Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sweet and Sour Black Pompret

Mum likes to buy black pompret from her friend's fishing trawler. But I really don't know another nicer way to cook black pompret besides sweet and sour, and of course umai in my previous blog, or maybe the mango fish style. Black Pompret is somehow nicer if you deep fry and coat it with sauce, or dip in Maggi or Thai chilli sauce, with a little dark soya sauce.

The Fish:
600gm of black pompret, approximately, or can be bigger
2tbsp of cooking wine like huatiaw
1-2 teasp of salt
2-3 tbsp of cornflour
3-4 cups of frying oil

1) Clean pompret of its internal and make slits on the tummy on both sides. Strain and season with salt and huatiaw. Leave it to dry up on a strainer in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

2) Coat generously with cornflour. Heat up oil in a wok till hot enough for frying. Fry each side with medium fire till cook and crispy. Then turn fire to high to quick fry for 30 sec to 1 min on each side to seal the crispiness. Let it stand to strain off excess oil while preparing the sauce.

The Sauce:

4-5 tbsp of tomato sauce
1- 2 tbsp of chilli sauce (Maggi or Thai style or both)
1 tbsp of light soya
2 tbsp of white vineger or juice from one juicy lemon
1 cup of water + 1 tbsp of cornstarch
2 - 3 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of chopped onion
2 no large tomatos, cut to wedges
2 no of chilli or 1/2 no green and red bell pepper, de-seeded and cut to strips

1) Mix all the liquid and sugar: sauces, water and sesame oil in a bowl.

2) With one tablespoon of oil, lightly fry onion till fragrant. Then add tomatos, chillis and continue stir frying.

3) Add the sauce mixture and bring to a light boil.

4) Pour mixture on top of fish and serve with rice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

London Day 2: King's Cross Station

After our failed trip to Smithfield, we took a bus back to King's Cross Station. This is one of the most central & busiest stations in London. From the map, it looks like most tubes and buses will pass through this station, making it one of the main station in London. Of course the British National Rail also stops for travellers to other part of England.
In fact, the place was so packed with so many people that it fulfilled every single requirement for a terrorist bomb attack in 2005.

We knew about the bombing on 7th July 2005 but we were of course not aware of the fact that this THE Station and the bomber started at King Cross towards the Russell Square station, until Nee's cousin Sophia informed us later on, with a straight face. Then we saw the memorial.

It was just yesterday 8th July 2008 that we took the tube from Heathrow straight down to King's Cross. Little did we know that the day before that was the anniversary of the attack. By right, this realisation should have sent shivers down our spines. But we just thought, 'cool'.

It was a bit like stepping on dog poo. When you've accidentally done it, it's done. There's no point being afraid anymore. Anyway, we were sort of lackadaisal about it cos we knew our entire cell group back in Malaysia was praying for our safe trip heheheh. Thank you guys. Great Job! We are back in two pieces.

As with most British historical buildings, this place exudes a sense of wonder about it - about how old the place is, how long it has been there, & the whole history that it came with.

Marks & Spencer is as British as it is going to get. This is one of it's smaller sized-down outlets, much like a 7-Eleven concept.

Imagine if Parkson Grand, Choice or Ta Khiong did something similar like this.

Oh, this is about the cheapest breakfast that you'll be able to find in the whole of London. NEE: I am still salivating looking at the baguettes and sandwiches and thinking of the bread.

We read that Harry Potter was filmed at King's Cross station at Platform 9 3/4 for the scene when he had to run INTO the platform to get to Hogswarth.

Well, we couldn't get to Platform 9 cos we were keeping a close watch on time, but this was close.

We found that staying near King's Cross was very convenient. Some people say that it's not a very good area, but I suppose that's to the immediate east of the station. Anyway, it's always best to avoid any tube stations when it get's empty late into the night.

We found Argyle Square (a road opposite to the Station) to be a very clean & safe neighbourhood, surrounded by reputable B&B hotels.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

London Day 2: The Smithfield Market

We woke up really early in the morning like 6 am London time due to the time difference and with time to kill before our ride to Paris, we visited Smithfield Market. Now, we thought that the best place to see the local people & their culture would be at the wet market. Well, we thought right, but it was on a wrong day.
It was the wrong day not because it was rainy, cold & wet. It wasn't also because we walked something like half a mile before we realised that we'll never get there (Like Japanese maps, British maps are unreliable according to actual distance), & we took a bus in the end. Nee's Hush Puppies got so wet that they started opening a hole at the front of her shoe. No, despite all these, they were not the reason for the wrong day.
We could have endured all of the above. It was the wrong day to go to the market because it wasn't opened! Someone told us that the market might not be open that day, but that defied our logic (what market only opens during the weekend????), so we thought we were smarter. Well, hello, obviously we were not locals.

There were not much activity there at the market. It was slow. In fact, it was slower than slow. This is what you say when something is slower than slow.

That's right. Dead slow.

Nothing was open, except for the meat market, which was ..... closing. And as we just picked the closest market in the map to our hotel, this is actually a Wholesale market. So on normal days, we would not be able to do much too.

So in the end, we only had a history lesson as a consolation.

The wonderful thing about London is that almost every building & place had a history of it own.

And the history of these places are much way way way older than the nations of Malaysia, Australia, Canadia or the US. It really makes you think again the significance of their history in relation to ours.

Imagine back in those days, people openly carry out executions in public places for all to see, including young children. In today's ratings, that'd be SG18 (Exreme Violence).

And the selling of one's wife at the market would deserve an SX18.

Monday, July 28, 2008

London Day 2: The First English Breakfast

Oh, I forgot to post a picture of the hotel that we were staying in London on our first night. This is how it looked like from the outside, on Argyle Square on a wet morning.

The hotels here are quite peculiar. Most of them used to be residential homes, with their own entrances & backyards, with a limited number of rooms, & limited rooms with bathrooms ensuite. So a hotel here means that it consists of several units of these individual homes. When we registered at the main entrance, we took the key, & had to walk out out past a couple of these units before we reach the unit where our room was.

Our room overlooked a beautiful quiet garden, where we took our fish and chips the night before. By the way, it was summer in London and temperature is between 12 to 21 deg cel. A cardigan or jacket would be nice to bring along.

The good thing about The European Hotel was that it was inclusive of breakfast. And that morning, we got a seat by the window, facing the backyard.

And when the English bread & butter came, we knew our holiday had officially started.

The English bread is one of the best that we've ever tasted. They were compact, silky fine, & yet with the right balance of chewiness. And their butter is the most excellent - light, creamy & soft. The feeling is like finally finding the most perfect pillow after a long search.

English eggs have very healthy & attractive orange coloured yolks. Even though the sausage was a bit bland (the taste couldn't really come out but English sausages are freshly made and most of us are so used to American hotdogs that eating these sausages is sort of like any acquired taste), & the bacon was a tact bit salty, we were still extremely happy with it. On the street though, a full English breakfast would cost anything between £3 to £8 (RM 20 to RM55).

This was our very first authentic English breakfast in London, & our Happy-O-Meter is bursting with excitement.

Nuffnang Ad