La Crêperie de Hampstead

is a tiny crêpe stand run in a van parked next to a pub in Hampstead High Street.

This van is very popular as they serve variety of nice crêpes as well as being a part of the landscape of Hampstead.

Got the one with Belgium Dark Chocolate.


Total cost: about 3.4 pounds. Sorry I forgot the exact price.

Ribeye Steak Salad with Soy-Wasabi-Truffle oil sauce, miso soup with winter root veggies and pork

Steak is a luxury and entertaining meal and sufficiently satisfies the male stomach. However, the calorie intake is quite high (though it depends on the meat part or the amount). 

This steak salad is a great main dish. The perfume of truffle oil and sharp hint of wasabi creates rich flavour. Besides, lots of fresh veggies can be taken together.

Rich and heavy but less amount of meat, with lots of veggies therefore, it is healthier and more economical than serving a piece of steak per head.

Ingredients (for two)

  • Ribeye steak 300g
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Soy sauce 2 table spoon
  • Wasabi 1/2 table spoon
  • Truffle oil 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh veggies: lettuce, tomatos, parsley, shredded cucumber, etc. 


1. Season the meat with salt and black pepper. 
2. Heat a thick frying pan at the highest temperature, fry the each side of the steak for 2-3 mints then lower the heat to do the meat as your preference. 
3. Set the meat aside. Do not slice it immediately after cooking as the juice will be gone.
4. Mix soy sauce,  wasabi and truffle oil in a bowl.
 5. Slice the meat into 5-7mm, serve it over lots of salad veggies with soy-sawabi-triffle oil sauce!

I love Tonjiru, a miso soup with root veggies and pork. I tried to add some grated ginger as it keeps our body warm.
Small yams, carrots, turnip, spring onion, konjak (yam potato cake), dried shiitake mushrooms, deepfried tofu and pork


1. Yams and turnips are peeled and cut into small bite sized. Other ingredients are cut into 1-1.5cm length.
 2. Boil root veggies for 4-5 mins. Konjak is torn into pieces and boiled in water for 5 mins to remove the scum. 
3.  Put all the ingredients in a large deep pan. Add water and miso and mirin as you like (3-4 table spoons of miso for 1L). Gently boil until root veggies get tender. If available, add some Japanese stock (dashi, made of dried bonito) in the end.

I enjoyed the tonjiru next day too.
It was very good to start the day with miso soup with lots of veggies!!

Total cost of the dinner: 13.56 pounds (11.06 for ribeye steak, 2.5 for all veggies)

Total time to prepare the ribeye steak salad: 25 mins (exclude seasoning time)  

Baby food from leftover rice

Japanese baby usually start their solid food with rice porridge called Okayu.

Ingredients of Okayu for baby

  • Cooked rice
  • 2-3 times of water from the volume of the rice


1. Add the rice and water in a pan and start to heat them up till they get boiled

2. Make the heat small and keep boiling till the rice gets sticky and starched. This condition is known as Okayu for adults.

3. Turn the heat off and blend the Okayu to smooth

4. Once it gets cool, it's ready to serve for baby.

Time to prepare: 15 mints

As the starch is converted into sugar, it is very tasty and smooth.

Pork Meat Balls with Chinese spice

Got a slice of pork loin in our freezer. 
Meat balls are the great solution for using up this amount of meat if we got other main dish. 

Ingredients of meat balls

  • 1 slice of pork loin (150-200g)
  • 20g of bread (soaked in 30cc of milk) or 2 table spoons of corn flour
  • 1/6 of large round onion or 2 bunches of spring onion
  • 1/2 of beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine (Chinese rice wine if available)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • black pepper
  • 400-500cc vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese Five Spices


1. Blend pork pieces and soggy bread till they get smooth (when you use minced pork, just blend the bread till it gets smooth)

2. Cut the onion as small as possible and add all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead the dough till it becomes smooth with a hand

3. Separate the dough into 9-10 pieces to make meat balls of 3-4 cm diameter

4. Heat up the oil in a pan over medium heat. Put an wooden stick in the centre bottom of the pan. Once many small bubbles come out from the stick, it is the sign for ready to deep fry

5. Add meatballs slowly and deep fry them over low heat for 2-3 minutes

6. Then heat them up over high temperature till they get nicely brown surface. Once they are done, take them aside over a kitchen paper to remove extra oil

