Friday, December 30, 2005

Absolute Thai @ Ikano Power Centre

We have not been frequenting the malls during the Christmas period as they have been jam packed with people doing last minute shopping but we did manage to get into Ikea on Christmas eve evening as we wanted to check out their kitchen accesories. Originally, the intention was to eat at Fasta Pasta at the adjoining Ikano Power Centre but the queue for a table was quite horrendous so we took the easy way out and tried the newly opened Absolute Thai. This Thai restaurant is part of the chain of restaurants that you will come across in almost every shopping centre in town and is run by Sea Cuisine Sdn. Bhd.. They boast similar dishes and decor at almost every outlet with their modern furniture and large mirror in the wall. Lighting wasn't too brilliant at the restaurant - down lights is no match for fluorescent lights during night time photography so the photos aren't perfect.

We ordered an appetiser to share and decided to try their deep fried catfish and mango salad. I thought this was not too bad and the salad was pretty tasty too.

Nothing could deter Splashie Boy from ordering his favourite Pineapple Fried Rice even though I pointed out that he only seems to eat this all the time. It did not come in a carved out pineapple (so sad!) so it didn't look too impressive. We compared it to Basil Thai Nudle which is also in their chain and it fell short according to Splashie Boy.

I ordered the Laksa as I love the white thin noodles that they serve it with. It came presented in a very interesting manner - the laksa sauce will be in a metal bowl that was placed over a portable burner with a platter of the noodles, chopped vegetables: long beans, cucumbers and condiments like chopped turnip (choy poh in chinese) and pickled cabbage. You are given a seperate bowl for you to mix the noodles, vegetables and condiments, laksa sauce according to the portions you like. At first when it came, the little fire at the burner was not lit hence my laksa sauce was cold. I had to wave to the wait staff to re-lit it so my laksa sauce was nice and hot. It was an interesting way to eat laksa as my sauce remained boiling hot but somehow I found the sauce a bit too pungent with fish sauce to say it was perfect.

Overall, I found this Thai outlet's food standards a shade paler than the rest of the restaurants in their chain. Not too sure whether it was due to the Christmas rush but somehow the food here just didn't taste as nice as Basil. They better buck up or else they will share the same fate as Red Herring which used to occupy the space previously.

Absolute Thai
G-20, Ground Floor
Ikano Power Centre
Mutiara Damansara
Kuala Lumpur
Tel No: 03 - 7729 8708

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Prosperity Burger @ McDonalds

Every year without fail, I will know Chinese New Year is just around the corner with the sale of McDonalds' Prosperity Burger. This year, they started selling the burger on 23 December, which was pretty appropriate since it was just one day after Dong Zhi which is signifies that it's time to start preparing for the festive season.

I actually took this picture advertising the local website sometime back for a McDonalds' round-up that
Sweetnicks had before. If you're a McDonalds' fan, you can click on the web address and get lots of information on the fast food. If you also get shortchanged in a McDonalds, you can even complain to their customer service which is pretty efficient. Now if you are an avid fan of McDonalds like Splashie Boy (a visit once a week is essential for him!) they will even present to you a free Privilege Card that gives you a 10% discount on all meals served in McDonalds.

The Prosperity Burger comes in a set which has two sizes, medium or large that consists of a drink called Orange McFizz, Twister Fries and the burger. The drink is just a fizzy orange drink that was not too sweet but tasted a bit diluted compared to the Mirinda Orange drinks.

I was playing with my Twister Fries and decided to take them on top of the paper they line the tray with so you can see what the Prosperity Burger looks like in their promotional pictures. The fries are my favourites with their crunchy coating.

This is my Prosperity Burger with my Twister Fries - big difference between the promotion picture and real life. I wanted to take the top of my bun off and show the middle bit of the beef fillet slathered with the black pepper sauce but the bun was a bit too soft from the steam of the beef patty. I even ended up making a hole on my bun.

The Chicken version will be sold in Kuala Lumpur from 12 January, 2006 onwards based on their leaflets. Not sure why but they have already started selling the chicken version in Kuching as per
Sixth Seal but he got a bit of a raw deal as they forgot to slather black pepper sauce on his fillet.

Incidentally I had this at KLCC's food court and I saw someone else also taking a picture of his friend's burger in the next table. Looks like there is a lot of people taking pictures of their food at that place. (It's my second time seeing people snap their food there) Besides the meal, they also have prosperity desserts which are Orange and Peach sundae and a peach orange McFlurry. The sundae is essentially soft vanilla ice cream topped with an orange sauce, orange segments and diced canned peaches while the McFlurry has all of the above ingredients blended together.

