Category: Food

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Shanghai Birthday Weekend

Birthday season is in full swing and last weekend was the most important one – mine πŸ˜‰ The festivities, or the food fest to be more precise, went on all weekend and I have so many pictures:

Pastry Class

My first present I got a day early: For Saturday, Thorben had organized a secret activity and I only found out what it was when it started. He tried (and succeeded) to make me think it was a big group exercise based thing, so clearly I was a bit skeptical πŸ˜€

Thankfully, we didn’t do a crazy boot camp but a pastry class. Someone we know is a pastry chef and she taught Tim and I how to make St. Honore cake (which included pastry cream and caramel), cream puffs, Choux aux Craquelin, and eclairs. It was a lot of fun and we made industrial quantities! While it wasn’t strictly exercise, my arms still got a workout πŸ™‚

Birthday Dinner & Cake

After all that hard work, we got cleaned up and then headed out to dinner with Tim and Boramy. It was so good and I took too many pictures. Back at home, we joined by two more friends to help us celebrate and make a dent into the cake and pastries. If I may say so myself, everything we made was amazing, so I turned 29 super stuffed and happy πŸ™‚

Birthday Brunch

The eating continued the next day, with brunch and then more cake and pastries at our place. Even after feeding 20+ people, there are still eclairs and cream puffs in our freezer … Not that that’s a problem πŸ™‚

Birthday Party … and more cake

The rest of my birthday was spent at the W Hotel. They had a “Viva Ibiza” Party on their beautiful terrace – you really can’t celebrate with a better view. Also, there was another cake. I love birthdays.

It was such a fun weekend and I’m so lucky to have so may wonderful people in my life. Thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate with me, and thank you also to my family and friends across the globe who called and send birthday wishes!

Last night, we made dumplings

Last night, we made dumplings

We don’t only go to restaurants or order takeout … sometimes we also work hard for our food. Yesterday, we went to a friend’s house to make dumplings. April had already gotten the dough from the fresh market and prepared the filling before we arrived. I think the filling was made out of chicken, cabbage, spring onions, ginger and some spices.

So to be exact, we didn’t really make dumplings, just stuffed the filling into the wrappers πŸ™‚

My technique still needs some work, but we had fun and they tasted really good – both boiled and pan fried. Great Chinese-Malay-Luxembourgish-Canadian-German cooperation for sure!

Birthday Surprise Trip

Birthday Surprise Trip

My mom turned 60 on March 20, so I flew to Germany for a week to surprise her. I arrived the morning of her birthday and she was definitely surprised, just ask our neighbor, who heard her scream πŸ˜‰

We had a great day together with – in this order – champagne, breakfast, an afternoon at the spa, more champagne and dinner with my sister and Frank. Of course it also included my traditional first food of every Germany trip – a Butterbrezel. Besides celebrating my mom, I spent some quality family time with everyone and we went to Rebengluehen, a cool wine event from our local wineries, where we hiked through the vineyards while sipping wine.

Here are some pictures from the trip, including pretty German buildings and churches and beautiful German food. The pink dwarf is Karl, the mascot of BUGA, the Federal German Garden Show, which is happening 20 minutes away from our village this year! Hopefully I can visit it during my next trip.

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

Just Shanghai Foodie Things

In case anyone was wondering, we’ve been having a lot of fun, and eating lots of food since getting back to Shanghai.

I have 2 new obsessions. Bliss/Protein Balls and BonApp.

Before New Zealand, I’ve tried a couple oatmeal based bliss ball recipes and since getting back, I’ve gotten serious. I made Key Lime Pie Coconut bites, Dark Chocolate Chia Protein Balls, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Balls and Passion Fruit Bites. So many more I wanna try, maybe mango ones, or cherry, or lemon vanilla? It’s so fun, like baking but without turning on the oven, which will be great in summer. I was just home for a week (pictures will follow) and I brought back so many ingredients πŸ™‚

My oven hasn’t been abandoned completely. Here is a flourless chocolate cake I baked recently:

I’ve also started writing lots of reviews and posting pictures on BonApp, the restaurant review app I use here (like TripAdvisor, but only for food). I don’t think I’ll become a food influencer soon – sadly – but it’s fun and I’ve found a place to post aaaall of the food pictures I take πŸ™‚

And finally, it was restaurant week again! It started March 14 and I managed to go to 5 places before flying home on March 20. Most of them were repeats from the past 2 restaurant weeks, so I already knew they were going to be great. I got so excited about all the food, and my coming BonApp reviews, I completely neglected to take any people pictures. Oops. Anyway, here is some food:

Boramy, a good friend of ours, also celebrated her birthday 2 weeks ago (during restaurant week!), so we went out for another great dinner and then her party … and then had another birthday dinner a few days later. You can never have too much food when celebrating πŸ™‚

A little 2018 review

A little 2018 review

Happy New Year! Before kicking off the 2019 adventures, I thought I’d look back on 2018 a little.

The start of last year’s review also fits here really well: 2018, it’s been a crazy year!

