Sunday in Rue de Martrys, 9ème, Paris  

OMG, I forgot that I have a draft post which I wrote last September after our last gals trip, a trip I wanted so much before I got relocated to New Jersey, US. and this is already a year ago! When will be our next trip, gals?

Just returned from Paris for a gals trip, a short and sweet 2-night stay. We left on Friday and returned on Sunday.

Sunday was the most memorable experience of the whole trip for me as I felt I spent the day like a Parisian.

We stayed at a boutique hotel called Hotel Arvor which is located in a quiet, private street, the room rate is very reasonable and the rooms are very clean, with contemporary design. The bed and beddings are very comfortable which we all slept extremely well. There is no air conditioner but we managed well with the windows opened and the fan provided.

Hotel Arvor is walking distance to The Louvre and the Sacred Coeur and Montmartre. On arrival, I got an impression that it is a very nice neighbourhood already from restaurants to daily necessities but I was not aware that we were just round the corner of the famous street Rue de Martrys until I have been and did more background search today after the trip.Â

On Saturday after a morning run down to Le Seine, we had breakfast at a café-bar at the foot of Rue de Martrys. We sat outside and directly opposite the other side of the street are fromargerie, boucherie, poissonerie, etc. I was already excited and said we gotta shop here for some food to take along for our train ride back to Switzerland as that would also be our dinner time.

Most shops are normally closed on Sunday we assumed except the bakeries. We started chatting up with the owner of the café-bar and he told us about that this street is Sunday market from 10-2pm which no cars are allowed to enter. So game on for Sunday!!!

So on Sat, we went up to Sacred Coeur along Rue de Martrys, and we went in and out of the small shops, we had so much fun and at the same time got an impression which shops we would want to get our food from.

So Sunday, we bought a pain du chocolat and croissant from Arnaud Delmontel to share, we then had a simple breakfast at Marlette, they use organic ingredients for their bread and patisserie. The soft boiled egg with crispy baguette and salted butter were absolutely yummy. The brunch looks very inviting but we need to save our stomach for lunch at Pho 14. It was good timing that we arrived before the long queue built up.

So after breakfast, we walked back down and picked up a roast duck which we had reserved when we walked up. The chef was so friendly as he seemed to recognize my face when I passed by on Saturday.

We bought a nice bottle or wine from La Cave D’es Martrys, thumbs up to the shop recommendation.

Then all of a sudden, I spotted Rose Bakery takeaway (I have the cookbook but I have never visited the deli itself) and without hesitation I had to check it out and then I found out that their café is under renovation and will be reopened on Monday. And so we picked our dessert there including the famous carrot cake.

Next stop, we bought a sheep cheese with ash and a delicious Brie from La Souris Gourmande.

The one next door is also very famous called Fromagerie Yves Chateignier which Yves and his wife Annick has run their shop for over 50 years.

And finally we got an artisan baguette and some grapes from Verger des Martrys.

Oh and last but not the least, I bought some fresh Petit Beurre from Sebastian Gaudard, a famous pâtisserie.

Look at our smiley faces!!!

So until next time, Paris!
If I ever come back to Paris, I will try to stay in this hotel again and go to have a meal at Le Bon Georges, it is a local favorite and one of the most popular restaurants in Paris.

Rue de Martrys, 9eme in New York Times







  Sushi Handroll à la table (桌面自助手卷)  


今早一送咗阿仔返學,我便直接揸車過徳國 Las Burg 接收在網上的購物,因遊寄到瑞士地址有很多候收件時郵差往往要收稅,所以雖然 話免運費,我都係唔想冒險,唔係又激到一頭煙。住在巴塞意 (Basel )就係有這個好處,過德國和法國話都無噤快,就過咗邊境,就好似香港過深圳一樣。現在如果無車,坐八號電車可直接過到德國 Weil am Rhein, 上年终於通車。