So do remember to eat at least one meal of Prosperity Burger this year as it's a once a year special that will hopefully bring you lots of luck and prosperity for the new year. Don't eat too much of it though or else your stomach will definitely "prosper"! (In Chinese, you usually tell someone you look so prosperous when they have put on weight)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jushi @ Plaza Damas, Hartamas

Last weekend, a whole group of us wandered towards Plaza Damas to get some last minute Christmas shopping done plus celebrate a friend, Ms. J's birthday. She recommended this place which I have not heard before until recently as the local paper did a write up about them this month. According to my friend, this place has been opened for almost a year already. It's tucked upstairs in another level of the Plaza which I have not explored before and it directly opposite Yoga Zone.

It's a kind of fusion Japanese place - juices and sushi hence the Jushi name. We ordered quite a variety of different juices but I only took pictures of two - my Ultimate C which had lots of Vitamin C from a mixture of starfruit, lemon and orange juices while my friend, Ms. C had the Tropical Sunrise, a mixture of orange, pineapple and watermelon juices. What amazed us was the colour of her juice as that combo made a lovely peach coloured juice which eventually seperated to two tones after a while. Besides juices, there are also smoothies and you can even add healthy supplements like wheatgrass, spirulina, ginseng, echinea to boost your wellbeing. My other friends had Paradise Special which was mango based, the Wake Up call which looked a bit like the Tropical Sunrise. You can also mix your own blend of juice if you wish for something more unique.

After that healthy blast of juice, the food started arriving in droves. We had opted to share the food so we could get a better variety. Ordering of the food was left to the birthday girl since it was her treat that day plus she had been there before. First up was the Ebi Gyoza, which was prawn stuffed dumplings that have been deep fried.

Next was something unusual, Salad rolls which has tempura crisps (i.e. the bits that fall off whenever you deep fry tempura or more aptly, the bits of tempura batter), chopped up crab stick rolls (kani in Japanese), a bit of butterhead lettuce, mayonnaise and sushi rice all wrapped up in a crispy nori seaweed. This was not too bad especially the crispy bits which added a nice crunch.

We ordered one rice dish, the Yakiniku Don that had slices of beef grilled and sprinkled with sesame seeds. What was unusual was it came with shredded red pickles, asparagus and cherry tomatoes that made it a colourful dish.

We also had an assortment of rolls: Fresh Salmon Roll in front, next was the Teriyaki Chicken Roll and last was the California Roll with the crabstick (kani) and ebiko.

No Japanese meal will be complete without a bit of salmon sashimi that came in a lovely fan shape.

This place prides itself with serving fusion sushi like this Popiah Maki which uses popiah skin as a wrapper instead of the usual nori seaweed sheets. I liked this fusion style as it was pretty light and tasty with the teeny weeny bit of mayonnaise on top.

We finished off with the Dragon Maki, that was topped with thin slices of creamy avocado. The inside was eel (unagi). I liked this as the avocado was really soft and melt in the mouth.
The food at this place is not too bad and prices will not kill your pocket. The place is nice and breezy (we sat outside under lots of fans). The only downer of this place was service as the wait staff did not seem to understand much English and had to be helped out by their captain a few times when we made further enquiries on the menu. They also offered a Jushi card for free that entitles you to a 10% discount (I'm not very sure if you have to spend a certain amount to qualify but they gave us one) and if you're a Yoga Zone member, you also get the 10% discount.

P-1-21, Plaza Damas
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 6201 2399
(If you come from Hartamas Shopping Centre, go all the way up and walk out of the glass doors to Plaza Damas. You will need to take the escalators up to the next level and Jushi is just opposite the escalators)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Paddington House of Pancakes @ Hartamas

My friend, MY brought her kids with her for lunch and they were all excited to try out pancakes for desserts at Paddington House of Pancakes (website under construction but has details of their outlets) in Hartamas Shopping Centre after our Jushi lunch. It seems it's their first time eating pancakes and they have heard so much about it from their mother who had tried this outlet recently.

They both love to pose for pictures and I could not resist taking a few snaps of them grinning away in front of their pancake. Aren't they cute with their little playboy bunnies and dimples?

As we were pretty full from lunch, we only ordered two pancakes to share among all of us. We had this one which came topped with sliced strawberries, bananas, blueberries, raisins, flaked almonds, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and strawberry ice-cream. The funniest part was my friend's kid took a bite of it and told his mother that it tasted like roti canai!

