I've been such a terrible food blogger lately! Far too lazy! And I've actually been forgetting to take pictures of the lovely meals I've been enjoying! Gah. Must make a Chinese New Year resolution!
Going back to before CNY (that's how lazy I've been), J & I took a little lover's break, ran off to Thailand : ) Loads of fun, got some great pictures up on my xanga, so please go and have a little look! I saved the foodie-fotos for this blog ... but really took my time getting them up! When I was loading all the pics, I realised how many meals I forgot to take pictures of! So I'll havta describe them!
First stop, Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. We tried to plan the whole trip online, and so many people raved about the cooking lessons in Thailand, so obviously we had to check it out! It was easy to book online, so that was our first day. It was very well run, although we later discovered that we had many more schools to choose from. The day started with a tour of the markets, which was really useful because we got to learn and ask questions about the local ingredients. The chefs seemed to have a decent knowledge of overseas markets as well, and could tell us if the produce would be easy to find in our home countries.
It was a full day of cooking, very well organised. First the chef would take us into the demo room and show us how to make the dish, then we went out to our ourdoor stations and we each got to have a go at making the dish.
We started with Char Kway Teo, which was simple but yum! We got to eat that straight away, then we got down to business, making lunch - Yellow Chicken Curry, Cashew Chicken, Steam Fish Curry in Banana Leaf with rice. I liked that we were making our own dishes, so that we could make it to our liking ( I adore my asian food SPICY!), but it was a sit down meal, so we could try a little bit of everyone else's. After lunch, we got back to work, making dessert - Banana in Coconut Milk - and a spicy prawn salad. Gorgeous. The dessert was so simply, but I couldn't help but finish it all, even though I was so full from lunch!
My favourite dish had to be the Yellow Chicken Curry, because we paired it with the gorgeous sweet cucumber juice with cucumber chunks - worked so perfectly!!
And that's pretty much where my pictures of Thai food ends! Honestly, I deserve a slap on the wrist, because we had some gorgeous dishes! Our favourites were: Tom Kah Gai - addictive little bitch, real sharp bite! All of the curries we tried were gorgeous, in particular a Red Crab Curry and a Yellow Chicken Curry with yogurt (unusual for a Thai curry?). Also on Koh Chang we were treated to some really beautiful seafood - simple grilled fish every night! One that stood out was a White Snapper swimming in a spicy lemongrass soup, served on a sizzling hotplate-type bowl! I think the dish we order the most times was Papaya Salad!! Gorgeous ...
The lovely J did so much research before we left HK, and it really paid off - the internet is a fantastic resource, and totally free! My Goodness. Anyway, he printed off an article from the NY Times about eating in Bangkok!! How wonderful, it became a little adventure, because the article didn't have any addresses, just sort of described where the restaurants were ... very sneaky way of keeping all the tourists away! And it worked. The restaurant that caught J's eye was 'Polo Fried Chicken' - a little local chicken joint, tucked away on a little side street. Luckily, my wonderful auntie lives in Bangkok and knew what we were talking about!! The chicken was superb, we finished a whole chicken between the 2 of us (and the sweet chilli sauce was fantastic)!! We also got papaya salad, beef-mint salad and palm sugar-beef! We were also given some lettuce leaves to wrap up all the delicious goodies! What a great, healthy idea for any meal! So simple.
Also in Bangkok, we visited the Floating Market. It wasn't as great as I had imagined, but it was really fun eating noodles on that thin little boat, watching all the gorgeous colours of fruit floating by! And talking of fruit, I love that all over Thailand there's fresh fruit, so readily available. Instead of buying a bag of chips or a chocolate bar, there are loads of little stalls on the streets selling fresh pineapple, mangos, papaya, guava, jackfruit, etc! And all you do is choose a nice one, and they're cut it for you! Beautiful! I've just discovered jackfruit - if you're addicted to sweeties, you'll adore jackfruit! Here's a picture of our 'local' papaya man - he was great, really honest, chose me from really fabulous papayas!
Next up - CNY in Kuala Lumpur!
Gotta add, I've been watching alot of Jamie Oliver lately and talk about food porn! Hello Big Fella! An Aussie girl left a great comment in the JO forums about going round to his restaurnt and humping his leg! I know how she feels!
Lastly, ATTENTION foodies from, or who have visited the UK!!! I'm going to be there for 3 weeks in June and I'd like loads of suggestions: where to go, what to do, what to see ... anything!!! I really wanna pack in as much food-fun as I can!!! Thanks guys!