Category Archives: My travel plate

Solomon’s Pineapple: A sweet and refreshing treat

Week 5 in Honiara and we’re still living by the suitcases in nice hotel. So glad that we finally move to small apartment which had small kitchen (with basic and small cooking utensil) because at least I can cook and start do some experiment in my laboratory 🙂 yay!!!

But today, what I am going to share is no need to cook. Today is about my favorite tropical fruit; the Pineapple. Oh my… I can not stop munching fresh slicing of yellow pineapple. It’s so goog, sweet and sour, so refreshing especially if you put in the fridge first a while before you eat it. What better than fresh cold fruit in the hot day?

 

 

Pineapple is considering always available all year long (In tropical Island like here in Solomons, there are only two seasons; dry and rainy season) The main pineapple season is between January to June and also on September to December, with the peak harvest on October – December. Most of pinepple in Honiara comes from Malaita Province – the north east of Guadalcanal Island where Honiara the capital city is located. Malaita Province can produce up to 400,000 fruits per year. Beside for lical consumption, Malaita shipped the pineapples to Honiara and also export it to Australia. I learn there was a plan to build a juice factory in Auki – provincial city in Malaita – as well as factory of pineapple jam in Honiara but no sure the progress though.

Too good not to buy :)

If you go to Honiara Central Market’ you’ll see lots of pineapples with different varieties, colors, sizes and prices. The pineapples are sold avcording to its size, normally around 10 – 25SBD (Solomon Dollar with 1USD =7.2 SBD). According to the vendors the price in Auki Market in Malaita province is 2-10 SBD only :).

Though Solomons have abundant of pineapple, from what I observed, cut and slice is the only way how locals enjoy the pineapple. In some cafes managed and or often visited by expat, they served some fruits salad and juice / smoothy with pineapple as one its ingredients. But i never saw cake or food( dish) with pineapple here 🙂

There are lots of theories on how to pick a good pineapple, but for me it’s easy. Choose a pineapple with yellow skin, sweet smeel at the end of stem, no bruises, free of soft spot and quite heavy for its size (meaning the fruit is juicy). After i bought a pineapple, I usually store it for 1-2 days on room temperature, to make it softer and juicer. The larger size of pineapple, the more flesh you can eat, so make sure you buy the big one as yo need a little effort to cut and peel the pineapple :). Here the link how to cut the pineapple
Pineapple that has been cut and peel up should be put on the airtightcontainer and stored in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days. If eating pineapple hurt you tounge, please spinkle the pineapple with salt soon after you peel it, leave it for few second then rinse with drinking water. It will take away the accic twang.

These are some ways my family and I enjoy the pineapple
Simply cut and slice, put make sure you put on the fridge first a while before you eat. It will make a big different.
Sprinkle the pineapple slices with cayenne or chili powder. This is how indonesian enjoy the pineapple, we called it “Rujak”
Fruits salad, anykind of fruit you have, add with honey or yougurt
Juice and smoothie
Pineapple + watermelon + lime
Pineapple + banana + papaya + cinnamon
Pineapple + bok choy / other green leaves such as kalee, spinach, ect
Pineapple on sweet and sour fish/chicken
Pineapple pickles or “asinan nanas”
Pineapple tart or “nastar” ohh i can not wat to make and eat this sinful sweet treat again 🙂

Next week I’ll share the recipes of pineapple tart, but for now, please try one of my favorite Juice; pineapple with bok choy. It’s very easy 🙂 but very nice and refreshing 🙂

One cup bok choy, 3 cups pineapple, 2-3 tablespoon sugar or honey (I didn’t use it since my pineapple is sweet enough) and 2 cups cold water 

How to : Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. That’s it and ready to enjoy!! ( for 4 -5 cups)

 

 

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Ready to eat a lot in Honiara? Go to The Capitana Restaurant

After almost a month staying in the Mendana hotel, last week we decided having a buffet dinner in the Capitana Restaurant located in the hotel. The Buffet is served every wednesday night and from my observation, it’s always packed and fully booked, not only by the hotel’s guests but also group of office/company dinner as well as family (with kids). Hmmm… That’s why reservation is recomended, as I saw some customers dissapointed as no more seats available.

A table reserved for us

The food selection was awesome. For appetizers they served three to five kinds of salads, Asian finger foods (spring rolls, samosa, meat skewer, etc), western bites (sausage rolls, baked macaroni, ect) and also some seafood such as clams, shrimp, fried calamari. Soup is also provided, on that day they served very nice pumpkin soup. We liked it.

Still on the Japanese food section there was tempura station which only served fried shrimp, taro and sweet potato :). Smokes from the boiled stock for udon soup will invite you to taste a bowl :).

In the barbeque section, there were roasted/grilled pork and chicken. Both were nice but not special I must say. They also had fishes, but I was not so sure wether it was grilled as it looked like a steamed fish for me.

 

Still on the main courses section, there were a display of chaffing dishes full of rice, meat stewed, ribs, curry, and there were 2-3 more dishes that I did not remember.
Rather than picking these selections, I was I more interested to sample the local food. They served taro, sweet potato, green cabbage in coconut milk with mussels and chicken with vegetables also with coconut milk. The taste was good, the chicken and vegetables was very soft, rich in coconut milk but less spices to me.