We also ordered a plain pancake with lemon juice and sugar that came sprinkled with a few blueberries. This was yummy as I love plain ones and very traditional. There is a slight layer of syrup on the bottom which tasted great with the tangy lemon juice. I must admit that my faith has been renewed for Paddington House of Pancakes as this place is so much better than their other outlet in the Curve in terms of service. It could be due to the layout of the place as it's cosier than the Curve.

Paddington House of Pancakes
G-20, Hartamas Shopping Centre
60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 6201 7527
(Located at the ground floor of the shopping centre, you can see this outlet from the main road)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Feasts

T'was the season for eating lots of good food this Christmas! There were two feasts on Christmas: one at Splashie Boy's house and another at my friend, Ms. C's house which are yearly affairs that meant all day eating and lots of tight trousers.

Splashie Boy's dad makes roast turkey from scratch every year - I think it reminds him a bit of his days in England. Here he is carving the turkey which is slightly burned but tasted great. This year was more of a fusion style as the stuffing was rice which made a change from the typical sage stuffing. Besides turkey, his dad also made his signature roast beef, roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes, mash and steamed vegetables for everyone to feast on.

Every year without fail, my friend Ms. C will be back from London and we will meet up for a Christmas dinner with her family and friends. We had turkey of course which was ordered this year from Bon Ton. Sorry, I did not manage to take a picture of the whole turkey as I was busy helping to hold the turkey while someone carved it to be served on a platter. The stuffing was a bit unusual this year, sticky glutinous rice with mushrooms. There was also creamy sauce which reminded me a bit of bread sauce and cranberry sauce to go with the turkey.

This is essential for Christmas dinner, Mee Siam made by my friend, Ms. P's mother. It's her signature dish and I always look forward to eating this every year as it's my all time favourite. This is the dry type which you eat with the taucheo (brown soya bean) sauce on top.

In Malaysian feasts, there will be a mix of Western and local dishes served to cater for everyone's tastes. Besides turkey, we had Lor Hon Chai that is mixed vegetables like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, wood ear fungus, bean curd skin and etc which is all cooked in a sauce that has fermented beancurd in it.

No Malaysian feast will be complete without Chicken Curry. You can opt to eat this with your Mee Siam or the traditional way with rice.

There was also Beef Rendang and Ju Hoo Char (Shredded Yam Bean) to be eaten wrapped with lettuce. Ms. C made her famous cincau(Grass jelly) in rose syrup, another yearly favourite.

I did not manage to catch pictures of the desserts since I was busy catching up the gossip with old friends except this one of Patchi chocolates on this lovely platter. We had scrumptious and sinfully yummy Death by Chocolate cake from
Just Heavenly - a rich rum flavoured mousse and chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate ganache topping. After eating all that good food throughout the day, I was practically rolling home! Hope you all had a lovely feast for Christmas and do share what you had as I would love to hear about it.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Malaysian Food Finds @ 26 December, 2005

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's been a great week of feasting with the Dong Zhi festival and Christmas. Lots of home made feasts or eating out adventures by all for you to relish with your eyes and a click of the mouse.

What's cooking in the kitchen?

Let's start with turkey, that festive dish that is essential for Christmas. Lilian from Malaysia Best cooked her first turkey and it looks fantastic. Lots of effort was placed on cooking this turkey and it even went for a bit of an "alcoholic massage" to get it's juices going. Glutton Rabbit from Pearl of the Orient has been busy but she still managed to make a lovely holiday dinner for her family by cheating a bit. Keeping with the festive theme, Fatboybakes from Have Your Cake and Eat it Too made some lovely looking gingerbread cookies.

Fatboybakes' fantastic looking gingerbread cookies

On to the Dong Zhi celebrations and they were celebrated with lots of tang yuan/tong yuen that is essential. Living Gem had some teeny weeny looking ones that came in candy colours. Lilian from Malaysia Best was busy with Christmas preparations but she shares with us her childhood experiences of making tang yuan/tong yuen. The Sensintrovert shares with us his celebrations in England with some frozen tang yuan/tong yuen. You can also get a podcast on how to make tang yuan/tong yuen over at Eat First Think Later.

Swee from Just Heavenly cooks up her own version of Maggi Goreng. Lilian from Malaysia Best fried Hokkien Noodle as it's extremely hard to get good ones in Penang. Just Heavenly also made some interesting beer battered chicken. On the alcohol theme, how about some homemade hot wine? Check out Living in Denial who gives you lessons as it's as easy as making Maggi. Foodcrazee has been busy in the kitchen for his practical lessons but he got a lovely surprise when he wife cooked for him lovely soup.