7. Mix the salt and the Chinese five spice in a small bowl to serve with meat balls.

Total time to prepare meat balls: 35 mints
Total cost of meat balls: 2.2 pounds (2 for a slice of pork loin, 0.3 for the rest of ingredients)
Total cost of this dinner: 28.9+ pounds (25.6 for sashimi, 0.7 for salad, 2.2 for meat balls, 0.4 for miso soup ingredients (1 egg, tofu and spring onion), plus rice cost)

Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) spaghetti and Taramo dip

Mentaiko is a Japanese food made of raw cod roe with chili seasoning.
They love it  by topping on the rice. Adding to spaghetti is also one of the popular ways to enjoy it.
They have some lines of ready made mentaiko spaghetti sauce

It is a very popular souvenir from Japan and even can be found in Narita Airpot.
We got a pack brought by my parents from Japan as I requested.

Ingredients of Mentaiko Spaghetti for two people:

  • 50-70g of Mentaiko (one large sack of roe)
  • 1/6 round onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50cc of Olive oil
  • 200g of Spaghetti
  • salt and black pepper 
  • 1-2 spring onion
  • 20cmx10cm of seaweed black paper


1. Remove the mentaiko roe from the sack,
2. Chop garlic, onion, and spring onion as small as possible,
3. Shred black paper thinly,
4. Start to boil a plenty of water in a large deep pan for cooking spaghetti,

 5. Fry the garlic and the onion until they get translucent with olive oil in a large flying pan then turn the heat off,
6. Boil spaghetti for 1 min as just before getting al dente,
7. Add mentaiko, spaghetti and 50cc of pasta water left in the deep pan into the frying pan and dress all well. Add some pinches of salt and black pepper if necessary,

8. Put each portion of spaghtti on a dish and top with black paper and spring onion to serve.

Taramo dip: 

Some remained mentaiko was mixed with mash potato and topped over sliced bread. 

Total time to prepare: 20mins

Total cost for Mentaiko spaghetti and taramo dip: 1.04 pounds+ 

(0.54 for spaghetti, 0.1 for spring onion, 0.1 for round onion, 0.3 for bread from Balthazar, some tiny pence for garlic and dill, mentaiko and black paper were gift).

Miso-Mayo Mackerel Sandwich (Leftover cooking from Miso Mackerel), Melrose and Morgan Hampstead, Balthazar Bread

The best season for mackerel has started!!
We had a beautiful Miso-Mackerel and the cabbage salad from previous dinner and decided to recycle them for our Sunday brunch.

The rich mackerel with sweet miso, cabbage and mayonnaise is very tasty and luxurious combination on bread.

Once you have this, you won't be able to enjoy a tuna-mayo sandwich any more.


Add some mayonnaise into the cabbage salad or shredded cabbage and mix well. Put cabbage and mackerel over the bread. 

Direction of Miso Mackerel: 

Direction of Cabbage salad:

Alternatively, ready made coleslaw and smoked mackerel can be used. Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar into 1 table spoon of miso and apply it over the smoked mackerel. 
80p offered in Waitrose

2.40 Pounds offered in Waitrose

 A gorgeous bread made the taste perfect. It's from the stylish deli, Melrose and Morgan Hampstead
They offer the bread from Balthazar London (originated in NY).
Their selection of soups and deli food are also very good!!

We used to enjoy bread from PAUL and GAIL'S until when we encountered the Balthazar's!

Total Cost: 7.75 pounds (1.3 for a papaya, 0.7 for mackerel and cabbage salad ingredients, and 1.5 for the bread and 4.75 for Butter Squash and Marjoram soup from Melrose and Morgan)
Total time to prepare: 5 mins

Baby Academic Robe (3-6 months old)

Given the opportunity to attended my PhD award ceremony. 

To make the day perfect, I made a little academic robe for my 4 months old daughter by using my husband's old sports trousers, T-shirts and a cardboard of Pampers.

To support people doing degrees with babies, I decided to rent this academic robe for free. I only charge the mailing cost (only inside the UK). 

If you are interested in attending your degree award ceremony with your little one (3-6 months) in this robe, please contact me!!

The front with the hat
The back
The full style
Total cost: 0
Total time to prepare: 2 days