Distinctly Halo-halo with a Twang!

I have always thought that halo-halo – a popular dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice, fruits and what-nots – is something that only Filipinos have. But traveling through Asian countries, even living in one situated in the southeast and one in northern Asia, I have found out that mixing fruits and anything sweet with shaved ice definitely appeals to the Asian palate.

Halo-halo means ‘mix’. The usual ingredients or at least those that I like to get into my glass of halo-halo include mung beans, minatamis na saging na saba, nata de coco, kaong, macapuno, pinipig and sago, topped with ube and leche flan. Love it with lots of milk.

Then, there is air batu campur (pronounced ayir-batu-champur) or simply called ABC in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. Guess what air batu campur means? Air batu literally means ‘stone water’ or ice and campur means… ‘mix’! Coincidence? It is also known as ais kacangais for ‘ice’ and kacang (pronounced ka-chang) meaning ‘beans’. Mung bean is a main ingredient, and so it is in our very own halo-halo. I tell you it’s very much similar to our famous dessert but with ingredients native to these countries and more to their palate.


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I Wished for Peking Duck and Got it for my Birthday!

Where else to enjoy the best Peking duck but in Peking! It’s been a while since we enjoy this most famous Beijing dish and ‘ve been telling A how much I crave for it… especially when I saw Connie’s post. We just received some fabulous news and to celebrate it together with my birthday, A treated us (the 3 of us plus friends) to a wonderful lunch at this government-owned Chinese restaurant frequented by local Beijingers as well as local Chinese tourists.

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In Search of a Magazine for Expats

A couple of months ago, we went to the newest theme park in Beijing. The kiddo’s actually been bugging us about it even months before its opening day last year but has been quite busy and waiting for the right time… like spring. So when a friend gave us complimentary tickets sponsored by a magazine for expats – free entrance and rides, the kid was really ecstatic! At one point during our day at the park, I saw the magazine’s photographer taking our son’s photo. The stage mom in me got excited it might get published. After a week, we saw not only 1 but around 5 photos in their website! My, we didn’t even notice that guy around us while we were having so much fun! Another week passed by and my friend who gave us the tickets informed me to get the latest issue. And so our hunt for the magazine began.

Got our copies (yeah, we took the last 2 copies) from our favorite hawker-style Singaporean Restaurant. Of course, it’s just proper that we should also enjoy the food. We had Chicken Rice, one of the best we’ve had in the country’s capital.

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Back from Hebei

I just got back from Beijing from a week-long on-site job and feel oh so tired. Work was more exhausting and more late nights spent. I was also not in the mood of photographing food like last time but of course, I just have to share some. It was a much-needed break though… not to cook that long. Hopefully tomorrow I’d be back to my normal food blogging.

It’s Chinese culture to drink wine and liquor while dining. And it’s improper to say no to a toast. Lunch time and our Client gave a toast A couldn’t say no to. He gave me his third shot. Ahahaha! 58% alcohol and my head spun around!

Chinese fried noodles, chicken lollipops, baked scallop, spicy pork ribs, celery and shrimp salad.

Spicy chicken curry, steamed shrimps and mussels, steak in pepper sauce, fresh sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, steamed green leafy vegetables.

I enjoyed Japanese food very much especially Sashimi.

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Hebei Days 7 & 8 and Back to Beijing!

See Hebei Days 5 & 6

Note: Photo to your left is A‘s ice cream; background shows a view of the capital’s train station.

Day 7 – Thursday
I guess I had too much salad greens and my tummy is so used to my cooking I didn’t feel good on the 7th day. I didn’t have dinner the night before except for a few bites and had a glass of Chinese tea for breakfast. For lunch I decided to skip the fibers and go more meaty and carb. Slices of deep-fried crispy pork, deep-fried duck, Urimqi-flavored lamb, barbequed eel and fried Chinese noodles. I just can’t help but get Waldorf salad and a piece of that delightful cream puff topped with peaches.

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Hebei Days 5 & 6

See Hebei Day 4.

Day 5 – Tuesday

Day 5, which was exactly a week ago, was still a busy day. For lunch on our fifth day, mixing appetizer and main course is as natural as breathing. I had my seafood platter – oyster, mussels, clams and crab with fresh veggie salad on the side.

My usual steak, steamed seafood and potato salad are now mixed with bacon-wrapped sausages, deep-fried chicken lollipops, and spicy steamed fish head and mussels.

Slices of fresh fruits, yoghurt cotta and… tada! Snow egg with sake for 5 consecutive days!

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Hebei Days 3 & 4

See Hebei Days 1 & 2

Day 3 – Sunday

Rest day. We had breakfast at KFC as requested by the kiddo. We went around checking what Shi Jia Zhuang has to offer. For years, we’ve been so swamped up with work in this town we seldom go out. This time we spent the morning window shopping. Drooled over brand new laptops, checked out the prices of 2nd hand ones and found lots of places to buy cheap clothes. Even high-end shopping centers offer large discount for summer outfits. Oh well… summer will soon be over anyway.

Back to Cafe Panorama for lunch. For appetizer, I still had steamed mussels and oyster, plus succulent shrimps, deep-fried hard-boiled eggs, fresh vegetable salad and a bowl of hearty minestrone soup.

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