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By barbaraian, Oct 17 2014 03:51AM

That's right, over the Summer we jetted off to Vietnam for a few days, and it was GOOD!


Grab a tea a biscuit, it is going to be a picture heavy post.




My gorgeous man
My gorgeous man

We jetted off for a long weekend in the sun, to meet a couple of friends from Portugal who were travelling around Vietnam.


It always pains me to leave the kids behind (this was my second time leaving the kids for a few days).


So we flew out mid afternoon and totally arrived on time for a quick drink and dinner, which is just what we needed. It was a short and sweet flight from Macau to Da Nang. Had a small drive to Hoi An and we were settled in our hotel.


After a bit of relaxing and a bubble bath, we jumped in a cab and headed towards the old part of town. Let me tell 'ya I was pleasantly surprised! Having travelled all aroun Southeast Asia, Hoi An is a town I am definitely going back to!


It is so clean and organized. You don't feel cheated by local taxis or anyone else for that matter, it just makes for a really pleasant holiday. Totally recommend it!



Our first sight of the Old Town
Our first sight of the Old Town




Dinner!
Dinner!

Believe it or not, we ended up in a little Italian place and not only was it absolutely amazing, we went back a couple of days later. It was that good!



We started with a swordfish carpaccio
We started with a swordfish carpaccio


Followed by a super-thin-crust pizza and fish ravioli
Followed by a super-thin-crust pizza and fish ravioli


We couldn't believe how good everyhting tasted...
We couldn't believe how good everyhting tasted...



The fish ravioli
The fish ravioli


After the surprisingly unexpected delicious dinner and a bottle of wine we merrily explored the old town. Most things shut quite early, so we didn't really have the chance to see much. But it did give us an idea what Hoi An is all about. It is laied back and people are super nice. I actually saw people pick up "trash" off the floor and disposing of it in the closest bin. We should all do the same in our own cities! How wonderful would that be?



It is a picture perfect town!
It is a picture perfect town!


How wonderful are these lights?
How wonderful are these lights?



Photographer's paradise
Photographer's paradise


Magical!
Magical!


Little market on the other side of the river
Little market on the other side of the river


On the way home we stopped for a wee drink
On the way home we stopped for a wee drink


pictures, pictures, pictures
pictures, pictures, pictures


They were playing old B&W movies outdors. How cool is that?!
They were playing old B&W movies outdors. How cool is that?!

Off to bed we went...

By barbaraian, Aug 11 2014 04:34AM

Quick foody post, as many of my last posts seem to be.


The weekend arrived as quickly as it left. We had a great dinner party at ours. I was way too busy, alas no pictures. Will.not.happen.again!


We did end up going for a handmade noodly brunch at the Grand Lisboa. Oh... the Grand Lisboa. For those of you who don't know it, here is what it looks like.



The Grand Lisboa
The Grand Lisboa

It has topped most of the "Ugliest Building in the World" charts. But to be quite honest, it is one of Macau's main attractions. It is always, always packed.




Up close
Up close

We'd been literally craving and dreaming about noodles for ages. And what better place to go to than the handmade noodle corner place at Grand Lisboa? I'd never been there before and don't know if I'd go back. The food was great! The atmosphere, not so much.


We were absolutely ravanous when we arrived, hence the lack of pictures.


We ordered two dumpling dishes. The steamed veg and mushroom and the brased chicked dumplings. Only one pictured, we gobbled the other one up before I could get the camera out.




There were so many types of noodles to choose from and since I didn't really know any of them I just pointed to a random handmade noodle with pork broth and pork and veg dumplings.



Deliciousness in a bowl. Or two.
Deliciousness in a bowl. Or two.

They actually messed up T's order. He too ordered a random hand pulled noodle with pork broth and the wonton's in hot and sour soup. What he got instead was everything in the hot and sour soup, although I would actually call it more of a sauce as it was so dense and jelly-like. We were too hungry to complain and just soldiered on.



Hot and sour everything!
Hot and sour everything!


Getting stuck in. Slurp!
Getting stuck in. Slurp!

Honestly it was delicious and I managed to get through all of it. We probably had over twenty dumplings between us and it was goooood.


We then rolled to the closest park and spent the rest of the day in the sun.

