Leanne Wei

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

A trip to Thailand wouldn't be complete without a Thai cooking class. It's been one of my dreams to learn how to make some of my favourite Thai dishes for years and I was so happy to finally get to have this experience last week with Phuket Thai Cooking Academy.

phuket wet market

I chose to do a half day cooking class on a Monday afternoon. I think it's great because you get to choose 5 dishes of your choice with free pick-up and drop-off included if you are staying in certain areas in Phuket, including Patong, Kathu, Kata, Kamala, and Phuket Town.

thailand banana flowers

I got picked up at 1:30pm and was dropped off at the wet market where I was greeted our guide and the rest of the group in the cooking class. We were given a tour around the market and I learned so many wonderful and interesting things about shopping for fresh produce and the complex flavours of Thai ingredients. Basically, most Thai vegetables (from eggplants, onions, garlic to chili) are so tiny compared to the average norm, but are PACKED with double the strength and flavour. Talk about good things coming in small packages. 

thailand wet market

One of my favourite things about Thailand is how you will often see food wrapped in banana leaves instead of plastic. It looks so beautiful, tastes delicious and is so much better for the environment. 

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy wet market

Another interesting fact I really enjoyed learning was that 80% of the produce found in this wet market are organic.

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy market herbs
Phuket Thai Cooking Academy market veggies
Phuket Thai Cooking Academy
Butterfly pea flower tea with lemon

Butterfly pea flower tea with lemon

We made our way to the academy after the market tour and were welcomed with the a glass of the most beautifully coloured butterfly pea flower tea. The tea is naturally blue in colour and turns into a gorgeous shade of purple when combined with lemon juice. It looked like magic. 

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

And talk about cooking in paradise... This was the view from our kitchen.

Red curry ingredients

Red curry ingredients

My first two dishes were red curry and tom kha gai. We prepped all the fresh ingredients and sauces for the dish at the beginning of the class.

Tom Kha Gai ingredients

Tom Kha Gai ingredients

Then we moved on to cooking on the wok. 

Chicken with cashew

Chicken with cashew

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai

Coconut sticky rice

Coconut sticky rice

Prepping the coconut sticky rice was so fun. I didn't realize how simple this delicious dessert actually is. I'll definitely be making more of this once I head home. 

Red curry

Red curry

And voila! My first red curry dish complete. 

Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

We plated all the dishes and sat down for one heck of a feast. Everything was divine and I couldn't believe that I was actually able to make all of my favourite Thai dishes. 

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice

This was such a fun and incredible afternoon. If you're ever looking for a Thai cooking class in Phuket, I'd highly recommend spending a day learning from the experienced and talented chefs at Phuket Thai Cooking Academy

 

Many thanks to Phuket Thai Cooking Academy for providing such a wonderful experience!

Dinner at Le Café des Artistes

Crab with mizuna, cucumber-tarragon.

Crab with mizuna, cucumber-tarragon.

Tucked under the beautiful Les Etangs des Corot hotel in Versailles, Le Café des Artistes is a cozy and gorgeous space serving delicious modernized bistro dishes. Dinner time was a lovely experience - service was friendly and attentive, and although the menu was only available in French, the staff had been so kind and patient to translate every item on the menu for me line by line, even making some really wonderful recommendations.  

BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES
BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES
BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES
BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES
BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES
Crab with mizuna, cucumber-tarragon.

Crab with mizuna, cucumber-tarragon.

For the first course, I asked for something pretty. My waitress recommended chair de crabe à la mizuna, concombre-estragon on the menu, which translates to crab with mizuna (also known as Japanese mustard greens), cucumber-tarragon. It was a cold dish that struck me as sort of like a green gazpacho. I loved the flavour combination of the crab, mizuna, cucumber and tarragon combined with the strips of Granny Smith apples. It gave it a clean, refreshing, sweet and sour taste. 

Hake loin with parsley + gnocchis.

Hake loin with parsley + gnocchis.

For the main course, I went with dos de merlu au persil + gnocchis, or hake loin with parsley and gnocchis. The key word that struck me here was "gnocchi" because I'm a sucker for dumplings. I thought this would be more on the "light" side, but I was surprised at how filling it was before I was even half way through the meal. I still finished though. The sauce paired with the hake and gnocchi was delicious. 

BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES dessert
BISTRO LE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES dessert
Roasted peach and hazelnut cream with sorbet.

