Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Berlin's Flying Dumplings

This is just an excuse to put up some nice food photos that I took for Andreas Wegmann who is the brains behind Flying Dumplings Berlin (aka The House of the Flying Dumplings) part of the new food phenomenon to recently hit Berlin in the shape of a food truck that travels around the city serving (in this case) delicious Chinese dumplings to all-comers. You may find it at a foodie market, a street festival, an open-air 'pub' with music and art thrown in, or just somewhere in your local neighbourhood.

Andreas is one of the two best chefs I know personally (the other being Tim Freathy whose great new venture in the UK I will write about soon). He is simply a stickler for the best ingredients and authenticity; a food lover who has travelled extensively - not completely led by food exactly - but that would certainly be a very important element of his trip. He's made his way around the world picking up tips and tastes along the way. 

I rapidly agree to any invitation to eat at his house, in his garden or at the new 'food truck'. The flavours are fantastic plus I always learn something new about ingredients, a cooking technique, other chefs, amazing cook books I should probably already know about, or something else. He shares his knowledge passionately and generously.

Today's salad was rice noodles and Thai vegetable with peanuts, tomorrow it might be marinated steamed edamame with Sichuan pickles

His 'mobile restaurant' is his way of sharing his delight in food with anyone who wants to taste fresh, top-notch ingredients, prepared, cooked and served in this mobile restaurant.

You may have to queue, but the wait is worth it. The dumplings (or Jiaozi) are freshly steamed to order and served with a delicious crispy Asian salad, perfectly dressed with tangy lime and a number of secret ingredients! At the moment, Andreas is serving a salad of marinated, steamed edamame with Sichuan pickles. I have only tasted the lovely vegetarian version, but there are also traditional pork dumplings for meat eaters and coming soon there will also be chicken, lemon grass and Thai basil with a chilli, peanut satay sauce. The little van has beautiful Chinese posters inside to add to the feel of if not exactly being transported to China, then certainly bringing a touch and taste of it to Berlin.

If you want to know where you can find the truck, go to Flying Dumplings Berlin on Facebook and 'like' and you'll receive info about where the van can be found next (or leave your email address here to go on the mailing list).

Dip those dumplings!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sweet shelves and round tables

I love these shelves, and I'd like something a bit like this in my new kitchen, I think. I don't like it all too fitted; I need a bit of life and mess around me...not too sterile. I fear that I may have a lot more stuff to put on my shelves than here though, as I won't be living in a photo-shoot, but I like this idea, in principle. 

However, thinking about it, maybe this speaks against having it open plan as it might look just a tad too messy if my shelves are full of stuff, nice as it may be. What do you think? 
(I still like the idea of old-fashioned Victorian-style folding doors between the kitchen and living room spaces, so I can remain firmly on the fence for a little longer with rather a lot of splinters up my a*s*!).

From Living etc magazine (not sure of issue date!)

The layout designs of both these kitchens could work in my place, and in the picture below, I like the idea of the kitchen with the workplace and the round table and stylish chairs. I don't want everything to be white though, which might be surprising given the two images I've chosen here. However, I definitely like the idea of the white table and wooden (possibly mismatched) chairs.

From Living etc magazine (not sure of issue date!)

I've also been advised that pretty as they might be, round tables are really rather impractical, but hopefully just going through these thought processes will help me reach some decisions when the time comes. Not to mention that I don't really NEED to buy very much, but I might just treat myself to the odd new item in good time.

I won't have a double height ceiling like the one above... but it is 3.2m high, I think. Fairly standard for Berlin, but I think in England, we might put another flat in between. A lot of people I know had to buy new ladders when they moved to Berlin (even from other parts of Germany) because of the ceiling heights. I don't own a ladder at all yet....but I'll be borrowing one from from one of those friends, I hope (D&F for example!).

So, that's today's little outburst.... I know that when I read blogs, I don't always want to comment and I'm not even sure what an RSS feed is (can anyone tell me in simple terms how it works?), so I'm not really a nerd with much knowledge of the blogosphere, but I would really LOVE to get some comments and feedback....anything at all, but even if I am writing into a void, I think the process is still helpful for me!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

CAD by name and cad by nature

CAD! Computer 'aided' design!! Well, that's what they call it!!! At the moment, the computer isn't really aiding me very much, but I must say that I'm really kind of enjoying trying to translate lines and numbers into beautiful-looking plans and elevations for my interior design course. But it's a tricky wee game to play and I've got sooooo much to learn. I've had some good tuition from my friend Emma, and now I'm on to "learning by doing" as they so love to say here in Germany.

I've left it a while since I last did some of this, so my beautiful plans are not up to professional standards, yet! It takes patience and logic to get things right. I'm aiming for something like this:

Paul Loebe Haus, Berlin.  ©Stefan Braunfels Architekten 

  ...eventually..... But what I've got at the moment, unfortunately, is this:

Something altogether more ugly and mundane, but we can but dream and aim high!

This isn't at all the layout I'll necessarily want in my new kitchen, but just having a look to see what I could potentially fit into this small space....and it's surprisingly (a little) more than I expected.

There'll be more questions about the layout (even if they fall on deaf ears); it's helpful for me (and good practice for my course) to mess about with the programme and get more used to things. Does anyone know Vector Works? The printed version looks very different to the one on the screen.....not sure what I'm doing wrong, apart from 'lots, it seems' ... but need to get used the screen stuff first, I think, then get to grips with printing.

I'm quite proud of myself to have got this far with the basics (it's harder than it looks, honest guv!) .... so more creative ideas about the layout I might want (an island, L-shape, something else altogether), not to mention the door or knock-down-the-wall question, can wait til later. I don't want to lose the impetus to write and post something here regularly.

So, that's it for today, folks.... (or should I say folk - Hi Ola - mwah!!!).