A woman’s love affair with doughnuts

There is no doubt that Bostonians love doughnuts. After all, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every other block. The city even has a doughnut named after it (Boston Creme, anyone?). I mean, who can blame them? There’s something special about that fluffy, sugary, fried dough. I am not from Boston, but I’m in no way above the temptation of fried dough goodness. When Krispy Kreme closed all its stores in Hong Kong overnight ten years ago, a part of me was taken away…  Since then I go on a doughnut hunt whenever I’m out of town, independent joints or big chains, I visit them piously, almost like pilgrims.

These local doughnut places in Boston have survived the turf wars with Dunkin’ Donuts, many supported for years by a fiercely loyal clientele… and it’s not hard to tell why!


Union Square Donuts

20 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch is a real show stealer

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Kane’s Donuts

90 Oliver St, Two International Pl, Boston, MA 02110

Great selection of fancy donuts. Go for glazed and creme brûlée if you’re committed to an ultimate sweet tooth experience.

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Twin Donuts

501 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

Highlight is definitely the inviting neon sign!

Blackbird Doughnuts

South End, 492 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

We all need a confetti doughnut from time to time to celebrate life!

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Red Apple Farm

100 Hanover St, The Boston Public Market, Bostom, MA 02108

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…
So, why not eat your apple in donuts form?

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Flour Bakery

12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210

Not really a doughnut shop, but the bakery’s renowned sticky sticky bun, especially when fresh out of the oven, mimics the flavours of  a doughnut.

 

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Under the Tassie Sun

Happy year of the rooster everyone!

After the non-stop family gatherings and reunion meals over the past three days, my life seemed to go back to normal. I finally have time to sort out all the photos from my Tasmania trip. I feel a growling rumble in my stomach while going through the films, and it wasn’t because I haven’t had enough of turnips cakes, my all-time favourite…

Just like any other wanderluster, I have an constant yearning for new tastes and discoveries. “Under the Tassie Sun” summarized my adventure from the North to the South of Tasmania. Starting in Launceston, Tasmania’s second’s city that has forever been locked in rivalry with Hobart, but to me somehow has the zestier food scene, to the humble but charming seafood shack in Freycinet. Up long winding roads and down farm tracks, through blazing sun and misty rain, I visited producers and local shops that are fighting the big corporations and creating artisanal products to sell with pride. I fell in love with the delicious giant oysters and all the colourful dishes that radiated the true spirits of summer (and don’t get me started on the affordable but very flavoursome wine).

At the end of the trip, I returned home with my suitcase laden with all the edible souvenirs like jasmine infused honey, whisky marmalade, but most importantly a grateful heart to all the people who welcomed me into their farms and shops, shared with me their passion for food. I hope u like my photos and enjoy Tasmania as much as I did. Bon Voyage!

Fantastic sauces to sample that have been made on site using only fresh local ingredients. I’m amazed by all kinds of sauces they came up with, an excellent variety from sweet to savoury, with Whisky Seville Marmalade being my personal favourite.

You can buy their products in HK at Feather & Bone.

Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company: 174 Leighlands Rd, Evandale TAS 7212

Longford- a country town full of colonial charm.

Evandale’s Sunday market is one of the highlights of the trip. Unlike most food markets in the states or in Europe, where the selection is excellent, but resellers run most stands. In Evandale the producers (farmers) run the majority, you really get to interact with each and everyone of them and listen to all their stories about starting up a local business.

Breakfasts on the road usually means a cup of black coffee plus a flaky croissant at best. In Evandale’s Sunday Market I enjoyed some extremely scrumptious homemade baked goods thanks to Anabel! I’m already missing her orange loaf cake which had an unapologetic burst of citrus flavour.

Evandale Sunday Market: Falls Park, Logan Road, 7212 Evandale                                              (open every Sunday from 8am to 1:30pm)

A charming restaurant with an interesting fusion menu. I seldom go to the same restaurant twice when I travel but I made an exception for this one. With great expectations when i returned for breakfast and it didn’t disappoint. Loved the rye waffles and the omelette made with slow cooked pork and kimchi!

Stillwater: 2 Bridge Rd, Launceston TAS 7250

Highly recommend Black Cow Bistro, another establishment by the Stillwater team, which serves some pretty solid steaks. My wagyu filet was melt-in-the-mouth perfection!

