Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Laksa in London

We have been quite fortunate to meet quite a few other expats family during this period. They are very helpful in giving us the practical advices to help us settle in.

This restaurant, Hare and Tortoise was recommended at one of the many wine & dine sessions. After being away from home for so long, it didn't take long for us to head their for some comfort food.

The restaurant is fairly simple and basic, which means hurried (and sometimes appalling) service is expected. Nonetheless this is fine by us as our sole objective is the food... which fortunately didn't disappoint in our few visits. It serves a combination of Malaysia/Singaporean food + Japanese dishes.

Each time, I will go straight for the Laksa (~£7 or S$14)

The laksa is served in a big deep bowl containing hearty rice noodles with a well spiced coconut curry broth. It has generous slices of chicken breast (Londoners fav, btw), squid & whole prawns. The only thing i dislike is the dried garlic slice sprinkled on top. It seems to have been sat in the store for quite long to develop that nasty taste.

J will usually go for the Char Kway Teow (fried flat noodle) - no picture and I blame it on the yummy noodle that J attacked as soon as it is served! It has such good wok-hei!
The little one is not left out - he was enjoying his tamago (egg) sushi. Decent but I must say that it is over priced (at least to me!) at £2.50 (S$5) for 2 pcs.

All in all, we pay about £10 per person (with green tea); a price rather reasonable in London.


Hare and Tortoise
Open 7 days a week
Sunday to Thursday : 12noon to 11.00pm
Friday & Saturday : 12noon to 11.30pm

373 High Street Kensington, London W14 8QZ
Tel: 020 7603 8887

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Condensed Milk

There are several things that I take for granted back at home. Mum's traditional coffee made from "socks" and sweetened with condense milk is one. Condensed Milk is another. Both of which I deeply miss when i am in London.

I remembered my disappointment when I couldn't find the familar tins of condensed milk in the local store. At least not till months later. I recalled with excitement when I finally found Carnation condensed milk in the supermarket - I facebook-ed about it relentlessly about my (over)joy! Then, promptly stocked up lots of that.

One day, I was going thru Mary's blog, and found her post on homemade condensed milk! I bookmarked her post for the longest time as I try to run down my "inventory". Finally got to do it last week :-)

The homemade version is alot more economical and flavourful! The flavour, I think comes from the milk powder & butter, so it helps to get the best you can get. The only thing I am trying to understand is the very minute oily spot floating on my coffee, coming from the butter. But this is only the appearance... there's no smell of butter, for sure.

If you are stranded in a foreign land like me, and need some taste of home, do try making this condensed milk yourself. Easy Peasy!

Homemade Condensed Milk
Recipe from Mary Moh

125g butter
2C sugar
1C boiling water
4C skimmed milk powder (or less)

  1. Put the butter and sugar in the blender and then pour in boiling water. Turn on the blender, and beat at lowest intil well combined.
  2. Add the milk powder 1 cup at a time, blend well after each cup until all is finished. It may look very liquid but will thicken when it cools down.

If it is too thick, it will be difficult to tip it out of the container when left in the fridge. So I used 3 cups of milk powder.

If you need inspiration for recipes using condensed milk - check out here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My First White Christmas

Oh what fun, is to lie on the snow. Ask my favourite niece!

When I first arrived in London last summer, my colleagues gave me advices how to bruce myself for the bitterly cold winter but categorically told me forget about the snow. Snow in London is like snow in Sahara, the wise one said.

Haha, lucky lucky me. Last month, there were 2 snow fall in London. The first one in early Dec - when my family decided we should go to Austria Alps to experience the snow. After few days of enduring the snow in Salzburg, we saw snow falling when our returning plane arrived at London Gatwick Airport!

The 2nd time, when i had my family of 11 over for holiday! We were in Paris when I read about the snow alert on Dec 18 from Met Office. I do not know if I should trust the weather forecast but I shared the alert with my brother-in-law who is so keen to let his kids experience snow.

So when we all came back to London on Dec 18, all eyes on the sky before they draw their verdict if they the Met Office is worth their salt.

The first snow flake ascended on us on that Fri afternoon. But so little that there's only muddy patches here and there. Then it snowed thru the night. When we woke up the next morning, you can see the glistering eyes staring at the thin film of snow in the garden.

Snow knew they can't disappoint my honourable guests; it snowed heavier. By late morning, we had pure white sheet when the kids had lunch by the garden. Boy, we got it!

All the parents dressed up the kids in full attire, and were out in full force. See how much fun they are having!

PS: Dot and all, thanks for coming over. Thanks for bringing us so much goodies that I missed from home, and most importantly, thanks for the 2-week fun we had together!