Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tropical Fruit Farm@Ho Chi Minh City - WW

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sweet tasting Vietnamese fruits

Our second day in Ho Chi Minh city, we went island hopping on the Mekong Delta where the people make their living as farmers and fishermen. The majority of Vietnam's fruits come from the many orchards here. We were going to visit a fruit farm and later have lunch in a fish farm.

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                                                  riding a horse cart

Four of us rode on a rickety cart as the horse trotted through a rustic village to our destination. The sun was scorching hot and we were sweating profusely. Luckily the ride lasted only 15 minutes. It was fun. :)

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We arrived at a lush tropical gardens to sample tropical fruits. Many of the fruits are easily available in Singapore. 5 small plates of cut fruits were shared among a table of 6 people. They didn't serve us their famous dragonfruit.

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While we snacked on tropical fruits, there was a live traditional music performance. After singing 3 songs, they came around with baskets to collect $$$. :D

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Half an hour later, we found ourselves seated on a sampan, cruising down a canal. Four persons to a row boat, we had to sit quite still and hold on to the sides of the small boat while a Vietnamese lady did the rowing. It was not easy for me to take good photos with only one free hand. LOL

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Along the canal were lots of nipah palms. Their fruits called attap chee are sweet, translucent, gelatinous balls used as a dessert ingredient in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

At the end of the canal, our ferry was waiting. Time for our late lunch. Hungryyy.







Friday, April 11, 2014

Elephant Ear Fish@ Ho Chi Minh City - PhotoHunt

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 The Kissing Elephant Ear Fish :P

PhotoHunt theme : Ginormous/ Stones

We spent a day island-hopping, exploring the natural beauty of the Mekong Delta to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Walking on dusty dirt roads as we passed through a village to the next stop, we often saw piles of bricks and stones outside dilapidated houses. The owners are probably making a good living with the hundreds of tourists descending on their village daily. ;)

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After visiting a honey bee farm and a candy factory, about mid-day we were absolutely famished when we arrived at a fruit tree farm. After snacking on some local fruits, we had a thrilling ride on a sampan into the deeper canals of the Mekong river to find lunch.

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We had a unique lunch set in a pagoda restaurant, surrounded by lotus and koi on the Mekong Delta. 

The moment the eight of us seated ourselves around the table, a waiter plopped a pair of ginormous Osphronemus Exodon or Elephant Ear Gouramis as its commonly known before us. A waitress followed with a ginormous sticky rice ball and placed it in front of me.

Every one whipped out their camera phones and snapped away, not allowing the service staff to touch the two items until we had taken photos to our hearts' content. LOL 
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Gutted and deep fried, then propped up on a plate between wooden chopsticks, the fish has a sweet and succulent flesh which is meaty. Deep fried with its scales on, the whole fish including its fins and scales are all edible. :)

The waiter picked off the flesh and together with local herbs (such as mint, cucumber basil), and noodles are placed in wafer thin rice pancakes which are tightly rolled and dipped into a Muoc Cham fish sauce.

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yummy fish wrapped in rice paper

We had fried chicken, deep fried cassava balls, steamed prawns and a vegetable soup.

This local Mekong cuisine is served at Diem Phuong Restaurant. After lunch we returned back to Ho Chi Minh City.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Que Delicioso With Christian Escribà and Patricia Schmidt - WW

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Spanish pastry chefs sharing their knowledge and techniques of chocolate creations

I was selected to participate in an exclusive, invitation-only, media session with pastry power couple Christian Escribà and Patricia Schmidt at ToTT.

We were treated to light refreshments with a free flow of drinks before the event started.

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Chef Patricia Schmidt checking on my work

At Que Delicioso with Christian Escribà and Patricia Schmidt, I got the chance to make my own delectable and beautiful chocolate creations under the chefs’ watchful eyes!
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playful Chef Christian stressing me out 

Chef Christian showed us some of his magnificent creations before we proceeded to the kitchen to make our own chocolates.

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crazy skull game set

Each of the participants was given a crazy skull game set and an apron. After putting on the apron, we watched a demonstration on the preparation of a habanero filling and two chocolate pastes.

The chefs had prepared the chocolate pastes in advance, so we just needed to pipe them into the moulds.

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Piping a nutty chocolate paste over my deadly habanero mixture. Who's gonna pick the chilli skull? *evil smile*

What a fantastic dessert to bring to a party! ;)

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Sporty Chef Christian played Russian Roulette with us. One of these chocolate skulls contains a spicy chilli filling. Who would get to taste it? Would Chef Christian be the unfortunate guy?

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A goody bag from ToTT and Escriba Asia  

Two unlucky participants ate the chilli skulls. I was so relieved I was not the one to pick it. *Phew*

Chef Christian and Chef Patricia autographed their books for us and we had a group picture before calling it a night.

The world’s first confectionery extravaganza, Fantasìa by Escribà (22 to 24 August), is slated to take place at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre Halls D and E in closer proximity to Bayfront MRT station for easier access to visitors arriving by train.

A world’s first unique concept bringing together fantasy, artistry and theatre, Fantasìa by Escribà will be a spellbinding showcase made of chocolate, pastry and sugar led by the pastry chefs and their team of pastry aficionados.

Spanning 8,000m² of exhibition space, Fantasìa by Escribà will feature eye-popping exhibitions ranging from a chocolate waterfall, life-sized chocolate animals and a 6m tall wedding cake surrounded by a 10m long edible wall.

Tickets priced at $38 for children aged 12 and below and at $58 for all others for the morning showcase (10am to 2pm). The evening showcase (4pm to 8pm) will cost $58 for kids aged 12 and below and $98 for all others. Midnight @ Fantasia, an 18-above event, will run on Aug 23 from 10pm to 1am. Tickets are priced at $188. Tickets are now available at www.fantasiaescriba.com

ToTT, 856 Dunearn Road, Singapore 589472

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