Black Cow Bistro: 70 George St, Launceston TAS 7250

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All things lavender from the jam to the scones to the cookies! Since when did I become so girly?!

Bridestowe Lavender Estate: 296 Gillespies Rd, Nabowla TAS 7260

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Sheffield- a picturesque town, in literal sense, is effectively Tasmania’s outdoor art gallery. There are more than 80 murals adorning its buildings.

Situated on the Main St of Ross, the Ross bakery Inn, is a heritage building from the early 1800’s which was once a horse-drawn carriage stop. Along side the Inn is the famous Ross Village Bakery. By all means try their vanilla slice and scallop pie, totally worth a detour!

Ross Bakery: 15 Church St, Ross TAS 720

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A nice joint to stop by for a quick seafood taste before heading to the wineglass bay. Highly recommend the oyster trio as you get to eat them in various ways instead of just having them with lemon.

Freycinet Marine Farm: 1784 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay TAS 7215

Love everything about this modern farm! Tim and Jane and their family dogs, Billy and Sandy are super friendly. As weird as it sounds, I had the best scones in my life there… The clotted cream made by Jane gives an unique decadent consistency and a wonderful flavor.  It’s quite thick and spreadable, and when you slather it on a freshly baked scone there is no better thing in the world.

Curringa Farm: 5831 Lyell Hwy, Hamilton TAS 7140

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Fruit always tastes better when you pick it yourself!!

Sorell Fruit Farm: 174 Pawleena Rd, Sorell TAS 7172

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See you soon Tassie! ❤

Whirlwind to Sydney in 36 hours

Question: What do you do when you are in Sydney?

Answer: EAT, visit some friends, go to the Sydney harbor, Bondi Beach…

Question: What do you do when you are in Sydney, and you have been there a few times before?

Answer:  EAT, you can still visit your friends, I guess…

Question: What do you do when you are in Sydney, you have been there a few times before and this time you are there for 36 hours only?

Answer: Oh, that leaves only eating!

Question: Where then can I find something good to eat in Sydney?

Answer: Go to these places!!


The first thing to draw your eyes in this patisserie is the trays of delicately constructed slices of cakes- watermelon cakes in particular. Topped with strawberries and edible flowers this dessert is just heavenly freshness! There is a generous slice of watermelon in the middle, but the layers of evenly spread almond meal help to absorb the moisture and stop the watermelon from making the whole cake soggy.

Newtown is an interesting neighbourhoods, the beating heart of Sydney’s bohemian arts scene. Do spend some time exploring the local art galleries and street art murals afterwards.

Black Star Pastry Newtown: 277 Australia St, Newtown NSW 2042

A must-go whenever I’m in town! While oyster is a popular choice for many, I had my heart stolen by the scampi sashimi long ago. Originated from NZ, the scampi is slit down the center which allows you to easily split the crustacean into halves and pull out the sweet and buttery flesh that literally melts away in one’s mouth. Absolutely divine!

Sydney Fish Market: Bank St & Pyrmont Bridge Road, Sydney NSW 2009

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My favorite hotcakes in the whole wide world. Period.

bills: 359 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

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Instead of macarons, these colorful babies are called zumbarons here. The name may be different but they taste as good- light and crisp with a gooey center, just the way they should be.

p.s. glad to see more and more zumbo stores, not just in Sydney, but across the entire Australia!

Zumbo Patisserie: 296 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2041

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Warning: Contains Outrageously Good Doughnuts

A rapidly growing doughnut chain, Australians’ equivalent of Krispy Kreme that sells yummy, funky and not so little doughnuts!! I love the quirky little names they give to each of them. Love At First Bite is my personal favorite — a doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar and filled with half a bottle of Nutella.

Doughnut Time: 500 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

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A rarity: Sydney when it drizzles. The city keeps surprising me in one way or the other.

Taiwan- Yilan

Cycling on the farm roads of Yilan, fringed with healthy looking weeds, feeling the air- light and crisp on my skin, there seemed to be so much space to breathe in. Coming from Hong Kong, where everything is so tightly cramped in, the streets so suffocating in comparison. I couldn’t help but smile, feeling as though I’d climbed from a dim basement to a spacious garden.

