Category Archive for Cute Yummy Time
CUTE DECORATED HALLOWEEN CANDY: STICKY, DESIGNER CUSTOM CANDY STORE IN HONG KONG. SMILEY FACE HANDMADE CANDIES.
Halloween is days away! Have you got sweets for trick-or-treaters yet? I’ve got something cute up my sleeve.
Flash back to Hong Kong, when Seba and I visited Sticky, a specialty candy shop.
Remember my cousin, who runs a cute cooking school where we made panda bread? She collaborates with Sticky, confectioner of handmade, rock-style lollies.
The colorful, cute designs are irresistible. A frog, an elephant!
How on Earth do you make these intricate bon-bons by hand?
If you visit the Tsum Tsa Shui store, you can see the skilled process in action. Seba even suited up and joined them behind the counter!
First, the candymakers spread a hot colored sugar-water mixture, and make abstract shapes. Once it firms up, the slab is sectioned by color.
Seba learned that candy can weigh a lot. He stretched out the orange portion with a hook, to change the color and texture.
The various colored sections are assembled and rolled together, to form a giant happy face.
Then, the boys stretched it to a thin and fragile point.
Seba chopped the strand into dime-size pieces. Behold: each one has a cross-eyed happy face on it! We personalized our bag with a custom label: “By La Carmina + Seba.”
We had so much fun at Sticky, and the owner is a sweetheart. I hope you’ll swing by for a free sample! (Shop B201, B2F, K11 Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong)
Sticky also has locations in Singapore, Malaysia and Sydney.
Later on, we went out for a Hong Kong nightcrawl with my friend Heidi, who has visited me in Tokyo. I’m wearing a cat-eared top by Spider (lots of HK Gothic clothes are available in my Garage Sale!)
There’s not much of an alternative/Gothic party scene here. However, we found our types of people at Le Boudoir, a French burlesque/cocktail bar in Soho. (BF, 65 Wyndham St, Central, HK.)
Inside, there were chaises under chandeliers. We tried a Versailles cocktail, but preferred the spicy honey one.
All of my Hong Kong and Macau posts are in this category — including info on Gothic Lolita Kawaii shopping. Give it a gander.
Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite candies?
Song of the Day: Zola Jesus – Night (Have you heard of this Gothic-artsy musician yet?)
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PANDA BREAD RECIPE: LESSONS AT A CUTE COOKING SCHOOL IN HONG KONG. RILAKKUMA BEAR, CAKE DECORATION LESSONS.
Cute cooking runs in La Carmina’s family — and here’s the proof! My cousin Amanda Yuen runs a Hong Kong cooking school, Princess Cake House, specializing in cute food and fun, decorated desserts. Sebastiano and I joined a class, where we learned how to make adorable panda bread, while chomping on Rilakkuma’s chocolate ear.
Seba’s yellow cat shirt: Hyoma, from the I.T. store.
La Carmina’s Goth-cute tank top: Black Peace Now, from Closet Child Tokyo
Pink and silver flower necklace: gifted from Soho Hearts
The workshop, located in Fo Tan, was bustling with about 40 students. My Rilakkuma bear apron matches Amanda’s chocolate bread creation.
Every weekend, the instructors teach students how to make adorable sweets, like panda bear bread.
Who came for the lesson? Seriously, everyone: kids, female friends, couples, a headhunter from the UK. Amanda won a cake decorating award in Japan, so she’s well qualified to teach.
Hazel demonstrates the steps while the students watch. Pop quiz: can you find Seba in this photo?
The layering of the black, white and green (matcha-flavored) dough…
… results in panda faces on every slice of bread. Kawaii!
As you may know, I wrote a cookbook, Cute Yummy Time (published by Penguin Books). It’s about how to make healthy food fun — by decorating it to look like cute characters! You can find more info here.
What a fun cooking school, with smiling objects everywhere. Using this wooden rolling pin, can you guess what I did to Seba?
Seba’s munching turned the cute bear’s face into a ghost. Using the torch, he made a creme brulee crust.
Amanda also baked dainty cakes and pastel macaroons. She let us eat whatever we wanted — and we did!
Whenever I travel to a new place, I enjoy taking cooking lessons; it’s a rewarding way to learn about the culture and pick up new foodie skills. And why not add some cuteness to the mix?
If you visit Hong Kong, I hope you’ll pay a visit to Princess Cake House. Cooking classes are held in Cantonese, but you can email them and ask for my cousin Amanda. She’ll make sure you don’t get lost in translation.
Have you ever taken a cooking lesson? Or tried cooking cute? My bento-decoration-inspired book is available to buy here.
