Tag Archives: bites

WASHOKU Explorer’s Tonkotsu Ramen Set

1Yes, it’s been forever – and what better way to come up with a new post than from the comfort of my own home? Thanks to WASHOKU Explorer, who recently contacted me asking if I wanted to try their DIY tonkotsu ramen set, I was able to do just that.2^ Delivered right to my door, all the way from Japan!3I’m a big ramen freak, although I usually make a journey out to Ichiran in Causeway Bay whenever I have a craving. Making ramen at home is usually a sad affair (think Seven-Eleven), but WASHOKU’s set comes with all the fanfare to make your ramen bowl pretty legit:4Making it was a piece of cake – the only real preparation I needed to do was soaking the dried mushroom. 5After that, just simple boil + add ingredient procedure!6AND here’s the final result…8Overall, making and arranging the ramen was pretty fun. Apart from tasting yummy, I was also glad that the ramen wasn’t too salty and didn’t leave me with a thirsty feeling afterwards.79

^Hope you like my Star Wars chop sticks, haha!

Never thought I would have such a fancy ramen at home, so a big thank you to WASHOKU Explorer (www.washokuexplorer.com). Check out their site if you want to order a box.

If everything goes smoothly, I’ve got an interesting interview lined up for my next post…

So, stay tuned!

Bakker x

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Français Facts !

Page_4Bonjour et bienvenue! 

In honour of Bastille day (the 14th of July), today’s post is all about fun French food facts!

French terms are thrown around the dining scene all the time, but nobody ever explains what they mean – or where they come from!

Having lived in France before, I’ll take you through some popular French foods: how to pronounce the words properly, as well as some fun facts that could surprise you!

So, on y va (let’s go!)1

1. amuse-bouche
Pronunciation: amooz-boosh
Français fact: Ever been to a fancy French restaurant, and they bring out cute little snacks before your meal? They’re complimentary (or so I’d like to think) and are meant to tease your appetite. The words amuse-bouche literally mean amuse-mouth: a way to entice the palette before the main show!

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2. baguette
Pronunciation: bag-eht
Français fact: Baguettes are pillars of French family life. This loaf of bread has a characteristic long, thin shape and is eaten at almost every meal. The word baguette can also refer to an orchestra conductor’s baton – but more importantly to Hong Kongers – chop sticks are called baguettes (plural) in French.

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3. café au lait
Pronunciation: cafay-olay
Français fact: Coffee with milk is called a latté in Italian, and a café au lait in French. Lait means milk, by the way 😉

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4. compote
Pronunciation: kohm-poht (silent ‘e’)
Français fact: If you see a dish on the menu “served with fig compote”, for example, what does that mean? It’s kind of like jam – but not really! Compote is made by slow-cooking fruit with sugar syrup. Spices are often added while the mixture slowly reduces to a sticky, sweet concoction. It’s a popular companion to foie gras and the origin of the word is from compost (like at the farm)… yummy(?!)

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5. crème brûlée
Pronunciation: crem-broolay
Français fact: The best crème brûlées are served thin. What do I mean? The bowl it’s served in shouldn’t be deeper than a few centimetres. A bigger surface area, and a shallower depth = a better balance of crispy burnt sugar, and delicious vanilla-flavoured custard. As for the words? They mean burnt cream.

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6. croissant
Pronunciation: kruh-sawn
Français fact: Ever noticed this famous French pastry looks like a crescent moon? It’s not by accident: the word croissant has multiple meanings, the most obvious being “crescent” – and trust me when I say, a good one is hard to find! The best have a buttery richness; aren’t chewy; are wonderfully flaky on the outside; and moist on the inside.

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7. escargot
Pronunciation: s-car-go
Français fact: Yes, the French eat snails – but only specific varieties are fit for consumption. The most popular way it’s served, is with pesto and garlic. They are a bit rubbery and take a while to break down while chewing, so if you’re faint of heart, beware!

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8. foie gras
Pronunciation: fwua grah
Français fact: It sounds fancy, but it means fatty liver. Not as nice in English, I know. While the way foie gras is made has been an animal rights issue for decades (duck and geese are force-fed to make it), it remains a staple on fine dining menus all over the world. My illustration above shows two of the most common ways it’s eaten: cold as a pâté (similar to a block of butter), or hot (fried) in its original form.

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9. mille-feuille
Pronunciation: meal-fuy
Français fact: A “thousand layers” is that crispy, flaky dessert where many, many layers of thin puff pastry sheets alternate between layers of cream. It’s often topped with sugar icing and is totally irresistible.

