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KennethT

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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. KennethT

    Lunch 2020

    I didn't think you could eat pandan leaves... I've always seen them being very fibrous and stringy - most recipes I've seen using them have them as a flavoring agent and then removed - like in rice or custard.
  2. KennethT

    Fruit

    I can't tell if what you said is sarcasm...
  3. For a while, years ago, I used it all the time... everything looked like a nail. Oh, another thing on the list - I would lightly smoke burgers and then cook on my cast iron grill to give it more of a cooked over charcoal flavor...
  4. To make clean up a little easier, I put a piece of foil on the bottom of the pan, then the wood chips on that, then another piece of foil, then the drip pan covered with (yes another) foil, then the rack and teh food. When the wood chips smoulder, they excrete a brown gunk for lack of a better word that's hard to get off the pan unless you use a lot of elbow grease. I've smoked a piece of marinated pork shoulder before getting the SV treatment to make achiote pork - that worked really well. Smoked chicken prior to SV also good... smoked duck breast....
  5. Do you need to use a special spatula with it, or are standard metal tools ok?
  6. We've flown Thai air a couple times - all of those times were very nice. I remember flying from BKK to Chiang Mai (about an hour) and they served a full meal! It's too bad they've stopped flying to the US...
  7. Thanks. I don't know when we'll head back, but hopefully not too far in the future. I also don't know if we'll be going through Auckland or not - this trip we went through Christchurch. But if Air New Zealand's direct route from NY to Auckland (starting next year) isn't too expensive, then we'd probably go that way since it's quite a bit shorter time-wise than going through Singapore (even though I enjoy my Singapore fix whenever I can). But then it would depend on whether we decide to tour some parts of south island that we missed (which is a lot), in which case, we'd never see the outisde of the Auckland airport. But if we decide to tour the North island, then I will defintiely keep this in mind!
  8. I remember Cathay's food being really good - but we only flew it once, NY to HK direct... I enjoyed several of their ramen cup of noodles on demand service.
  9. @blue_dolphin Thanks for this! Makes me want to go back and see more of what we missed. That's the problem with a 6-7 day trip - you really have to pare things down quite a bit so you don't run your self ragged. Your guided walks sound great!
  10. KennethT