Sanshing (Three Stars) town is famous for its spring onion. Unlike our local spring onion with flat stalk/leaf, spring onion in Sanshing has giant round stalk and it’s extra fragrant and flavorful. The restaurants in Yilan take great pride in this local produce; it is commonly incorporated in dishes to add a note of crunchiness and green freshness. Have you ever felt stalked by certain food? Ok, it may sound delusional but this was exactly how I felt when I kept seeing spring onion all over the place… in pancakes, dumplings, or cooked with chicken as skewers… showing the sincerest respect for locally grown ingredients from the Yilan people.

NYC Part III- Eleven Madison Park

It has been two months since my visit to Eleven Madison Park, one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. The visit was truly an amazing culinary experience that I will not forget for a while! When I think back to my memories of the restaurant, not only do I recall each specific bite of food, but I also remember the emotion of eating there, the unadulterated rapture of tasting great (not just good!) food…

The tasting menu which consists of 14 courses of creatively prepared dishes was a gastronomic experience like no other. The presentation, taste and service were top notch; the pacing was on point due to the attentiveness of the staff. Everything on the tasting menu was decadent and delicious. Highlights of the meal included a little egg filled with sturgeon caviar, sabayon and chives, a caviar and cauliflower take on Eggs Benedict and a custard dessert made with a ball that shattered to spill honey. The relatively mediocre dishes in the menu would suffice as good or great in any other restaurant, but deemed to be overshadowed by the remarkable dishes.

Overall a truly whimsical, innovative, daring and phenomenal food journey…I better let the photos speak for themselves!!


Savory cookies made with apple and cheddar in stylish B/W and Sturgeon sabayon presented in an egg shell that was perfectly cut on the top and emptied.

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Oyster: pie and velouté. The velouté was creamy, and the crust on the mini pie was crisp.

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Scallops marinated with black truffle and leeks

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My absolute favorite! An upscale reinvention of classic Eggs Benedict made with caviar, cauliflower and ham, totally showcased the creativity of the Chef. The house made English muffins was a lovely accompaniment.

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House made rolls along with butters and sea salt.

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An interesting take on “surf and turf” made with perfectly seared foie gras with Brussels sprouts and smoked eel.

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Waldorf salad. The original recipe was invented in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky who was the head waiter at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel at the time (which was later demolished in 1929 to make way for the building of the Empire State Building). The salad was prepared in front of you, combining multiple ingredients, such as celery root, walnuts, grapes and apple. The salad was served in a giant bowl which had two compartments, in the bottom there was a cold soup made of the same dressing as the salad.

The duck was roasted with honey and lavender; it was perfectly cooked and packed with flavors!

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The cheese course totally exceeded my expectation. It was a beautifully melted Cato Corner cheese fondue sitting in a squash, you simply have to dip the homemade pretzel bread in to enjoy it. And guess what: it was divine!

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Pre-dessert- Botrytis with Ice Cream, Bitter Almond, and Ginger Crumble. Inspired by the flavor of grapes lucky enough to have been infected with the fungus, also known as noble rot.

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Milk and Honey Custard with Bee Pollen Ice Cream. Shattered the honeycomb shell and you’d be thrilled to discover the honey inside!

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Dishes are playful and interactive from start to finish, the dessert ‘Name That Milk’- which came in an ornate wooden box containing four bars of specially commissioned Mast Brothers chocolate together with pencils and a card with four animal drawings totally blew my mind. Diners must taste each bar to determine which chocolate belongs to which animal: cow’s milk, sheep’s, goat’s or buffalo’s.

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Eleven Madison Park (elevenmadisonpark.com)

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

NYC Part II-Sweets in the City

I know what you are thinking, yea the title is very cliché but how can I write about NYC without paying tribute to my favorite TV series of all time! NYC has always been called the fifth major SATC character, alongside Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda. A decade has passed since the last episode was aired, surprisingly I can still vividly recall how I happily lost sleep over the show in my teenage years… How I went through numerous emotional rollercoasters while watching the fabulous foursome in their endless pursuit of the two “Ls”- labels and love. Just like the two “Ls”, dessert is essential in women’s lives (think of all the heartbreaks and PMS that you were able to get through because of it :p).
Life is uncertain, let’s eat dessert first!

