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New York, New York

13 Jun



I still can’t believe half the year’s gone by. How did this happen? I’m still living somewhere in March, which is around the time I was in New York for a few days for a media junket. Because time was tight and I had a deadline to reach, I didn’t have much chance to go out and try all the fabulous places to eat. At least I managed a couple of visits to Shake Shack, Momofuku and a couple of cool jazz bars.



Much of the time was spent holed up in the very comfortable hotel room prepping and transcribing my interviews. The good thing was it allowed me to order room service – a bowl of fruit and some tea.


I love movie companies that provide food while you wait for your interviews. This particular junket was at the Ritz Carlton, and among the yummy buffet, was this absolutely delish chocolate peanut butter cake.


I went to Shake Shack twice. Mainly because the bird dog I had on my first visit was so dissatisfying, I felt I had to go back again to understand what everyone was raving about. The cheese fries are pure feel-good American junk food and the burger is a great example of a very good fast-food burger.



Much has been made of the Momofuku chain, and fortunately, there was a má pêche and Milk Bar just down the road from my hotel. I went to má pêche for a quick lunch, where I struggled over ordering the pork bun or banh mi. Banh mi eventually won out, but looking back, I think I should have been greedy and just ordered both. The cookies I bought back to nibble on while working. The cookies, sugary delights I enjoyed, in truth tasted just like any other regular well baked cookies.

Berlin eats. Genau.

11 Jun





I was in Berlin for about a week and a half for work, which was great. I’d never had the opportunity to explore the city previously, and now I finally had a chance to see how cool it is. I love the place – it’s filled with interesting architecture, friendly people, lovely cafes, and to top it off, affordable prices. Can’t wait to go back there again!

Breakfasts

I absolutely love the way yoghurt is served here. There’s a little deli around the corner from the office in Kreuzberg (it’s the Berlin equivalent of London’s Shoreditch), and for most of the week, I would pop in to get a €2 pot of muesli with yoghurt, chocolate and cherry compote.

It’s a cute custom for the German team to get together every Monday morning for breakfast. We had a huge spread of breads, ham, cheese, eggs, chocolate cake and little pots of yoghurt.

The German breads are also absolutely delicious, filled with nuts and seeds. I bought a couple of rolls from a market hall near my apartment, and enjoyed one of them for breakfast over the weekend.

Little eats



I don’t normally eat kebabs, but when you’ve got a very well-regarded kebab stand within walking distance of your apartment, it’s silly not to go and try. Mustafa’s just a little shack by the side of a road outside the Mehringdamm station, but it’s obviously an institution, as when I got there, there was a long queue. It took 45 min of waiting, but it was worth the wait for my durum chock full of fresh veggies and tasty sauces.

Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap
Mehringdamm 32
10961 Berlin


Mention that you’re going to Berlin, and you’re inevitably asked if you’ve tried currywurst. Just a few steps away from Mustafa’s is Curry 36, another institution that purportedly serves one of Berlin’s finest. Sadly, this wasn’t the culinary discovery I was expected. It just tasted like some sausages with ketchup and curry powder. Well, it had to be done.

Curry 36
Mehringdamm 36
10961 Berlin

It’s lucky I came across David Lebovitz’s post on Berlin, as it alerted me to Barcomi’s. There was a branch very close to my apartment (I seemed to be really lucky with my location), so I managed to pop in and buy a slice of New York cheesecake to have with my tea back at home. It was such a little slice of heaven, that when I was around Mitte over the weekend, I popped into the deli and had a slice of caramel cake. The caramel cake was good, but it was definitely the cheesecake that took the cake. Just thinking of that makes my mouth water.

Barcomi’s
Bergmannstraße 21
10961 Berlin

Sophienstr. 21
10178 Berlin

Lunch & Dinner


Quick little sandwich at The Barn


A very welcome bagel while doing a walking tour of Potsdam



Delicious schnitzel the size of my head with vinegared cucumber salad and Radler (beer and lemonade) one lovely evening after work.

Austria
Bergmannstraße 30
10961 Berlin 

Unlike the Korean restaurants in London, ban-chan is served for free here. I had a kimchi pajeon (not pictured), which wasn’t anything special, but the jab chae was pretty tasty. Portions were big, so I ended up doggy-bagging the rest and had it for dinner the next night.