On to the sweet stuff and the girls from Just Heavenly were busy with refreshing Lychee Sorbet and Egg Mousse Tarts. Fatboybakes from Have Your Cake and Eat It made some yummy looking onde-onde and wicked looking orange mocha brownies. Elaine made some delicious looking chocolate candies for the festive season. If you want some lovely popcorn to go with your home movie, check out what Tham Jiak made as it looks delish.

Eats to relish around Kuala Lumpur

Do you want to dice with danger? How about some fugu sushi which is being served in Aoyama Japanese restaurant in Desa Sri Hartamas? Nekochan from Food Safari tried some and she lived to tell us about it. For something less dangerous but also from Japan, Babe from Babe in the City tried out those famous Beard Papa cream puffs in Mid Valley Megamall amid all that traffic jam woes. Wow! The puffs look so sinfully good with all that pastry cream that comes with black dots a.k.a vanilla beans.

Those yummy looking Beard Papa cream puffs from Babe in the city

KY from kyspeaks had black chicken herbal soup with mee suah that looks so good. He also introduces us to the best Ramly burgers in Petaling Jaya. Everything is pretty nearby so I must give them a try. Acrix from Acrix69: Realmz of Fantasy! introduces us to Vietnamese food at Red Antz, Sri Petaling. Everything looks good and I love those cute little red ant motifs all over the cafe. He also had some interesting looking tong sui at Sweet Bean which I have not seen before like tau foo fa with peanut paste and black sesame paste with peanut paste.

Babe from Babe in the City had some yummy looking Mee Rebus around the Masjid Indian area. She also braved the stares of her hubby to bring us pictures of her colleague's wedding dinner. Yummy Corner introduces us Jalan Sepadu's Loh Mee which looks good. Boredworkers went on a bit of a Christmas binge with barbeque buffet in Restaurant Talipon just off Jalan Kuchai Lama. I have hear quite a bit about this place and it sounds like a fun place after reading his write-up. Memoirs of a Chocoholic tried out Flaming J' Firehouse and found it so so but great value for money. Mark Tham from Good Food, Good Life celebrated his Christmas dinner at La Gourmet.

Not everyone has great eating experiences and Wyejon from Wantan Productions was dissapointed with the set lunches being served at Jack's Place in 1 Utama. Foodcrazee tried out the Dragon-i in Mid Valley Megamall and found the food completely different in taste from their 1 Utama outlet. Not only that, service was lousy with surly wait staff.

Eats to dream about since they are out of Kuala Lumpur

I have heard quite a bit about the famous
Lunas Roast Duck so it was fantastic when the Penanglive.comUnity tried it out. Lots of yummy-licious looking pictures were taken of this crispy duck and it's so cheap compared to the ducks in KL. James from Loopy Meals tried out a new place for dim sum in Ipoh on the recommendation of his confinement lady but sadly it turned out to be a bit of a dissapointment. He promises that the famous Foh San dim sum will be next so I am waiting in anticipation as I love their dim sum there. I guess he should have taken Lilian from Malaysia Best's advice and drove a little further to test out Cafe De Tai Thong in Penang. Their dim sum looks fantastic and you even have to fight for tables at this place!

Prawn and Sharkfins dumpling from Malaysia Best

Siah from The Malaysian Recipes Blog brings us more yummy eats from Sandakan and this time it's afternoon tea time treats and vegetarian food. Big Head Big Hat went to Kuala Selangor for some seafood during the holidays but found it a total dissapointment especially after the long drive there. Good Food, Good Life had the famous curry laksa in Kuantan which sounds very good that I wish it was nearby so I can give it a try. Umami made a trip to Melaka for some satay celup and popiah. Everything looks so great!

* Photos have been borrowed from the respective sites so if you are not comfortable with them being posted up here, do drop me a comment and I will remove them.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you. Hope you have lotsa fun, happy moments and Santa is kind to you.

I just read Clare's blog and Kiri is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the bestest Christmas present of all as I was just thinking about him a few hours ago, sending up a little request for his safe return. It is truly a Christmas miracle and I am glad someone up there is listening. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Kiri is Missing

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you will know of Kiri, the sleek grey cat who belongs to Clare from eat stuff in Sydney, the founder of Weekend Cat Blogging. It seems he is missing from his home or to be exact Clare's boyfriend's family home when he jumped out of a window. They have been searching high and low for him but to date, no news of him.

