Galvin Bistrot de Luxe 

 To celebrate my friends' completion of a course in UNV. of Oxford, we gathered at Galvin Bistro de Luxe in Baker Street.

We once dined at Galvin at Windows in Hilton Lark Lane for her hen night. 

Compare to Galvin at Windows, as the original place of Galvin restaurants, the entire atmosphere of Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is very relaxed, lively and therefore is the authentic bistrot. 
We had traditional bistro menu such as soupe de poisson and escargot to start, mushroom risotto and grilled lemon sole for main. Then of course, we went for the famous apple tart Tatin for dessert. 

Very satisfying as a nice casual lunch with my close friend. The service was very good too. 

Actually, it wasn't so impressive when Mr. Husband and I visited here for dinner on Christmas eve some years ago. Perhaps we went wrong place with wrong expectations. Here is a nice, cosy bistro, not the sleek, romantic dinning as Galvin at Windows.   

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is certainly my favourite dinning place where I can go in blue jeans. 

Price: 50 pounds each (1 glass of Champagne, soupe de poisson, mushroom risotto, 1/2 tart tatin, a pot of Earl Grey tea)

Pumpkin Cream Stew (26 Sep)

Just wondering how many people got injured by preparing Halloween pumpkin lantern in this season.

Pumpkins got hard skin and they are tough to curve by a kitchen knife. 

By microwaving a pumpkin, the curving process becomes much easier.

 I made cream pumpkin stew with pork and cabbage. This is very seasonal and the warm yellow colour celebrates the arrival of autumn. 


  • 1/4 pumpkin 
  • 1 round onion
  • 100g pork belly
  • 4-5 cabbage leaves (or Chinese cabbage leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 300cc milk
  • 3/2 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper


1. Put a pumpkin in a heat resist bowl. Cover it with a plate. Microwave it for 10-12 mins
 2. Cut cabbage into large bite sized, slice onion into 1.5 cm and slice pork as thin as possible
 3. Once the pumpkin got cool down, cut into quarter. Remove seeds and cores
 4. Wrap each piece of pumpkin with a cling film and put into a freezing bag to store in the freezer
5. Heat up a large deep pan over medium temperature. Add oil and butter and cook the pork pieces until they get half done. Add the rest of veggies and flour. Fry them until the white colour from flour disappears (about for 4-5 mins)
6. Add milk and allow ingredients gently boiled for 20 mins until they get tender
7. Season with salt and black pepper to serve. I added some sugar snaps in last minutes to cook before serving.

Mr. Husband really liked this dish and went for the second portion.
He expects me to repeat this soon once he knows about the pumpkin stock left in our freezer.

Time to prepare: 40 mins
Total cost: 3.1 pounds (60p for pumpkin, 1.5 for pork belly, 1 for the rest of veggies including salad)

Chicken Teriyaki Crêpe (Sunday 23 September)

This is our traditional Sunday brunch menu.
Add leftover smoked salmon from Lego Bento and a nice bunch of grapes gained from Hampstead Community Market

I usually prepare Crêpe batter in previous night and store in the fridge. This makes the batter mush smoother and less floury.

Ingredients for two

<Chicken Teriyaki>
  • 2 small pieces of chicken thigh
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin


  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • 40g of unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of water or milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


  • 50-70g of cucumber
  • 2 spring onion
  • 1 bunch of coriander or dill
  • 10g of fennel (if available)
  • 1 pear (if available)
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of vinegar (dark or white, desirably rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of oyster sauce


1. Put all the Crêpe ingredients into a large bowl. Combine them together. Wrap the top with a cling film and store in the fridge at least for 1 hour.

Heat up a slightly greased frying pan over medium temperature, pour the batter over it.
Cook both sides for 2-3 mins and put it aside in a plate.
2. Heat up the oven at 200C. Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet and cook them for 10-12 mins until a translucent juice comes out from the meat
3. Cut cucumber, spring onion, fennel into thin stripe. Chop dill/coriander into rough pieces
4. Once the chicken is done, take them out from the oven. Allow them cool and then thinly slice
5. Combine veggies and chicken into a bowl with the seasoning.