In the dessert section, they served slices tropical fruit (pineapple, watermelon, etc) and two or three kinds of sweets such as brownies, cheese cake and banana cake. In a separate table there were coffee and tea. Juice, beer and others soft drink you can order in the bar during the dinner.

Since the options were many, I only took very small amount each, mostly only one or two bites or one small scoop. I just wanted to sample lots of food because “yummy” food is very limited in Honiara:(. So.. I have to say the food selection is very good. The taste is average, but not special. The price is expensive ( afforable only for expat living in Honiara or company dinner) but considering the selections of food the option and the quantity of it the price seems still reasonable.

The other things I want to share is the cleanliness that may needs some improvment. The restaurant perhaps needs a bigger spaces both for the table (too small table for 4 seats) and for the isle so that there is more space for food queuing.
Another highlight is the live cultural entertaiment, very good especially for tourists or newbie in Solomons like us.

So my last conclusion is; this buffet is just average but not bad. If you living in Honiara, it is worth to have this buffet dinner for your special occation or to entertaint your quest, family or even yourself :).

Remember, every Wednesday night, as you will see the advertisement in a news paper.

Belgium’s Beer and Fries

My latest post four days ago was about Belgian chocolate and waffle.  Still about Belgian food specialties, today I will share about beer and fries – other popular specialties from Belgium (in addition to chocolate and waffle).

My husband and I are not beer’s fans, but it’s always interesting to sample popular drink including beer and wine from each country that we visit. Yes, we do drink beer sometimes, mostly for socializing (i.e party especially in summer). Stella Artois, the Belgium beer’s brand that we often stock in our fridge for our guests or for ourselves sometimes. Continue reading

Belgium, where breakfast and dessert are served anytime.

What will you do if you have only one night in Brussels?  Sightseeing for sure! Grand Palace, Manneken Pis, Atomium and of course don’t forget to enjoy the chocolate, waffle, beer, and fries.  That’s all what we did in Brussels as part of our Easter holiday trip this year, Netherlands, Brussels and Paris.

Grand palace

Belgium is known for Chocolate, Waffle, Beer and Fries. As we stayed in the center of Brussels tourist area, Grand Palace, we were overwhelmed with so many chocolate shops at each and every corner of that area. Even for a chocolate lover, you could feel overwhelmed with so many options from the types of chocolate, flavors,  and the various brands.  All looks delicious, beautiful and seductive made you want to stop and tempted to buy simply because they look so beautiful. Continue reading

My Travel Plate; Eating in Prague

Hi, Andria here 🙂

If you eat in Prague, forget your diet, because Czech cuisine is mostly meat based, usually pork or beef and served with some choices of dumplings or French fries or other types of potatoes and usually are served with a glass of beer.  Since we were only 3 days in Prague, we were not able to taste a lot, but at least we sampled some of recommended Czech food.

Vepro-Knedlo-Zelo (Roast Pork with braised cabbage and dumpling) Continue reading

My travel plate; Eating in Austria

Hello, it’s Andria. I can’t believe I can visit Austria. Yes!! Grateful, I am so lucky.  I spent four days in Vienna and three days in Salzburg with my hubby and daughter.

Austria is famous for its natural beauty. It’s true; I witness it through my eyes . It’s beautiful and stunning, just like the pictures on the laptop screen saver or postcard. You will never get bored to see and enjoy this beauty landscape, especially if you come from Asia “big” city like me.

It has been my principle in travelling that seeing the sight is important but having the authentic food experience is also equally important.

Before arriving in Vienna, I had no idea what Austrian food looks like, but as you scroll down to the city and pass some cafes and restaurants, It will be easy to guess, as it is written a lot on the board menu or ‘today’s special day meal’. Again, I felt so lucky to have had opportunities to taste authentic Austrian national dishes as well as some Austrian street food and seasonal food that only available during the Christmas Market.

So let’s begin this culinary tour and get ready to be mouth watering and hungry soon 🙂 Continue reading

My Travel Plate ; Eating in Istanbul

Hello, this is Andria writing, and this article is a sequel of our previous post School Break Holiday to Istanbul, Turkey.

For me, since I have passion on cooking, if I had an opportunity to visit a new place (city/country) seeing the sight is important but having an authentic food experience is also equally important :).  As we were only 5 days in Istanbul, so with all the limitation that come along with that, here some of Turkish food that we were able to pin down:

Turkish tea.

I was falling in love with the Turkish tea. It’s black, thick, and strong. Yes, too strong to be served in the large cup so that is why it is always being served in a little clear tulip shape glass.

Turkish Tea in Tulip shape glass

Turkish Tea in Tulip shape glass

çaydanlık or Tukish Tea Pot

çaydanlık or Tukish Tea Pot

You may add sugar but no milk. Turkish tea or çay is prepared in çaydanlık, a small tea pot brewer on top a kettle.

The Turks love drinking çay, at least one a day, from breakfast to the end of dinner and anytime of the day in between. That is why, it is easy to find the tea house or tea garden in Istanbul (or I believe in all over the country). Tea is an important part of Turkish culture. Offering tea to guests is part or symbol of the Turkish hospitality. Continue reading