Category Archives: Eat

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Day 2 — Din Tai Fung & Lufthansa

I promise the story for Day 2 would be shorter. After all, I don’t think there have been too many people who had finished my Day 1 story anyway, given it was a bit too long as a “first chapter”.

As you would imagine, after all these crazy fight, I managed to sleep till next morning 9:00 AM. Meetings and works as usual. But not much to look around as a tourist. Not that I knew Singapore inside out already, but just that there were more important things for me to crack which require my present in front of the screen.

I stayed the whole day indoor except lunch at Din Tai Fung at Raffles City, again. Yes I already had my dinner there at the previous night. I have to confess that I have an obsession with Din Tai Fung. Like a curse. So if I know there is a Din Tai Fung near by, then I have to go. I have to. No escape. I used to go to Taipei for a weekend just for this reason. Now I don’t have to. There are in Hong Kong, Singapore, California, Japan, Sydney and more. The only regret is that it just has no store in Melbourne yet that’s all.

Let’s cut the crap. I promised to stay short. So let’s jump on it. I did a late check out from the hotel at late afternoon and when towards the airport. There was a bus waiting outside going to the airport. The driver said 10 Sing Dollars. Fair enough. A taxi trip would cost me almost 30. But I told the guy I didn’t have cash, in Mandarin (yes, as the story in Day 1, I never had Singaporean cash). But he said “don’t worry, just get on the bus first.” It was just one more proof of how poor my Mandarin is: they must had heard me saying “no change” instead of “no cash”. I ended up paying the mainland China driver a HK$100 note. He was extremely happy, and I am still better off. Win win.

It was lucky that I was early at the airport. The KLM early check in counter just opened at 7:00 PM as I arrived. Perhaps I arrived too early, they decided to traded me away. You see, I bet there must be around 100,000 people going to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. Anything connected to Barcelona was overbooked. So as my fight (and my accommodation). They offered me USD 75 as the bait for me to say yes. I said yes, not because of that cash, but because of the fact that I was then with Lufthansa’s A380 (still economy) and was one hour earlier to leave Singapore and one hour short in transit waiting. I took it. It sounded good. But after all I wasn’t sure if this was the best idea. You see, midnight flight, early arrival in the airport, you knew the story, and it ain’t pretty.

Just to jump to the end of the story as promised. It turned out just fine. The only thing I missed on Day 2 was that I didn’t get the chance to taste Din Tai Fung again, as they are in Terminal 1 (so as KLM), but I got transferred to Lufthansa in Terminal 2. Damn. What a close miss.

Best Pizza in the World

pizza剛與內子撐檯腳,去了一家被選為 “Best Pizza 2013″ 的意大利舖。Pizza 果然了得,皮既薄且好煙韌彈牙,有汁但又唔太濕,果然名不虛傳!

好吃的 Pizza 通常都不會太浮誇。芝心批泰味蝦北京填鴨等創新風格從不是我的口味。我只愛傳統茄醬芝士面,薄韌底。其實只要個底做得好,餡料愈平實愈好,愈顯得出廚子的功力。

有時做菜和做人一樣,基本功做得不好,靠餡料裝飾也沒用。但往往大家都誤以為那些餡料是主角而忘了事實的本質,或者以多一點嘩眾取寵的元素可以蓋過本質的不足。結果,花了太多精神時間將自己聚焦於表象上,本體卻不堪一擊。

我也自己試過在家做 Pizza,不過未試過真的見得人。吃 Pizza 還是上館子吃吧!怎樣做我也做不出那批底,因為不是我的本行,怎樣也發酵不出一件「好底」。

(the photo was an old pizza I told 88 weeks ago. Not related to this “Best Pizza 2013″. Just here to attract readership.)

豬扒2

是真的豬扒,不是說人。

買了兩件連骨厚切豬扒,加鹽、古月粉、celery seed、parsley 和芝麻,再搽油將醃料按摩、塗勻,然後用一塊煙肉捲著,醃一小時。將焗爐加熱至 240C,把豬扒放入,焗 20分鐘。

煙肉的油會保住豬扒的外層,避免過乾。焗成後有少少 pink at the center,勁 juicy。老婆稱頌這比牛扒更美味的菜餚,我也覺這的確是個化算的選擇,因為同樣的質素,豬扒比牛扒便宜一大截啊!