By barbaraian, Jul 16 2014 06:06AM



Oh my... what can I say about the Riesling Dinner apart from: It.Was.To.Die.For! YUM


We were welcomed with a glass of Riesling of course at the Grand Imperial Court. I'd never been to this side of the MGM hotel. It was absolutely beautiful. I'll have a couple of pictures up in a bit. After a few sips we sat down to find a row of five different Rieslings. The goal was to pair the wine to the dish ourselves, rather than having the pairing made for us. It was tough, I might have to embark on a short wine course in the near future.


I have never been a great fan of Riesling as I've always thought it rather sweet. There is a wide variety, now I know. My favourite was #2. We were later told #1 was the driest and #5 the sweetest.




Five different Riesling to pair throught dinner
Five different Riesling to pair throught dinner


Keep Calm and Drink Riesling
Keep Calm and Drink Riesling


Amuse Bouche
Amuse Bouche
Zee Wine!
Zee Wine!


Langoustine Tartar, Rainbowmato
Langoustine Tartar, Rainbowmato

This langoustine tartar was really delicate and delicious. The Yuzu tomato sorbet and basil essince sea urchin were a pleasant surprise.



Deep fried crab sheel stuffed with crabmeat in creamsauce
Deep fried crab sheel stuffed with crabmeat in creamsauce

I am not one to order deep fried or baked crab, but this was special. We were told each crab shell was stuffed with two crabs and some cream, nothing else, no funny mayo, potato or extra fillers.



One of the chefs, presenting his soup dish.
One of the chefs, presenting his soup dish.



Pouring soup from a tea pot.
Pouring soup from a tea pot.



Double boiled silkie fowl and porcini mushroom soup
Double boiled silkie fowl and porcini mushroom soup

See that egg there? I've blogged about the eggs before. It is the 63 degree soft poached egg. And it was just as amazing as I remember it! Not too soft or runny and not too hard or overcooked. It is just the most amazing eggs ever. Although the Tasting Kitchen was my first, and I will never forget it!



Chef presenting his garoupa dish
Chef presenting his garoupa dish



Braised oasis giant garoupa fillet
Braised oasis giant garoupa fillet

I love the chinese way of cooking garoupa, it is always so moist. This dish had what they call black fungus, but what I always thought was somekind of seaweed.



Chinese five spices seared pigeon breast
Chinese five spices seared pigeon breast

Meat is not my thing at the moment but I did try and it was GOOD! It had water chestnuts, which I love and a soft corn cake I devoured with the osmanthus sauce.



Simmer luffa with bamboo bird's nest
Simmer luffa with bamboo bird's nest


Ok... I don't really know what this is, luffa anyone? But it is green, and I finished it. The broth with goji berries was deliciously warming. My kind of dish!


NO... not finished yet! By now we were all stuffed and our glasses kept being filled, non stop. Very dangerous, eh...?



Pan fried rice vermicelli
Pan fried rice vermicelli

Woooooow... I am all about rice and noodles, so fried noodles dipped in sauce were heaven! There was some pork belly and preserved veg on the side. But I only went for the noodles.


Now desert was a whole other story! Just have a look...



Chinese dessert
Chinese dessert

The first of many, this was quite interesting: a baked pastry with winter melon and a glutinous rice roll with red date paste. I am a sucker for glutinous rice sweets! Have you ever tried the glutinous rice banana rolls?



How beautiful is this dessert?
How beautiful is this dessert?

This beautiful to look at (and eat) dessert is a lime flower sabayon with cucumber ice cream and underneath it was a cashew macaroon, white chocolate and a jasmin and lime jelly.


To finish off we were presented with this magnificent box of candy and chocolate wonder.



Asian sweets treasure box
Asian sweets treasure box

We all wanted to try one of each but it was impossible. I was in a food coma! Got a few in though. We did try to sneak a box out. Unsuccessfully!


Amongst the treats were:

*White chocolate and CURRY lollies - always after interesting flavour combinations

*Black sesame nougat

*Passion fruit jelly and granite shooter

*Pandan marshmallow knot

*Kaffir lime and chilly trouffle - this was good... chocolate chilly is a killer combination!

*Coffee chocolate ganache in reed wine prune with caramelized bacon praline lolly

*Pineapple and coriander macaroon - my favourite of the box!

*Kalamansi pate dé fruit


Impressive eh...? I should have taken a treasure treat box in my Mary Popping bag.



