Krabi Cookery Course

Thai food is amazing!

I did a Thai cookery course in Chaing Mai a few years ago & I absolutely loved it. I learnt, laughed & ate amazing food – Perfection! It was so much fun I couldn’t resist booking on another when I got to Krabi.

There are so many to choose from in Krabi. I browsed the selection of flyers in my hostel & picked my favourite menu. I booked via the hostel & the next day I was collected & taken to the cookery school. The lady who collected me was lovely, although a bit of a cheesy sense of humour. She was trying her best to be funny – the type of funny my grandparents might find endearing. I kept smiling to be polite, although I found her borderline annoying. Then I met her husband. Think of a kids tv presenter on speed & you’ll get a vague insight to how cheesy, enthusiastic & immature he is. His ‘sense of humour’ was totally not for me. I found him to be too loud & energetic, treating our group of 6 in their late twenties as though we were 5 years old. He induced hangover like symptoms within me. My head was pulsating, my tolerance levels non existent & my will to live excruciatingly low.

This guy took the entire course to my utter dismay. My food was incredible but by the end of it my patience had worn very thin (not that patience is my forte anyway) & I had a headache from his shouting & shit jokes. I just want to cook & eat dammit! I felt sorry though because he was only trying his best to entertain us – he just misinterpreted the group mood/age. My eyes got whiplash from all the involuntary eye rolls.

I made Papaya salad, Cashew chicken stir fry, Penang Curry & coconut rice desert. It all tasted amazing & I could barely eat half of it. We all took our leftovers home & left nursing full bellies & content taste buds.

I’m sure I’ll do another Thai cookery course the next time in Thailand. I will, however, ensure I hear good reviews about the instructor because this guy totally ruined my experience & made it completely unenjoyable.

Advertisements

Night Market, Phuket, Thailand

I absolutely adore Thai street food! The smells, the flavours, it’s quick, is it healthy?, filling & cheap! What more do you want!!?

The night market in Phuket does not disappoint! It has every sort of food & drink you could ask for. I start with a coconut, then a cold lemon & honey drink & I finish with a thai iced coffee – I have been dreaming of this since I last left Bangkok.

Even walking around the night market is a delight for your senses, there’s music, souvenirs for sale & you can even get your hair cut if you fancy.

 

The Western guy getting his hair cut draws a crowd of onlookers

The food was incredible. I didn’t know where to start. My two friends were happy to share so we winded our way down the stalls stopping to sample along the way. In the end I got the Kanom Krok (coconut pancakes I LOVE). I got so many I had to give a dozen away in the end. I have been dreaming about these little guys since my last trip to Thailand 2 years before. I also got a thai salad which was so spicy I gave it to a thai family sitting nearby. I got delicious pad thai as well. My god it was all worth the wait!

 

 

Honey lemon on tap – Bliss!

 

 

 

 

I was quick to get a sweet Thai iced coffee

 

Condensed milk, the cornerstone of any good Thai iced coffee

 

They make the salad on the spot using these delicious fresh ingredients

 

This salad was far too spicy for me!

 

 

You HAVE to try!

 

 

Little pockets of deliciousness

 

Making the magic happen ❤

Tomorrow I travel to the fitness retreat so I shouldn’t really be indulging – but I love Thai food so much I can’t resist!

Eating in Kathmandu, Nepal

Successfully eating my way around the world…..

Here’s some of what Kathmandu has to offer:

I can’t tell you how much I want Pad Thai right now!

Rosemary Cafe

This place does lovely breakfasts. I adored the french toast, bacon & maple syrup. It has a sweet outdoor seating area, good service & great food. I often came here alone to sort out my life with the decent wifi. Occasionally I would bring a friend & they were always impressed with this side street find.

 

OR2K

This is a really popular restaurant with numerous floors. It has a cool, chilled vibe, sociable on floor seating, a vast menu & quirky decor. This was a firm favourite with all my friends, but personally I thought it was a bit pricey & I didn’t really love the food. I would happily curl up here with a book & ginger, lemon & honey. They have a sister restaurant in Pokhara which is exactly the same decor & vibe. Worth checking out.