延伸閱讀:
對上一次煮豬扒

星巴克騙案

先讓大家答一條簡單的智力測驗題:(其實也不需要很高智,因為只是五歲的加數)在星巴克,一杯細的 cappuccino 是用一份的 espresso (約一安士)再加上少量熱奶和大量的奶泡加滿到八安士而成。一杯中的 cappuccino 也是用一份 espresso 來沖,只是熱奶和奶泡會加滿至十二安士。一杯細的賣十七元,如果奶是可以免費添加的話,那一杯中的要賣多少錢?

答案似乎很簡單:如果 espresso 都是一份,多出來的奶又是免費的,那細和中應該一樣價錢吧?錯!在星巴克,中(tall)的比細(short)的 cappuccino 貴三元,要賣二十元。多了的三元其實是來「買」那些多出來的泡和奶。你或者會說:「但那些熱奶和奶泡跟旁邊那些免費凍奶可是不一樣的噢!那四安士是要用蒸氣「攪」出來的啊!」

好,就當那些蒸氣奶泡比免費奶有三元的差價(是那十幾秒的人工錢?),但於紅茶上的差價又如何解釋呢?在星巴克,細、中、大(grande,十六安士)的紅茶都是只有一個茶包。但價錢卻分別是十七、二十和二十二元。付多了的差價只是來買那些免費的熱水!如果是這樣,為甚麼大家不只去用十七元買一杯細茶,然後再問服務員拿一杯熱水,自己加到十六安士,從而替自己省掉五元?

你也可以說,價錢標得清清楚楚,有人喜歡多付五元要一個大一點的杯,你情我願,不算「騙」啊!問題就在這裡:早前在中環星巴克某分店,排在我前面的一位女士點了一杯中的伯爵红茶。服務員便拿著一個 grande 杯對她說:「你會唔會考慮俾兩蚊升級去 grande 呢?俾多兩蚊但大杯好多喎!抵好多架!」那女士考慮了兩秒,也覺得有著數,便同意了。排到我的時候,我多管閒事地問那服務員:「喂,其實俾多兩蚊都係得一個茶包架咋喎,分別只係多四安水?」服務員有點尷尬地答:「其實,嘻嘻,其實…… 都係既……。哈哈!呀,你都幾清楚架喎!你都做過 Starbucks 架?」嘩!咁就賺多兩元!如果沒有主動推銷還算。現在擺明車馬引誘客人去多付那本來不用付的代價卻就有點不對。

其實還不只如此。說回那 cappuccino。根據 World Barista Championship(一個鬥沖咖啡的比賽)的標準,一杯正常的 cappuccino 應有五至六安士的量。再多一點奶便會變得淡口和不夠香,而且那泡泡也較易塌下。但如果你踏進任何一家星巴克跟他們說要一杯 cappuccino 而不說明大細,他們大多會自動會給你一杯 tall cappuccino。有時甚至就算你主動問:「我想要細杯既 cappuccino」,他們仍會拿著一個 tall 杯問多句:「係咪即係呢個 size 呢?」總之,除非你好順口咁樣講:「唔該一杯 to go short cappuccino」(講得好似好熟咁樣),否則他們仍會想辦法要你買那賺多你三元但淡一點的 tall size,而不會讓你要那杯較便宜但較好喝的 short size。

我曾經將這現象與人討論。當然有人說其實他們本來也較喜歡多奶一點的咖啡。但更多人甚至不知道原來有 short size 可供選擇!大部份人以為星巴克就像戲院買的爆谷一樣,一起首就已是「中」,然後有「大」和「加大」。我再去留意他們貼在牆上的價錢牌:嘿!原來價錢牌(如右圖)只得三行,放在櫃檯旁的吉杯也只有三個,「short」這一個 item 竟是不存在,是個秘密來的!你知道就會知,否則,你便自然要由那 profit margin 較高的 tall 點起了!

大家真的可以試試,下次到星巴克說要「一杯細既乜乜」(咖啡或茶),看看他們是會讓你要 short 還是 tall。我和內子過去試的六、七次中,只有一次那服務員直接去拿一個 short 杯去沖。其餘的總會嘗試推我們要 tall size。你們會否也有同樣的經歷呢?