restaurants.  They don't throw away the body parts but instead, they process them in cans like this.  And she even attested that a lot of restaurants uses canned duck confit as it is not easy to get them unless they have a regular supplier.  The usual French way of cooking this is frying potatoes using the duck fat which is placed in a separate pan while the duck legs are heated up in its own fats and juice.

Here you go!  I was astounded how the confit coming from a can was lovely in taste. And with a good presentation and garnish, this would mistakenly cooked fresh by a star chef!

we would always have 3 bottles of wine (sparkling for appetizers, red for red meat, white for seafood) every meal.  As much as the French embrace wine, the same way they embrace cheese (this is a must after every meal)

I really enjoyed my 3-day trip of sightseeing, drinking and eating.  Thanks P & A!  I left my heart in Orleans but I brought back extra weight with me back home (I need to shed off a few kilos)

 Au revoir!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dutch 101: What's for lunch?

Have you ever wondered why most Dutch still stay lean despite of their hereditary features having big bones and more body storage?

The cycling could be a reason...maybe in a colder climate you burn more calories....

But there's one more that I think contributes to their well-balanced weight and that is...

Most of them eat hot meals only once a day (during dinner).

And what's for lunch?

ta-dah!  slices of bread, a bowl of soup (dutch are soup-a-holics!), a few good slices of dried sausage (HT hubbie loves them very much!) and of course, koffie! (Dutch drinks an average of 4-5 cups a day)
 You can envisioned their food lifestyle based on what's available in the consumer supermarket.

Numerous variety of soup packets... 

And all types of dried name it, they have it...(half the price compared to SG.  This is one of the things that HT hubbie missed when we lived in Singapore)
 This is our usual lunch meal, sometimes with slices of cheese or yogurt.  In the office, people would eat 3-4 pieces of bread, sometimes with butter and a big carton of milk!

I've seen a 5-year old kid getting 3 litres of milk in the fridge for his 1-week supply of calcium. (amazing!) HT-Hubbie used to drink a liter of milk a day as a teenager.
(no wonder the Dutch are tall!)

With this eating habit, everyone looks forward to dinner (I do!).

Stay tune...we went to France(nope not in Paris) and visited our French friends.  Join us in our wonderful experience living with them and like them.  Au revoir for now!