 

Chick N Falafel

There was a wrap bar under OR2K & I noticed before the queues outside. Taking this as a positive sign I joined the queue & had my first wrap! It was a spiced chicken, salad & sauce wrapped in a steaming mann – tasty, cheap & super filling. I loved it & wish I tried it sooner. After discovering it I had it every other day!

 

Pumpernickel Bakery

I came here for breakfast a few times & it was lovely. It has a laid back atmosphere & great food with freshly baked goods . The fruit, muesli, curd was my staple here & the great wifi meant that I would often sit here for a few hours planning my trip.

 

Utse Restaurant

The hostel recommended this restaurant to us as a hidden nepalese gem. This is a traditional menu with great options. We got thalis & were overwhelmed with the amount of food that arrived! Great value for the amount of food you get.

 

Thamel Momo Hut

Being the momo addict I am of course I couldn’t pass the momo hut without calling in. Lovely momos! Not the best I’ve had, but I won’t knock a momo!

 

New Orleans Cafe

This is a cute restaurant, a bit more expensive than others. It has a good menu & a selection from the west as well. The cocktail list was tempting!

 

Sum Cafe

This was part of our hostel, Thamel 327, offering a nice menu, average/expensive price. I had breakfast a few times here but would normally get a ginger, lemon, honey here then venture out for a walk & find somewhere else to eat. Friendly staff & great hostel!

 

 

 

Eating in Pokhara, Nepal


Pokhara has that backpacker eatery  thing going on. They know what they’re doing. It isn’t exactly cheap & many places add 20% on top of the bill. When you’re a backpacker on a budget you only fall for this a few times before it becomes the first thing you check in a restaurant. Here are a selection of some of the lovely places I visited:

 

AM/PM Organic food

The fruit, museli & curd here is lovely! It is served in a mason jar & feels very London good living chic – not litter strewn Pokhara. It tastes lovely. The wifi is good here, the service is good & I enjoyed the ambiance. It’s quite western & a bit more expensive than other cafes. I was most impressed at a cheeseboard on the menu – I couldn’t afford to try it!

 

Peace Eye Cafe

I came her for a shake & it tasted so terrible I couldn’t drink anymore – which, for a massive foodie like me, was extremely disappointing! I didn’t come back here after which was annoying because the decor & ambience was really chill.

 

Guesthouse next to Peace Eye Cafe

I visited this cafe/hotel daily while I was doing my course as it was nearby. The fruit, muesli & curd was so tasty & really reasonable. Their juices were nice as well. The atmosphere was laid back & homely. I visited so often that the staff & even some of the other guests just presumed I was staying here.

 

OR2K

This is pure backpacker haven. The comfy seating on floor is so chilled out. This restaurant is really big & spacious with stunning views of the lake & mountains. The wifi is good – when the electric is working & there are plenty of plug sockets for everyone. Unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy the food here & on several occasions I passed my barely touched plate on to fellow backpackers. The staff are friendly & it is nicely decorated. This is a branch of the same named restaurant in Kathmandu, they are very popular.

 

The Hungry Eye

I came here a few times, mainly for decent wifi access. It’s a nice comfy place to lounge in. The food is ok. The hot chocolates hit the spot & staff are friendly. They have good wifi – when the electricity is working.

 

Godfather’s Pizzeria

I heard good things about this restaurant & I had to try it! I wasn’t disappointed. The electric went out mid meal & we all sat in darkness nibbling our pizza’s until the generators fired on. If you’re a pizza fan check it out.

 

Olive Branch

We came here the night before my friends went for their Annapurna Circuit hike. They had impressive looking curry. The food was nice & they have a happy hour beer & wine deal.

 

I have no doubt you can find something for all tastes in Pokhara – & remember, TripAdvisor is your friend!

Dumpling heaven! Cookery class in Kathmandu, Nepal

Dumpling, momo, gyoza – whatever the hell you want to call these little sacks of heaven. I am addicted to them!