我的第一個中國香港同胞朋友 Carmen 就住在附近,whatsapp 過佢,睇吓有沒有空短聚片刻,了解吓大家的近況。好朋友就是這樣,突然其來的一個信息,不介意沒有什麼預備下見面。見到她的📷攝影事業已走上軌道,蒸蒸日上,找到自己的目標和理想實在為她高興!我也很興奮地講述我的部落格的改動和方向。

如果你有對家庭合照,結婚照有興趣,可到以下網址查看佢的portfolio,Carmen 最擅長外景拍攝,個人風格時尚,映到每個人的自然美,不得不贊👍!我的profile photo 便就是她用iPhone即興隨意拍攝,當日佢還幫我set 頭化妝,那天其實係我哋的 Ladies’ nite out!三個女士勁難得可以放下家人出外鬆一鬆!

請按下連結:Carmen Wong Fisch Photography

探訪完Carmen 之後,便差不多要接仔放學,今日星期三,中午早放要預備午餐給我倆,但近日佢因久咳不未痊癒,所以要戒口和食得清淡,湯通粉,粥等等,已用了數餐,開始有微言投訴,我自己也一樣,所以一路揸車一邊想,想起以前到Carmen 舊居,佢為我預備的自助手卷午餐,很懷念之前的午餐約會呀!不過又學到嘢,原來將預備嘅材料通通放在碟和桌上,自選配搭即場包手卷享用,談笑風生多好。



今日真是節目豐富,下了多天雨和雪,今日難得天朗氣清,P答應M如天氣許可便帶佢去放他的微型飛機, 佢終於得償所願,不過我都睇得好開心😀!


One Fine Day

Morning: Quick meet-up with good friend, midday: made sushi handroll là la table, afternoon: tried out Marc’s mini plane

This morning right after I dropped off Marc at school, I went directly to Las Burg in Weil Am Rhein to pick up my online shopping. A lot of people who live in Switzerland would choose this method since a lot of times the delivery charge to Switzerland is more expensive and sometimes we even have to pay the tax incurred.

My friend Carmen who just lives nearby, was luckily available to meet up briefly for a quick coffee and catch up. She is my first Cantonese speaking friend here. We used to meet up for lunch at her old place, and she always came up with brilliant and creative lunch ideas. However, now that she has developed her own photography business, she hardly has any spare time anymore. Nevertheless, I am truly happy for her that she has found her business venture. Her photos are amazing, she is good at outdoor shootings and can capture the natural beauty of every individual, be it for an expecting mother or a newborn or a wedding occasion or a family.

If you are interested, please check out her portfolio in her website, you can book a session with her when you travel to Switzerland next time:

Please click for hyperlink: Carmen Wong Fisch Photography


So after a quick catch-up, it was almost time to pick up Marc already. Wednesday is his short day, I would need to prepare lunch for us both. However, he has this cough lingering for weeks, I have to be careful of what to give him. I have made rice porridge, soup macaronic or noodles repeatedly and he is beginning to get bored with them.  So on the way home, I recalled one sushi handroll lunch I had with Carmen. She made it so interesting that we could wrap, eat and chat at the same time. So I made a simplified version.

No raw fish but still very tasty and healthy! Other ingredients you can use include avocados, carrots, tofu, etc. I just used what is available and suitable from my fridge.

After lunch, Marc had sports class and then we went to try out his little plane in an open field. He was lucky as we had days of miserable weather and this day we had clear blue sky, perfect timing.


A lot of action today!

A lot of action today!

Run baby run

Run baby run!


  Homestyle quick version Peking Duck (家庭快版北京填鴨)  

其實當我公佈想嘗試加啲中文入我的部落格之後,真係有啲驚,因為自問中文水平淺和有限,但如果我越怕,便越少機會接觸中文。我在瑞士可以用中文對話的朋友,十隻手指可能都數得晒,大家又不能時常見面,就算識講廣東話都不是地道或完全流利的,見面時,最後都係講英文為多。點都好喇,思前想後,Bits & Bites 這個專欄正好可以俾我藉住這個空間發牢騷,吹吹水,寫得唔好請勿見怪,多多包涵,大家可不防告知我寫錯字,待我日後可以改進,我就在這兒獻醜獻醜!

