Scoffing Scrumptious Paella at London Zoo Lates
One of the many pluses of visiting ‘Zoo Lates’ at ZSL London Zoo is the food festival. The organisers could have invited far fewer food vendors to attend and it would still have been impressive, but in reality, the number of stalls was surprisingly high with almost every type of cuisine catered for. Over the course of the next few posts, I’ll be highlighting a few of the stalls we patronised.
To start with, we gorged on a large and comforting bowl of Paella. The stall selling it had a large queue in front of it, always a good sign when it comes to street food. Jamon Jamon Paella offered two varieties on the night; the ‘Valenciana’ consisted of chicken, saffron, runner beans, butter beans and rosemary to name a few of the ingredients. We decided to try the other option, the more traditional ‘Seafood’ containing tiger prawns, squid, mussels, garlic, red pepper and peas.
The paella was full of layered flavour and texture. An initial peppery taste was then replaced by hints of garlic and an overall fishiness. The seafood was cooked to perfection - the prawns had bite while the mussels melted in the mouth. The rice had differing qualities depending on where it was in the pan. Some of it was soft while other parts were crunchy. We really enjoyed it, as proved by how quickly we hoovered it up.
Jamon Jamon Paella have a flagship stall at Portobello market, but they also appear at other events and markets. To track them down, head to their website or follow them on Twitter (@jamonjamon).
Which variety would you have gone for? The ‘Valenciana’ or the ‘Seafood’?
Deep-fried Vegetable Snacks at Jonker Walk Night Market
So far on my quest to try a little bit of everything at Jonker Walk Night Market in Malacca, Malaysia, I’ve had Satay Fish Balls, Taiwan ‘Han Bao’ and a Tiramisu Milk Tea. There was definitely room for some more so I walked down a side-street to find something else to sample. One stall was attracting quite a crowd so I fought my way through the throng to find out what was on the menu.
I discovered a stall offering deep-fried vegetable snacks for an unbelievably low price. You could fill a bag with Spring Rolls, Sweet Potato Fritters and Samosas (among other options) and have the whole lot drizzled with chilli sauce for next to nothing. This was a meal in itself and I struggled to finish everything, but it was so tasty, I managed to eat the lot.
Taiwan ‘Han Bao’ at Jonker Walk Night Market
Here’s another tasty treat I tried at Jonker Walk Night Market in Malacca, Malaysia. I’ve tried to ‘google’ some information about this snack but I haven’t had any luck, leading me to suspect this isn’t something that’s particularly well known in Taiwan, more something the stall owners have concocted. I could be wrong though, so if you recognise what these are, let me know.
They were essentially thick, freshly-prepared omelette cakes with a choice of filling. I could have had crab meat, chicken floss or octopus, but I opted for Taiwan sausage. The omelette was firm and slightly crispy on the outside while the sausage filling was both sweet and peppery. It was really tasty!
Jonker Walk Night Market Walkthrough
Short of actually visiting, this video is as close as you’re going to get to experiencing what it’s like to walk along Jonker Walk during Chinese New Year on a Friday or Saturday night when the night market is on. Soak in the sights and sounds and endure the karaoke with steely resolve.
Choices at Jonker Walk Night Market
Malaysia isn’t alone in having drinks stalls that offering literally hundreds (sometimes thousands) of varieties and combinations. This photo I took at Malacca’s Jonker Walk Night Market shows a typical menu. On this occasion, I opted for Ice Blended Tiramisu Milk Tea with Pearls. It was sublime.
Satay Fish Balls at Jonker Walk Night Market
Every Friday and Saturday evening, Jalan Hang Jebat in the centre of Malacca becomes the Jonker Walk Night Market. As I discovered, the market focusses on food and drink more than anything else and is therefore a great place to have your evening meal. A wide variety of delicious food from different parts of Asia is on offer and it’s all really cheap! As well as food stalls, there are other traders selling gifts and low budget goods, plus there’s a large outdoor karaoke stage at the top of the street where entertainment is provided. When I visited, it was Chinese New Year season, so the street was decorated with lanterns and ‘lions’ roamed the side streets, visiting Chinese owned businesses to wish them luck for the forthcoming year. The market bustled with tourists and locals and the mood was buoyant and festive. I spent a good few happy hours strolling from stall to stall, feasting on light bites until I was full.
One of the first things I tried was Satay Fish Balls. Soft, rubbery and steaming hot, I’ve had fish balls before, but never with satay sauce. They were very moreish.
This is the first in a series of posts about the Jonker Walk Night Market. There are many more photos and a walkthrough video coming over the next few days.
Fish Stall at the Wet Market
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Wet Markets
I really wish I’d spent more time exploring the wet markets of Hong Kong. So much to see, so much to hear, so much to smell. This photo doesn’t really do it much justice.
In which I visit the very Chinese Yuen Po Bird Garden and get shouted at in a goldfish shop.
15 April 2011 - 1802 Hong Kong
Yuen Po Bird Garden and the nearby goldfish markets were a little bit horrifying if, like me, you find looking at animals being kept in tiny cages and tanks a little off-putting. Thing is though, there was palpable love for the animals. Owners were bringing the birds they already owned to the market as if on an outing. The goldfish shops were crammed full of enthusiasts. I got shouted at in one shop for trying to take a photo of one particularly full fish tank. I imagine they know they shouldn’t really be keeping their fish in such conditions and they’re keen to keep things low key.
My feet are killing me. I’m on the tube now on my way to get some food at Tai Koo before heading back to my room. Only three full days left on my marathon trip. Then I have two weeks off work to recover and sort though my photos, of which I must have taken about 1500, if not more.
I’m glad I cut Japan out of this trip. I wouldn’t have been able to cope. HK is enough of a culture shock in my current state. I can’t go on much longer.
Dinner was ace! Had spicy Kimchi Soup with rice (obviously) and Iced Lemon Kumquat to wash it down.