Considering how many damn dumplings I ate in McLeod Ganj, I couldn’t very well not attend a dumpling making class! I signed up along with a lovely American girl from my dorm room. My Brazilian friend didn’t come as she has a cook at home & has no interest in cookery herself – The culture differences are so fascinating. Cooking is a big social part of my life. I enjoy being the host & provider for family & friends. The majority of my friends have a similar affection to cooking & we often take it in turns to host each other & sporadically bake cakes (ok, maybe that bit is mostly just me…I love baking).

I booked the course with Social Tours. They seem to be a very popular, well run & honest company offering a wide array of activities, classes & volunteering opportunities. If you go to Nepal you should definitely check them out. One of my friends from home frequently works with this company having started out as a volunteer with them. She speaks incredibly highly about them & you can see the bonds she has developed with the owners who she now considers dear friends. I also spoke to a young girl currently volunteering for them in a school. She was nearing the end of her program & visually upset to be leaving in one week. She was determined she would be back again & said her heart was in Nepal. I found this so encouraging after the horror stories of volunteer tourism & how, for example, orphanages are set up solely for the profit of this new tourism boom.

When my friend & I arrived for the course the atmosphere was very relaxed. We had a coffee & chilled in the common area chatting with the course coordinator. He was very friendly & spoke openly about his recent marriage, problems he encountered due to his caste & all the good work his company is doing. It is almost childlike the innocence & inquisitive manner we take speaking to each other with no prejudice, just wanting to learn more about each others cultures. Most people I speak to are surprised when I tell them I’m not married & I don’t have children. Some have even elaborated to tell me if it was someone in their country they would wonder what was wrong with them! I found this hilarious – although in hindsight this could be crying material gold next time I’m feeling emotional….

A girl took us to the shops to buy the ingredients for the dumplings. We got chicken (the frozen chickens were heaped upon each other in the open freezer & cut on the fly infested unclean chopping board), potatoes, spinach, herbs, cheese & a mars bar. We took our ingredients back to the centre & into the well organised clean kitchen area. We washed our hands & set to work creating our dumpling delights!

 

 

 

 


The two ladies taking the course were very friendly, talkative & open. We were able to find out about them & give them an insight into our lives. They said they rarely make dumplings because it can be time consuming & more expensive that traditional Dal Bhat. The majority of Nepalese eat dal bhat twice a day, everyday (according to all the locals I spoke to). Dal Bhat is a local favourite comprising of a curry, rice, a potato side, vegetables, chutney & bread. It is cheap & easy to make & very filling. On the mountains the trekking guides & porters eat it religiously as it keeps their strength up for the day.

Together we chopped the ingredients for the dumpling fillings while another lady prepared the dough to wrap the dumplings in. We filled these with our mixtures: spinach, potato & cheese, & chicken & coriander.

The ladies made the dumplings look so simple. They were masters of the folds & twists while my American friend struggled atrociously! It was hilarious as her dumplings looked dreadful & each one had to be redone so they wouldn’t split open during steaming. Have a guess which dumpling is hers in the picture below…

I managed mine ok, but I was only going half the pace of the rapid Nepalese! We made two different shapes of dumplings then the girls cut up the mars bar & put it in the dough wraps for dessert. We were so excited when the dumplings were ready!

The dumplings were steamed quickly & served to us in a lovely handmade leaf bowl. We were too busy chatting amongst each other to pay attention about the delicious peanut & spicy sauces the ladies made to accompany the savoury dumplings. They were amazing! The ladies set the table for the four of us then served up the dumplings. Oh my goodness they were incredible! We were so impressed with how flavoursome they were! We got another portion then had our sweet mars bar dumpling for after. It was divine! It sent us into that silence that only people experiencing true pleasure know!

With a full happy belly we paid for our afternoon cookery class (the price is what you think it’s worth), thanked everyone & walked contentedly back to our hostel rubbing our full tums.

