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Went to Nobu for our enagement dinner and also stayed at the Metropolitan Hotel, so we were gurantee a table for the night. After reading so many reviews about it and how impressed the celebs seems to be with this place, I was looking forward to this treat. Arrived resturarant on time, only to find that it was packed and the entrance was not very impressive, it's low ceiling feels suffocating more than anything. Initial impression from hostess wasn't great. I understand it was Sat night and it is busy but still, there wasn't any smile or anything. They just squeeze us into the bar which is just right next to the reception. Very tiny, chaotic and open plan. After 10 mins, we got seated for our table which is again squeezed into and I'm a size 8! Marilyn Manson was sitting right next to us, which is a bit off putting and scary seeing his face so up closed.
We ordered our food, menu was quite familiar to me as it is very similar to its sister restaurant I've been before. Food was excellent but extremely small portion even for me, let alone my husband. My husband's dessert was served in an egg cup with a tiny teaspoon which you can finished in 1 sip. The service was very average, we felt we were rushed through it all though. Overall, I think this place is highly over rated and therefore, over priced! The food can easily found it more authentic japanese restaruant at half the price in London. It was good to try for once, but probably not again.
This is the gadget that saved my poor cats from boredom! I have bought my 2 indoor cats various other toys in the past. Many expensive ones that said proven 'to keep you cat entertain for hours' or 'your cat will go mad at this'. Sadly, my cats didn't see the funny side to them and simply ignore most of them. The only one that come close was a catnip mouse which you can fill fresh catnip inside the mouse, and even then they only play it when it's newly filled for a few minutes. I bought this laser mouse without too much hope that they'll be slightly interested. To my surprise, it attracts their attention straight away and they both try to follow the beam and tried to catch the beam the whole time. It definitely keep them fit by them running around the house chasing it. With a push of a button, you can even watch TV while entertaining them at the same time. This toy is highly recommended to any indoor cat owner that really need to stimulate your cat to catch and chase because this is as real as a real mouse can get for them.
Being a keen cook and food lover, I'm particularly interested in cooking programmes and trying out new recipes. I have owned many cook books and have mixed feelings with them. While some are very useful, most of them these days focus a lot on seasonal ingredients and some group chapters by season which is hard to identify starters/main course etc. Some require hard to find ingredients which makes it impossible if you live outside London, away from francy deli shops. I've always been a fan of Nigella, although many call her Porn queen for food, with her flirtarious personality in front of the cameras or the fact that healthy option is not really her ting either. Nigella express is probably the most used cook book I ever owned and I own over 20 of them. Almost all of the recipe have been tried and tasted many times. They've superfast 'as the title suggested' to make, little preparation and the varieties from Fonduees to Chicken noodle soup to Miexican dish or English Chicken pie are all on offer. My recommedation are the party food, with ' smoke salmon potato cakes' being my popular dish in my dinner parties. The quick noodle salad with peanut butter makes an ideal picnic lunch as well.
This book are divided into different section from quick lunch, picnics, breakfast, comfort food and party food for quick reference. All ingredients are easy to get hold of unlike some of Nigella's other recipes which used to be using pricey and fancy ingredients. This book definitely earns its place in any cook's kitchen especially if you're a busy one.
Bieng a celeb gossip qeen, I used to buy most of the weekly gossips mags e.g. Now, closer, looks, Hello, Ok, stars and Reveal etc. Although I still buy a few of these every now and then, I've started to buy Grazia regularly now. I love the quality of the covers, which feature the headline, trendy fashion updates, real stories and world issues. It is the above combination, the varieties that it offers that attacted me to become a regular reader.
Although most other mags probably cover the above, it is the high quality pictures, the more up market feel and more mature fashion trends and well written articles that I prefer over the rest. Celeb gossips are mainly A-list celebs rather than any soap stars. This mags clearly target for a more mature, prehaps young (late twenties professional) that I'd feel comfortable reading this on the train or in public. The price at £1.90 are a bit more than other weekly glossy, in return, you'll get a higher quality print with great fashion and beauty tips and even polictical issues all in one issue. A price worth paying over and above for.
