DUDOK Cafe Brasserie - The Perfect Cafe Anytime of the Day

Monday, April 29, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

cappuccino
The word Dudok literally means 'seats' in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay. Due to this 'compelling' reason, I have always mistaken the Dudok cafe (the term i used) as an Indonesian restaurant.

However this turned out to be a beautiful mistake as the catchy name induces my interest to find out more about the restaurant while planning a meet-up session for a friend from faraway Singapore.

DUDOK Cafe Brasserie has an extensive menu which fits any hours of the day. From breakfast to lunch, from afternoon tea to dinner, Dudok has it all.

Offers both cosy ambiance and excellent food, Dudok is always packed. Regardless of the crowd, my first experience with Dudok was indeed a great one. Not only we were given a window seat, we were served with smiles and prompt service.

My pick for the day was the 12-uurtje set, translated as the 12 0'clock set. It comes with a bowl of tomato soup, two slices of breads, a croquete and some egg-mayo salad. I like everything on my plate especially the croquete and egg-mayo. The outer crust of the croquete is crunchy yet not oily and the oozing potato staffing is both moist and flavorful. Egg-mayo salad on the other hand is very well seasoned and it simply made a great sandwich spread.
DUDOK Cafe Brasserie, The Hague


The kip sate or chicken sate set is another excellent dish here. Grilled chicken skewer is served with generous peanut sauce, pickled veggies, krupuk and fries. Kip sate set is an ideal dish for those who would like to have a taste of Indo-Dutch fusion food.
DUDOK Cafe Brasserie, The Hague

It is nothing more perfect than to end the meal with a cup of hot cappuccino and a bite of the signature 'D patisserie' butter cookies, freshly baked from Dudok Patisserie.
DUDOK Cafe Brasserie, The Hague
Being a favorite hang-out place for the locals and a prefect high-tea cafe for the tourists, DUDOK Cafe Brasserie is definitely worth a detour.

DUDOK Cafe Brasserie
Hofweg 1
2511 AA Den Haag
Tel: 070-8900100
Website: http://www.dudok.nl/

Operation hours
Mon/Tue/Wed/Sun   10:00 till 23:00
Thu - Fri                  10:00 till 00:30
Sat                         10:00 till 01:00

Homemade Fillet-O-Fish with Iglo Vissticks

Thursday, April 25, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Iglo Vissticks
The long awaited AH's Route 99 campaign was here again (from 8th - 21th Apr), where selected items were sold at rock bottom price of  €0.99. One of the items on sale was my favourite Iglo fish stick, known as iglo vissticks in Dutch. Instinctively, I just grabbed 2 packs and dropped into my cart.

I had tried various brands of fish sticks or fish fingers, iglo vissticks is by far the best. It has non of the usual muddy and fishy in taste and most importantly it does not turn soggy after baking. That's the reason why it is always the perfect fish patty for my homemade 'Fillet-O-Fish'.

Check out the simple steps to prepare my homemade 'Fillet-O-Fish'.

Ingredients: a round burger bun, 2 iglo fish sticks, a slice of cheese and honey mustard sauce (I like the nutty flavor of mustard seeds. You may opt for mayonnaise or tartar sauce instead).
Homemade Fillet-O-Fish with Iglo Vissticks
First, heat up the fish sticks in a pre-heated oven of 200c for 15 minutes. Set aside. Next, top the cheese slices on the halved burger bun. Pop the bun into the oven for 3 minutes until the bun is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Lastly, assemble the fish sticks on the melted cheese and follow by some honey mustard sauce. Voila ... the homemade 'Fillet-O-Fish' is ready to be served.

