Friday, August 22, 2014

Karofisch, Hamburg, Germany

One of the beautiful things about living by a portside city is the availability of fresh sea produce. We made sure to take full advantage of that during our visit to Hamburg, and had fish for almost every meal. 

One of the best stops during this whole trip was to Karofisch and it was a total surprise too. Karofisch is a casual, diner-type restaurant and while it does not have the most impressive looking restaurant or setting, the amount of care gone into cooking a good fish shone. 

Mixed seafood platter with 5 types of fish, scallops, calamari and prawns.

The exterior of the restaurant. 

Fresh fish on display

The mini "army" of chefs. They are a small group but each seems to know what they are doing and do it rather efficiently.

Blue and white is the theme around here but I don't think they are Greek...

A salad to start. Simple with a slightly sweet and tangy sauce.

Garlic bread

The KAROMIX. (€14.90) Serving includes salmon, pollack, ling, tilapia, shark catfish, scallops, calamaris and prawns

Served with potatoes of your choice and vegetables. We went for grilled potato on this one.

Whole trout with roast potatoes and grilled vegetables. (€9.90)

Moist and succulent!

Definitely the best restaurant during our short stay here.

Verdict: We were served in humble surroundings but the star of the show here was the well cooked fish and it definitely warrants a second visit should we travel to Hamburg again.

Opening times: Facebook page says "always open" but I figure that should mean 12 noon to 11pm

Price: 30€ for two persons.

Location: Feldstraße 32, 20357 Hamburg, Germany

Tel: +40- 88237532

*This is a guest post by The Unc.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe: Caramelised shallot & mushroom toasts (Gordon Ramsay)

I am loving Gordon Ramsay's "Fast Food" cookbook. So far the ones I have tried are really easy to make and taste really good. I made this caramelised shallot and mushroom toast from his book since I love these two ingredients. A simple, delicious brunch option.

I saved a few thick slices of the Champion Toast I baked the previous evening to make this. Shallots, garlic and thyme are sauteed together until the shallots are softened, then sugar is added to caramelise it slightly and finally mushrooms and butter are added to the pan. Then top it on your toasted bread and you have one healthy, delicious lunch!

I reckon a poached egg on top would work well too.

Caramelised shallot & mushroom toasts
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 minutes
Serves 2

6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp caster sugar
200g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
A splash of sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar)
A small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thick slices rustic white bread (I used Champion Toast)

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots, crushed garlic and thyme, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until shallots are softened. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add sugar and increase to high heat, stirring and cooking for 1-2 minutes, until the shallots are lightly caramelised.

3. Add the mushrooms and butter, then saute for a further 2 minutes, until cooked, then add a splash of red wine vinegar and season with more salt and pepper, as necessary. Discard the garlic, then add the parsley and mix well.

4. Toast the bread and place on two plates. Divide the shallot/mushrooms on top of the toast and serve immediately.

* I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Gordon Ramsay" event which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Gordon Ramsay websites or cookbooks for the whole month of August 2014. You can link your posts at one of the host's pages.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in August 2014 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

* I am submitting this post to "Cook-Your-Books #15" hosted by Joyce.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feast Village @ Gaya Island Resort, Malaysia

Feast Village is the interactive all-day dining restaurant in Gaya Island Resort. The open kitchens showcase a patisserie and cooking stations and offers diverse cuisine ranging from Asian to Western.  During the day, the restaurant is bathed in natural lighting and diners can enjoy a gorgeous view of the surrounding beach and Mount Kinabalu from the restaurant. 

During our first evening at the resort, we had our dinner at Feast Village. On the menu, you can expect to see Western starters, lamb, steak, pizza, burgers as well as fresh seafood which can be cooked in your desired cooking style/sauce. All diners who order either an appetizer/main course can enjoy as much desserts as they would like from the patisserie counter. If you are here under the Resident's Package, you can choose to have your lunch/dinner here.