I am not the person that opt for the easiest option. This means that I'm not a lazy person that just rely on going on a diet to loss weight. I am fairly active compare to girls that I know at similar age. I go to gym 4 times per week, running for 40mins each time and outdoor running at weekends for 10k as well. I am frustrated that I'm still not losing weight. Although I'm nowhere overweight, I'm 5ft 3 and weight 9st 1/2 for some this might be acceptable but not for me. I have been slimmer and felt healthier before. Having try other diets i.e. weight watchers, counting calories etc, without much results, I'm a bit sceptical when I learn about the 'South Beach Diet'. To be honest, I'm worry at the same time because during the 1st Pharse, you're restrict to any carbohydrates intake. As I've grew up eating rice, noodles and bread everyday even breakfast sometimes, I doubt I can stick to this for 2 days let alone 14?! But with such positive credits that this diet has received and the promise to lose 8-113 lbs in Phrase 1 alone, I decided to grit my teeth and give this a try.
This diet makees perfect sense after reading the book explaining the theory behind how bad carbs affect our body etc. After Phrase 1, good carbs will be slowly introduce back on Phrase 2 where you'll continue losing weight in a more steady pace. Phrase 3 will be an eating plan that you'll stick on for life, sounds scary but really it include most food you'd be eating now anyway but healthy options with good carbs and good fats.
During phrase 1, I don't feel hungry at all. I'm shock to how easy it is to live without carbs, I've no cravings at all and most importantly since I've started this 6 days ago, I've lost 6 lbs. So, I'm on track to get down the 13 lbs that it promised. This book explains in simple terms that anyone will understand. The testimonial in between are so inspiring. After reading and adapting this method, you'll really think about how bad/good the food are before each bite.
Another yummy dish from the Far East, it is very popular and can be serve with bread, rice or rice noodles. This dish is originated from Vietnam and most ingredients can be find easily here. This is a dish that is quite dry with not much sauces for the rice or noodles, but many Vietnamese like to serve it with some dipping fish sauces which makes a good combination too.
Pork Chop 450g
Lemon Grass 3 (chopped and sauted)
Shallot 2tbsps ( chopped)
Garlic 1 tbsp (chopped)
Black pepper 1/4 tsp
Light soy sauce 1 tbsp
Dark soy sauce 1 1/2 tbsps
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Shaoxing Wine/Dry Sherry 2tsp
Cornflour 1 tbsp
Beaten egg 2tsp
1. Rinse pork chop and cut each chop into 2 pieces. Add half portion of chopped lemon grass and marinade. Marinade the meat for at least 30 mins.
2. Dust some cornflour on the pork chops. Deep-fry them until done or until it turns to a golden colour. Drain.
3. Saute the shallots, garlic and black pepper over medium heat until golden and dry. Drain.
4. Put the pork chops back to the wok. Add (3) and add the remaining chopped lemon grass to saute thoroughly and serve.
Since I'm originated from Macau, I have been brought up by a very east meets west culture. Macau was a Portuguese colony and situated in the southest tip of China, neighbouring Hong Kong. The Portuguese has influence this little town enormously and since most thing the Chinese do, tend to be a big gathering of feast; the Portuguese cusine is very common as part of my up bringing. There are many which I will post on here eventually but I would like to share with you all my favourite of all: Curry Chicken Portuguese style, nothing fancy with the title but seriously it's easy to make and makes a wonderful supper!
A. Chicken legs and thighs 4 pieces
Onion 160 g
B. Butter 80g
Shallots (minced) 30g
Garlic (minced) 30g
C. Chicken stock 600ml
Coconut Milk 400ml
Ingredients for Chicken Marinade:
Rice Wine/Dry sherry 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce 2 tbsps
Plain Flour 1 tbsp
Curry Powder 4 big tbsps
Salt, Pepper and Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Pre-heat oven to 180 degree.
