YoYo! in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre sells food as well

YoYo! in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre sells food as well

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Happy New Year everyone! Have you overindulged during the Christmas break? Well, I certainly did but while I am trying to lose the excess weight gained, I still crave an appetizing meal.

What is interesting about the YoYo! branch in Leidsenhage is that apart from serving bubble tea which is their main business, they serve rice bowls, Nigiri (i.e. triangular shaped rice parcels) and Sushirritos (i.e. a burrito sized sushi).

If you don’t like raw fish, don’t worry as they have beef, shrimps and even a vegetarian option. My favourite is the Bulgogi beef rice bowl which is a serving of warm rice, Bulgogi beef (i.e. a Korean style marination), kimchi, carrots, cucumber and pickled radish. I absolutely love the combination of fresh and pickled vegetables with the rice, beef and the sauces.

YoYo! has a large variety of teas that you can have either hot or ice cold. My favourite tea is the green jasmine pure tea with Lychee jelly and tapioca pearls. I love drinking my tea with the crunchy jelly and the chewy pearls. If you don’t like your tea too sweet, you can ask for less sugar!

YoYo! is open every day from 9:30-18:00 apart from Sunday which has a shorter opening time from 12:00-17:00. Of course, the bonus of this location is the fact that car parking is never an issue and it is free!

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Best hummus place in Amsterdam

Best hummus place in Amsterdam

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My daughter and I went to Amsterdam for the day. As we love hummus and falafel, we decided to have dinner at D&A Hummus Bistro on Westerstraat. Luckily, we made a reservation as when we walked in, it was packed. I was stunned by how there wasn’t a spare table on a Tuesday evening. After people left, more people came in asking if there was any availability.

There were so many hummus options on the menu but we both chose the hummus topped with Jerusalem seasoned chicken thighs, fresh herbs and olive oil. Oh my God! when the plate arrived, it was such a generous portion and the hummus was served with homemade fluffy white and brown pita bread, pickles and some small salads. So, we had pickled onions, cucumber and apple salad, sliced carrots, orange zest and spicy green chili sauce with our hummus meal. It was such a wonderful experience eating hummus with these accompaniments, something which I have never done before. I never knew orange zest goes so well with hummus! The spicy chili had a real kick to it….

D&A’s hummus is seriously the best hummus I have ever had!  Apart from hummus, it also serves other Middle Eastern dishes such as shakshuka, and falafel. We ordered a plate of falafel which was served with tahini and it was really good too. Unfortunately, we were too full to try their desserts. The hummus was so good that we ordered a portion to take away for breakfast the following day.

The restaurant is small and cozy. For those of you who are hummus lovers, you have to check out this place but make sure you make a reservation before you go. It’s open every day from 11:00-23:00.

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Fresh! was officially opened today

Fresh! was officially opened today

Fresh!, the new fresh food market in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre was opened this morning by Robert van Beckhoven, the famous Dutch baker & pastry chef (“Robert”).  The opening celebration will last for several days and ends on the 2nd of December. There will be cooking demonstrations, tastings and performances during this period.  I heard that there will be a Lion Dance in the afternoon this Saturday.  I went there after lunch today and it was full of activity with some vendors offering free tastings of their products. Robert was there talking and giving food tastings of his bread and pastries. Leonidas was giving out chocolate tastings to passers-bys. There were quite a few speciality shops including a Spanish Iberico ham shop and a Portugese delicatessen shop. Wah Nam Hong was giving out Asian fruit tastings upstairs.

There was an ice cream shop called Pavarotti Dolce. I was too full to order an ice cream but his menu looked interesting because apart from ice cream, this shop sold cupcakes, bubble waffles and other interesting desserts.

There is even a Nespresso shop at Fresh! Hooray, we don’t have to go into the Hague city centre for the Nespresso shop.

Even Yoyo Fresh Tea Bar has opened at Fresh! Anne & Max is due to open a branch there too although it isn’t there yet.

I am looking forward to seeing this development totally completed in 2020 as I like the idea of having the biggest shopping mall in the Netherlands at my door step with 230 stores and a cinema. It’s going to be a huge fully covered shopping mall.

So, if you don’t have any plans this weekend, head out to Leidsenhage Shopping Centre and check out Fresh!

An amazing organic vegan baker discovered in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre

An amazing organic vegan baker discovered in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre

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I discovered More Pastry last week after grocery shopping in Leidsenhage. It’s located in the new fresh food market below Wah Nam Hong. What I love about More Pastry’s cakes is that I can indulge in eating desserts knowing that the cakes have minimal sugar and organic ingredients have been used by the baker. The company uses substantially less sugar (the baker’s policy being use “as little sugar as possible”) and no artificial sweeters or flavours are added.

Their cakes don’t taste too sweet and you can really taste the ingredients. For example, I had the banana chocolate dessert and I loved it. I don’t usually like chocolate desserts as I find them too sweet and heavy for my liking. However, More Pastry’s banana chocolate was delightful! I could taste the pure chocolate and its combination with the caramalised banana was excellent. There was a little hint of coconut as you bit into this dessert.

My husband really enjoyed the carrot cake as it was moist and had a perfect balance of carrots and walnuts. Now, that is saying something as he has tried and tasted many carrot cakes since this is his favourite dessert. Their no cheese cheesecake is also really good.