PS: Seba and I have SO many photos to share… Milan, Rome, Venice, Florence with Luisa Via Roma. Plus two fashion design collaborations to be released this month. Patience please!
Song of the Day: Yelle – Safari Disco Club (French electro; you can stream the entire album.)
SCARY WEIRD JAPANESE AMUSEMENT PARK: NAMCO NAMJA TOWN IN IKEBUKURO SUNSHINE CITY. ICE CREAM LAND NAMPA VIDEO.
Yukiro, Naomi and I filmed a hilarious video almost a year ago… and finally, I’ve gotten around to editing it. Ready? Set? Let’s learn how to Nampa (pick people up) in Namja Town (a disturbing Japanese theme park)!
Yukiro is holding our beloved kabocha (pumpkin) ice cream. My shirt is by Banana Fish, rest in peace.
Sega’s Namco Namja Town is an indoor amusement center in Ikebukuro Sunshine City. Don’t let the cute kitty mascot fool you. The theme park’s attractions are best described as traumatizing (hello, serial killer clown stabbing you with a knife).
After we got tired of pushing buttons and screaming, we made a funny Instructional Video about nanpa, or how to approach people up for dates. With illustrative skits, La Carmina and friends explain the difference between good (“ok deshita”) and bad pick-up techiques (“dameeeee”).
Ready to cackle like a demented queen bitch? You can see our video above and here on YouTube.
We brought Tokyo party blogger Mai Sassy Girl to the food part of Namja Town. There’s a colorful hall called Ice Cream Land, which sells every iced dairy flavor imaginable. Next to it is Gyoza Town, which offers the same for Chinese pot-stickers.
Like everything in my cookbook Cute Yummy Time, the ice cream cones are decorated with cute, smiling faces.
However, this theme park mostly crosses the line from cute into creepy.
Hey, it’s Japan right? For maps to Sunshine City and these terrifying attractions, you can view my Ikebukuro guide.
Japanese Word of the Day: Teikyou – Provide
Song of the Day: cali ≠ gari – Maguro
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN LOS ANGELES! LA HEALTHY RESTAURANTS, ORGANIC VEGETARIAN FOOD, AROMA, M CAFE, FARMER’S MARKET WEST HOLLYWOOD.
Warning: there’s a lot of food porn in this post! Seba and I had too many yummy meals while in Los Angeles. Our hotel, The Orlando, is right across from Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes and brownies were a bit too sickly sweet, but we love the foamy cappuccinos.
For his first night in LA, I brought Sebastiano to Marco’s West Hollywood. Italian food for a (mostly?) Italian boy. Pizza, eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti… delizioso.
For dessert, we ordered the special “Italian Christmas cake” (Seba had never heard of this dish). It was a pannetone, or sweet bread loaf, with blueberries on top.
While we waited for our food at Urth Caffe (the celebrity hangout), Seba drew in my notebook gifted from Emily the Strange.
After being in Japan for so long, he’s amazed at American portion sizes!
Adam Richman (host of Travel Channel’s Man vs Food) sent us a gift of red wine and a fruit plate. Why do we know Adam? You’ll see… keep checking the blog to find out! (Here are more photos from our hotel experience.)
We were staying near Whole Foods, and went there almost every day for healthy munchies and cappucinos.
M Cafe on Melrose and La Brea remains one of my favorite places in the world to eat. The Japanese-infused veggie burger with yam fries and “un-ketchup” are out of control.
Yes to the fudge cake and paninis. M Cafe now has vegan cupcakes from Babycakes NYC, the healthy bakery.
One day, we stumbled upon the recently-opened Fit Food on Santa Monica. Everything here is tasty and good for your body. I’d never had anything like the Yam-Tastic sweet potato protein shake.
Seba thought The Grove was “a tacky imitation of Europe.” But we loved Farmer’s Market. You can tell we eat a lot of protein and salad.
Other highlights… spongy bread and African dips from a restaurant in Little Ethiopia, Japanese-Western fusion from Sawtelle Kitchen, Italian cappuccinos with decorated foam from Urth Caffe.
We ate curry, pad thai and papaya salad at Toi on Sunset, the rock and roll Thai restaurant. All the food is freshly-cooked with healthy ingredients. Don’t forget to order the limitless coffee.
Another reason to love The Orlando Hotel – it’s located on the West 3rd “restaurant row.” We adored the Indian cuisine at Electric Karma — it was one of the best we’d experienced. We picked up mac and cheese, asparagus and salmon from Joan’s on Third.
Several of you recommended Aroma Cafe on Sunset, so we went for a sniff. Omelets, salads and grilled sandwiches. So. Good.
What are your favorite LA eateries? Do you like a variety of cuisines? Or try to eat healthy, as we do?