I like my Fillet-O with some greens too. So, I added some cucumber slices to it. Crunchy and refreshing, I just adore the combo.
iglo fish sticks

Satisfaction guaranteed, you will never go wrong with iglo vissticks . For those who are interested to try out the fish sticks, just look for the packaging as depicted below in your nearby grocers or supermarkets.
Iglo fish sticks

Keukenhof Park - The World's Most Beautiful Spring Garden

Sunday, April 21, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The World's Most Beautiful Spring Garden
I was in cloud nine when I stepped into the Keukenhof park, the world's most beautiful spring garden. The excitement is beyond explanation for being able to witness the tulip's blooms from its country of origin, the Netherlands and sailed through the tulips farms.
The World's Most Beautiful Spring Garden

Keukenhof Holland

Keukenhof Holland

32 hectares wide Keukenhof park only opens for public in Spring for a mere 8 weeks (21-Mar till 20-May). That's why the garden is practically overrun by tourists from all over the world during these time of the year.


The tulips in the garden are yet to be in full bloom and the pictorial flower scenes are yet to be seen from the commercial farms surrounding Keukenhof. This may due to the rather cold and long winter  experience this year. Perhaps May may be the ideal month to experience the outdoor gardens.
Keukenhof Holland
Keukenhof Holland


The flowers in indoor pavilions on the other hand are in full bloom. Thousand of colorful tulips, daffodils and hyacinths were vying for attention in the pavilions. What a amazing and memorable scene!
Keukenhof Holland
Keukenhof Holland
There is a special Rose exhibition show during my visit. Thousand of roses, from over a dozen varieties were on show. The highlight of the show is none other than Mr. Bean's very own green mini decorated in roses. The rose exhibition is available at Oranje Nassau Pavilion.
Keukenhof Holland

 Rose show, Keukenhof Holland

There is also a little animal farm next to the Oranje Nassau Pavillion which prove to be great fun for children. Farm animals and poultry are running freely in the area and visitors are allowed to touch the animals except the piglets. There are warning signs mentioning the piglets may bite :)
Keukenhof Holland


Keukenhof Holland

Spring flower bulbs are also sold in the park. Please do not mistaken these as onions. There are actually real flower bulbs that you can plant in your own garden.
Keukenhof Holland

For more information about the Keukenhof park, kindly check out their official website at http://www.keukenhof.nl. Ticket details and instructions on how-to-get-there can be found from the website.



Simple Zhajiangmian aka Fried Sauce Noodle Recipe

Friday, April 19, 2013 2 Comments A+ a-

炸酱面

To be honest, I have nothing particular in mind when I wandered into the famous Asian grocer 'Wah Nam Hong' in China town at the Hague. Since there was ongoing sales, probability is high that may score some interesting discounted items home.

Over a pile of boxes, I instantly zoomed into Zhajianmian instant mix which triggered my interest. Zhajianmian (炸酱面) can be literally translated as fried sauce noodles in Chinese. It is actually noodle topped with stir-fried ground pork in fermented soybean paste mixture. My favourite outlet for a good bowl of zhajiangmian back home is the Esquire Kitchen Restaurant. The noodle is served dry with generous portion of julienne carrot and cucumber. It tastes best with a dash of specialty fermented soybean chili sauce.

I would like to feature this simple zhajangmian recipe which you can replicate easily at home with the zhajiangmian instant mix.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 sachet of zhajiangmian instant mix
  • 1/2 pack of Japanese yellow noodle
  • carrot and cucumber (cut into stripes or shreds)
  • 3 button mushrooms (cut into cube)
  • some fried shallots

Instructions: Cook the noodle and button mushrooms in a heated pot with boiling water. Set aside the noodle and mushroom in the bowl. Then, assemble the carrot and cucumber shreds in the same bowl. Pour in the zhajiangmian instant mix and lastly garnish the noodles with some fried shallots as the finishing touch.

Mixed the noodles well with all the ingredients before digging-in.
fried sauce noodles
If you crave for a bowl a zhajiangmian like me, try this simple yet delicious recipe at home today :)

Additional tips
a. No extra cooking oil is required as the instant mix already contained sufficient oil
b. The instant mix comes with ground pork chunks. For huge serving, it is recommended to add-in extra minced pork or chicken to the mixture. Best to stir fry the meat minced with the instant mix to married the flavour before serving. Add-in salt and pepper to taste if required.