We had the cakes with a cup of cappuccino each. The brand of coffee they serve is called Tik Tak and it was a seriously good coffee – organic of course. I have never heard of this Dutch brand of coffee before.

The service was excellent! I loved the fact that the person who served me was so enthusiastic about the cakes and his product knowledge was flawless.

To sum it up, it was an extremely delightful indulgent experience and I will definitely be returning to More Pastry soon. After all, this shop opens every day! By the way, you can order cakes from More Pastry, even wedding cakes.

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Malaysian Chef, Norman Musa opens restaurant in Wah Nam Hong

Malaysian Chef, Norman Musa opens restaurant in Wah Nam Hong

img_5686-e1541023332639.jpgI usually go to either Oriental supermarket or Wah Nam Hong supermarket to buy my Chinese groceries.  Last Sunday, I went to check out the Pan Asian restaurant inside the new Wah Nam Hong in Leidsenhage Shopping Centre which opened earlier this month. I actually met the chef, Norman Musa who is from Malaysia. Chef Norman is a celebrity chef, having opened restaurants in a number of countries, published cookbooks and had his own TV cooking shows. He was appointed as the Kuala Lumpur Food Ambassador in 2015. His credentials are therefore impeccable and it shows in his dishes.

As “Char Kway Teow” (fried flat rice noodles) is my favourite Malaysian hawker food, I ordered it with great anticipation. There isn’t an authentic Malaysian restaurant in the Hague so I was very excited to try out the food there.

The char kway teow was amazing and the service was excellent. We tried the Thai fishcakes, beef rendang and the sago dessert too. The food was really authentic and was as good as what I used to eat in Malaysia and Singapore. I was amazed at how many people there were eating at the restaurant as we were having lunch at 2 pm. The menu offered was interesting as apart from Malaysian food, there was an range of Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and  Singaporean food.

Chef Norman came to our table to introduce himself and told me that he will be adding 2 new dishes to the menu this week. So, if you like either the Malaysian laksa noodle soup or Thai Tom Yum soup, they will be on the menu this week! I will certainly be going back. The restaurant is open every day apart from Mondays and Tuesdays.

img_5699What impressed me about this outlet of Wah Nam Hong is that it is more specialised and sophisticated. It has different aisles of food from different countries such as Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia etc. and even has a tea boutique. It’s really nice to see Wah Nam Hong have a more concept store. The other advantage of this location is that car parking is free for those of you who drive. In fact, Leidsenhage Shopping Centre is being modernised so that by 2020, it will be the biggest shopping centre in the Netherlands.

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Smoked Bar.B.Q restaurant in The Hague

Smoked Bar.B.Q restaurant in The Hague

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My family love barbeque ribs so we went to check out Smoked Bar.B.Q grill restaurant in Torenstraat in The Hague. Wow! The barbeque meat there was so tender and rich in flavour. We chose the Nachos pulled pork for starters and they were so tasty!! We would have ordered another portion if we could have fit it in!

For mains, we tried the F*CK veggies “smoked” meat lovers plateau for 2 people which had sticky spare ribs, brisket and pulled pork served with coleslaw and fries. The various types of meat served were well seasoned and amazingly full of flavour and the brisket literally melted in your mouth. We also ordered a main course size portion of the sticky Korean spare ribs to share. Their home made barbeque sauce served was incredible – smoky, sweet & tangy! It was a refreshing change from the usual BBQ sauce.

The restaurant smokes everything in their charcoal oven, including avocado and pineapple. We ate a smoked pineapple dessert with white chocolate cream and passion fruit sorbet which was very unique.

I really liked the service at the restaurant as the staff were very relaxed and friendly. The owners were passionate about finding the “perfect” slow cooking method of smoking food and barbeque and traveled the world in search of this. We were even shown the kitchen and met the chef who is clearly someone who loves to experiment to take the BBQ cooking method to a different level. If you are mad about ribs too, check out this restaurant as you won’t be disappointed. It is open from Thursday to Tuesday from 16:00-22:00.

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Poke Labs in Den Haag

Poke Labs in Den Haag

img_49201.jpgHope you had a wonderful summer! Having had a indulgent summer, it was hard to come back to The Hague. I went to my favourite poke bowl place, Poke Labs, and wasn’t disappointed by the quality.

I love making my own poke bowl which involves 5 components: base, premium, mix-ins, dressing and toppings. For the base, you can choose rice, pasta, salad or a rice & salad mix. In terms of the premium, you can choose raw fish such as salmon, tuna, or cooked food such as fried chicken, pulled pork, etc. Poke Lab’s poke bowls come in 2 sizes. The medium size costs €8.95 which comes with a premium and 3 mix-ins. The large bowl costs €10.95 and you get an additional premium choice. I usually go for the medium bowl which is quite a generous portion.

Poke Labs has a big variety of mix-ins. My favourites are the masago, edamame & corn. Then, there’s a choice of dressings (e.g. soya sesame, wasabi) to choose from. What I love is you can have as many toppings as you want. I love the crunchy toppings and have had as many as 5 toppings in my poke bowl!

The other reason why I like Poke Labs is that it is open every day from 11:30 till 20:30 with the exception of Thursday when it closes later.

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