Hebei Days 3 & 4

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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.

Steak, barbeque chicken wings, fish and squid balls. Veggies were fried potatoes, steamed florets of broccoli and a slice of aubergine pizza.

For dessert, the usual suspects – a glass of jello, a plateful of sliced fresh fruits and the heavenly sake-soaked egg white cream. I also grabbed a small portion of custard cake thinking it would taste like our very own leche flan. Looks like it but that’s the end of it. It lacks the sweetness of condensed milk.

As you can see from the photos above, we had a feast and we expect more days like this ahead so we decided we’d have slices of cakes for dinner from the hotel’s pastry and bakeshop. Sorry, no decent photos.

Day 4 – Monday

Monday and we’re back to work. To save time, we had our breakfast in bed. Coffee and freshly baked croissants and again, no decent photos. The free breakfast was then snubbed since then.

Day 4 and I decided the heck with appetizer before the main course. I just grabbed my plate and go straight to what I want ( ala-typical pinoy in a barrio fiesta). There are lots of available dishes that I didn’t take though. I could have grabbed some more of those authentic northern Chinese food for the sake of food blogging but I still go for those I know I will like. I stay away from something that’s too Northern Chinese.

I still grabbed my favorite seafood delight – steamed mussels, clams and oyster. Steak and barbecue chicken. I scooped few pieces of sauteed mussels in chili sauce and a little bit of that spicy pork spareribs. I also had Japanese maki and potato salad to help wash away the chili flavor afterwards.

Oh well, I just can’t resist that snow egg with sake. This time, I also took a slice of chocolate mousse and a serving of that delectable yogurt cotta. While waiting for the boys to finish their ice cream, I grabbed a couple of sliced watermelons and a goblet of mousse with I don’t know what else is in it. That was absolutely delightful.

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.

6 thoughts on “Hebei Days 3 & 4

  1. Wow everything looks havenly !! Iska, I’m trying to look for your email on your site and can’t find it. Is it ok if you email me at gypsysoul73_AT_gmail_DOT_com . I would really appreciate it, thanks so much! :)

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