    Dinner 2019

    I saw this in the supermarket this evening: It reminded me of the deer farms we passed on the road trip. Those deer looked really peaceful. Tonight we'll have venison burgers with avocado and a squeeze of lime.
  11. I imagine that there are a few different caterers in some markets... or at least 1 that has lots of different levels. Leaving out of JFK, I've had a variety of different quality, depending on the Airline. The same with Newark.... United's food is horrible compared to Singapore Airlines....
  12. Thanks. The most amazing thing - I forgot to mention - is that there was no airport security in Queenstown before our flight to Christchurch. We checked our bags and walked on the plane. No security lines, no bag xrays, no metal detectors... nothing! It was such a weird feeling. The green tipped things were mussels though, not clams, and we really enjoyed them. I've seen them here frozen but never tried them. We haven't completely planned our next trip, but we really are enjoying this scenery/hiking kick we've been on and are looking into this summer in Iceland.
  13. The next day we just got up and packed for our 12:00 flight to Singapore. We decided to have breakfast at the airport: Almond croissant. This must have been the worst excuse for a croissant I've ever had. The almond filling was ok, but the croissant was soggy and limp, which made it greasy... but I was starving so I wound up finishing it. Once on the Singapore Airlines flight (linked at the top of this thread).... then, we had about a 7 hour layover in Singapore. That's just barely enough time to get into the city, have dinner, then come back in time for the flight.... plus, we haven't really seen the airport's new Jewel which I had been looking to see so we decided to stay in the airport. The Jewel is not in the security area, so we actually had to go through immigration first. The Jewel is like a giant mall, with tons of shops and about 100 restaurants - some international chains, others are locations of local chains of which SG has quite a few nowadays. Many chains started out as a hawker stall or kopitiam but in order for the owners to survive, they've had to expand to multiple locations. Here's some Jewel shots: The walkway from the airport terminal.... There is a huge forest in the Jewel, complete with walking paths through the trees. Unfortunately, they've been prepping for some event, so they closed the trails just before we got there. It is also home to this huge waterfall. In the evening, every hour or so, they have a light show that is projected onto the water.. but I'm getting ahead of myself. After taking a quick look at the atrium, we headed for dinner. In all our trips to Singapore, we have never had Bak Kut Teh, which is a pork rib soup and considered one of the national dishes of Singapore, even though it's also very popular in Malaysia (but I gather it's different there). After a bit of research, Song Fa seems to be one of teh best places for it. This is the original Bak Kut Teh. As you're eating, servers come around with pitchers of soup refilling your bowl. The soup is very savory with the aroma of pork and garlic, and has a bunch of dried spices in it, but most notable is pepper. Supposedly, Song Fa uses a particular Indonesian pepper which makes them stand out. This version made with pork tenderloin (we're trying to be a little healthy!) pickled veg to brighten things up.. fried dough stir fried very young pea shoots Gong fu tea - Bak Kut Teh was originally a dish you'd sit around with friends and family to eat while having tea - hence the "Teh" in the name... They had maybe 10 different teas you could get for the gong fu set, I decided on Ti Kuan Yin oolong - the shot above just has the hot water warming the tea cups. We were exhausted by this point (it was about 4AM New Zealand time) and we must have had like 40 shots of tea each to perk us up. Also note the requisite lime juice behind the tea set. I really enjoyed the bak kut teh - I can't believe I waited this long to have it. But it seems simple enough, so I'm going to try to work it into our repertoire at home... More walking around the Jewel after dinner... They have something called the Canopy Bridge, which is a glass floored bridge over the trees... It was also a good place to watch the light show... kind of hard to see here: So that's it for me... it was way too short, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and definitely plan to return to NZ - we only saw a small part, and there's so much left to see!!!
  14. We had only 1 evening in Christchurch, and by the time we landed and got settled into our hotel, we didn't really have time to see anything... but we had a really nice dinner - we went to Fisherman's Wharf which is outside the city proper, in Lyttelton or something like that... The restaurant is right on the water and is known for getting fish that were caught that day.... More green lipped mussels... these were really good too... Paua dumplings. These were much better than the first time we got them - you could really get a better sense of the paua Monkfish in a coconut curry sauce with coconut rice. This may be the best monkfish I've ever had - usually, it's a bit chewy, hence its nickname "poor man's lobster" but this one was tender and moist. I could have this every day. Fried monkfish sandwich - a different take on fish and chips.... again, the monkfish was tender and perfectly cooked.
  15. The next day was our last day in Queenstown, our flight leaving around 4PM... This gave us time to wake up, pack and take a leisurely walk around the lake before heading to the airport. We had a late lunch at the airport on our way back to Christchurch... Another try at the sausage roll - this one was much different from the first and was much better. Chicken sandwich with avocado lettuce and tomato There were some great views from the plane:
  16. The next day was our time to explore Queenstown a bit. While we were staying here for 4 nights, we really only used it as a base of operations, and hadn't really seen anything there yet. After breakfast, we made our way to the Skyline gondola which takes you to an observation deck above Lake Wakatipu. Up there is a bungee platform (no thank you) and a ski lift that takes you up to the start of a luge track (again, no thank you). Also up there is the Ben Lomond trail - a supposedly great hiking trail. We got a start on the Ben Lomond trail but realized that we were still pretty tired from our long day yesterday, so we decided to turn back early and never really saw anything good on it, but we enjoyed the rest.... Some views of/from the gondola... Once at the top, we got a nice view of the lake (without the smudge on the window) We also stopped at the cafe for a drink: Once down on the ground, we walked around for some more views, then stopped for dinner... We decided on a restaurant called "Prime" which was at the edge of the lake, had a great view and had some tables outside. The view from our table We started with New Zealand's famous green lipped mussels, up to now, we hadn't had a chance to try these yet... They were excellent, in a white wine sauce with garlic bread. Rack of New Zealand lamb - much better than the version the other night, with kumara mash that was encrusted with crushed nuts and spices - lots of coriander... this was really interesting and tasty. New Zealand venison - excellent also. I'd highly recommend this restaurant. It definitely exceeded our expectations and was much better than it had to be, considering the view and location.