I hope you will all think lots of positive thoughts or pray for Kiri's safe return to Clare like what the kitties, Splashie Boy and I are doing as losing a pet is everyone's worst nightmare. We are all hoping Kiri just went for a bit of an adventure and will return as soon as possible to Clare.

Soo Kee Restaurant @ Petaling Jaya

I have been really busy lately and been grabbing meals on the go due to time constraints. This was a meal I had when I visited the Sea Park wet market for some supplies. If you are a Petaling Jaya resident, you will definitely know about this restaurant that serves Ipoh style koay teow noodles as this has been around since I was a kid. Not sure why but there is so much good food around the Sea Park and Paramount area that one never goes hungry around there.

I often come back to this restaurant for a dose of Ipoh koay teow soup as I love their smooth koay teow noodles. It seems it is only in Ipoh that you can get these nice koay teow noodles as they claim the water they use to make these rice noodles is special. A bowl of the noodles usually come with a few sliced prawns, shredded chicken and chopped chives in a broth made from prawn shells and chicken stock. If you see the picture closely, you can see the hot steam arising from the bowl.

An essential order is their prawn wantan with vegetables. You can either order them seperately or with your noodles. The wantan has one prawn in it which is nice and crunchy.

Last but not least, you must always order their steamed chicken with oyster sauce. The chicken is perfectly steamed and the meat is so tender. I sometimes buy this chicken to eat with rice or noodles when I am feeling a bit lazy to cook. Although the food is excellent here, the food here is pretty pricy compared to your normal fare in the coffeeshops so you can end up paying quite a bit for your meal.

Restaurant Soo Kee
33 Jalan 21/17
Sea Park
Petaling Jaya
Tel No: 03 - 7876 7736
(Opposite the Sea Park market - The Sun's website has a pretty good
write-up on the restaurant including a map showing you how to get there)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dong Zhi Festival

Today marks the start of the Winter Solstice festival that is celebrated by all Chinese. Traditionally in China, this signified that it is time to get ready for winter. It also meant that the all important Chinese New Year festival is just around the corner and preparations should be made for the festivities. These past few days, I noticed that the traders have started putting out all the usual New Year goodies and restaurants are even hanging out Yee Sang banners. Usually families get together for a meal and make glutinous rice balls known as tong yuen which symbolises reunion. The tong yuen is usually plain or stuffed with various fillings like peanuts, black sesame seeds or brown sugar. It is also served piping hot with syrup made from ginger or pandan leaves with brown sugar or soya bean milk. Some also believe that when you eat tong yuen, it means you have grown one year older.

In my family, this used to be celebrated with a dinner with the relatives and the kids helping out to make the tong yuen but nowadays, this tradition seems to have been abandoned. Nevertheless, I still in my own little way celebrate with eating tong yuen. This year, I decided to be a bit different and made my own varieties rather than just buying them ready made.

The first variety is a cold one which extremely unusual as the tong yuen is usually served with piping hot sweet syrup. Inspiration came from the
Y3k magazine that has receipes from various restaurants around Malaysia. This receipe came from a restaurant located in Ipoh, Perak. For my tong yuen, instead of making my own from scratch, I bought some pandan flavoured dough from the wet market. Although the recipe does ask to stuff a coconut piece in the tong yuen, I found that these ones don't really have much taste compared to the plain ones. Tastewise, using the coconut water was a great idea as it was refreshing. It's also pretty easy to assemble as you can always get the coconut water from any fruit vendor or stall.

Glutinous Rice Balls in Coconut Water

300 grams glutinous rice floir
2 tbsps icing sugar
150 grams water
A few drops of colouring (optional)
3 young green coconuts (keep the water chilled and the sliced flesh into pieces)

Dice a small portion of the coconut flesh as the filling. Make sure it is dry as it will affect the texture of the rice ball when added into it.

Place the glutinous rice flour, icing sugar, water and colouring (if using) into a food processor. Knead into a dough and divide into smaller portions. Flatten the dough and wrap in a little of the coconut flesh as a filling. Seal edges and roll it into round balls.

Cook the rice balls in a pot of boiling water (make sure it is a large pot of water). Scoop them up once they have floated up to the surface. Serve rice balls with chilled coconut water and remaining coconut flesh slices.