We were all happily stuffed
We were all happily stuffed
A lot of empty glasses by then
A lot of empty glasses by then


Aren't these flower installations magnificent?!
Aren't these flower installations magnificent?!



The giant fish tank in MGM's Grande Praça
The giant fish tank in MGM's Grande Praça

There were mermaids swimming here at one point. No joke!
There were mermaids swimming here at one point. No joke!

Thanks MGM team and Riesling of course, it was such a great night.





By barbaraian, Jul 15 2014 02:58AM

You can tell who minggles with the stars and who doesn't!
You can tell who minggles with the stars and who doesn't!

Sheraton Macau invited me to take part in a fitness workshop with Astrid Swan McGuire as a part of a fitness month, where some some very famous trainners flew to Macau to make us a tad fitter.


Admitedly I hadn't done any kind of exercise for well over 6 months. Hey... No judging!


Anyhoooo, Astrid was super cool and inspiring. It was a full day, we had a chat about fitness, diet and just being healthy.



Astrid!
Astrid!

So Astrid has a pretty cool story. Of course she started out as a model, she's super gorgeous! She was telling me how early on she made the decision to be healthy, in an industry where health is not usually a priority. From agencies telling the girls they need to loose weight to girls going to extremes to be skeletal.

McGuire made a bold move and instead of starving herself, she started getting into fitness, trainning and eating healhty. Eventually she started inspiring other girls to do the same and still does today.


We spoke about our diets and what we should and shouldn't eat. It is all about balance to me though! As some might already knonw I live a plant based, mostly vegan diet. But hey... I live in Macau and I lead a very gastronomic life. We are out for dinner often, we go to events... I think I am pretty healthy though.



We had these little veg pots.
We had these little veg pots.



The veggie tree!
The veggie tree!


Pasta pots
Pasta pots


Fruit pots
Fruit pots


Fresh tuna pot salad
Fresh tuna pot salad

I really enjoyed the workshop, I actually wish I'd gone to all of the fitness workshops.


What Astrid did inspire me to do was to start exercising more. And I have. I've been running quite a lot and actually had my first yoga class in years...


I have to admit I was positively sore for about a week after Astrid's workout smashdown! But I survived.












By barbaraian, Jul 11 2014 09:06AM

It has been a while, hasn't it?


I have been a rather busy, albeit LAZY, girl about town.


Let's have a little catch up over the next few post, wadayathink?


Here we go...


Summer has officially arrived in Macau. We are super lucky to have a wee little pool where we live, which gives me a chance to jump in and cool down at lunch.


I've been wearing my Cocoberryeight Ginger bikini in coral-gold, which I absolutely love!



Cocoberryeight Ginger Bikini
Cocoberryeight Ginger Bikini


Don't you just love Ginger the bikini?
Don't you just love Ginger the bikini?


Sheraton invited me to this outdoor-market-style buffet and it was great! Who doesn't love being taken out for a bite to eat?


"Outdoor Market Stall" with all the roasted meats served with noodle soup
"Outdoor Market Stall" with all the roasted meats served with noodle soup


Chefs at work
Chefs at work




The Barbie
The Barbie


Yummy noodly dish
Yummy noodly dish






This is the pancake guy!
This is the pancake guy!



His creation... eggs and minced lamb in a really thin crepe-style pocket.
His creation... eggs and minced lamb in a really thin crepe-style pocket.




Here it is! yumm....
Here it is! yumm....


Sashimi salad
Sashimi salad



Spicy dip for the delicious flatbread
Spicy dip for the delicious flatbread



SATAY with... you know it! Peanut sauce.
SATAY with... you know it! Peanut sauce.



Not-your-usual-garlic-bread
Not-your-usual-garlic-bread



Chinese dessert. Coconut milk with little sago balls. Actually quite nice!
Chinese dessert. Coconut milk with little sago balls. Actually quite nice!



Yes... the dessert bar.
Yes... the dessert bar.


This is what I was wearing
This is what I was wearing

As most of you may well know, a great part of what I wear is made by me. I'm wearing my Cocoberryeight aqua top and my hand beaded necklace.



Here is the necklace at last year's MFL show in Macau.
Here is the necklace at last year's MFL show in Macau.


...and here is the aqua top. From my first ever collection.
...and here is the aqua top. From my first ever collection.





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