If you get a chance I defiantly recommend coming here to do a cookery course & checking out the other activities Social Tours has available.*

 

*This is not a sponsored post

My favourite restaurants in McLeod Ganj

Here’s a run down of my top 10 favourite restaurants in McLeod Ganj – I didn’t lie when I told you all I did here was eat…..

 

10 Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen

img_3753

I had a lovely pizza here & a chocolate brownie & ice cream. The food was nice but nothing exceptional. I found a long thick black hair in my chocolate brownie so I stopped eating it – maybe it was a blessing in disguise…?

 

9 Nick’s Italian Kitchen

This was a busy & popular restaurant my friends loved to go to. The wifi is hit & miss, mostly miss. I tried the Tibetan butter tea here & I really didn’t like it! I’ll stick to trusty ginger, lemon, honey tea. The outside seats have beautiful views of the Himalayas but beware of the odd rogue monkey! They have a wide menu of Italian & international foods.

 

 

8 Woeser Bakery

img_3560

German bakeries are apparently a big deal in India & I have found them everywhere I’ve went. I called into this one for a traybake & I wasn’t especially impressed. The traybake was fine, but nothing exceptionally delicious. Nice for a sugar hit. I’m not sure why it’s so highly rated on trip advisor.

 

7 Carpe Diem

img_3548

This was a nice enough restaurant with comfortable on floor cushion seats. I came here to do some research & ordered & got the wifi code then discovered the wifi wasn’t working. So frustrating when you’re in the mood to be productive!  The staff didn’t seem to care & just kept giving out the wifi code to other people despite knowing it wasn’t working. I got a hello to the queen which was grand. I don’t think I could ever be disappointed with one! Where can you go wrong with crumbled cookies, ice cream & chocolate?

 

6 Lobsang’s Four Seasons Restaurant

This was a cute Tibetan restaurant serving traditional cuisine of soups & momo’s as well as pizza & pasta. I enjoyed the traditional atmosphere however sometimes service was a bit slow. They have a small book exchange & free wifi.

 

5 Tibet Kitchen

img_3690

I got some delicious momo’s here. In case you haven’t noticed I’m a momo addict. I can’t get enough of them! This is a clean, busy restaurant with a nice atmosphere. I wish I discovered it sooner during my stay.

 

4 Indique

img_3534

I really liked this Indian restaurant. It had outside rooftop dining which was lovely, the wifi was ok. The menu was lovely & the food looked & tasted great. They had a varied book exchange. The menu was a bit pricier to what I’ve become accustomed to in India. I also think I may have gotten sick here….

 

3 Moonpeak Espresso

This was a modern cafe with a nice food menu. They do a pot of ginger, lemon & honey which I love! The wifi is good & if you get a window seat the views & people watching are a delight.

 

2 Black Tent Cafe

9c5a36b7-235d-435a-bbaf-96e729aef9c6

I adored this quaint cafe/restaurant. It was really laid back with the cushion on the floor seating I just love. I could easily relax here with a book & ginger, lemon, honey tea. The food was ok. I had a toastie which was a lovely throwback to western cuisine but very greasy. The staff were really friendly & chatty.

 

1 Snow Lion Restaurant

img_3546

This is a comfy, laid back restaurant with sofa’s to lounge on. They have a big book exchange & good menu of breakfast food, momos, milkshakes & desserts! Their only downfall was the momo’s were fried & I prefer them steamed (I’m quite a momo prude nowadays….). Their wifi is good & there were a lot of plug outlets available.  I could happily relax here with a drink & plan my next few days travel. The open plan & spacious tables make it easy to strike conversation with fellow travellers & I would often see the same people here.

 

Bhagsu has some lovely restaurants as well, so if you’re staying in the area it’s worth checking out.

 

What did you do in McLeod Ganj??

Hello to the queen – a popular dessert in India!

If anyone was ever to ask me what I did in McLeod Ganj the answer would be eat.

img_3548

A pot of chai & a Hello to the queen to share

I ate everything there. Days were focussed on what I would eat & where I would go next. I strategically planned in order to visit as many places as possible & ordered according to what would compliment my friend’s meal.

