Sweet treats in Athens

Loukoumades

Loukoumades, Greece’s version of a doughnut, is best enjoyed warm, sprinkled with cinnamon,  doused with honey, with a side of vanilla ice cream, and shared (because one serving is huge). Oh, and yes, with Greek coffee of course. I got to try this pastry in Athens last year. I admit it, it’s nothing like my favorite baklava, but it’s a sweet treat that’s great in the afternoon.

Greek coffee

Not so traditional, but delicious all the same was the frozen yoghurt at yogolicious. No, actually, it’s even better. It’s the best frozen yoghurt with toppings I have ever had.

yogolicious

They had rows upon rows toppings – fresh fruits, dried fruits, cereals, chocolate (Maltesers, Kitkat, Kinder Bueno!), sauces, macarons (!), and all things good. Amazing.

yogolicious toppings

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Flashback Friday: colors & chocolate at M&M

{Back in March 2012, I went to London, one of my favorite cities and got caught in a sugar rush at M&M’s World}

We went to M&M’s World in London under the pretense that it’s for our 2 year-old companion Yssa’s entertainment. More than an hour later, it was apparent that all of us grown-ups had just as much fun, maybe even more, as Yssa. Who wouldn’t cheer up with so much color and sweetness?
While my favorite M&M’s flavor is peanut butter (I think it also might be the most fattening), I was on a mission to find the dark chocolate variety. I discovered them in New York and must have bought them at Duane Reade or CVS (seriously, I love drugstores). My friends and I munched the chocolate  and Combos while having wine (we so classy). We loved the dark choc M&M’s and thought would find them at the airport, but couldn’t. Sadly they weren’t available in London yet*.
With 4 floors filled with merchandise, sweets and the lovable mascots that make for great photo opps, M&M’s world is like a small amusement park. For a chocolate junkie like me, it’s better than Disneyland.
I really loved this wall with 22 colors of chocolate candies. 

 

I couldn’t help filling a bag with my favorite colors plus white because according to the Official Colour Analyser, white is my color mood.

 

Festive! Wouldn’t mind celebrating with a bottle of that 🙂

 

Yssa approves

 

 

Red looking very official

 

recreating The Beatles crossing Abbey Road! so cute!
side note: I passed Abbey Road twice by bus, but couldn’t quite figure out where this famous crossing is. Another excuse to go back to my beloved LDN 🙂

1 Swiss Court
Westminster, London WC2H 7
(in Leicester Square)

Store Hours:

Monday-Saturday: 10am-Midnight
Sunday: Noon-6pm
* one week later, my colleague went to New York and got me a big bag of M&M’s Dark Chocolate ❤

let them eat cake

…and by them, I really mean us. I know how pretty and portable cupcakes and cake pops are, but to me, it’s warmer in July so I’m not really worried about the Mayweather, you know* it’s real cake slices that take the cake. There’s nothing like that perfect triangle and working your way through with the fork, piece by piece. Cake slices are also great for sharing. Just put the plate in the middle of table, get a few forks, and share the goodness and split the calories. It’s what my friends and I do when we pretend to diet but want to treat ourselves to something sinfully good.

After my pre-birthday brunch at Motto am Fluss,  my friends and I went to Café Landtmann for dessert. Strawberry season just started, so some of us ordered strawberry-based cakes.

cakeMy strawberry pistachio cake.

cake Gift-opening time!

cakeRox’s strawberry shortcake

So pretty and so delicious, those cakes. It’s Friday, look away from the screen now and get some cake! TGIF!

* quoted from Drake as Manny Pacquiao

Mochi

It’s my dad’s birthday, and a major one at that, he’s 60 today! He was named after Apolinario Mabini, a Philippine hero and fellow Batangenyo who was born on the 23rd of July. His/their birthday is always special because it’s an official holiday in Batangas. I badly wish I could celebrate with him, but I’m so far away. 😦 It’s not very festive right now in Batangas though, as the province was hit by Typhoon Glenda.

While we may not be celebrating with a party, special occasions such as these deserve a nice meal. Or a little foodporn. A few weeks ago, I went to Mochi in Vienna’s second district. I sometimes walk past it because I love the neighborhood, and I had a quick snack there once, but I wanted a proper sit-down meal. Since it’s always packed and you have to reserve weeks in advance, it must be good.