The second variety is a stuffed tong yuen with a salted egg and peanut filling served with a hot ginger broth or pandan flavoured syrup. Making the filling is pretty easy but takes a bit of time as you need to chill it in the fridge to harden. You don't really taste the salted egg yolks at all and the addition of toasted sesame seeds and preserved winter melon in the peanut filling makes it much nicer than the usual peanut stuffed tong yuen. For the hot syrup accompanying it, you can either use ginger to cook it or pandan leaves depending on your preference. This time round I used pandan leaves as I was out of ginger. You can freeze the remaining tong yuen for future meals. This receipe is from Agnes Chang, a popular Malaysian cook and was taken from the bi-monthly Yum Yum magazine which also publishes the ever popular Hawkers Fair cookbooks in Malaysia.

Glutinous Rice Balls with Salted Egg Yolk and Peanut Filling

60 grams salted butter, melted
4 salted egg yolks, steamed for 10 minutes and mashed with a fork
125 grams peanuts, stir fried until fragrant, skin removed and ground
60 grams sesame seeds, stir fried until fragrant and ground
60 grams preserved winter melon, chopped

300 grams glutinous rice flour
125 ml boiling water
some cold water


1000ml water
150 grams brown sugar or gula melaka
3 pieces pandan leaves, knotted

Combine all the ingredients and chill in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm. (Note that you should thoroughly mix all of the ingredients - I mashed up the preserved winter melon also) Remove and divide into small portions and shape into balls. Put glutinous rice flour into a mixing bowl, pour in boiling water and stir into a half cooked dough.Slowly add in cold water and knead into a pliable dough. Alternatively you can purchase ready made glutinous rice flour dough from the wet markets during this festival. Divide dough into small portions and wrap up filling. Shape into balls.

Put water, brown sugar and pandan leaves into a pot and cook until the brown sugar has melted and the syrup is aromatic. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the glutinous rice balls until it floats up. Then cook for another 1 minute before scooping it up and serving it with the syrup. This needs to be served hot.

Happy Dong Zhi Festival!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cakes used to be in vogue when I was a kid and my mother is THE expert in making the perfect chiffon cake with a pillow soft and airy texture. For those who are unfamiliar with this cake, it's like a sponge cake as the eggs are seperated but it uses vegetable oil instead of butter. It is always baked in an ungreased tube pan so the cake can rise and the heat is properly circulated within the cake. It seems this cake was invented in 1927 but only became popular in the 1940s'.

My mother's recipe actually came from a newspaper article she found long ago but she has perfected it with many tries and attempts. The most important bit of making chiffon cakes is your egg whites must be stiff to with stand the egg yolk mixture being poured on top of it, just like the picture above. To ensure you have perfect stiff egg whites, make sure all your mixing bowls and utensils are free from oil and only fresh eggs are used. Take care also when seperating the eggs to make sure the yolk does not mix with the egg whites.

We use a pretty big chiffon cake tin (I think it's a 10 inch), an old fashioned one with rings on the side so it's easier to turn it. Once your cake comes out from the oven, you will need to cool it and we usually tilt it on top of a bottle.

To release the cake from it's ungreased cake tin, just use a knife around the tin and the tube and then tilt it over.

Here's a cross section of the cake so you can see the pillow soft texture. Although my mother does not usually bake anymore, she still makes this cake for special occasions.

Lemon Chiffon Cake

8 large eggs
5 ounces self raising flour
8 ounces sugar (put 4 ounces each in seperate bowls)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cooking oil, preferably vegetable
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon rind grated from one lemon

Seperate the eggs into two bowls: a mixing bowl for the egg whites and another smaller one for the egg yolks. Sift the self raising flour and add it into the egg yolk mixture. Measure out the sugar and seperate them into two equal portions. Add one portion of sugar into the egg yolk mixture. Add the cooking oil, lemon juice and lemon rind into the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth using a wooden spoon. Beat the egg whites with a stand mixer until stiff, adding cream of tartar, pinch of salt and the other portion of sugar gradually.

Once ready, add the egg yolk mixture into the mixing bowl with the beaten egg whites. The egg whites must be stiff enough to withstand the heavy egg yolk mixture and not fall. If it falls, this means your egg whites are not stiff enough and your cake will not rise. Mix the egg yolk and egg white mixture thoroughly and pour batter into the cake tin. Before you place into the oven, bang the cake tin on your countertop to get rid of any air bubbles. Heat the oven to 180C and bake for 40 minutes. Tilt the cake on top of an empty bottle to cool. Once cooled, use a knife to seperate the cake from the tin and turn it over on a plate or cake board to serve.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

RakuZen Japanese Restaurant @ Hartamas Shopping Centre

I had blogged earlier on about RakuZen Japanese Restaurant when we ate at their Subang Jaya outlet which is one of my favourite places for Japanese food. When I read in a Japanese newsletter (there is always a free one around with advertisements) that they will be opening an outlet in Sri Hartamas starting from December, I was jumping up and down with joy since that will mean it is pretty near my place. There was only one small problem, I could not read the advertisement since it was all in Japanese but I solved the little mystery of where it was by calling up their Subang Jaya outlet. It's tucked away in a little corner at Hartamas Shopping Centre that if you didn't know about it, you would not have discovered it.