Wrap the stuffing with a crepe, and yummy, yummy...

Time to prepare: 1 hour (excluding the time to settle the crepe batter)
Total cost: 2.5 pounds (1.5 for chicken thigh, 1 for the rest of veggies)

Steamed Sea Bass with Oyster Sauce, Hampstead Seafoods (18 Sep)

Steamed sea bass with oyster sauce, salad, miso soup and rice.

This fish menu never missed appreciations from guests and Mr. Husband.
Very yummy and easy to make!!


  • 2 pieces of Sea bass (sliced to cook)
  • 2 tablespoons of Chinese Rice Sake
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons of thin sliced ginger
  • coriander to top


1. Prepare semi-deep dishes to fit the sea bass and sauce. Cut one spring onion into 5-6cm length and then do in lengthwise. Place pieces of spring onion on the bottom of each dish
2. Make a cross-cut line in the middle of the sea bass to heat evenly. Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Place a sea bass on each dish over the spring onion, pour the sauce over it and top it with ginger
3. Place dishes in the steamer. Close the lid and steam them for 12-15 mins
4. Once it is done, take the dish out from the steamer by using a cloth (be careful, it's very hot). Top with thin string spring onion and coriander to serve.

Time to prepare: 20 mins
Total cost: 4 (3 pounds for sea bass and 1 for the rest of veggies)

Let me introduce our cool fish shop, Hampstead Seafoods as well as some other nice local shops. 

In the mid of Hampstead High Street (78), there is a cute market 
Hampstead Community Market
Veggies, meat and fish, all are fresh and very importantly, seasonal!!

In the very entrance, there is a vegetable store. 

Got in a narrow short path of the market,
a butcher appears first.

There is a cheese shop next to the butcher that I'll introduce next time.
Eventually in the end of the path,
Hampstead Seafoods appears.

 On Saturday the small community market right next to the path opens to sell old books, antiques, local cheese etc. Sunday is closed.

Lego Bento 

To entertain Mr. Husband at his office, 
I made Lego Bento..... 
sounds devoting wife I am. 

In fact, the main reason to create this silly bento is to make an entry to "School Lunch Challenge" run by a DIY site, Instructables
You can see the directions here:

I love this site. So many stunning ideas and funny guides are there!

Time to prepare: 2 hours
Total cost: 3-4 pounds?? Any way, it's cheap as always

Sesame Tofu (Saturday, longtime ago)

I've been sick and didn't have energy to upload my blog. 

Sorry for being away and thank you so much for reading my blog. 

Some weeks ago, we got a young beautiful couple. 

I introduce an appetiser "Sesame Tofu" that I often make when I receive guests. We had nice sashimi from Atariya to go nicely with the sesame tofu.

Sesame Tofu


<sesame tofu>
  • 1 cup (200-240cc) of soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame paste (Tahini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 7-8g of gelatine 
  • broad beans (removed out from pods and peeled the skin)
  • 100cc water
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of corn flour (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water)


1. Soak the leaf gelatine in 1 cup of cold water and leave it for 1-2 mins to ready. In using powered gelatine, add 1 tablespoon of water to absorve,
2. Heat up soy milk in a pan at small temperature, if it gets warm, add sesame paste and mix well to combine for 3-4 mins. Make sure the milk doesn't get boiled
3. Leave the pan from the heat, add gelatin and salt to dissolve. To avoid sesame paste and soy milk set separately,  I suggest to place the pan in cold water to let it cool while stirring the tofu-milk frequently 
4. Prepare a container and place a cling film to cover the bottom and sides. This process makes the tofu to take out from the container easier
5. Pour the milk into the container through a net
6. Leave the tofu in the fridge at least for 3 hours to set
7. Once the tofu sets, lift the cling film out from the container to take the tofu out
8. Cut the tofu  
9. Heat up the all ingredients of sauce at medium temperature, add broad beans to cook while the sauce gets thick
10 . Pour the sauce over each piece of tofu to serve.

Two days ago, we got a message that they were engaged!!! 

Time to prepare: 20 mins for making tofu and 3 hours to set and dress the sauce

Total cost: less than 1 pound