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10. petits fours
Pronunciation: puh-tee-foor
Français fact: Petits fours are very similar to amuses-bouches, except that they come at the end of the meal. Petit four means little oven. Is that cute, or what?

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11. salade niçoise
Pronunciation: salahd knee swaz
Français fact: Nice (pronounce “niece”) is a wonderful coastal town in south-eastern France, and its culinary style is typically Mediterranean. Salade niçoise has a lot of goodies: tuna, egg, green beans, olives, anchovies, onion, potatoes and tomatoes. A native of Nice is referred to as a niçois (male) or niçoise (female), in the same way someone from the US is called an American. It’s sad that most outside of France don’t know where this salad calls home, so next time you dig in: remember Nice and thank those French foodies for this classic tuna salad.

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12. le sniff

Last, but not least, what’s up with that weird custom that goes on in French restaurants? You know, when the waiter pours a little bit of wine into a glass (but only one person on your table – usually the one paying, lol) and waits for you to smell it. The purpose is to make sure you’re satisfied with the quality before serving the whole table. It’s only really acceptable to reject the wine if it’s “corked” (bouchonné), which means the cork has contaminated the wine. This is something you can smell and taste immediately, hence the tradition. How do you know if it’s corked? It smells like cork, and will mess up the wine’s aroma, and flavour.

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Thank you for reading, if you’d like to see more educational posts like this one, please let me know in the comments 🙂 – and one more thing to say before signing out: VIVE LA FRANCE!

Bakker x

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Dessert Wars: Mott 32

1It’s time for round 2 of Dessert Wars! This time we feature Mott 32, the new stylish Chinese culinary complex in the basement of the Standard Chartered bank building.

Mott 32’s grand opening was a madhouse with about two thousand guests in attendance. And, the couple of times I’ve been back to eat, it’s been well patronised.

Before skipping right to the dessert, below is a little sample of what I tried… including their signature Peking Duck, and pork shaomai with a lovely quail egg in the middle!2So who are the contenders for this edition’s dessert war?3First, a nod to classical Chinese with an osmanthus and goji berry (or wolfberry) jelly called Mott’s Amber, and…

4Second, a bit of international departure, with a green tea chocolate-coated disc of soft chocolate mousse.5Our winner is: the green tea chocolate mousse! This dessert, served cool, is also topped with sesame nuts – a nice addition to its smooth chocolate and macha flavours.

While jelly-lovers will appreciate the delicate flavours and texture of the amber jelly, it’s a more subdued – and perhaps acquired taste…

For a sure winner, go with the green tea treat.

Bakker x

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Dessert Wars: Three Monkeys

1Welcome to Volume 1 of Dessert Wars, where I face-off one dessert against another at hot spots around town.

Three Monkeys is my first stop.2The cosy Hollywood Road haunt primarily serves yakitori (grilled skewers), as well as spirits and chic cocktails – which makes this spot great not only for dinner but late night snacks as well.3After a slew of savoury skewers and a couple of cocktails, it was time to dig into dessert. And the obvious choice for this edition of Dessert Wars was the Warabi-Mochi and Affogato.4Both desserts have one thing in common: they are simple and well-known, making it very important to serve it well.

5The night’s first contender, the Affogato, was done just right. Made-to-order, it was served at an optimally hot temperature, gently melting the hazelnut-like scoop of gelato within. Any coffee lover’s ideal dessert but still a little creativity here could have spiced things up a great deal (e.g. some kind of added shavings or sprinkles?).6The winner for me was the Warabi-Mochi, although my friends both preferred the Affogato. Perhaps it was a matter of preference, or acquired taste, but trust me when I say: anyone who likes mochi will be delighted with this little bowl of heaven.

7Made with fern leaf flour (instead of regular mochi which is made with rice flour) warabimochi boasts an incredibly smooth and slippery texture. Biting through, however, the warabimochi retains a richness and elasticity that merges into the various condiments added on top.

These include kinako powder, and matcha powder (green tea) as well as a hearty dollop of sweet red beans in the centre. It’s a Japanese flavour combo that’s classic and well-loved.

Elegant, simple and delicious! A clear winner…8Bakker x

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Bakker’s Bites – 3rd Birthday!

1HAPPY BIRTHDAY… to Bakker’s Bites!!!!!!!

It’s been THREE years since I started Bakker’s Bites! Through graduating university, and working in different industries in Hong Kong, it’s been such a journey and I feel so fortunate to have been able to keep up this passion of mine!

Thank you for staying with me these years, and I hope you enjoy this special birthday post!
2So what’s this post all about (in case you’re a new reader)? Every anniversary, or birthday, of my blog I’ve wanted to do something extra special.

