TEA LOVE

People ask where my obsession with tea came from. To be honest, I think as soon as you taste the tea I have tasted, questions will no longer be asked. But, just in case I am biased, I will still attempt to answer this question.

If I think back to my university days, I was caught muttering to myself, ‘I love how tea is that little bit thicker than water‘. No, I have never lived it down. And no, what I said makes no sense. But at the time of saying it I was deep in my own thoughts, oblivious to the world, with a feeling of content. And that is why I love tea. Its the best thinking drink. It is almost like wine, but socially acceptable at all times, doesn’t bring out the alcohol anger, and comes sans (without) hangover. What else could you ask for? (apart from the fact it is also warming, has hundreds of health benefits and has a diverse range of aromas.. of if we are being posh, palettes). More  tea knowledge from the tea obsessive to come.

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Alex the anosmic

“Can you smell something burning?” Does that sound familiar Sam? Normally though, when the topic is first touched upon, people start by asking: “What do you smell/taste?” or something along these lines. Yes that’s right, I do not possess the sense of smell, I am anosmic:
Anosmia (/ænˈɒzmiə/) is the inability to perceive odour or a lack of functioning olfaction. (Wikipedia, 2015)
For as long as I can remember I have never had a “nose” and I can’t say that I have ever missed it. You might wonder what it is I can taste while eating and how I manage to cook. As some might have already guessed, I am limited to the five different taste buds found on a human tongue; salt, sour, sweet, bitter and umami (I leave that last one to your own research, dear reader). Cooking, seasoning? I dare say I have roughly the same idea of how much of any herb, spice etc. to put in a dish as any other experienced cook. For anything only detectable via one’s beak, I have to rely on my observation of other people’s reaction.
So there you have it, technically yes, I am disabled but compared to lacking any of the other senses, I think it is the lesser evil.
Smell you later!

What is food to me?

More than once I felt the need to explain what feels so natural and seems so obvious to me. To put it simply, it is the substance we run on! It is able to make us healthy, occasionally it might make us ill or if it comes to the worst it could even kill us. Food does wield an undeniable influence on our existence which is why, wherever possible, I don’t want food to be able to ‘lie’ to me. A meal should be honest, you should be able to tell what it contains of and it should be fresh or at least in a condition in which it is meant to be eaten (pickles just crossed my mind).

Our first Chinese Tea and Dim Sum Sunday Brunch

This morning we hosted a delightful crowd at our very first Chinese Tea and Dim Sum Sunday Brunch.

Here is a sneak peak at a few items off our dining menu:

Tea

铁观音 – Tie Guan Yin – Iron Buddha Oolong Tea
Often referred to as Monkey-picked oolong (an old wives tale, there were no monkeys hurt in themaking of this), this tea has a fresh and fruity flavour (so much so that if you close your eyes, you could be in the tea fields themselves).

龙井绿茶 – LongJing LuCha – Dragon Well Green Tea
One of the most famous teas in China, from Zhejiang Province, this puts all other Green tea to shame with it’s toasty and almost chestnutty flavour.

Dim Sum Dishes

炒菠菜 (Chao Bo Cai)
Lightly fried fresh baby spinach leaves with a splash of soy sauce, a sprinkling of garlic in a Chinese broth. It is extremely simple, elegant and delicious dish and a staple in nearly all Chinese home cooking.

包子 (Bao Zi)
Baozi can be found throughout China, often seen in towers of steamers lining the streets early in the morning, stuffed with anything from meat to custard. Eaten any time from breakfast to an evening snack, this is a Chinese staple. Today we served them in a bamboo steamer with a side of soy sauce and Chinese vinegar. Our buns were stuffed with either red-braised diced butternut squash.

橘子 (Ju Zi)
Tangerines and oranges are considered a lucky food in Chinese tradition which are often eaten during big celebrations. Tangerine in Chinese sounds similar to the word luck and orange sounds like the Chinese word for wealth. The bright orange color of tangerines symbolizes gold. Through the play of words, the Chinese associate the serving of oranges and tangerine as having an abundance of happiness and prosperity. Therefore we served a citrus-mousse filled tangerine in the hope of sending you our guests off happier and fuller (well in food) than they arrived!

If that sounds good to you make sure you keep an eye out for our future brunches!