  17. The next day was a long day. Being Christmas day, and many things being closed, we thought it was an ideal time to drive to Milford Sound in Fiordland, which is about a 4 hour drive each way, without stops. The drive to Milford is filled with gorgeous scenery... Not quite before the halfway point, we decided to set up our picnic at a scenic picnic spot We had a feast!!! Byt he time we got to the store the night before, it was pretty well cleaned out, but we think we did pretty well. All products were locally grown/produced. These strawberries were probably the best purchased strawberries I've ever had. They reminded me of the ones I used to grow when I was young. This smoked salmon was definitely, imo, the best salmon I've ever had... and I come from the land of smoked salmon, NYC! The fish was rich and buttery, it had just the right level of salt (much less than typical NYC smoked salmon) and a nice background smoky flavor. It was so perfect just on its own, with no accompaniments needed. This was probably the one stinker in the group. It was ok - but just not really great. I loved these - deer jerky. I could have these on a regular basis. All together now! The ash rind goat cheese was also a standout - it had a great acidity to it and a creamy texture. The bleu cheese was ok in the beginning - a little cool from being in the cooler, but got better as it warmed up. Gratuitous scenery and strawberry interior shot. There was barely a hint of white on the inside of the strawberry - it was ripe from edge to edge. After our picnic, we drover further down the road. Once you get to Te Anau, the scenery changes and it starts to seem like you've entered an elvin woodlands... we decided to talk a walk at the Lake Gunn trail: Everything is covered in moss... it is magical Here and there the trail takes you to the edge of Lake Gunn. Back on the road, we continue to one of our primary destinations, a section of the Routeburn Track. The Routeburn Track is one of NZ's Great Walks, which are hikes that usually take 3-4 days to complete. We're not in nearly good enough shape to do something like that, so being able to do a section of one of these walks is fantastic.... The trail is well formed, but for much of it, the outer edge is almost a sheer drop off. There are spectacular views all the time... At the summit are some nice views of mountains still with some glacier ice... Up at the summit, there is a nature walk that has a whole bunch of unique plantlife.... They've built a walkway over some of it so the plantlife doesn't get damaged by people walking on it. After we get back down, we continue on our drive to Milford Sound. The drive there was as scenic as the destination... It started raining about halfway into our ascent of the Routeburn... the wet roads made some of the hairpin turns (of which there are many) even more fun. And then you reach the Milford Tunnel: They have a system of traffic lights that stops traffic in one direction while the other way goes through... until after 8PM when the light system stops, which we discovered why as we came back around 8:30 - there's no one on the road!!!! We didn't see another car for about 2 hours! But I'm getting ahead of myself... On the other side of the mountain, the weather was much clearer.... Note that the road is dry on the other side of the mountain.... And then we get to Milford Sound. Milford is a very popular tourist destination, but being Christmas day, many of the smaller tour operators were closed, and the fact that we got there so late - probably around 6:30-7, means that there was practically no one there. Most people take a tour where a bus picks you up from Queenstown and tends to get to Milford around noon and then has a boat that takes you through the fiord. This is the shot that is basically on every postcard: Some other ones... I love how the light and clouds paint the rocks with the shadows. By the time we finished walking around Milford, it was around 8PM. We had some more deer sticks then got in the car to start the long drive back. Dinner was composed of the rest of the bag of potato chips, but that suited us just fine. It's quite odd driving around the middle of nowhere when there are no other cars on the road. We didn't see another car until we got about halfway back.
  18. We only went to one winery - we are well acquainted with Felton Road here in NYC as it has wide distribution... Rippon much less so, but also, we visited them for other reasons.
  19. After our hike, we drove back to Queenstown - this was Christmas Eve, and lots of places were going to be closed on Christmas and we needed to go food shopping for our picnic planned along our drive on Christmas Day. After our food shopping in Queenstown, we decided to stick around the city and have dinner there. Parking in Queenstown is expensive. Street parking costs teh same asa parking lot - NZ$2.00 per half hour! We went to a place that was highly rated on Tripadvisor - it turned out to be in the prime tourist district, which is basically all of Queenstown proper, but this was on a street closed off to traffic, so is especially trafficked by tourists, many of whom by that time of evening were either drunk, in the process of getting drunk, or preparing to get drunk. We went to a place called teh Fat Lamb... Paua dumplings - Paua is like a local abalone and is quite a delicacy. Unfortunately, they were minced so finely, you couldn't really tell what you were eating. The dumpling skins were good though. lamb rib chops - I think these were cooked SV - but the problem is that the fat never really softened properly... Blue cod fish/chips... Crispy potatoes - chunks of potato covered in what seemed like parmesan cheese
  20. Sorry. In my exhausted, jetlag addled mind, I couldn't make heads or tails of it! There were wildflowers all over... we didn't take that many photos of them as we should have... Here's a shot I found - this was near the boulders... ETA: yes - practically everywhere we went, the fried fish was done really well.
  21. After our winery visit, we went into the town (city?) of Wanaka to get some lunch. This was one of the best meals of the trip... We went here: Unlike many of the restaurants, it's not on the main street with a view of the lake - it's set back on a side street and down an alley. While they had their share of tourists, lots of locals were there as well. The table setting and our view: Fried local blue cod tacos with chipotle aioli and chimichurri. These were amazing. Pressed chicken sandwich with caramelized onion and brie - really tasty. To drink: Interestingly, this lemon/lime soda had a dash of bitters in it. My wife had a ginger based soda (not ginger ale) not pictured. After lunch, we took a hike to the Diamond Lake Conservation Area (probably not the best idea to do that right afterwards, but oh well) to see some of the scenery. I loved the reflections off of Diamond Lake. Views of Lake Wanaka: Some idiot's finger got in the way Wild flowers.
  22. Middle of the road? I don't understand... NZ drives on the left side of the road which took a bit of time to get used to. My wife took that photo while I was driving.
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