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In Search of England: Whitstable Oyster Festival

Whitstable Oyster Co. stall

Sells local oysters, from small oysters to jumbo oysters the size of my face

My colleague Heather recommended the Whitstable Oyster Festival to me this year, and having been I can confirm that it was worth the 2 hour drive from our home in East Sussex. Do pay a visit to the Whitstable Oyster Festival if you like to spend your Saturdays driving through the garden of England, relaxing on the beach, listening to live bands, and eating fresh seafood.

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Flat Iron: ‘Best in class’ – restaurant review

Flat Iron Butcher's Diagram

The back of the menu, showing all the different cuts of beef.

The Flat Iron made its way onto my list of “places to eat” easily. The restaurant was recommended to me by my Dad – who over the course of his brief stay now knows better places to eat in London than me – via a Chinese website promoting the best value London eats, and in reviews closer to home it ranks among the top places to eat for steak-lovers in London. A fine reputation among both local and foreign diners was all it took, plus a special occasion to justify yet another dining-out night. Continue reading

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Tomato Tofu Egg Flower Soup

Love Poem to Tofu

Love Poem to Tofu, by Mong-Lan

A simple poem, but I like how the indentation and spacing of the lines evoke the slicing of the blocks of tofu. Here’s a recipe that uses tomatoes and a not-so-solitary beaten egg. Or rather, an approximation, since home cooking relies upon intuition rather than measurements. ‘Egg drop soup’ (the name I’ve never known this by) is drunk all over China but not always with the same ingredients (other than the egg). This is the Hong Kong / my home version of it. My household calls it 番茄荳腐蛋花湯 (tomato tofu egg flower soup), but you can call it 荳腐蛋花湯 (tofu egg flower soup) or 蛋花湯 (egg flower soup) too. Continue reading

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Irn Bru – the Source of Scots’ Strength

Irn Bru

The source of Scots’ strength is in Irn Bru, or “iron brew”. The neon orange alone wakes you up, and its similarity to Lucozade makes the Scots look like tough people who down energy drinks like cola. However, it is just soda and the power of the drink lies in its shock factor. I still prefer Coca Cola, and had not even noticed it in the fridges of supermarkets and corner shops until after my visit to Scotland in 2014.

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How not to make Oreos

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Kinnie is a chill winner

Kinnie

A recent catch-up of The Big Bang Theory made me think of Sheldon’s “Fun With Flags”, which in turn reminded me that I had not updated my soft drinks of the world review series in a while. So next up is Kinnie, Malta’s favourite drink, unique in being natural rather than artificial, featuring herbal and bitter orange extracts. To be drunk chilled with ice cubes – my first taste of it in a hotel room in Malta was not chilled or watered down enough, and it was too bitter. At its optimum temperature, it is a refreshing alternative to over-sweet sodas and fizzy (lemon)-ades.