1. Slice onion, potatoes and tomatoes in quarters
2. Use the Chicken Marinade to marinade the chicken for at least 15 minutes.
3. Heat the pan with some cooking oil to med-high heat, fry the onions, potatoes and tomatoes for 1 minute and put aside.
4. In another pan, use the butter to cook the shallots, garlic, the marinade chicken and the Onions, potatoes and tomatoes which has been put aside earlier. Cook together for 3 minutes and pour in the chicken stock. Simmer for around 12-15 minutes or until the stock has been absorb, pour in the Coconut milk and milk.
5. Put everything in a deep oven dish and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
6. Serve with warm bread or boiled rice. Enjoy!
This in my opinion is the best airport in the world! Being a regular traveller and an ex flight attendant, I think I know my fair share of airports! Being originally from there, certainly win my vote a bit more! The layout, the service and organisation of this place is what other countries need to follow. I understand it is a new and modern design which many other countries can only envy, the maintanece and all the staff in general are so friendly, helpful and efficient that none can compare. I was flying out from UK to Hong Kong once via Frankfurt with Lutfhansa and the flight from the UK to Frankfurt was delayed and I was worried that even though we got there on time for our connection, our check in luggage might not be able to make it and true to our words, it didn't. We were running to our connection in time to catch it. As soon as I landed in HK, staff are already standing by waiting to tell us the bad news, all with signage with our name clearly marked. They explained the situation and fill out the forms for me straight away and promised to send deliver to our house the following day even though I lived in Macau (around 1 hour ferry) away and of course it arrived on time and in good condition.
That just shows how organise and efficient the airport is running. The shops and restaruant of course offer so many choices with excellent quality of various cusine, great brands to shop in their spacious and airy departure hall. Most of the shops are opened very early too.
Transport to the airport are again very straight forward and comfortable with the airport express or coach from the city. there are also ferries linking to Mainland China and neighbouring Macau.
The most important thing is there are no crowds or queues, everything runs smoothly even though if there are delays (which rarely happens). The most important thing in an airport for me is clear signage and a sense of calm which HK airport are able to offer, and I think this is a blueprint of how other airport should run.
I was surprised to find this body butter as I've seen no advertising about it, but then Hawaiian Tropic is not that popular in the UK compare to other hot climate countries. Found this in the Sales shelves in superdrug and they offered it for £2.99! It is too good not to get any. Especially for me, I've always been a Hawaiian Tropic fan. This lotion is in the famous coconut flavour and it is to die for! It is quite a thick lotion meaning it is not runny which is great and you feel really moisturise immediately. The only negative side is that after applying some the other day, the area that has been applied felt very hot, like a burning sensation. I wasn't sure if that is normal or not. I found that really strange and wonder what damage it might have to the skin. I'm tried to apply it another time and same thing happened. Apart from this negative part, it does give you the yummiest long lasting coconut scent!
I have been a fan of this wipes for years! These wipes are the best ones I've tried after trying out many different brands and found most of them rubbish. First of all, I have very sensitive skin and have trouble finding the right skin care for years, I've tried very expensive range to cheaper ones like this one. Many other wipes I have tried are mostly dried up and it doesn't seem to do much cleaning (i.e. not much make up been wiped off it or left on those wipes after use) I'm lucky enough to find the Boots cucumber ones and completely fell in love. It is so good because of it's cooling effect with cucumber and also it is very moist which makes you felt like washing your face. I can cleanse off a full face of make up without problem and is suprisingly refreshing. Most of all, it didn't give me any rashes, spots or problem I generally will have with the others I've tried. With it's economical price, handy size (they also do a traveller's size which is like a pack of tissue), this is an essential item in any one's travel bag.