We finally made it to the place after giving it the usual grace period of a few weeks to let it iron out any opening hiccups. The place has a great modern feel about it and I suspect they may have used the same award winning Japanese design house that did their Chulan Square outlet. Our table was so nice and cosy - it felt like we were in a private club with plush seats. I loved the way they used this wooden divider to seperate the booths from the sushi counter. There are two entrances to the restaurant: one from the shopping centre which had some strange looking door knobs and the other one from Plaza Damas which has a nice big white lantern and a lovely wooden designed door. I didn't really get to see the whole place but I plan to explore it further.

On to the food, we were feeling pretty tired that night as it was quite late by the time we sat down for dinner so we just chose their dinner sets quickly. I had their Sakura Chirashi Don which is similar to what I had the last time, raw sashimi slices on top of sushi rice sprinkled with shreds of nori seaweed. The selection of fish is a bit different though: hotate (oysters), salmon, maguro(tuna), ebi (prawn), ebiko(fish roe), tamago (omelette), octopus, cuttlefish, seabass, sliced mushrooms and sliced cucumbers. The portion was pretty big and so yummy, I shamelessly finished it all.

Splashie Boy had the Yakiniku Zen which was thin slices of beef that have been grilled. I stole a piece from his plate and it's really yummy as the beef is so tender and full of flavours. Both of our dinner sets came with a bowl of miso soup with tofu cubes, shimeji mushrooms and seaweed, chawan mushi (steamed egg) and a selection of cut fruits.

We were also given a scoop of Matcha ice-cream, compliments from the restaurant to celebrate their opening. I thoroughly enjoyed the food here and will definitely come back again since it's within the neighbourhood.

RakuZen Japanese Restaurant
Lot P17, Plaza Ground Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 6201 2060
(If you come from Plaza Damas, it is opposite the Wow Wow Cafe, at the end of the street. If you are coming from Hartamas Shopping Centre's main entrance i.e. street level, take the escalators to the top floor, turn right and walk to the end of the shopping centre past Times Bookshop)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Blogosphere Food Finds @ 19 December, 2005

It has been a pretty quiet week especially for the regular food bloggers. I guess everyone is in a festive mood or has gone for their holidays already. No worries though, I have still managed to track down some food finds which are all super yummy. Can't wait to see the Christmas postings though as I am sure there will be lots of goodies to be shared around.

A peek into the kitchen...

Lilian from Malaysia Best shares with us her Marmite Chicken recipe which her kids are not partial too so she whipped up popcorn chicken that will definitely give KFC a run for their money! A Spicy Life played a bit of "masak-masak" in her kitchen and made pasta carbonara and konnyaku jelly that looked like little red jewels. Rachel from Tham Jiak shares with us some information on lemongrass and makes an assam fish curry which I love!

A Spicy Life's Strawberry Konnyaku Jelly

Shawn of Away from Home has been a busy bee in the kitchen. He made some yummy looking chicken curry with the help of Brahmin (I love their stuff too!). He created new dishes, Apple Fried Rice, Currydog pancake and Couscous America that all sounds great. He even has a video on how to eat sushi. Just don't do that when you want to sample Glutton Rabbit's beautifully made unagi and ebiko sushi.

I love comfort food especially pies and Greenapple from My Felicity Corner makes my favourite Chicken Pie which will go so well with Just Heavenly's Apple Pie. I would also like a slice of Month of May's tangy lemon cheesecake. Mycoffee from Sweets for my Sweet made Ice-Cream cake for her father's birthday which looked so good.

Greenapple's Chicken Pie

The girls at
Just Heavenly are cooking a storm again and they made Yam Pinwheels and Sweetcorn Pudding that look great. Siedne from Juvenilia makes an interesting Elvis Sandwich which reminds me a bit of Nigella Lawson's banana and peanut butter version. Foodcrazee shares with us tips from his practical classes. How I wish I can cook as well as him as everything looks great!