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1. Magnolia Bakery
1240 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY

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Carrie tells Miranda about a major crush while scarfing down one of this bakery’s signature cupcakes. While Magnolia is famous for its buttercream-topped cupcake, it’s the bakery’s creamy banana pudding that impressed me most. Just a tip, skip the long line at the original Bleecker Street location and head to the other branches, e.g the ones in Grand Central Station/ Rockefeller Center.

2. Wafels & Dinges
W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

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Originally started as a food truck in East Village, now it’s everywhere in New York. The waffles are soft, chewy, and caramelized along the exterior. Don’t miss the absolute best part – the spekuloos spread!!

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3. Sprinkle cupcakes
Upper East Side, 780 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065

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Sprinkles actually first started in Beverly Hills, California, it then became so popular that it can now be found in almost all major US cities. All their cupcakes are topped with its trademark modern dots or seasonal decorations, bringing a cute sophisticated look to the American classic. I ordered my cupcake from the cupcake ATM, the cake tastes nice and moist and doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of frosting.

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4. La Bella Ferrara
110 Mulberry St (btwn Canal & Hester), New York, NY

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With the encroachment from Chinatown and expansion of SoHo, Little Italy is becoming Littler Italy. Though many claim that it exists mostly as a nostalgic memory or in the minds of tourists who still make it a must-see on their New York itinerary, I had some really good cannoli there.

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5. Jacques Torres Chocolate
350 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

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The chocolatier has long earned its place as a worthy detour for lovers of baked goods and chocolate. It also serves my favorite hot chocolate in the city! The intense cocoa slurry is thick and has a good hint of bitterness from the dark chocolate. They also offer to add in whipped cream, so that’s an added bonus!

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NYC Part I- The Breakfast-loving Carnivore

I once heard someone says, “You live more life in one day in New York City than you do somewhere else in a year.” Coming home with a terrible jet lag, I do feel 10 years older after my recent trip to the Big Apple. Sitting in front of the computer at 4am in the morning, I can’t help recalling every single detail of my favourite trip ever. Perhaps that’s a big claim, but I can say without a doubt that NYC is my favourite city and I don’t think there is anything that will ever beat.

What makes New York unique is its history, tradition, architecture, culture and people, there is such vibrancy to the city that you don’t find anywhere else in America or even in the world. With tens of thousands of restaurants and even more kiosks, delis and roadside stands where you can take a quick bite whenever you feel like – NYC dining scene just does better than anywhere else!

I could spend ten more years eating and drinking in the city without conquering all of its restaurants or bars. So this list wasn’t meant to be exhaustive, just to share with you some of my personal favourites in several categories.

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Breakfast

Ever since Breakfast at Tiffany’s, breakfast and the city were inseparable. I might not have eaten my bagel while window-shopping on the 5th avenue but I was more than happy to have started my daily adventures with a full stomach.

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1.Best Bagel and Coffee

225 W 35th St, New York, NY 10018, Midtown West

Some say it’s the water that makes the city’s bagels so delicious. Some say it’s the special way the Polish Jews immigrants prepared the dough. I don’t care. I just want one. Now!

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2. Fairway Cafe

2127 Broadway 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10023, Upper West Side

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A traditional american diner with huge windows overlooking Broadway. Love their silver dollar pancakes!

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3. Sarabeth’s

423 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024, b/t 80th St & 81st St Upper West Side

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The crab cake eggs benedict is fantastic!

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Steak– A trip to the states is not complete without some serious red meat consumption.

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1.St. Anselm

355 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, 

b/t 4th St & Havemeyer St Williamsburg – North Side

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Unlike the old-school chophouses which feature dark wood and clubby atmospheres, this contemporary steakhouse in Brooklyn offers very solid char-grilled steak. The hanger steak is excellent and don’t forget to order their thick-cut bacon for sides!

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2. Costata

206 Spring St, New York, NY 10012, b/t Sullivan St & Avenue Of The Americas, South Village

Meaning rib-eye in Italian, Costata is a upscale restaurant in SOHO owned by the famous pasta chef Michael White. Their dry aged steak is a must, take the menu’s advice and order pasta as a side dish with steak. You won’t regret it!

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3. Lincoln Sqaure Steak

208 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023, b/t Amsterdam Ave & End Ave 
Upper West Side

 

Walking into this steakhouse with red walls, suede sofa booth and murals on the walls, feels like stepping into the best era of the 40s. Highly recommend the cream spinach as side for the steak, which is exceptional in its own right!

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