This fountain has been with my 2 Cats for 3 years now and has proved so useful that they can't live without. My cats are particularly fond of water drippings and Monty (the only one that can jump) will go everywhere from sink to bath tub to get me to turn on the tap for him. That's why this fountain is so useful especially for Lou that can't jump. It is important to keep them clean at all times though as their fur or other bits can easily dirty the water and if too much hair get stuck in the rotary engine, the water won't been able to come through. Changing the filter regularly does help but I have since stopped using the filter because they are quite expensive and difficult to get hold of. I find that using them without filter doesn't seem to be a problem, just need cleaning more often about twice a week. It is fairly low maintenance as you only need to top them the water everyday to a certain level. The good thing is the speed/volume adjustment meaning you have control over how big a 'water fall' you like, the more it comes out at once, the more noisy it gets. My cats are quite happy with the lowest setting and after having it for 3 years, it is still working brilliantly.
Played this game a while ago at a dinner party, it is such a great intense game! It's hilarious watching the faces of other people, knowing that they're thinking and thinking random words just to fit some alphabets in. Having said that, I probably have a huge disadvantages as English is not my mother tongue, I probably lose out in lots more vocabulary! It just proves that this game is suitable for everyone. We of course turn it into a drinking game and that get really dangerous, whoever fail to get the word and that the bomb explose will have to drink a shot and with around 20 different varieties on offer, it is pretty sick when you lost a few rounds and have them all mixed up and still trying to figure a word out from 'ing' to start at the beginning?! This is a fast pace, nail biting game that all dinner parties should have as it'll bring some frustration, tantrum and most importantly tons of fun for all.
Being a food lover, I have my fair share of cook books over the time. Although I do consider myself with good cooking skills, most of my dishes are Oriental flavours because of where I come from originally. I decided it is time to polish my skills on British cooking. I've owned serveral other Jame's book and find it entertaining but not excactly useful mainly due to the difficulty in sourcing the various ingredients (especially many seasonal home grown version vegetable and meat). Most seem to be for special occasion rather than daily home cooking food. After watching the 'Ministry of Food' programme, I was curious as to what this book will offer, I was looking for everyday home cook and easy to make British food. I'm glad I bought this book in the end as it is the most useful book in my kitchen now. I have been trying out almost all the recipe ever since I got it. They're all simple, healthy dishes. The most important thing is that although it aim for people that perphaps has little experience in cooking (from his step-by-step easy to understand explanation so you can't really go wrong), it is also suitable for cooks of all levels. Although most of the dishes are simply british food, Jamie, as always, adds his own little twist to them. Many of the dishes have been feature in his programme as well and it just shows how easy it is and once you own this book, there will be no excuse of getting another take out!
I am writing this from an entirely different angle as I happened to work for the University which probably have different views from some the previous reviews. Having come from working in a completely different sector, I am fortunate enough to get a job with the university due to my relocation. Although the post is more of a junior position, I still have to go through a lengthy interview process and sitting in front of a panel of 3 is quite nerve wrecking and unexpected. I have research a lot prior to my interview as this is somewhere I really would like to work for and I am impressed by how organised it is considering the governing system is a rather complex one compare to other universities. Being one of the top univerisities in the world, the staff no doubt take there role very seriously and I have learnt to be very careful even little mistakes are immediately picked on. It gives you a feeling of going back to school as offices are generally in a very formal hall or building. Staff development are plenty, with many one day courses or presentation to attend throughout the year and because of the diversity that each department or even the colleges offer, internal job transfer is common and the benefits e.g. Pension and holidays are probably one of the best I have come across especially in this worrying times, working for a great education sector is probably a very good bet.
This Perfume has been out for quite some time and as a regular perfume user that normally opt for the more designer brands, I was hesistant to give this a try. The idea of a celebrity producing a fragrance, to me seems too much of a publicity gimmick and a money grabbing machine. I always wondered how many of those celebs actually source and choose the scent at all? That aside, I purchase this item simply because I was attracted to the price, it was offered at boots for £9.99 Eau de Parfum 30ml Spray. It was too good to resist and I was so surprise in how nice it smell, all the fruit and flowery ingredients does come through and it proves to be a long lasting scent as it doesn't seem to wear off until end of the day. This is a scent suitable for any age as it is sweet and feminine but not over powering. The lovely bottle is also a bonus, you can't go wrong with that price and most of all, it definitely change my view of purchasing celeb endorsed fragance!