Hebei Days 1 & 2

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I’m back! And with tons of food photos so I better start posting ‘em now or else I will forget. Of course, gonna skip most of the work-related thingy.

Day 1 – Friday

We arrived at Shi Jia Zhuang last week on a Friday afternoon and had dinner at a Korean Fast Food. The place is one of our favorite hang-out this part of Hebei. Not hungry though, we had barbecue.

Fish roe barbecue.

Chicken, lamb and leek.

Day 2 – Saturday

Currently the hotel has 5 operating restaurants. We’d probably be doing another one for the next few months (read: busy days ahead *sigh*). Buffet at Cafe Panorama happens to be our favorite. Well, at least for days since we arrived. Let’s just say I’m having a break from all the cooking I do here in Beijing and enjoyed every minute of it. And so for a while I’d be blogging about restaurant food.

We had heavy breakfast but too hungry I wasn’t able to take photos. So let’s go straight to lunch. For appetizer I had steamed oyster and mussels, Chinese-style roasted chicken wings, fresh vegetable salad with thousand-island dressing.

I think I had little for the main course. That is if you call what I had main course. I just had a slice of freshly cooked pizza, few more pieces of those luscious steamed mussels, a small slice of steak, a piece of deep-fried fish and barbecued chicken wings.

But for dessert… ahh I had a feast. First was a plate of fresh fruits – watermelon, canary melon, honeydew and cherry tomatoes.

And more! A small glass of jelly and that white thingy is such a wonderful treat. The note says Snow Egg in Sake. Yes, the cream has Japanese rice wine and it’s so yummy!


Below is ice cream whipped up by A. He says it’s his rocky road – chocolate with choco and strawberry syrup, assorted nuts and what-nots.

It’s Japanese dinner buffet for the whole month and since A isn’t really into Japanese food, we decided to order ala-carte. South-east Asian. Below is my Hainanese Chicken Rice. I gotta tell it isn’t as good as what we usually have back in Beijing. Honestly, I think my version is a lot better.

A ordered Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and that didn’t disappoint. Absolutely fantastic with lots of seafood stuff in it. The chicken skewers taste like satay sans peanut sauce.

To be continued…

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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