Kimchi Princess
Skalitzer Str. 36
10999 Berlin


There was a lot of Japanese restaurants in Berlin, but I didn’t seem to have any luck finding a good one. This chirashi sushi was one of the better places I ate at.

Cube
Zossener Straße 18
10961 Berlin 



Big bowl of lemongrass tea and wanton soup after a long day of walking around the city

Monsieur Vuong
Alte Schönhauser Str. 46
10119 Berlin

A weekend of eats in Bath

8 May



Hurray for girly weekends! It’s so nice to get away with some friends, take it easy and explore a new place.

Saturday

Breakfast

A rise & shine muffin from Starbucks at one of the big ‘welcome break’ rest stops en route to Bath.

Lunch

After a quick stop to Stonehenge and the Mulberry factory shop (disappointing…things are still expensive) in Shepton Mallet, we got to Bath for a late lunch. When you have 8 hungry girls, anywhere will do. In this case, it was fish & chips (errm, well substituting chips with salad) at Ben’s Pancakes. For a restaurant in a shopping centre, the fish was surprisingly not too bad. Or maybe we were just really hungry.

Ben’s Pancakes
22, The Podium
Bath BA1 5AL

Tea

No girly trip is complete without a cream tea. Scones seem to be very big in Bath. I’m not complaining of course.

Hands
1 Abbey Street
Bath BA1 1NN 

Dinner


Bath seemed to be packed with hen and stag parties and rugby fans for the weekend (there was a Bath vs Newcastle game), so it was almost impossible to get a table for dinner. Since we had a fairly late tea, we decided to buy nibblies from Waitrose to go with our drinkies (my poisons of the night were prosecco and ginger beer) at our cottage* for the night.

We ended up nibbling on:
– 3 kinds of cheeses: goat, brie & Comte with water crackers and Dr Karg seeded spelt crispbread
– Red grapes
– Chicken liver pate
– Cheesy nachos
– Japanese rice crackers
– Salad with cherry tomatoes, olives & artichokes
– Chocolate

Today

Breakfast

Waitrose, I expected more from your croissants. This wasn’t the buttery deliciousness I was expecting.

A light refreshment

While the other girls were at the spa, I decided to visit the Roman baths, which I found extremely enjoyable. Ended the visit by trying some of the spa water. I’m not sure how people could drink a pint of this, because it tasted like iron. Eeew.

Lunch

Sally Lunn is famous for her buns, so they say. We couldn’t get in yesterday for cream tea or Bath buns, so we had lunch here instead. The place does seem to be a little of a tourist trap, since the restaurant is in the oldest house in Bath, but lunch of a steak and mushroom casserole resting on a Thresher bun was very satisfying. I like the idea of resting meat on top of a very large toasted burger-like bun.

Sally Lunn’s
4 North Parade Passage
Bath, BA1 1NX

Dessert

I am greedy, and well, I’m kind of on holiday, so something sweet after lunch is allowed. After some hmming and hawing (and some help from friends), decided on the toffee flapjack from Bridge Coffee Shop on Pulteney Bridge. Sadly, it didn’t taste as good as it looked.

Dinner


– Oyster omelette, shared
– Claypot tofu with mixed vegetables
– Soto soup

Asian girls need Asian food. We headed straight to our favourite Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant for dinner upon arrival in London. It won’t ever taste the same as what we can get back home, but this is as close as it gets. And for me, that’s enough.

C&R Restaurant
52 Westbourne Grove
London W2 5SH

* If you ever find yourself in Bath and want a lovely and affordable place to stay, do stay at Purbeck Holiday Lets. It’s about 15 min drive from the city, but the stunning countryside views around the cottages make up for the remoteness and allow wonderful country walks. We were absolutely charmed by our cottages. It’s perfect for groups or families. There’s a swimming pool and little kiddy playground, with swing, slide and trampoline, which I can assure you is lots of fun, having tested it out myself. The owner, Chris, is just an absolute gentleman. The cottages themselves are really clean, well furnished and thoughtfully equipped with water, coffee, tea, milk and biscuits. Oh, and they have a jacuzzi. ‘Nuff said.