阿仔今日返咗學一個小時後,我就接到老師電話話佢真係好唔舒服的樣子,但沒有發燒。佢其實由農曆新年開始咳,至今日仍未停,昨晚還説喉嚨痛。我立即和佢睇醫生,最後醫生都係無可避免之下,要配抗生素給服用。在學校佢就似隻病貓😿,返到屋企就成隻甩繩馬榴🙉,重非常開胃,成日話肚餓。好在佢都聽話肯食我煲的咸瘦肉粥 (聚火),不過佢話令佢成日要上廁喎,我話係好事,幫佢沖走啲唔好嘅嘢。

今晚煮湯通心粉過佢做晚餐,我解凍咗件鴨胸不能再流,便以最簡單嘅方法煎鴨胸,做咗家庭式快版的田鴨餐 (算得上係低澱粉餐嗎?),超易,啲油逼晒出嚟,但未夠脆,留返下次再改進,各下如有貼士 ,請分享!

Just when I have announced that I would like to write some Chinese in my blog, actually I am feeling a bit scared as my written Chinese is not good. However, I would like to give a try and only by doing this, I can have more exposure to the language. Anyway, the Bits and Bites page seems to be a very suitable platform for me to bla bla bla.

A few days ago, I have made a homestyle short cut quick version of Peking duck. There are still room for improvement to get the skin crispy. I think I need to put more salt on the skin next time, nevertheless, the doneness of the duck breast was perfect. I have only sprinkled salt and pepper and pinches of five spices on both sides. Next time I should remember to criss-cross cut the skin and generously apply a layer of salt on the skin side only. And I should put the duck breast in the oven after rendering the duck fat.

Peking duck with wrapper




  Korean Glass Noodle (Japchae)  

Somehow every time I make Japchae, it’s hard to just make a small portion, all the ingredients add up together will make a big bowl. I wish my good friends live nearby so I could just let them know and they come over to have some. One time I did cook and then packed into boxes and delivered to my friends. However, this is not feasible anymore, weekdays are busier in his second year of kindergarden, more after school activities, driving, cooking, giving him shower and putting him to bed on time.

Japchae requires a lot of chopping but with a bit advanced planning and preparation, it didn’t stop me to enjoy this dish on a busy day. This time I didn’t use spinach but cabbage instead and added something else, worked perfectly and now I found out the tricks of how not to make the sweet potato noodle sticking together. Thanks to Maangchi’s recipe.

For ingredients, I used cabbage, carrots, zucchini, beef, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, cloud fungus, Chinese mushrooms, eggs. For meatless version, you can use fried tofu and more eggs instead of beef. You don’t necessary use spinach, I just use whatever I have at home and it worked.  You can serve with or without rice. Marc enjoyed it very much with rice.

Good thing is that Tuesdays I have TRX, so I don’t have to worry about cooking tomorrow.

  Selfies, Smartphones and Tablets  

Gosh, my last post was since last November, really embarrassing but I do have good reasons. We have moved into our new house last September and you can imagine how much planning and follow-up work we need to do. After moved in already for 6 months, it’s still not over. And on top I had been back to Hong Kong for 2 times over Christmas and in February for my dad’s surgery, good that every thing went well.

Two days ago, I saw on the news about the National Gallery and  Palace of Versailles has banned the use of Selfie-Sticks, this does and doesn’t surprise me. And it triggered me to have the following thoughts. Firstly because, most of the time, isn’t photographs are not allowed in museums. So the easiest way is to ban the use of cameras and smartphones in the museums, then problem solved? I recalled some time ago, people were teasing the Chinese tourists are holding selfie-sticks when they travel again. So I thought it’s just a Chinese thing but apparently not, the young generation or other travellers are doing the same.

