The Friday Five – Inspired by our travels



MGG and I are on a countdown as 5 weeks today we will be heading to Australia by way of Hong Kong, and we can’t wait. Neither of us have been to Australia, and I’m really excited about showing MGG my favourite parts of Hong Kong.

As usual, my best housesitters will be in residence, so wondering if I should leave them some appropriate cookbooks, or if that would just be rubbing salt into the wounds of not being on the trip. Well, on the offchance that it’s ok, then these would be on my list:


Dim Sum Small Bites Made Easy


Dim Sum: Small Bites Made Easy – I guarantee we will pack in a lot of dim sum during our two days in Hong Kong. I could happily live on dim sum during those two days, but have never attempted to make any at home. Maybe this would encourage me to give it a go. Though I’m still not sure I’d get the hang of the crimp on a Shanghai dumpling!


Easy Hong Kong Cooking


Easy Hong Kong Cooking at Home – I’ve not had a home cooked meal during my trips to Hong Kong, and I’m not entirely sure what would characterise Hong Kong cooking. Like in most major cities I’ve eaten many cuisines whilst I’ve been in the city, but never quite known what people cook at home. So this book has me quite intrigued!


bills sydney food


Bill’s Sydney Food – so, in my imagination, all Australian’s live like Bill Granger. Not to mention eat like his recipe books read. I love his books, and I know it’s summer when I reach for them. I’m thinking that even if I don’t get to eat at one of his places in Australia then maybe I’ll treat myself to this book as a lovely reminder of hopefully great meals we will have had.


the cook's companion


The Cook’s Companion – I’m told that Stephanie Alexander’s book is considered a must have in Aussie kitchens, so could be a good addition. I like some of her later books, which reflect the work she’s gone on to do in education around kitchen gardens, so definitely think it’s worth a look.




Quay: Food Inspired by Nature – I don’t imagine that we’ll be eating at Quay (although guess we could press our noses against the window) but Peter Gilmore is definitely one of Sydney’s poster boys on the restaurant front. I have featured it before when I wrote about my five Wizards of Oz, never imagining that 3 years later I’d be going past his front door. Still love the look of it as a book though.

We are so excited about this trip, and look forward to sharing stories when we get back. In the meantime, if anyone has any hints, tips or recommendations for Sydney, Alice Springs or Port Douglas then would love to hear from you!

Photo by Ankur Gulati on Flickr.


Food reflections on Hong Kong


If you follow me on Twitter, you may know I’ve been out in Hong Kong recently for work, but I did manage to squeeze in some eating, and some food orientated shopping. Here’s a just a few thing that were either good to eat, or caught my eye!


Automatic pancake maker in Hong Kong. I almost want one.


My favourite bit of hotel breakfast automated kit: push the button and out pops an American style pancake 60 seconds later. Is this what you want to put on it though:


Mabel syrup anyone?


Are there enough scrubbing brushes in your kitchen? Well, I found three more you might need.


Scrubbing brushes for every chore in your kitchen


My team always worry I might bring them back something “edible”. Lucky for them, I passed on the packets of dried octopus.


Dried Octopus to snack on anyone?


Though if you wanted a cheap lunch, look at this sushi: four California rolls for under £3 and salmon sashimi for £4.


Sushi time, Hong Kong style

But for a hot lunch, then this was my choice: pork and ginger gyoza, fried rice and a drink for £5. Freshly prepared and cooked in front of me, in a matter of minutes, at the food court at City Super, one of my fave places for a quick meal.


Pork Gyoza at City Super


I love Hong Kong, and any time there is a real pleasure. Even in 98% humidity.


48 hours of eating to and from Hong Kong


Not much to say, other than don’t travel with a fussy vegetarian who doesn’t like Chinese food! How can I have been to Hong Kong and had no Chinese food, at all? It’s a travesty.

Here’s kind of the start to finish:


Vanilla Brulee Crumble with Sour Cherries
Vanilla Brulee Crumble with Sour Cherries


Asparagus & black truffle risotto at Scala


Fast food at White Spot, Pacific Place


Flossy pork rolls


A Virgin Redhead to see me on the way home


Going to Birmingham next week, perhaps more chance of Chinese food on that trip!