Earlier this month, I had the delightful opportunity to attend a Manger Workshop hosted by Mimi Thorisson at her home in France. As a long-time follower of her blog, Manger, and an avid cook from her first cookbook, A Kitchen in France, meeting Mimi in real life and cooking with her was a wondrous experience. I have always been intrigued by her background, part French and part Hong Kong-Chinese, thus explaining my strong
One of our favourite cafés in Zurich is the French-inspired Café du Bonheur in the Kreis 4 neighbourhood. Surrounded by old residential buildings and nestled on one side of Bullingerplatz with its impressive fountain, it is the sort of neighbourhood café which everyone wishes was tucked around the corner from their home.
A few years ago when we were in the Napa Valley region in California, we were lucky enough to visit the Stanly Lane Pumpkin Patch with our son who was just shy of 2 years old at the time. It was our first experience of an American pumpkin patch, something which we had only ever seen in movies and TV shows. Needless to say, we were probably more excited than our son was!
This post on San Francisco and the Napa Valley has been long overdue; it was typed up and ready to be published over a year ago, but the arrival of our girl in the interim meant that scrolling through the 1000+ photos from our trip seemed like an unachievable task. But upon hearing that some of our friends will be visiting this beautiful part of the west coast of the US in the
Now that we are a family of four, holidays have taken on a completely new meaning, especially when it comes to organising accommodation. Finding a hotel which can accommodate two adults, a toddler and a small baby can be a tricky task if you are on a budget. We have stayed in a few hotels where my husband and I would occupy the main bed, our toddler would take up the whole sofa
The best cafés and restaurants for brunch in Zurich, with tips for families with children. When I first moved to Zurich in 2006, “brunch” was not quite in the Swiss vocabulary. Only a very few places offered brunch in Zurich on Sundays, and those places were typically always booked out by expats in search of pancakes, waffles, baked beans and the like which were not commonly offered by the more traditional Swiss establishments.
A stone’s throw away from the busy banking district of Zurich centred around Paradeplatz is Le Raymond Bar, a new establishment catering to the after-work crowd and lovers of coffee alike. Owned by the same group which operates the popular local coffee institutions of Grande and Bovelli, customers will enjoy the offerings by this new kid on the block.
Its doors only opened at the beginning of this year, but Juicery 21 is quickly becoming a popular hangout in Zurich for coffee-drinkers and health-conscious juice-lovers alike. Owned and operated by Fred Jacobi, a Swede who grew up in Brazil, studied in Australia and who recently set up roots in Switzerland, Juicery 21 draws inspiration from Jacobi’s far-flung global travels. In fact, the idea behind opening a juice bar came to him during
Maison Blunt is a Moroccan-inspired tearoom and restaurant in the hip area of Kreis 5, a few tram stops or a short walk from the main train station in Zurich. Set in an industrial building with an unassuming entrance, the interior has been transformed into an exotic oasis; the colourful and patterned wall and floor tiles cleverly work together to create an uplifting ambiance, and the fresh bouquet of garden flowers at every
With the precision of Swiss timing, at exactly 18:00, the Christmas lights floating above the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich suddenly glow and twinkle like a cluster of diamonds sparkling in the night-time sky. Befittingly, the lights are named “Lucy”, after the hit Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”. The crowd below gasp in unison before cheering and clapping; the annual switching on of the Christmas lights heralds the start of the Christmas
With its arresting architecture, winding cobblestone streets and lush greenery, Stockholm is like a scene from a fairytale. The natural beauty of this city is best appreciated in the warm summer months but, even on the dark, wintry days when daylight peeks through the sky for a teasing few hours, Stockholm is a city which excites and entices. Museums and trendy art galleries abound, and you already know about the stylishly attired Swedish
The Zurich Street Food Festival was in full swing this past weekend, this time along the scenic banks of Lake Zurich with the Swiss Alps providing a stunning backdrop. The diversity of cuisines prepared by the food stands and food trucks was a welcome surprise in a city where the local fare is often limited to cheese, sausages and potatoes. From Austrian dumplings to Yemeni pancakes, with various burger outlets and Asian dumplings
Like quite some many Vietnamese immigrants in Australia, my parents ran a busy bakery which sold everything from the likes of crusty Vietnamese baguettes to sourdough breads, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a wide selection of cakes and pastries from the humble Australian lamington to French classics such as the éclair and tarte au citron. If I wasn’t eating toast with Vegemite for breakfast, I was eating a hot croissant, straight from the
As a child born in Australia to Vietnamese immigrants, I spent a good part of my youth believing I was just like any other Aussie kid. I ate meat pies and sausage rolls for lunch and spoke English with an Aussie accent. In fact, for most of my childhood, we lived in a small town on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where we were the only Asians for several hundred kilometres; I was the only Asian in the entire
Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you all a happy holiday season with your families and loved ones. Thank you so much for your support and company this past year on Eat, Little Bird. 2014 looks to be an exciting year ahead and I look forward to sharing more of my favourite recipes and travel tips here on this blog. Eat, drink and save room for Christmas pudding!