For my blog’s last two birthdays, that happened to be photo shoots…

3Click here to check out the 1st Birthday Shoot post and album.
and…
Click here to check out the 2nd Birthday Shoot postalbum and making-of video.

4This year, as you may already be able to tell, I wanted to do something different other than a photo shoot. That’s when I thought of Hong Kong illustrator Kitty N. Wong, a lovely lady I recently met, whose illustrations’ whimsical style and girly charm seemed a perfect fit for Bakker’s Bites.5

So I drew up some sketches of my vision, and made a coffee date with Kitty to get the ball rolling… and, as they say, the rest is history!6We spent most of the meeting talking about gossip, our love lives and raving on the delicious cakes, goats cheese toast and coffees at Cafe Lavande, but soon enough I got an update of her progress (see below) and knew that she’d understood exactly what I was going for! I couldn’t wait to see the final pics…7And finally, here are the gorgeous final drawings, which I simply can’t stop staring at. I’m in love!!!! Just like the previous two years, the birthday images will be used for 1 year on my blog, facebook page and all social media as the new ‘look’ for Bakker’s Bites. 🙂 ENJOY!89101112

See you soon, with more bites!

Bakker x

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HK’s Best Secret Drinks – Part 1: BARSMITH

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WELCOME to a special BBITES series 🙂 I’m going to be taking you through three different bars in Hong Kong featuring secret drinks that are off-menu.

Part 1 is about the place you don’t know yet: BARSMITH

Part 2 will be about a bar you do know, featuring off-menu treats

AND

Part 3 will be an EPIC SURPRISE

So get ready to ‘get in the know’ and sip it up, Bakker’s Bites style…

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Barsmith is located at 4/F, 60 Wellington Street, Central.

I first went to Barsmith with some friends, and while the bar is still in its soft-opening phase, I can’t help but share with all of you how AWESOME this bar is.

A little bit hidden, Barsmith is the perfect place to escape LKF while being in the heart of the action.3The concept behind Barsmith is that while there’s a menu, the emphasis is on building a relationship with the bartenders who will create drinks based on your personality and preferences.3bWhen I arrived for my tasting I was guided through two amazing cocktails prepared by mixologist Miyake Ayako from Japan.

Asking for something a bit on the fresh and sweet side, Ayako suggested a Japanese peach-based cocktail, since it was in season. I asked what would be in the drink, and she basically said, “Leave it to me.” And, boy am I glad I did!Page_3The first thing Ayako did was whip out a blender and start to purée fresh Japanese peach. Things were off to a good start.5Next came the selection of different liqueurs and ingredients, and I watched patiently while she put together a combination of peach creams, celery bitters, whiskey and sea salt.Page_4The balance was incredible. A smooth, smoothie-like texture caressed the palate while the whisky was cut by sweet peach. Meanwhile, in case things got a little too sugary, sea salt added the perfect sobering note.

Impressed, I wondered what to order next and asked Ayako to ‘surprise me’. 7As we chatted a little, I learned that the Japanese jeans brand Evisu was downstairs and had some kind of affiliation with the bar re: its owner/investors or something along those lines.

With that in mind, she declared the next drink would be called “The Evisu” and decided to finish things up with a dessert-inspired cocktail.BarsmithAs you can see from the ingredients, this drink was all decadence. The highlight for me was sampling the Benedictine liqueur which tasted like honey syrup: pretty much a nectar for the gods.9Resulting in a tiramisu-esque concoction, the rich texture and creative flavours were unlike anything I’d tried before: and that’s the point.

Creating custom, unique cocktails with their customers is why I’m so excited about Barsmith.

While other bars do this occasionally (and usually with much persuasion), Barsmith specialises in tailored drinks: my kind of heaven.10So are you ready to enjoy? I know I am…

Thanks for reading, and  stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 😉 !

Bakker x

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UPDATE.05.10.13.

11111As some of you may have seen on my instagram, the current edition of Time Out HK Magazine (Issue #140, Sep 25-Oct 8) features two of the things which have been my bread and butter for the past few years: modeling and writing.

Pick up a copy before it goes off stands to read my review of the new Greek restaurant in LKF, Souvla, and check out our punk fashion editorial, as well 🙂

STAY TUNED for…

– A new post tomorrow reviewing an awesome new dinner spot
– The next issue of Time Out HK (which will come out Wednesday 9th, October) where my next review after Souvla will be published!
– AND, after it’s out, I will take you behind-the-scenes of my review and give you a photo-frenzy, BBITES style…

Take care and, as always, thanks for reading.

Bakker x

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