Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mid summer rants

A month with absolute nothing-to-do-ness after the internship is so far so good :)

Finally visited all the malls and explored the changes ;P Revived high school memories of playing arcade games too! Man, RM1 gets you one game of everything, its great! Miss those good ol' days of going to arcades, playing Virtua Cop and Daytona's, hehe

Reality suddenly hits me that this is gonna be my last 'real' summer as will probably wont be able to go home or do much next summer due to work. *sigh* Feels like you have to grow up finally and enter the real working world...

So much for graduation traveling plans...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Michelin Star Spanish Food

Hey all!

Yesh, I know, the word 'FINALLY!' should be amongst the first few words uttered, but I'm glad you all miss my random posts :P

Internship finally ended, officially back for a week and holidays have been great so far! Now for the long promised 2nd part of the Madrid trip... Nopes, I didn't forget =)

My previous trip to Valencia and Barcelona taught me that besides Sangria, another not to be missed must-eat is churros. It's simply a Westernized version of yau char kuay (a.k.a. Chinese crullers), but then later DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE SAUCE :P One of life's 7 deadly sins ...

We had these too for lunch one day, seafood medley salad and salami with bread

And don't forget the 100% freshly squeezed Valencia orange juice, zumo de naraja...

However, the highlight of the trip would be the visit to a Michelin star equivalent restaurant, for my beloved paellas, and yes that would be arros negros, the squid ink paella. The place is called La Baraca, and we booked it the day before due to queues

Didn't get to take a pic of the LARGE paella pan which they presented us with, as the waiter hurriedly scoop it on our plates ... YUMS

Best part was the price was really reasonable too, for food of that superior quality, think we paid about 15-20 euros only :)

Next morning, we had calimari sandwich for breakfast, which was quite heavenly. But I was starting to feel a little queasy after too much 'good' food for the past few days

All these dishes are commonly found in other cities of Spain, but one thing uniquely Madrid would be their cucido a la Madrid, which is a Madrid style stew = must try. I felt that the guide book Yan Lin uses (Yan, whats the name of it again?) is a really good alternative to the wordy Lonely Planet versions, and more informative about local culture. Hui Li and I ventured some distance to locate the best shop for this dish, called La Bola (they even have a website for it, try googling)

We achieved star celebrity status for Asian tourists who managed to find out about this special place, as all eyes awed upon us when we entered. One of the key features of good places to eat, is where all locals do ;)

The cucido is a dish containing meat, lots of chickpeas, cabbage, Spanish sausages and some spices, stewed for a long time to produce a lovely 2 course meal, with a soup starter formed by adding spaghetti-like noodles with the soup from the stew...

And then 2nd course is the fillings and ingredients themselves. You don't eat it like normal stews with the soup and ingredients together.

It was great and super authentic, and the waiter was teaching us how to eat the stew properly, explaning some history along the way :) With tourists with lousy Spanish, and a waiter with lousy English, it was pretty comical trying to communicate, but all the more fun!

So that's all for the Madrid part 2, hope you all are enjoying the hols, and let me know if you're up for a visit/drink/shopping/movie!