I wonder why all of a sudden, so many people like taking selfies. I remembers especially the youngsters. I recalled the Western world people laughed at Chinese or Asians that when we travel, we have to always take so many photos standing in front of a scenery or landmarks to prove that we have visited that place or country. So as I grew older, I find it stupid to take photos this way but instead I prefer to take photos without necessary always having me in it. Occasionally, I would still like to do a few as a group as memory of the time you spend with your friends and family together.

There was one time a friend and P said the Chinese took photos of every thing as I asked him to pull the car aside to let me take a photo of a very nice scenery. I was so furious, and had a fight with them, I answered back that it’s not just me who do such things these days, it’s a lot of people are doing it, not just Chinese!!! I took photos of my food because  I am a food blogger and later I realise there are so many foodies out there. So yeah, taking food photos and selfies seem to be part of the modern lifestyle. I like taking food photos but not myself in the photo.

The other thing which concerns me very much is the use of electronics in kids and teenagers. Well even adults. I have always thought that iPads and iPhones are great innovative products, however, they are so addictive and it’s harder to control of the usage among teenagers, once they owe an iPhone, that is, it stays in their hand all the time, games, texting. It’s worse than Xbox or wii or PSP, as these stay at home and you can limit your children the time they spend on them. Tablets are a bit better as they are bigger, and you can put away more easily than iPhones.

With computer, there is parental control or timer but iPhones or iPads there are no timer. I read that Steve Job did not allow his own children to have these gadgets in their home, now I wonder why.

If any parents out there, have any good ideas on how to limit the usage of iPhones, please do share and comment below.

Our current house rule is that, after dinner, it’s not allowed to use the iPhone but then he said I am texting, this is not game, etc. And then they answer back and say how about you, you are always using your phone too all the time. What would you say, parents out there?

Am I over-worried on this matter?

  First time making Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu !!!  

Last Monday, I saw a Korean Knife-Cut Noodle, Kalguksu, posted in Facebook by KC, the photo was taken from Kwangjang Market, a famous food market in Seoul. It immediately drew my interest and I went to search in the internet and found a few recipes on how to make Kalguksu at home. I saw one video from YouTube and saw this old lady made these noodles by sitting on the straw mat flooring (like tatami), from rolling the dough into a big thin noodle sheet using a big wooden pole to cutting into thin strips of noodle, her feet were bended and folded all the time. I definitely can’t do that, totally impressed.

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  Thank God, I didn’t break my knee from skiing!  

I can’t do most sports in a sliding manner namely skating, ice-skating, roller blades. Too scared to fall down, skiing is exception! I said to myself that’s something I would like to be able to do since I am now living in Switzerland.
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  My intimate ganache glazed chocolate cake, lesson learnt  

This winter has been crazy, many countries are affected by the climate change.

Hong Kong has as low as 6ºC. Some days as cold as here in Basel.

Sochi has warm temperature up to 16ºC making the snow condition very slushy for Olympic Winter games …..

Snow condition in Switzerland also not great this Winter so far.

Yesterday the weather was horrible, stormy and rainy the whole day. Nothing else better than staying at home and do some baking.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day, not a big thing here in Switzerland, it is not a day that we always celebrate. I am happy already if hubby is not on business trip.

Anyway I was in a mood to bake a chocolate cake, after browsing and browsing, I finally settled on this Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake by Two Peas and their Pod. Sounds easy enough for me. It says foolproof, so let see!

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  Made best crêpes!!! I feel like a Parisienne this morning!  

Today : 9 Feb 2014 (Sunday), Stormy and rainy

Made a galette (buckwheat crêpe) batter yesterday, as it said it has to be chilled overnight in the fridge.

This morning, crawled out of bed, still half asleep. Went to the kitchen, took out the bowl of batter, left on the kitchen top and crawled back into bed. Recipe said the batter needs to be rest at room temperature for about an hour before frying.

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