We decided to go for an all-seafood meal, starting with Dancing Prawns from the Chinese kitchen. Fresh, juicy prawns are coated in a light batter and deep fried, then tossed in mayo, sesame seeds and bonito flakes (the bonito flakes looks like it's "dancing" (swaying)). We also ordered the golden soft shell crab and spiced salt fried calamari, both deep fried to crispy perfection.

Dancing Prawns

Golden soft shell crab and spiced salt fried calamari

Our favorite dish of the evening is this pan seared cod, served with sauteed spinach and tomato-basil sauce. The fish was nicely cooked, flaky and fresh, and Baby C especially couldn't get enough of it. A really simple fish cooked very well.

Oh, we did order a steak with our all-seafood meal. The surf 'n' turf here boasts a 150g grain-fed filet mignon topped with a slipper lobster. I forgot to take a photo of the cut steak, but it was cooked perfectly to medium, very tender and juicy. Thoroughly enjoyed this!

Another winning dish for us is this simple wok fried scallops with assorted vegetables. Looks like I'm not the only scallop monster in my family, as my kids devoured the scallops even faster than me! Hehe.

On the blackboard, Catch of the Day is listed out and for that evening, they had seabass, snapper and tiger prawn. We ordered the tiger prawn in black pepper sauce as recommended by the waiting staff. Undoubtedly the tiger prawn was fresh and taut.

And then, it was dessert time... unlimited helpings of mini cakes, macarons and tarts. Overall, the selection was pretty good and we enjoyed most of the desserts here, especially the macarons.

Carrot cake and macarons

Breakfast is also served at Feast Village from 7.00 am onwards. Everyday, we are up by 6am to watch the sunrise, then take a slow stroll down to the restaurant for our breakfast. At the patisserie, you can find freshly baked bread, yogurt, cereal as well as cronuts (served from 8am onwards).

Great view to eat breakfast to

One of the things we love most about breakfast here is the freshly squeezed juice at the juicing counter. Vitamin boost :)

You can order eggs, stating your preferred cooking method (fried/scrambled/poached/boiled), pancakes or roti canai from the cascade menu. There is also a noodle counter - usually one pre-fried noodle dish will be at the buffet line but you can also customize the ingredients and put in your order. We really like the fried noodles and meehoon here, so tasty! Nasi lemak, Malaysia's unofficial national dish is also served here every morning.

Nasi lemak

Eggs Benedict

Breakfast is served here from 7am-10.30am, lunch from 12pm to 3pm and dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm.


Location: Gaya Island Resort, Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Matsumi Japanese Restaurant, Hamburg, Germany

Recently, we made a trip to the port city of Hamburg for a short trip. After a quick search, we stumbled upon Matsumi, a Japanese restaurant nearby the places we were visiting for the day. Matsumi serves set lunches at reasonable prices, so it is a good way to sample their offerings without spending a fortune.

Una-don. Beautifully grilled eel served over rice. 

Entrance to the restaurant

Tables are small but well-suited to the customer base, mostly groups of 2 or small families. They also have tatami rooms that seat bigger groups of 10-14 pax.

Pickled vegetables as an appetiser

The bar area where the chef dishes out the sushi.

Shake-Teri-Don. Grilled salmon served on rice with vegetables and a miso soup. Fish was beautifully cooked and vegetables had a good bite to them.

The eel was soft and flavoursome, and the dish also comes with a miso soup.

After a meal, you can take a stroll along the Botanical Gardens aka Planten un Blomen. It is a beautiful garden with various flowers from all around the world. Well worth a visit for the plant lovers.

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday; Lunch 12.00 pm - 2.30pm, Dinner 6.30 pm- 11.00pm. Sundays and Mondays closed. Open on public holidays from 6.30pm

Price: 32€ for two persons.

Location: Matsumi, Colonnaden 96, 1st Floor, 20354 Hamburg, Germany

Tel: +49 040- 34 31 25


*This is a guest post by The Unc.

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