Museum Weekend 2013: Duivenvoorde Castle

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

In conjunction with the annually held Museum Weekend on the 6 & 7 of Apr, over 400 museums around the Netherlands welcome guests for free or a nominal fee. There are a total of 15 museums residing in The Hague that participated in this highly anticipated event.

Being a museum addict, I seized this opportunity to visit the Duivenvoorde Castle which can only be visited with a guided tour at specified times during normal days.

Kasteel Duivenvoorde Den Haag
Situated between Leiden and The Hague, the castle can be reached via Bus #45 from The Hague Central Station, about a 20 minutes ride. Surrounded by the Duivenvoorde and De Horsten estates, the castle was bestowed with English inspired landscape.

The castle dated from early 13th century and is claimed to be one of the oldest castles in South Holland. Over the centuries, the castle has housed several noble Dutch families until year 1960 where the last private owner, Lady Ludolphine Henriette Schimmelpenninck left the stewardship of the house to the Duivenvoorde Foundation for conservation.

The castle retains most of its original furnishings, silverware, books, Asian ceramics and excellent collection of fine arts and family portraits passed down from centuries. Credit must be given to the tireless effort from the Duivenvoorde Foundation.

Opened all year long, the park surrounding the castle is also worth to explore. Do equip yourself with a good pair of walking shoes as the park is really huge.

Duivenvoorde Castle

I was captivated by a still working fire place in the castle. Really cool indeed as dried woods were burned to heat up the massive Great Hall of Duivenvoorde Castle.
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague
Duivenvoorde Castle, The HagueDuivenvoorde Castle, The Hague

Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague


The equally famous Park surrounding Duivenvoorde Castle provided the perfect backdrop for this stunning castle. Is it worth a detour? A resounding yes from me.
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague
Duivenvoorde Castle, The Hague

Kasteel Duivenvoorde
Laan van Duivenvoorde 4
2252 AK Voorschoten
Tel: 071-5613752
http://www.kasteelduivenvoorde.nl

Operation hours:
Tue - Sat   only with guided tour at 2pm and 3.30pm 

* special request for group tours and foreign language guided tours

Admission fee:
10    Adults
5      Children (13-16yr)
Free   Museum card, ICOM, children below 12
* admission fee for the museum includes a visit to the park

The Irresistible Mee Goreng Mamak Fried Noodle

Saturday, April 13, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Malaysian Fried noodle recipe Red chili peppercorn is an essential ingredient in Asian cooking. You can use it for almost everything, as garnish, as chilli paste (after blending with shallots, onions, garlic etc) and even as the dipping sauce. The chilli slices in soy sauce is the perennial favorite condiment for soup base dishes or noodles in Asia.

Red chilli is quite a luxurious item here in the Netherlands, in my opinion. Two miserable red chili peppers can easily cost you over a Euro. Whilst in Malaysia, with MYR4 (~1), you may get approx 300g of red chili peppers.


I recently discovered a mixed veggie pack which contained some red chilli pepper slices and bean sprouts in AH grocer. Delightfully, I bought a pack without 2nd thought as it was just a perfect ingredient for my mee goreng mamak. Mee goreng mamak is the famous Malaysian style fried noodle, savory, sweet and spicy fried noodle enjoyed by millions.


Ingredients

2 packages of yellow noodles (soak the noodle in hot water for 5 minutes before cooking)
300g of shrimps (you may use cockles)
1 mixed veggie pack
2 beaten eggs
2 tbsp of fish sauce
2 tbsp of sambal oelek
2 tbsp of sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp of cooking oil
50ml of water
1/2 a lime (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the work with 1 tbsp of cooking oil, pour in the beaten egg mixture, veggie shrimps and stir fry. Transfer the fully cooked veggie and shrimps to a plate and set aside
Step 2: In the same wok, add-in the noodles, sweet soy sauce, fish sauce, sambal oelek, water and stir fry for 2 minutes until fragrant
Step 3: Add in the the cooked veggie, shrimps and eggs that were set aside earlier and stir thoroughly
Step 4: Finish the dish with a squeeze of lime

Just 4 simple steps and the super tasty mamak mee goreng is ready to be served!


