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My love affair with Hoshino Coffee

If you ask me, I think Hoshino Coffee’s coffee disappears too quickly. Before I was done enjoying it, I would lift up my cup one more time to find it empty.   The aroma of the first sniff as it reaches your table captivates you and brings you into a forest filled with wild berries. A cool breeze sends you on your toes as the scent of a thousand cherry bushes surrounds you. The touch of tartness that gets you salivating, the fruity bliss of a ripe berry, the morning mist that keeps you in nostalgia. In a dream world with a forest behind a cottage, the mountains yonder and the meadows ahead. It flows down your throat as the river flows of fresh water from the mountains, bringing with it life and a new day to enjoy.   A drop of milk into the serene water and the colour turns a golden caramel. The fresh milk, full cream never skimmed, swirls and becomes one with the darkness, enlightening it and revealing its hidden secrets. A whiff. A delight to the sense of smell. A smile that forms unno

It has a body, it has a mind, but does it have a heart? Observations of the life of a cafe.

When I enter a cafe, I expect a few things: A nice ambience, proper music and lighting, comfortable furniture, well-made drinks and good service be it at a large, well-known brand of an establishment such as the famed Starbucks, Twinnings and the likes, or at a small shop in the corner that is privately owned. The fault with many cafes, though, is not in all that I have mentioned earlier, for most would have a body (a physical establishment that is well-designed to meet the expectations of its patrons) and a mind (a strategic business plan created to bring in profits). However though, as much as one may be inclined to think otherwise, without a beating heart, one such place would fail at creating an impact in a noisy marketplace filled to the brim with eager competitors. Where then, does the heart of a cafe lie? It lies where all other hearts lie: in people, in the staff of a cafe. It is they who bring genuine smiles to the customers, they who add that little extra foam for

Why potato chips are bad for you and a basic guide to the humble spud

The shortcut summary for lazy or busy readers Why are potato chips bad for you? It’s because of the acrylamide formed during the frying process which is known as a potential cause of cancer. Mealy, sandy potatoes like Russet potatoes? Good for frying, roasting and mashing while waxy potatoes like New potatoes are good for boiling. How to cook potatoes? Roast them, bake them, fry them, boil them or do anything you want with them. They are just as versatile as eggs. Want to know more? Read on….. While I love a good pack of potato chips as much as the next person, there are a few things that I keep in mind to avoid eating too much of it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love potatoes. I don’t have a favourite dish, but potatoes are no doubt my favourite food ingredient - baked, boiled or fried. According to an article by Franco Pedreschi called “Frying of Potatoes: Physical, Chemical and Microstructural Change” and another one produced through  the collaborative efforts

Bloody Mary.....Tomato Soup?

Feeling a little bored at home the other day (due to the situation that has bound us to our homes to prevent the spread of Covid-19), I went out shopping. Among other grocery items, I also placed a can of tomato juice into my basket thinking, "I'm going to make Bloody Mary today!" I hesitated for a while, wondering what other ingredients I needed for the savoury cocktail, then remembering that I also needed celery. Just celery. Arriving home and checking my fridge, I stopped. There is no vodka, no Worcestershire sauce and no Tabasco (or any hot sauce whatsoever). Good thing I had some lemons, but as for spices, the cupboard was scarce. All I found was a packet of Cajun seasoning, which was a mixture of cayenne, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Sigh. "Now how am I going to make a Bloody Mary when I don't even have all the essential ingredients?" I thought. As I always do in such situations, I turned on the improvisation switch in my brain and got...well

Irish coffee…

Ah yes, the Irish Coffee, a cocktail made with espresso, Irish whiskey and a dollop of fresh cream on top, the thing that kept me up all night, forced me to give up sleeping after trying till 4.30am, had me reading a book about French wine and eventually lead me to think that I may need a 120 ringgit book about soil! I was cycling down Chulia Street in Georgetown, Penang, on a cool summer’s evening when I came across a wine shop. “Putao”, the sign said. I went in to have a quick look. They had an interesting collection of wines, which unfortunately due to the horizontal arrangement of the bottles facing inwards towards the wall and my insufficiently tall body to look over the ones above my head, the only indication of any kind to distinguish one wine stack from another was a tiny piece of paper hanging from a tread on one of the bottles in each diamond-shaped stack stating the country of origin of the wine. Don’t get me wrong, they got the “keep your wines horizontally” part righ