Monday, November 29, 2010

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the best Gelato in Milan.

So, we spent a few hours at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele before we continued strolling Milan. I love the bookshop on the Galleria's ground floor - their book selection was massive! What goes well with books? Coffee! By tea time, we found ourselves seated at the terrace of Zucca inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Their super good coffee glued us to the seat, spending sometime people watching!
The top floor houses the one and only seven-star hotel in continental Europe, the 'Town House Milano'.
Zucca Milano! Zucca is Italian for pumpkin.
Duomo di Milano, the most spectacular icon of Milan. We hiked up to its roof the following day. The view from up there was simply breathtaking. Will write about it in an upcoming entry.

We continue strolling the city but I received a call from Malpensa Airport, saying that the missing luggage has already arrived at the airport! So we decided to head for the airport to pick it up at 6PM.


While strolling the streets, I lost count of the amount of gelato I had chowed down! In the week prior to Milan, I had my gelato rendezvous in Mykonos. Having had so much gelato there still didn't stop me from more gelato hunting in Milan. It was the height of summer, so gelato was the hottest item in town!

Ranking top on my list of best gelato shops in Milan was Chocolat Cafe! Their ice cream were simply fantastic! Chocolat was located at Via Boccaccio 9, tucked between the Metro stations of Cardona FNM & Conciliazione.

Tips: Their chocolate ice-cream is the best! strong,bitter,creamy & powerfull. Enjoy it alone or mixed with the "Green Gold" Bronte, the famous pistachio from Sicily.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Upside Down Apple Cake

Tidying up the refrigerator, I realised there were some apples which weren't really so fresh anymore. So I baked an upside down apple cake, with olive oil,walnuts, flaxedseed and cinnamon! Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Strolling Milan
Fresh vegetables and fruits in the morning...

On the second day, I woke up a little earlier... Breakfast at the hotel was merely hard breads & cereals, so we took a stroll out to the nearest McDonald's to have something hot. Since Milan was huge, we decided to dedicate the whole day to just wander around the city, or for two days if need be...
The shop next to our hotel...

I had some fries and a fish burger. Interestingly, they also offered artichoke sauce as well as asiago cheese, as part of their local McD's "Taste of Italy" promo campaign.
Most importantly, true to their distinct fine taste in culinary tradition, Italy's McD's serves fine coffee! Only now, could I say "I'm loving it"!

From this McDonald's, we walked on to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the mother of all shopping malls in Milan. Here are some pictures taken on our way to the Galleria.
BikeMi! The bicycle rental service. Love the bicycle's colour.
So pretty!

Without realizing it, we stumbled upon what we weren't looking for - the Bikkembergs store on Manzoni! That's the store with those light green and teal columns in the pic below...

Bikkembergs are hard to come by back home, so I guess I need to pick up a few things before I can peacefully enjoy the rest of Milan!
Via Monte Napoleone is an elegant street in Milan

Milan city is so shopper-friendly, with shops lining every street... and it's not uncommon to simply wander off not knowing which direction you were heading in, and before you knew it, you're already in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele!

*To be continued

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's cooking today ; Grilled Sting Ray in milky herb gravy

Before I continue my Milan entries, let's see what I had just now. Cooked this dish last weekend and it was so yummy! So, I had another round yesterday, and thought it would be lovely to share the recipe here.

This recipe originated via my mum's Javanese roots.. Mum had always used cat fish every time she cooks this and it tastes better! But if you have difficulty getting cat fish, the best substitute would be string ray, just as in my case.
I had used four chunks of sting ray. Add two tablespoons of tamarind paste.
Marinate the sting ray in tamarind paste for 30 minutes - this helps in reducing the unpleasant, fish smell of the sting ray. More importantly, this also tenderizes the sting ray.
Subsequently, clean the sting ray again - washing off the remnants of tamarind. Then, add two tablespoons of fish oil, and sprinkle some turmeric powder, and leave it for a while. While that is being done, you need to now prepare the paste for its gravy. Dash two cloves of garlic, five small onions, six Thai chillies, an inch of fresh turmeric (or a spoon of turmeric powder) and an inch of kencur root (aromatic ginger)
Fry the paste in a pot with two spoons of cooking oil. Once the aroma rises, add a cup of light coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce the fire intensity, and add thick coconut milk. Leave it to cook for a few minutes. Turn off the fire and add in some slices of kencur leaves. Now, the gravy is done.
Pan grill the sting ray but do not over cook. Once done, place the grilled sting ray in a bowl and pour the gravy over it.
There you have it - it's ready to be served!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ciao Milano!

Close to touch-down at Malpensa Aiport Milan. I love this view! My guess is, that must be Stresa. Or could it be Bellagio?
Malpensa Airport - Italian football players, Antonio Di Natale, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Claudio Marchisio, Federico Marchetti and Domenico Criscito are the new faces of the Dolce&Gabbana Underwear advertising campaign 2010.

Anyway, we reached Malpensa Airport Milan at around 6PM, after being delayed for close to four hours coming in from Athens! The worse thing was, one of our suitcases went missing! Damn! All the souvenirs and new clothes were in that suitcase! That marked a bad start to our Milan tour. Luckily, the airline's ground staff were very helpful. They had made things easy for us. The very next day, we received a call from them, informing us that the suitcase has been traced to Manchester!

Had this lovely Lavanzza coffee at the airport before taking the shuttle to Milan city... The marmalade croissants were so tasty! They took my mind off the lost suitcase quite a bit... It was the height of summer and the weather couldn't have been better. So the shuttle journey into Milan city was really pleasant.

After about one hour, we finally reached Milan city. At first glance, Milan did not impress me at all. But I do believe that each city has its own character - with that in mind, I just couldn't wait to explore Milan!

Milano Centrale FS

The shuttle dropped us at the Milano Centrale FS station ( Stazione F.S Centrale). En. Arip was smart to have booked our room at a hotel merely a few meters from this very important station. I was told that it's the second-largest station in Italy, in terms of size and traffic volume - it handles about 600 trains per day! Conveniently, the station is also serviced by two metro lines, too. Built in 1938, it boasts of a spectacular vaulted roof with generous room for a high human traffic flow. We very so awe-struck that we spent some time exploring the wide expanse of its interior. To me, the interior is amazingly spacious and grand, it's almost like the whole of Versailles converted into a railway station!

Each entrance has this same vestibular feel. Can you spot En Arip playing with his reflections on the right?lol

Cantik kelopak mata orang hilang ni...

The train station's first floor.

We checked-in to the hotel and quickly went out to dinner. Just a few steps from the hotel, we found this lovely pink-lit restaurant and I had my first, authentic Italian pizza here! LOL!

My vegetarian pizza was so yummy! Its crust was so perfect!

Once back at the hotel I was totally flat! It has been a long day! From a delayed flight, to missing luggage, I chose to just rest in the hotel room and catch an episode of Italia's Next Top Model before hitting the sack!

*To be continued
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