MochiI ordered the Mochi Delight plate.

 

MochiSake Teriyaki for my friend Apa

Mochi
Mochi   For dessert, the namesake treat: Mochi

Corfu food tips!

Gather ’round because I’ve got a few Corfu food tips for ya. Ready?

❤ Try Pastitsada, a Corfiot specialty made of slow-cooked, really tender beef, tomato sauce, and pasta. Did I mention the beef was really tender? Because it was; it was really tender. This is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect with wine.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Order a Meze, or appetizer plate. There is usually a choice of cold and warm plates, but a combination of both is the best. If it’s not on the menu, ask the waiter if you can get a mixed cold and warm plate – they’re usually happy to mix it up. A mix of meats, cheeses, vegetables, breads, and dips, an order is enough to be a meal for two.

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Get a baklava, but ask how big the serving will be. I was shocked to see the pizza slice-sized baklava on my table. Because it is very sweet, it is perfect with Greek coffee. Caution: Greek coffee is rather on the bitter side, so order it to be sweetened – you’ll be asked if you want it regularly sweet or super sweet (okay not in those words).

Corfu food tips

 

❤ Oh, and most importantly, enjoy the view while eating. It’s okay if you can’t decide what to focus on, the taste or the view. I know you’re on vacation, but this is a moment to multi-task.

Corfu food tipsThis was my view while I ate the Meze platter.

 

Corfu food tipsAnd this was my view while enjoying the Baklava.

Ahhhh-mazing.
Happy eating!

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
– Orson Welles

 

Comfort food in Cologne

Comfort Food in Cologne

It’s always nice to find something that reminds you a little of home when you’re traveling. I went to Feynsinn Café, which the Wallpaper* City Guide listed as one of the restaurants with delightful ambience and hearty food in Cologne. It was tempting to go for one of  the burgers with sumptuous descriptions in the menu and organic ingredients, or delicious home-made pasta with fresh tomatoes from the café/restaurant’s own garden. When I saw that there was Leberkäse, (a type of meatloaf) on the menu, though, I had to order it. In Vienna, a Leberkäse in bread is what I would usually buy from a snack stand or the meat section of a supermarket for a quick and delicious meal. Feynsinn’s version was like a gourmet version of my favorite comfort food. One bite into it and all was fine and good again.

Feynsinn Café
Rathenauplatz 7
50674 Cologne
Germany

Try New Things Tuesday: Taipei edition

TNT Tuesday - Taipei

I think the easiest, and probably best way to try new things is to try a new dish. The receptionist at the hotel I stayed at in Taipei, Ambience Hotel, suggested I take the subway to Dongmen to have the best dimsum in the city. I’ve read a lot of travel tips about the best dim sum being served at Din Tai Fung, but I also read about its really long queues and it being a tourist trap, so a great alternative was very welcome. I quickly looked it up online and read a great review with some photos, and off I went to Dongmen. Only problem? I didn’t know what the great dim sum place was called. I got off at Dongmen, asked one of the employees at the subway station where Dongmen dim sum was. She only understood Dongmen and pointed at the station sign. Then I remembered the magic word one of the only few words I knew in Chinese: xiao long bao. She immediately got it, pointed me to the right exit and told me it was 10 steps (or maybe 10 meters) away. I was so glad I read the online review with the photos because I wouldn’t have  recognized the restaurant’s entrance, which only had Chinese characters on it.

I had to wait for a few minutes to get a table at Kao-Chi . I was given a menu with an overwhelming array of choices. I wanted to order two kinds of dim sum, but the waitress told me that one order was really big, so I asked her which one was the best. A few minutes later, this arrived:

TNT Tuesday - Taipei

Ten pieces of hot and steamy pork dim sum. As I bit into the first one, hot soup spilled out. Startling for a newbie like me, but sooo good. I thought ten pieces would be too many, but they were just so good, I ate all ten. After that, I kept thinking that I could never eat fast food dim sum ever again. I’d go back to Taipei just for the xiao long bao. Sigh.

TNT Tuesday - Taipei

I didn’t get to try the Taiwanese hotdog at the night market, so I was really happy that one of the food stalls at the airport served it. Known locally as Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang, it is pork sausage wrapped in a sticky rice sausage. It reminded me of the Filipino longganisa, but bigger, handier, and (sorry) better. I couldn’t have ended my Taipei trip better.