April 16th, 2012 | Posted by The Booyah Cook in Travel - (0 Comments)

In Lisbon we spent an afternoon wandering around the gardens of the Gulbenkian Foundation and when it started to rain we headed indoors to the Contemporary Arts Center.

There was an awesome Beatriz Milhazes exhibition, an artist I did not know before. Lots of collage work making similar patterned and coloured flowers out of shopping bags and chocolate wrappers, as well as painting and a huge gallery length mural with cut adhesive vinyl.

And there was also a café that introduced me to this very exciting new concept: AVOCADO MOUSSE. Best thing ever! Who knew?

The cafeteria was wonderfully 70’s style with white padded vinyl chairs, loads of concrete and lunch trays and very dependable style lunches.

I thought I was being very controversial with my avocado ice cream but it seems in certain areas of Portugal at least sweet avocado dishes are no big deal. We asked a chef at a restaurant we had dinner at if he heard of such a thing and he told us “Yes of course. My friend from Madeira has avocado for breakfast all the time with loads of sugar, a bit of lemon juice all mashed up together.” So what does it taste like? Avocado, custard, apple, green, fresh, lime, yum. Watch this space as I trial and error my own version of Sweet Avocado Mousse.

And, not to be overshadowed in the back left corner. That little eggy sponge was delicious – it was really fluffy but at the same time, moist. If you poked your finger in the sponge it was instantly compacted like wet gooey cake. Perfect with coffee on a rainy day.

Just a stones throw from this Museum and Garden is El Corte Ingles. The food hall in the basement is great to visit to see a fresh fish section rivalling Les Halles in Avignon, Padron Peppers like no big deal all over the place, meats, cheese, wine and port tasting. There is a large bio section within so you can get soya milk, chocolate soya milk, soya yoghurt etc and what ever else like that you want like beetroot juice. The only café we went to that did have soya milk by the way was Starbucks. The rest of the store is filled with the usual department store stuff – more of a House of Fraser than Harvey Nichols – but if you forgot a cable for whatever camera or laptop bizzo you could probably get a replacement here. The cook ware floor was no different to any I have seen in German or French department stores.

Finally, just a quick note, there is a reasonably priced shoe shop Zilian that I think probably most of my female friends or colleagues at work would like a few things there. I realise shoes is a minefield but I think worth a look if you are nearby and want a new pair of holiday shoes. I am regretting I didn’t by those sandals in blue.

Av. de Berna, 45A 1067-001 Lisboa Tel: + 351217823000

El Corte Ingles Lisboa
Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 31 Lisbon TEl: +351 213711700

Av. António Augusto Aguiar 29 Lisbon 213 878 455

P.S. Also not far is a Cash Converter that Anthony found an AKG mic for less than half price. I also found a transparent solar  calculator for €1,50. Neither of us purchased.

I just got back from Lisbon and as per usual I spent half the time on the trail of baking equipment to make the local desserts. More of that later. But it is the same search in every new city I go and the most surprising I guess was when I was looking for any kind of speciality cooking stores or whatever in Hong Kong. I am always looking for new tins, new moulds, new tools.

As it happens the place to go in Hong Kong is Shanghai Street. There are other cookware shops on the island that sell the same things as London / Paris but on Shanghai Street you will find everything to set up your own restaurant down to some great cheap nik naks for the kitchen.

I Love Cake
This is THE cake baking shop of Hong Kong. They even have a fridge of imported butter from France. The whole shop is dedicated to baking, muffin and cup cake papers in printed you can only dream of, metal and silicon moulds, cookie cutters in every shape, colouring, decoration, a whole gang of chemical additives if you so desire  (I don’t) to assist in professional baking. They have their own YouTube channel and the store “brand icon” is a weird ass mash together of Ronald McDonald, Mickey Mouse and Super Mario’s hat with a whisk in his hand.

Man Kee Chopping Board
Far to heavy for your suitcase this is the place where you go to buy some of the most massive wooden chopping boards and blocks you have ever seen. You also wouldn’t want someone to go nuts in this place because Man Kee Chopping Board has every kind of knife, cleaver and blade to go with it all. There is a good selection of wooden serving spoons and vegetable cutters (lucky animals for Chinese New Year stir fry out of carrot… you know what I mean) And alongside this shop (walk through walls) is the shop I go to for general bake ware moulds and tools. You need to check everything though for durability and quality here – it can be a mixed bag. I usually go for things that I might only used once or twice or am thinking about an experiment to try – then if it works or I start using them a lot and I want to replace them I will go to Paris and buy the same thing over for 10 times the price.

I couldn’t find a website for this place, so in the meantime check here.

Other Shops In The Area
You will definitely be able to kill a couple of hours on both sides of the street. Both sides of the street is lined with similar shops – but one will be more dinnerware and another more ornamental stuff and other professional fat fryers.