Store finds to bring home and relish

Christmas would be dismal without chocolate so how about some Ritter Sport that Lilian from Malaysia Best introduces us to. Personally I have yet to try any but I know my friend raves about it and will buy loads whenever he is at the duty free shop.

For something savoury but is so adorable, how about trying out these Nissin noodles that come with dog and panda shapes? Wantan Productions discovered them and you can even get more animal shapes if you are not into dogs and pandas.

Wantan Productions' Panda and Bear Shaped Nissin Noodles

Eats to fill up your tummies around Kuala Lumpur and nearby

Julie the biscuit was on the hunt for good food and she found spicy soup at Sri Kembangan. Looks really good and I think this is the place I missed going the last time with friends. Just Heavenly introduces us to some yummy and cheap Japanese food at Kyoto Ramen all the way in Bukit Tinggi, Klang. If you don't feel like driving all the way there, how about trying out Tosaya which is right smack in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre? Only problem is don't go in a big group of people as you may have to wait a bit just like what the Boredworkers had to do.

Babyfelton rulez
did a stop at Marche Movenpick, the Curve which I love for their rostis, crepes and ice-cream. Shades from Muse N' Ramblings visited Nyonya Kitchen with his cell group buddies since it's their last meeting for the year. Hush Now helps us out with a little guide on where to eat cheap dim sum in Sri Petaling, Jalan Ipoh and Sungai Buluh.

Hush Now's yummy looking Dim Sum

Acrix69 did a bit of shopping downtown but managed to squeeze in some yummy looking Korean food at Hang Sung Restaurant. Dragon City recommends us Momo Cafe if you are near Bukit Serdang. And don't forget Dragon-i in Cititel (which everyone has talked about!) as Simmie from What's for Dinner? had fried rice and fried ramen there. Acrix69 introduces us to some gyoza and mee from Delicious Kitchen. I discovered a new blog full of food reviews called Memoirs of a Chocoholic who recently tried out at the famous Cafe Cafe. Looks like a very nice place to have a romantic dinner with your loved ones.

Faraway eats to drool over

The Malaysian Recipes Blog branches us out from just recipes and introduces us to Sandakan food with guides on where to eat various foods: Bak Kut Teh, Chicken Rice, Vegetarian, Kangkung with Cuttlefish, Shark's Fin Soup and Grilled Crabs. I have fond memories of my time in Sandakan as it's a great place to get fish noodles, cheap seafood (crabs cooked with rice wine), coconut jelly and hot lemon tea for breakfast.

From the other side of Malaysia, we visit Penang - the place where you always get good food where Shaolin Tiger had some assam laksa and satay cina. If you are feeling a bit down, how about some steamed chickpeas and ground nuts that Glutton Rabbit had to cheer herself up. Aprilcherrie is off to Shanghai for her holidays but she shares with us pictures from her Muar trip. I can't wait to see her pictures of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Aprilcherrie's Muar Char Kuay Teow

Note: I have added in pictures from the individual blogs which I think deserves a mention as they look great. If you have any issues with me using the photos, please tell me and I will remove them from this page.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Weekend Cat Blogging (WCB) 28

The milk bar is now open!

Hello world!

It's the weekend and kitty time. I have to plug the kittens again as they're still around. So far only one little fella (the black one) will hopefully be going to a new home this weekend (fingers and toes crossed!). Sadly the other cuties are still unadopted so please, please do take them home.

Mum discovered something interesting about the kitties, it seems when they drink milk from their mummy, they actually have allocated spots! The first one who seems to get priority is the ginger kitty. Think it could be because she is a girl since that's the best spot next to her mummy. Next is the black kitty and then the grey and white tabby. Kinda also explains why the ginger kitten is quite attached to the mummy cat. I remember during my milk drinking days, I will also get best spot as I was the cutest one of my sisters.

What else is happening in our kitty world? Nothing much except Mum and Dad decided to take the older ginger kitten to the vet for an operation. Mum wasn't too specific about things but she did say it means no more "accidents" in the future as we cannot have any more kittens. I wonder what she means?

My kitty friends should be preening themselves on screen this weekend so do join them at Auntie Clare's new website,
eat stuff! I totally give my lick of support to Auntie Clare's cool website. For waggy tales and pictures, join Auntie Sweetnicks.

Lotsa love, hugs and meow kisses

Boo the cat

P/s below is a picture of the grey and white tabby cat which Mum claims looks like me. I personally don't think so but she did take a very nice picture of it recently playing in the green patch.

Adopt me please! I'm cute and cuddly.
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