Gyoza

I ate cake, curries & gyoza. I had museli, samosas & soups, pizza, pasta & pancakes. You name it, I ate it!

Chilli sweet potato fries

McLeod Ganj caters extremely well to the foodie backpackers keen to try EVERYTHING.

Lord knows I did!

Chocolate brownie & ice cream

Eating in Manly

My eating tour continues… Today we went for a drive to Manly & went to Four Pines for lunch. Dear God it was incredible!!!! I seem to be really splashing out when it comes to food & drink in Australia – not something I would allow myself to do so much in New Zealand. The food is amazing here & there is so much choice! In Four Pines I shared a salad & the vegetarian platter washed down with alcoholic ginger beer. Easily the best meal I’ve had this year!!!
 images-8.jpeg
I did my signature classic eat-so-slow-to-bask-in-every-bite move. We were there for a few hours eating, chatting & putting the world to rights. Life is so good! Even the 3 hour journey home via Sydney traffic couldn’t dampen my spirits. My friend (who has joined uber as a driver) even managed to pull in behind a line of parked cars presuming it was traffic (They were clearly parked cars) – this is the second funniest thing that I have witnessed this year! The first of course was dearest Julia & her failed bungy jump in Queenstown. I am still showing people that video, I will never tire of it.

Jonker St

Melaka city is a busy little town apparently big on night markets. On the night I arrived there were two happening! One on Jonker St & the other on the street my hostel was on. Firstly I took a walk along the famed Jonker St, apparently renown amongst antique collectors.

Jonker St is lined with restaurants, antique & souvenir stores. In the evening, on weekends, the road is lined with stalls selling everything from Durian puffs to fortunes. It comes alive at night with music playing, the hustle & bustle of people & aromas of delicious food.

I found a busy self service restaurant & finally got the chicken Laksa I’ve been waiting for! It was really spicy & I managed about half before I humbly admitted defeat.

As I wandered on I got an ice cream made from scratch on a cold metal plate. I will try to put the link in so you can see how it was made. It was lovely & creamy. I recommend it, even just for the show of it being made.

*Sorry, I’m having issues uploading. I’ll try to resolve this as soon as. 

Tired from all my travelling I made my way to the smaller night market near my hostel with a coconut shake as my night cap. This market had some food stalls & the same replica clothes, bags, make up & sunglasses that you see at most markets. I am totally disenchanted & uninterested in these stands. All souvenir shops have been generally avoided on this trip as I have been very strict & steered clear from picking up anything. This is mainly due to the bursting seams on my backpack & my broken back as opposed to my self restraint with shopping. I merrily went to bed early with a full belly happy to be horizontal again.

That irrepressible desire to book more flights *sigh*

Unknown-4

Apparently not content with stopping over in Singapore on my way to NZ I have an overwhelming need to visit another country in Asia while I’m there. I have 1 weeks & I’m looking for travspiration (travel inspiration) of amazing places you have visited.

My top wants on the list are: incredible sights, cheap massages, amazing street food, easy going atmosphere…. I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find in Asia.

images-14

I would like some adventure but absolutely no monkey related ‘fun’. I’m not a fan of monkeys. I tend to actively avoid any living animal show or display. I love animals & I refuse to support the exploitation of them. Even if the companies say the animals are treated well I’m sure they would prefer their freedom in the wild.

2028976

While we’re on the subject of creatures the less mosquitos the better. I’m trying to put off Dengue Fever as long as possible. I’m estimating via probability I am about 50 bites away from being very high risk. That’s around 2 or 3 days worth of bites for me.

images-10

I wouldn’t mind escaping the busy cities, learning Reiki, surfing, reading in a cute cafe & as you know eating. I can’t get enough of street food & grieved unashamadely for it once I left Thailand.

Unknown-3

I’ve been on Skyscanner checking flights & Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam & Thailand are all within my budget. I’m currently leaning towards Bali. All suggestions are welcome. Please comment & put a link to your blog if you have some interesting reading for me. Thanks!