Roasted peach and hazelnut cream with sorbet.

Now, I don't know about you but I honestly think I have a second stomach for dessert because no matter how full I am, I always make room for dessert... and tonight was no exception.  My choice of dessert for the evening was pêche rôtie au four et crème noisette: roasted peach and hazelnut cream (with sorbet). The peach was perfectly roasted with fresh cream sandwiched in between. I wasn't too crazy about the hazelnut creme (maybe because it was a little on the heavy side and I was already full), but the sorbet paired really well with the peach and gave such a fruity and refreshing taste in my mouth to seal off the meal. 

 



Rooftop Summer Soiree with Fohrcard x Sweetgreen x Winc x Coastal

fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange
fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange table top
fohr summer sweetgreen brooklyn grange dinner
brooklyn grange dinner
winc
winc brooklyn grange
leanne wei honey & velvet
winc wine
brooklyn grange sunset dinner
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brooklyn grange nyc rootop farm

Top: Tobi | Shorts: Aritzia | Sandals: Kelso | Sunglasses: Coastal
 

I've been dreaming of visiting the Brooklyn Grange ever since I first discovered that there was actually a rooftop farm in NYC. I had lived vicariously through everyone's Instagram pictures for so long, but it was such an amazing experience to to finally make a personal visit on Wednesday night for dinner with Fohrcard, Sweetgreen, Winc and Coastal. 

I was welcomed by a lovely glass of  rosé courtesy of Winc when I arrived. One of the hardest things about attending influencer events is that I don't know anyone 95% of the time so I'm usually the awkward person in the corner on my camera/phone. But the universe was on my side on Wednesday and I became friends at first sight with Waikei (@waikeezy) at the wine table! She is super lovely and it's always SO nice to meet someone that you get along so well with right from the get go! 

The sun was shining in my eyes when I remembered that I forgot to bring sunglasses, but Waikei and I ended up chatting with the beautiful ladies from Coastal and guess what? They had everyone's sunglasses covered! Coastal - you guys are so awesome!! I love the aviator frames!

Dinner was served at 7pm, right after a few words from the wonderful James Nord (he looks and talks exactly the same way as he does on A Drink with James hahaha). We feasted on hummus + sourdough bread, cashew tofu, mexican elote, strawberry fields and spring chicken salads - all freshly made in house courtesy from the amazing team at Sweetgreen. We took pictures and laughed and talked and sipped on white wine and rose all night long... And when dessert time came, I tried OddFellows ice cream for the first time! The raspberry and strawberry basil were my fav. 

It was one of the hottest summer nights in New York this year, but being on a rooftop over sunset is an experience that is absolutely priceless.

 

Thank you so much to for this beautiful experience! 
FohrcardSweetgreenWincCoastal | Brooklyn Grange | OddFellows


Photos by me and Mark Asuncion


Pure Leaf Tea House NYC

leanne wei honeyandvelvet at pure leaf tea house nyc
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pure leaf tea nyc matchaccino
pure leaf tea hot matcha
pure leaf tea matchaccino
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pure leaf tea house nyc tea bar
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pure leaf tea house nyc green spaces
pure leaf tea house nyc tea bottle wall installation
pure leaf tea house nyc purple tea kenya
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pure leaf tea house soho nyc

Fun fact about me: I order tea at bars. 

Yeah, I'm kind of that girl that people give weird looks to whenever I say that out too loud... So can you imagine the look on my face when I walked into Pure Leaf Tea House to see dozens of tea inspired drinks being handcrafted behind the bar by tea mixologists? (If you watched my Instagram Stories, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!) 

I had the pleasure of joining Pure Leaf at the opening of their first ever Tea House in Soho last night and the experience was nothing less than wonderful. The space is gorgeous, relaxing and thoughtfully designed - and the tea menu represents a kaleidoscope of amazing colors and flavors. With a collection of real brewed artisanal teas, every drink and food pairing created was prepared by Pure Leaf’s tea mixologists in an amazing way, through a combination of tea-brewing and mixology.

If you ever need a tea break in Soho, drop by Pure Leaf Tea House - I highly recommend the iced golden chai, matchaccino, pop corn tea (genmaicha), and purple tea! :) 

 

Pure Leaf Tea House
79 Greene Street
New York, NY

Open now through September 24th, 2017.