January

We started the year in Germany with our first home trip. Back in Shanghai, I was pleasantly surprised by the arrival of strawberry season. We also experienced our first Shanghai winter and Thorben volunteered for a crochet charity.Β Our first trip of 2018 took us to cold and beautiful Harbin, where we almost froze but were amazed by the incredible snow and ice sculptures.

February

For our first Chinese New Year we took a much anticipated trip to Australia! It was a fantastic vacation, I can’t really decide which part was my favorite: Snuggling a koala, exploring Kangaroo Island or maybe the outback?

March

At the beginning of March we returned from Australia, me with a little souvenir: pneumonia. I spent most of the month at home on the couch recovering.

April

Thankfully, I recovered in time for spring and got to see many beautiful flowers and blossoms in Shanghai. For Thorben’s birthday, we took a trip to Tokyo. We’d missed most of the cherry blossoms there but took comfort in the awesome food. The eating continued throughout the month at our first Shanghai Restaurant Week. I also got a little crafty at a screen printing class hosted by GGI, while Thorben visited Vietnam for his department outing.

May

Our second trip within China that year was to Nanjing over Labor day. In May, we also celebrated my birthday together with our first visitors, Thorben’s parents, with whom we also took a bike tour around Shanghai. Thorben started a new hobby in 2018 – archery tag – and played in a league in May.

June

In June, my parents came to visit and we checked out a few of the Shanghai sights: M50, Jing’An Temple, Yu Garden and some parks. I also visited another new place in China, Moganshan, with my department for our team outing. My sisters had a joint birthday party in the middle of the month, so I took a trip to Germany to surprise them.

July

The next trip to Germany, this time a business trip, was just a few weeks later. 10 days for me, 2 weeks for Thorben, who also went to Inner Mongolia for work that month.

August

Our summer 2018 was filled with friends and food. The China explorations continued with a group trip to Moganshan, where Thorben and many of our friends competed in an obstacle race (I was only along for the ride).

September

Basically, the whole month of September was about food and travel. It started with a weekend in Taipei, where Jana, Ellie and I ate our way through the city. Back in Shanghai, it was restaurant week again and we got 2 more visitors, my little sister and her boyfriend. Together, we went to Luoyang, Xi’An, Chengdu and Leshan. Besides two great food tours, seeing the pandasΒ was definitely a highlight of the trip!

October

In October, we used Golden Week to travel some more: Thorben went to Tibet and hiked all the way to the Everest base camp, while I went to visit my American family in Utah, Arizona and California. The US marked my 4th continent visited that year (and gave me gold status for flying way too much). After a few weeks back in Shanghai,Β I took another trip to Taipei to celebrate Pride.

November

After my third Germany trip at the beginning of the month, the rest of the month was spent in Shanghai. I got a beautiful view of Shanghai from above, we went to a great event called Chi Fan for Charity andΒ celebrated Thanksgiving. Thorben grew a (truly terrible) mustache for Movember and played in another archery league.

December

Ellie came to visit from Taipei for a long weekend at the end of November/beginning of December and helped me finish baking the final batch of Christmas Cookies.Β To get even more into the Christmas spirit, a friend and I made our own Christmas sweaters! Finally, Thorben and I spent the last 2 weeks of 2018 in Germany and were pretty busy with 2 weddings, 2 birthdays, visiting friends and family and celebrating Christmas!

And that was 2018! I can’t wait for more trips, Shanghai adventures, visitors and dinner parties in 2019 πŸ™‚

Restaurant Week Round 2

Restaurant Week Round 2

So much happened in September: I started the month in Taipei, came back to 7 nights of restaurant week, my little sister and her boyfriend arrived in the middle of it and we ate and touristed our way through Shanghai, Luoyang, Xi’an, Chengdu and again Shanghai.

Sadly, our awesome visitors left yesterday so it’s time to start posting all the pictures and write down all the things we did before I forget.

First up: Restaurant week, the Second.

I think I already mentioned that it happens twice every year and many different restaurants offer special menus at usually good prices. I had high expectations after the 9 restaurant week meals in April πŸ™‚ This time it was from August 30 to September 9. Because I “lost” three days in Taipei I only managed to go 8 times πŸ˜‰

Here are all the beautiful dishes I ate (or shared):

And here is the full list:

  • Colca, Peruvian: 8 courses of yumminess, really great start on the night before flying to Taipei.
  • Garlic, Turkish: Enjoyed it so much last time we came again. And brought friends. The food was still great and the portions huuuge.
  • Alma, European: Really good new find, loved their menu.
  • Azul Tapas & Lounge, Spanish: Great girls night with lots and lots of different delicious dishes.
  • Masse Gastro Lounge, Southeast Asian: Not bad but my least favorite out of the 8. Wouldn’t go again for food.
  • Bistro Burger, American: Nice little burger place close to us with an awesome deal during restaurant week.
  • The Cut, Steak: Good food but would only go again if they have a deal. Thorben’s steak is better.
  • The Fellas, Italian: The second repeat because it’s always amazing for food and the view, especially when trying to show off Shanghai to visitors πŸ™‚