Additional tips

a. You may use soy sauce as substitution for fish sauce. However, fish sauce taste miles better with the noodles

Malaysian Fried noodle recipe


The History of The Hague Day 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The Plein @ The Hague

The long awaited Spring has finally arrived and there are tonnes of great activities lining up in our beautiful city of The Hague, Netherlands. The most recent fair was the History of The Hague Day which was held last Saturday, the 6-Apr at the Plein. This is the day to commemorate the illustrious history of The Hague city.
The Plein @ The Hague
The Plein @ The Hague
The Plein was transformed into 18th century fun-fair with signature red-and-white canopies. There were mobile carts showing black and white documentary video clips, exhibition stands on traditional musical instruments and traditional games and food stall selling the famous Dutch snacks - poffertjes also known as mini Dutch pancakes.
The History of The Hague Day 2013
Dutch snacks
Classics such as Merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and spinning swings had indeed amplified the 18th century fun-fair mood to those who visited the Plein. Many things have undoubtedly changed from the early days of the Hague, but I am very sure one great thing remain unchanged - the happy smiles displayed on the children's faces while waiting for their ride on the spinning swings.
The History of The Hague Day 2013
The History of The Hague Day 2013
The History of The Hague Day 2013
The History of The Hague Day 2013
Cobbled-stone walkway, red-and-white canopies, crews dressed in traditional costume and armed with antique camera, I almost forgot that I am actually in the millennium year of 2013.
The History of The Hague Day 2013
The History of The Hague Day 2013
The History of The Hague Day 2013


Maggie Mee: Fast to Cook, Good to Eat

Tuesday, April 09, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-


"Fast to cook, good to eat" is the tag line for the popular instant noodles from Maggie. 

Hong Kong's style instant noodles soup
My Kim Gary's Hong Kongstyle instant noodles soup
There weren't a lot of selections previously when it comes to instant noodles and maggi or rather Maggie has practically become synonymous with instant noodles in Malaysia. Maggie is well-liked by the Malaysians and almost every mamak hawker stalls and shops in Malaysia serve dishes made with Maggie instant noodle. The popular ones are Mee Maggie Goreng (fried Maggie instant noodles) and Mee Maggie Sup (Maggie instant noodles soup).

Instant noodles have over time become more and more popular nowadays and we are spoiled with various choices such as Nissin from Japan, Nong Shim from Korea, Mie Sedaap from Indonesia, Mama from Thailand, Tingyi from China, Wei Lih from Taiwan and etc.

During my childhood days, we didn't usually have Maggie as a complete meal at home. Only during rainy nights, dad would cook each of us a bowl of Maggie Curry as supper. Sis and I will happily slurp the soup with noodles and went to bed with a big and satisfying smiles.

It rains again today. Yupe, rainy day is actually lazy day. I know I will be soaking wet if I venture out to hunt for dinner. So, I opened the fridge to see what I can cook based on the available ingredients from the fridge. I found eggs, smoked sausage, ham and some fresh Romaine lettuces. Eemm, sounds like a great idea to have a bowl of steaming hot instant noodles soup, the Hong Kong style tonight!

In a pan, fry the egg, sausage and ham. Pour in the hot water into instant noodles cup, cover for 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked noodles to a big bowl and assemble the egg, sausage, ham and lastly garnish the noodles soup with few leaves of Romaine lettuce.

My version of Kim Gary's nissin noodles soup in 10 minutes. Isn't this fast to cook, good to eat?
Kim Gary style instant noodle
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