19 November, 2013


Well hopefully that title caught your attention. It certainly caught mine, though more for the latter half.

BEER & CHEESE is a new bar which has opened up near Daan Park, located at No.169 Jianguo South Road, Section 2, Daan District.
Link to their Facebook page.

This bar is very new. How new was made apparent when I decided to give them a try, only to discover that they didn't have much cheese on offer. Well, to be blunt, all they could offer was a toasted cheese sandwich - a very good one, mind you, with really tasty bread filled with herbs and void of any ghastly sugar.
[Sadly I forgot to take a picture of one.]

I'll be quite frank. I'm not much of a beer drinker, preferring vodka and whiskey myself. This is a synopsis of my brief  experimenting.

Being in a European mood, we dove headlong into the produce of a microbrewery from the Netherlands called De Molen. We began with Blikken & Blozen (translated roughly as "to glance and blush"). It has the faintest of sweet overtones and is a very pleasant blend.

I also tried a Scottish beer called 5 A.M. Saint from Brewdog. This is a red ale and (I've been told, though have yet to confirm) is the style of beer that has come to dominate the U.S.A.'s market.

[Proof for my friends that I on occasion I do get down from my high horse and engage in the drinks of the common people.]

Next on the list of De Molen drinks to be consumed was Bommen & Granaten (translated as "Bombs & Grenades") which is actually a barley wine. It's a lot heavier than the other beers at 15% alcohol, though not as potent in flavour as a stout.

Last on my list for this round is Pijl & Boog (translated as "Arrow and Bow"). It's a strong pale ale at 10% and it has a rather pleasant taste. I would say more, but I didn't get to taste a lot of this drink as it wasn't mine, but rather my girlfriend's.

09 November, 2013

Some odd edibles

A friend of mine visited Borneo and was there for just over a week, arriving back in the middle of this week. She's an ex-colleague, but still comes to the school to help with extra classes and will do so until the mid December when she and her boyfriend travel back home go get married.

Yesterday she was at school and had brought me something to try - two little sweets.

Seemingly ordinary and harmless, let me enlighten you as to the flavours of these little things. The green one is the less obscure one, being a pepper sweet. The yellow one is bird's nest flavoured.

I'm guessing that will sound a little odd to many people, so let me elaborate. There is a kind of bird which nests in caves in various parts of South-East Asia. They create nests using (amongst a few other things) their saliva. These nests are collected and used to make various types of food. When dissolved in water the nests create a gelatinous texture used for soup or sweet tong sui.

This is what a bird's nest looks like after it's been harvested and cleaned up.

Well, here goes. Let's test this sweet and see what it's like. It smells like spices, something that burns, like pepper or paprika. And the taste... is not dissimilar to what you'd expect from munching on a weaver's nest, texture aside.
It has an earthy taste of grass (yes, I know what that tastes like) and puts me in mind of the smell of a field after heavy rain. It's definitely unusual, but not bad and decidedly far from the worst thing I've tasted. I'm guessing its rarity is what makes it a sought after food.

Considering this is made of saliva, by proxy it's as though I'm kissing a bird. I'm not thrilled by that thought.

Ah, now the pepper sweet is a more familiar taste, though there is a good deal of sugar on it and it puts me in mind a generic chewy sweet, though with a decidedly strong aftertaste of pepper. Nothing too exciting, but a comforting flavour.