A kitchen bible in many Australian homes is The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander. It’s a book I turn to when I have an ingredient which I don’t know how to cook or when I simply want to revisit the food of my childhood in Australia. Stephanie’s recipe for pikelets is one which I now make from memory, especially since it was one of the few things my little one would eat when he
For me, it was love at first sight. The moment I laid my eyes on a Sophie Conran casserole pot at John Lewis, I knew I had to have it. I loved its round and compact shape, and I loved even more the elegant and wavy ridges, somewhat reminiscent of fragile Japanese porcelain but with a distinct nod to handmade English pottery. Nevermind that I was in London for only 12 hours for
I ought to rephrase the title of this post because there is no such thing as a quick trip to Brittany. Set in the far north western corner of France, there is never a quick route to visit our family and a train journey from Zurich typically takes 12 hours door to door. And making this trip with an 11-month old baby somehow feels twice as long. But the trip is always worthwhile
Since my last post, I’m happy to report that our cocktail party went off without a hitch and the evening was a roaring success, if I may say so myself. Our large buffet in our dining room was actually used as a buffet for the first time ever, where we laid out bowls of homemade hummus and black olive tapenade with Swedish crisp breads. On offer was also my Chicken Liver Pâté with
A (long) while back, I optimistically mentioned that I would be publishing a travel post on London. But when I went looking through my photos, I realised that I had actually very few photos of London. There is one of me standing proudly in front of the Australian Embassy for no apparent reason other than perhaps I was feeling a little homesick that day. And then there are a few shots of my
After what was the longest winter here in Europe, spring finally arrived. Although it disappeared after a brief visit and summer has now suddenly pounced upon us. I wasn’t planning on doing much gardening this year, especially since the little one has been keeping me busy and I still feel guilty for abandoning some plants during the first few months after coming home from the hospital. But once the warm weather made its
Regular readers of my blog will know that I had a love affair with The Little Paris Kitchen in 2012. I loved the TV show, the recipes, Rachel Khoo. Despite having been a consumer of French food since I was a child, I was never as inspired to cook it until Rachel Khoo hit our screens with her fresh take on the old French classics. Though, that’s not to say that every recipe
Happy New Year everyone! We welcomed in the New Year with our lovely neighbours over good food, wine and smelly cheese, followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over Lake Zurich. The following day, we headed to the mountains of Grindelwald for a change of scenery. Anyone who has watched the classic Clint Eastwood film, The Eiger Sanction, will be somewhat familiar with the famous Eiger mountain that dominates Grindelwald. Unfortunately, I never
In my previous gardening post, I had introduced you to the selection of herbs which I had started to grow on my kitchen balcony. To date, I am happy to report that all have been flourishing and thankfully still looking green and healthy, except for my coriander and parsley. Summer has been quite late to arrive in Zurich, making its appearance only now after what has felt like months and months of constant
Herbs form an important part of my cooking and I can’t think of a dish where I don’t use a herb as a garnish or as a main ingredient. Perhaps it is because of my affinity with Vietnamese cooking which, at its heart, is all about fresh flavours and fresh ingredients, that I like to use fresh herbs wherever possible to enhance the flavours of a dish. So often, I have planned a
I had always dreamt of visiting Martha’s Vineyard, though it never quite occurred to me that an opportunity to actually do so would ever arise. The closest we had come once was when planning our honeymoon which eventually took place on the neighbouring island of Nantucket. But last summer, faced with the choice of returning to the idyllic comfort of Nantucket or visiting Martha’s Vineyard as a new destination, we suddenly found ourselves
The Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and this year was the first time the event came to Zurich, Switzerland. One of the organisers of the event was Kerrin Rousset of the delightful Swiss food and travel blog, My Kugelhopf. She and her colleagues did a fantastic job in introducing some truly wonderful French chocolatiers and pastry chefs to Switzerland, as well as bringing together some local names
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have all had a good start to 2012 with lots of fine celebrations, good food and good company. Christmas for us is usually spent with our family in Brittany, a cold and windy region in the north-west of France. Except, this year, it was thankfully not so cold and windy, which meant that my Ugg boots which I had lugged with me on the 9 hour
The mere mention of Nantucket often raises eyebrows, even amongst our geography-bright friends. Most people have never heard of the place, they don’t know where it is or they think it is a fictional town. We first visited Nantucket in 2010 for our honeymoon. Hubby had volunteered for the task of organising this much-needed holiday, before he realised that it was a traditional task of the groom! I left quiet hints about Martha’s