Some people go to London for the shopping. Others go for Musicals. I go for the food – in this case, for Ottolenghi.
For those of you who’ve never heard of Ottolenghi, it is a delicatessen owned by British-based chef and cookery writer, Yotam Ottolenghi. Known as the man who ‘sexed up vegetables’, Ottolenghi takes the humble bean and turns it into a spectacular affair. His food, though it may seem simple at first, is complex in colour and flavour. Ottolenghi himself describes it as “full of harmonious contradictions: it’s vibrant and bold yet familiar and comforting; it’s beautiful to look at yet close to its original form; it’s full of surprising drama yet always comes together as one; it’s noisy yet peaceful, lip-smacking yet warm, simple yet daring.”
If you ever do find yourself in London, I highly recommend a visit to at least one of the 4 delis (Notting Hill, Spitalfields, Islington, Belgravia). It’s definitely worth it.
Today is an incredibly exciting day for me. Today is the day that I get to share with you my latest project – NOOK.
Opening in July 2015, Nook is a creative and positive space offering wholehearted food, drinks and a thoughtful curation of everyday products.Inspired by the slow movement, Nook caters to those wanting more then just a place to eat and drink. It’s a place that encourages connectedness and creativity.
As soon as you step into Nook, you’ll feel a sense of community. It’s green. It’s inviting. It smells (and looks) nice. But most importantly, it’s a space that encourages you to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.
Like SAAT and A.HA, Nook combines my passion for all things lovely. It has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember, and today I get to share this dream with you. So if you have a moment, please visit our website and see what we’re about. I hope that you will get as much out of it as I do.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Okay, so today I’ve decided to interject all the Vietnamese dishes that I’ve been posting recently with a Cambodian favourite; Noodle Soup with Braised Beef. A popular dish in Southern parts of Cambodia, particularly in Muslim communities, this soup has a slightly sweet yet aniseed-y taste. I have to admit I had never tasted this dish until today. My my, was I impressed. Consisting of rice noodles, braised beef, carrots, onions, chilli, herbs and spices swimming in a fiery red broth, it was the featured breakfast today at The Strand – Knai Bang Chatt. Those of you who are regular visitors to a.ha will know that I’m a huge fan of Knai Bang Chatt. It really is one of my favourite places in the world…and now with this new dish to entice me, there’s one more reason to love it.
I could eat this dish all day, everyday. Consisting of steamed rice cake, lettuce, herbs, peanuts, shallots, chilli, Asian spices and grilled pork which has been marinated for several hours in lemongrass, this dish, known to locals as Bańh Hoí Thìt Núońg, is commonly found all over South East Asia. Each country has their own variation of this dish. For example in Cambodia they tend to add coconut milk and dried shrimps, but I must admit the best versions I’ve had (other than my mum’s) are the Vietnamese versions. This comes as no surprise though seeing as it originated it Vietnam. Served with a dressing made of carrots, daikon, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar, it’s one of those dishes that you can’t seem to get enough of.